Saying goodbye to babyhood

It’s the end of an era. Or something less dramatic. But the time has come to stop breastfeeding Liam. Many of you may be thinking, geez you’re still breastfeeding that kid?! Well, long and short is.. yes. Several months ago I easily weaned him down to once a day. We were able to substitute his morning nursing with a warm sippy cup of milk with honey. And then any time he would sign “milk” and pull at my shirt during the day, I would again get his cup of milk or water and distract him with a book, puzzle, or truck. So we were down to just once a day. But the nighttime feed seems to be here to stay. It has just been so easy to let him nurse for a few minutes, fall asleep in my arms, and then place him in his crib, where he proceeds to sleep through the night until 8 or 8:30 the next day. I selfishly had a fear that by giving up the bedtime nursing, I would lose the happy sleepy baby that lets this mama get 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night. So yes as of this post, I am still breastfeeding my sasquatch child. But that is all about to change. After a lengthy discussion with my fertility doctor this morning, it was determined that I need to stop breastfeeding Liam in order to move forward with any further fertility treatment.

For those of you who have been pregnant while nursing, or tandem nursed two children,  I know what you are going to say. Yes it is safe and yes it can be done. But for a thirty-five year old with “diminished egg reserve” who is ready for baby number two and seeking very expensive fertility assistance, I want to make sure I eliminate any tiny little thing that could cause things to go wrong. And in some cases breast feeding can lower your prolactin levels. And (sorry if this next part is TMI but we might be past TMI by this point) my doctor said my uterine lining looks thin which could be due to lower prolactin levels. And ya gots to have that thick plump uterus for baby making. (Or so I’ve been told).

And so now, before his baby sibling has even been born, poor Liam is having to learn the lesson of sacrificing for your younger sibling. A lesson, as both a younger and an older sister, I am all too familiar with. Nineteen months that started out as the most awkward, painful, and frustrating part of motherhood turned into the sweetest, calmest part of our day and it is now coming to an end. Each day Liam is acting and looking more and more like a toddler and less like a baby. The few remaining bits of his “baby-hood” seem to be quickly fading away.  Besides the fact that he still craps in his pants, he will have no more “baby” left in him. (And lets face it, that doesn’t count because nobody is sad when the days of poopy diapers come to an end).  But I know it will be the right decision. And not just for future baby number two, but for all of us.

So all that being said, with the exception of literally leaving Liam for a week and letting him cry himself to sleep with someone else, I have no idea how this is going to work. Any tips or recommendations for night weaning a 19 month old?? I am up for trying just about everything. Leave a comment below, I would love to hear what everyone has tried!!


do it yourself Smash Cake Photo Shoot

how-to-smash-cake-photo-shootI’ll let you in on a little secret about me: I HATE paying someone to do something that I can even slightly, half-ass do myself. Maybe I’m a perfectionist. Or untrusting. Call it what it is, it’s me and I am working on it. But in the mean time, my DIY flag will continue to soar high. After our holiday family photo shoot that resulted in zero photos of Liam smiling, I decided never again! The photographer was a very sweet lady. But she would make these cackling, turkey calls and high pitched squeals in an attempt to coax a smile out of Liam. And this child of mine, who seriously  smiles at every cashier and every old lady in line at the grocery store, would of rolled his eyes at her if he knew how. Not a single smile for her camera. So I decided that I would create our own photo session at home. And worse case scenario, if he didn’t smile for me, all I wasted was an afternoon. And it turned out to be a success! img_5530img_5544img_5537Here are some of my tips for how you can create your own smash cake photo session. 

1. If you have a room with a blank white wall, perfect! If not, get a white backdrop. I purchased this one from Amazon and have used it several times so I have definitely gotten my money’s worth. But a crisp ironed bedsheet would also work well.

2. It’s all about good lighting. This is crucial! More important than the camera itself! I know by now in my sunroom (where I’ve set up my white backdrop) what time of day the room gets good natural light. You want to aim for bright natural light vs light that is created from lamps or overhead lights. But you also want to avoid too much direct light on your subject (this will wash them out) and avoid shadows being casted onto the backdrop. Tip: set up your backdrop a day or so in advance and keep an eye on what time of day the lighting is best.img_55663. You don’t need a fancy camera! I used my Cannon Rebel DSLR for these, but I took some practice shoots with my iPhone and they also turned out amazing. I swear, the quality of the pictures on the iPhone these days is not too shabby.

4.  Use a tripod, if available. This helped me do continuous shooting and be hands free If I needed to quickly jump in and help/reposition/save a ballon. A husband or assistant also helps!

5. Create fun props! I simply blew up some balloons and made bunting using felt fabric, string, and a hot glue gun. You don’t need much. The cake and the baby will be the star!img_56106. Bake your own cake. Dude, did you know a box of cake mix is only $1.95? This is so cheap. Especially considering it’s just for photos. In fact, I didn’t evenly spread the icing on the back of the cake!  And side note, this cake stand came from the diaper cake from our baby shower. It’s from C. Wonder. img_55677. Once you are all set up, bring in your child and entice him to “smash” the cake! At first, Liam had no interest in eating, or even touching the cake. He just stared at it and crawled away. If you look closely in this photo, you may see some tangerine slices on the floor. Yep.  We had to entice him by adding his favorite food (which I guess obviously isn’t cake) and eventually, he went for the kill. Giving him a spatula at the end of the shoot helped us get some really messy pics too!

8. Touch up the pictures in iPhoto/Photoshop. I always end up cropping my photos and using the blemish tool to remove anything unwanted that ended up in the shot. before
I took a total of 120 photos and I ended up with about 30 great photos! And while I am a big fan of professional photography, it was nice to do these at home with daddy present and a warm bath waiting for us in the room next door!

xxoo Priscilla


the sweetest pumpkin in the patch

I promise I will sew and blog again. One of these days. And I could name a million excuses but ahhhhhh life. Instead I will leave you with these photos of baby Liam. Because when it’s your first baby’s first Halloween, you drop everything and take obligatory photo shoots in pumpkin patches. img_2818img_2808img_2822img_2802img_4420As much as I love sewing and sharing my creations, being with Liam each day is a nice reminder to slow down and take each day one day at a time. Until next time!


Life Unfiltered + a Handmade Robe

IMG_3637During my pregnancy, I was very concerned about what I was going to be wearing during the labor and delivery.  I have never been fond of hospital gowns. I felt they just made people look sicker then they should be.  And my theory was if I was looking sick, I would feel sick, and thus wouldn’t do so well during labor. So long story short, I decided to make a robe that I could wear during laboring.  But since baby Liam came almost two weeks early, I never finished the robe. Actually,  my water broke the day I started making it! But it didn’t matter anyways, because in the end, I was completely naked by the time the delivery happened. Not sure how I got naked. But there I was. (I think I was hot, then cold, then hot, then uncomfortable, so off went all the clothes .) So fast forward one week later, and at some point in between nursing and diaper changes, I found time to finish hemming the robe. So now I have a brand new, handmade, hang-around-the-house-breast-feeding- robe!IMG_0767IMG_3631IMG_3641The pattern for this robe is a *FREE* tutorial from Erin of that you can find here or here. She has an amazing blog and I am glad to see she decided to create a pattern of her own. This is a great beginners pattern as there is no real sizing and no need to worry about zippers or buttons. I am also thinking this is a perfect pattern to use for making handmade gifts for sisters and girlfriends.  For my robe, I decided to use a cotton voile from Art Gallery Fabrics which is so soft and silky and perfect for this project. The fabric is from the Skopelos collection from Katarina Roccella and I have just adored this collection of floral prints. IMG_3635IMG_3656IMG_3639

These photos were taken when Liam was just a week old! He is actually much bigger now and has outgrown this little newborn onsie he is wearing. At one week postpartum I was still rocking that pregnancy swelling in my face, I was wearing no makeup, and my hair had not been brushed or washed in days. Yet this unfiltered version of myself makes me smile as I have longed for lazy Sundays like these, lounging around in bed with my family. And now here we are and I have to pinch myself sometimes because it all seems too good to be true. IMG_3632IMG_3644 IMG_3647 IMG_3649 For those of you who don’t sew, check out these lovely robes from Plum Pretty. They have a beautiful collection of cotton voile robes for maternity and bridal. If I had $65 to spend on a robe, this would be the one I would get:20150210_pps_0029Until next time, you know where to find me. Liam and I will be chillin in our bed waiting for daddy to get home. Robes and elephant pillows all day long.  xxoo Priscilla IMG_1082

The sweetest/most random newborn quilt that you ever did see

IMG_1182I knew I wanted to make a handmade item that I could give to the baby, but I had never tackled a quilt before. Cutting and sewing in straight lines and squares is not exactly my style. You see, I tend not to do any thing that requires precision or following rules and patterns exactly as I am told. And I had always assumed that a quilt would turn out to a be hot mess if I didn’t have all my shapes and all my squares exactly the same size. Well it turns out a quilt can be whatever the heck you want it to be. I am pretty sure that no two of my squares are exactly the same but I think thats ok. Because in the end, Liam has a sweet little quilt that he can one day tell all his friends “oh yeah my mom made that” and they will reply “say what??? Your mom is awesome!” And he will be all like, “yeah I know. Which is why I am never growing up so I can be with her forever.” (At least I think that’s how it will all play out.)IMG_3673IMG_3671The fabric I used for this quilt all comes from the Hello Bear Collection by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics. I have had my eye on this fabric and before I was even pregnant I bought half a  yard in 5 different prints, knowing that it would most likely sell out. This collection became so popular that Art Gallery now has released the Buck Forest print (the deer head) in eight different colors and also in knit and canvas.  Locals, you can pick this fabric up from Five Eighth Seams in  West Ashley. IMG_3682IMG_3679IMG_3677I had to do some creative fussy cutting so that I could include all the different mommy and baby animal pairs. In the end some pieces didn’t make the cut (ha, get it!) but I was able to come up with a variety of different rectangle and square pieces that I then appliquéd on top of another larger square piece. Here are a few online tutorials here and here that I followed to help me get an idea of where to start. And if you do like to do things precisely and accurately, there are tons of other tutorials online that give much better instructions than I do!


Also check out this youtube video from Made Everyday to learn how to make your own bias tape and get you started on doing the bias binding. This next photo you might be able to see how I used a decorative top stitch to stitch my bias binding in place.  l have never used the decorative stitches on my machine before so this was fun to do. IMG_0055IMG_3681


This quilt has been tummy time approved.

IMG_1181This photo means the world to me, not only because he is on his mommy quilt but because this was the first purposeful smile we ever caught on camera. Liam is one month old today and as much as I love watching him grow, it kills me at the same time to know that time is moving by so fast! Enjoy your week and if you are lucky enough to be around any sweet babies this week, take the time to just sit and stare. All your other problems will just disappear, I promise!

xxoo Priscilla

A Valentines Surprise: our birth story part 2

imageimageIf you’re like me, I’m sure the majority of the birth stories you have heard sound more like horror stories. In fact, I found that while I was pregnant, women would try to scare me with their stories, emphasizing the pain, and painting this picture of a dreaded experience where everything goes wrong.  And I’m here today to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. Now don’t get me wrong, I would be lying if I said there wasn’t pain involved.  But the pain is minimal compared to the other positive emotions surrounding that day. A beautiful, exciting, fun day that I wouldn’t change a thing about.

We woke up in the hospital the morning of February 14th feeling nervous but also very excited and optimistic. The night before, right after my water broke, I was only 3 cm dilated with no contractions. The doctor, knowing that I wanted to labor and deliver naturally, said she’d be back in the morning to see how I progressed and we could make a plan from there. When she came at 9 am I was already halfway into my “liquid only” meal tray, having feasted on orange Jell-O and broth soup. When she checked me, it turned out I was still only 3 cm dilated. And it had now been 12 hours since my water broke. Turns out you can’t hang around with a broken bag of water and just stare at the clock. Time to make some decisions. After talking it over with Will and our nurse Lindsay (who was amazing), I decided I would let them induce me with Pitocin. I had been against Pitocin from the beginning because I knew how they can take your contractions from 0 to 60. And my chances of doing things all natural without any pain medication would be even harder on Pitocin. But with my water being broken this long, I was now at risk of getting an infection or having something serious happen that could lead to a C-section. And THAT was definitely not what I wanted. So at 9:30am I got an IV and the Pitocin was started. For the next three hours I began having mild contractions. Emily and Chris came to visit and actually laughed at how “easy” I was handling the contractions. I thought they just felt like menstrual cramps. Nothing I haven’t handled before. I even told my nurse for which she smiled but in the inside I am sure she was rolling her eyes knowing I would be singing a different tune shortly. If only I knew.

Around 12:30 Chris and Emily left and Will went downstairs to Subway to get a sandwich (of course only after ordering me yet another tray of Jell-O, broth, and Gatorade). While he was gone I got to work on setting up my Pandora station with my birthing music. (Which in hindsight was kind of silly because I never even heard the music during any of my laboring). It was during this time the contractions started to become really strong. I called Will on his cell phone and growled at him “Where are you?!” He rushed upstairs right as I was curled over on the bed in agony. I saw the look on his face as he thought “Geez how long was I gone?” But really it was just a coincidence that the contractions went from mild to severe right at the time he left the room. He stuffed as much of the sandwich in his mouth as he could and we spent the next 3 hours doing a dance of  me bearing into him and Will doing everything possible to keep me from falling off the bed, the birthing ball, the toliet, or wherever I was laboring at that moment. Those three house felt like aliens ripping my organs from the inside out. No position you can get into takes away the pain. But I worked on my breathing and my visualization which helped. As I breathed I tried to picture what our baby would look like. I visualized the moment that Will asked me to marry him down at the yacht club and then I saw Will standing in our backyard playing t-ball with a little blond haired toddler. These helped distract me. But the best thing that helped me get through each contraction was the feeling of Will’s beard scratching on my cheek as he held me tight. He would try to rub my arms or scratch my back and I would yell “Don’t touch me! but bring me that beard!” My nurse Lindsay would tell me “Picture your baby. He will be here so soon” and “You are strong and brave, Priscilla.” Then Will would whisper in my ear “You can do this” and “I’m so proud to of you.” And I would shout “I’m an idiot!” “No one should have to live like this!!” “Your breath is horrible! What the hell was in that sandwich?!” We knew the doctor would be coming back at 4 o’clock to see if I had progressed. At one point I said to Will “If I’m still only 3 cm, I don’t know what I will do.” I didn’t think I could go on any further. Despite all that, I never asked for an epidural. Lindsay said at one point I did ask her to “put something in my IV” for which she responded “You don’t need anything.” But luckily when the doctor came at 4 o’clock I was 9 cm and 100% effaced! She said “I’ll come back in an hour to see if you made it to 10 cm.” AN HOUR?!? I couldn’t do it for another hour!! But I had no choice. So the contractions continued. 15 minutes went by and I started to feel the urge to go to the bathroom. I told Lindsay I needed to go and I needed to go now. She said “Do you feel the urge to push?” And I said “yeah push out a poop.” With excitement she said “That’s not poop! That’s your baby! Don’t push, let me grab the doctor. ” The doctor came in right away and checked me out, announcing that I was 10 cm! It was push time.

I pushed (and screamed and moaned like a whale) for about 25 minutes and at 5:15 PM the doctor pulled out baby Liam and placed him immediately on my chest. And just like that, Liam scooted his head towards my breast to latch on. Smart little baby knew just what to do. The doctors started to stitch me up as I did have 2 small tears. At some point I delivered the placenta but I don’t even remember doing that. I looked up at Will who was kissing my forehead and crying and thought to myself, thank God that Will was here by my side. There’s no way I could’ve done it without him. There’s no way to describe that moment when your baby is laying on your chest for the first time. Yeah there was blood everywhere, my vagina was burning like crazy, I somehow ended up naked during all of this, and there were all kinds of nurses and doctors in the room. But in that moment none of that mattered. And as that wonderful day came to an end, I knew that our lives were forever changed.imageimage image imageimage image

What I Wore When my Water Broke: our birth story part 1

IMG_3489 What Happened that Day:

Dear Liam, You decided to be born on Valentines day. Which makes perfect sense as that is the day we celebrate love. And now we will always celebrate that day and the love that made you and brought you into the world.  Valentines Day was not “the plan.” You were due to come on February 24th. In fact, everyone thought you’d be late.  Your dad joked how “cool” it would be if you came on the 29th, Leap Day. I on the other hand were hoping you’d surprise us and come early. And surprise us you did!

Your birth story actually starts the night before you were born, on February 13th. It was a Saturday. The SEWE festival was going on here in town that weekend, there was yet another Republican debate airing on TV that night, as was the NBA dunk contest, and the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week was in full swing in NYC. But it was a regular day for the two of us filled with to-do lists, get togethers, and things to keep us busy as we awaited your arrival. I woke up early that day and went to barre class, like I did most Saturdays. I joked with the class teacher that I’d be back a few more times because “this baby isn’t acting like he wants to come out any time soon.” Around 2:00 we went to a birthday party for a friend, and then came home to change for a dinner party at 6:30 at our friends Shannon and Justin’s house. Shannon, being an excellent cook and new-receipe enthusiast, had decided to try her hand at making Duck a L’Orange. About mid way through the appetizers, I stood up to go refresh my drink and thats when it happened. My water broke. It was only a little bit of water so no one noticed.  I figured I should go to the bathroom, assess the situation, and then come up with a plan. I whispered to your dad that I thought “something might be happening.” For which he frantically announces to our friends “Priscilla thinks her water just broke!” However being the casual person that I like to think that I am, I cleaned myself up best I could and strolled back into the dining room right as Shannon announced “dinner is served.” So I did what all dinner guests would do. I took my seat, ate my dinner, and hung around until dessert. I mean come on. It was duck! And cheesecake!  But at this point it was just a little water, there were no contractions, I was in no pain, no pelvic pressure. Nothing. I felt great! And everyone had told me “you only go the hospital when you feel contractions that are 5 minutes apart.” So I stayed. And I felt full and satiated from an amazing meal. We sat around and discussed if we should go the hospital or just call the doctor. And yes ALL OF US discussed this at the dinner table. Great conversation piece for the dudes at dinner. And that’s when it happened. More water. And this time a lot! We quickly said our goodbyes and I stood up and that’s when it happened again for the third time. Complete water breakage. This time I knew what was happening. It was all down my nice black handmade leggings right there on their dining room carpet. We quickly made it to the car with my water continuing to break during the entire walk and made it to the hospital in less than 5 minutes leaving behind our jaw dropped friends and just a tad of amniotic fluid on their nice Italian leather chair.   The doctor admitted us into the hospital confirming that my water was fully broken and “this baby was coming.” And less than 17 hours later you were here. But we will get to that part of the story on another day…

What I Wore: Here are some photos of me from that evening, on our way to the dinner party. The leggings and tunic are both handmade by me with my favorite boots and hat thrown in.  Not sure there is a “correct” outfit to be wearing when your water breaks but if there is, I like to think that this was it! IMG_3473IMG_3496 IMG_3485IMG_3480IMG_3504 Top: Handmade Rie top from Megan Nielson. There are three different versions of this pattern (top, tunic, dress) and three different sleeve lengths. (I went with the tunic length, bicep sleeves, in size medium)   – Fabric: Your Heart Pure in Knit from Art Gallery Fabrics. purchased at Five Eighth Seams    –  Leggings: Handmade Sew Simple Leggings by So Sew Easy   –     Boots: Mossimo (similar ones here)     – Hat: Forever 21 IMG_3510xoxo Priscilla