Wednesday, December 29, 2010

And The Winner Is

Thanks to all responded wanting the flash cards.  The winner of the card set  is Anofferingofhope picked at random from Little E's brio block box.  Please email us at darwinsmommies at g mail dot com and let us know where to send them.  For all of you who didn't win email us and I will send the file your way!  In the past few days E has really been enjoying her cards and picked up the B card and said Bee yesterday.  I know my child is a genius!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Crafty Christmas

Well now that the holiday is complete I can post pictures of all our handiwork. I must say that I was pretty busy this year making gifts big and small for people. I am still in love with felt and I think that things turned out pretty well.

My first projects were for my secret Santa from my preemie message board. I made a felted wool wreath ornament for the mom and a stocking toy for her daughter.

I decided to branch out with my felt crafts and felt some sweaters from good will. I went and picked up three wool sweaters (a red one, a grey one and a red and grey fair isle) and washed them in hot water and dried them on high. This causes the sweater to shrink and the wool fibers to link together. Once this is done you can cut the sweaters and the fabric does not fray. It is pretty cool.To make the wreath you cut out about 60-70 1.5 inch square pieces of felted sweater and use a needle and thread to string them together. After they are all strung you pull the two ends together to make a circle tie it off and attach a bow. It is super easy and they turn out really nice. I made two with just one arm of each sweater. I ended up giving felt to my mother and still have tons left over.

I went back to my felt roots for the stocking toy creating something like my cornucopia with a Christmas theme. I found patterns for a stocking online and modified it for my use. I then made a few small toys to put in the stocking. Some I found patterns on and others I designed myself (I bet you can tell which ones!) I think it is pretty cute. I hope that little L enjoyed playing with it.

Shazam and I also worked on some gifts for Little E. We designed a set of ABC flash cards for E. I made them in power point using clip art and we had them printed at the local copy shop four slides to a page and then each card was laminated. They are really cute and E loves playing with them. She keeps handing me the cards to tell her what the picture is. 

 Due to a snafu with the copy shop we actually got four sets of them (thankfully they only made me pay for one!) If you are interested in receiving one as a little gift from Darwin's mommies make a comment on the post and I will pick someone at random. If you would like the ppt file to print your own let me know.

We decided to go for it and make a felt farm set from a pattern I bought from Etsy.  Of course I procrastinated and we made the whole thing the week before Christmas.  We ended up not making the fence that was in the design but I think it is just fine.  It took 3-4 hour work sessions each night last week for Shazam and I to finish the set.  We finished around 10 pm on Christmas Eve.  It was worth it though.  It turned out great. 

This was one of those times that I was glad I am married to someone who is crafty and can sew.  I must say that not only did we finish the project we didn't bicker at all which tends to happen when we are trying to finish a project of some kind.  Shazam and my minds work in very different ways and this can cause some conflict when we need to complete a task.  Anyway Little E spent some time playing with her farm before we went off to our family celebrations and I am sure it will get lots of attention if the weeks to come.  Little E is super sick today and hasn't been playing with much today.  Poor little girl is a stuffy mess...again.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

5 days and oh so much to do!

I am so far behind on my crafting/christmas tasks. I don't know what I was thinking. We have 5 nights (including Christmas Eve) to finish the Barn. I have cut out all the pieces of the pattern (which are many). Now we have to cut out all the felt and cardboard and sew, sew and sew. Thank goodness Shazam is done with her sememster and her field placement. I need her to be working on this during the daylight hours while E is at daycare. I have even considered employing some child labor at school with some of my for crafty students. On top of the farm we still need to finish picking up E's stocking gifts, get stocking gifts for my Mother, Father, and get gifts for my neice and nephews. Shazam will be having a busy week.

I have so much to blog about. Like the fact that E has started to walk! I also need to blog about the other craft projects that I have completed for this holiday season. But just have not had time. If only I didn't have to work and could craft full time!

Well I have to go work on my farm. Hope all is well with you all.

Monday, December 6, 2010

It is begining to look a little bit like Christmas!

Sunday we were all finally feeling better enough to go for an outing. I hadn't left the house since Thursday morning so I was very happy to get out of the house. A local farm was having a Christmas open house so we headed over in the afternoon after Shazam got back from the library. The open house was nice and held in their greenhouses so it was super pretty with a forest of poinsettias and wonderful light. I got some great eggnog and gingerbread and then we traumatized E by having her sit with Santa. Our normally social baby hates Santa. I know this is normal but E likes everyone and willingly goes with new people all the time. She was smiling and making friends the whole time we were there until she spotted Santa. It went downhill pretty quickly. We scooped her up and went and got a tree. Perhaps next year she will get the Santa gift connection and cut the dude some slack!

At home we broke out the decorations and put the tree up. E wasn't very excited about the tree but was into the lights. I think we did a pretty good job picking out a pretty tree. We have not had one in two years and I love coming home to a house smelling of Christmas tree. So far we have been able to distract E from pulling all the ornaments off the tree by providing her with a basket of plastic ornaments under the tree. We will see how long that lasts. I may be posting next week with pictures of our tree hanging out in the back yard!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Real Post

So now that I am feeling human again here is what has been happening the past few weeks.

Thanksgiving weekend was spent for the most part away from the Internet at the farm my father grew up on in VT/NY (it is right on the border). Since it is such a long drive we decided to leave Wednesday night and stay overnight in Woodstock. We tried to stay at a couple of the inns we have stayed at before but we found out that most of the inns don't take kids! I know they probably break up the romantic moments and all but boy did it put a little crimp in our plans. So we ended up having to tough it out at The Woodstock Inn. I was afraid TWI was going to be stuffy but was pleasantly surprised by the modern decor and the wonderful food. Oh you Rockefellers you know how to do it up. After check in we popped in a few shops and picked up some odds and ends. We didn't make it to our favorite art gallery which is probably best for our bank accounts as I saw some new Sabra Fields in the window and we have a "problem" passing them by. We had a nice dinner at the inn's restaurant and then headed up to our room where we tucked Little E in her pack and play behind the wing back chairs. We watched tv on the computer in our fluffy bed and drifted off to a lovely sleep. We would have woken rested and in fabulous moods if the little lady decided to sleep through the night. Little E had a cold and seemed to be cutting all 4 of her molars at once. No fun. Little E was up for the day at 5 am and I felt it was my duty not to let my child wake up the entire inn so down to the lobby we went. I kind of wish I had brought my camera because the front desk had a bell to call for service the size of a large dinner plate. It was awesome! Little E had some breakfast and explored the first floor of the hotel. We played some chess in the Library, looked in the window of the gift shop, and played on the couches around the fireplace. It hadn't been lit for the day and the hearth had been swept clean from the day before but it was still kicking out heat. It is pretty amazing and they stoke it with 4 foot logs. We greeted the NYtimes delivery man and generally had a nice time even though it was really early. I must say I was very happy to see the nice woman come set up the coffee in the library. After coffee with the other early risers I returned to our room got E bundled up and in the becco for a quick trip around the sleepy town. We had a nice time looking into the shops and saying hi to the many dogs that were out for their morning constitutional. I spent the rest of my time in Woodstock eating (breakfast and lunch) and napping. We reluctantly got back in the car and drove to the farm. I would have loved to stay longer but family called. All in all it was a nice visit. Most of the VT family had not met Ella yet so it was a nice coming out for her. We had a great meal and E did really well for being in a house with about 20 strangers picking her up and passing her around. We had planned on staying over only one night but an ice storm held us up and we stayed until Saturday. We drove to Shazam's parent's house were we had a nice visit with my bil, bil's girlfriend, nephew and ils. We left Sunday but not without leaving the gift of bad colds with both grandparents and her Aunt. Little E's cold is on the mend but I fear that the NH crew is still fighting its effects.

If you are thinking that is wasn't very nice of Little E to make one side of the family sick and not the other stay tuned. I think the in laws lucked out in this whole episode.

Santa Fail

So I owe you a real post sometime in the near future but we have all been struck down with the stomach bug from hell and have not been up to blogging, consuming solid foods, or sitting upright in a few days. We did feel well enough to go and get a tree today at a local farm. They had santa and free eggnog so I thought what the heck why don't we get a photo of Little E and Jolly Old St Nick. Well all did not go as planned. The most friendly child on the planet freaked the heck out. We may be starting therapy next week.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

They are in!

Our pro photos are in and well of course I think E looks super cute! Check them out!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hi My Name is Super Sammy G...

and I have a felt addiction.

All I want to do is felt crafts, look up things about felt crafting, buy felt, and craft some more.

Last night I made a cute felt wreath ornament made out of felted wool sweaters. It came out great and will be making more since a sweater make a lot of pieces and one wreath only used less than one sleeve of each of the three sweaters I bought at the thrift store. As soon as I finish the final touches I will post a picture.

Next up is a gift for my secret Santa! I will post more once my secret Santa receives her gift since I don't know if she is a reader or not.

Finally I found two patterns for felt farm toys that Shazam and I are going to make as one of Little E's Christmas presents. I can't decide which one I like best.

I think I am going with this one from My Dear Kids

I like that it is portable and the barn is usable. But I like that this one by Buggabugs opens up to give a play space.

I think I may modify the first one to include a play area. Which one do you like best?

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I totally forgot to post for the last 2 days. As I start this post it is 5:45am on Sat. Little E decided to get up at 5 am today. Fabulous. She didn't drink much milk before going to bed last night so woke up hungry. I was hoping that she would go back to sleep in bed with us after her milk. No luck. So now I am up watching Yo Gabba Gabba before dawn.

Wait this just in. Little just crawled to her room. I picked her up and put her in her crib and she seems to be going back to sleep! Of to my own bed again. I will post more later.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Whole Story

This is a picture of me holding Little E for the first time. I think I have shared this picture before. It was the day after she was born. Take away the CPAP helping her breath and the IVs and you have the typical picture of a new mom the day after the birth of her baby, so so tired but so so very happy. I have told you the facts of her birth. Her very low birth weight, her respiratory distress, her problems keeping her heart rate and respiration rate up, her pda, her reflux, her blood transfusions. Oddly, through it all I have felt this need to protect my readers. While I was honest with you about what was happening with Little E in the last 16 months I never really told the real story.
So here is a piece of the real story.
This is the picture Shazam took before the smiling one. This is the real story of when I first held Little E. The real story is that I was terrified to hold her, I was afraid of her, of hurting her, of disconnecting her tubes and wires, I was afraid she would die in my arms. The real story is that it took two nurses to position Little E in my arms. The real story is that I cried the entire time I held her. The real story is that Shazam wiped my tears away and I smiled for a moment as the picture was taken. That smile told only part of the story, I was so so happy, but that is not the whole story because really I was more sad than anything else. After the shutter closed the tears began to flow again. It was weeks before I didn't shake before holding Little E and months before I didn't fear Little E dying in my arms.
Today I share this story because it is Prematurity Awareness Day. 1 in 8 babies are born too soon. Which means that my story it the story of 1 in 8 mothers. The real story is that even one mother experiencing motherhood in the NICU is one to many. Please join the fight and fight for Preemies but also the mothers who weep when they hold their babies for the first time.
I am not alone in this fight. This is my story but please hear the voices of mothers who have a story of their own to tell.

Blogging for Preemies?

Today is prematurity awareness day. I will be blogging later about how prematurity has affected my families life. Will you be blogging for preemies too? I encourage you to post even though you may not be a preemie parent yourself. Write about Little E if you would like. I I would like to link as many of these posts together so if you are blogging for preemies please comment with a link to the post so I can add you to my later post. I wish we didn't need to have a prematurity awareness day but until the day that no baby is born too soon Shazam, Little E and I will join with the March of Dimes in the fight for our littlest fighters.

Monday, November 15, 2010


A few weeks ago at Little E's doctor's appointment I spotted a project in a magazine that I thought would be fun to do. I am limited in skills but I thought that I could handle a felt cornucopia. I found the pattern online, bought my felt, and set to work. After a couple of evenings of work I finished E's Thanksgiving cornucopia toy. I ended up making the cornucopia and 11 fruits and veggies. Here are some shot of my handy work.
Finished Cornucopia
Close up of the filled cornucopia
Veggies and Fruits
The Back of the Cornucopia

Veggie Close up
My thoughts are that she can play with it while we are waiting for dinner. She loves to take stuff in and out of containers so I think she will have fun moving her vegetables and fruits in and out of the cornucopia. I also think it will be fun teaching E her fruits and veggies with her new toy. I must say I am pretty impressed with my work and can't wait to give it to Little E on Thanksgiving.

I have a few more craft projects in the works for the upcoming holiday season and am excited to get started on my next project. I would like to make E another Thanksgiving toy. We are going to VT for the holiday to the farm my father grew up on. I was thinking of making a felt farm story board/quiet book but have yet to find a pattern that I like or have the skill to make. I would like to do a modified version of the farm below. I would want to have felt animals though.

The other project that I would like to start is an advent calendar like this one.

So does anyone have any craft projects this holiday season? Links to help me with my farm project?

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Little E's fever finally broke on Friday night, her gastro issues have resolved for the most part and it seems that we are on the mend. Other than sleeping horribly for the last few nights and an awful diaper rash she seems to be much better. Little E is generally a great sleeper. Our night time routine is that we put E in her pajamas, give her bun bun, pop in her paci, kiss her good night and put her in the crib between 6:30 and 7 pm. She usually flips on to her tummy and we don't hear from her again until 7-7:30 am. I forget how great this is until E does not go down well or stay down. The last few night E has been up several times a night hysterically crying. This is very unusual for her. She is generally a happy baby and easily soothed. So when E was waking up and could not be soothed it was very upsetting for all involved. We knew it wasn't her ears (checked by the doctor) so we assumed that her poor little tummy was still bothering her or her bum hurt. We are pretty sure it was neither of these things since she woke up to four molars starting to peek through her gums. Poor little dear has been in pain from teething. I feel stupid for not checking that out but in my defense E has been so slow to get teeth it just hasn't been on my radar. At 16 months E has only four teeth. So in just a few days it seems E is doubling her teeth! No wonder she has been a bit punky. So here is the strange thing. From what I can tell it seems that she is getting her first molars. Which according to doctor google seems to be the third set of teeth to come in. She has her top and bottom incisors but has not cut her lateral incisors. I know it is not totally out of the norm to get teeth out of order but I think she is going to look like a jack o lantern with her strange gaps between her teeth.

She has already woken up once tonight. Let's hope she gets these teeth in sooner rather than later. She is a sad sack when they are coming in. Anyone else have a baby get teeth in a strange order and in spurts?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

When you are sliding into first...

Yup that has been my day. Little E has had a fever since Monday night and she started having some serious diarrhea today. She got up with a normal temperature at 7:15 but it was down hill from there. By 8 am while I was on the phone with the doctor's office it was 103. Some tyle.nol brought it right down and the doctor thinks it is a stomach bug. The fever was back after her afternoon nap and was 103.8 rectally and a little over 104 in her ear. This afternoon she was a cranky mess. The fever came down again with more meds but she had about 6 poopy diapers today. I have added probiotics to her milk and we took it pretty easy with food tonight. I hope we are on the tail end of this yucky virus. My mom is coming tomorrow to take care of Little E while I go to work and Shazam has class. This is the second time this week that she has helped us out. We really need to do something for her since we would not be able to do this without her. Here is hoping that Little E is back to her happy one poop a day self soon.

Christmas Cards

So now that I have gotten a teaser picture from the photographer I am on to my next cards. We use a shutterfly site to share pictures of Little E with family and friends and it has worked out well. I have been searching through their holiday card selection for a few weeks now trying to figure out what would work well for us this year. They have tons of choices and I am very impressed with the inclusion of both folded stationary cards and flat stationary cards into the collection. When we used them a few years ago for our cards we ordered the standard photo cards but I like the option of the higher end type of cards. One of the other great things is that since all our pictures are on shutterfly it is so easy to make a card!

I have found some really cute cards and here are my favorites. There is a nice selection of modern and whimscal designs which I prefer but there is someting for everyone I think. Click on the images to find out more!

In addition I am in love with the new desk calendars. I have a feeling the grandparents will be getting one in their stockings!

So go over to shuttefly and check it out and if you are a blogger you can get 50 free Holiday cards by blogging about shutterfly follow the link below to find out how!

Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly… sign up:

Now I am off to figure out what the perfect design is. So many pictures to choose from!


Our photographer just posted a teaser picture for me. Since I was having some trouble waiting for our pictures. Now I just want to see more! I have a feeling I will be purchasing quite a few of these. Gosh my kid is cute...not that I am biased!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


When Little E was born she was small. I think you all know that by now but unless you actually saw her right after birth I think it is pretty near impossible to understand. I wish that I took pictures of E with a common object when she was little but I just didn't think to do it at the time. So I googled 2lb 5oz to see what images came up. This is what I found.

So my baby weighed exactly 2 bags of cheerios. That is small.

Monday, November 8, 2010


So Little E had another fever tonight. Just 101.2 but still a fever. She was lethargic and pretty much laid on my lap all evening. I hate to see her sick. I hate it more when it is some random fever and malaise. I can deal with snot but the not knowing what is going on just plain sucks. My mom is coming tomorrow to take care of E. I feel bad but I just can't take off work anymore. It just is not a job that I can call in sick to. Well I can but it just stinks. Anyway we are so lucky that my mom can come and help us out...again. We are pretty much on an every other week sick cycle. I am sure that we will get through this one too but sick cranky clingy girl is not who I like to hang out with.

I am kind of wondering if she is getting teeth. I mean she is bound to get another few at some point. Have I mentioned that she will be 15 months old in 2 days and has 4 teeth? It looks like the eye teeth on the bottom are coming in. I know some kids run a low fever and have stomach upset when they teeth. E has pooped more than usual today (not really diarrhea but not normal either) and her poor bum is all red. I am rooting for those darn teeth I really don't want another virus.

I am braced for a difficult night with lots of up and down. I gave her some mot.rin for the fever and it went right down. Now let's hope she sleeps it off and wakes up to some new teeth. She will look like a little vampire though since she will have a space between her middle two bottom teeth and her little eye teeth (fangs). Is this normal to get teeth in a strange order and not next to one another?

Sunday, November 7, 2010


We have started letting Little E explore her artistic side of late. Her medium of choice right now is finger paint but crayons are a close second. She also enjoys a bit of mixed media.

Little E is also practicing using utensils when she eats. I think she is almost ready for a fancy restaurant what do you think?

I am pretty sure she has some talent. What can I say I am one proud mama!