September 28, 2014

Closet Cleaning

It's been a week since Fall officially started on the calendar, and I've seen boots and sweaters galore out and about in town. I usually chuckle to myself, because where I live, temperatures are still in the 70s and 80s during the day. 

Just because the calendar says Fall, it doesn't necessarily mean it's boot weather yet, although I did find myself in a pair of jeans this week. No boots though. It's still sandal weather in my book. 

Nevertheless, I found myself itching to at least organize and winterize my wardrobe. The Peanut is sprouting fast and I realized I should make some more room in the apartment for his growing wardrobe, while sorting out my disheveled piles of clothing in the meantime.

I packed away a lot of my clothes during my pregnancy, in part to make room for the few maternity clothes I had. I didn't want to keep reaching for a pair of shorts that didn't fit. I also figured that it would be like a giant shopping spree once I lost the pregnancy weight and opened the suitcase of clothes that I had previously packed away. 

Although I'm still in between sizes, I unpacked the suitcase this week and got to work sorting out my clothes. One thing I learned in nine months of gaining weight... I do NOT need a ton of clothes. While I'm absolutely tired of wearing the same few tank tops and shorts, I realized over the summer that a person doesn't need a lot of clothes to get by in life.

It's made me rethink how I approach dressing myself. I'm definitely trying to buy (and keep!) items that are quality, that I love and that actually look good on me.

I didn't check my Bloglovin' feed this week until today. Frankly, I was too busy cleaning my closet and feeding the Peanut. Ironically, by the time I caught up this morning, I noticed a bevy of blogs had posted about closet cleanings. They've all got great tips, so read them for inspiration if you're also hankering to clean your closet!

Here are my favorites: 

Plus, I've previously posted about Spring Cleaning, and frankly, Fall Cleaning shouldn't be much different.  

What are you waiting for? Go forth and find those boots in the back of your closet. Even if the temps are still in the 80s, at least you won't be scrambling for them when the weather finally starts to cool off. Your feet will eventually thank you. 

September 20, 2014

A Little Recap of the Week

I seem to have more time to read these days, especially during long feedings with the Peanut. Remember I have a magazine obsession? (Don't forget this list of what to do with your magazines when you're finished with them.)  

My mom sent me a Bird magazine of all things over the summer... and while I'm not a bird fan, I have a new thing for hummingbirds. I saw my first one, finally, the day after we brought the Peanut home from the hospital. Over the past few weeks, we've seen nearly one hummingbird a day! Apparently we're right along their flight path as they migrate south -- and September is a prime viewing month.

Birds aren't the only things I'm reading about though. The other day the Sailor and I were in town and I had a rare moment to run into a craft store to grab a magazine. The pickings were slim, until I saw that Interweave has just come out with a special edition Crochet Scene magazine! I was hooked and of course I had to have it. Knit Scene is one of my favorite magazines out there, although admittedly, I've skipped the past few issues since I knew I'd be making baby things instead of sweaters for myself in the months to come. 

Although, let's face it, thanks to the generosity of my friends, I have lots of cool clothes for the Peanut and probably don't need to knit many more just yet. And because of that, I've been writing a ton of Thank You notes. My top tip lately for writing multiple thank you notes? Make sure you keep a list of who gave you what. I have a running list, and then I just tick the name as soon as I write and address the note. 
(However, I did splurge on the crochet magazine!

I mean, how cute is this bag?! Hopefully I can get more than just a dishcloth done in the near future with the Peanut. 

Speaking of the Peanut, he is swiftly growing out of these jeans! Aren't they the cutest things EVER, though?

The Peanut of course is growing, because he's eating a ton. (As am I....) Having the Sailor home for so long meant that he cooked a lot during the early newborn weeks. Grilling season may be over in some parts of the States, but where I live, it's still gorgeous out and frankly, a little cool in the air is the perfect time to get your BBQ on. Here are the Sailor's top grilling tips

And, what goes in must come out! The cloth diapering experiment is still going strong, and frankly, I'm actually enjoying it. My current vote is that I love basic flats with a simple diaper cover over them. I hope to do a longer cloth diapering post later... in the meantime, it's probably time to change the Peanut. 

Hope you are having a wonderful Fall-inspired weekend! 

September 13, 2014

Receiving Receiving Blankets

Many moons ago, I happened to be visiting a friend in Canada when she went into labor. She had a home birth planned, but my plan was to be on a plane before the baby made an appearance. 

As it happened, she delivered her third baby boy a little early. While I didn't witness the actual momentous occasion (I sat at her kitchen table trying to concentrate on a crossword puzzle), I do remember the midwives calling out for me to put a bunch of towels in the dryer, which I dutifully did.

That was my contribution to the birth. A few towels in the dryer. 

I never knew what they did with those warm towels -- I just figured they were important based on the urgency of the request. 
More recently, while shopping for the Peanut, I noticed 'receiving blankets' everywhere I went. For some reason they reminded me of those towels I tossed into that dryer all of those years ago. 

Receiving blankets often make their appearance at baby showers as gifts. I even bought a pack of them myself when I first started swooning over small items for the Peanut. 

And then after I washed and folded them, I thought: 'What in the world do you use these things for?!' Apparently the original use was to 'receive' a baby at the hospital after delivery (probably the same thing those warm towels were used for in Canada.) 

But beyond that... what do you do with these things? Most receiving blankets I've seen are too tiny to actually swaddle a baby.

However, in the whole six weeks I've been a mama, I've discovered a myriad of uses for what I assumed were useless blankets. 

So, if you're on the receiving end of too many receiving blankets, fear not. You'll find a use for them! Here are some ideas: 

1. If they are big enough, you can actually swaddle the baby! I received one flannel blanket from my mother-in-law in South Africa that is huge. It's perfect for snuggling the baby after a bath. 

2. Use them as a portable changing mat. So far, I've only changed the Peanut in one public restroom (yeesh). You can bet your bottom (and your baby's) that I didn't put him straight down on that changing table. I put a receiving blanket under him and then that thing went straight into the wash as soon as we got home. 

3. Use at home with your changing mat. I don't know about you, but my little Peanut made a mess with the first few changes at home. (Operator error had a lot to do with it.) And the little changing table attached to the Pack 'n Play was frigid. It was just easier at first to throw a receiving blanket on the pad and then wash that if it got wet or dirty. Plus it was a little cozier for the Peanut. 

4. Keep a few in the car. They're useful to wipe up messes, or to use as a changing mat in the car when the public restrooms are too scary (see #2).

5. Use as burp cloths or to pass the baby off to other people who visit (who knows what germs are on people -- hand them a receiving cloth to use a barrier!) 

6. Fold the smaller ones into cloth diapers. I haven't tried this yet, but I figure in a pinch, they are about the same size as my flat diapers and I could use them as back-ups, or even as an extra layer overnight.

7. Use as small towels or washcloths. After mine start to deteriorate, I'll probably go ahead and cut them up and then zig-zag the edges to prevent fraying, and use them as smaller washcloths. 

So you see, receiving receiving blankets isn't so useless after all.

September 6, 2014

Knit One, Purl None

In the past five weeks, I've managed to knit one washcloth. 


Remember this is my go-to 'in between' project. It's not like I just learned to knit... But I am learning that sometimes you need more than two hands to knit with a newborn in tow. 

Baby steps, right?!

September 1, 2014

Growing Into the Knits

Dear readers, I don't know what happened to August, but all I know is I have a rapidly growing one-month-old babe who will fit into this little cotton cardi before I know it. 

I think I'm officially in denial. 

One month already?! 

Despite August whizzing by in a blur, I managed to quickly pop into the local yarn store last week and I found these great buttons. I held off on putting the buttons on this cardigan I made in July, until I knew whether the Peanut was a boy or girl. I don't often see black on baby clothes, but I think these wooden buttons are the perfect accent for a little boy's cardigan. (And, remember to save that extra yarn in every project -- even if it's not much. In this case, I used a bit of leftover yarn to sew on the buttons!)

Changing the calendar to September always makes me think of Fall, of going back to school and of cooler weather sweaters. Although students here have been in school for weeks already, and the temperatures outside are still hotter than blazes, I know Autumn is right around the corner. 

Even though I'm sad to see summer go in a few short weeks, I'm glad my little guy has some fun handmade knits to get him through the changing seasons. And let's face it, they're far faster and more fun to make than the adult-sized versions!

Happy September, everyone!