Bitty Baby Crochet Sleeper gown

Well, I couldn't find a pattern I liked on the internet, so I took one that sort of almost fit the bill and made it so much better. Lol... There really isn't a single row that's the same anymore, so this is all mine!! You're welcome to use the design to make your own gowns, but please don't sell the pattern. If you find any errors, please comment to let me know! Thank you!!

Size F hook
5 oz. worsted weight yarn
yarn needle (optional) for sewing in loose ends
Two lengths of ribbon, about 18 inches each

Stitches used:
Chain (ch), double crochet (hc), and half-double crochet (hdc)

Starting at the neck:
Chain 41
Row 1: dc in third chain from hook and each remaining chain. 38 sts
Row 2: chain three and turn (counts as first dc, so skip first st) dc in next 5 dc, 2dc in seventh and eighth, dc in next four dc, 2dc in fifth and sixth, dc in next ten dc, 2dc in eleventh and twelfth, dc in next four dc, 2dc in fifth and sixth, dc to end (46 sts)
Row 3: ch3, turn, dc in next six, 2dc in next two, dc in next six, 2dc in next two, dc in next twelve, 2dc in next two, dc in next six, 2 dc in next two, dc to end (54 sts)
Row 4: ch3, turn, dc in next seven, 2dc in next two, dc in next eight, 2dc in next two, dc in next fourteen, 2dc in next two, dc in next eight, 2dc in next two, dc to end (62 sts)
Row 5: ch3, turn, dc in next eight, 2dc in next two, dc in next ten, 2dc in next two, dc in next sixteen, 2dc in next two, dc in next ten, 2dc in next two, dc to end (70 sts)
Row 6: ch3, turn, dc in next 10 (11 sts), skip next 14 -- do not chain, do not slst, simply fold the fabric and dc in the 26th dc as though it were the 12th, dc in next 19 (11+20 sts), skip next 14 again, dc in last 11 (42 sts)

(the skipped stitches form the sleeve caps and will be picked up later to make sleeves)

Row 7: ch3, turn, 2dc in 2nd dc (3 sts), *dc in next five sts, 2dc in next st* repeat * to * four times, dc in next four, 2dc, dc in next three, 2 dc, last dc (50 sts)
Row 8: ch3, turn, 2dc in 2nd dc, *dc in next five sts, 2dc in next st* repeat * to * six times, dc in next four, 2 dc, last dc (59sts) Use slst to join to top of chain at beginning of row.

Rows 9-22: ch3, dc 58 times, join with slst to beginning of row
Row 23: c2, *hdc, c1* 29 times, join with slst to top of chain at beginning of row, tie off leaving an end to sew in (this makes the last stitch stronger).

Use yarn needle or hook to sew ends into inside of gown.

Starting in between 2 dcs in armpit, ch3, pick up 2 dcs, dc in next 14 dcs, pick up 3 dcs, join with slst to top of chain at beginning of row.
Row 2: Ch3, dc in next 18, 2dc, join
Rows 3-6: ch3, dc in next 20, join
Tie off, leaving an end to darn in

To finish
darn in all ends. Thread one 18in ribbon around bottow row of gown, tie in front. Lace other ribbon through the first and last stitches in the back, tieing up like a shoe, tie at top. Cut ends of ribbon to please.

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50 first dates... with my Redeemer

So this morning (being Tuesday morning) I was sitting on the sofa, holding my little man in my lap, cuddling with him under the covers, and thanking God for every precious moment that He was giving me with this wonderful gift. Suddenly TinyToes jumped up, turned off the T.V. and turned to me with a grin. "Time to go to church," he announced proudly, startling me out of my reverie. And I smiled. My little boy knows what it is like to attend church every Sunday, and someday he will know that it means more than spending time with special friends, singing "Jesus Loves Me", and watching Veggie Tales. We have begun his love affair with the Lord at an early age, and I am eager to see what his little heart and mind have to teach me about loving my Christ.

So I got up, and we got ready for the day. I admit that I was sad that he had finally fully awoken. There are very few moments when the child is actually still, and even rarer are the moments when he allows me to cuddle with him while he is still. Usually I'm cuddling a squirming Booger. But then the bustle of life started and I found new joys in conversing with this tiny child. I quizzed him on where this article of clothing went, and how to put on that one. He laughed and smiled, and was everything that a young mother dreams her child will become: accomodating, sweet, gentle, happy, well-adjusted, and unknowingly showing me that he has truly trusted every aspect of his well-being into my hands. He was loving me unconditionally, as few people over the age of six are capable of doing. I pray that we can find a way to nurture this in him, to grow it, and to "train him up in the way he will go" so that "when he is old, he will not depart from it."

It bothers me sometimes that I am able to pray for my child what I cannot pray for myself. I hope things for him that I do not yet desire in my own walk with the Lord. This bothers me. I cannot be an example to my baby, and he will learn most of his faith away from home, instead of from me -- the one he should be learning from.

Anyway... I took him to his daycare so that I could get started on my own busy day, and on my way back, I noticed that two more roses bloomed overnight on the bushes under my front window. And it struck me:

A few weeks ago, I thought that those rose bushes were dead. They had no leaves, and few branches. I had transplanted them from another garden in the hopes of creating my own garden -- a plentiful supply of my second favorite flower. (My first favorite is the daisy, which is glorious in all it's simplicity.) In the process of transplanting, however, many of the bushes did indeed die. I planted the roots anyway, hoping that in a year or two, I may have new plants. We'll see.

So I see these two beautiful new blooms: a distinct pale pink -- each petal as soft and vibrant as a silken breast cancer ribbon. I walked right up to the plant to get a good smell of these lovely dew covered "rose babies" (my pet name for a brand new bloom). And I saw the stems from two flowers that had bloomed last week. It's funny because the old ones stems and the new roses formed a kind of stair step pattern, reminding me of Christmas pageants where four kids stand on two stairs. The bottom row had lost all of the petals, and the stamen were all bowed outward. They really just looked sad and dreary and done. I was very tempted to just cut them now, but didn't because I know that those stamen are heavy with whatever it is they make (is it pollen?), and are going to fertilize other plants to become new buds. But oh! are they ugly! And the two "babies" were so beautiful, each petal separated from the other in that "second day rose" phase. And it reminded me of all that God has done in my life. Those four roses represent the difference between what I was, and what I am now; what I could have been, and what I could be.

And that... that right there... That is why every day I fall more in love with my true Redeemer. Even when I am disappointed about my choices and what I have ruined for myself, even when I am wallowing in self pity and pride, He lifts me up. He turns my rotten, old, half eaten flowers into the germination of a beautiful, wonderful, and bountiful garden.

How could I not fall in love all over again?

I'm addicted...

to SuDoku and Frosted Flakes. I am finding myself sitting around thinking "I'm hungry. I want Frosted Flakes." or "I'm bored. Where's the PalmPilot?" We have SuDoku on the PDA.

Not much is happening. My best friend is getting married in September, and I'm finally going down to see her. Exciting!!!

Life is pretty good. I've got a shot to help with the pain of endometriosis (which the doctor is pretty sure I have), and it really is helping. Also, I have avoided potatoes in all forms, and am feeling healthier than ever. I am having a tiny problem with getting up to potty twelve times a night, but I'm dealing okay with that, and actually felt good this morning.

Some idiots in our neighborhood were up until quarter of one yesterday shooting off fireworks. I took Booger out to see them, and he liked some, but then he got scared, so I got to sit in his chair with him and talk about how it wasn't scary; it was just like they were trying to knock on the sky. We talked about stars and planes and stuff. It was fun, but not exactly my first choice of diversions in the middle of the night. I called the sheriff at 12:45, and they were done before I finished the call. My sitter today was telling me that the fireworks were keeping *her* kids up last night, and they're across the street and down three houses!! They were going to call the sheriff at 1:00. :D

I'm looking for a job, and believe it or not, I'm really hoping I get one at the Kroger just down the street. I really like some of the people, and a discount would be awesome!! Plus, they're hours are perfect for what I need. If I don't get a job there, I will apply at Baskin Robbins, down the road. I've put in about three applications a day at various places for the last two weeks, but nothing's turned up yet. I just don't have the right experience for a lot of this stuff, but I can't see myself in the kitchen of yet another fast food place!!

Well, I need to jet. JoJo's Circus is almost done, and that's the end of my typing time!!

Time Flies...

Well, it's been nearly a month since I last posted. And this time it's not because life is particularly rough or tough right now. I just haven't really needed the outlet.

My mom made an interesting comment in a conversation we had a few weeks ago. She said that I usually don't last in a relationship more than two or three years before I'm running away -- trying to get out. And at the time, what she said really applied to the situation. But now I'm trying to figure out why she said that. I'm trying to think of examples in my life where I've had a chance to be in a relationship -- any kind of relationship -- for more than two years. And all I really think back to is High School. And most of my real friends from High School, I still talk to. Pearl, Job, Zach, and even Mark from time to time. However... I don't really talk to anyone from my old church. And there's no one before high school still in my life. I have a friend that I met while I was in college (he didn't go to school there, he was just visiting), and I still talk to him a lot. But no one else from college.

I don't know... Do I try to escape relationships or ties? Or has my environment not allowed many relationships or ties? Or am I just really picky in whom I choose to surround myself with, and this leads to short-lived relationships?

I really think the only way I'm going to "answer" this question is to ask my mom what she meant. But until I find a way to ask her without coming across as defensive -- what do you think?

(no subject)

I remember a time when I had never heard of the Wiggles.
But now I don't go a day without seeing at least an hour of Wiggles.

I remember a time when I would sleep until the alarm woke me.
But now I don't even set the alarm -- my kid wakes me up every morning.

I remember a time when I would spend 20 minutes in the shower every morning.
But now I'm sneaking in a five minute shower right before bed at night.

I remember a time when I could sit and eat an entire bowl of sugar cereal, and I was too thin.
But now I end up sharing over half of a bowl with my two yr. old, and I still can't lose that baby fat.

I remember a time when sentences consisted of nouns and properly conjugated verbs.
But now I'm really excited if a sentence contains more than two words.

I remember a time when all my tops fit properly, and I always had something clean to wear.
But now all my tops are stretched from Baby pulling on them, and he's lucky if his sheets are clean by naptime -- forget washing clothes just to wear them that night.

I remember a time when I hated being alone because it was boring.
But now I crave alone time, and something is always happening.

You know, my life has changed a lot in the last two years. But I'm okay with that. I'm glad of most of the changes, and I wouldn't go back to the way it used to be.

Sorry I've been so absent the last month. I hit a rough patch, and it was a struggle just to get my daily tasks done. I'm doing better now, and we're taking steps toward preventing future "rough" patches.

A long week...

It has been a very, very long week.

*Ziggie and I had a fight last Sunday. It was a doosie. By Monday we had things straightened out, and we're doing better on that level.
*I haven't been sleeping this last week.
*We started training to be foster parents last Saturday and on Tuesday I called to let them know that we wouldn't be attending the next two classes, and not to expect us for another year or two. That was very disappointing to me.
*We had a tiny pregnancy scare this week. I've been PMSing for way too long this time. My mom says it's normal at this stage in life.
*On Wednesday I passed a test that I failed on my last try. Thank you, Ziggie!! God really gave me a clear head this time, and I was able to finish very quickly, despite everything in my personal life. I am now IC3 certified!!
*Saturday we got together with my family, and I got to hold my newest baby sister for the first time. It was a lot of fun to see my parents and to hold that tiny little child. Later that evening we got together with some of Ziggie's friends from college, and it was a lot of fun. I've gotten pretty close to this couple, and I really enjoy their company.
*Yesterday was nice. I got to sit in the service for the first time in a while (between nursery and family illnesses, I've missed several sermons), and was really uplifted by the opportunity. I hadn't realized how much I missed hearing my pastor preach until I was just sitting there, soaking in every word, like a camel that hadn't been given water in a month.
*Baby woke up early today, and was very excited to see that the sun was up. It was bright out, but very, very muddy; so I couldn't just stick him in the backyard like I'm wont to do when he's hyper and I'm not. I had the worst headache in the world and spent the morning trying to explain why Mommy couldn't stand light, noise, or food -- three things a toddler absolutely cannot live without massive amounts of each day. I spent the majority of the day in a massive depression -- battling several other negative mood swings throughout the day and counting the minutes until bedtime.
*After a long day without a nap, and a very bad scare involving my two year old in the middle of the street and some young punk honking at him and scaring him senseless (so instead of moving, he just froze!), my husband got home, and took me away from the house. My headache finally went away, and we got a lock for the front door that Baby will not be able to undo -- and nor will anyone else in the known universe. I'm convinced that if this thing ever gets on we will never again use the front door. We also got some stuff to keep the dog from tearing apart the yard, and some new towel racks to keep me from tearing apart the house. We went out to dinner, where my son behaved very well, was polite to everyone he encountered, and ate a massive dinner.

So now it's after midnight, and I can't sleep again (what else is new?). I'm going to talk to the doctor about this at my annual next week. Something is wrong, and I want it fixed. Plus, he thinks he may know why I can't eat certain foods, and why I get sick other times. We took some blood, and the results will be back two days before my appointment. Nothing urgent, just exciting to feel one step closer. I've decided to adopt Edison's attitude. Every test we do is not another failure -- it is simply another problem ruled out. If this test is negative, I can rejoice that I do not have this problem, and will refuse to fear that what I really have is worse.

If you're the praying type, please pray that I begin getting sleep. This will solve a lot of my problems -- or at least alleviate the symptoms until we figure out what's wrong. My mood swings, pain, concentration levels, and thought patterns are all very drastically being affected, and I don't like living like this. I don't like putting my family through this. With God's mercy, we have made it, and are coming out strong at the moment. But we need prayers.

Thanks guys.

Grin -- don't you love it?

Last night I had four awesome, feature-length dreams. I know that I've gotten good sleep when I have a good, feature-length dream. And I had four last night!! Four that I can remember really well. I love dreams like that. And they were happy dreams. I like happy dreams.

Anyway, I swung my feet out of bed this morning, and immediately felt that finally - at long last - I have escaped from under the cloud that has been following me around the last few weeks. I felt like I was back to my happy, satisfied person.

I had a great day today. I went to a informational meeting for Foster care. I signed us up for the classes you have to take, and we're all set for the adoption stuff too. I am so eager, so excited. I filled out a lot of the paperwork today. My husband went to the doctor, and got some meds to help him feel better. I got part of the den cleaned out, and put like six pieces of furniture out on the lawn to be taken, and they all were!! Hooray!! So I cleaned some clutter out of my house, and I got rid of a bunch of boxes in the garage. I just feel soo... accomplished, so DONE!!

And I'm happy. I'm not thinking too hard about things. I got enough sleep, and I feel like I've settled something for myself, although I'm not really sure what it is. And I'm Okay with that -- the not knowing. I feel like during my sleep last night, God waved a little pixie dust over me, and said, Look chica!! You need to just relax!! I've got it all in control, and you'll figure it out in time. Just let things be, and let them happen. And the pixie dust hasn't worn off yet, and I love that feeling.

I danced tonight. I turned on the TV to watch one of my shows, and the theme song is really upbeat and peppy. And I waggled my hips and flailed my arms, and I just danced around the living room. I feel great. I feel AMAZING. And I know that God has begun a good work in me today. I know that this joy, this moment right now, will spread throughout my life, and will intoxicate all who come in contact with me. I know that *I* am in control of my emotions, not the other way around, and that just a little time spent with HIM can remind me of that, and can turn my whole attitude around.

Oh, I wish you could see me right now. I am sitting here, typing madly, chewing on the corner of my bottom lip, and just -- GRINning. I love to grin. I love the way a true GRIN starts deep down with the beat of your heart. I love that it spreads up, and you can see it in your eyes first. I love the way the corners of your eyes will crinkle up right before you just bust out with a huge smile, that makes the apples of your cheeks swell up and turn just a little pink. I love the way that even when your lips are done turning up, and the smile part is over, and you're just looking at someone, something... you still feel the grin in your cheek muscles, and in your eyelids, and in the beat of your heart.

Dark thoughts...

Today I'm doing -- okay. I'm struggling with some of my personality, and we all know how difficult that can be. I have a tendency to cling to the past, but I usually attach my past to a tangible object. I'm struggling right now, however, with a few relationships. I wonder if perhaps I am clinging to these relationships as a way of clinging to my past. I wonder if perhaps I'm thwarting God's best plans for me... I still have a lot of soul searching and prayer to do before I come to a conclusion for this.

I keep finding myself being angry at people who did me wrongs very long ago. I am surprised to see some of the violence I am feeling toward these people -- I thought I had conquered this tendency. I wonder if I am reacting physically now because that is what I used to do. I mean... for example, last night I was thinking about something that my birth sister did to me that really hurt my feelings, and was one of the final straws before my parents sent me away. She hid some food wrappers in my room -- food she had stolen from stores and from our family's freezer. Then she pretended to be sick, and while I was at school, she took Mom into my room to show her all these wrappers. She said she had wanted to borrow a book from me and had found a wrapper by accident. At the time I was furious with her -- I got a great deal of punishment and had to pay for all the food that she had stolen. It was *a lot* of food. I actually wanted to hit her, but knew that I would get in trouble. I still have that desire to hit her... and I wonder if I have that desire because I am dwelling on something in my past, so I react the way I would have in my past. But I still don't understand -- we had plenty of food in the house, and our parents never said no if we said we were hungry. Why did she steal the food? It would also have been much easier to simply throw the wrappers out in the neighbor's trash, or at a friends house, or school, or the store, or anything. Why did she go to the trouble of hiding them all over my room? At the time, we were getting along great, and I hadn't done anything mean to her in a long time. Why did she feel the need to hurt me like that, to get me into so much trouble? That's why I'm so angry. I don't know why she did it at all -- the thought that she planned it, and acted purposefully, just infuriates me.

At this moment I am not angry with her, I am merely sorry that she did it... sorry for her and her soul... and somewhat puzzled. There are other circumstances I keep remembering, and I keep feeling the same feelings I felt then -- frustration, injustice, trapped, and *hurt.* I don't know how to deal with these issues now, so long after they have happened, except to choose not to dwell on them. And I can't help but wonder -- am I merely stuffing them down, so that they will resurface later? Or am I actually choosing to forgive in that instant (which is ultimately what I *want* to do), and I just have to consistently forgive when the thought comes back?

Any thoughts?

Missing You...

I've been struggling a lot today with the "what if's" of life. Not just things in the past, but also in the future. I find myself very sad, and a little heartbroken, and I can't really explain it all.

It really started a week ago now, when I found out that my best friend from High School (I'll call her Pearl) was being visited by two other very dear friends of mine. I found myself immediately jealous of all three of them. I was jealous of Pearl because she got to see these other dear friends. I was jealous of my dear friends because they got to see Pearl.

For me, this is a daily struggle. When I was in High School, the Lord positioned me in a very tight circle of friends and family -- for the first time in my life I belonged. I met people that I grew to love and that loved me back -- for the first time in my life love was a two way street. And these people are still so very very dear to my heart. And I live two hours from them. We very rarely talk -- we all have busy schedules and long distance is expensive. We see each other even more rarely, and with the rising price of gas, the time that passes between visits will stretch longer and longer.

I miss these people with every fiber of my being some days. Today is one of those days. I want nothing more than to sit in a circle on the floor of my parents' living room and just enjoy my friends and my family. I want to see my parents more often. I want to hang out with my friends. I want to journey down to see Pearl for myself. I hate that life is moving on all around us, and that they're not a part of my daily life anymore. I just miss them so much!!

I love my son and my husband, and I wouldn't trade them for the world!! Please don't misunderstand me. I just wish that somehow I could drag them down to Indy and we could all live there. I don't want to be back in High School. I just want to be a part of my friend's lives. I guess I don't want to be forgotten. When I see my friends, I don't want to be reenacting a chapter from my past -- I want to be extending my future. I once knew these people backwards and forwards. I knew who all their friends were, and had heard their stories so many times I could tell them better than my friends sometimes. And now I call and they're living life with new friends and loved ones. And I don't know who these new people are or what part they play in the life of this person I love. What things could they tell me about my friend that I don't know anymore?

I know that I struggle with change. I tend to cling to things just because they remind me of someone or something I loved, even though I will always have those memories, even without the memento. I wonder if my calls to my friends are like those mementos -- am I trying too hard to cling to my past? Have these people played out their roles in my life, and I'm trying to drag them back onto the stage, when they don't really belong? And how come they get to be a part of each other's lives, but I can't be? I'm not really bitter, like that sounds... I'm just sad. I miss my friends.

Ahh... Sleep.

So I'm feeling pretty good today. I'm wearing new pants that feel great. I have a love/hate relationship with my new pants. I love that they fit great, feel great, are a beautiful color, and were inexpensive. I hate that I found them in the women's section. But I feel more attractive in these "big" jeans than I have felt in any of my "thin" jeans for the last two years!! I think this may be the motivation I need to lose that extra ten pounds. Who would have thought that buying a bigger pair of pants would make me want to lose weight -- not because they're bigger, but because they make me feel great!

Okay -- beyond the jeans. :D I went to work at 5:30 this morning, and we flew. I did pretty well: not my best by any means, but still respectable. We had very few corrections to make, and we were out of there by 12:30!! I stopped by my best friend's house and talked with her for a while. I got to feed her baby and play with her puppy too.

My son's sitter's cat just had five little kittens yesterday. She's very protective of them, but they're very beautiful. Two are going to be tiger stripped -- orange and tan, and two are going to be dark slate grey, and one is going to be brown and grey speckles, like his momma. We actually haven't determined the gender of any of the kittens yet. I'm dying to have one, and so is BabyBoy, but Hubby is allergic. So I won't try to slowly poison my husband to death, no matter how much I want a tiny little kitty. Plus, momma and daddy are both really tiny cats -- skinny and small boned -- so the kids have a good chance of being really sleek and beautiful.

My son has been begging to sleep in the "big boy" bed at his sitter's house, and he's done really well at staying in it. I'm really thinking that he's completely ready for the toddler bed my MiL got him. It's got a guardrail, so it would be a great transition from crib to toddler. My sitter's kids don't have rails on their beds, and Baby does fine in those. It's amazing to me, because she lets her kids leave toys all over the floor, and Booger doesn't try to play. He lays down really still, and stays until she opens the door and tells him he can get up.

Life isn't really complicated right now. I'm getting better quality sleep than I've gotten in a long time. God has really blessed us: a new mattress, new sheets (big difference!!), a healthy tummy, a good job, a sweet hubby, a relatively clean house, and a support system to help me deal better with stress. I'm not lying in bed at night thinking of "one more thing" that needs to go on my list. I'm not waking at two in the morning with a desperate need to journal to get all my thoughts out of my brain. And if I do wake at two, I can get back to sleep in like ten minutes. I'm taking a natural supplement to help hair and nails, and it helps me sleep better. A lot of my stressers (money, clutter, health) have been getting better slowly. And I talked with my dad for a while a week or so ago, and we really worked some things out for me, I think. He showed me how I've forgotten to include God in this struggle, and as I remember to include HIM, I sleep better and better.