30 June 2012

Welcoming Our Daughter

As you may already know, George and I welcomed our daughter into this world on Wednesday night. 

Madeleine Ngaire
27 June 2012 at 10:30pm
7 lbs. 4.2 oz. 19.5 inches

Our first family photo. This was about thirty minutes after birth.

I'll write more later about the motivation for her name. For now, here's some help on pronunciation: Madeleine Ngaire.

We think she's just beautiful...

"I know that heartbeat..."

Daddy's long toes

Proud (Maybe Slightly Tired) Daddy and Daughter

Ready to go home!

Arriving home about 22 hours after Madeleine's birth...

First time on her sheepskin from New Zealand

And, after a baby photo comparison, I think you'll agree with me that she most closely resembles her proud Daddy.




Our family of three is doing well as we make our way through this new learning experience. We're all feeling a bit new, awkward, and sleepy. Please be patient with us as we celebrate our newest family member, adjust to our new demands, and attempt to make the most of technology without letting it exhaust us further.

24 June 2012

Weekend in Photos

It was another low-key weekend filled with waiting (and a lot of naps for this tired pregnant lady).

39.5 weeks

You'll never leave Brown Bag hungry. 

Mending. Check.

My rings look so nice after their "spa" treatment. Too bad my hands are too swollen to wear them comfortably for more than a couple of hours at a time.

I spent Saturday night making labor-inducing eggplant parm. So far, no cigar. 

I love fresh fruit season. Peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, pineapple. Yum.

The Subaru crossed over 10k while we were out and about this afternoon.

How was your weekend?

17 June 2012

Weekend in Photos

We had a relatively low-key weekend as we continue to wait for our daughter to indicate that she wants to join us.  

George hung our Bob Steiner ceramics using ultra earthquake-proof techniques. 

Every card I make carries this stamp (my name in Mandarin characters...or so the nice man in Beijing told me).

Well timed, junk mail gods. 

38.5 weeks (aka very pregnant)

George's first Father's Day

I want to kiss the designer of this dress. It was a favorite travel dress before pregnancy and has carried me all the way through the pregnancy, too. 

We attended our fifth and final baby class (infant CPR) and our third Swedish location. I think we're ready.

So true. 

It'll be a week of waiting and trying to enjoy pre-baby peace without getting too anxious.  How was your weekend? What's on tap for your week?

15 June 2012

Early Father's Day Message

Sunday is Father's Day here in the United States.  Listening to all of the fatherly advice and memories on the radio today, I've become weepy several times in anticipation of watching George and our daughter grow their beautiful relationship.  This was the first thing I heard on KUOW this morning, and it literally brought tears to my eyes: Wil Smith and his daughter, Olivia.

14 June 2012

Sheets & Changing Pad Covers

When my mom came to stay in May, our main projects were the sheets and changing pad covers for the nursery.  I think that she thought I was a bit crazy to sew things I could easily buy, but she was still a good sport.  Turns out, we are a great team...with most of the credit going to my mom, who did the dirty work (ironing seam allowances and feeding elastic through sewn seam allowances).  In less than half the time it would have taken me on my own, we finished the projects, and I think we're both pleased with the results.  I know that Baby Girl will love sleeping and pooping on them.

I was originally intending to do a tutorial on these projects, but, with my energy fading, you'll have to be satisfied with a mere fashion show...and links to the tutorials that helped us along the way (sheets, changing pad cover).

Fitted Sheets
Sewing fitted crib sheets is not necessarily less expensive than buying them already made, but it does allow for selection of some pretty fun patterns for the sheets.  Current SIDS safety recommendations suggest that a crib only contain a tightly fitted sheet (no quilts, bumpers, stuffed animals, or other cute items that could turn deadly), so it seems worth it to make the sheets extra special.

Here's what our baby will be sleeping on:

Polka dots!

Sharks, rays, and cleaner fish...from New Zealand.

Happy fish!

This is probably my favorite fabric because the pattern mimics the pattern of the rug under the crib.

See? Virtually the same pattern as the fabric.

Changing Pad Covers
I'm not really sure about the cost effectiveness of the changing pad covers because I haven't priced the standard mass-produced variety.  The general construction of the covers is much the same as the fitted sheet, but you need slightly more fabric to wrap around the edges and don't have to worry about the fit being so tight.  I have a hunch that I'll be making a fourth one of these babies during nap time in the near-ish future because rumor has it that nappy/diaper changing time is not always pristine.

Here is what we have at present:

Love this fabric from Ikea. I used it to cover a lumbar pillow, too.

Polka dots again!

Combo of the baby quilt binding fabric and sharks, rays, and cleaner fish.

What's the verdict?  Worth a bit of work to have unique nursery linens?

13 June 2012

Nursery Reveal

To say that I'm excited to share photos of the nursery is a gross understatement.  This room used to be my craft room (see it here), and I was determined to make use of the existing paint and curtain rod while creating a relatively gender neutral (subtle) underwater nursery.  George and I have put a great deal of thought and love into building a room where our sweet little one can feel comfortable for both sleep and learning...and where we can lose a lot of sleep and change a lot of diapers.

Without further ado...

Completed Nursery

Let's take a tour, shall we?

Reading/Nursing/Rocking Nook

Reading/Nursing/Rocking Nook

Changing Station

Baby Girl will need to know Kiwi lingo.

Moa Growth Chart

Gallery Wall

Inspired by this whale and this print...made possible by $.97 canvases and a bit of creativity.

Are you feeling sleepy?

Crib and Gallery Wall

We're ready for you, Little One!

Paint: Valspar Signature Colors Interior Matte - Ghost Ship - from Lowes
Curtains: Homemade
Rug: New Zealand Wool from Overstock.com 
Crib: V1 Crib - Ocean Collection from Baby's Dream
Dresser/Changing Table: Ocean Collection from Baby's Dream
Chair: Tryp by Best Chairs
Side Table: Alec Acrylic Stool from Overstock.com
Bookshelves: Ribba Picture Ledges from Ikea
Larger Shelf: Ikea
Large Toy Bin: Target
Small Toy Bin: Ikea
Diaper Caddy: Hip Baby Boutique on Etsy
Sheets: Homemade (details here)
Changing Pad Cover: Homemade (details here)
Crib Skirt: Homemade
Quilt: Homemade (close-up here)
Pillow: Homemade
Growth Chart: Moa Grower by Nuzilla
Alphabet: A-to-Zzzz New Zealand Alphabet by Nuzilla

Gallery Wall
Manta Ray Photo: Photo by friend, Seon K.
Jellyfish Print: Print by Justin McElroy on society6
Clownfish Photo: Photo by friend, Seon K.
Octopuses Printed on Encyclopedia Pages: Prints from Paper Gangster Prints on Etsy
Whale Painting: Homemade
Octopus Sucker Photo: Photo by friend, Seon K.
Whale Print: Print by Terry Fan on society6
Crab Photo: Own photo
Octopus Paper: Craft Paper from Impress
Letter M: Homemade (more details coming soon)

08 June 2012

Graham Cracker Goop

Today would have been my grandpa's 90th birthday. In his memory, I'd like to share with you his favorite midnight snack: graham cracker goop. It's a simple treat, though not for the texture-sensitive among us.

Step 1: Crush graham crackers into pieces about 2 inches by 2 inches and put them into a cup of your desired size.

Step 2: Add enough milk to soak up most of the graham crackers.

Step 3: Enjoy with a spoon!

Grandpa liked his paired with Grandma's canned peaches. Quirky and delicious!

06 June 2012


When my mom came out to visit a few weeks ago, she brought a treasured gift for our daughter: a handmade quilt.  Any quilt would be special, but this one is especially special because the entire masterpiece was done by my mom's hands and it includes pieces of my wedding dress.

Baby Girl's quilt from the front

Baby Girl's quilt from the back

Check out the size of those stitches!  Tiny and consistent quilting stitches are hard and take a lot of practice to achieve.

In case it's not already obvious, my mom is my quilting inspiration.  I don't think I'll ever have the patience to do an entire quilt by hand, but I'm glad to now know a thing or two about her craft and perhaps take it up (in a hand/machine hybrid format) in my "free" time.

Thanks for this beautiful quilt, Mama.  It's going to be much loved by our little girl, and it's already a family treasure. 

03 June 2012

Weekend in Photos

As you might imagine, we are deep in baby preparation mode with George's energy going into organization and mine into cleaning and cooking meals to freeze.  We are very nearly ready for this little one to arrive.

Mmmm...enchilada sauce in the making...

36.5 weeks (and, yes, a little tired)

Special delivery!  Now we have a place to store our hoarded food.

I am loving this product. 

First fruit pie of the season (rhubarb/strawberry for George to take to work)...

The carseat is installed.  Let's hope we're in the 10-percent of people who properly install and use a carseat. 

Have a great week!