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Happy Helmraths

Hey, did you know I had a baby?


Of course you did, because it’s all I’ve been writing about since August.

I wasn’t sure in exactly what ways the blog would change once Miss Natalie burst onto the scene. I posted here and there about my pregnancy, but still had other projects to break up all the baby talk.

But now?

Welcome to Crafty Sheep: All Baby All the Time!

I give major props to women who are able to have a baby and maintain a sense of continuity on their blog. Elise, Bonnie, and Amy all come to mind. They’ve incorporated their pregnancies and babies to varying degrees on their blogs with, I believe, a lovely balance of their regular content.

“Balanced” is not a word I’d use to describe my life at the moment, and I’m ok with that. I have far less time for craft projects, but find myself writing more and more about life as a new mom.

I’ve kept quite a bit of it off the blog for fear of, you know, boring you all to death with no crafts and all baby photos, but now I’ve reached a point where the torrent of words about Natalie and parenting in general has overflowed into an entirely new venture.

And so I present to you Happy Helmraths, my new personal blog where I am not worrying one whit about too many baby pictures.

I’m not sure what this means for Crafty Sheep, given the hugely compressed window of free time in which I used to use to make things. I think most of my new content will be at Happy Helmraths, but I might pop back in here every once in a while.

I am taking on a great big new craft project, but I’m giving myself a LOT of time to do it. If you’re interested in following along, please stop by Happy Helmraths. Here’s a photo hint:

2013-10-15 11.59.30-2

This is not goodbye; just ta-ta for now! I hope to see you at the new blog, but completely understand if that’s not your thing.

Big hugs all around and a heartfelt thank you for reading!

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Dear Natalie: Week 8

Dear Natalie,

You are such a happy girl. Lately you’ve started flashing your big, beautiful, gummy smile quite often, and we love it. A lot of things make you smile, including:

  • staring at Dad’s face, and especially his glasses
  • the plastic starfish that hangs from your playmat
  • putting saline solution in your nose (Really – you squirm while we’re doing it, but as soon as it works its way through and you can breathe normally again? All smiles!)
  • changing your diaper
  • reading picture books together (your favorite seems to be Hockey Colors: My First NHL Book, which pleases your dad immensely)
  • passing gas (so ladylike)
  • splashing in your tub
  • looking at trees on our walks

You’ve mostly outgrown the floppy, wobbly newborn stage and the control you have over your head is quite good, so interacting with you is much more fun than it was a few weeks ago – mostly because it actually is interacting, rather than just showing you things that you can’t quite see and pretending that your wild arm flailing means something. I think the cats are a bit displeased that we spend more time laughing at your antics than at theirs, but they’ll just have to deal with that.

Your personality is starting to emerge, and it’s awesome to see. I mean that literally – watching you develop into an actual person, rather than the little meatloaf lump of baby you were a few weeks ago, fills me with awe. You’re hitting all the milestones with ease and ahead of schedule, proving that you inherited your mom’s overachieving gene. You are the valedictorian of babies!

But even if you weren’t, that would be ok. You’re my happy, smiley girl, and we love you to pieces, whether you’re at the top of your class or you’re last kid picked (but hopefully you’ve inherited your athletic ability from your father rather than me. Jury’s still out on that one.).

Love always,


Mad scientist baby. MUHAHAHAH.

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Project Life Weeks 30-32? Maybe? It’s All A Blur.

Here we are, 5 1/2 weeks later. I am sort of, kind of, mostly caught up on Project Life. Huzzah!

Finding the time to work on my album with a newborn is, understandably, quite difficult. But every so often the stars align and I have both the energy and the time to print some pictures. I’m so very glad that I’ve made the effort, since the last five weeks have been an absolute blur. The details of Natalie’s birth are already slipping away, paving the way for a sibling sometime in the future. I think with a clear recollection of labor and birth, we’d all be only children.

But that’s neither here nor there. On to the pictures!


This is only half a spread, and the pictures are from the birth center and the first few days she was home. The lighting conditions were all over the place, so I converted everything to black and white for a nice, cohesive look. The card on the left has Natalie’s stats at birth. I’m sure I had a plan for what to do with the card in the middle, but it escapes me at the moment. And so it remains empty. As an artistic decision, of course.


I love this spread. I scored some foam letter stickers for half off at Michael’s and now I feel the need to label All The Things with stickers. The shark week card is an image I found online and printed out at 3×4. Our sleep schedule the first week she was home was totally non-existent (go figure!) and so we stayed up quite late watching Shark Week. Perhaps associating the birth of my child with giant great white sharks is not the most heartwarming memory, but there you go. Just keepin’ it real, folks.


I had a LOT of pictures this week, so I used a few templates to make 4×6 collages. My favorites are from Paislee Press, and they’re free! I absolutely adore the photo of my grandmother holding Natalie. The joy on her face, the wonder…wow. We took a two hour road trip so Natalie could meet some of her relatives, and with her only being eight days old, it was tough. But so worth it, especially for moments like that.




I had far fewer photos for week 33, so I enlarged Natalie’s two week photo to fill most of the page. A GIANT photo for a GIANT baby (she’s gained almost four pounds since birth!).


That Tigger towel kills me.


And now for some gratuitous cuteness…all of Natalie’s weekly photos thus far (click on the image to see it at a larger size). I stole the idea from the brilliant John and Sherry at Young House Love. It might be tough to keep up with a weekly photo for a year (or more, I haven’t decided yet), but I think it’ll be such a cool thing to have. I’ve been posting the photos every week on my personal facebook page and I plan on sharing them here as well. Yay accountability!
natalie1-5GAH SO CUTE. This kid, man.

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Hi there, Natalie

Will and I are thrilled to announce that Natalie Elizabeth was born this past Tuesday morning, July 30, weighing in at a healthy 8 lbs, 10 oz.

She is perfect.


I will write more when I can let go of this tiny little bundle long enough to type with both hands.

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Weekend Knitting

The beginnings of a baby sweater

I had a feverish desire to start knitting something for the baby yesterday. I found the perfect pattern: Carina Spencer’s Seamless Kimono. If you’re a fellow Raveler, browse some of the completed kimonos – they’re gorgeous!

My only problem is that I had no yarn for an appropriately gender-neutral sweater.

Acting 90% out of impatience and 10% in response to a bizarre dream I had wherein I found out we’re having a baby girl, I threw caution to the wind and cast on with a lovely pink and brown variegated yarn (Malabrigo Worsted in a discontinued colorway).

It’s quite girly, but that’s fine. If we have a boy either he’ll wear the sweater –I hardly think he’ll be in any position to object– or I’ll gift it to someone who can make better use of it.

What better way to welcome spring than by knitting tiny baby sweaters?

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