Oh, boys.

This past weekend, my very good friend, her husband, and their twin boys came up for a visit.  It was so much fun having a house full of babies.  Surprisingly, we managed to get a couple of good nights of sleep.

We tried to take a photo of our babes wearing the sweaters that we hand knit for them.  We learned, however, that wrangling babies is very difficult.  There is not a single photo where all three of them faced the camera.  Plus, a certain little girl was always on the move.

Sarah with Eli, Wren, Polly with Aaron

Eli, Aaron, and Wren

For the Record:  Sweater Patterns

Eli is modelling The Dumb Baby Sweater designed by Maggie Righetti.

Aaron is sporting Baby Surprise Jacket written by Elizabeth Zimmerman.

Wren is wearing Five-Hour Sweater created by Courtney Filner.

Thanks to Sarah and Oso for making the trek.  Thanks to the boys for showing Wren what crawling is for (she’s a real pro now) and how to pull up on furniture (I may need to pad the piano bench).


How we got our baby to sleep through the night (and how you can, too)!

We wanted to share how we managed this breakthrough with our other parenting friends out there who may be operating on minimal sleep.  Here’s our eight-day formula that you can use to get your own infant to sleep through the night.

Sunday  –  Go to the farmer’s market early in the morning.  Then go to church.  Then go to a park, perhaps a national forest.  Find a park ranger and shake her hand for a scavenger hunt.

Shake Hands with a Park Ranger

Monday – Have a grandparent visit with a family member that your baby has never met.  She will be held by loving arms.  Being passed back and forth will assure her that she is loved by many people.

Wren and her Aunty Ling Ling

Tuesday – With family members gone, schedule an evening session with other people.  For us, we went to our adoption support group.

Wednesday – Take your child with you to your former workplace.  Then to lunch with your former boss.

Thursday – Have more family members visit.  Preferably an aunt and an uncle with whom she is already familiar.

Friday – With family members gone, schedule a visit with someone who is curious about your child’s welfare.  For us, we had scheduled a post-placement visit with our adoption social worker.

Saturday – Go on a day trip!  Take twice as long to get there.  Going to a popular summer destination such as a beach town like we did is perfect!  Again, introduce your baby to more family members. Then take her to a sports game in the evening.  We found that a soccer game is very exciting for a three-month old.  Especially so when her cousin is the one who is singing the national anthem!  Fortunately, the fans at the game we went to had vuvuzelas which she learned how to eventually sleep through.  (I think that this is an important part of the process.)

Wren and her Cousin Faith

Sunday – The only repeat activity from the previous Sunday is going to church.  You will want to schedule a late evening dinner at the neighbor’s house.  Bathe her right before bedtime.  Put her in a familiar place and sweetly kiss her good night.  You will find that she will sleep through the night!

Disclaimer:  Okay, this isn’t for real.  And, just because she slept through one night does not mean that she slept through the next night.   Take last night.  I was up at 10:30, 11:30, 2:00, 4:00, 6:30.

Who wants a pacifier holder?

Edit:  Knitting pattern can be found here.

I knew that I would be making a lot of sacrifices as a mother.  Spending time with adults, going out whenever I wanted, showering, jogging, my house, clean laundry.  (Ok, these things make me sound like a slob, and I assure you that I am not.  Well, maybe a little?)  Without a doubt, the one thing I miss most as a new mother is sleeping through the night.  Coffee can only do so much.

As the result of holding a newborn who only sleeps when being held, I do a lot of web browsing with one free hand.  I read a lot of news articles and blogs.  I re-happened across this post by another cousin and was inspired to make my own pacifier holders.  I have been experimenting with some alternate designs, and I’m happy with how they have turned out.  See?

Sewn pacifier holder made with 100% polyester barnyard ribbon

Knit pacifier holder made with 100% cotton

Katie uses velcro to secure the pacifier to her handsome son’s holder.  Since I’m a mother to a beautiful girl, I wanted to avoid anything that would potentially damage a frilly outfit so I chose a polyester cord.

Pacifier holders are great for babies of all ages.  Newborns who spit them out with great force that they fly from your front door and into your lawn, or toddlers who like crawl around everywhere.  These holders will keep you from constantly retrieving pacifiers.

Every household should have at least one.

This is where the contest comes in.  I would like to give one of these away!  In the comment section below, please tell me about something you had to give up for someone, and do you regret it or not?  You don’t have to be a mom to comment.  Not even a dad.  Surely there is a small someone in your life who could use a pacifier holder and who is waiting for you to win them one.

Contest Details:  You will have until midnight on Mother’s Day (May 13, 2012) to reply (or rather, you have until I wake up very early on Monday morning).  I will pick a comment at random and then I will contact you to see which one you want.*   If you want another color than what is shown, I can let you know your ribbon or knit options.  I will ship this out at no cost to you.  Pacifier itself not included.

Cool, huh?  Now tell me your story.  🙂

* You’re better off picking the knit one.  My sewing skills are horrible.

Before and After: Baby Edition

Last December (2011), we packed up the car with our smart mutt and headed south to Raleigh.  At the time, our dear friends Oso and Sarah were expecting twin boys.  For the first time after many visits, we walked the main streets of the state capitol.  We returned to our favourite brewpub there — Natty Greene’s.  Our dog had a blast at the dog park near their house.  I remember driving past Occupy Raleigh which consisted of maybe ten tents.  We accompanied them to their new church, Vintage 21 East, whose seats were filled with young, energetic people.  We had a great visit.

Sarah was optimistic about our adoption saying that she expected our child to arrive around her own children’s due date of March 18th.  After a routine doctor’s visit in January (2012), Sarah was rushed to the hospital where she had an emergency Caesarian the next morning.  The boys, named Aaron and Eli, remained in the hospital for weeks.  Fast forward to this March… you know the story… our daughter was born on March 11th.

We returned to Raleigh this weekend, and what an incredible time we had!  Unlike the last visit, we had only two outings.  Sarah, Wren and I went to a fascinating fiber book club meeting on Saturday morning.  The topic for the meeting was fiction containing elements of fiber.  The books I remember off the top of my head were Spinners and A Curse Dark as Gold (stories where the tale of Rumpelstiltskin is revisited) and Extra Yarn (a charming children’s book about yarn bombing which I hope to add to my own collection).  The second outing was on Sunday morning.  This was the boys’ first time at church, and they behaved themselves quite well.

I think the babies were aware of each other, but they did not interact with each other (unless you count slow-motion punching and elbowing).  I will cherish the memories from this weekend forever.