Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A sewing project or two...

So, I am continuing to do some sewing here and there when I get time. I am getting better at it, but I still have a looong way to go to feel like I know what i'm doing a larger percentage of the time.

We are headed down to KY to visit Mark's family.... I am SOooo excited about this. They haven't met Annabelle yet. Who wouldn't be excited to introduce their bundle of joy to loved ones?!?! Anyways, my excitement about seeing our family combined with my love of sewing or love of having a cute finished project inspired me to make initial shirts for all of the cousins on Mark's side of the family. There are 6 grandchildren now, with Annabelle being the youngest, so I "made" 6 shirts. I actually bought all of the onesies/shirts at h&m... it is the best place for finding nice quality, solid colored t-shirts... not just basic white or black ones, they have a lot of nice color options! I decided to do a different color for each child with a different fabric for the appliqued initial. Here are the shirts :)

a for Annabelle
c for Caleb
e for Elizbeth
j for Jonah
a for Addison
M for Maxwell

I think I am most excited about the 'M' for Maxwell because I *think* I created an initial t-shirt that an 8 year old boy will like... at least I hope so!

My second sewing project is a wristlet clutch. I have made several of these. The first one I ever made was for myself and while it turned out ok there were several flaws. The fabric I chose was too light and I couldn't throw it in the wash because of the leather wrist strap. SO after using that one awhile I finally deciding that it was just too dirty to carry around anymore, I decided to make myself another one. I followed a tutorial/pattern that I purchased from etsy and I think it turned out pretty good. There are a few imperfections that I notice, but hopefully no one else does.... so I won't discuss them :) I do wish that I had added a little pocket on the inside, which is pretty easy to do, but when I thought of adding it it was too late... I suppose that gives me an excuse to make another one in the future.

I really like having a wristlet clutch, and here are the reasons why..... It fits nicely down inside a diaper bag and that way my essentials are easy to pull out of the diaper bag if I don't need to carry the whole big bag. The wristlet clutch also hangs nicely on a stroller handle so that all my essentials are easily accessible. I don't particularly like carrying a big purse around (most of the time) so this little one is perfect for me! Here are a few pictures of the completed project.

The finished product!

Here's the inside...

Please excuse the very poor picture quality of these pictures (taken with my cell phone).

Monday, March 19, 2012

1 month

Jonah's baby book had pages for each month during the first year, which I really liked. It is fun to be able to look back at his baby book and see a progression of the first year because babies change so much in that first year of life. Annabelle's baby book does not have a page for each month, which kind of disappointed me. I picked out the book online and thought I was getting one that did have those pages and then once I got it I was too lazy to return it and get another one.... SO, I have decided I will do a blog post for each month and use the information (or questions) in Jonah's baby book to guide what I write for each month... that way I have a similar record and I can print it out day to stick in with her baby book.

Annabelle has already turned 2 months old, so I have a little bit of catching up to do :)

ONE month
Height: 21.5 inches (55th percentile) Weight: 9 pounds(50th percentile)

Sleeping patterns: Annabelle doesn't really like to be on a schedule. I have tried to keep her on the 3 hour cycles like I did with Jonah, but she eats when she wants to eat and sleeps when she wants to sleep. Sometimes she is going 4 hours between nursing, which feels like a long time, but as long as she is gaining weight appropriately, I guess its ok! She is sleeping fairly well at night, waking up 1-2 times each night to nurse.

Eating patterns: She basically eats every 3 hours, sometimes sooner and sometimes longer. She is exclusively breastfed... we're working on getting her to take breastmilk from a bottle.

New discoveries I made: Annabelle has discovered the mobile bees on the swing and likes to watch them go around. She also seems to be looking at herself in the mirror.

My accomplishments: Annabelle has given us a few smiles... we're not sure she's meaning to give them, but we'll take them! :)

Places I went: around 1 month of age, we took Annabelle (and Jonah) to the Bronx zoo... it may have been a little more than this mommy should've attempted, but overall it was a good trip... we were just worn out afterwards! Jonah had a great time and Annabelle did well. It was a warm (for winter in NY) February day. Annabelle also attended church at The Gallery Church.

Special Friends I made: Annabelle has met some babies about her age at church, Clara Burton, Laurabelle Patton, and Soren Miller. These babies were born in Fall 2011, so are a bit older, but are the closest in age to Annabelle of the children at church.

The first month with Annabelle has been a delight! We have had multiple visitors including, her maternal grandparents, Tommy (Papa) and Joyce (Mammie) Freeman, who visited from Georgia. Courtney, Mommy's dear friend from nursing school also came to visit. We've had multiple local visitors who have come with meals and love for sweet Annabelle. Annabelle has filled our hearts and home with love and joy.

Annabelle 3 days old, sleeping in her swing

Annabelle & Jonah with Papa and Mammie

Annabelle showing us her unhappiness with us in trying to get her newborn pictures

Sweet smiles at 1 month of age

Annabelle with "Aunt" Courtney on the subway on our Girls day out... we took Annabelle to Alice's Tea Cup for her first "tea" :)

Friday, March 9, 2012


I love knowing the history of a person's name.... why the parents chose it, who the baby or child is named after, etc. Because of this and because I have been asked multiple times about Annabelle's name, I thought I'd write a post about names and give you the reasoning behind her name choice.

First, I'll tell you about my name :)
My parents, especially my Father, were/are huge 'Little House on the Prarie' fans. I, in turn, am also a huge fan of this show... have many of the seasons on DVD.
Well, that show was in its biggest days around the time I was born. 'Laura' on the show is Melissa Gilbert and 'Mary' on the show is Melissa Sue Anderson. So, my parents were inspired to name me Melissa. Coincidentally, when I was a young girl, I did slightly resemble 'Laura'.... and also somewhat dreamed of being 'Laura'.
My middle name is Joy. This name is after my Mother. Her name is Mary Joyce and my parents chose the name Joy from Joyce. I love having a mix of family history and parental preference in my name.

Since I am doing this, I guess I will tell you why we chose Jonah's names too. Jonah was a name that I had liked for a long time. It took Mark a little while to come around to it, but he finally did, like 24 hours after Jonah was born. :) The name Jonah means "Dove". We didn't really choose the name based on the meaning, but we do like to know what the name means. Jonah's middle name is Samuel, which means 'sent from God'. Samuel is Mark's middle name, as well as his maternal grandfather's middle name (Karl Samuel). Again, a name that is a mix of parental choice and a bit of family history.

On to Annabelle's name.... I have known for a long time that I really wanted to use 'belle' as a part of my daughter's name. My great-grandmother was born on Easter in 1899 and was named EasterBelle. :) My grandmother, whom I have been close to my whole life also has belle in her name, Eulabelle Yvonne. While I knew I would not be naming my daughter EasterBelle or Eulabelle, I did know that I liked the 'belle' component of the name. So, we chose the name Annabelle. Anna means 'gracious' and belle means 'beauty'. Annabelle's middle name is Naomi, which in origin is Hebrew and Japanese. We really liked that this name is of Japanse origin since so much of Mark's life was spent in Japan and that heritage means a lot to us, hence the name choice of Naomi. Naomi means 'sweet, pleasant'. I hope Annabelle will live up to the meaning of her name.... a gracious, sweet, and pleasant beauty....So far she's doing a good job of it :)

Below are some pictures of our relatives whom our children are named after. I am hoping to get a picture of Annabelle with Eulabelle, her great grandmother, on our visit to Georgia in April.

Karl Samuel Paulo and his wife Bessie Sue Paulo -Mark's maternal grandparents

Easterbelle Roughton with her husband, Harvey

Eulabelle Yvonne "Mamaw" and Me

Of course I had to add a couple of recent pictures of my babies..
Annabelle Naomi

Jonah Samuel

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Stationery card

Victorian Frame Rose Birth Announcement
Announcements for all occasions: graduation, a new baby, or wedding.
View the entire collection of cards.