Nico’s Basic Kids Pants

I made some romping pants for Nico. They’re pretty basic, really just a wearable muslin to test fit.

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Nico does NOT like to wear pants, like AT ALL, but with the very cold winter we’ve had, he’s been forced to reluctantly keep a pair on for more than 10 minutes together. However, he always asks to wear pyjama pants because (duh) they’re way more comfortable than his jeans or cordoroys. So, I’ve decided to fit him out with some comfy pants that aren’t pyjamas.

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I used a pattern by Dana-Made-It, and I really like it. As she says, she’s adjusted the waist so that it hangs below the belly in the front. Her tutorial is great, and easy to follow. Perfect for a soft reintroduction to sewing. I’m very rusty, so I needed something E-A-S-Y.

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Such a cute belly!

I used my serger and was able to complete the pants in seriously less than one hour. That includes printing the pattern, choosing fabric from my stash, and fiddling with my serger when one of my threads broke (arg!).  So you know… doesn’t get much faster than that.

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As this was a tester pair, I wasn’t meticulous. You can see that in the stitch for the waistband. It’s not even close to straight, but the pants are a good fit, and will only require the most minimal of tweaks.

The details: Nico is ~37″ tall, weighs ~30lbs, has a 21″ waist and a 15″ inseam. I cut the pattern as written, and serged the seams with almost no seam allowance. Next time,  I’ll add the recommended 3/8″ seam allowance to make them a tad skinnier. Also to note: I made the pant legs straight (the pattern has a slight flare) and I might even go skinnier with the next pair. Though I don’t want to give up Nico’s comfort for style, since the whole point of these pants are to provide him with a comfy alternative to the pants in his closet.

Action shots:

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IMG_6820So now I must sort through my meagre fabric stash, neglected for so long, and find some nice fabric in appropriate weight/colour. As vibrant as this Shamrock Green might be, it’s not the softest fabric in the world, and won’t necessarily go with too much in his closet.

Me, sewing again. Guys, this is exciting!

Louisa: 13 Months

It wasn’t long after her birthday that little miss Louisa decided to grow right up all at once. No longer a baby, she exudes personality and spunk. She’s got a great laugh, a real sense of humour, and a tiny defiant streak that shows just enough character without being obnoxious. Obviously, I just love her to bits, and I’m really enjoying the emergence of this little person.

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Moving: Louisa is becoming a fast walker. She rushes around the main floor of our house, narrowly avoiding furniture and corners. She’s also getting pretty good at negotiating steps, though not without supervision. She’s in the not-so-great phase of being able to climb up on things, but not back down again, so that if I leave her alone for a minute or two, I’ll usually hear her chirping and whining, and find her standing on top of their play table or draped over the arm of a chair.

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I like that she’s adventurous, and with her height (more on that later) I’m sure she’ll be a pro at getting back down sooner rather than later.

Communicating: The babbling, the pointing, the indicating. She is a great communicator, and easily mimics the sounds we make. Her first official word is “Wow” which she said in the bath a few weeks ago with exaggerated emphasis. So cute, though no other words have emerged since. Oh well, they’ll come soon enough.

Louisa has had some attachment issues lately, though, and she cries A LOT for her mother. Sometimes she’ll tolerate simply being in the same room as me, but often only being in my arms will do. There have been a lot of tears and a lot of screams when I’ve had to put her down.

Growth: Louisa had her 12 month well-baby appointment on January 7, and her measurements were pretty much on track for her. She’s now 21lbs and 31 inches. She seems like a really tall girl now, and so much like a toddler it’s scary. She wears size 18-24 month clothing, and most of her shoes, which I had stashed in her closet because they seemed so big, no longer fit.

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Teeth: There’s an upper molar poking through her gum, but it’s taking its sweet time. Oh teething, how you’re working a number over poor Louisa!!

Food: This doesn’t seem to be as much a concern for me this time around. Certainly the fact that she eats pretty much anything (the only thing she really turns her nose up at are bananas, of all things!) and being a second-time mom, I’m not keeping track as diligently as I did with Nico. We are in this tricky pattern where she nurses a lot at night, which means she’s not that hungry for breakfast. I have to make more of an effort to sit her at the table with her baby cereal every morning, even if she only eats a bite or two. Otherwise, she eats when we eat, what we eat. It’s nice.

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Also, we’re still breastfeeding on demand, though that demand has dropped a bit lately. Is she self-weaning? ACK, what is this I’m feeling? Relief mixed with dread and layered with nostalgia and denial. I know our BF’ing days are numbered, but I thought I still had a few months left…

Sleep: There was a period at the beginning of January where Louisa was waking every hour or so. I was so tired that I wanted to cry, I was irritable and snappy, and totally desperate for sleep. Then her molar erupted and she went back to her “normal” sleep schedule of waking only twice a night. It was a relief, but unfortunately I hit a bought of insomnia, and it took me a while longer to benefit from her fewer wakeups.

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She still sleeps in our bed with us, and averages about 9 hours of sleep a night (in 3-hour chunks) while I’m “functioning” on about 6-7 hours a night. Not ideal, but moving in the right direction, I think.

She has also started to consolidate her naps into a largish one in early afternoon. Though sometimes by 10am she’s already so exhausted that I can do nothing but snuggle her down into her carseat for a small nap. She sleeps best in her carseat and only fitfully in her crib.

Favourites: Louisa loves to climb, as mentioned above, but she’s also really into her toys these days. Of course, being cooped up inside during these cold winter months, it’s no surprise. She absolutely LOVES this play pizza the kids got for Christmas, and also her dolly and stroller. She plays with the trains and has figured out how to work the lighthouse and coal hopper. It’s really great to see her manipulating these tiny toys so well, and it doesn’t take her long to figure things out.

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She also wants anything that her big brother might be into. Natch.

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She also got a book about colours, with flaps to open, and I often find her pulling it off the shelf and flipping through it. She comes by her fascination with books honestly, since I haven’t been as diligent about reading to her every day, but I can already tell that both kids will be readers.

Owlet

Owlet

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Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Worsted (Colour: Conch) – 3 skeins
Needles: 4.5mm / 5mm circular
Ravelry: Louisa’s Owlet

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I had a hard deadline for Louisa’s Little Sister (her birthday) so I pushed hard to get it done in time. But another huge motivator was the promise of this project. I bought this lovely squishy yarn especially for this piece, and the owlet pattern is one of the most popular on the whole internet.

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It’s easy to see why – it’s absolutely adorable. But more than that, it’s a pleasure to follow and so intuitive. The subtle details like the shaping of the neckline, the way the owl pattern is laid out, everything about it is top notch.

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Not only does this first rate pattern show in the constructed piece, it’s also a testament that I was able to finish this garment in about ONE WEEK. Seriously. Me, the world’s slowest knitter had a completed item before my child outgrew it. I can’t even!

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The pattern calls for buttons for every owl, but I didn’t have 30 of the same (there are 15 owls on this size sweater) so I chose to add eyes to only one of the owls with buttons from my stash.

I love this sweater, and I’ll totes be making it in a child size when she outgrows this one.

(Also, this pattern is a spin off from the adult version. And Kate Davies just released a new cardigan version.)

2015: Light

2015 so far has been a bit revelatory for me. In the past month I’ve done a lot of thinking, a lot of ruminating, and though I’ve been happier than last year, I’ve also felt weighted down a lot of the time. And so before any more of this year trickles by, I want to make a resolution:

To make 2015 LIGHT.

I haven’t written a “deep thoughts” post in a really long time (well, actually, I have a couple in my drafts folder, but they’ll never make it to the internet) but now I’m ready to share a few things knocking about in my mind. 2014 was the most challenging year of my life. For one thing, I can see now that I developed postpartum depression and it was really hard to shake. Also, life with two small children is really taxing, and it was very difficult to meet both their individual needs on a daily basis. Oh yeah, and that ever-constant companion, sleep deprivation made my brain and body sluggish.

There were other things that were getting to me, too: I became highly mutable and influenceable and started making decisions not based on my own desires, but from the influence of others; I got a major case of the FOMO’s (fear of missing out) and developed a real love-hate relationship with Instagram; and I stopped doing all of the little things that keep me healthy and happy, like eating well, running often, and connecting with friends.

So… In 2015 I vow to shed the heavy in order to feel light.

Angelo and I have already started a housewide purge. We got rid of a lot of stuff. We still have the basement and garage to do, and once those spaces are clear, I know I’ll feel like a big weight has been lifted.

I will not set myself up for failure. I recently read The Happiness Project and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and at first those books just made me feel totally inadequate and overwhelmed. But now that they’ve percolated in my mind for a while, I can glean from them what I need, appreciate that some of the information is interesting and useful, and move on. No need to create elaborate plans or goals or resolutions of my own (and document and track and evaluate and analyze). It feels freeing and liberating.

I’m also going to cut myself a whole lot of slack about parenting. I’m going to lift the guilt associated with EVERY SINGLE PARENTING DECISION I make. Fuck that. My kid loves train videos and watches them every day; my other kid’s diapers are old and leak constantly; the very thought of wrangling them both into snowsuits every day is exhausting; etc. At the end of the day, my children are clean, fed, happy and curious. They’re doing just great, which means I’m doing just great. End of story.

And finally, the biggest thing – I’m totally over the internet. I get such feelings of sadness, jealousy, and inferiority when I spend time online. What wasted energy. Time in front of a computer screen seems like time wasted these days. Angelo and I have reduced our presence (and the presence of our children) on sites like Facebook, and my Instagram account’s days are numbered. And here’s the big one: I’m shutting down Speed Trials at the end of this year.

Ahhh, the lightness!

This decision is a long-time coming, and now I’m really ready for it. One of my big projects for 2015 is to archive the blog offline. The most important part will be putting the kiddos’ posts into hardbound books. I’m really excited to take this on, and I think it will be so affirming to have their updates into a bound book and off the internet. I can’t wait! Going forward, I’m also planning on making yearly photo albums so that I can keep up on things like their birthday posts, but offline.

As for my knitting and running posts, I think I’ll manage just fine without them. I’ll still be active on Ravelry, and while the race recaps are fun to write, and I love taking photos while I race, I think now that I’ve done a dozen or so, they’re starting to feel a bit redundant.

So there you go. Shedding the weight, letting in the light, losing the guilt, breathing easy. And love, always giving, showing, and receiving love.

Thank you 2015!

Little Sister

Little Sister

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Yarn: Bernat Cot’n’Soft (discontinued) Cotton
Needles: 4.5mm
Ravelry: Louisa’s Little Sister

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This project came about when I tried to find something to do with some discontinued yarn that I’d been gifted a while ago. I had one skein of each colour, so I had to find something small and receptive to colour blocking. I had thought about making stripes, but I was worried I’d run out of one colour or another, and I didn’t feel like doing a whole lot of math to figure out my yardage.

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Besides, I had this idea of making an ombre-esque dress that that went from dark to light, and the cutie bows were part of my original idea for it. I love turquoise and yellow together, and I think the colours here really make this dress.

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Little Sister is an easy no-sew pattern, and aside from a few gauge issues that had me starting over THREE times, this came together relatively quickly.

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Louisa wore the dress for her first birthday, and I think it’s perfectly fitting, since she actually IS a little sister!!!

<3 <3 <3