I’d like to start this entry by welcoming myself back to the land of the living. I’m now in the second trimester of my sixth pregnancy (reached 18 weeks a couple days ago), and I’ve finally begun to resume a relatively normal life. I can now walk past the fridge without wanting to lose the last morsel I ate, workout without wanting to pass out, and even make it through an entire day without a nap (although I still take advantage of naptimes to catch some zzzz’s when I need them!). I have also reacquainted myself with my trusty sewing machine, and have MANY projects to complete before this baby arrives.
So… since I’ve sorely neglected my blog for the last few months, here’s a quick and dirty update of life in the Barr household:
In May we had our first ultrasound. There’s nothing like the night before an event like this. My heart beats a million miles a minute all night, and sleep… what’s that? Miraculously, we saw a strong heartbeat right away. First hurdle crossed! Ryan ran his longest distance up to that point… the Soldier Field 10-miler. Ryder and I did the 2-mile walk. It was really fun to see Ryan cross the finish line (which was the 50-yard line in the stadium where the Bears play)!
In June, I turned 30, and Ryan ran his first 1/2 marathon. I also saw a new movie… in the theater… with girlfriends… for the first time since WAY before Ryder was born. 🙂 Other than that, I spent lots of time at the park with Ryder and friends… while trying to survive morning/noon/night sickness.
We had two more ultrasounds in June. One was an “emergency” because I was having some bleeding. The same thing happened with Ryder, and strangely, the only pregnancies I’ve ever bled with have been the successful ones. Luckily, everything was just fine. The second one was part of the first trimester screening they do to check for Down’s Syndrome and other problems. Once again, everything came back normal and boring. We LOVE normal and boring!!!
One thing that wasn’t normal and boring was a major storm that hit our area. Ryan was at school (of course!), and I was starting to get nervous about the color of the sky, and the severity of the winds, lightning, and thunder. Even though there was no tornado warning, I gathered the dogs and Ryder and headed down the basement, just to make myself feel better. I figured we’d just watch TV for a while, and it would be no big deal. Boy was I wrong!!! As soon as everyone was downstairs, I ran back up to grab a bowl of water for the dogs… and the power went out. With one tiny flashlight, and my cell phone, I headed back down to my terrified toddler and nervous pups. Ryder was so scared, he stayed velcroed to my hip for more than 30 minutes, and he was absolutely silent (something that NEVER happens). Just before the lights went out, he had picked up a Wii-mote… and he hugged that silly thing as if it was his dearest friend.
After about a half-hour, he finally released his grip in exchange for a sippy cup and stuffed doggie. We snuggled for a bit, and then began to sing some of his favorite songs. That seemed to help him relax a bit (and me too!), and soon I realized that the storm was lightening up a bit. We still had no power, but I figured it was getting late, and I should try to help Ryder feel as normal as possible. By the light of our trusty flashlight, he had a warm bath, and went to bed without too much of a fuss. I settled down on my bed to read, and after a while, I noticed a really bright light shining through the window. To my relief, it was the SUN!!! About an hour later, the power came back on… and so did the A/C and the sump pump. Whew! By far, the worst storm I’ve experienced, and the scariest 30-minutes of my life (while down in the basement trying to keep my family safe). Glad it’s over!!!
Now it’s July. We’re still frequent visitors to the many parks around the area, and have the tans to prove it (relatively speaking). After injuring his pinky toe pretty badly, Ryan had to take a hiatus from running and kettlebells and decided to trying biking instead. He is now the proud owner of a really fancy time-trial bike… ya know, the kind Lance Armstrong rides in The Tour. Once the marathon is over (in October), his training regimen will also include swimming so he can begin to prepare for an Iron Man competition.
A couple of weeks ago, Ryan flew to Santa Barbara for a series of business meetings. That same day, his youngest sister Michelle flew out to visit Ryder and me. We introduced her to Portillo’s, showed her the best parks around, and had a really fun time playing together. We also went shopping for my bridesmaid’s dress for her upcoming November wedding. A couple days after she arrived, the rest of the family showed up as well (my in-laws and Ryan’s other sister, with her one-year old daughter Tirzah). The house was full of people, love, and laughter. Together, we drove to Michigan to celebrate Grandpa Barr’s 90th birthday. His actual birthday is in September (same day as Ryder’s), but we partied a bit early. It was so much fun to see everyone again, and even more fun to watch Ryder and Tirzah interact.
While the family was here, I happened to have some doctor’s appointments scheduled. During one of those appointments, we found out that we’ll be having another little boy! I’m scheduled to have a repeat c-section on December 22, and we hope to be home by Christmas morning at the latest. I’ve tried a million times to explain to Ryder that there’s a baby growing in Mommy’s tummy, but he just doesn’t get it yet. 🙂
Speaking of Ryder… he’s definitely not a baby anymore! He’s fearless at the park… climbing walls, sliding down the tallest slides, and swinging (well, being pushed in the swing) higher than any other kid around. He’s not the biggest almost-2-year-old I’ve ever seen, but he’s certainly growing at a good clip. (He still wears 18mo. clothing, and some 12mo. shorts!) And he’s talking non-stop. We can’t always decipher what he’s saying, but he usually gets his point across pretty effectively. He’s picking up one or two new words everyday. His favorite activities include playing with his best girlfriends, twin sisters Lainey and Kamden; swinging at the park; and being chased around the house by Daddy in the evenings.
Last week, we transitioned him from a crib to a twin bed with much success.
And now, the tutorial… a Placemat Purse. I saw this idea online somewhere, and even though I don’t have any girls, I do have nieces. It’s a very easy project, and takes very little time and money to complete. Unfortunately, at the time I made this purse, I wasn’t thinking about creating a tutorial. So I don’t have step-by-step pictures. Luckily, I think it’s simple enough that you’ll get the gist from the final product. Next time I make one, I’ll try to remember to fill in the gaps with pictures and update.
Materials: one pretty placemat, two pieces of (approximately) 7 inches of coordinating grosgrain ribbon. Note: choosing a placemat with interfacing or quilting in it will give your purse a nice weight, and enough body to stand up on its own. The ribbon handles aren’t the sturdiest in the world, but since this was intended for use by a toddler, I figured she wouldn’t be filling it with too many heavy items.
Step 1: Fold placemat in half , right sides together. The fold will become the bottom of the purse. (Note: I chose to cut of a bit of the width, once folded because I didn’t want it to be quite so long horizontally… you can do the same, or leave it as is.)
Step 2: Sew up the two sides… I usually use 1/4in. seam allowance.
Step 3: Create a gusset. (This is where pictures would be helpful!) With the purse still inside-out, pull the sides apart, and pinch one of the bottom corners flat. Sew straight across, creating a triangle shape (you can make it as big as you wish). Repeat on the other side, then trim close to seam. Turn purse right-side out.
Step 4: Sew on straps. The first time I made this purse, I used my seam ripper to undo two one-inch spaces in each side where I could insert the ribbon and re-sew the seam. This made it look as if I’d sewn the whole thing from scratch 🙂
The second placemat purse I made was quilted. I simply sewed the ribbon to the inside of the top edges. Then I sewed another strip of ribbon around the entire top of the inside of the purse to cover up where the straps were attached (before sewing the sides together). I also gave this one a wider gusset. Like the first one, I cut off some of the width to make it boxier instead of short and long.
Since this was intended for use by a toddler, I chose not to include any buttons, snaps, or magnetic closures. But you could certainly add something like that if you wish. Please feel free to email me or send me a FB message if you have questions.