Tuesday, December 22

Bebe Photos: Two Months!

First, a photo of Grandpa with one of his first grandkids:



Auntie in Maastricht.


Mama in Maastricht.


Santa!


Die kleine Familie.


He's all smiles these days :)

Except when he's screaming, haha!


Stole this photo from my dad, so sweet.


It's cold here!! Thanks to Katie we have a cute hat and coat. Stupid pacifier, muckin' up my pictures, haha..


He looks around everywhere, all the time, like he can't possibly miss a thing.


How Dad keeps him happy!


And he loves his Grandpa <3


Bubbles!!! I looooove the bubbles!


And the smiles!


He loooooves being naked!




He's super awesome, wish I could bring him home to meet everyone! I'm really glad my mom and dad have both been able to visit already. :)

Christmas Preview Two.

The tree is finally up! When dad got here he and Chris went down to the Forester's house to pick up a tree. The Forester is in charge of the surrounding wooded areas and sells locally cut trees to the neighborhood each year, this is the first year we bought one from him. It's beautiful! I'll post more pictures with the actual Christmas post.


The star Chris and I bought the first Christmas we were married. Can't imagine how I've hung on to it so far.


An angel from Annalee's. Annalee Dolls originated in Meredith, NH where my family is from, the whole family has mass amounts of their dolls because my grandma worked there. She is my favorite and has her own special place on the tree.


Our stockings! Tradition is to hang them on Christmas Eve, but I say why not have a good, long look at them? :)

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What Christmas is complete without an early present? Tricia gave me this cookbook, by the goddesses of vegan baking:


Mostly I like to bake vegan for two reasons; it's cheap sans butter or eggs, and our good friends and neighbors Zak and Brenda are vegan and I certainly can't bake cookies or cakes without sharing with them! I steal Brenda's Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World on a regular basis, so now the tables will turn because I know she'll steal this in return :)

Even better, I got to test run it on Christmas cookies!


Gingerbread Moose. Mooses? Meese? Hmm...


And assorted red sugar cookies. I had a grand plan for some lobster shaped cookies to go with the moose (a New England Christmas, right?) but it was really soft dough that didn't work with a cutter (yes, I have a lobster cookie cutter, thanks Meagan!!) and so I hand shaped some hearts and pulled out my grandma's old cookie press and played with it a little. There is one lobster hiding in that pile. The bee cookie is for Brenda.
I heart my sister.

Sunday, December 13

Thursday, December 3

Christmas preview.

Christmas card idea? I love this kid, he's got so much personality!


My dad will be here in 10 days! With my sister here and the newish baby, this is going to be a really special Christmas. I haven't been excited about the holidays the past few years but this year is very different! I've even shopped (eep!) as evidenced by the numerous feedback requests in my Etsy account. I do love shopping- don't let my anti-consumerism warpath fool you. I think it's very important to support others who do what my friends and I do, and will if I have the chance. What better chance than Christmas?

Some sellers (friends) I think you should support:
Tall Tree Goods
FatPatch
marymishmash
Betterfly Design

I wish I had the time to stock up my store with Christmas goodies. I have a million ideas but my time is being spent otherwise feeding, burping and changing the munchkin :)

I was able to whip up some stockings to hang on the hearth! One for each of us, and each one is very personal to each person. I'm feeling pretty good about how they turned out, not to mention that I got any sewing done at all!


Chris's:

Johnny's:

Dad's:

Mine:

And Tricia's:

I'm really looking forward to filling them with goodies!! The holidays are much more fun with family around!

Saturday, November 28

The cloth I never imagined getting giddy about.

A shiny new pile of diapers came in the mail yesterday! This makes me happy for two reasons:
1. I'm addicted to cloth diapering the little baby bum! And,
2. I'm so not addicted to the nightly washing involved!
These will help it become every-other-day washing, which makes it just that much better.


I know it's out of the ordinary to cloth diaper, although it's gaining popularity these days, so this post is probably going to be blah blah blah and so on for most of you. BUT, I know a lot of people who have (or want) little babies and maybe someday some unsuspecting new Mommy will stumble on this and it'll inspire her.
Please don't mind my blogging illusions of grandeur...

I hate. Hate. HATE trash. I despise waste. I was set on creating as little as possible with this kid the moment I found out I was pregnant. Chris was sold the second I added up for him how much it would cost us over the next three years to wrap our baby in mixture of paper, plastic, chemicals and wood pulp.
The hospital had Pampers and I cringed each time they went into the waste pail. Then it got a little easier, and that lasted for a few weeks after our return home. Then the trash. Ugh. Uuuuggghhhhh... We had to borrow our neighbors' trash can since ours was nearly over flowing. Unacceptable. Granted we have tiny German trash cans that only get picked up every two weeks, but we've learned to live with that and I'm not going back!
I tried a few times with the stock pile of cloth diapers we'd accumulated but it was utter disaster, every single one leaked and I couldn't imagine how people did this! So I hit up the internets and some friends for advice, desperately, since I knew there was no way we could use throw-aways for the next 2-3 years. Lo and behold, it was simply user error. The first non-leaky one was dismissed as a lucky break. The second, maayyybe we're doing this right. By the end of the day I had a contest going with myself (and the baby) to see how many we could get through in a row.
So here we are 2 weeks later, 100% cloth diapered! It was official on Thanksgiving when I changed him in the middle of a stranger's house, among comments such as, "Is that a washable diaper? I've never actually seen one of those!" I slipped his dirty one into a wet bag and right on into my purse. Gross, I know, but I just felt so damned accomplished :) Not to mention the wipes I had stuffed into a small Ziplock baggie. We still have a container or two of throw-away wipes because Chris thinks the washables are a pain in the butt, but I think he'll get used to them, just like he has with the diapers.

If you remember, I cut and sewed 60-some-odd bamboo flannel wipes over the summer. Now they are gently floating in bath of apricot and tea tree oils serving their purpose grandly. Hey, everybody's got a purpose in life, at least the are fulfilling theirs. However humble it may be.


I like lining the covers up in a pretty row. Folks, the covers are VERY important in your cloth diapering adventures. It doesn't matter what you stuff them with, as long as you stuff them with enough. And in the right places. If you have a tiny little boy who nurses, oh I don't know, every 45 minutes or so, you may want to rethink that single prefold you just put in there. Go ahead and add a layer... or three.


Our midwife shivered every time she saw Johnny because he never has pants on. This is because we have to change diapers frequently and you can't tell if they are dirty by looking or patting. There unfortunately is no magic yellow stripe that turns blue when the time is right. Silly magic hospital diapers.
Fortunately for Johnny he was not cold because he was always wrapped in a blanket and was usually mooching off my own body heat anyway (since he hardly let me put him down until recently).
But I thought maybe as winter draws on I'd be a responsible mum an not let my little baby lounge around in a blanket all day. Insert baby leg warmers here:


I didn't make these, but I'm sure they would not be hard to make from some kids' socks. They are dern tootin' cute!

Speaking of cute, check out this ginormous night-time bum:


So, to sum it up, this is why we think you should cloth diaper your baby (I say 'we' because this benefits Johnny as well and I'm sure he would agree... in his cute little after-yawn-baby-coo, he agrees):
  • Lack of waste. Poop in landfills. Did you know it's actually illegal in the US to throw human feces away? Even with throw-away diapers we are suppose to put the solid waste in the toilet before tossing them in the trash.
  • Money an the savings thereof. There is an initial investment of course, which we offset by buying (or trading for) gently used and well taken care of diapers for the most part. Don't break the bank on this. Like I said, I think the covers are the most important part. So far my favorites are Thirsties and Popolinis. Most of these are ├╝ber adjustable and will last quite some time with the right care.
  • The soft throw-aways are full of chemicals and the eco ones are not soft. Johnny had a wicked rash that we had to slather creme on day after day until we finally went 100% cloth. Poor kid.
  • Leg warmers.
  • Personal satisfaction that you're doing the best thing for the your child and the futures of your family, bank account, planet :)
  • Did I mention cute leg warmers?

Saturday, November 21

I love technology.

Not as much as you, you see. But I still love technology....
For the most part... I love my Macbook (and everything that entails, such as internet). That's about as far as the technology thing goes for me tho! Anyway, the camera is handy and I'm going to learn how to use iMovie so I can make a DVD for Grandparents, ect.

Here's a start anyway:



How unbearably cute is he?! I love this kid! ;D

Friday, November 20

Gifts of art.

I got the most incredible surprise in the mail this week!! All the way from England, a delicately handmade clutch by the lovely Di of RubyRuby:


This is being posted as art instead of simply handmade because I've never seen fabric so beautifully manipulated into something as useful as a handbag. The details are perfect :)


I've honestly been lusting after her bags for a few years and dreamed of one day having the perfect reason to buy one (although I would seriously carry this to the grocery store just to show it off!)...


This is the most luxurious thing in the house, I only wish I had had one on my wedding day ;>
I <3 RubyRuby!

And then our neighbor/friend Zak bestowed this awesome piece upon the house:
He's hanging above the baby's changing table. How creative is that!? I love the balloons the absolute most! Also a time consuming and detailed project due to the great stencil work.

Last but not least, our friend Beth sent these cards from Georgia. There's three sets with different themes and he really does like looking at them! :D


I love the people who make this world such an interesting and beautiful place! Xoxo!!

Wednesday, November 18

One month!

Johnathan is one month old today (tomorrow for those of you in the States..) so I thought I would share some new photos:

I bought him a $7 Moses basket before he was born, I like it because I can carry him from the kitchen to the living room without waking him up :) Important because I love cooking!

He loves being on his belly (and being naked, hence the numerous blankets), it's almost the only way he will lie while awake.

Today I noticed he always calms down if he can see one of the dogs. Very cute because there is no doubt Luckie wants to be his dog!

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We are learning A LOT! haha... Naturally! And this week I finally feel as if we are getting a bit of a routine. I'm not pushing it either way, I sleep in the evening and then am up until 4 a.m. and then sleep again until noon. He sleeps every two to three hours and eats every two hours. Last night/early morning he slept for five hours!

We are co-sleeping for now. I didn't plan on it but it's so easy! I feel like I'm getting enough sleep and he hardly ever wakes up all the way to nurse, so it's not often that he gets upset and starts crying in the middle of the night, which certainly saves our nerves :)

I also have to add that after weeks of falling asleep in peoples' arms, today he fell asleep on his own for the first time! This is good news to me, who does not have the eight to ten arms that have occupied our house in the past month.


We are learning about cloth diapers. Thanks to friends' support and websites it's finally going well, they are leaky bitches! But I feel it's worth the trial and error to save the mountain of disposables we've already started creating; Chris takes the trash out twice as much and that really bothers me. I don't think we'll do them at night or in public for a little while longer, until we really get the hang of them, but at home during the day is a great start. We started ECing last night, I'm impressed by that to no end already... It will take a lot of dedication on my part but he already seems pretty comfortable with it :) No kidding, my one month old baby pooped in the toilet 4 times in the past 2 days!

My mom says I've now graduated to the 'parent that talks about poop'. So be it! I'm so happy to be home with him and to be able to pick up on his nuances and habits. Hopefully he'll understand as he grows older that his needs come first and he will never go long without them being met. People do no less for their puppies, they take them outside when they ask and feed them often (and I am now reminded by my dogs when it is time to eat, just as I am by Johnny!).

*Oh, and Meredith, the diapers we buy him (the only cost of his right now, and one which my goal is to cut in half by using washables) run us about $60 a month. The dogs' food is about $80 a month, so one month into it he is officially less expensive than owning a dog (well, three dogs)! Haha...*

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One goal it seems I've had throughout the whole pregnancy was to have the cheapest baby in town. Meaning, I do not think one needs to spend loads of money to have a child and I think that there is too much waste tied up into the consumerism of new parents (and the families of new parents). I'm seriously not knocking my family members and friends who purchased stuff for us! A little goes a long way and they all know and respect that :) Handed down gifts abounded, as well as fabric and patterns and very useful items like books, diapers, music and other learning tools and toys for future use.

Anyway, Johnny has ended up becoming the handmade baby poster child! Everyday his outfits consist of new, handed down and handmade elements, most of his blankets are handmade (with love!) and I've had fun working on things for him as well.

This hat I made from some fabric my grandmother gave me. She purchased it when my dad was born if I recall correctly. Those little hospital slip-on caps don't stay on his head so I'll be making more of these soon, some with fleece or felt to prepare for the upcoming winter.

These boots are made with fabric sent from my Aunt and some cozy cotton batting. It's a bad picture but they have little doggies on them!

I bought these at the BX, but instead of buying expensive baby chucks in the color I wanted, I just dyed them green!

This blanket was made by a friend's grandma and passed onto us. The bunny was made by Johnny's Oma, who re-learned to knit just for him! (She was then inspired to hand make her Christmas gifts this year- I'm proud of you mom!)

Oma also crocheted this adorable bear hat for his first Halloween. Needless to say he wears it regularly now :) (The yarn I purchased at a flomarkt, it's hand-spun from a black sheep!)

Almost three years ago I was at the Base bazaar and my friend Beth introduced me to her impromptu friend Katie, a lot of you know her as the genius behind FatPatch. She made the most adorable frog blanket and it was the first thing I purchased from her in the hopes that I'd soon use it for a new baby... It graced my living room wall for some time but now it's being used for its appropriate purpose!

The spouses of the squadron my husband belongs to gave us this other sweet frog blanket, I'm not sure who it's made by, but thank you! I love that they give each new baby a hand made blanket :)

*There are a few more photos I wanted to share of handmade goodies, like a cute hat made by Emi and a lovely blanket made by my great Aunt, but the photo uploader just stopped working :(

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I feel very blessed to have this tiny baby boy in my arms every day, and to have everyone's support and love on top of it is more than I could ask for! Xoxox!!!