Sunday, December 30, 2012

Looks Like We Made It: Year End Making

I’ve been stockpiling ideas lately: things I want to make, things I want to write about. I’m saving them up for the New Year when it’s fresh and holiday time restores to everyday time. This last post of 2012, my seventieth, incidentally, takes care of a little house keeping. There’s a few projects I completed in the last months that need documentation before the year is out. No year end recap to be found here, but rather a hurried show-and-tell of last minute crafting before we’re pushed into 2013.

You may remember that I was commissioned to make a special hush-hush birthday crown for a friend here in Berlin. Her husband turned forty-five in November and she threw him a Moustache themed birthday party (sound familiar?) I had heaps of fun making this crown. I collected a few bits of inspiration that I shared with my friend before the build to make sure I was on the right track. She assured me I was.

It also gave me a chance to use my new HP DeskJet 1000 color inkjet printer and printable cotton fabric. I’ve often seen printable fabric used in quilting and fabric book making to transfer photos onto fabric and have coveted the technology. Once I realized how inexpensive these printers actually were—they get you on the toner cartridges—I splurged. Since we have a laser printer for documents, the color printer would only be used infrequently for crafting. I’m seriously hooked, though, and keep trying to find things to print out on fabric. My latest obsession: labels for everything. The photo below is of the keepsake label I printed for the outfit Lennon wore to his first birthday party. The printer is a stop-gap measure until I can afford an embroidery machine—an expense that can't truly be justified when I currently sew on a borrowed machine.

Just before I was finished with the crown, I looked over my friend’s original email request which explained that the color theme for the party was Tiffany blue and black and asked that I incorporate these somehow. Oops! The black was taken care of but I had to get creative in bringing in the blue, which, in the end, added a surprising twist to the color story.

Onto my Christmas making! I made stockings for all four members of my family. Though one of them won’t join us until summer, we’ve already chosen his name and it has been printed on fabric and attached to his stocking. All four hung in our living room but L.I.B.’s (Little Inside Baby) stocking included a piece of paper covering the name. The stockings are made from white burlap, natural linen, and white cotton rick-rack. I lined them with market stall unbleached cotton.

Each year I make an ornament for our tree. Last year, I allowed Paloma’s Nest to do so as it was Lennon’s first Christmas and required something extra special. Next year, L.I.B. will also receive a Paloma’s Nest ornament. This year, there seemed no better way to mark these Holidays than with a picture of what is to come in 2013. I scanned L.I.B.’s photo from the amazing 3-D ultrasound we received when he was eleven weeks in gestation and printed it out in color on the printable cotton. From there, I made a simple pillow with blue rick-rack trim. I love how chunky it is on the tree, just as the previous year’s ornaments are. I can’t wait for our tree to be overwhelmed by big, homemade ornaments from so many happy Christmases.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Gender Reveal: A Pictorial

Next summer, 
we will be welcoming a new baby boy 
into our family! 
We feel incredibly blessed.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Guess What?

I needed a wee rest after my epically lengthy 40th birthday and blogging marathon! I’m back now and ready to talk about the “project for next year” you might remember me mentioning: the above was taken on October 3rd, twelve days into the “40 Days of Birthday” celebration. Fortunately for me, I was spared the knowledge of pregnancy on my actual birthday, allowing me champagne. I’m aware that some mamas choose not to indulge anywhere near even the possibility of conception, but I prefer to plead unawares.

The truth is, I was aware very early this time. Not enough to be extra cautious on my birthday, but later that week I started to experience strange symptoms, the kind I’d only experienced much later in pregnancy with Lennon. On the way home from the Lady Castle, after carrying a heavy-ish bag, my fingers tingled ala Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, which I suffered from last time only during my third trimester. I also had strange gum tenderness on the day we first tried to go to the TV Tower. I realize these could be related to any number of things besides pregnancy, but my uncanny intuition told me otherwise. Right around this time the nausea also started in, something that didn’t occur until a good six weeks into my last pregnancy. I decided to take a pregnancy test the day before my missed period (sorry, Gents, if talk of such things causes you the same queasiness I’m experiencing) because I just “felt” so pregnant.

The fancy Clear Blue Easy Digital test I took—the same I used to test with Lennon, incidentally—not only literally spells out pregnant (in German) it tells you how many weeks into your pregnancy you are. The day before my missed period, the test read “2-3" weeks. This is where the confusing math comes in: the test instructions state that 2-3 weeks will translate to 5-6 weeks at your doctor’s office: Doctors will count from the first day of your last period and the test counts from two weeks after the point, when you are likely ovulating. Of course this is all mute if you know the exact date of conception. We did not. We knew what the successful course of action was when trying to get pregnant and chose not to hedge our bets. We were sure to make everyday in the month of September a possible day of conception.

With such a strong presence of hormone the day before my missed period and such early symptoms, I was pretty certain this was some powerful pregnancy. I even suspected for one frightening moment that it might be twins, throwing a wrench in our “family of four” plan. I’ve since had it confirmed several times that it is only one, very hormonal baby.

By the way, for those keeping score at home, if at any point on or after October 3rd you witnessed me on my blog with what appears to be an alcohol beverage, let me assure you it is the alcohol-free variety. Lucky for me, Germany makes delicious alcohol-free beer! I practically lived on the stuff when I was nursing. It was fun to enjoy them in those first few weeks during this pregnancy as well, but once my nausea peaked, I couldn’t look at anything resembling beer—or squash, or tomato sauce, or bread, or nuts of any kind, just to name a few provocative aversions. Fruit and Asian noodles have been my go-tos this time around.

Lennon’s sibling should be arriving around June-ish. I’m not going to talk about specific dates since, in my experience, they mean nothing anyway. If I haven’t made it clear already, we’re very excited. Truly, I can hardly believe how incredibly blessed I am.

Post Script—Forty blogs entries for forty weeks of pregnancy? I’m already a little behind, but I’ll try to keep you informed in case of anything juicy. Also, "Gender Reveal" coming soon!