Friday, November 13, 2015

Birthday Dress...

Well technically this dress was intended for Audrey's 2nd birthday. BUT... when I made it (actually completed before her birthday in April) we found that the size 2 pattern was much too large. Although it is still a little wide now the length and around the waist seems to fit her well even though the neck/shoulders do not. So this pattern definitely needs some altering according to you child's size. And I love the old fashion peter pan collar. For that alone I will likely try this pattern again.

Audrey is a get up and go adventurer and we have to be on our toes (especially during hunting season). This morning, with boots on the wrong feet, Audrey decided a walk in the woods was an excellent idea (and it was). The weather is lovely and warm so Audrey, John, and I really did enjoy ourselves (up until the end when Audrey insisted on a piggy back ride while I also had John in the ergo on the front).

Hope you all have a chance to enjoy this beautiful day!

shelby g

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Barn Thanksgiving 2015

Barn Thanksgiving has come and gone already for this year!  As you can imagine we were a little rushed pulling it all together (what with the new baby and home renovations!) but we managed.  Luckily the barn was mostly full of beams and wood chips which are fairly easy to clean up (Mr. Meanie has no problem lifting 200+lb beams to move across the barn). 

I really wish that I had taken photos from the event but alas, nothing remains except this invite I made but never mailed out.  The color is a bit off and it really does look quite lovely in person. Maybe next year we'll prepare better!

For this year we had around 25 adults and 13 children in attendance. Yes, thirteen children... they are catching up to the adults and pretty soon we will be relegated to the "kids" table and they will have the larger space.  Mr. Meanie and I made a real mess of the house by digging out real plates, glasses, and silverware for the dinner (which I just finished washing... it certainly takes awhile to wash everything in a bathroom sink!).  And all of the guests brought food for the potluck and it was so delicious! Thank you so much!

Onward to Christmastime celebrations. At the moment we still don't have a kitchen and my old sewing room no longer has walls and we hope that our contractor will be able to come in soon and finish everything up so I can begin to bake/sew for the holidays!  Here's a snapshot of what has happened (old bathroom has been demolished, office and sewing room wall are down to a few support beams):

Happy Veteran's Day!

shelby g

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Halloween 2015

This Halloween sneaked up on us fast!  We decided to dig out Audrey's Merida costume from earlier on in the year and I vamped it up a bit because, my!, has she grown. I added length to the sleeves and made a pair of leggings from custom Brave inspired fabric. I also made a new belt (which she didn't like) because the one I previously made was just too small.

As for little John, I made him a cotton velour bear outfit. We paired this will booties and a hat crocheted by a friend from locally spun alpaca yarn.  I really do hate newborn outfits with hoods, though. He immediately spit up into his hood... yuck. But he looked cute regardless (and he was comfy since he slept the entire evening as we visited relatives.

hope you had a Happy Halloween!

shelby g

Thursday, October 29, 2015

We Had a Baby!

We had a baby about 2 weeks ago!  And it's a boy! Both Mr. Meanie and I had expected a girl, for some reason, so this was a great surprise and one that  this momma will have to get use to. We weren't able to have the home birth we had planned for; which was another surprise. 

Here's the birth story:

Early on the October 15th I jumped out of bed to use the bathroom and whoosh! my water broke.  Jeff came home from 3 weeks at work only 5 hours prior and he was feeling sick, as in stomach flu sick.  And he hadn't slept in 36 hours due to crew change and travel soooo we were not exactly prepared to have a baby 5 days early!  Well, my water broke but I felt great.  I called our midwife and she assessed my condition over the phone; told me to catch a nap and take it easy.  She also gave me a few suggestions on how to move labor along such as a brisk hour walk.  Here's the catch: at 37 weeks I had tested positive for group b strep (GBS) which can infect the baby during birth (a slim chance but still a chance). And although I was on a regimen of probiotics and a bunch of other herbal remedies to help boost my immune system, we were not sure if the GBS had cleared up. This meant that I had about 18 hours to delivery our baby before the risk of infection increased. 

We packed Audrey up and sent her to my parent's house (where she played with horses, dogs, rode the tractor and 4 wheeler; played in dirt) while Jeff and I caught up on sleep.

A while back I had scheduled a hair/eyebrow wax/pedi at the local salon for the afternoon and I felt I needed so was happy when labor continued to stall so I could pamper myself a little before we became a family of 4.  Before I left for the salon, Pam, our midwife, stopped by and listened to the baby's vitals and mine and we talked about the next step. To help spur on contractions Pam gave me a few black & blue cohash pills as a gentle form of induction. I had hoped that labor would start during the hair appointment but nothing (but I did freak the stylists out by telling them my water broke and that they should be prepared to help deliver the baby...)!  Knowing that the clock was ticking I went on a brisk 2.5 mile walk with my parents and Audrey (while Jeff stayed home; sick with the stomach flu).  I arrived home and prepared the home for the birth and the midwives showed up. We decided to induce using castor oil since I was still not in labor.  After 2 doses of castor oil (one at 6 and 9pm) I was finally feeling more contractions and when midnight rolled around they were getting more painful. Yay! During this time, too, Jeff was beginning to feel better and by midnight he was a little weak but no longer throwing up.

By 5am, though, I was only dilated 3 or 4cm and approaching delivery (just not fast enough). At this time we decided to go to the hospital (an hour away) to deliver so I could receive a round of the GBS antibiotics since we were beyond the 18 hour mark and we didn't want the baby harmed.  I regret going to the hospital now since I delivered a few short hours later, but we made the best decision we could at the time.

During the hour ride to the hospital I contracted painfully every 2-3 minutes and barely remember the trip! But we made it; rushed up to the labor & delivery floor and began our hospital stay.  I really hate hospitals and having a doctor deliver our baby is not ideal so when they told us that the L&D doctor would be delivering instead of a hospital midwife we were really disappointed and confused.  While our home midwives were still with us they were not treated with respect at the hospital and the Doctor refused to interact with them.

So the Doctor rushed in and flipped on all of the fluorescent overhead lights.  Before he showed up they had been monitoring the baby's heart rate which had me lying on my back for 30 minutes with the fetal heart rate monitor hooked up. During this time I was contracting and pretty uncomfortable from lying on my back and at one point for a few seconds the baby's heart rate slowed but as soon as I shifted to my side the heart rate returned to normal (remember pregnant women shouldn't lay on their backs for prolonged periods?) Anyway when the Doctor showed up he spouted off a bunch of medical terms and proceeded to tell us that our baby would have to have a screw placed on the top of his head for better heart rate monitoring during labor and delivery. This was all before he accessed the progress of my labor.  He then performed an ultra sound to make sure that the baby was head down (duh... probably could have asked one of our midwives... plus I was pretty insulted that he assumed that the baby wasn't head down... why the hell would we have a home birth with a breech baby?) He checked for the cord around the baby's neck... concluded that the baby was fine which is what we knew long ago.  He then checked my dilation and found that I was 8/9cm dilated and basically ready to have the baby.  The Doctor left the room briefly and then came back; a changed man.  He handed us over to the midwife on staff and left us alone, thankfully. I completely understand that he was treating us as an emergency which is what, for the sake of hospital liability, he had to do, but  he didn't listen to us and treated our midwives poorly and also freaked both Jeff and I out. Our situation was not dire at all; we just needed a little antibiotics (and we honestly didn't get enough of them to really make a difference. Thank goodness for all of the previous precautions I took to help control the GBS and also that the statistics for actual infections are fairly low).

After an hour of contracting I began to push and within 30 minutes our baby was born!  It was intense but so much better than the 4.5 hours of pushing I had with Audrey.  Other than dealing with the hospital and the doctor this was a fantastic birth experience.

Welcome to the world baby John Pelham!

Have a great day!

shelby g

Monday, October 26, 2015


We bid goodbye to the summer season a few weeks back when the gardens were hit with a damaging frost. I previously harvested mostly everything, except the basil, but I always wait too long to harvest the basil and always lose it to frost. You'd think I would learn!  I've since cleaned out much of the garden and planted the garlic. Looking forward to tasty scape meals this summer, (hopefully in our new kitchen).

Audrey and I were lucky enough to visit the Common Ground Fair on the Friday before the frost and with the cool weather and on opening day, the fair was amazing. We traveled with a friend and among st the 2 of us Audrey had a fantastic time, especially at the Contra Dance tent. This kid really loves live music and dancing (she can't possibly be my child... i love live music but dancing.... hmm.) Just this last weekend we went to a local potluck and contra dance and although the directions were a little complicated for a 2.5 year old she figured out some of the steps and did a great job dancing and holding hands with complete strangers. 

And another love of hers is HORSES!  We are fortunate to have a grammy that lives nearby that happens to have a stable full of horses. This past weekend while I was recovering from the stomach flu (yes, at 38 weeks too... it was horrible) Audrey got the chance to visit the farm and even ride a horse.  Here's another aspect where this child of mine is developing her own individuality. I definitely don't "do" horses, so don't expect to see one on our farm, but Audrey loves them.  We visited later on in the week too so I could see her on a horse and as a mom it was a terrifying experience having my child so high up on a larger creature but Audrey's grammy is an incredible horsewoman so my fears were abated by her confidence.

have a great day!

shelby g

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Scream

In order to vamp up my diaper product (and use my degree in art history, lol) I decided to run Art Diapers of the Month (ADOTM) in my buy,sell,trade (b/s/t) page.  This last month we did a group vote and decided to go with Edvard Munch's The Scream.  To do this I ordered some fabulous fabric on Spoonflower in performance knit, it is 100% polyester and great at preventing wicking (this is important with cloth diapers!). It also NEVER fades which is another cloth diaper bonus considering the wash routine diapers have to go through to be really clean.

Honestly, the Scream is the perfect fabric print for cloth diapers. I am sure that Munch is rolling over in his grave for me reducing his famous artwork to the utilitarian purpose of catching baby's poo; but there you have it.  Nothing is safe now-a-days.

Anywho, I ended up with plenty left over to make my daughter a pair of grow-with me pants (complete with The Scream image on the bum) and a Scream shirt.  Love this little outfit and think that it is perfect for the upcoming Halloween season.

For the shirt pattern I used this Raglan pattern from Brindille and Twig which is a fantastic pattern and very easy to sew up with or without a serger. Much easier with a serger, of course!  And the pants patterns came from Max and Meena on Etsy.  They are grow-with-me pants and fit well from 1 year to 3+years plus have a circle bum that allows for more room for cloth diapered booties. I am just sorry that I only started sewing knits this year since they are so easy to make with a serger (and from the look they seem very comfortable).

What's on your sewing table this week?  I have to finish fixing up a few older diapers for baby #2 (new velcro) and I have 3 custom diaper orders to work on this week.  Have a great Labor Day Weekend!

shelby g

Monday, August 31, 2015

Around the Farm

The garden season is winding down! And I realize I never made a single update on how everything grew this summer. We had the best garden this year and I really think keeping the aisles mowed made all the difference. Even when the rows were overrun with weeds (I took most of July off from weeding...) I could easily mow the aisle and it helped give order to the garden which made me feel better.  Since these images were taken I have weeded areas of the garden and begun to take out the overgrown peas and bolted lettuce.  For now we are harvesting carrots, cukes, potatoes, and basil from the garden for pesto and other delicious homegrown sides.  Unfortunately for us we are now down to a single hot plate since our grill officially died at the beginning of August.  And while our kitchen ell project is progressing well it is likely we'll use one hot plate for another month or two.  This pregnant lady often dreams of lasagna and fresh bread and most importantly pies. I cannot wait to have our kitchen open as I feel our family's nutrition is somewhat lacking this summer.

Our baby chicks have grown!  They should start laying anytime now which is great since the older hens are starting to molt and their egg production has decreased dramatically.  So far we have lost 4 hens this year to predator or old age and we hope the rest of the ladies hang on throughout the winter.  We plan on raising 10 more chickens next year and may incubate our own or find a better quality chicken breeder.  Murray McMurray, although cheap and full of variety, breeds low quality genetic strains which makes them more susceptible to early death and disease.

And this baby belly is growing!  With about 7 weeks left to go I am starting to dig through the baby clothes once again.  We have plenty of everything whether boy or girl and are excited (and nervous) about the next phase in our family.  Audrey has also grown  over the summertime and we can actually (sort of) have conversations where we know what she is saying.  Still working out the logistics but are trying to work her into the homebirth somehow; she'd think it was really neat and it's important for us that she is around to be a part in the delivery of her sibling.

Have a wonderful last day of August!

shelby g