Friday, January 29, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday

1.  Another prayer to St. Joseph would be lovely, since you're here.  Dh has a big afternoon planned!  It's very exciting.  Thanks!
2.  Lisa has a post up about St. Francis de Sales whose feast day was the 24th (or today on the Traditional calendar).  She posted some of his quotations which struck me as rather personal:

“Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly
“Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections.”
“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.”
“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.”
 I need to read more of St. Francis; it's been a long time since I picked up The Devout Life.   I felt a strong urge to get Finding God's Will for You last year because I was struggling with that very subject.  I lost the book for months, and then when I had found it, I had evidently lost the urge to read it as well.

It's back now.  The urge.  And the book.

3.  We went to the park the other day to get some sunshine and exercise.  It was no fun.  The wind was cold, cold, cold, and some of us who were not moving as much as others were freezing to death. 

TMax was kicking around a football and managed to hyperextend his knee, so we limped back to the car after about 20 minutes.  He was miserable and in a lot of pain.  I wish I had a picture of him riding the Little Princess's scooter around the house the next day because walking was so painful.  

I'm happy to report that after 2 days of limping, he's mostly back to normal and can straighten his leg again.  

Who knew that being the kicker for the football team could be so dangerous?

4.  Last week I read The Kitchen Madonna by Rumer Godden on Melissa's recommendation.  It's a short, quick read, and it's very charming.  I liked it so much that I'm reading it to Pipster and Princess as part of their religion curriculum.  We'll be spending some time online today looking up icons.  We might even get around to making one.

I think I can read this book aloud without sobbing through it.  That makes it kind of hard.

5.  Knitwise, I'm working on finishing LP's sweater.  I hit a snag when I started putting it together.  The sleeves are not only too short, but they're not wide enough to fit into the armholes.  I had to lengthen the sweater because she's so tall and thin, but I didn't change the construction of the sleeves----other than try to make them longer.  But the changes I made in the body, made the armholes bigger and now I have to take out a good chunk of the sleeves and re-do them.  

I think I'll get there.  I'm going to try to get it done this weekend.  I haven't wanted to work on it, but I realized that winter is wearing away and it won't fit her next year in all probability.  So, it's now or never.

6.  My kids are having a blast playing with the Mac and it's photo capabilities.  I haven't the faintest idea how they do the things they do, but there are zillions of pictures that they've taken of themselves.


They're very creepy.
7.  We have the homeschool Spell-Off coming up on February 12.  It's the equivalent of a county spelling bee.  There will be 4 spellers.  Only 1 will be eliminated.  I'd hate to be The One.

Accordingly, TMax and I have been studying, and it. is. Hard!  I mean, I know most of the words and I'm a good speller, but there are certainly words that I haven't seen before.  Imagine being 14 and confronted with these words.

The booklet we're using for study has the words grouped by Language of Origin so you can learn how certain sounds are spelled.  It helps, but English must be one of the hardest languages when it comes to spelling!  There are so many words from other origins, and even then we don't follow all the rules, or we change the word to make it more like some of our other words.

It's interesting and educational.  I'm not sure it's Fun.  The kids that do these things with the intention of getting all the way to the National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC must love it.  Or they're forced into it by their parents.  

If you haven't yet, you've got to see Akeelah and the Bee.  It's about an inner city girl with a gift for spelling and her trip to the Scripp's National Spelling Bee.  It's not only a great movie, but it gives you a great look at what this competition is like.  Fierce.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Too Much Late Night TV

Dh had a job interview last night at the unconventional hour of 9 p.m. and I kept vigil at home with my knitting and free reign with the remote control.

While you're here, would you mind saying that prayer to good St. Joseph?  =======>
I'd appreciate it.  Thanks.

He was out very late, and consequently I need a cup of coffee.

I'd like one of these:

But this one would be Out of This World:

One of the shows I saw last night was Unwrapped (I think) on the Food Network.  Did you know there is a Seattle Barista Academy where people learn this art form?  Latte Art.

Who knew there was such a thing?

Beginners start out with things like hearts.  You know, I'd be perfectly content to stop there----a nice latte made With Love.

So pretty and delicate.  Just amazing!

It's like a tattoo for your cappuccino!

I love this one with the delicate palm frond and the chocolate squiggles (that's a totally lame word for something so pretty!).

It makes me want to go out and buy a super-expensive coffee maker so I can make these at home!

All photos from

Monday, January 25, 2010

Happy Day!

Another birthday was yesterday.  This time it was for our Little Pink Princess who turned 8 years old!

Where does the time go?

No heart-warming birth story for this one.  It was long and drawn-out and I felt used and violated by the time it was over because of the midwife (not the same one as last time).  I can't even tell the story without getting angry all over again, even though I have prayed many times over the years to be at peace about it and forgive.

I think it's a major reason why LP is my baby and there are no others.

All that aside, she wants to grow up and do things, but she still wants to be my baby and have me sing to her at night.  I'm happy to get to cuddle her for a while longer!

Happy Birthday, Sweetie!

Friday, January 22, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday

1.  The news from Haiti continues to move me to tears----tears of joy for people who are rescued after many days, tears of sorrow for those who aren't, and tears because there are good people in the world doing heroic things.

2.  Today is a day of fasting and prayer, according to my Catholic calendar, to bring an end to the ongoing horror of abortion.  My kids occasionally ask questions about abortion and are shocked by the answers.  Children are naturally pro-life.  Why do adults have twist something so simple (killing an innocent human being) into a convoluted argument that gives people, mothers, the "right" to kill their babies?

3.  Bad news on the family front is that my brother has a golf-ball sized tumor in his head.  It's a Meningioma, which is usually benign, but it's still pretty serious.  He has permanently lost 90% of his hearing on the left side, and the surgery carries obvious risks along with more hearing loss and facial paralysis.  He'll be having the surgery in the next couple of weeks.  Please say a prayer for a successful surgery and quick recovery.

4.  All this tear-worthy news has me knitting like crazy.  I think I have an un-precedented number of projects on needs and the desire to cast on a couple more!  In my knitting bag I have LP's sweater, a new pair of socks for KT, a leafy scarf, and a hat for an unplanned recipient.  It might end up going to my brother----although he says he wants everyone to see his scar so they'll feel sorry for him.  He's keeping his sense of humor, thankfully!

5.  We have another birthday this weekend for our Little Princess.  I'm happy she's turning 8 (am I?  Really?), but I can live without a giant chocolate chip cookie cake.

6.   Some blogs that I read have music on them, which I generally like, although I read recently that they're bad!  On one blog, in particular, I used to play her "blog song" repeatedly because I liked it so much.  But just now,  as I was opening a whole bunch of windows on decorating to look at later, one of them started playing music.  Since I'm listening to a podcast, I had to hunt through all of them to find the culprit and turn off the conflicting music.

How do you feel about music on blogs?

7.  I watched the Massachusett's election of Scott Brown with interest, and a little hope (that's the normal kind of "hope", not "HOPE"!).  I'm anxious to see what comes out of this. 

You can find some interesting stuff out there!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Chicken and Egg Question

Which comes first?

Cranky, hormonal, homeschooling mommy?

Or irritable kids who cry at the drop of a hat?

I know what you're going to say....but I've got a simple, mindless knitting project in my hands (to keep me from killing someone! lol. ), and they're crying over every. little. thing.

It's driving me crazy and I really don't think I drove them to it.  At least not this time.

Is crankiness an airborne contagion?

You know what I just realized?  There has been a low-pressure system moving in all morning.  Maybe that's it.    Yeah, I know, or maybe it's just me.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Schoolroom Cleanup

My former schoolroom has become the dumping ground for everything crafty, schooly, or just plain not needed right now.  Sigh.

The table gets covered with scraps from sewing, pictures/projects that children have snuck in to do.

The desk gets covered with papers that need to be organized and more stuff that the children have left behind (which they're not supposed to do because I don't want them adding my mess!).

There are three stacks of boxes that dh removed from his old office and put there "for now".  They make it kind of hard for me to get to that bookshelf behind them!

The big green bin is the box of yarn that my friend Eren gave me.  There's lots of fun to be had in there!  

The closet is a mess and the fabric stash is overflowing.

More stuff piled against the wall on the right side of the door.  To be fair, the hulking black tower is a set of bins that I just bought at Tar-jay to help with the clutter control!

Meet my little helper!  She neatly folded all the things in those white bins on the floor.

We got rid of some of the clutter in the closet.  The stash is still a bit of a mess, but it's better.  The shelves whole my scrapbooking supplies and a box of photos for each of the children.   I will NEVER get to that long-held goal of an album for each of them!

Cleaned the trash off the sewing table and put everything away.  The stuff you see under the table is a stack of precious artwork that my mother did.  A few, semi-framed pieces, but mostly sketches and old canvases that have been removed from the stretcher-bars.

Clean desk.  Paperwork all in a neat stack to be dealt with still.  

New tower to knitting projects, more fabric, and knitting patterns.  The little tower on the right has a drawer for each child that holds their special certificates and little things that they might want in their scrapbooks.

I need help with that cushionless bench there.  It goes with LP's vanity, but the cane seat it used to have is gone.  It used to have a cushion that someone tried to attach with velcro, but it always came off and then so did the child sitting on it!  If anyone has ideas for that, I'd love to hear 'em!  Inspiration on how to fix it has just not come to me.

The boxes are out of the room!  There's a bump-out of sorts in the hallway, so we moved them out there.  They will be in nobody's way in that part of the house!

Then there's the laundry basket of things that didn't belong in the room.  And, yes, we put them all away!  I've gotten into a routine of cleaning up where I pile up things on the kitchen table (you know, the little things that kids leave all over the house during the day?).  I make a pile for each of them, usually their own stuff.  Then what's left over we all run around and put away.

It's so much better, now!  Whew.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

First Confession

Yesterday was a Happy Day----Our Little Princess made her First Confession.

She was bouncing around in the afternoon, ready to go, conscience all examined, list prepared.

She was so excited when it was all over.  She's been waiting in the confession line with the rest of us for years, waiting for her turn.

Now she's done, and so are we.  Our Last First Confession.

It's bittersweet.  But so is the blessed life God gives us.

Friday, January 15, 2010

7 Quick Takes


I've been crying repeatedly this week reading the news about Haiti.  My heart breaks for everyone there, but especially all the children who are now orphans and are lost and alone.

Our homeschool group had decided several weeks before the earthquake to do a lenten fundraiser for Haiti.  Everyone participating will have a Haiti Jar to keep and add their change to it during Lent, sort of like a Lenten Rice Bowl.  We did this last year for a pregnancy center in Jamaica and it raised a nice sum of money.  Our family went ahead and started our jar early, instead of waiting until Lent.

Of course, our family will be donating long before Easter, and if you're looking for a place to donate, here's a good list of options.

Yarn Harlot has mobilized Knitters Without Borders

May God be with the Haitian people in this time of intense suffering!


I'm very excited about Melissa Wiley's news that Emily of Deep Valley by Maud Hart Lovelace will be republished soon!  I read this one last fall for the first time.  It was definitely one of my favorite books ever.  Carney's House Party and Winona's Pony Cart are being republished also in a two-volume edition, like the most recent Betsy-Tacy books.  The added bonus to this news is that Melissa gets to write the forward to the new edition.  She's such a wonderful writer----I've never read anyone else's book reviews that make me feel as if a book is a friend before I ever pick it up.  Everything she has recommended, I have loved.

We have Carney's House Party, but I've never read it.  Winona's Pony Cart has been out of print for a while, so I'm looking forward to that one.  I think I'll wait until they come out to read Carney since I already have a list a books Melissa recommends.  Plus, I'm working my way through the Anne of Green Gables series.  Oh, how I love these books!


I've started working out this week with my Personal Fitness Coach for the Wii.  I'm kind of liking it.  I'm still kind of lazy (I'd rather NOT workout), but I like the way the workouts are structured, the little bars at the bottom that tell me how much longer I'll be doing a particular segment, the bar that tells me what's coming, the timer that tells me how much more time I have, and that there are lots of different workouts.

It was also way cheaper than Wii Fit.


Last night, TMax won our homeschool group spelling bee!  It was an exciting night---I was afraid he wouldn't have any competition since he happened to be the oldest one there.  He did have a serious competitor, though, who was only 11!  The next step is to go to another spell-off among homeschool groups.  There are 4 homeschool groups; the top 3 spellers from that spell-off move up to the district bee.

I think he needs to start studying.  Spelling Bee competition is serious business and this is his last year of being eligible for the Scripps National Spelling Bee.  I don't think I can take the strain, however.  I was a nervous wreck last night and just wanted to come home and eat chocolate!

Have you seen Akeelah and the Bee?  It's one of our favorite movies.


Not much knitting going on this week!  We've been working on staying on track with our school routine and cleaning up stuff around the house.  Like Christmas decorations and the schoolroom.


I still have these some snowflakes up, and my garland and icicle lights on the banister.  They make me happy; I love the way they light up the early mornings and evenings!


Somewhat busy weekend ahead---dropping off kids for a party tonight, confession tomorrow morning, Mass and First Reconciliation meeting tomorrow evening for my Little Princess, football banquet for boys.  (Hey, quiet time for Mom while they're all busy!)  LP has her First Reconciliation on Monday!  And I think we'll have quiet, family time on Sunday.  That'll be nice.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Answer to the Question

Who is the patron saint of knitters?  I asked when I was desperately finishing up Dh's socks.

To answer your question, both are correct. As I mentioned yesterday, patron saints were people who have something to do with your situation, problem, job, hobby, dog....the idea is that you pick a person who had to deal with something like what you are up against. Sometimes it's a stretch, like the story of St. Blaise and his relationship with people who like to knit.

St. Blaise was tortured with a comb used to comb sheep. Wool comes from sheep. Knitters knit with wool. I'll bet there are plenty of saints who actually knitted, but since no one saint has ever been singled out as a knitting maniac, St. Blaise will have to do. Anyhow we love St. Blaise, even though he's the reason I never liked fish as a child.
Now we know!

Thank you very much, Sister Mary Martha!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ultimate Coconut Cake

Here's the cake Pipster wanted (and had) for his birthday on Sunday.   Making it was a big project with lots of steps.

As usual, I made my own mistakes and modifications.   It still turned out super-yummy!  Although not exactly picture-perfect!

Here he's resting because it's so filling!  LOL

I guess since I put so much effort into the cake, that my brain was fried and I only put 10 candles on it instead of the requisite 11.  He realized the mistake a little later, rectified it and blew them out all over again.

I love those self-reliant kids!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Weekend Project

My project last weekend during the cold, cold days was to make use of my new and improved yarn stash.  Before Christmas, my friend Eren, who braved the long line at PW's book signing with me,

gave me a giant rubbermaid box full of yarn, most of which she had inherited from a co-worker.

I found a leaf pattern over at Spud and Chloe that I love, and I found the perfect skein of yarn in the stash to make the scarf with.

Ignore the fact that it doesn't go with my sweater; it's not in my colors so I'm giving it to Eren.

I'd appreciate it if you'd also ignore the holiday weight gain.

And ignore the 11 year-old boy who loves to be the center of attention.

But I can't ignore that this scarf is very cozy and I love the way it feels around my neck.  I'm downright chilly when I take it off!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy Day! part II

Just to wrap up the story of Pipster's birthday....

It's pretty amazing how easy his birth was once I got that teeny little boost of pitocin and he was born in one push.  The midwife was every bit as good at catching the football  baby as Dh had been.  Everything looked good as they got me back to the bed and Pipster latched on to nurse.

The lights were dim in the room as he tried to nurse.  He was latching on well, but then he began making funny noises that I'd never heard before.  I didn't think his color looked good either, but  no one seemed to notice until I finally took him off the breast and made them turn on the lights so we could see that he was actually blue and the sound was grunting because he couldn't breathe through his underdeveloped lungs!

As Dh put it, the SWAT team came running in then and controlled chaos ensued.  My sweet little baby was examined, given a bottle to see if he could coordinate sucking and swallowing, and finally returned to me much later.  To my dismay, he started grunting again while nursing, so they took him away again and gave him another bottle.

You know what they say?  The third time's the charm?  After he tried to nurse a third time and started grunting again, they blamed the breastfeeding and took him away to the NICU.   He was the biggest baby in the NICU, and we spent 8 days there on the C-Pap, pumping, sleep testing, and I don't know what else.  He wasn't allowed to nurse for 3 days because he always had trouble breathing while trying.  I know that doesn't seem like a long time to wait for moms whose babies have been in NICU for much longer periods of time, but every day apart is a trial for mom and baby.

I'm thankful for those early attempts at nursing even though they seemed to cause breathing difficulties, because he was already imprinted at the breast and when we were finally given the go-ahead to try again, he remembered how in spite of the bottles.

Pip was finally discharged after 8 days and we got to take him home along with a heart rate monitor/alarm since he also had sleep apnea.  The monitor was our friend for 8 long months until he went a certain length of time without any alarms.  We were very fortunate that the infant CPR training I'd had was never needed because the alarm itself always startled him back into breathing.

Nursing was never a problem after those few days in the hospital!  Pip chunked right up and was quite the luscious little lump.  It was always very strange to label him "premature" and see him attached to the heart monitor.  You'd never think he might have had a rough start as a baby since he's always tearing around, making noise, or breaking something (of his own or someone else's)!

Pip brings such joy to our home.  I don't know how we could live without him!  He is so full of life that I look forward to seeing what kind of man he will grow into.

Happy 11th Birthday, Pip!

We love you
even if I did put only 10 candles on your birthday cake!

Happy Day!

January, 3 years later, we were living in the north Georgia suburbs, and it was definitely NOT snowing as I waddle  strolled up to my neighbor's house, 3 doors away, to help the new mom with a breastfeeding question.  This baby was not due until February 2, but I was wondering how I'd ever  make it.  Oh, I had no doubts that I would, but it would be a painful 3 weeks!

A couple of days later, I awoke suddenly in the middle of the night thinking I wet the bed.  Does that ever happen to adults who aren't pregnant women?  Naturally, I went to the bathroom, but I still wasn't sure what happened, so I went back to the bed.

"Don?"  I said softly.

Now the MoW is instantly awake since I used his name and not one of our many terms of endearment!

"I think my water broke!"  A thing that has never happened in the history of my childbearing years!  I hadn't had any contractions yet, so we decided to wait until morning to call the midwife.  I think must have been 3:30 a.m. when all this started.  No home birth was planned this time around as we were in Georgia where the laws are different and I wasn't comfortable with the options, yet I was not about to go to the hospital until I was having good labor.

Alas, that didn't happen.  When we called the midwife in the morning she encouraged me to come to the hospital anyway because it was very likely that an infection caused my water to break 3 weeks early and I would require IV antibiotics.  You know, "3 weeks early" is an interesting phrase.  At 37 weeks, my old midwife Nancy would have delivered me at home, but I was 36 weeks and 6 days, where she would have required me to go to the hospital.  At the hospital, they continually said I was 4 weeks premature.  Interesting.

Contractions did eventually start, but stopped immediately upon arrival at the hospital.  I cried because I didn't want to be there.  Hospitals scare me! (I really want to change that to "scared", but I'm not sure I'm there yet!)  We puttered along all day, gradually calming down and dilating more.  Eventually, my very nice midwife was concerned that things were moving far to slowly and we should think about pitocin.    Considering the fact that I'm an avid homebirther, I was less than thrilled about this option, but believe you me, we tried all the natural ways we could to get labor moving before I agreed to it!  Nothing worked.  I made my midwife promise to give me as little pitocin as possible.  Just what was needed to get things moving.

She agreed.  I forget the dear woman's name, but she said afterward that she gave me a tiny amount of pitocin, so small it's unheard of, and it worked!  I could handle the contractions and she never needed to bump it up.  Gosh, I think that it was around 7 p.m. when I got the "pit" and then things started happening.

I went from 3 to 8 pretty quickly, but I still wasn't there and it was getting hard.  She checked me when I thought I was feeling an urge to push, but I was still just 8 cm.  Wanting to make a visit to the bathroom, they helped me up and as my feet hit the floor I had a huge contraction and when I got there, I announced that the baby was coming!

Of course, they didn't believe me.  8cm to 10 cm in one contraction.

Of course, they wanted me to walk back to the bed when they saw I was right.

Of course, I said, uh, No, I'm staying here.

So, again, standing in the bathroom, I gave birth to my little Pipster.  7 lbs. 11 oz.  at 4 weeks early (or is it 3?)


I'm going to have to leave you there and finish the saga later.  There's lots more to tell and I have a cake to frost before Mass!

Friday, January 8, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday (Snow Edition)


Is it Friday already?  It has been a strange week with our college kids leaving on Wednesday, celebrating TMax's birthday on Tuesday, the younger 3 in varying stages of illness after LP's very high fever on Sunday.  Oh, and trying to get back into a school routine with all that going on.  And now we have a snow day because North Ga. got a half-inch of snow.


Last night was kind of a fun night because American Heritage Girls was cancelled and I started a new knitting project while we watched the BCS National Championship.  Everyone stayed up late because we knew there would be no school today.  I went to bed after midnight and slept in this morning until 8:30.  Yum.


One of the highlights of our week has been entering Pioneer Woman's Smartypants movie quizzes this week.  It's fun, but they're so hard it's ridiculous.  Last night I was essentially on my own since dh went to bed and TMax, my devoted helper in anything intellectual, was wrapped up in the Big Game.  This might have been the first time we (I!) got all the answers right, but I'm sure there were others there before me.  You've got to be FAST on these things to be first!


I want to tell you about my basketweaving project that I started over New Year's weekend when we were sitting around with the inlaws needing an activity.  I thought it would be fun to weave baskets out of newspaper, like the ones I had seen at TJ Maxx for $10 or more.  As usual, I just launched into it without looking for directions or anything, just going by what I had seen in the store.  How hard could it be?

(It's still wet since I coated it with Mod Podge)

Not too hard, evidently, but I think there is room for improvement after looking at this.
My second one turned out better, but I evidently didn't take a pic of it yet.  Stay tuned.


TMax complained yesterday that I don't blog enough.  He estimated that I post approximately 2.7 times per week.  According to my reader, it's more like 3.3.

If I blog more, what do you want to hear about???


My sweet MIL brought me a present when she came---an old tablecloth that she thought I could re-purpose somehow.  I'm looking forward to using it, and I have some ideas, but I am So. NOT. In. A. Sewing Mood.  Especially since I went down to the basement yesterday and saw how badly my sewing/scrapbooking/former school room has become the major catch-all in the house and is not a Very Pleasant Place to Be.  I'm going to have to do some serious reorganizing and cleaning before I do any sewing.  Yuck.

Seriously, it is so bad, it's worth a Before and After blog post.

I know you'll be on the edge of your seats waiting for this one!


I finally started slowly, very slowly and casually, taking down Christmas decorations yesterday.  I'm not in a hurry.  I have my Christmas tree lights on all day and I love them.  They give such a happy glow to the dark winter days and nights, and those cold, early mornings!

Have a great Snow Day, everyone!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

14 Years Ago Today

The Feast of the Epiphany, January 6, 1996, was quiet around our house.  Since I was in the RCIA program in preparation for coming into the Catholic Church at Easter, we didn't know alot about celebrating this day.

It started to snow in Richmond around 11 a.m. and my mom called from Northern Virginia to say that she was on her way or she wouldn't be able to be there for the birth of her 7th grandchild (my 4th).  I wasn't in labor, but I was already 4 days overdue and 6-7 cm. dilated.  I called my midwife to see if she wanted to come over  to break my water and induce labor since we were planning a homebirth, but she said that she had 4-wheel drive and she wasn't worried about my baby and we could just wait.

Well, it continued to snow all day long; mom arrived safely and we settled in for a cozy evening.  I'm not sure how much snow we had by the end of the day, but it must have been 4-6 inches.  I put the 3 children to bed and I remember going to sit back down on the sofa to watch tv with Dh and Mom when I had a huge contraction.  It was very uncomfortable, but I had been having so much false labor that I was frustrated.  Taking the advice of my wonderful midwife who had attended my 2 previous home births, I went upstairs to take a long, hot bath to relieve the contractions.  I was stopped on the stairs by another strong contraction (how close were those?! 2 minutes?) which only served to frustrate me further.  During my long soak there were no noticeable contractions which made me think that it had been more false labor.

Getting out of the tub a good half-hour later, I started trembling violently (which dh attributed to being cold after the bath) and had another contraction.  I called Nancy, my midwife, to tell her that I wanted her to come break my water because I was tired of the false labor, but she seemed to think I was already in labor.  She asked how long it had been since I had that first contraction....

crickets chirping....

When I couldn't answer her question immediately, she knew I was in transition and that in all likelihood she wouldn't be there for the birth.  Hanging up the phone, we prepared the room for birth while Mom boiled some water, and I spent my time in the bathroom (ahem) where I immediately told dh that the baby was coming.  He said No way, Nancy's not here yet!

But yes, dear, there's that unmistakeable feeling of a baby moving down into the birth canal.

At this point, I was in control (Nancy had had me study up on Emergency Childbirth!), which was a good thing because my dear husband and mother were a bit frazzled by the thought that they would be delivering this baby!  A little comedy of errors ensued, the details of which I will spare my gentle readers, culminating with the birth of TMax while standing in the bathroom and dh doing an admirable job of catching the football  baby.  While Mom and I marveled that the deed was done and the baby was breathing and crying lustily, Dh was the only one who thought to look and see if it was a He or She.  I think he was the only baby who's sex was not predicted during ultrasound.

The next step was to hobble to the bed with baby and wait for Nancy to arrive so she could cut the cord. Arrive she did, 5 minutes after the birth.  Dh greeted her at the door with the news:  It's a Boy!

We estimated that he arrived at 9:55, less than an hour and a half after that first contraction on the sofa.  The sex, dh thought about.  The time of birth, not so much.

The next 4 hours were rather scary (especially for Mom and Dh) since a large baby (10 lbs. 2 oz) and rapid childbirth coupled together can make a uterus sluggish and refuse to cooperate, but Nancy was amazing and I trusted her with good reason.  She knows her business.

We had a beautiful "babymoon" together since I was very weak and forbidden to go downstairs for at least a week.   Plus, we were all snowed in by 2 feet of snow.  That sweet baby didn't have to get any shots or heel sticks until he was 2 weeks old!

But all was well, and I received the Best Gift Ever from the three kings.  He's still the Best Gift Ever---smart, funny, thoughtful, talented, and kind.

And his birth is a great story to tell!

Happy Birthday, TMax!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Craft Year in Review

1.  The infamous Dead Fish Hats.  LP's is not pictured.  These are appropriately first for 2009 because I started them in 2008. 

2.  KT's adorable, reversible Emmeline apron.

3.  A little twirly skirt for my niece.

4.  An Easter dress for me!

5.  Little Princess's quilt which took me 9 months.

6.  The paperback book wreath which was lots of fun!

7.  Our favorite, favorite project of all:  turning the Guatemalan skirt into a pillow.  I've got to find another one of those!

8.  Socks for the Master of My World.  He loves them.
Thank goodness.

9.  Fishy shopping bags.  I've got my eyes open for more great thrifty fabrics to make more totes with!

10.  Appropriately unfinished; it's going to span two years, too.  Little Princess's sweater.  I'm thinking of aiming for her birthday on the 24th, but I don't know if I can take the pressure.  Again.  (#5 if you click the hyperlink!)

I'm looking forward to more thrifty projects in 2010.  Repurposing is fun.  The sewing part can be a challenge for me, but I'm enjoying it.   In fact, I already know what I'm doing for family presents next Christmas, so I'm going to start working on them early.  (Famous Last Words, I know.)

Do you have any projects planned for this year?


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