one. toque. three.

 Can you believe this wee munchin face was our daughter Azriel two 1/2 years ago?  
Why does that seem like just yesterday?  She was five days old here.. and we were sporting our matching toques.  My sweet friend Lynn has knit this tiny number for her, (while the toque I wore was knit by Lynn's Grandma for me - too cute)!

Fast forward to the present.. and here all three of us are.  I guess I still have the same haircut (sheesh).  Hudson scores his sister's hand-me-down hat... and Azriel just got a new toque knit by Lynn again for Christmas.  One.toque.three!

I love the cable knit pattern on Azi's new hat.. but am especially smitten with the hand-pottered buttons that Lynn made.  A close up of the wee toque reveal the knit-design of an owl at the front... what a hoot!

Speaking of owls... I just have to show you some more of the sweetness that has fluttered into our nest lately.  
A crochet owl from our friend Kathleen, and a cozy owl fleece hat sewn by our friend Erika.
There seems to be a theme around here - we are blessed with super sweet.creative pals!

I love hoooo guys,
Mel ;o)


Mama wears: fashion for latch'n...

 So let's talk about 'fashion' here for a minute... why we wear what we wear.  
I've said it before: I'm no fashion-monger.. I just pile on whatever suits my mood for that day. 
Yet, throughout my years certain factors have influenced my style.
If there's a red SALE sticker on it... I'll opt for that shirt.
If it seems too trendy/popular... I'll steer clear of them.
If it's got a funky design or lace or army green colour... I'm sold!
But now,
             now a different factor (once again) influences this mama's style...

I need fashion that fosters easy latch'n...
I'm sure any of you nursing mamas out there would relate.  You may - like me - look at your wardrobe and think, "now what can I wear that allows my baby easy access?!"
Especially in these early weeks where my wee Hudson is an insatiable lacto'vore.  In a weird you-always-want-what-you-can't-have way it makes me dream of getting to wear a turtleneck someday (and I don't even like turtlenecks!).  But I digress... here's the kind of outfits I tend to favour now:

I'll always be a layers type of gal.
Gold tank top. Purple scoop neck t-shirt. Denim skirt. (all thrifted).
Faded blue jacket - H&M (Amsterdam)
Purple tights - 725 Originals
Moccasins - handmade (d.i.y here).

What influences how you dress?

milk-maid mama,
Mel ;o)


D.I.Y: knitting carrier

So here's a funny old upcycling project I made years ago... and just discovered while rummaging through our garage on the weekend.

Here's what you could get if you crossed Robin Hood with a supply of yarn/wool...
a knitting quiver
So how would you make me quiver you ask?

Well, I had a cardboard tube with a slip-on-lid from an old puzzle.  
You could use a shipping tube from a postal outlet... or hard plastic tube from an arts supply store (more money though).
I wrapped it in fabric and hot glued it secure.  I also tied and glued on a strap of knitted cording.
Having a hard tube helps keep your knitting needles from impaling you or the poor sucker beside you. 
Granted, it's not a very big storage space (so you can't keep your afghan stuffed into it).  It's good for the kind of projects I used to do when I was a knitting poser...you know,  like half-finished wrist-warmers, cup cozies. etc.

So there you have it... may your quiver be all a shiver with creative upcycling delight!

Knit-wit mama,
Mel ;o)


slide.show.sunday.take 34.

Hello friends!  
Here we are at the close of another weekend, and here's another quick slide.show of what ours was filled with:

.. a lot of snuggles with our new Mr. Hudson.

...Azriel and I are competing for who snuggles him more ;o)

...a lot of laundry (le sigh).

 ...a lot of painting.

...a lot of cat-naps (Tinderpuff/Hudson/Mewsli sandwich!).

...and of course with Family.Dinner.Saturdays.... a lot of good food & memories!

Now it's Sunday... and the kidlets here are sickly...
poor Azi has been all coughs/sniffles.  Wee Hudson is sneezing his share too.

...so, a lot of sniffles & snuggles.. and cuteness here.

How was your weekend friends?

Mel ;o)


colour me: ready for spring!

Beautiful bouquet from my big brother & girlfriend
So this is a bit of cheery colour to remind me that Spring is around the corner.  It was starting to feel like it outside this week... and then we got hit with this pile of winter again.

I don't know about you... but I'm eager to see those green popcorn buds start peeking out of tree branches... and the birds to migrate home... and the flowers to start unfolding.

Spring-fevered mama,
Mel ;o)


Quilt*y pleasures...

 Have I told you how blessed we are to have a wealth of friends and family sharing in the joy of our new child here?  I seriously have some fantastic folk in my life who are eager to help me survive thrive at being a mama to two now.  I'm also thankful for our church family, currently they are delivering meals to our home for this 'transition time' as mama heals and strengthens to reclaim her domestic title here!  ;o)

One sweet lady at our church is a quilting/knitting phenomenon... and I just had to share this quilt she brought us.  I think she makes one for every new baby at our church (which if you know our church.. is A LOT of quilts!).  It's a completely illustrated model of the famous book Pilgrim's Progress.  It comes with the little figures - like Christian here - who has the burden that can velcro-attach from his back to the cross of Calvary.  Wild eh?

Our daughter Azriel has been all over it: catching the figures in the net of the Enchanted Garden.. exchanging kisses with the giant of Doubting Castle.. inviting her farm yard friends to travel the path too! 
Every stop along the way is interactive with pockets and tunnels and hills and trees...  amazing stitchery goodness for this nest.

Hudson wanted in on the fun too... even if it was just to rest his head amongst the flocks of sheep in Bypath Meadow.

 Aren't handmade gifts the absolute best?  
I'm surrounded by crafty friends who have blessed my socks off with sweetness for our kids... and blessed by the kind comments and congratulations you readers have left here too... 
thank you!

'Happiness is handmade',
Mel ;o) 

P.S: IF you wanted to e-mail this quilt maker you can reach her at: cbarker@canadianacabinets.com


a sister's touch...

 From the first moment you met your little brother your hand reached out gently to stroke his head.  You speak in a sing-song whisper to him and he smiles at you.

When he cries... you go "shhhh... it's ok little brother... you patient".  Even when mama comes to comfort him, you're still eager to embrace and kiss him better.

Every morning you squeal 'baby brother!' as if Christmas came early... and rush over to snuggle him.

Every morning you melt mama's heart with the cuteness.love.affection you keep showing us.

And I love that you get your brother to smile at only a week old! ;o)
Yes, it's a beautiful thing to watch Azriel & Hudson developing their new relationship as siblings.  My worries of 'how she would handle a new brother' have been replaced with wonder at her delight in him.
I'm also left in shock as to how HUGE my daughter suddenly seems... she's a two and a half year old going on ten it feels like!

(So I know this week has been post after post about our kids... and you may be missing my d.i.y's and other crafty features... we're just in the babymoon stage right now, so you'll have to forgive me! ;o)

Mama Mel


Hudson's birth story

For those of you who have been wanting to know how my labour went this time around.. this is the post for you.  If you remember Azriel's birth story, you know that I was hoping.dreaming.praying for a more 'natural' labour for Hudson.  In many ways this was a completely different experience - and in others it was eerily parallel to Azriel's birth.
So here's the scoop:

Wednesday. February. 15th... 2am - got up for the bathroom and 'bam' my water broke.  Feeling slight contractions I went back to bed assuming that I would wake in the morning with a baby ready to hatch!

Morning came, contractions didn't. 
 Waiting, walking.. nothing.  By 2pm we were already booked for the "overdue" ultrasound, and since I was Strep B+ there was the issue of me not stalling with the waterworks depleted.  Dr. suggested we head to the hospital and 'get things started'.

Ah yes, the familiar hit of oxytocin ( = contractions on 'crack').
A few hours spent riding the waves of contractions... trying various positions (like the fun bouncy ball seen above).  Much like Azi's story, we were starting to notice his heart rate would dip during my contractions.. this was a concern to monitor.

After a warm soak in the tub... and the midwife saying I must have a 'high pain tolerance' since I was still pretty calm through contractions.. the nurses pumped up the volume of oxytocin with a wise crack about "we want to hear you screaming"!   Awesome.

The final two hours of labour were INTENSE.  
I spent most of the time kneeling on the bed - smothering my face into a pillow from home and groaning loudly through each contraction.  They had raised the oxytocin twice now (which is just mean, really!) but I still managed to get through 'naturally' without any pain relievers - call me a masochist, but I wanted to feel this baby come out this time.

 10:30pm... out he did come!
After the two intense hours of contractions, then pushing, screaming "Oh God" and wondering if I would make it... the euphoric moment of Hudson's arrival came!
I remember the second he was pulled out I thought "well, that wasn't so hard..." hah.

They flopped him onto my chest and he looked right up at me...  melt mama's heart.

My parents and sister were ushered in to watch Hudson get all his vitals checked - and I hollered from the bed "his name is Hudson.. Hudson Blake!".

The final 'wow' moment came when my midwife asked if I wanted to see my placenta...
.... um, noooo thanks.
"Well it's really quite interesting" she said.  
I'm not going to pretend to understand the medical/scientific terminology but it turns out there were two rare features happening on/in my placenta with 'exposed blood vessels'.  Long story short - because my water broke naturally, it 'knew' to avoid rushing along this vessels.  BUT if I had been induced by breaking my water (due to occur the very next day) then it could have passed over the vessels and caused a fatal blood loss for Hudson.... 

...so we praise God for this sweet mercy!
...this sweet boy - our new son.
I was also delighted to get to spend the first night in hospital with him snuggled in beside me.  Azriel was in special care her first night... so I savoured this moment with my lil' man.

Now we're home at the nest, and learning afresh all those little details that come with having a newborn.

Like, how our entire delight in the day depends on if he poops or burps.
Or how all he seems to do is eat.poop.sleep... repeat!
And how he gets a cute lop-sided grin... with every poop!

yep, a lot of poop around here..

Thanks for sharing in our joy (stinky bits and all)!

mama Mel ;o)


recent craftings: [midwifery stitchery].

So here's another project from the nest, friends. 
I wanted to create some special 'thank you' gifts for my wonderful midwives.  This time I set to work before the baby came (since I got a sweet 'scolding' from my midwife for creating her previous gift after our first baby Azriel was born!  Something along the lines of 'you should be resting, Mel!).  I can't help it.. I love to create - especially for lovely people in my life!

Having two 'primary midwives' meant making double the fun.  This was the feather hoop I stitched/sketched up for one of them.  I also made a fabric gift bag for this and one of my pottered mugs, (etc) to tuck in to.

This nest hoop is for my other lovely midwife, to represent the members of their home.  I attempted sewing a version of this felt 'rose' bowl from Pinterest... but it was a flop (literally).. and required me to tie the bowl up around her pottered mug.

So, these were some of the crafty perks to having a slow-coming baby...
more time to create while I waited.  
I guess this boy knows his mama well.
I'm very grateful for these wonderful women who guided me all along the way of being pregnant, labouring and caring for these babies in our nest.

I heart midwives.
Crafty mama,
Mel ;o)


confessions: of a new [again] mama.

Hello friends!  
Well, this is Day 5 of having the new fella in our nest... and my midwife always tells me I may get 'weepy' at this stage.  Instead, I just feel sleep-deprived and euphoric  - so I thought I would record some confessions/observations I've been relearning about this stage of motherhood.

I always considered myself a 'laid-back' relaxed individual... but these times have revealed how manic I can truly be.  First, my midwife has told me "rest up to ensure quicker healing".. (yes, I am wobbling around like a cowboy who's been trampled by their horse in the saddle too long).  So when my Ben says "just go lay down babe"... you'd think it would be an easy point.A to point.B move:

Yes... that's more me on the right - and yes, I made a chart to illustrate it!  On my way to 'go lay down' I'll see a pile of toys that need sorting... laundry that should be cleared... messes like mine-fields on every step toward bed.  Let's all applaud Ben for the fact that he perseveres with his nutter wife and takes care of the nest while I sleep.  The real challenge is when he goes to work tomorrow... I'll need to face those messes and tell them "I don't care right now" - I need to care for me.

Another confession:  I was still wondering what adding another baby to our family was going to do to my love-meter... would I have to divide the love for our new arrival?  
I've discovered that instead there's been an exponential factor created - with this new guy to love, I'm also feeling a deeper delight and adoration towards our daughter and my husband - so everyone benefits.  
I guess I'm seeing how precious the moments are to be shared with each of them now, and our baby is a new facet to our family by which to see each other in a fresh perspective...  
... I am blessed.

...I am sleepless.

...I am a bit nutso (but you knew that already right?)

manic mama,
Mel ;o)

* You don't even know how restrained I am being to not post a thousand photos/blogs that are fluttering around my brain right now! (Let's blame the hormones...)


handsome Hudson, our new son!

Hello friends!  As promised, here's a wee photo-shoot of our newest addition at the nest.
Hudson is sporting this adorable toque knitted by our friend Jackleen (she told me it's actually called a 'Hudson' pattern - before she knew we named him that!). Love it.

He's also tucked into the sweet crochet booties that his Aunt Sarah-Anne made him.  (You locals can find your own pair she's made down at GLOW maternity). Like a gangly puppy, Hudson has big feet to grow into it seems...  :o)

 We're still trying to figure out who he's looking like here... his sister, my side, Ben's side.. but I just can't get over his cute lil' 'bum' chin!

Azriel is still proving to be a delighted.helpful.loving sister.. "dat's baby brother" she's saying!

Day 3 and we're surviving pretty well now.
I'm still recovering.. and hope to share his birth story this week... but I know you'll understand if I don't post like crazy for a bit. ;o)

Thanks for all the love friends,
we heart you.

*P.S - his adorable mushroom sleeper is from H&M - linking up this announcement today over at Mama Loves Papa!
Mel ;o)


he shall be called...

Azriel is tickled pink to announce the safe arrival of her new baby brother!!

Hudson Blake Inglis
born: February 15, 2012

Just like his big sister... he was 8lbs 11oz... and 21" long.

Most of you facebook friends already know these details.. and we thank everyone for their outpouring of kind congratulations and celebrations with us!

We're already home at the nest now... after mama and son spent one night at the hospital we were ready to get back to our 'four's company' of Daddy and Azriel.

More to come friends,
handsome Hudson deserves a photo-shoot!

Thanks to all for your prayers, love and shared joy with us!
We praise God for a miraculous birth here.

Now to have a long soak.. and sleep.

blessed mama,
Mel ;o)


love is...

Love at this nest is not seen in Hallmark Valentines cards...
...it's in the hand-painted masterpieces of a toddler for her Daddy.
When I asked her what she was painting him for Valentines, Azriel said ..."a dragon"...with potato-stamp hearts around it... perfect. 

Love at this nest is not all sugar n' spice...
...it's being smeared in the snot n' tears of a sickly toddler who has clung to me for the last 24 hours... (unless there's a paintbrush in her hand).

Love at this nest is not seen in over-indulgent gifts (though I wish I could spoil Ben!)...
...it's in hand-crafted felt fortune cookies and love notes. 
*If you're still looking for a quick valentines project: my owl heart treat bags have been featured all over the blogsphere. 

Love at this nest is not a one-night stand...
...it's an enduring commitment, a choice to stand by my man through the thick and thin.
Ben is my heart,
my bread-baker
our 'dough'-maker
he cracks me up daily with his wit,
he builds me up daily with his warmth,
... but he wouldn't want me to go on here. 
 In fact, it's because I love him I don't feature him more on this blog... he's not a fan of the spotlight.  

This nest holds my heart... my husband, our daughter, our baby-to-be.
I thank God for each of these deposits of His love in my life.
Not just on Valentines Day.. but every day.

heart-full mama,
Mel ;o)


D.I.Y: moccasin slippers

 I promised to share the do.it.yourself instructions for these moccasin slippers a while ago, and am finally getting around to posting the tutorial here, sorry for the delay.

Want some cosy feet warmers for cold winter days?

You'll need:
tracing paper
Fleece/Felt (in three colours/patterns of your choice) 2' squares for each fabric roughly.
Leather/Vinyl for the bottom of slippers
Suede straps/shoelaces
14" of elastic
pins/sewing machine
1. Step on to tracing paper and outline your foot (drawing .5" extra around).
2. Lay paper over your foot and draw a loose outline (this is the top of your slipper).
3. Cut a rectangle that wraps around the back of your heel and meets at the front (7" high).

4. Cut the 'foot bottom' pattern out of fleece and leather/vinyl to double up your slipper bottoms.

5. Cut your 'top foot' pieces out of complimentary fleece/felt.  (I added the embroidered 'flower' from a stitched tapestry I had... feel free to add a 'patch' or stitch your own design).

6. You can sew some top trim to the rectangle of 'heel fabric' for a stiffer edge around your ankle - or leave it as an unfinished fleece...

7. With right sides facing each other (bottom of foot and back of heel pieces) pin the heel to wrap around the back of your foot pieces.

7(a). For a more snug fit you can stitch a piece of elastic into the back of your heel piece.
(Hold elastic at stretched-out point while allowing the machine to do a zig-zag stitch). 

8. Pin the final top piece of your slipper over the moccasin (right sides facing in still).. stitch around the entire slipper on your sewing machine.  Trim edge, flip right-sides out.

9. How you 'lace-up' your moccasin is up to you.  I just threaded some suede cording through the front of the fleece (seen in top picture).  You could attach velcro, or punch snaps into the fleece, or grommets with shoelace.. depending how fancy you want to get.

Hope that gets you steppin' in the right direction to coziness!
Moccasin mama,
Mel ;o)