Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gownin' outta control!

After having both of my showers, there was really not much that I didn't have for baby Clifford.  Really, it kind of blows my mind....but anyway...

Shortly after I found out I was pregnant Mom bought me 2 baby gowns.  I think they are adorable.  I remember the sisters used gowns often and loved them.  I looked at Target, and they happened to have precisely none.  I had to order a couple things online and the gowns I liked were out of stock.  

I figured this was the universe trying to tell me to figure it out.  So that is just what I did.  

I search online for free patterns for baby gowns and found this tutorial.  
I dug through my craft stuff and found a gift bag that was huge and used it to make the patterns.  
Then I robbed a couple old t-shirts from the closet and set to work.  

The first one I made was a bit wonky.  I sewed the little hand flap wrong.   But the second was awesome!  This is Cliff's gown made from his daddy's t-shirt...

Really cute right?  Right.  
I made the mistake of not hemming the sleeves before I attached them to the bodice of the gown so they will have raw edges....but it still rocks my socks off. 

I was honestly not too hard, just takes a little practice that's for sure.  So, I decided why not whip out a few more gowns on the cheap?  I ran to the thrift store in town and picked up some old t-shirts.  Eight shirts for a whopping $2...and now I can show ya how to make some gowns.  Just print the patterns from the link above and follow along :) 

This is the hilarious shirt I started with. 
And I have no idea who T. Graham Brown is.  
I haven't bothered to google. 

Lay the pattern directly on the t-shirt and you can cut right around it, or do like I did and outline it.  

Then cut it out.  

Forming a front and back. 

Then I used scraps from the sides I just cut off to make the hand flaps.  Again, trace and cut. 

Next, I cut the sleeves for the gowns.  Note, this shirt is so ridiculous, it had the type of sleeves where a second sleeve in a different color forms an inner sleeve,  so when you rollled your short sleeves, you looked ultra cool.  Thanks late 1980's! 

So again, trace it or cut it out. 

Now is the hard part....you take the gown front and back, and sew a hem into the curvy little neck.  
It is a pain!  

See.....I did kind of a poor job.  Good news is, you can't tell!

After the hem is sewn, you overlap the front of the gown with the back, and then run a stitch along the shoulders to attach the two pieces together.  

Next I sewed the little hand flaps onto the sleeves.  Basically you just lay the flap onto the sleeve, fold the sleeve in half so it sandwiches the flap, and sew them together, stopping your seam just above the little flap.  Easy peasy. 

When you fold it open up that little sandwich, you are looking at the outside (right side) of the sleeve.  Keep this in mind....or you will sew the sleeve in upside down.  I did.  Twice.  Obnoxious.  

I would highly recommend you fold up and hem the bottom of your sleeve now.  Once you attach it and close the sleeve, there is no way to use a machine to hem it....unless of course you are more skilled then me, which is possible. 

Here is my hemmed sleeve. 

Next, attach the sleeve you just prepped to the bodice of the gown.  Again, pay attention here or you will sew the sleeve in upside down, or sew the hand flap on the front instead of the back....which I also did at least twice.  

Here is a sleeve attached to the gown. 

After both sleeves were attached, I ran a seam down the each side to close the gown's bodice.  

Then I did the same, close the sleeves down with a seam.  Next I folded up the bottom and sewed in a little pocket and left a gap to pull through some elastic.  

After you run your elastic through the bottom of the gown, ya just flip it right side out and BOOM it's gown time!

Here is my finished, straight out the 80's gown.  Complete with contrasting sleeves and hand flaps.

While I was working on it, I made him a Harley Davidson gown, 

A few stripped little gowns
(as you can see....sewed the sleeves on the wrong side here...so flaps are on the front)

and a little Old Navy gown.  

Not bad right?

Now baby Ford has 8 handmade gowns.  Some are a bit wonky, and that's ok.  He will just be rocking them around the house.  I just love that he has his dad's Johnny Cash shirt as a gown...and it's the manliest gown that ever happened. I also love that when I showed my family the gown and my Aunt Jackie said "how in the world did Zac ever fit in a shirt that small?" hahahaha!  That's what we call  "Stupid... in a good way..."

Get ready Cliff, you are gown'd to the nines!
Just try not to get so fat so fast you can't fit your roly-poly body into them.
Or on second thought....do!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Whatcha gonna look like?

As the days tick by to baby Clifford's arrival I find myself wondering more and more what he is gonna look like.  There are a lot of ways this can go.  Lots.  Clifford being an ugly baby is one of my irrational fears.  I know that I will think that he is beautiful regardless.  Fully aware that that will be the case.  But I still fret about it.....still find myself wasting time thinking about it. 

Probably doesn't help that Zac said to me the other day, "Just so ya know, I was an ugly baby, so....you might wanna be prepared for that."  Thanks hunny.  I wanted to hear that for 9 months I have been growing a child that will likely be unattractive.  Que up the Seinfeld episode.  

When I survey my family they all agree on one thing.  "He is gonna be huge."  Thanks guys.  
That really helps to curb the fear that comes with anticipating pushing him out of my body.  

I am in denial.  I keep saying he will be little.  I know he will not.  Maybe I need to make one of those vision boards like from The Secret.  Perchance if I have lots of pictures of 6lb babies around me Cliff will not make it to 10lbs before he gets here.  Again, denial.  I can only hope 9lbs over 23 inches is easier than 9lbs over 20 inches of babe.  

I have always assumed he will be blonde haired, blue-eyed and long.  Kylie agrees.  He says that he always figured I would have "mini-Zacs."  But then again....the ugly baby curse.  Maybe there is hope though via our combined family genes.  For just a second...let's take a peep at some grandparents and great-grandparents.

These are mine.
Grandpa Howard had brown hair and brown eyes.  Grandma Toots had red hair and super blue eyes.  

That got them all 4 dark haired kids and one redhead, all with dark eyes.  
I think just my cousin Jared made it out with blue eyes....but there are a lot of cousins, so I may be wrong. 

For you viewing pleasure, this is mom, with her older sisters Judy and Linda and her twin Jackie. 
Mom is on the right. 

I think Penelope kinda looks like mom in this picture.  I think it is the ears.
(Penelope is on the left.  On the right is baby Evelyn, her cousin)

As far as I know...and can remember, Grandma Leta has always had blonde hair and blue eyes.

My dad's dad, Everett, had dark hair and I think had dark eyes.  I know he looked just like dad when he was young, and I only remember him having white curly hair and being adorable..so it doesn't really matter.  (None of my picture of Grandpa Everett were anything but mostly blurry...so...sorry)

 In this picture you can see dad's grey-green eyes.  I swear when I was little, they were hazel.  
Maybe I am losing it....hell, I am probably losing it....but the man looks absolutely lovely in a green polo, so that's what counts.  

And of course, there is my mama, with her red hair (colored now as "red does not go grey well" but she is a natural red head) and dark eyes.  

Zac's turn.
I've not seen many picture of Zac's grandparents to know what they looked like in their youth. 
I have this picture of Zac's grandpa Dick....which is not so useful for demonstrating hair and eye color, but Zac says both Dick and Betty were blue-eyed blondes back in the day. 

This is the two of them at our wedding 3 years ago.  Cute aren't they?!

When you look at Zac's parents, all you see is the reason dad has nicknamed him "the Viking."  
Lolla says that her hair used to be dark though.  I had to ask after Zac and I got into an argument about the color of his mom's eyes.  He insisted, INSISTED, they were brown.  I was shocked that he was so far off.  I call them blue....but they are more on the grey side.  

 While we were up for Dick's funeral, I did get to see a few pictures of the family that Betty had hung on the walls.  I was loving it.  Check out Jim when he was little.  

Could he BE any cuter?  
No.  No he could not.  

Then I got to see a picture of him in high school.  This is his senior picture if I remember correctly.  
Dad would call him man pretty.   I would agree. 

Now back to the family...when you look at Zac's siblings, it seems there is really only one option, a blonde haired, blue eyed boy is what we are gonna be coming home with.  
Basically every blonde in the picture is a brother or sister.

But, when it comes to nieces and nephews, and we have started adding in a little genetic variety....we are running the gamut.
We've got redheads and blondes, curly headed babes and kiddos with stick straight hair.  (When Everett's gets long he looks like a dandelion and I LOVE IT!)

Lots are blue eyed, lots are not.  I suppose this kinda thing is to be expected when you have 21 nieces and nephews.  

Maybe with all this variety I should do the logical thing and compare Zac and I.  When we were up north, I got to see the famed "ugly baby" picture.  This is Zacman at 6 weeks.  
Isn't he HILARIOUS.  I can only hope it made you laugh.  
Look at how fat he was!  That double chin....it is fab!  

Plus I love his hand position.  It's so Ricky Bobby.  "I don't know what to do with my hands."  

When I sent the picture to my sisters and best friend I got ridiculous responses.  I think Maggie just wrote back, "Cliff is gonna be a BEAST!"  and Courtney wrote something like "O.....M....G....YES!  I want Cliff to look just like this..but with red hair."  

Now me...I was pretty.  This is my 6 week picture.  
I had great hair.  What can I say.  
I totally have my Dad's mouth in this picture...and his ears.  
But all in all, I was cute.  

And I stayed fairly cute.

This picture cracked me up.  In this one it looks like I am wearing a toupe...and should anyone have the desire to sing a song, again, I'm all ears.  

Really, I have no idea what Clifford Stuart will look like.  I am selfish enought that I want him to be pretty.  Is that awful?  It might be awful.  I am pretty sure it's awful to say that.  
Oh well, he is my baby so maybe I get to be.

Today I am 36 weeks pregnant.  That means any freakin time now Cliff could make his appearance.  
His blue-eyed blonde-haired dad, and his brown-haired hazel-eyed mama are excited.  

At the very least, I am sure he will grow up handsome like his Daddy.   

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Second language

I don't know if I have mentioned it, but back in the day, I worked in a lab.  
The lab was a molecular physiology lab at SIU.  I spent my time pipetting tiny amounts of all kinds of things for a couple of the medical school professors.  I did a lot of lab prep and some research for them as well.  

We grew cell lines and studied breast cancer. 
We studied gene regulation/expression.
I really liked it, but in the end decided a PhD was not for me.  
I worked with all sorts of people at the lab.  Mike and Jodi were the professors and the brains behind the operation.  Phil was a full-time researcher working on his own theories as he earned his PhD.  Ramya was a PhD candidate from India.   And there were plenty of us that worked in the lab while we were finishing up our undergrad.  

One of my favorite co-workers was a Japanese girl named Takumi.  
She was so sweet and quite funny.  Sometimes it was unintentional because of cultural differences.  
When I ran across this picture the other day I laughed out loud.   

That is a tub of diluted bleach solution. 
Damn you English.

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