Meet a How Do You Do It? author

dorydoyle

Dory is a teacher-turned-SAHM to her fraternal twins Audrey and David. She also writes for her blog Doyle Dispatch, is an editor with The Wise Baby, and is a Young Living Essential Oil distributor and educator with her Healthier Oil the Thyme team.

MiM: Nautical Nursery Reveal and DIY List

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Categories DIY, Make-It MondaysTags , , , , 5 Comments

I shared my twins’ nursery on my own personal blog last month, but I am so excited to share it with the HDYDI readers too! This was certainly a labor of love- full of imagination, budgeting, hard work, many DIY projects, countless tutorials (both reading and writing of them), and many late nights of work after my husband got home from work. We finally finished it, with enough time before our little peanuts arrived to just sit back and enjoy our work. I hope you like it too!

If you want to see the entire post on my personal blog (and individual pictures), please go to: http://doyledispatch.com/house-tour/nursery/

Below the pictures, you will see a source list and my DIY list. I was really fortunate to have the time to do a lot of crafts myself. While I sometimes overspent on fabric or notions, I knew that I had underspent in other categories, which allowed me a bit of freedom for a slightly more flexible budget.

If you have any questions at all, please ask away!  Twin Nautical Nursery - DoyleDispatch.com

 

 

Twin Nautical Nursery - DoyleDispatch.com

 

 

Twin Nautical Crib Skirt Detail - DoyleDispatch.com

Twin Nautical Nursery Crib Details - DoyleDispatch.com

Twin Nautical Nursery Changing Table Details - DoyleDispatch.com

Twin Nursery Vintage Stuffed Animals - DoyleDispatch.com

Nautical Nursery DIY Art - DoyleDispatch.com

Twin Nursery Shelves Details - DoyleDispatch.com

Additional Twin Nautical Nursery Details - DoyleDispatch.com

Twin Nautical Nursery Details - DoyleDispatch.com

Nautical Nursery Glider Corner Details - DoyleDispatch.com - DoyleDispatch.com

Source List:

Cribs: Kendall Crib in Simply White from Pottery Barn Kids

Paint: Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore (Room Color), Painted by B. Lilly Custom Painting
Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore (Closet Color), self-painted

Changing Table: second-hand dresser found at Class and Trash, pulls from Anthropologie (Glass Bubble Knob in Blue), chalk paint and wax from Thrill of the Hunt (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White and Clear Wax)

Bookcase: Billy Bookcase in White from IKEA

Wall Bookcases: BEKVAM Spice Rack from IKEA, painted in white chalk paint

Glider and Ottoman: Newco Premium Rosie Glider and Ottoman in Otter Velvet from Babies R Us

Closet: Lowe’s

Fan: CN52W5 Copeland Unipack 52″ Ceiling Fan in White from Craftmade Lighting (Amazon)

Window Bench: Colebrook Bench in White and Colebrook Cushion in Denim from Company Store

Curtains: Material from UFab, sewn by Marcia Perkins

Curtain Rods: Sheffield Rods and Brackets and Crackle Glass Finials by Country Curtains

Curtain Tie-back: Shoreline Marine Galvanized Cleats in Cast Iron from Shoreline Marine (Amazon) – purchased but not installed

Floating Shelving: Home Depot

Oars: Attwood Wood Canoe Paddle (Amazon)

Closet Knobs: Streamline Knob in Zinc from Anthropologie

Lamp: Created by Lamp Emporium

Vintage Nautical Prints: My Grandest Adventure

Sailboat Mirror: Pottery Barn Kids

Boat Diaper Station: Pottery Barn Kids

Scentsy Warmer: Sarah’s Signature Scents (Independent Scentsy Consultant)

 

DIY Projects:
Starfish pillow (on window bench)
Seahorse pillow (on window bench)
Sea urchin pillow (on window bench)
Nautical mobiles
Dragonfly pillow (on glider)
Crib skirts
Flamingo plush (in Baby Girl’s crib)
Octopus plush (in Baby Boy’s crib)
Cabbage Patch doll pillowcase dress (on shelf)
Shell collection collage (above glider)
Nautical knots collage (above glider)
Ruler growth chart (next to closet)
Shower cards booklet
Pacifier holders
Shower wrapping paper blocks (not pictured)
Mystery foam block (not pictured)
Assorted blankets and playtime quilts (not pictured)

 

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Twin-Z Nursing Pillow

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Categories Breastfeeding, Infants, Parenting, Pregnancy, ProductsTags , , , 1 Comment

Twin Z Pillow Review - Doyle Dispatch

A few months ago, I discovered a wonderful website called Tomoson.com where bloggers can apply to review items. Based on your qualifications, you may receive the items that you applied for. Well, there are lots of cool gadgets, new products, books, and items to try and “win,” and I’ve been really fortunate to be selected to review the Twin Z Pillow!

Now, I will preface this post by saying that my twins hadn’t been born yet when I wrote this, so my review will be based on what I know so far. I did not receive any compensation for my review, other than the free product.

When I first heard about the Twin Z pillow, I was a little hesitant. All of the MOM (Moms of Multiples) sites and groups recommended the My Brest Friend Twins nursing pillow, as that is the leader on the market. As these are our first babies, I suffer from “First Time Mom-itis,” which is defined as wanting only what is best for your child(ren), no matter the cost or hassle. Still, when the Twin Z pillow popped up on Tomoson’s site, I applied to review it (hey, free is free!), and then I scoured the internet for information about it. What I found surprised me. I saw review after review of it, comparing it to the My Brest Friend Twins pillow… and the Twin Z came out waaaaaaaaaay ahead. So, why was My Brest Friend’s nursing pillow the leader in the market? My thought is that it has to be tied to marketing, advertising, and product placement in stores.

Score Count: 1 (for previous reviews)

When I found out I won the Twin Z pillow in yellow, I was overjoyed! I was even more shocked when I received it less than a week later. I love a company that has such amazingly fast shipping, as I also suffer from I-Want-It-Now Syndrome.

Score Count: 2 (+1 for quick shipping)

Now came the actual product. I was so happy that when I opened up the box, the pillow was already inside its own travel bag. It looks like great water-resistance material with a nice drawstring top. I can imagine that this will be handy for traveling and storing, to protect the pillow itself.

Twin Z Review - Doyle Dispatch

Score Count: 3 (+1 for a travel bag)

We then had to put the cover on the white pillow. The cover was a super-soft yellow minky fabric, although there are lots of different colors that you can choose for the covers on their website. You can also order extra covers for $35.99, which we will be doing. Adding the cover was a two-person job. You had to start at one end of the pillow and stuff-and-pull, stuff-and-pull. It was a really tight fit, and I couldn’t have done it without Tim’s help as well. We then found the holes where the straps weaved through, got them out, and velcro-ed the pillow cover closed. It was a tight fit, but it was perfect. I can see why they made it so tight, as it made sure to keep the shape of the pillow.

Twin Z Pillow - Doyle Dispatch

Score Count: 5 (+1 for fabric, +0 for adding the cover, +1 for look when finished

Next came trying it out! Again, I am still twincubating until the fall/winter, so I can’t actually try out breastfeeding the twins on the Twin Z, but I want to say how much I love it already. There are 4 uses for the Twin Z pillow: breastfeeding, bottle feeding, tummy time, and sitting up support. After actually seeing how sturdy the pillow is, I have no doubt that I will be using this pillow for every single one of those purposes.

Twin Z Pillow - Doyle Dispatch

The pillow is absolutely huge, and it is shaped like the letter M. Each of the “legs” is incredibly sturdy, yet it also can be manipulated and moved into different positions to accommodate the different uses. The clip helps keep it in its different positions. For breastfeeding or holding both babies, you would push the center “leg” up and use it as a back rest. I am actually sitting in it just like that as I write this, and it is heaven for my sore lower back! If you want to make sure the arms stay where you want them, you can clip the arms together. This is how I picture using the pillow the most, while I try to breastfeed both twins at once. With the “legs” clipped together, it brings your arms up to a good breastfeeding height, but with it unclipped, it puts the arms a little lower. I personally find it more comfortable to have my arms a little higher. I guess we will see what I like better with babies in my arms in a couple of months.

Twin Z Pillow - Doyle Dispatch

Score Count: 7 (+1 for breastfeeding options, +1 back support)

Unfortunately, I don’t have any babies to demonstrate the 3 other uses for the Twin Z, but I do want to show you some pictures from their website to illustrate how it can be used.

Twin Z Breastfeeding
The Twin Z used for bonding with the babies. Can’t you imagine a child using this as support to hold their new buddies?
Twin Z Bottle Feeding
Bottle feeding with the Twin-Z. This gives a great view of the backrest and the support that you would get.
Twin Z Bottles
This is how I imagine I would use the Twin Z to bottle feed the babies. This is shown without the “legs” clipped together. If the twins are smaller, you can clip the legs together to make sure there are smaller holes (so they don’t fall through).
Twin Z Tummy Time
Tummy time with the Twin Z!

Score Count: 11 (+1 tummy time, +1 bottle feeding option, +1 newborn/preemie size adjustment, +1 sitting up support- not pictured)

While the My Brest Friend Twin retails for $78, the Twin Z sells for $99.99 (which includes one cover). While the starting price is a little more, I just love love love the additional uses for the pillow after breastfeeding is over. I think that the additional $21 on the Twin Z is well-spent, given the additional purposes.

Score Count: 12 (+1 for affordability due to versatility)

So the final Score Count is 12/13, with the only negative being how you apply the cover to the pillow. Overall, I would highly recommend the Twin Z to a M.O.M. I absolutely LOVE the options available, and I feel like the different uses far outweigh the other options on the market.

It is also important to note the following about the Twin Z:

  • Made in the USA
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Foam Free
  • Lead Fee
  • No Chemicals Added
  • No Flame Retardants

If you want more information, please watch this video to showcase the Twin Z:

You can purchase the Twin Z pillow on their website: http://www.twinznursingpillow.com/ rel=”nofollow”, as well as see other pictures of the pillow in action. Like the Twin Z and just want more? Like Twin Z on Facebook.

6 thumbs up, Twin Z!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

*Part of this post originally appeared on Dory’s blog “Doyle Dispatch.” To read more posts about Dory’s pregnancy and nursery decorating on her blog, you can see the list here.*

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MiM: Pacifier Clip

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Easy DIY Pacifier Clips - DoyleDispatch.com

I have a lot of extra fabric just sitting around my craft room. I mean… a lot. So, I thought I would start doing some smaller projects to help get rid of my stash. Enjoy this tutorial!

1. Start by laying out your fabric and ironing it.
DIY Pacifier Holder - DoyleDispatch.com

 

 

 

 

 

2. Cut your fabric so that it is 15″ long and just under 4″ wide (mine was 3 and 7/8 inches wide).

DIY Pacifier Holder - DoyleDispatch.com

 

3. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise (hotdog style) and iron to create a crease.

DIY Pacifier Holder - DoyleDispatch.com

 

4. Unfold to show the underside and the crease.

DIY Pacifier Holder - DoyleDispatch.com

 

5. Fold one side towards the center crease and iron.

DIY Pacifier Holder - DoyleDispatch.com

6. Fold the other side towards the center crease and iron. Make sure they do not get folded all the way to the crease.

DIY Pacifier Holder - DoyleDispatch.com

 

7. Fold the end over and iron to form a crease. Do this on both ends.

DIY Pacifier Holder - DoyleDispatch.com

8. Fold down the center crease again and iron the entire piece flat.

DIY Pacifier Holder - DoyleDispatch.com

9. Sew around the entire rectangle.

DIY Pacifier Holder - DoyleDispatch.com

10. Clip any hanging threads. Make sure that everything is secure.

DIY Pacifier Holder - DoyleDispatch.comDIY Pacifier Holder - DoyleDispatch.com

 

11. Open your package of suspender/mitten clips.

DIY Pacifier Holder - DoyleDispatch.com

12. Fold one of the ends through the clip, leaving about 1 inch of material as a “tail.” Sew it.

DIY Pacifier Holder - DoyleDispatch.com

13. Sew the rest of the “tail” down to secure. The pictures below show the back and front.

DIY Pacifier Holder - DoyleDispatch.comDIY Pacifier Holder - DoyleDispatch.com

14. Identify your snaps (left: male, right: female, not pictured: prongs). I always have trouble figuring out which is the back side and which is the correct side of the female part of the snap. Some people talk about the part the sticks up, but the snaps that I use don’t have an easily-identified side like this. I’ve finally figured it out, though. There is a side that looks like flower petals inside. That is the “correct” side of the snap, and the other side is the backside that will attach to the prongs.

DIY Pacifier Holder - DoyleDispatch.comDIY Pacifier Holder - DoyleDispatch.com

15. Using your snap attacher (I’ve used a few, and I prefer the SnapSetter tool), attach the snaps so that there is a little fold-over.

DIY Pacifier Holder - DoyleDispatch.com

16. There you go! One pacifier clip ready to go!

DIY Pacifier Holder - DoyleDispatch.com

DIY Pacifier Holder - DoyleDispatch.com

DIY Pacifier Holder - DoyleDispatch.com

You can tell that I got on a roll and made a few. Once you make one, you will realize how easy it is. What a great baby shower gift!

DIY Pacifier Holder - DoyleDispatch.comDIY Pacifier Holder - DoyleDispatch.com




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Part of this post originally appeared on Dory’s blog “Doyle Dispatch.” To read more posts about Dory’s pregnancy and nursery decorating on her blog, you can see the list here.*

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Surviving Morning Sickness with Twins

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Categories PregnancyTags , , 3 Comments

Oh My Morning Sickness - The Doyle Dispatch

Well, in the first trimester since we announced that we were expecting TWINS, it seems like my body just said, “Ok, Dory! Congrats! The whole world knows. Now here comes the morning all-day sickness!” Life was a constant circle of feeling ok, feeling AWFUL, feeling ok, feeling AWFUL.

I tried everything. Here’s the run-down of my list, and my reaction to them. Pregnant ladies, I hope that some of these can help you:

  • Crackers: I have warned Tim that once I am through this phase, we will never again have Saltines in our home. I can’t stand the dryness, the aftertaste, the saltiness, or the crumbs. Unfortunately, they worked when I was seconds away from being sick. Sorry kids! No Saltines in the Doyle house for you!
  • Pressure bands: They work if you don’t wear them 24/7.
  • Ginger candy: I had a HUGE aversion after a couple of days of them.
  • Ginger gum: Surprisingly, I am fine with this still, despite my distaste for ginger candy.
  • Rice cakes: This was a suggestion from my doctor after I talked about my distaste for Saltines. I love them, and they help, although not as fast as the Dreaded Saltine.
  • Preggy Pops/Preggy Pop Drops/Sour Candies: These were a staple for the first few weeks of the nausea. I was going back to Babies R Us a couple of times a week! Just like the ginger candies, however, I developed a distaste for them all of a sudden. Pregnancy is weird!
  • Peppermint: The gum works great if I’m in a bind and can’t find my crackers. The tea left me feeling awful. The smell was great for a bit, and then the aversion started.
  • Keeping food in my stomach: Easier said than done when you want to feel okay, but the mere thought of food (or even seeing it on the TV) leaves you wanting to rush to the bathroom. Eventually, after the first truly dreadful week, I was able to keep some food in my stomach all day (just a little bit), and it helped.
  • Celery: This was one I hadn’t heard about, but I tried it after a friend suggested it. It actually was pretty helpful, but then I had some really bitter celery, and I didn’t want to eat it anymore. Maybe I’ll try to get some new ones and try it again!
  • Resting: Ah, both a blessing and a curse. After my first truly horrendous week of sickness (losing 4 pounds in 4 days, no food, scary dizzy spells, light-headedness, etc.) I took half-days at school. I would work in the mornings to help prepare my students for their testing, and then I would take the afternoons off to go home, try to get something to eat, and rest up to make it through the next day. I would also sit down whenever possible at work. Once I returned to full days, I would rush home at the end of the day to lie down. Rest helps, but there are some days when it gets to be too much, and Tim and I try to get me out and about. I am just praying I won’t be put on bed rest at the end of my pregnancy.
  • Lemons: Early on, I had a lemon that I would keep with me to smell when the other aromas got a little strong. Then, that stopped working so well. Lately, I’ve been able to carry the lemon around again as I’ve been trying to do more running around and errands. Of course, I look a little silly carrying a lemon in a plastic bag, but it works!
  • Popsicles: My one true miracle cure. I swear by them! It doesn’t matter what kind, but they are no short of amazing! I found this out on the day that I announced my pregnancy to my co-workers. We had popsicles in our faculty meeting, and I was close to being sick. I started eating the popsicle, and it was like the heavens opened up. Now, when I am “on the verge,” I rush to the freezer, grab a popsicle, and it takes everything away. I must have about 5-8 a day, but it gives me a burst of sugar (and much-needed calories… I’m still not gaining weight at 11 weeks), and it seems to mask my ever-heightened senses. On a good day, I can actually sit around smelly food, sucking on my popsicle, and I am okay. Weird, but worth it! Now, my students know where I keep the popsicles in the teacher’s lounge, and I will sometimes tell a student, “Quick, please go and get me one,” and they do! At least they know about the pregnancy (and the twins), so it helps when I am trying to teach with bright blue or purple teeth and lips.

So, mommas and mommas-to-be: have you tried any other tricks to battle the all-day sickness? I’m sure I’ve left some of the ones I’ve tried off the list. Leave a comment with any that you may have tried out!
*Part of this post originally appeared on Dory’s blog “Doyle Dispatch.” To read more posts about Dory’s pregnancy and nursery decorating on her blog, you can see the list here.*

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Sad/Happy

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Categories Emotion, Grief, Joy, Medical, Parenting, PregnancyTags , , , 7 Comments

I am 36 weeks pregnant. I have had a very healthy pregnancy, despite the concerns over us having twins. I see my OB and a high-risk doctor, and I have fantastic care with both offices. I have beaten the odds. My babies are doing great. I should be happy 100% of the time. I should be. When I think about my babies, I am. When I think about the struggles that so many others are going through, I just can’t be 100% happy.

Last Monday, we went in for our 35 week scan. The nurses looked at us in amazement as they looked at the ultrasounds. Heartbeats are perfect. Amniotic fluid is perfect. Both babies are practicing breathing. Then they hook me up to the monitors for 20 minutes to check their heartbeats further (to make sure they are raising and lowering as the babies move). The babies pass the NST (non-stress test) within minutes, although they keep me hooked up for the full 20 minutes anyway. The nurses can’t believe how successful a pregnancy I am having. Seriously, they stare at us because here we are at the HIGH RISK DOCTOR and we are showing signs that we are passing with flying colors. Last week, our doctor used the terms “gorgeous babies” and “hitting it out of the ballpark.” We are thrilled. They are sad that I am not delivering at their hospital, because they all want to come visit us. They are happy with our fairy-tale pregnancy, as I’m sure they don’t see many being a high-risk office.

I know that others are hurting, and it pulls me out of this dream land that I’m in. I really struggle with this mix of happiness and devastation.

My grandfather passed away last summer, and his twin brother passed away 6 months later, in February. To say that I was sad is an understatement. I had to learn how to function again without my grandfather. At least I had his twin brother as my surrogate. Losing him hurt in an entirely new way. The very next month, however, I got pregnant with our twins. Our family was in the depths of grief, yet my pregnancy and the idea of new life gave a bit of light, hope, help to recover out of the dark times.

positiveIt seems like life has a funny way of doing this. We are faced with horrific situations. Then something wonderful happens. Maybe not to us, but maybe to someone around us. It provides just a bit of light. It allows us to feel like maybe there is something positive that can happen in our lives too.

Maybe we are in such a dark place that we just can’t see it. We don’t want to see it. We aren’t ready to see it. That’s okay too. We will see the light when we are ready to. Until then, it’s okay.

Does that mean that those of us that have been privy to the light shouldn’t revel in it? I don’t know. I struggle with this daily. I want to be thrilled. And when I think of my babies, I really am thrilled. I can’t think of anything happier. But I do think of the sadness that others are feeling, and I do forget about my babies and my happiness. I do grieve. I do cry. I do want to be in that dark place too. But right now, I can’t. Right now, I have to be a mother and give these babies the best chance they can get. And that is by providing them a happy, light-filled surrounding for them to be born into.

Did I pay attention to the election this year? No, because I didn’t want to be brought down by the negative campaigns.

Do I watch the news about the devastation from the typhoon? No, as I can’t bear to hear about the loss of life as I am about to bring in two lives myself.

Can I bear to even watch Grey’s Anatomy? Barely, as I just can’t allow myself to witness that tear-jerker (even though I know they are only actors on a fictional TV show).

It doesn’t mean I don’t know they are happening. I know they are. I’m not completely shut off from the world. I know there is suffering. I know that so many friends and loved ones are suffering. So what do I do? Do I let myself be sad right now? Do I let myself be happy? Can I be both? I try to do both, and I struggle. I really do struggle. I wish I could just be 100% happy right now. I want to be for my two babies.

Life has both awful and glorious moments. If it were all terrible, we wouldn’t have a reason to face another day. If it were all incredible, we wouldn’t understand how magnificent those special moments are. Right now, my “job” is to provide a light-filled moment. I hide my achy back and sore hips. I take a shower every morning, straighten my hair, and sometimes even put on some makeup. I put on a big smile and am grateful for the gift of these babies that I have been given. I will provide the brightness for those around me, if they want it. It doesn’t mean that I am not struggling inside. I doesn’t mean that I am not hurting for them. I just know that I have allowed myself into that dark spot other times in my life. Now is my turn to help give relief to those that need it.

*You can read more about Dory on her family blog, “Doyle Dispatch.” To read more posts about Dory’s pregnancy and nursery decorating on her blog, you can see the list here.*

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Make-It Mondays: Side Tie Pillow

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Categories DIY, Make-It MondaysTags , , , , 1 Comment

One of the things that I wanted to make for the nursery was a pillow to add a touch of color to our dark gray glider. I had delayed on making this, as I really didn’t know what material I wanted for it.

Then one day, I made a pillow for a dear friend for her classroom. I didn’t start with a plan for her pillow, except that I wanted to incorporate butterflies into it. This is what I came up with for her:

 Side-Tie Pillow - DoyleDispatch.com

Side-Tie Pillow - DoyleDispatch.com

Side-Tie Pillow - DoyleDispatch.com

I was very happy with it, and I realized that I could do something similar for our pillow. We wanted to have a butterfly on it as well (for a personal touch), as well as a dragonfly. I chatted with Tim about the style and colors, and we decided that we wanted a splash of color, but we didn’t want the whole thing to be a bright color. I would then make an appliqué of a dragonfly for the front of the pillow. Here is our step-by-step to make a 16″ x 16″ pillow:

Materials

  • 1 yard of fabric
  • 1 fat quarter of a contrasting fabric
  • fat quarters (or small scraps) of other materials to make your appliqué
  • iron-on adhesive for the appliqué
  • Velcro or ribbon to close the pillow

 Steps

Side-Tie Pillow - DoyleDispatch.com

Cut your main fabric to 17.5″ x 24″.

Side-Tie Pillow - DoyleDispatch.com

Cut your fat quarter (contrasting fabric) to 17.5″ x 10″.

Side-Tie Pillow - DoyleDispatch.com

Put the two types of fabric together so the “good” sides are facing each other.

Side-Tie Pillow - DoyleDispatch.com

Side-Tie Pillow - DoyleDispatch.com

Sew them together.

Side-Tie Pillow - DoyleDispatch.com

Take the other two unlike ends and sew together. It will create a loop.

Side-Tie Pillow - DoyleDispatch.com

Iron the hems flat in one direction.

Side-Tie Pillow - DoyleDispatch.com

Sew one of the sides together. You will now have 3 sides of the pillow sewn.

Side-Tie Pillow - DoyleDispatch.com

On the 4th side (that is still open), fold the unfinished edge down and sew a hem around the whole pillow.

Side-Tie Pillow - DoyleDispatch.com

Turn the pillow so it is right-side out. Iron all of the seams so they are crisp lines. Sew around the 3 closed sides of the pillow.

Side-Tie Pillow - DoyleDispatch.com

Side-Tie Pillow - DoyleDispatch.com

A note about the appliqué: If you are going to add this, I would actually recommend doing this before you sew the pieces together. I didn’t add the appliqué until this point because I wanted to be able to see the pillow put together first and look at spacing. It made it harder to sew, because I was working around the seams, but I also could put the appliqué exactly where I wanted it.

Using an iron-on adhesive (I use Heat n Bond Lite), attach the adhesive to the back of your fabric and cut out your pieces (follow the directions from the adhesive). You can just iron-on the appliqué to your pillow, but chances are this will not stay for long. I had to follow up later with a zig-zag stitch around the dragonfly and butterfly to make sure the appliqués stayed in place.

Side-Tie Pillow - DoyleDispatch.com

Side-Tie Pillow - DoyleDispatch.com

Figure out how you want to close your pillow. I started by having lots of ribbons to tie into bows, but I then decided to go back and add velcro as well, because it will keep it more secure in the long run.

Side-Tie Pillow - DoyleDispatch.com

Side-Tie Pillow - DoyleDispatch.com

Here are some closeups of the appliqués after I stitched around the edges. They aren’t perfect, but they will do!

Side-Tie Pillow - DoyleDispatch.com

Side-Tie Pillow - DoyleDispatch.com

Side-Tie Pillow - DoyleDispatch.com

As I mentioned above, I decided to take off the ties and turn the side pocket into a velcro closure. Well, I put velcro on the whole size, and it made for a very lop-sided looking pillow:

Side-Tie Pillow - DoyleDispatch.com

So, I took cut off the velcro on the top and bottom parts of the pillow so that the corners were a bit more natural. Much better!

Side-Tie Pillow - DoyleDispatch.com

Enjoy your finished pillow!

Side-Tie Pillow - DoyleDispatch.com

 

*Part of this post originally appeared on Dory’s blog “Doyle Dispatch.” To read more posts about Dory’s pregnancy and nursery decorating on her blog, you can see the list here.*

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Prenatal Care for Twins

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Categories Health, Medical, Pregnancy, Theme WeekTags , , , Leave a comment

Prematurity Awareness Week 2013: How Do You Do It?

World Prematurity Day November 17In the United States, 1 in 9 babies is born prematurely, 1 in 10 in Canada. Worldwide, over 15 million babies are born too soon each year. While not all multiples are born prematurely, a multiple birth increases the probability of an early delivery. Babies born prematurely, before 37 weeks gestation, are at a higher risk for health complications in infancy, some of which can have long-term effects. Full-term infants are not all free from their own health complications, of course.

In honor of November’s Prematurity Awareness Month, led by the March of Dimes, How Do You Do It? is focusing this week’s posts on The Moms’ experiences with premature deliveries, NICU stays, health complications, special needs, and how we’ve dealt with these complex issues.


I will start out by saying that I have never been pregnant before now. This is my first pregnancy and I have been thrown in head first with this new world of twins. So my experience is different. I didn’t know what to expect when going into it all. I had other friends that had been pregnant with singletons, and so I wasn’t completely naive, but I also really learned as I went. So, here is my experience with various aspects of prenatal care for our twins.

Prenatal Vitamins

I had wanted to be pregnant for a while, so I started taking prenatal vitamins very early on (well over a year before actually getting pregnant). I knew that the benefits were only going to help me, so I had no problem taking them long before we actually started trying for our baby. I have quite the sweet tooth, so I took the gummy prenatals with extra folic acid- two before bed- and it was quite the delicious pre-bed treat. Because I am also lactose intolerant, I also took a calcium supplement (gummy version) and a multivitamin (also gummy). After about a month of 6 gummies all right before bed, I started spacing them out a bit more and went with 1 of each vitamin at lunch and 1 of each before bed.

It ended up being a very good thing that I started this so early, because once I got pregnant, I had major trouble stomaching any vitamin supplements at all. I literally couldn’t do it. I felt so guilty to be denying my babies these added nutrients, and I talked to my doctors and nurses quite often about this. Thankfully, they said that I had done the right thing by starting so early, because my body had a built-up supply of the nutrients, and my babies would still benefit, even if I couldn’t take them every day.

Once the 2nd trimester hit and I started to get over the morning all-day sickness, I got some Flintstone vitamins, upon the suggestion of my doctors. I actually could take these just fine (2 at night before bed), and I felt like I could do something again for my babies. This didn’t last, however, and once I got to about 28 weeks, I had trouble with the nausea again, and I had to stop taking them. Thankfully, my pregnancy diet (and cravings) included lots of fruits and veggies and protein, so I knew that I was doing what I could. Plus, the babies were growing really well and the doctors were happy.

Moral of the story: start taking your prenatals EARLY, but listen to your body. It doesn’t help you to get sick after every vitamin, when it may be better to rely on those better vitamin-rich foods instead. And no matter what, talk to your doctor. I felt guilty each time they asked about prenatal vitamins, and I had to say that I wasn’t taking them. Then, they would respond that it was ok. I was doing well, and I shouldn’t worry. Oh, I love getting support like that from a doctor!

The First Appointment

Thankfully, I knew what to expect at my first appointment, so this wasn’t a surprise, but I can understand that some may have been taken aback if they weren’t prepared.

Because we had been seeing a doctor for a short time leading up to getting pregnant, my appointments were on the fast track. Please don’t worry if you don’t have all of these appointments right away.

I took a pregnancy test on April 5, when I was only 3 weeks 5 days pregnant. When it came back positive, I called my doctor immediately and he scheduled me to get a blood test done that day (a Friday). We went in the moment they opened the doors and I happily gave them my arm to draw the vial (and I hate getting blood drawn). They told me that they would fax the doctor the results in about an hour.

An hour passed, and we didn’t hear anything. Because it was a Friday, I knew our doctor would be closing early (a half day), so I didn’t want to have to wait to find out if we were going to be parents. I called and spoke to the secretary (whom I had become really close with due to our visits), and she was able to tell us the great news: it was positive! I asked about the HCG levels, and they were a good steady number. We set up an ultrasound date for 3 weeks later, and I dreaded having to wait that long for the final confirmation and heartbeat.

Finally, the big day arrived (6 weeks 3 days), and my husband and I nervously went in to the office. I got undressed (waist down) as I knew that they would be needing to do an internal ultrasound. This is because the baby/babies are too small at this point to be seen using the stomach ultrasound. They need to get closer, which is why they have to make it internal. If you aren’t prepared for this, I can understand how this would be scary and uncomfortable. Prepare yourself, though, because it really isn’t painful if you are ready for it. They insert a stick-like wand “up there” right against your cervix. There may be moments of being uncomfortable, but they really try to make it as pain-free and quick as possible. I promise that, once you actually see your baby/babies heartbeat(s), you will totally forget about anything else except this miracle that is happening to you.

People have asked us if we were surprised it was twins. In a short answer, yes. Although my doctor wasn’t. When we went in, I was joking with him in order to cover up my nerves. I was convinced that something had happened in the past 3 weeks and I had lost the baby. I didn’t have any proof to confirm this, but I just was worried. 3 weeks felt like a long time to wait in between the blood test and the ultrasound! So as we were joking, I told him that I hoped I was still pregnant. He told me that he knew I was, and it was just a question of how many. I asked him if he would buy us dinner if it was just one. He happily agreed (knowing through the HCG numbers that it would be two). Well, he was right, and we didn’t get a dinner from him. Oh well!

When he was looking at the ultrasound, he quickly (within seconds of any image on the screen) said, “Yes, there they are.” We were shocked. My jaw hit the floor. Thank goodness I was already sitting/laying down. The nurse turned to my husband a few times to ask if he needed to sit down, but he was frozen to his place. Two heartbeats. Two strong heartbeats. Twins.

At our office, we got lots of pictures and even a flash drive with all of the pictures and a video of the heartbeats. We went home to share the news with our parents via Skype (they already knew we were expecting, but they had no idea about the next doubly exciting chapter to this story).

Perinatal (“High Risk”) Appointments

When you are expecting multiples, you are categorized as a “high risk” pregnancy. Many people, upon hearing this, get scared or confused. To someone not facing these appointments themselves, they may wonder why it is “high risk.” After all, there are so many more twins born now. So is it really “high risk?” Yes, it is. Now, this is not to say that you will definitely have problems with your pregnancy. I didn’t have any complications after the first trimester.

Those of us blessed to carry multiple babies at once are considered high risk because bodies simply weren’t made to carry more than one baby at once. We can do it and be successful at it, but we do need to be carefully monitored.

Be prepared to see a perinatal specialist, a “high risk doctor.” They will focus on your babies’ needs throughout the pregnancy. For us, once we got in the groove of appointments, these were our ultrasound visits. We started by going once a month (plus a couple of additional appointments due to scheduling issues). They did a full tummy ultrasound (no more internal ultrasounds unless they had trouble seeing your cervix), where they would focus on measuring the size of the babies, the amniotic fluid amount, the length of my cervix, the cord and placenta placement/size, and check the vitals of the babies.

Then, once we hit the third trimester, we went in for a couple of appointments every 2 weeks. They still only did the measurements once a month, but they just wanted to check and see the babies a bit more often. They also wanted to make sure I wasn’t going into pre-term labor.

At 32 weeks, we started our weekly perinatal appointments. They scheduled the measurement ultrasound for every 4 weeks still (32 and 36 weeks), but I would be getting additional ultrasounds each week as well. During these, they would check the amount of amniotic fluid (to make sure it wasn’t leaking out). They would check the stomach cavity and diaphragm. They would also look at and measure the heartbeat and heart chambers. Finally, they would look to see that the babies were practicing breathing. Now, they don’t actually breathe when inside the womb, but they do pretend to do this. After 3 weeks of this, I realized that Baby Girl A would pass this part of the test with flying colors, as she would always show this. Baby Boy B, however, would get jostled a bit to wake up and show us something. I asked our doctor about this- should I prepare myself for issues after they are born with his breathing? She told us not to worry. They give themselves a window of 45 minutes per baby to watch for signs of breathing practice. If the baby hasn’t shown it in that 45 minute time, then we would worry. Baby Boy always took longer than his sister, but never more than 5-7 minutes, so there is nothing to fear. In addition, there are many other aspects that they look for during these ultrasounds, not just breathing. All of the results as a whole are much more important than just any one part.

Finally, in these weekly visits, they do the Non-Stress Test (NST). After the ultrasound (and they’ve figured out where the babies are), they hook you up to these monitor belts. They will put some jelly on these discs and place them on your stomach where each heart would be located. Once they find the heartbeat and can hear it clearly, they will attach the disc to an elastic belt, wrapped around your waist. Then, they find your second baby and do the same thing with another disc and belt. Finally, they will put an additional disc on the top of your uterus to measure contractions. You will be hooked up to this for 20 minutes.

During the NST, they are looking for changes in your babies’ heartbeats. They want to see them rise and fall, as the babies move around. If they don’t see much variation, they may do a few different things to get a reaction. First thing is they will ask you to drink some cold water. Cold liquids and foods often get those babies jumping. Jumping babies = rise in heartbeats. I also tried eating some apples that I brought with me, as that often got them moving and shaking. When that didn’t work, they brought in the buzzer. It is a mini airhorn of sorts that they put against your stomach. It vibrates and emits a buzzing sound. When they did it, both babies jumped and started kicking like crazy (and I started laughing because it was so funny to witness. Well, for me, they jumped but Baby Girl didn’t show a change in her heart rate. That’s when Daddy stepped in to the rescue. He came over to me and put his hand over Baby Girl. As she always does, she jumped to life at his touch. Then he started talking to her and coaxing her into getting excited. It finally worked, and both babies passed this test.

Regular OB Appointments

In addition to your perinatal appointments, you will still see your OB, who will actually do the delivery. If they are in the same practice, you may schedule these on the same day. For us, however, we didn’t have this luxury, so we had extra appointments. We made the decision that we would both go to all of the high-risk appointments, because that was when we could see our babies. My husband didn’t want to miss that! For the OB appointments, they focused on my care, and he really didn’t need to be there for them. He came to a few early on to meet our OB and discuss her thoughts on twins and twin deliveries. As I started going more often (and more quickly) to these visits, I gave him permission to save up his doctor time for the other appointments.

During the OB visits, they will take your weight (to make sure you are growing at a good rate) and blood pressure. They will also have you pee in a cup to check your protein levels (to check for signs of preeclampsia). Then you will go back and meet with your OB. She will ask about how you are doing. Sometimes you will get a cervix check (be prepared for this to be a little uncomfortable, as your lady parts are a bit more delicate when you are pregnant). She will also order blood tests and your gestational diabetes test.

Gestational Diabetes Test

I documented my experience (and nerves) about this test here. It really wasn’t bad, but I worked myself up to a bundle of nerves.

Dealing With It All

It all has to do with attitude. I loved going to the doctor so often, because it meant that they were really thorough in making sure that we were all okay. Because I had stopped working after the first trimester (I was a teacher and I finished the school year and didn’t return for the upcoming year), I could be flexible with my appointment times. I also didn’t mind if they took a while. Having this laid-back attitude definitely made a difference in what could have been a very stressful situation. I looked at my appointments as adventures. After all, I got to see and talk about my babies. I got to express fears or concerns and get to know what was going on in my body. I took advantage of the Do-you-have-any-questions? section of my visits. I stayed positive. I listened to their advice and did what they said to the best of my ability. I kept a smile on my face. It really helped.

We had one ultrasound tech that we kept getting that would rush through our ultrasounds. This meant that we got poor pictures and felt like we couldn’t appreciate the experience during those weeks. After the first time this happened, I left the office in tears. I just wanted to see my babies, and I hated that I had to wait another month to get the chance. Well, after a few times of this with her, I realized this was just her style. So, one day I went in and told her, “We aren’t in ANY rush today! I’m feeling great (a lie). It’s beautiful outside, and we don’t have anywhere to be! We are at 34 weeks, and who knows how many more of these appointments we will have left. So, feel free to take your time during this ultrasound!” It did the trick. She commented that she couldn’t take forever because they had a very hectic schedule during the rest of the day. BUT I noticed that she took a little longer on their faces, even though it wasn’t medically necessary. AND we finally got two more pictures of our beautiful babies (which we hadn’t gotten for a few weeks). We didn’t have to be rude or spiteful or call her out on her previous rudeness. Just a upbeat, passive comment was all it took to win her over and get what we wanted in return.

*Dory is currently pregnant with boy/girl twins. She blogs on her personal blog Doyle Dispatch. To read more posts about Dory’s pregnancy and nursery decorating on her blog, you can see the list here.*

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Registering for Twins

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Categories PregnancyTags , 2 Comments

Registering for Twins by DoyleDispatch.comAs soon as we found out we would be having twins, my head started swimming. All of those things that we want to have for ONE baby will now have to be DOUBLED! Eek! Then, I started researching. It turns out that thanks to the world of blogs and MOM (Moms of Multiples) blogs, I could use their resources and advice to come up with our list. So, without further ado, here is our registry list.

*Please note: I made this list before giving birth to my twins. This is going off of the recommendations of other MOMs and thinking about what we would want in our situation.*

As we were going through Babies R Us, Pottery Barn Kids, and shopping online, we realized that our registry list was HUGE, due to the fact that we did end up needing multiples of some big ticket items. We therefore decided to only register for the most critical items, and we saved some things for later. I put the “on hold” items in italics.

Disposable Items

  • Diapers: lots and lots of them in all sizes (We will wait until they are born to get most of these in the sizes we need)
  • Wipes
  • Laundry Detergent: Dreft or All Free and Clear
  • Vaseline
  • Aquaphor (healing ointment)
  • Shampoo
  • Baby wash
  • Powder
  • Baby lotion
  • Diaper cream (“Butt paste”)
  • Tylenol Infant Drops
  • Gas relief drops (“Mylicon – non staining”)
  • Triple antibiotic ointment
  • Saline spray
  • Disposable changing pads

Bath and Safety

  • Thermometer
  • Brush/comb
  • Nasal bulb syringe
  • Washcloths x8-12
  • Bath tub
  • Nail clipper
  • Car mirrors x2
  • Hooded towels x2-4
  • Bath seat for adults
  • Suds and sun visor

Feeding Time

  • Bibs
  • Bottles x6-12: “Medela Calma 5 oz”
  • Double nursing pillow: “Twin Z”
  • Nursing pillow cover x2
  • Burping pads x12-24
  • Bottle brush and sanitizing kit
  • Hospital-grade breast pump (Our insurance will cover the rental of this for us for 10 months, so we will use that instead of registering for it.)
  • Nursing cover with boning
  • Bottle drying rack
  • Dishwasher basket for feeding accessories x2
  • Double-feeding seat: “Table for Two”

Nursery

  • Crib Sheets x4-6
  • Diaper caddy (and other baskets for stations throughout the house)
  • Video baby monitor
  • Crib mattress x2
  • 2 crib skirts (I ended up making this)
  • Changing pad
  • Changing pad covers x2 (We need to finalize nursery colors before we register for this.)
  • Diaper pail: “Ubbi”

Large Items

  • Cribs x2
  • Carseats x2: Maxi Cosi Mico AP
  • Carseat bases (carseats came with two bases, and we registered for 2 additional bases)
  • Double stroller: Baby Jogger City Select
  • Bouncy seats x2
  • Swings/Jumper/Exersaucer x2 (Not a necessity at first, so we are waiting.)
  • Highchairs x2 (Not a necessity at first, so we are waiting.)
  • Pack N Play (We registered for one, but we will probably get a second one that is used after the babies are born.)

Other

  • Rectangle Receiving Blankets x12
  • Diaper Bag: Ju Ju Be BFF
  • Pacifiers x4
  • Soothers/Teething rings x2 (We will get these when needed)
  • Play mat x2
  • Bumbo seat with tray x2
  • Sleep sacks : “Woombies” or other brands
  • Wrap (Moby or Didymos)
  • Front-end carrier (We decided to just stick to the Moby Wrap since we can make this work with twin newborns, and we will invest in this later, if needed.)
  • Car seat protection x4
  • “Mommy Hook:” to attach to the stroller for carrying extra bags
  • Play toys for carseat

 

And here are where we registered:

Babies R Us

We tried to get as many items from Babies R Us from here as possible, since they are so prevalent throughout the country (and our friends/family live ALL over the country). This has the majority of the items from our registry at a range of prices.

Pottery Barn Kids

I love, love, LOVE Pottery Barn bedding, so the majority of our bedding is from here. I went a little bedding crazy when registering, but I narrowed it down once I found out that we were having a boy and a girl. 

Babylist

This is for all of the miscellaneous items that we found online from various vendors, but we didn’t feel like starting registries with each of them. This site includes our stroller, car seats, and other necessary odds and ends.

Babylist is an innovative registry site where you can put items from all over the internet in one place. It is easy for us to add things to the list. You can add quirky things as well, such as frozen meals or petsitting gift cards. You know, things that aren’t for the baby, but will sure make having that baby a little easier on Mom and Dad. To buy something from the registry, the gift-giver needs to do the following:

1. Pick which item you want to purchase.

2. Click “Reserve” by that item.

3. Enter your name and email (not for spam, but to receive a confirmation email).

4. Go to the website and purchase the item. You can even purchase it from another website, if you find a better price or option.

5. If you change your mind, click the “Unreserve Item” link in the confirmation email.

Cool how it works, right?

 

*Part of this post originally appeared on Dory’s blog “Doyle Dispatch.” To read more posts about Dory’s pregnancy and nursery decorating on her blog, you can see the list here.*

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Make-It Mondays: Crib Skirts

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DIY Crib Skirt Tutorial - DoyleDispatch.com

Well, we knew that one of the focal features of the room would be the cribs. Why? Well, when you walk into the room… BAM! The cribs are right in front of you. So, we knew that the cribs needed to have quite a bit of style.

DIY Crib Skirts with Pleat (Tutorial) - DoyleDispatch.com

I fell in love with these Pottery Barn sheets, because, let’s face it, how can you not love those adorable ocean critters? Plus, I would be able to have Baby Boy’s crib match Baby Girl’s crib in the fabric pattern, but the colors would differ. Perfect!

Not so perfect. They were not available in the stores anymore. That’s okay, I’m sure someone will have them online! Well, that was true, as I could find them on Ebay. Unfortunately, they were quite a bit more expensive than if we had gotten them from PBK. Because these were focal points in the room, however, I was okay with a bit of a splurge.

Now, we needed the crib skirts! If we looked on Pottery Barn Kids, we saw that they had these adorable matching crib skirts. They were simple, tailored, and adorable! The only problem was that they were $59 each! Now, if that was just for one crib, I could understand. For us having to do 2 cribs? No way!

DIY Crib Skirts with Pleat (Tutorial) - DoyleDispatch.com

So I went online and found some easy DIY tutorials for the crib skirts. After all, they ARE just rectangles of fabric! Done! I’ll make my own!

Well, after I made that decision, I kept looking to find the best pattern for the skirts. Did I want a pleat? Did I want to keep it easy and just make it flat? Do we attach them with velcro or ribbon? Do I make all 4 sides attach together with a muslin that lies underneath the mattress, or do I make it adjustable for when we lower the crib mattress as the babies grow?

So, I decided that I wanted 2 colors (similar to the picture from PBK), and I would attach them with ribbons to the mattress springs (that ended up changing to velcro). So, I went off to my favorite local fabric store, Quilting Adventures. They are incredible there at helping to decide colors, matching fabrics, and advice for construction. They even let me come back with Tim to use their huge cutting mats and tables so I could prep all of my pieces.

We made some mistakes in the amounts of fabric, but in the interest of this tutorial, I will spare you those details, and instead I will pretend like I did it correct the first time.

Items needed:

3 yards of main fabric if about 45″ wide

2 yards of border fabric if about 45″ wide (you will have lots of this left over, but you need the length to construct the piece correctly)

10 yards of wide rickrack (the wavy “ribbon”)

Thread to match each color fabric used

Cut-able velcro (one side sticky, one side sewable)

Sewing machine, rotary cutter, pins, iron, ruler, and other sewing necessities

 

Steps:

1. Pick out your fabric. Hopefully you have someplace as amazing as Quilting Adventures to help with this step (or some crafty friends to bounce ideas off of).

2.  Measure your crib and figure out how much you will need of each fabric. Note: these measurements are NOT the cribs themselves, but the mattress base, where you will attach the skirts. The following measurements are based off of our cribs (Pottery Barn Kendall cribs):

Crib mattress length/finished length: 51″
Length with 4″ added due to pleating: 55″
Length with seam allowance added: 57″

Crib mattress width/finished width: 26″
Width with 4″ added due to pleating: 30″
Width with seam allowance added: 32″

Height of main fabric: 18.5″ final, 20″ including seam allowance

Height of border fabric: 4″ final, 6″ including seam allowance

DIY Crib Skirts with Pleat (Tutorial) - DoyleDispatch.com

Please note: This picture has incorrect measurements, though it was extremely helpful in figuring out how much of each fabric I would need.

3. Cut the fabric according to your crib.

Short side:
2 sections of solid blue 6″ x 32″ *
2 sections of cross-hatch blue 20″ x 32″ *

Long side:
2 sections of solid blue 6″ x 57″ *
2 sections of cross-hatch blue 20″ x 57″ *

*Repeat with pink versions

4. Line up the right-sides of the fabric together, and sew each of the the solid borders to the patterned pieces. These will create your 4 main pieces that will be the sides for your crib.

DIY Crib Skirts with Pleat (Tutorial) - DoyleDispatch.com

 

DIY Crib Skirts with Pleat (Tutorial) - DoyleDispatch.com

DIY Crib Skirts with Pleat (Tutorial) - DoyleDispatch.com

5. Iron the seams to one side.

DIY Crib Skirts with Pleat (Tutorial) - DoyleDispatch.com

6. Measure out 4″ from the seam that connects the two fabrics together. I have this nifty tool that allows you to line up and measure easily. I highly recommend getting it if you like exact measurements!

DIY Crib Skirts with Pleat (Tutorial) - DoyleDispatch.com

7. Pin and sew the bottom hem. If you have lots of extra fabric like I did, trim off the excess.

DIY Crib Skirts with Pleat (Tutorial) - DoyleDispatch.com

8. This is a good time to go back to your cribs and make sure you know exactly how much room you have from the mattress to the floor. Measure carefully. This will tell you how much of a finished piece you need. Pin, iron flat, and sew the top hem for the skirt. I was able to fold the fabric 0.5″ down, and I sewed a .25″ seam allowance.

DIY Crib Skirts with Pleat (Tutorial) - DoyleDispatch.com

9. Pin, iron flat, and sew the side hems for the skirt. You do not need to measure here, as you can fix any issue when you create your pleats.

DIY Crib Skirts with Pleat (Tutorial) - DoyleDispatch.com

10. Measure your current finished skirt. It should be longer than you need length-wise, but the height should be exact from mattress to floor. Mark the length of each section. You will then need to do a little math:

[Length of the fabric skirt section] – [Length of the mattress] = P

P stands for Amount of Material Leftover for Pleats

Then do: P / 4 = L

L stands for Amount For Each Section of the Pleats

So, as an example, we had a finished length of the fabric skirt section of 55.75″. We subtracted the length of the mattress (51″). We then divided that by 4 to equal 1 1/8. So, each section of the pleats needed to be 1 and 1/8 inch long.

11. Fold the skirt in half to find the center. Mark it with a pin. Using your ruler, measure out 1 and 1/8 inches (or whatever your “L” is), and mark it with a pin. You will need to have 5 pins total, making 4 different sections.

DIY Crib Skirts with Pleat (Tutorial) - DoyleDispatch.com

12. Now, you have to do some folding and ironing. Use the pins to mark the fold lines and create an accordion fold with the fabric. Pin in place. Use your iron to make creases that go down the entire height of the fabric.

DIY Crib Skirts with Pleat (Tutorial) - DoyleDispatch.com

DIY Crib Skirts with Pleat (Tutorial) - DoyleDispatch.com

13. Sew the top of the pleat.

DIY Crib Skirts with Pleat (Tutorial) - DoyleDispatch.com

14. Change your thread color to white and sew on the rickrack over the seam that separates the two fabrics.

DIY Crib Skirts with Pleat (Tutorial) - DoyleDispatch.com

15. On the ends, fold over and sew the ends of the rickrack to the back of the fabric.

DIY Crib Skirts with Pleat (Tutorial) - DoyleDispatch.com

16. Iron the skirt to make it crisp and clean.

17. Attach velcro to the top of the crib skirt and to the crib itself. For the shorter sections, I used 3 pieces of 2″ velcro. For the longer sides, I used 5 pieces of 2″ velcro. Attach to the crib and enjoy your skirts!

DIY Crib Skirts with Pleat (Tutorial) - DoyleDispatch.com

 

DIY Crib Skirts with Pleat (Tutorial) - DoyleDispatch.com

Hints and Tips:

When dealing with rickrack or ribbon, I learned that you can run a flame quickly underneath the unfinished end of the ribbon. This will make sure it doesn’t fray.

You may find that (like me) you need to tack some spots of the pleats down, so you can keep that crisp look. It all depends on your material and how it lays flat. You may have to tack more on some spots than others.

Measure, measure, measure! I am anxious and I like to finish projects. Sometimes, I cut corners. This is one that will create far fewer headaches if you really measure well at first.

Don’t be afraid to diagram! Allow yourself to draw a diagram of how you want it to look. Start with the finished product and work backwards to add seam allowances. Planning in the beginning will save you time (and money) in the long-run.

*Part of this post originally appeared on Dory’s blog “Doyle Dispatch.” To read more posts about Dory’s pregnancy and nursery decorating on her blog, you can see the list here.*

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Twin DIY Halloween Costumes

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Categories Activities, DIY, Holidays, Make-It MondaysTags , , , , 5 Comments

Easy DIY Twin and Pregnancy Costumes

Happy Halloween! I hope you are ready for a special EXTRA edition of Make-It Mondays: Halloween Edition! Please forgive me that this isn’t on Monday, but I thought it would be very fitting to have this post be published in time for Halloween. Today, I want to feature some DIY Halloween costumes, both for us pregger moms and our multiples.

I know that so many of us see “DIY” and we get that sweaty feeling. Oh no! I’m not crafty! I can’t do that! Well, I’m here to tell you, friend, that you can! In this DIY post, it just means that these costumes aren’t all boxed-up nice and pretty. You have to gather a little here and a little there. You can do that! In fact, these tend to look much better than the pre-packaged costumes, and they are the most memorable ones!

*Note: In order to find the original source (when applicable), please click on the picture. If available, it will take you to the website where the image was found.*

DIY Costumes for Us Pregger Moms-to-Be

1. “Buns in the Oven Bakery”
This just requires a box with some holes cut in it and some spray-painted cups (or bottle caps) as the knobs. Easy!

2. “Skeletons Inside”
Yes, you do need to have the vinyl transfers, but once you do, all you have to do is iron this on a black shirt.

3. “I’m Dressed Up as my Mommy”
This is found on Etsy, but you could easily take a shirt and write it in marker (or vinyl).

4. “Snoopy Belly”
Ok, as a lover of the comic strip Peanuts, I have to include this one. This just requires some felt on a white shirt. Plus, you can coordinate with your honey, and he can be Charlie Brown!

5. “A Gypsy and Her Magic Ball”
This one doesn’t take much extra than what you may already have around your house. You will need a black top (tied up to reveal your painted belly) and a long, black skirt. You may need to get a black scarf and some beads to tie around your head, but that’s about it. Throw on some heavy eye makeup, and you are ready to go!

6. “Angry Birds”
Yes, the game isn’t as popular now as it was a year or so ago, but this is still a great home-made costume. You just need some felt (or vinyl) for the face, and you can tape a 3-D paper beak on for the final touch.

7. “Winnie the Pooh”
It doesn’t get much easier than this. A red-collared shirt, cut just under the bust. A yellow maternity shirt underneath. A black dot on your nose. A jar of honey. You can add the “Pooh” writing to the shirt or not. Regardless, you have an easily-recognized character.

8. “The Solar System”
“All you need to do is get a comfy black t-shirt, put a sun smack dab in the middle, and hang planets from your arms to turn yourself into something straight out of outer space.” -TheStir.CafeMom.com

You can find these costumes and some more at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/11/halloween-costumes-for-pregnant-women-2013_n_4071993.html

DIY Costumes for Our Multiples

1. “Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker”
Take a look at Professional Twin Mommy’s blog to see how she made this. My favorite part is that Luke and Leia actually ARE twins in the story. Yes, my Baby Boy and Baby Girl WILL be Luke and Leia one year.

2. “Superman and Clark Kent”
For identical boys, this is an adorable get-up. Superman needs a blue onesie with a felt “S” logo and a red cloth as a cape (a red towel would work). Clark needs a spiffy old-fashioned-looking suit with a blue onesie underneath. I love how this mom drew the glasses on her child, so he didn’t try to keep taking them off.

3. “Thing 1 and Thing 2”
This is perhaps one of the most popular twin costumes, so I almost didn’t include it. I liked how this mom (I wish I could find the original source) used blue boas for their hair, instead of buying a wig. The body costume itself was made from red sweatshirts and sweatpants, with a “Thing 1/2” circle cut, drawn, and attached onto the shirt.

4. “The Flintstones”
Although I found a picture of Fred and Wilma, you could easily extend this to the whole Flintstones gang (Pebbles, Dino, Barney, Betty, Bamm-Bamm) and have a whole family of Flintstones. These costumes aren’t much more than draped fabric (felt or cotton will work fine) with cut-off edges and accessories. Fred’s tie and spots are easy to add on, and the entire thing doesn’t have to be perfect. Remember, they came from a prehistoric era without sewing machines! The rougher, the better!

5. “Salt and Pepper”
This costume was found on Etsy (click the picture to take you to the listing), but it is easy to make! Onesies with the letter S and P on them, and two chef hats with black circles on the top. Voila! Your little movers and shakers (pun intended) are ready to go.

6. “Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum”
I wanted to show a picture of a girls’ version of this costume, because this is so gosh-darn cute! To make it easy, take a yellow shirt, red pants, and a blue bowtie. You can add the blue baseball caps and white gloves, but they aren’t required.

7. “Charlie Brown and Lucy”
As I said above, I LOVE the Peanuts comic strip. These adorable outfits are iconic, but also easy to pull off. Charlie Brown needs a yellow shirt (collared or t-shirt), with a black chevron stripe around the tummy. Black or brown pants will do, and a football is a great prop. Lucy will need a blue dress with 4 buttons sewn in the center. This will be another must-do for my twins.

8. “Sushi”
This costume will take a little bit of sewing to accomplish, but once that is done, it will be perfect! You will start with a white pillowcase dress (whether it is for a boy or girl), and then you need to pick your sushi. You can get a half-yard of colored fabric from your local fabric store (I would recommend felt because you won’t have to worry about the ends fraying). Cut it into the shape you want and sew it onto your base “dress.” You could also iron the material onto the base “dress” using Heat N Bond, if you only need to use the costume once. Also, look at those cute hats/headbands with ginger and wasabi rosettes!

9. “Gnomes”
This is a fun one. You will need to make a cone-shaped hat (either out of a stiff material or paper), and you will attach the hair to the underside of it. For a girl, you will take yarn and braid it into two parts. The boy will have one string of yarn with tassels hanging down. They are then just wearing red shirts and dark pants.

10. “Raggedy Ann and Andy”
This costume was made through a pattern, but it would be simple to replicate with a little bit of Goodwill shopping. Andy needs a red collared shirt and blue pants. He also needs lots of red yarn for a wig and a sailor hat (easy and cheap to get at your local party store). Make sure the pants are short, so the red socks show underneath. Ann needs a longer red yarn wig and an old-fashioned dress. I bet you could find this at a local thrift store. Even if it is big for your little girl, that’s ok. She then needs a white pinafore. This is easy to recreate with white fabric wrapped around the dress and two thick ribbon as the straps. You don’t have to include the bloomers, but white tights and black shoes will complete the outfit. You could also add red triangle makeup to their noses for a cute something extra.

Here are some other great sites for twin costume ideas:

http://blog.babygizmo.com/2013/10/10-great-halloween-costumes-twins/

http://www.pinterest.com/twinsgiftco/twins-costumes/

http://www.pinterest.com/rutgers96/twin-halloween-costume-ideas/

For a big list of other costumes (not necessarily DIY, check out this great one from hollilong.com), check out this link.

DIY Costumes for Our Multiples (From HDYDI.com Moms)

1. Jennifer Wood’s “Mario and Luigi”
“My Mario and Luigi costumes were overalls I got at resale for $3 each. The long-sleeve onesies I got on clearance at Kohl’s. The hats I made. “

Halloween DIY Costumes - HDYDI.com

2. Jennifer Wood’s “Captain Hook and Mr. Smee”
http://goteamwood.com/2012/10/30/mickeys-not-so-scary-halloween-party/

Halloween DIY Costumes - HDYDI.com

“Capt. Hook’s jacket was a thrift store boys dress shirt I added gold ribbon trim, black girls leggings from the thrift store, a yard of lace trim safety pinned to the collar and thrift store shoes. Mr Smee’s shirt and hat I made, but the sandals and shorts were thrift store too. The glasses, which made the whole outfit, were $1 store ‘cheaters’ that I popped out the lenses.”

3. Sadia Rodriguez’s “Rainbow Fairies Amber and Heather”
http://www.motherhoodsisterhood.com/2010/10/halloween-2010.html

Halloween DIY Costumes - HDYDI.com

4. Sadia Rodriguez’s Mary Poppins 
http://www.motherhoodsisterhood.com/2009/10/shortest-party-appearance-ever.html

Halloween DIY Costumes - HDYDI.com

Halloween DIY Costumes - HDYDI.com

“E-bay and eCRATER are far more convenient for thrift shopping than Goodwill or other brick and mortar thrift stores! The umbrellas, which I got brand new on Amazon, were the most expensive components of the costumes, at about $15 each.

Melody’s dress was a $2.50 Christmas dress, and the tulle for her hat cost a quarter. Jessica’s skirt is actually a knee-length skirt of mine, while her shirt was a $1 find. The coat/dress was about $10, second-hand. The shoes were $7/pair at Walmart, and the tights were hand-me-downs from the neighbours. I found the bucket hats at T.J. Maxx for $8 each, and the silk flowers were a couple of bucks. Jessica’s carpet bag was a $3 bag-shaped plywood box from Michaels, with a fabric scrap lacquered on using liquid laminate, which is one of the more bizarre things I happened to have lying around the house. So, both outfits came together in under $80. Sure, I could have bought brand-new ensembles for the same, but despite my grumbling, the effort was worth it in the end.”

5. Margie Pelz’s “The Lorax and the Truffula Tree”
http://www.doublethegiggles.com/2012/10/the-lorax-easy-homemade-halloween.html

Halloween DIY Costumes - HDYDI.com

6. Carrie’s “Moose Family”
“We were all moose for no reason other than I love moose! Homemade and it shows but that is what made it cute! The plus is that my boys are still wearing the fleece pants a year later and I took the antlers off the sweat shirt and still wear it.”

Halloween DIY Costumes - HDYDI.com

*Dory is the author of Doyle Dispatch and currently pregnant with boy/girl twins. To read more posts about Dory’s pregnancy and DIY projects, you can see the list here.*

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