What are you trying to find???

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tell me, please...

How am I supposed to get any work done???

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


One of our favorite little guys turned 3 this week. Happy Birthday!
I wanted to make him something fun for his birthday, but I am all about educational toys. I knew I wanted to do something with the alphabet.... and I debated magnets? blocks? But then I thought about bean bags, and it seemed like the perfect idea.
So I made 26 bean bags in  4 different colors. Each one had the uppercase letter on one side and the lowercase on the opposite side. They were pretty simple and turned out really cute. Here's how it's done:
I started by cutting a sheet of fusible webbing to 8.5x11 size so I could run it through my printer. I printed a reverse image of all the letters on  the paper side and then ironed it to a piece of white felt.
I then cut out each of the letters (I thought this would be an excruciatingly long process. But it only took me about 20 mins to cut them all out.) I used a swiveling exacto knife and a cutting mat for the centers of letters.
 I purchased  quarter yard of each of four colors. I cut squares that were 4.5x4.5" using my rotary cutter and quilting ruler. I cut 52 blocks and had just a small amount left over of each color, so I feel like I bought the perfect amount of fabric! (I never measure or plan before I buy, so I am glad it worked out for me this time!)
Next I peeled off the paper backing still on the letters, then ironed them down. Each bag had the uppercase on one side and lower case on the other.
I did a quick iron on the front (letter) side, but flipped it over to the back and ironed that side very well. I purchased the ultra-hold iron-on fusible webbing stuff. I had considered stitching every letter down as well, like you would do for an applique, but decided that would be way more work than nap time would allow me. So I bought the ultra hold stuff and ironed it really well, and it seemed to hold firm.
Put the right sides (letter sides) together (make sure your letters are going the same direction up and down) then I serged three sides of each block.
While they were still wrong side out, I went ahead and ironed down 1/4 inch along the top to make that easier on myself. Then I trimmed strings and corners and turned each pouch right side out.
I actually filled my 'bean bags' with split peas. I liked the size and they were on sale. Use whatever you have available or whatever is cheapest-- beans, lentils, peas, rice, or even beads if you have an over abundance on hand. I put approximately 1/4 cup of peas in each bag.
Last step! Pin the top and sew accross. Make sure to back-stitch and lock those threads well so they don't come open and spill the beans. heh heh.
One other thing about the bean bags... I selected the colors randomly, except for the vowels. All the vowels (A, E, I, O, U and Y) are yellow. I thought that might be a helpful trick when playing with the bean bags and (hopefully) learning about the alphabet. But I had 4 colors and those 6 bags just so happened to be approx 1/4 of the alphabet so the colors still look balanced.
I bought a cheap red bucket at The Lob to put them in... and that was that! This whole project was completed about 10 minutes at a time over the course of two weeks. It might take you a couple hours if you sat down and did it all at once, but it was quite manageable divided up.
My husband of course usually thinks I'm crazy when I start a project (he rarely understands my 'vision') and this one was no exception-- you are making what? Why would you do that? But once the bean bags were all assembled he came down and picked one up. Cool! Bean bags! Kids love bean bags. Then he held it and tossed it in his hand a few minutes and smiled. Apparently, Zachs love bean bags too.
Little D seemed to enjoy his gift on his birthday-- although he was convinced the bean bags were bags of candy and kept trying to get them open. Oops. I hope he has fun playing with them!

Now... I have a 1st birthday to attend in a few weeks. Any suggestions on a good gift for a 1 yr old???

Monday, February 20, 2012

Thank you cards

 Check out these cards I made on shutterfly!

3x5 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Two Months

Hey Little Man! You are two months old! Mom and Dad are delighted by you daily. Especially now that you are responding to us, we think you are more fun than ever. Here's a little about what you've been up to this month:
Samuel at Two Months


at birth: 9lbs 2.7 oz
two months: 11 lbs 3 oz


at birth: 19.5 in
two months: 23 in


 You still nurse a bajillion times a day, but mama has never been able to keep up with your voracious appetite so we supplement with formula. You eat every 2-3 hours and after nursing will down 3-4 oz of formula. You scarf it down-- you love to eat! In fact, other than mom and dad there are only two other things that you consistently recognize and respond to; a boob and a bottle. You hate wating for your food though. You go from happy baby to hangry baby (hangry= hungry+angry and stuff gets DRAMATIC fast) in about .2 seconds and refuse to be satiated by anything but food.
Really, though, it kinda makes mama's heart happy that you are such a good eater!


9:00 p.m.  ~  Midnight  ~  4:00 a.m.  ~  7:00 a.m.  ~  9:00 a.m.
That's when you wake at night. Pretty consistently for about 2.5 weeks now. You wake up, eat for about 30 mins, and then mama wraps you up and lays you down in your crib, and you go back to sleep like a champ. It is actually a pretty tolerable schedule for night time. 
During the day? It's anyone's game. Sometimes, you sleep for hours and mama has to try to wake you so you can eat (and avoid one of those hangry situations discussed above). Sometimes you are wide awake all day--we're talking 5-7 hours at a time-- and those are not happy days for mama or baby. Most days it's kinda in between those two extremes, but we just never know what kind of day it will be.


Sitting in your chair in the kitchen while mama cooks or cleans. You will sit quietly following mama around the room with your eyes. Sometimes we play music and Daddy says you 'dance'-- or at least shake your little fists in excitement. You also like crackling and staring at your firefly.

Freddy the firefly. A toy you got from Great Aunt RaeNell is totally your fav. We will set him on your lap and you will literally sit quietly staring at his black and white wings for hours. When you are tired of staring you grab at the wings and to your delight they crackle for you, and theres another hour of good clean fun. Seriously, Freddy, we love you.

Your play gym, particularly the carrots that you bat at, and they jingle in return. And... you coo and squeal and squawk your excitement.

Rocket ship with Daddy. Mommy counts down, and you and daddy 'blast off' and sometimes fly around the room. Also Daddy's beard makes you smile and giggle. Sooo... Daddy is still the favorite. Sigh.


Having you nose cleaned. Not a fan. the minute anything touches your nose you start shaking your head and screaming-- even though mama tries to convince you it will be better in the end.
Hats. We used to put cute little hats and caps on you all the time-- no more! You are hsving none of this hat junk. We can't even sneak one on while you sleep. You scream until the hat is removed, and you have impressive stamina in the screaming department.
Being alone. You are a social boy. Awake or asleep, you want to be where the people are.

Roadtrip to St. Louis and then Iowa. You met so many people! You slept almost the entire trip in the car. You were a champ-- thank you for making that an easy trip!

Smile. Daddy got it. More specifically, Daddy's hairy chest got it one morning when daddy was asleep. Really, Sam? The hairy chest when mama had been playing with you and talking to you and begging for a smile for weeks? No fair. But now you smile for mama all the time, and there is just nothing in this world better. I forgive you.

Cloth Diapers! You are finally big enough for your fancy diapers... and I kinda think you like 'em. We only do it at home right now, not brave enough to deal with poo away from home at this point, but we'll get there. Daddy asks if you are ready for fluffy goodness when he puts one on,  and it makes me laugh. You are a happy boy when you are clean and dry, and you look charming in all your pretty colors. Mama is pleased.

Things we love

Waking you in the morning. You are happy and sweet and you kick your legs and smile up at us through droopy eyes. It's awesome.

When you see your fist. You will all of a sudden hold it in front of your face and go cross-eyed studying it. You are fascinated by your fists and are trying to figure out how to work them.

Seeing you interact with your grandparents. They are crazy about you, and you love them a lot too. Grandpa P can talk you out of crying. Grandma P snuggles you and rocks you to sleep. Grandpa S loves to 'bounce' you. Grandma S feeds you, rocks you, and sings to you. You love all of them.

And here's some footage of you at two months old.
You are so cute, it's almost painful to watch-- as in I dare you not to smile watching this, but your cheeks will be sore from smiling. Painful. You've been warned.

Sam @ 2 months from Valerie Pogemiller on Vimeo.

We love you so much little man!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day, Baby!

We decided to make a few valentines to send to our family this year. We had a photo shoot the other day, then I just did a little editing in photo shop and added some text.

I had them printed at walmart one hour photo.... because I don't plan ahead. I am not a fan of walmart photo, quality is not stellar, and they always crop things a little weird regardless of what their website 'previews'... but whatever. It worked in a pinch.
 There were so many cute shots I couldn't pick just one! Sam has many expressions and facets to his personality these days... so each of his loved ones got a unique valentine, which is kinda fun.
We are not big into celebrating valentine's day in our family. It kinda seems like an unnecessary 'holiday'. However... I cannot resist an excuse to take and distribute photos of the little man. Sooo... Happy Valentine's Day to all! Hope your day is filled with happiness and loved ones, and that you aren't rendered useless from the cuteness overload of this post...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Big Butt Baby Pants

In my last Favorite Things post I talked about Big Butt Baby Pants.
This pattern is designed specifically for cloth diapered babies... with an extra panel and plenty of room in tush and hips for their extra-fluffy bums. Which is actually amazing, because I am having the hardest time finding pants that fit the little man right now! If we can get them over his bum, they are huge around his waist... If they fit his waist, we can't put a cloth diaper on him. No good.
I mentioned to my mom just the other day how frustrating this was to me, and she suggested I make my own. I was all... sigh, yeah I guess I will have to. And then I remembered seeing this pattern a long time ago-- before I had ever thought about having my own babies, or cloth diapering them, or how annoying it would be to find pants for my child's giant bum-- and so I looked it up again. It was exactly what I needed.
The pattern can be purchased from the website at the link above. It's a downloadable PDF. (Pretty simple process, if you've never done it before.) The  pattern itself is ultra simple-- just 2 pieces. Easy instructions with pictures. I think it would be a simple first sewing project. It comes with suggestions/customizable options--cuffs, pockets, ruffles-- for boys or girls. Basically once you have the basic concept, the options are limitless. I took the pattern and fiddled with it a little to make a flat front version, and added some of my own details.
Actually... I did a couple cheater things with my pants to make them extra easy:
I started with a pair of maternity corduroys that I hated. That's right, I HATED these pants. I am not particularly sure why I had so much animosity toward only this pair of pants in my maternity wardrobe-- but they made me feel huge and frumpy and awful and I loathed them, especially because they were the only ones that remotely fit those last horrific weeks. Anyway, I kinda wanted to start a bonfire with them, but decided this would be a better use. I cut open the legs, centered the side seams in the middle of the pattern, and lined it up on the bottom, using the hem already there. 
So now I don't have to hem my baby pants! Lazy!
Or Brilliant!
One of the two.
Anyway... whats makes these pants work is the elastic waistband and butt panel that makes it nice and roomy in there, but still small enough around the waist to keep the pants up:

I made mine a little long because I have this suspicion that he's about to have a growth spurt.
I also fiddled with the pattern to make them flat front... and I added a little detail: A fake fly and button. I totally ripped the button off the hated maternity pants too... but I think it's adorable on baby pants, don't you?

And even though baby boy looks a little startled to be in this picture, I think he likes his new pants. 

They were quite simple and only took me about 30 mins to whip up. Would have been less if I hadn't been trying to change things! I definitely recommend this pattern...
Think I'll go make a few more pairs...

Friday, February 10, 2012

My Favorite Things: Etsy and Handmade Baby

This installment of "My Favorite Things" is all about some sweet baby stuff gifted to us and/or discovered on one of my favorite sites: Etsy.  There's something irresistible about lovely handmade or handpicked vintage gifts. Here are a few I am in love with and think you should know about:
1. One day, shortly after baby boy was born, I found a lovely little package in my mailbox. It was wrapped in brown paper and tied up with string... which made sing a certain song from my favorite musical for the rest of the day. It was from Schatzli a sweet little vintage shop my friend started on Etsy. She has vintage jewelry, fabric, clothes, patterns, and more. She gave Sam that adorable vintage baby boy train shirt. I think the vintage baby clothes in her shop are my fav-- so many cute unique items.

2. This adorable puppy mini-bot came from RemnantsbyRJ. She makes 'robots' out of recycled and rescued objects. One of the things I find most charming about her bots is she writes a story for each of them, so you can know a little bit about their personality and interests when you rescue one. (She also has some pretty cool steampunk jewelry in her shop!)

3. These blocks came from Little Sapling Toys.  They make really amazing organic wood toys, blocks, and teethers. I love the natural and modern look of the toys... and I love that just about everything in the shop can be personalized. I especially think these blocks are cool because they have an uppercase letter on one side and an ASL hand on the opposite side.

4. This last thing was technically not found on etsy... but it's a pattern for Big Butt Baby Pants. This pattern from Made By Rae is designed with extra room in the tush specifically for cloth-diapered babies. You know how their bums are extra big and fluffy, right? Well, here are pants made to fit that. But the pattern is beyond simple to sew-- would be a great first sewing project for someone-- and comes with sizes newborn-2T, customizable options for boys and girls. I played around with the pattern and created a fun pair of cords for Sam that I can't wait to share with you soon!

What about you-- what are some of your favorite vintage and handmade finds? Any I should know about?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sam's Quilt

Well, you have already seen glimpses of the finished product (here) but I thought I'd give you a little more detail on Sam's quilt.
I started this quilt in September during the Pinterest Challenge. Here I found the instructions to make a quilt top, and I completed it! Yay!
But after completing the quilt top... I hemmed and hawed and spent a long time trying to decide what to back it with. After much deliberation I decided on a fabric-- the same fabric I covered the changing pad with. I went back to the store to purchase more... and they didn't have it anymore. AUGH! I searched for something else for a few more weeks, and couldn't find anything else I liked as well, so I broke down and ordered the fabric online.

Sooo... This quilt is 'crib size' which turns out is a lot bigger than I thought it would be. When I went to put the back on I all of a sudden realized there would have to be a seam... ugh. I didn't want a seam down the back. I didn't know how to match up the pattern... ugh. So I came up with this solution... I had a bunch of scraps that had been trimmed off the blocks that made the front. I pieced together a strip of irregularly shaped black and white blocks and used that accross the "seam" on the back side. Yay. Crisis averted.
Next I laid it all out and pinned the layers together. (I used an organic cotton quilt batting, already cut to crib size) Then it was time to start quilting. After some deliberation on that subject I decided to just 'stitch in the ditch' along the chevrons with white thread.
...and it took forever. As I have found quilting usually does. sigh. At first I was all... oh, yay, I'm making a quilt for my baby, isn't this lovely and stress releiving. Then it got down to those last weeks before the baby came and I was all I'm ready to be done with this. ALLLLLL of this.  But I DID complete the quilting before Sam got here.
All that was left to be done was to trim the edges and bind the quilt. Which really should not have taken as long as it did to accomplish. But I was indecisive again... and couldn't decide upon a binding fabric (pattern or no? Do I use a solid color? Something already used in the quilt? Just black?) Soooo... I kept putting it off and then!
I had a baby.
So I am just going to point out that it would be a few weeks before I would care about a quilt again. Mmm... okay.
It actually took me four weeks to get back to it after Sam was born. And I bought some green fabric to bind the quilt and got it all home and started it, and decided I didn't like it. SIGH.  So I ran to The Lob one night late while my husband was watching the boy... and bought some black fabric. I gritted my teeth and said URRGH! This must get done!
I used this tutorial to create my binding. I sewed the strips on the back side first...
Then flipped it and sewed down the front with my machine... if I were hardcore I would have hand finished my binding... but I was not that hardcore at this point. Either that, or I don't love my son that much. Yeah, one of those two.

Anywho... I finished it!

 And I love the way it turned out. I presented it to Samuel when he was four weeks old. He snuggled and studied it, and cooed his approval. Which made mama feel good. (Yes, my self esteem is wrapped up in my infant's approval. Don't judge me.)

(Those of you super observant might notice that we got a new fence between quilt top and quilt completion. Don't you like our new fence? It's pretty! Also... the snow you see on the ground there is the total amount of snow we have had so far this season. We were pretty much snowed in for days. It was dramatic.)
See... the new quilt is just a great place to stretch out and take an afternoon nap... mmmm... nap time. (Don't you just love those chubby baby legs? Ahhh! I could just eat him up!)

Friday, February 3, 2012

My Favorite Things: Mama and Baby edition

Let me throw something out there before there is any confusion: I'm not Oprah.
Glad we got that cleared up.
But wouldn't it be fun to be? To have the resources and venue to pick out all your favorite things in the whole world like like luxury foods, diamonds, and cars! and then give them away to large groups of unsuspecting strangers! FUN.
I lack the resources and venue to do that. Sorry. If I could... you would be the first person on the list to "My Favorite Things" party, and I would spoil the crap out of you with my tried and true, and prettiest, lovely finds. I promise. Just for you. But I can't. I am sorry.
Anyway, I am always on the hunt for time-saving, life-saving, and life changing products and trinkets... and I get a strange thrill out of sharing those finds with others, and that is what this post is all about. Behold, my favorite things for survival of pregnancy and new-mommy-hood:

1. This Mama Bee Belly Balm is a waxy balm that I rubbed all over that belly every day--somedays multiple times-- and it made me feel so good. Kept my skin from being itchy and weird as it stretched out huge, and I like to think that it also prevented the worst of stretch marks, although that claim has not been verified by the FDA-- just me.

2. Moby Wrap: the best known cure for infant cling. There were days where we both cried all day, because sam refused to be put down. Z would come home from work and I would nearly fling the child at him and race to the bathroom because I hadn't peed for 8 hrs. Then I remembered the Moby wrap sitting in the drawer upstairs... and... OMG life changing. Sam loves it because it's like he's being held and snuggled all day. I love it because I get to hold and snuggle him all day... AND move off the couch and have hands free to do stuff. Yes, stuff.
(We are actually rockin' the moby as I type this-- how do you like that?!)

3. When I first saw these Aden and Anias swaddle blankets I balked at the price. Are you kidding me? For swaddle blankets? Surely it's not worth it... Oh, but it is. They are super soft, lightweight, cotton muslin, and they are huge. Awesome for swaddling and cuddling, and surprisingly warm for being lightweight.

4. Hello, meet your babysitter! The MamaRoo is a bouncer/swing/babypod-- you pop your kid in there and he is in the zone where he will be for the next couple hours. You're welcome. It has 6 different movements at variable speeds, nature sounds, and an mp3 dock should you prefer your own music. Sam is a huge fan and so are mom and dad.

5. My lactation consultant caught a glimpse of Sam's bum when I was changing a diaper and and shoved this  Motherlove diaper salve in my hand. Remember how I'm a hippie? It's all natural, organic herbal salve that I can pronounce every ingredient on the list... whoa. Also, okay to use with cloth diapers, Score. And it works great. the bright red bum was gone by the next day.

6. Z got me this Languages of Mom necklace for Christmas. I love it. It's an infinity twisted circle and has "mom" in 9 different languages on it. Very cool. But what I really love is Sam likes to loop two fingers to it and hold on while nursing, which I think is super sweet. :)

Okay, your turn. What are some of your favorite things? We are trying to find a cure for stretch marks and socks that will stay on baby toes... know of any miracle products?