52 Weeks of Beatus, complete.

I did it!

52 week montage

I was a few days late a couple of times, but I got all 52 photos on different pieces of fabric. For something so minor in the grander scheme of things, I feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment.

The entire set is here on flickr, but I’m going to pull out a few of my favorites because, to be honest, not every photo turned out that well. The biggest problems were (a) the lighting (it was just not bright enough some mornings and you can’t take a great photo with bad light) and (b) the children (if they didn’t want to play or kept rolling over, it was also hard to take a good pic). But I did the best I could. I think I might take monthly photos this next year because I just love putting them up together on the wall for the girls’ birthdays. I’m going to change the set on our wall to the one of both girls for Milla’s birthday next Wednesday. I’m so glad I included her in this as well.

My faves:

week 1


week 2


week 5


week 7


week 11


week 13


week 17


week 18


week 19


week 20


week 22


week 24


week 30


week 31


week 32


week 35


week 36


week 37


week 38


week 39


week 40


week 43


week 44


week 46


week 47


week 49


week 51


It’s been a fun year, wouldn’t you say?

Weeks 33 – 41.

It seems that I got a little, ahem, behind on the week photos. But they all exist, and here they are. Beatrice is such an expert roller now that I get maybe 2 or 3 shots of her on her back before she flips over, and that’s if I’m quick. Note to others who try the same project: this would work far better with two people so one can distract the baby while the other does the camera stuff. But Wednesday is our day and we do the best we can.

(Week 33 — crummy lighting that day, bleh)

Week 33.

(Week 34)

Week 34.

(Week 35)

Week 35.

(Week 36)

Week 36.

(Week 37)

(Week 38)

Week 38.

(Week 39)

Week 39.

(Week 40)

Week 40.

(Week 41)

Week 41.

I’ve lucked out today and Milla is taking a nap. (She woke up at 5 am, so I was really hoping that would happen!) Afternoon silence is a rare and much-appreciated commodity in these parts. I probably ought to be cleaning the bathroom, but when she does sleep I am so afraid of waking her that I don’t do anything that makes noise. Since almost everything related to the household is a little bit noisy, that means I have to relax on the couch for a few minutes. Ah, so sad. I also get to contemplate the paint samples I have taped up in hopes of settling on a color for an accent wall in the living room. We just signed another year’s lease on the ol’ homestead and I find that nothing motivates me to spruce things up like knowing that I’m going to see them for another year. So far I have gone through all the bins in the laundry room and bedrooms, investigated all the boxes under our bed, scoured the kitchen counters, re-arranged the patio furniture, and worked on our container garden. I still need to shuffle around the contents of some closets, especially now that baby things are being put away rather than taken out, and do some more cleaning.

Speaking of babies: I almost forgot to mention that Bea is a crawler now! It’s a slow and slightly painful-looking crawl, but it works. She can scoot much faster with a funny little maneuver that uses just her toes and elbows. She is currently reveling in her newfound mobility and pulling herself up on everything she can. The world is her oyster, it seems.

Oh, to be a baby who has just learned to crawl!


Week 32.

(It’s technically week 33, but the weather is too rainy for photos and I never managed to finish this post last week. So here it is.)

Only 20 more weeks until Bea turns one! I don’t know if I find that depressing or exciting. She’s still not gotten beyond the slow topple (= not sitting up) and she can only scootch backwards. She finds that pretty frustrating, actually. It must be maddening to flail all your limbs so you can reach something only to find that you are farther away than before (and, to add insult to injury, half-buried underneath the sofa). I want to treat her as immobile because she doesn’t technically crawl, but she certainly gets around if given enough time.

Week 32.

Tee hee! I have big plans for our living room as soon as I master that pesky locomotion thing.

Tee hee! I have no idea what’s in store for me after sister can start taking all my things.

So that’s where we’re at. It’s been a busy couple of weeks in other respects, but I like having things to look forward to. Lots of visits from friends, and my mum is coming in February. Yah! We’re pretty much counting the days till then.

Since it’s the end of the month, I thought I’d give an update as to how those New Year’s resolutions are coming along. I have been slowly but faithfully pursuing no. 1 (to lose weight) and recently kicked it up a notch. After a few weeks of wondering whether I was actually getting thinner, I started plotting my weight every day on a chart in the bathroom, a la the Steve Ward Diet. It quickly became apparent that just trying to eat healthier would keep me at a roughly flat line but not make the line go down. Phooey. So much for the No-Effort Diet.  Then my sister joined www.myfitnesspal.com and I followed suit. We are both trying to keep track of our calories for a month and oh boy, has that been illuminating. Even though I’ve done it before on paper and felt like I was doing it still in my head, it turns out that I have definitely not been adhering to a number that favors weight loss. It seems that every day there was some moment when I felt like I needed a little extra something–and I found it. Now I’ve actually got to cut back somewhere if I overindulge, which is something that I have always had trouble doing. Using the website does add one more thing to my day, but sitting down at the computer for a few minutes after a meal is totally worth it as long as I don’t get sidetracked into doing a bunch of other things as well. Ahem.

Now, there are a few things about using the site that I don’t like. There’s not an option that I can see for breastfeeding women, so I just add it in as exercise every day to increase my calorie limit. Also, I really prefer to eat whole foods and I could see how it would be easy to gravitate toward packaged ones because it’s easier to find the calorie/nutrition information (you can add in your own info if they don’t happen to have the food you want in the database, but it’s obviously going to be more work). I have also had to start measuring a lot of foods, which adds some complication and a few more dishes to a possibly harried day, but I imagine that you have to do that on most diet plans. In general, though, I really like the feeling of security that, if I keep careful track of what I eat, I will eventually lose some weight. It also helps that I think my sister will probably take a look at my meal diary at the end of the day. :)

As for no. 2 (exercise), husband and I take the babes for a walk in the evening a couple days a week and I’m trying to get in the habit of doing a short dance/aerobics video in the morning with Camilla. The last two days I did my workout with Beatrice in the baby carrier, which added a bit of extra zing. I expect legs of steel after a few weeks of this. Sometimes I think about lifting weights, but bouncing Bea around a few times seems to have about the same effect. If I can only increase my reps, it will be a complete workout.

As for no. 3 (to read more books), I have sadly fallen behind. I finished Close to Home, a really wonderful book about motherhood from an Orthodox perspective. [Lauren Pope, I think you would really like it]. I re-read Thrones, Dominations, an unfinished Lord Peter Wimsey novel that was taken up by another author, and had a good time with it, especially since the setting very similar to Upstairs Downstairs so it’s easy to visualize. I have started on some very enjoyable short stories by Nikolai Gogol but Milla’s naps are all over the place (i.e. sometimes they happen, sometimes they don’t) so I don’t get much momentum going. Must try harder to make reading happen.

As for no.4 (to not shop online), I am waivering. While I still think it’s a good idea to try things on in person, there are some items that I just have a hard time finding in the quality/price range that I want. Goodwill has come through for odds and ends, but I just don’t enjoy shopping at department stores very much anymore. I am giving Boden another try — it’s usually out of my price range, but I got two t-shirts with 20% off + free shipping and I think I might save up for a few more things from the current season. They do go on sale eventually, so if I know what I want then I can try to snatch it in my size when it’s a little more reasonable. Quality, not quantity, is my new wardrobe motto.

Of course, this easiest way to be happy with your wardrobe is to…be happy with your wardrobe.

Contentment, you save so much money in the long run and bring me closer to Godliness. I should try so much harder to get you than to get a new dress.

Weeks 28, 29, 30, 31, and a conundrum.

I keep getting behind on my posting but not on the photos themselves. It would be a real shame to get to week 31 and miss one, don’t ya think? The lighting is better on some days than others, and the sister photos are all over the place because there are plenty of moments when Camilla just won’t lay down/let go of her snack/change out of her jammies/some other un-photogenic thing. And by the time I’ve disciplined, Bea has started wailing and we have to try again later. And need I mention that the baby now flips over the minute I put her on her back…? But I persevere. I am going to get my 52 photos, darnit.

(Week 28 — some of my favorite vintage fabric.)

Week 28.

(Week 29 — my favorite vintage quilt.)

Week 29.

(Week 30.)

(Week 31.)

Week 31.

I haven’t decided if I need to number them somehow in Photoshop. The original project that I’m copying had photoshopped numbers on the onesies, but that’s going to be an awful lot of work at this point and I’m not sure I love the look. Maybe just a tasteful little number in the corner somewhere?

The other problem that I have been considering is the fact that I am running out of fabric. I have gone through all the large pieces in my stash and what decorative quilts/blankets we possess and I definitely do not have 21 selections left. I have been buying fabric for a while now with coupons, but since I plan to make quilts someday I want to get the nice stuff and that’s usually about $10/yard. I’ve found some cheaper, of course, but even at 40% off it’s a significant weekly expense. Plus, I just don’t need 21 more yards of fabric. Maybe 3 or 4 more pieces to round out my colors (some more green? and orange?) but I hate to buy something I have absolutely no need for.

The quilt stash.

(These are all the fabrics destined for the quilt. Everything else has been the wrong weight/fiber or the colors just won’t work.)

Husband suggested reusing some pieces and that would, of course, be the most economical solution. I’m fighting it, though, because I want to know in my mind that every week is different. But when you see them all together you probably won’t really notice. Plus, it’s not like there’s a big final destination for these photos — I just want to put them up at the girls’ 1st/3rd birthday party and make up a little photo book.

What do you think?


Now for some outtakes…to be honest, these end up being my favorites sometimes!

As soon as the official photo shoot is over, Milla wants to start playing on the fabric.

And Beatrice, of course, is pleased as punch to be done with that nasty on-your-back business.

Shhh….don’t tell anyone that Beatrice is sucking on the grimy old cell phone!

I took away the phone.

Mama took it away.

I gave it back.

Mama caved and gave it back.

Mmm, fingers.

She insisted on wearing the monkey jammies.

This was the I-absolutely-have-to-wear-my-pajamas week.

How the fabric ends up.

And this is how the fabric ends up after a few minutes of flapping.

See why I have to work fast?

Week 20.

I feel like 20 weeks should be half-way to something but I guess it’s not.

Week 20.

It is, however, very plump and pink and roly-poly.

I was lucky she stayed on her back long enough to get a few pics. I foresee the photo project getting a lot more tricky in the future.

(Note that we are still accumulating impressive amounts of behind-the-knee chub.)

After she rolls over and has stuck her head up for a while, Bea does this funny thing where she sticks her arms out to the sides, face plants, and starts kicking her legs wildly.

Then she returns to this.

Milla wasn’t really into the photo thing this week.

She did, however, very kindly offer to share her collection of choking hazards. That girl just loves to carry around itty bitty things right now, and something is going to have to be done in the very near future to make sure that we aren’t leaving a trail of rocks and “little blocks” for a certain soon-to-be-mobile baby to put in her mouth. Aack.

Yup, this one is getting stronger every day and really thinks she’s the hot stuff right now. I told Josh last night that I really hope I can enjoy being 31 as much as Beatrice enjoys being a baby. So much joie de vivre.

Oh, remember the Lens Cap Game from a while back?

Yep, still fun.

Weeks 18 & 19.

It sounds repetitive if I say it every week, but it’s impossible not to mention every once in a while that I can’t believe Beatrice is X weeks old already, just so you know that I’m thinking it. Time really does go by faster with the second child, probably because you spend so much of it chasing after the first one.

Week 18.

(18 weeks)

Unfortunately, the children’s naps have been neither as long nor as synchronized as they were for a few glorious weeks, so that’s why I haven’t been here as often. Milla has been doing very well without the paci but I think that its removal has shortened her naps. She also doesn’t sleep quite as well in the Big Girl Bed, but at this point I think we just need to keep persevering.

In all honesty, a little less nap time is a reasonable trade for the scramble that used to ensue when a wailing toddler started asking for “paci! paci!” and I found myself frantically turning over couch cushions to look for one of the five scattered around the house. No, I don’t miss that at all. She does ask for it every once in a great while, but by and large she seems to be quite content with her status as a Big Girl who doesn’t need one. It probably helps that Bea doesn’t take a pacifier, so there aren’t any visual reminders of what she is missing.

In my bits of spare time I did manage to finish a felt leaf garland but haven’t taken photos yet. It seems especially appropriate since the weather took about a 20 degree dip last night. Here in Florida, the ability to wear a sweater without breaking into a sweat is something to be treasured if you love fall as much as I do.

Week 19.

(Week 19)

I’ve also recently attempted a bit of sewing, but that has gone rather slowly since it seems that, by the time I have put the girls down, made & eaten lunch, washed the dishes, answered some emails, and pulled out the sewing machine, someone or other has woken up. It is so tempting to work on things at night, but Bea still wakes up at least twice and my girls need a rested mother more than one with a new dress.

I did finish a muslin of a tank top that I want to repeat in some really lovely Lisette fabric (the geometric print from the week 19 pics) and am half-way through a dress (the skirt is made from the yellow in the week 18 pics), but I’ve put both on hold to see if I can finish an Advent calendar before Advent arrives.

I am really excited about the Advent calendar. Growing up, we had a red felt one with a tree on top and 24 pockets underneath that were filled with ornaments that we took out one by one and pinned to the tree. I think it was made by my paternal grandmother (right, mom?).

Mine won’t be quite the same — I am using this one from The Purl Bee as my inspiration, and I might make a separate tree.  100% wool is out of my budget and I can hardly stand acrylic felt, but I found some reasonable colors in a 20% wool blend at Joann’s. Mine will be mostly reds and greens, but I still want to embroider the numbers. Here’s hoping that’s not too ambitious a goal for this stage in our lives.

How we play these days.

Speaking of this stage in our lives, I snapped a few pics of Camilla’s sweet attempts to play with her little sister at the end of our last photo session.

Here she is showing sister how to clap.

And give high-fives.

And now she’s patting her affectionately on the bum. (Wonder where she’s seen that before…)

And now she’s trying to make her smile.

I just love watching my girls interact with each other more and more.

(See the height on that baby? She wants to scooch in the worst way.)

I also want to say thanks for all the kind comments about the family painting. Here it is in our living room. Milla points to it and says “canvas!” and “brush!” so I guess it was a memorable experience. Just what I had hoped.

Week 17.

It’s going to take me a while to sort through the hundreds(?) of photos from the Gibbs’ visit, so it might be a little while before they make it to the blog. (Of course, that’s nothing compared to the amount my in-laws took…)

Week 17.

Need I say that we had a wonderful time and that everyone is rather put out now that they are gone? Especially a certain toddler, who got to do all manner of special activities, and a certain baby, who was set down for about two seconds during the entire weekend?

But now we’re back to the norm, with a few new twists. Milla is spending the night in the big girl bed for the first time as part of a general push toward maturity. Also, see that green pacifier in her mouth? Source of much comfort and parental annoyance? Well, it’s going bye-bye tomorrow. We’ve let her know that today is the last day, we’ve discussed big girls she know who do not have pacis, and she has the promise of her very own scone at a big-girl breakfast tomorrow morning with mama and Beatrice.

But I’m still terrified of what tomorrow will bring. The problem is, the paci is not going away on its own and we decided that there simply will be no good time to go through this so it had might as well be now.


Good thing Beatus is here to comfort me.

Oh wait, did I mention that I just switched her from the bassinet to the pack & play?

So, maybe not so much comfort.


Week 16.

My in-laws are flying into Pensacola tonight. Hooray!

Week 16.

In light of this fact, apartment-scrubbing got added to The List and it turned out to be most satisfying. Let me tell you: if I had known how my heart would sing every time I look at clean baseboards, I would have cleaned them a lot sooner. I sure felt like I burned a lot of calories afterward, too.

(I should add, for honesty’s sake: things still aren’t quite as spic + span as I would like, but they’re as good as this mother-of-two can make them during naptime.)

The kiddo on the right knows that grandma and grandpa are coming to take her to the zoo, but the one on the left has no idea how much squishing and cuddling and loving she’s in for.

Oh, and speaking of the kiddos: what could be cuter than two cute girls in cute matching dresses?

Numpin, that’s what.

Now I just need to convince the weather to stay cool past 10 am so we can add some cute tights to the mix. Mama wants to start wearing sweaters, too.

Hear that, weather? The two cutest matchingest girls on the planet and their mother have logged an official request.

Weeks 14 & 15.

Well, we didn’t die. And I didn’t forget to take my weekly photo. I’m just running a bit late.

Here’s week 14’s take.

What happened, mom? How could I possibly make you too busy for really important things like blogging?

Week 14.

All I do is laugh and smile all day!*
*Babies can exaggerate too, you know.

For the sister photo, I’m torn between this one (toes!)…

…and this one.

How could a mama not want to show off her baby’s amazing behind-the-knee chub?

Today has been super overcast and somewhat dreary, so this is the best I could do.

Week 15.

Not so smiley, mom. It might have something to do with all the driving we did this weekend, wherein I shrillingly expressed my supreme unhappiness with having to sit in my carseat. Fortunately, you have decided not to put us all through that again anytime soon.

Big sister wasn’t in the most playful mood either.

I had to bribe her with an old Windows 98 cd just to get her in the picture.

To be honest, the main reason I missed a week is that I decided I needed to give my attention to some projects that have been accumulating in the background chez Gibbs. You know, the ones that hover in the back of your mind when you’re doing something a lot more fun? Well, there has been a lot of hovering going on so I started writing everything down and The List grew to frightening proportions. Sigh. I’m kind of behind on the housecleaning as well, so it’s nose-to-the-grindstone over here.

Fortunately, I have some really fun and guilt-free sewing to reward myself with after The List has been completely checked off. My pattern won’t ship till Oct 7, though, so I’ve got that much time to tie up my loose ends. I have been really frustrated looking for some new clothes that have a specific silhouette but are nicely constructed (sorry, Old Navy) and have decided to give clothes-sewing another go. How’s that for some motivation?!

I might pop back in with some photos from my sister-in-law’s delightful birthday party, but if The List gets any longer then I probably won’t be back till next week.

Thanks for stopping by.

(To see all Beatrice’s weekly photos together, look here.)