Sunday, August 30, 2009

More Wonderland and a pie crust

After putting it off for a while because I loved the fabric so much, I finally cut into the rest of my Wonderland by MoMo layer cake and am working on another baby quilt. I was not pleased with how the last one turned out -- I did something wrong, but the recipient of the quilt loved it --so I am looking forward to 'trying again.' I have laid this quilt on a little more methodically than the last one, so we will have to see how that looks when completed.

And for those who enjoy food, I made my first pie crust this past week. My mom always made pie crusts when I was growing up, but I have been afraid to try them (kind of like quilting). But I took the plunge, and the crusts didn't turn out too bad! They might have even been good:-) The Pizza Rustica (see pic below) was delicious, with or without the pie crust

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday Links

Since many of my current projects are gifts, I am hesitant to post pictures just yet:-) Instead, here are a few links to projects and tutorials that I have recently discovered. I hope you enjoy them, and perhaps add them to your list of "projects to try" as I have!

Glueless Collage Gift (great gift for toddlers)

Little Pink House Tutorial (from Sew, Mama, Sew's hand sewing month)

Tooth Fairy Bags (too cute to resist!)

Shirt to Dress Refashion (if only I could look at my clothes in this manner--always available for redesign!)

Reusable Sandwich Wrap (cute way to help reduce waste)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Paypal money from Swagbucks

I know I recently posted about Swagbucks, but I thought I would let you know something that I just learned. Swagbucks now has a Paypal gift certificate that you can 'purchase' with the bucks you earn searching the internet. Right now, you can get $5 Paypal money for 70 Swagbucks. That is a great offer, and it is free money, since you would be searching the internet anyway! I am hoping to put a few of these together so I can...wait for more fabric:-)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

How many of these can I make?

By my count, this is at least the fourth baby sling I have made with this fabric! But why complain--this is a gorgeous fabric, and I love making them.

PS. I am working on a few sewing projects, but they are gifts, so it may be a little while before they appear here:-)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Nursing Cover in Full Moon Polka Dots

Labor and Delivery, pt.4 --Coming home from the hospital

Coming Home from the Hospital:

Have someone fill your pain prescription as soon as you get home—taking the medication regularly will make a huge difference! The day that you leave the hospital you will feel sore—it will be the first time you have moved around so much since the baby was born, so expect to be tired, sore and emotional.

Make sure your bathroom cabinet is stocked with these items:
  • sanitary pads (no tampons)
  • moistened, unscented wipes *optional*(this sounds crazy, but Pampers makes a Sensitive Skin baby wipe that works great—you just cannot flush them)
  • Tucks Hemorrhoid pads *optional*--Tucks pads are cooling and calming
  • Pericolase medication (stool softener and gentle laxative)—helps keep you regular and prevents your bowel movements from being painful
  • Spray bottle (from hospital) for cleaning yourself
  • Dermaplast—also from hospital—topical numbing spray that is such a blessing when you are sore

Your first night home from the hospital will be really rough, but you will survive! Expect to cry a lot at first. Know that every woman experiences these emotional ups and downs, and it is normal. The baby blues last through the first couple of weeks and then things stabilize—but they will suddenly pop back up at random times! It’s normal to cry. If you feel like your baby blues are unmanageable, or are lasting a very long time, please reach out to friends and family for help.

In your budget, plan for an additional expenditures in doctor’s co-pays. Your baby will visit the doctor approximately 4 times in 2 months (though this varies by office): 72 hours after discharge from hospital, 2 weeks, 1 month and 2 months. Each of these visits will cost you an office co-pay, and if you do not plan for those fees, it can catch you off guard.

Above all, relax and enjoy this time. Labor and delivery may be painful, but it is the most rewarding thing you will ever experience. It is exciting! Look forward with anticipation and joy, and know that your friends and family are praying for you, supporting you and ‘cheering you on’ during this wonderful time. I hope that this series has been helpful to you. Please let me know if you have advice or thoughts to add. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Labor and Delivery, pt. 3 --Packing for the hospital (what TO pack)

What you DO want to pack in your hospital bag:

  • hairband or clips to hold your hair back, if necessary
  • anything that helps you relax for delivery and afterward—an I Pod with your favorite music, a book, a scented lotion
  • change for the snack machines or a bag of snacks (especially for your hubby)
  • at least one nursing bra (a sleep bra is a must, and maybe another one to wear coming home)
  • nursing pads—during the first few days, I would recommend Lansinoh Brand Ultra Soft Nursing Pads (Babies R Us carries them). They are more expensive, but they are the softest, and when you start nursing, your breasts will appreciate the softness of those pads. You will be able to move to other pads later.
  • Tums if you are prone to heartburn. I was not prone to it, but had horrible acid reflux/heartburn during labor. The nurses would not give me anything, but I could have taken the Tums if I had some with me
  • camera, extra batteries/charger, film (each hospital has different regulations about videography during labor, so check for their policies)
  • cell phones and chargers
  • comfortable, loose tops or short nightgowns. Look for something that buttons down or is big enough to pull up for nursing ease. Pants/bottoms are not necessary—you will be bleeding enough after the delivery that you might mess up the bottoms anyway. A light-weight robe is nice—I used a short robe that I pulled on over a tank top, and that worked great
  • moisturizing body lotion—if you should have an epidural, your skin may itch as it wears off. Lotion helps!
  • flip-flops for the shower
  • your favorite toiletries (i.e., scented shower gel from Bath and Body Works if you like that), your makeup, lotions and perfume—anything that will help refresh you and make you feel better
  • slippers or socks—the hospital floor can get cold!
  • know what pediatrician you plan to use—they will ask you this in labor and delivery
  • book or magazine (something light and fluffy) for you; book or magazine for your husband—you may need this during labor and delivery while you “wait” to dilate, or to help you relax at the end of the day when visitors and family have left
  • list of people to call with their phone numbers
  • outfit to bring the baby home
  • outfit for you to travel home—look for comfortable, loose fitting separates: you will not be able to fit back into your pre-pregnancy sizes immediately! Though it is no fun to wear them after the baby comes, maternity pants may feel the most comfortable (or something with a drawstring waist)

Tomorrow: Coming Home from the Hospital

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Labor and Delivery, pt.2--Packing for the Hospital (what not to pack)

What you DON'T have to pack in your hospital bag:

  • diapers
  • wipes
  • baby clothes other than an outfit to bring the baby home—the hospital will provide tiny little white shirts to dress your little one
  • baby blankets—the hospital will provide a receiving blankets
  • sanitary pads
  • lots of underwear for you—the hospital has disposable underwear that you will, strangely enough, come to love after labor and delivery;-)
  • multiple pairs of pants for you
  • nursing pillow, unless you just want to have it, the nurses will assist you with helping the
  • baby latch on using hospital pillows, etc
  • bottles for the baby, unless you plan to bottle feed and want to use a particular bottle
  • jewelry—you may have to take it off, and you don’t want to risk losing it
  • long distance calling card—everything says no cell phones, but the nurses do not mind you making the occasional call
  • pillows—hospital has plenty!

Tomorrow: What TO pack for the hospital

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Info for Labor & Delivery, pt.1

*I realize this is departure from my usual blog posts. I am a list-maker, and shortly before the birth of my first child, received a list of "what I should pack for the hospital" from a dear friend. I have expanded on that and created a Labor & Delivery document that I share with all my friends expecting their first child. Since I have several friends expecting their first baby soon, I thought I would post my information on my blog as well. I hope you find this four part series enjoyable and informative. Feel free to add your thoughts or advice!*

A disclosure: the information below is my opinion and my opinion ONLY. Everybody experiences pregnancy, labor and delivery differently, so what worked for me/happened to me may not work for you or happen to you. I share this information because it might help you at some point, or will at least give you a starting point.


  • I am not convinced that any one thing puts people into labor—and believe me, I tried it all: walking, raspberry tea (it is supposed to help stimulate uterine contractions), and yes, *even* sex. I did not have any contractions or signs of labor until I woke up in the middle of the night with powerful contractions.
  • It is hard to believe, but Lord willing, you WILL JUST KNOW when you are having real, labor-starting contractions. They wake you up out of a deep sleep, they do not go away with movement, they make you want to walk around, you cannot talk through them (and have to work on breathing through them), and they put immense pressure on your bladder and rectum (no offense, but when my contractions started, I went to the bathroom non-stop!).
  • Realize that your water may not break before you go to the hospital—and if it does break, it may gush or it may trickle. The experience is different for different women.
  • If at all possible, EAT before you go to the hospital, because they won’t let you eat there. Stay hydrated if nothing else.
  • Take a long, hot shower or bath—it will relax you and your body, help you not to fight the contractions, and make you feel better for what might be a ‘long haul.’
  • Relax and don’t fight against the contractions. If you have a chance to read up on the Bradley Method, they have great suggestions for relaxing positions and exercises to help you through the contractions. You can use these even if you do not use the entire Bradley Method (completely natural childbirth).
  • Trust your doctor and Labor and Delivery nurse. Ask your Labor and Delivery nurse any questions you have, and get her advice on anything of which you are unsure. She is there to help you and support you in any way she can—and you will LOVE HER for it!
  • Pray. Pray that you will clearly know when you go into labor. Pray for a healthy labor with no complications. Pray for peace from anxiety. Remember that God designed women's bodies to deliver babies, though while you are pregnant you may think the day will never come! Marvel at this amazing experience, and enjoy it!

    Tomorrow: What NOT to pack for the hospital...

Friday, August 7, 2009

And yet another summer dress

*This one seems so much shorter than the other two--it was actually the first one I made, and the fabric for the skirt was much longer and had to be hemmed. The other two similar dresses I left unfinished at the bottom and they were just the right length. Oh well--maybe she can wear it as a top when it gets too short.

Free books!

Free 'stuff' is always fun, and free books are truly wonderful (right up there with free fabric)! I am not talking about borrowing books from your local library*, but rather books that I purchased through for free. How did I do this, you may ask? Good question! The answer:

Swagbucks is easy to use--simply sign up at Swagbucks, start searching, and earn! The results from a Swagbucks search comes from Google and, so the search results are reliable and similar to what you find using Google. When you search, you will win "Swagbucks", which you can accumulate for a variety of prizes from gift cards to IPhones. You can also earn Swagbucks by trading in cell phones, video games and consoles, and through Swag codes that come in the Swagbucks newsletter. I like to trade in 45 Swagbucks for a $5 gift card, which is how I earned the free books.

Some tips for using Swagbucks:
1. Sign up now, and start referring your friends! As your friends sign up and earn Swagbucks, you also get a portion of what they earn.
2. Download the toolbar for quicker searching and points earning.
3. Check Swagbucks first thing--use it to do your first few searches in the morning, and try to go ahead and win your bucks. Once you have earned Swagbucks for the day, go about your regular internet use.
4. Use Swagbucks on Fridays, which is Mega Swagbucks Day! Swagbucks are often awarded in the 1, 2, and 3 dollar amounts, but on Friday they can be much higher.
5. Sign up for the Swagbucks newsletter, which often has a free code that you can 'grab'.
6. Play around the site and see all of the ways you can earn and win, and all of the wonderful prizes available.

I purchased these books using Amazon gift cards that I had saved from Swagbucks as well as an Amazon gift card from a credit card rewards program. Free books!!

*Checking books out of the library is the next best thing to getting books for free, and sometimes may even be better if you are not certain you want to purchase the book. Use your local library!