A Simple Embroidered Dress

A Simple Embroidered Dress | Little Bird Nest
Winter came down with a cold yesterday. This is actually only the second time she’s been sick, I think. She had a particularly nasty virus in May that ended in a double ear infection, and up until now, that was about it. For a baby born in winter when all kinds of nasty things get passed around, I’d say she’s been pretty lucky. Seeing her sick now, though, sure is pretty sad. She’s all runny nose and watery eyes and adorable sneezes, but she’s also a lot more needy than usual. For the first time in months, I’ve been carrying her around in the sling just around the house since she’s been extra clingy. It’s sweet, but I’m tired. So tired.

But she also happens to be super cuddly in this knit dress that I finished earlier this week. It’s the Clean + Simple Baby Dress by Purl Soho, knit with KnitPicks CotLin in Rocket. I wasn’t totally sure how this would turn out since CotLin is DK weight, and the Cotton Pure yarn that the patterns suggests using is a sport weight cotton. But I had some CotLin in my stash from a previously frogged project and the gauge was just about right, and I absolutely love the way it turned out.
A Simple Embroidered Dress | Little Bird Nest
The bodice of this dress is knit in a linen stich which is pretty solid to begin with, but using a thicker yarn probably made it more so. When the dress was finished, I thought that nice sturdy bodice section would make a perfect canvas for a little embroidery, so the flowers were added as an afterthought using KnitPicks Dishie in Clarity and Mint.
A Simple Embroidered Dress | Little Bird Nest
(Sorry about the grainy photos– it was a gray morning. But yay for fall! I love the gray days.)

As I was reading through the pattern for this dress, I was worried about it being too long. I love to dress Winter in dresses, but crawling is her main method for getting around these days, and long dresses sometimes get in the way. I knit it to the length specified by the pattern and it was perfect. And layering it over a onsie means her bum is still plenty cute when it peaks out.
A Simple Embroidered Dress | Little Bird Nest
Overall, this was a pretty quick and simple project and a pleasure to knit.

If you’re a Raveler, you can see the project details, as well as some photos of the dress by itself (not being worn) on Ravelry. Let me know what you think in the comments!
A Simple Embroidered Dress | Little Bird Nest

 

A Day at Wheeler Farm

A Day at Wheeler Farm | Little Bird Nest

It’s that awkward time of the year again when pretty much everyone wants it to be fall– as evidenced by all the pumpkin spice stuff hitting the shelves– but summer is not quite ready to give up yet and it’s still blazing hot most days. Yesterday it got up to somewhere around 90 degrees, but it was overcast and breezy most of the day– we even got some little rain showers here and there– so it didn’t actually feel quite as hot. I, therefore, had no issue whatsoever with hauling the kids off to Wheeler Historic Farm for the better part of the day and soaking in some cozy autumn vibes despite the heat.

For those of you unfamiliar with Wheeler Farm, it’s pretty amazing. It’s a working farm, so the animals there serve an agricultural purpose rather than being like a zoo. But it’s also a public park, which means it’s free to get in and you can just wander around pretty much anywhere at your leisure. There are some extras that you can pay for, like milking a cow, or taking a ride around the back 40 on a tractor-pulled trailer. We chose the latter, and it was well worth the $5. After the ride was over, William walked up to the driver and said, “Thank you, Old McDonald.” …and then repeated that five or six times as two-year-olds do. Hehe. So polite.

Winter was there too, of course, but she rode in my Wildbird ring sling the entire time. I can say pretty confidently that overall she did not enjoy the outing as much as William did.

William, on the other hand, was pretty much in heaven! I think we were there for about two and a half hours, and by the time we finally left, it was way past lunch time and heading into serious nap time territory. But regardless of how many times I mentioned food (William must have been starving), I had to drag him to the car crying to get him to go home. The meltdown was definitely short in comparison to two plus hours of pure excitement, though. We will definitely be going back soon!

 

 

William Turns Two

We celebrated William’s second birthday on Sunday. For his first birthday a year ago, we had, as many parents do, sent out invitations to our friends and hosted a party at our house which included a cake smash and lots of new toys. I think first birthdays are more for the parents than anyone else– a celebration of making it through the first year with a baby and still having friends and enough sanity left to host a decent party… not to mention a good excuse to finally clean your house after a year of spit-up on the couch and other baby messes.

Will’s second birthday party was, in contrast, pretty low-key. I look at toddler birthdays as opportunities to practice my cake making and party decorating skills before William starts to want to invite friends to his birthday parties. I’m pretty happy with the way Sunday turned out. It’s nothing you would see going viral on Pinterest, but it was colorful and bright and happy.

I had been pretty sick the day before, so Will had spent the night with Garrett’s parents. When he came in the door on Sunday, the first thing he saw was the little pile of presents. So that’s what we did first. (Actually the first thing he saw was the bright colored tissue paper garlands hanging from the ceilings all throughout the common areas of the house, which he called “birthday rainbow”.)

William's 2nd birthdayChristmas wrapping paper. It’s what we had.

My sister sent this epic fort that even has it’s own little ball pit. She and I both agree that it would’ve been awesome to have something like this when we were kids. Will loved it, the cat loved it, the dog would too if we let her, and Garrett and I love that it folds up completely flat and comes with storage containers!

William's 2nd birthdayWilliam's 2nd birthdayGarrett and I gave him a sturdy little cover for the iPad. More and more lately, Will has become the main user of our tablet, so we figured it was time to case it in something a bit more rugged and toddler-friendly. This one seemed to fit the bill. We also rearranged the apps so that all of his are right up front on the first screen and the “grown-up” apps are on subsequent screens. When he opened this one, the birthday celebrations nearly came to a halt as he suddenly decided he’d rather watch Paw Patrol than have a birthday.

William's 2nd birthdayWill seemed to absolutely love every gift that he got, but certainly the showstopper gift of the day was the balance bike from Garrett’s parents.

William's 2nd birthday William's 2nd birthdayAfter presents, it was time for lunch and then, of course, CAKE!! I made a chocolate cake with cream cheese filling (I dyed it orange to make it look something like lava) and dark chocolate ganache on top, and then topped it with a couple of candles and a toy dinosaur.

William's 2nd birthdayThe Christmas wrapping paper made another appearance, this time in the form of a hastily made tiny dinosaur birthday hat– though you really can’t tell.

William's 2nd birthdayWilliam's 2nd birthdayAfter cake, we took Will outside to take his new bike for a spin. At first he really struggled with the whole concept of sitting on the seat and just kind of walked with it between his legs. He’s starting to get the hang of it, though, and I’m confident he’ll be cruising on that thing in no time.

William's 2nd birthday William's 2nd birthday William's 2nd birthdayAfter that, Will was more than ready for a nap, so that pretty much concluded the festivities.

Now that William is two, I’m trying to counteract some of the terrible-ness with “You’re two now, which means you’re not a baby– you’re a boy so…..” sit at the table, eat what mom and dad eat, pretty much do whatever we say, etc. Hah. We’ll see how it goes.

Welcome Winter: A Birth Story

Winter Grace

Winter Grace Cox was born in the early hours of the morning on a snowy Christmas Day.

She was due on December 20, but for most of my pregnancy I never even expected to make it to my due date. When I was pregnant with William, I was induced early due to high blood pressure, so I (and my midwives as well) just kind of assumed that my blood pressure would go up again during this pregnancy and I would once again be induced early to avoid the complications of going into labor naturally with hypertension. When my blood pressure was still normal well into the third trimester, I started to prepare myself mentally to go into labor naturally– a first for me! I still never really thought I’d go past my due date though, because seriously, what woman wants to be pregnant more than 40 weeks?!

I was sure of one thing though. I did not want to have a baby on Christmas. With family coming into town and all the holiday festivities planned out, I was hoping to be out of the hospital and feeling somewhat back to normal by Christmas so I could enjoy it along with everyone else, while people ooh-ed and ahh-ed over our newborn baby. So strong was my desire to not have a Christmas baby, I think that I may have created a mental block preventing myself from relaxing and going into labor before then. Because as Christmas Eve rolled around and I was still pregnant, I finally surrendered to the fact that we might have a Christmas baby after all, and that would be much better than staying pregnant forever. And sure enough, that night, I went into labor.

We ate dinner with Garrett’s family at his parents’ house on Christmas Eve and left William to stay there overnight just in case. That night, I woke up at 1:45am with painful contractions and started timing them. After some walking around the house, and convincing myself that I really was in labor, I woke Garrett at about 2:15. I called the midwife who told me that I could probably labor at home for a while before coming to the hospital. My gut feeling, though, was to go sooner rather than later. I planned on having a water birth, and I knew they would need time to set up the birthing tub. Plus the idea of sitting in a warm tub sounded quite nice and there wasn’t really anything else to do in the middle of the night, so Garrett and I gathered up a few things and headed out.

It was snowing as we drove to the hospital, so Garrett drove very smoothly and cautiously as I did my best to relax through the contractions. We knew ahead of time that we wanted to name our daughter Winter, although we hadn’t told anyone. We had joked about how we’d be able to tell each other “Winter is coming” in ominous tones as I went into labor, but I don’t think either one of us actually said it that night.

As it turns out, it was a good thing we went to the hospital when we did, because my labor was quite short. It was about 3 am when we arrived and I was already dilated to about 7 or 8 cm. A nurse got to work right away setting up the birthing tub, but I guess it took longer than usual– something about a smaller hose than usual and water temperature not being quite right… I wasn’t really paying attention. The contractions were so intense and painful that I wasn’t really upset about not being in the tub. It was nice to be able to relax completely on the bed during the short breaks that I was getting between them.

When the birthing tub was finally ready, we could all tell I was getting really close to being ready to push. My water hadn’t broken yet, though, so the midwife informed me that she was going to break my water and then I was going to immediately get into the tub and have the baby. Sounded simple enough. Except the instant my water broke I felt the unmistakable urge to push and I was not going anywhere. Soooo… my water birth didn’t happen, but it’s okay. After ten minutes or so of pushing, Winter was born, just two and a half hours after the labor contractions had woken me up.

I didn’t get to hold her right away. The cord had been wrapped around her neck and she was having some difficulty breathing so they whisked her away pretty quickly. I had caught a glimpse of her as she came out and landed on the bed, thanks to my hands-and-knees birthing position (waaayyy better than giving birth on my back as I did with William!), and I think I said something profound like “I see her!” right before they took her away. A nurse and doctor from the NICU came in to help with getting her breathing– something that seems scary, but no one was acting too worried, so I tried to stay calm as well. Garrett was by her side giving me updates and it was certainly a relief when we heard her cry. Despite all her difficulty getting a start on life outside the womb, she was surprisingly pink! Once she was doing a bit better, they put her on my chest for some skin-to-skin and I finally got a proper look at her.

Winter and Dad

We spent Christmas Day in the hospital, but it didn’t really feel like Christmas. No one came to visit us because of the snow, but it was very peaceful. After a stressful holiday season of wondering when the baby was going to come and how things were going to work with family plans and such, it was nice to finally just relax knowing that everything had gone well.