November 28, 2009

it seems like yesterday

I can't believe it's been over a year since we found out that Lincoln was going to be joining us and turning our freshly-married coupledom into a little family. The return of the Apple Cup today is what made me realize, because it was the day of the Cougar's exciting win last year that I took not one, but three pregnancy tests and nearly lost my shit because I couldn't believe the results!

It's safe to say that a lot has changed since then, and I couldn't be happier to be where we are now. If only I could count on the Cougs to deliver today like they did last year, we'd be in good shape! Unfortunately, with a record like they have now (1-10) and ZERO conference wins this season, I'm not terribly optimistic.

I am so thankful for our life now, and for my sweet little man who is changing so fast and surprises and delights me every day.

Daddy's feeling a bit under the weather today, so we we're just laying low and hoping that the monkey and I don't get it. Here's hoping that my stubborn determination and my magical immune-boosting milk will deliver and keep us healthy!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! And Go Cougs!

November 20, 2009

a creative melting pot?

I think I may have said this before, but I think Etsy is just so awesome! I love that there are so many different creative voices represented all in one place, and that it makes it so easy to access the art and hand crafts of people from all over the world.

And obviously, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I also love it because it gives me a venue to offer my own craftiness to the world in exchange! I recently changed my offering in my Etsy shop to reflect the custom nature of the mixer covers that I've been making, and I've had some really amazing orders so far! I absolutely love it! Seeing my pattern come to life in someone's dream fabric is so much fun. It's pure creative collaboration.

This first order was from someone who had never ordered anything from Etsy before, and I'm so honored to have been her first purchase! She requested the Amy Butler Lotus collection print "Wall Flower" in sky and left the rest up to me. I selected Amy Butler's "Oxford Stripe" in lime, also from the Lotus collection, for the ruffle and pocket trim. I think it works perfectly together, and I hope she loves it!

I think this next one is particularly great, because I never would have thought to use a fabric like this for a kitchen accessory. Stacey Winters is a talented photographer with a vintagey, whimsical, nature-loving thing going on in her work. I love these, and we totally had those creepy feisty little elves on our Christmas tree when I was a kid!

Anyway, Stacey requested that I use Kokka's Little Red Riding Hood fabric for the cover for her drool-worthy vintage-blue Martha Stewart mixer. I selected a Moda dot print from the Wee Play collection by American Jane for the trim. This ended up being a favorite of mine! I just love the fabric.

Finally, Desiree saw pictures of my covers on Flickr (check out her tropical studio if you don't mind feeling a bit of jealousy) and wrote to me to ask if I would be willing to make her a similar style cover for her sewing machine. Of course! Just the kind of fun new project I'm happy to tackle!

Desiree requested Alexander Henry's "Sew Now! Sew Wow!" for her cover, and it's a natural choice! I love those old-fashioned machines and the classic sewing notions that adorn this print. I used a lipstick red micro polka dot calico for the ruffle and pocket trim, and since the pocket is so wide, I added a bit of velcro to the center to keep it from gaping open. I added the black fabric-covered button just for decoration. It was in my stash, likely inherited from the collection that my mom gave me.

All of this custom creating is so inspiring! I love the combinations and the way that everyone's unique personality comes through in their fabric choice. And when I find time, I still have some of my own creations in the works, including a cover made from this perfectly appropriate Robert Kaufman print:

Stay tuned for more creativity!

November 16, 2009

I'm a little behind.

Lincoln was three months old on the 11th, which means we're now officially out of the newborn phase and on to infancy (according to whoever it is that decides such things). I figure that also means we've got about two minutes before he starts running around and causing a ruckus.

Three months, people! Where has the time gone? I swear each week goes by faster and faster. I think partly because I'm not working outside of the house, I've reverted to this primitive(?) method of telling the day of the week by what's on tv*. That means that last night we just saw poor Chef Mullen be informed that he will not be the next Iron Chef, but wasn't it yesterday that Chef Freitag was given the same news? And how could it be that there's a new episode of How I Met Your Mother on tonight? We were just introduced to fat Barney like five seconds ago! Yeah, time flies. And if you think it's messing with my mind for my tv shows, try throwing an actual growing and changing and learning HUMAN in to the mix! My brain just can't process it all fast enough.

And thanks to the magic of the internet, I've been getting lots of requests for custom sewing projects! I'm currently working on two mixer covers, a sewing machine cover, and an apron. And I just got a message about another matching set for a mixer and toaster too. All this in between feeding and napping and cleaning the abode and trying to keep the house full of sensible food choices and then maybe even cook that stuff once in a while, it's keeping me on my toes. I never would have predicted that the days of a stay-at-home Mom would be so busy at this early stage. I can't imagine how it will be once he's mobile!

One way that I've been keeping on top of things is by using Toodledoo** and the accompanying app on my iPhone. I'm a total list person, and also kind of a control freak, but with Lincoln's arrival and the baby-brain that has replaced my own functioning brain for the last few months, I've had a hard time keeping my ducks in a row. It's amazing how easy it is to just spend an entire day sitting on the couch with a newborn, and before you know it, it's been a month since you've deep cleaned the buttons on the dishwasher or vacuumed out the dryer vent... or you know, whatever your particular brand of obsessive neat freak likes to do. Now my little electronic brain tells me every day what I'm supposed to be doing, and I get the satisfaction of checking off a virtual list of things once they're done. And now that Lincoln will happily hang out in the carrier all day, it's much easier to quickly sweep the kitchen floor when it comes up on my list and then just check it off until the next time it auto-repeats. Thanks to Apple and computer geeks everywhere, I pretty much don't have to think at all anymore! I just do what the little man in my phone tells me to.

Before long, I'll be scheduling in writing sessions so I can continue to update the world at large on Lincoln's life and development. As it is now, I've been spending every free minute sewing, and it's been forever since I've dropped in here to say hello. Gosh, has it been since Top Chef***, already? Point is, I'm a little behind. So update:

  • Lincoln is HUGE. And smart and active. And adorable.
  • PEPS is good! Lots of nice people with lots of different ideas about raising a baby. That's good, and also a little bit bad. That's a subject of another post though- more on that later.
  • We've started an infant massage class, which is great! It will be a really nice way to connect with Lincoln and hopefully a nice thing to add to our bedtime routine, which is currently in development.
  • My etsy shop, twilltape, is keeping me busy! Yeah! There's a chance that I may be able to contribute to this family's bottom line after all. Or maybe it will just give me the excuse to keep stockpiling fabric. Hard to say which, exactly.
  • It's almost Thanksgiving! And then Christmas! Holy crap.

*I'm sure that's how my cavewoman ancestors did it.

**No, this is not a paid plug for Toodledoo. I just think it's cool. You don't have to check it out, and if you're not a list-lover, you probably won't care anyway.

***That's Wednesday, in case you aren't using the same calendar.

November 10, 2009

stealthy, like ninja!

So, not only has the little guy found his hands and figured out how to put them to good use in the last week, but he's also starting to work on rolling over. Just a little bit, here and there, and just from his back to the side, but it's bound to happen all of a sudden when I'm not paying attention.

Like just a minute ago, for example...

Thank goodness he woke me up before I was really ready to get out of bed, and I parked myself next to his movement mat with a pillow to try to squeeze in a few more minutes of sleep. And thank goodness I'm lazy, and never moved the pillow from my impromptu resting spot, because it was there to catch the little sneak when he rolled over (and off) the mat just now!

I was standing there tying on the Moby wrap, and I laid him down on the mat with a toy to grab onto, and the next thing I know he's lying on his belly on the pillow! I contemplated running to grab the camera to capture concrete evidence of the moment, but he looked a little bit freaked out by his new positioning, so I just flipped him back over and told him what a great job he did. Of course, then I went and got the camera and requested a repeat performance, but nothing doing. His hands are way too interesting to be bothered with that whole rolling business right now.

Just wait until I turn my back again...

November 6, 2009

they're out there somewhere!

Well, operation Friends With Kids is officially underway! We attended our first PEPS group meeting yesterday at the home of one of the other members. PEPS is the Program for Early Parenting Support, and it's a series of twelve weekly meetings with a group of parents in your area with babies all born around the same time. Our group consists of eight couples with babies born between August 10 and September 2. And yep, it turns out that regular three-month old babies aren't usually this big! Guess the doctor was right...

Lincoln helped us to make a good impression on our future play-date companions by entering the house screaming, and picking the scream back up at convenient intervals throughout the course of the evening. All the other little babes were peacefully sleeping in their infant seats or draped across their mothers' laps, but not our little force of nature! He was only content when one of us was standing up with him facing the crowd, so he could see every little thing that was going on. He finally passed out about five minutes before we left, but woke up again as soon as we set foot outside.

I'm pretty excited to see how this whole thing goes. We're not incredibly social people as it is, and for whatever reason, our friends just aren't getting in on the baby game. That is, except for these guys, who just had a beautiful new daughter, but they live a little bit outside of our play-date range, as we discovered a few weeks ago. I think it will be nice to be able to commiserate with some other folks who are in the same boat that we are, even if it's just once a week for a while and then we never see them again. Everyone says that they continue to meet with their PEPS groups for long after the twelve weeks is over though, so there's always the chance that we'll make some new actual friends out of this experience.

November 2, 2009

tastes like fall!

Fall is definitely my favorite season, hands down. There's just something about new school supplies, crunchy leaves, football, fuzzy sweaters and scarves, and delicious fall veggies that I find so comforting. When I saw the big pile of winter squash in the market the other day it looked so much like fall that I picked a couple up, even though I seemed to remember that Gus wasn't such a big fan.

I started out with a simple roasted acorn squash a few nights ago. I just cut it in half, scooped out the seeds, drizzled on some olive oil and sprinkled on some salt and pepper and popped it in the oven cut side down in a baking dish for about an hour at 375. It was tender and delicious and even husband-approved. I think the reason he claimed not to like squash was that he had never had it without brown sugar, and he doesn't like sweet interfering with his savory. Even pineapple on pizza is a no-no for this guy. Just simply roasted and seasoned, he admitted it was quite tasty. Yeah!

So, with one squash success under my belt, I decided to try a more advanced application for dinner tonight: butternut squash soup. The recipe is another really simple one, and really highlights the buttery sweet goodness of the squash. Just cut it in half and scoop out the seeds, place it cut side down in a baking dish and let it roast for about an hour at 375. No oil, salt or pepper this time though, just the squash. When the squash is just about done, heat a large pot or dutch oven and saute an onion in some butter. Once the squash is tender, scoop it out of the shell and add it to the pot along with four cups of chicken broth. Use a stick blender or a regular blender to break everything down and mix it all together, then let it simmer for a little bit while you finish the rest of dinner, set the table, feed your baby, or what ever. Taste for seasoning- I just added a little cayenne pepper for kick, no salt or pepper was needed, and serve it up! Delicious and nutritious, and a lovely shade of orange too!

Any favorite fall vegetable recipes you'd like to share?