Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Baby

The Amazing Danielle did an fantastic job for this photo shoot. Patient, so patient, she was. It's such a pleasure to watch someone work when they so clearly love what they do - she would quietly giggle when Dan did soemthing cute and murmur to herself over getting just the right angle.

She's so good, in fact, that she even got a shot of me that I like!
If anyone wants a print, let us know.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Why I Love *My* Local Church

I finished reading Why We Love The Local Church a little while ago, and found it to be such an encouragement. It really got me to thinking, especially following this past weekend's Ladies Retreat, about some of the things I love about my own church...things like:
  • A church full of husbands and fathers that take time off work so their wives can go away for a couple days
  • Folks who give extra money (anonymously) so that women who are strapped for cash can go
  • the fact that scores of women (and a few men) arrive early and stay late to set up, clean up and serve all day long, and tell you they were blessed to do so
  • the parents who cheerfully give a Sunday every month to serve other people's kids in children's church
  • the single people who cheerfully give a Sunday every month to serve other people's kids in children's church
  • the fact that I never once had to carry my very heavy bag from the moment it was packed - there was always someone else offering to hike it around for me
  • the knowledge that not only will someone happily grab Eleanor for me when she runs off (again) while my hands are full of coats and craft projects, but no one judges or criticizes me for not having a better handle on her
  • the fact that it's not perfect - if it was, it would have no room there for someone as imperfect as I

I have a great church, no doubt about it. I know, however, that I'm not the only one. What do you love about your local church? Share, and thank God for it!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tip of the Day

For homeschooling with preschoolers , try some hands-on things that still meet the "fun but educational" requirement.

For Christmas, we received this toy.
It doesn't get used as often as it should, but I think I'll be working it into our days a little more.
It's fun, creative, colorful, and doesn't roll off the table like those wretched lacing beads do. Plus, smaller siblings can't swallow them. Good to know, right?


I am so loving this zippered pouch thing. I could make loads, if only I had an unlimited supply of zippers...
Thankfully, I learned my lesson after the last whoops - fabric is all the right way around!

I don't have a particular purpose for all these little sweeties, but it's a great way to use some scrap material. If anyone wants one, let me know!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Helper

Eleanor has been proving herself to be quite the little helper lately. Whenever Daniel has a diaper change, she gets rid of the (well-sealed) dirty one for me. (There was the one time she put the disposable diaper in the toilet rather than the trash can, but never mind that one.)
Today, she even climbed up onto her own changing table for a change of her own. A new trick, this, and a slightly terrifying one at that. Still, it was kind of cool.
But some of her help....well, it's not very helpful. Like counting the tissues in the tissue box...

Yeah, not so much with the help, there.

She's still cute, though.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Everything about this season of life is just that - brief. Sleep is brief. Daniel's babyhood will be brief. Spare time is brief. And so, time for making things is also brief. So, we make as much of the time as we can, with short little projects that are either quickly finished or easy to leave and pick up again later.
Like these little hats. Made from SouleMama's pattern, these will probably go to some little heads over at the local crisis pregnancy center. Each one takes about 5 minutes to make.

And this shirt. It was a dress I'd bought from the thrift shop a while back and wore maybe twice before realizing it's a little too short. I was going to get rid of it, but Toby claimed to like the style, so I thought cutting the skirt off and giving the bottom a nice rolled hem might be the way to make this thing work.

I felt rather triumphant about this one, since it's the first time I've been able to make the rolled-edge hem on the serger come out the way I wanted. I love it when a plan comes together.

And where is Daniel while all this is going on? Oh, he's either in bed (sleeping during the daylight hours, little goof ball that he is), or he's here:

I put this together with some linen fabric before he was born. We'd borrowed a great ring sling from a friend for Eleanor, but Toby couldn't bear to see his little son carted around in something so pink. And I understood. So, based on the rough design of the borrowed sling, Dan gets one of his very own, in decidedly bright, yet gender-neutral, colors.

And sometimes, he even enjoys being in it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm a Dork, and My Kids are Weird

Abigail lost another tooth the other day. She asked for a special box to put it in under her pillow - a perfectly-sized little jewelry box. Under the pillow it went. And stayed there. The next day she woke up, came out to the living room, and said in the little voice she uses when she's disappointed but trying to be patient, "The Tooth Fairy didn't come last night." The kicker in this is that she knows I am the Tooth Fairy! I apologized profusely, thoroughly chastised. Just to make sure I got the point, I found a note taped to the wall last night: "Don't forget to do my tooth." Needless to say, I didn't forget, but nevertheless - I am a dork.
After a very disrupted night's sleep - to the point of sleep being virtually non-existent - I woke to enjoy some of the following conversation with my children:
Anna calls the pins-and-needles sensation "bees in my toes".
Abi claims to like the pins-and-needles sensation so much that when it goes away, she tries to make it come back. (No insights on how she does that, though.)
Noah's decided that he likes Tinkerbell because it rhymes with "Noah".
Just another venture into the Twilight Zone with my weird kids.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Story

No gory details, I promise.
So I went to bed late Friday night (5 March), surprisingly peaceful about not having had the baby yet. I know that sounds kind of lame to all those who have gone rather overdue, but the other 4 children all either came on their due date or a couple days early - all except Anna, who came 2 days late. So I've gotten to be kind of a wimp about it all. But this time, it was okay - Daniel would arrive in the Lord's perfect timing, and I was feeling pretty okay with that.
1am. Waking up feeling uncomfortable. Was that a contraction? I think so, but I'd been having them off and on for a couple of days. Uh-oh, I think my water broke...yup.
Now I am fully awake. Can't eat or drink once I'm at the hospital, but my labors tend to take so long, I'll be needing a snack before we leave. For the next hour, I'm wandering around the house, eating, drinking, and generally sorting out last minute stuff.
By 2.30am, I want to have a shower - I hadn't done that when Ellie was born and really regretted it. So, I make Toby a cup of tea, explain that I'm going to grab a shower before we need to leave for the hospital, and leave him to process the information while I get ready. He's so good - by this time, he knows he doesn't need to rush or worry, but is still ready when it's time to set off.
By 3am, after a call to the doctor and a call to the Rishels (who pulled the short straw for nighttime child duty), we were on our way.
When I arrived, they put me at 4 cm. Because every contraction was in the small of my back (i.e. back labor, i.e. exhaustingly excruciating), I went for the epidural as soon as they could get it to me. Have I mentioned how wonderful epidurals are? Wanna kiss the soul who came up with it...
When I could happily feel nothing but a vague tingle in my toes, Toby took a nap on the pull out bed and I in my "havin' a baby" bed. We happily passed a couple hours like this: dozing, enjoying an ice chip or two, knitting a row or two, dozing some more.
Right after the epidural took effect, the doctor announced that I was now 5 cm along. Cool. A few hours later, a little after 8am, I was still 5 cm. Disappointing, but not surprising. So, pitocin (the hormone that makes the contractions more productive) got involved, and that's when things got exciting. It wasn't long before I was hitting the epidural button a bit more often - not that the contractions actually hurt, but I was becoming more aware of them.
Around 9.15am or so, I started noticing this pressure, like something was "happening". The kind doctor had a quick look and said, "Oh, that would be because the head is there. Let's have this baby, now, shall we?" Honest to goodness, I thought he was teasing. I kept looking from him to Toby to the nurse, saying, "Really? Really??" Two good pushes later, and I got the first look at my new son, and even got to cut his cord - a first for me.
I so feel like I cheated. No drama, no concerns with infection, no cord wrapped around anything - just a peaceful, straightforward, quick 8 hour delivery (my fastest yet). I can honestly say that every one of my labors has been a wonderfully positive experience, even when things haven't gone to plan. What a blessing, though, that everything did go to plan, and God made the whole thing easy - just because He can.
I am one thankful mama!

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Little Man

Daniel William Gayner

Born 6 March 2010 at 9.21am

7lb 7oz 20 inches long

Now at home and awaiting visitors

More details to follow

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Some hits...and some misses

In spite of the quiet, there's been plenty of last-minute making going on. Some good, some not so good. For instance, some baby quilts to donate to the local Birthright Pregnancy Center. Both are from the scrap box, one is piece totally with old T shirts, which will be lovely and soft. Good. Also good is the T shirt dress. Abi was requesting dresses, and I didn't want to invest the time to start from scratch for a cold-weather outfit, so I went for the cutting the bottom off a hand-me-down shirt and attaching a gathered skirt. Nice and long to cover those long legs of hers.
Okay, really long, but this is the pre-hemmed version. Checked the length, though, and I'll only be taking off a couple of inches. That girl is tall!
I like the print on the fabric - another from the Grandmom Stash!
The summery version is less impressive because I didn't cut the waist short enough. I could probably change it, but I'm really not inclined to bother. I'm thinking "summer play dress" and a lesson learned.
A Hit: kitchen cloths from this pattern. We needed some more kitchen cloths and while most normal people just go and buy new ones, I've never been one for "normal", plus I had the cotton yarn. So three cloths in three days isn't too bad.

2 cloths are the knitted seed stitch on the left and one is the double crochet un-pattern on the right. Just for variety, you understand.

And the biggest success & failure of the bunch: the bag. Found instructions online for making a zippered pouch/bag and decided to give it a shot - gotta use up those scraps somehow and I'm thinking my knitting bag needs a pouch for needles, pins, tape measure, etc that isn't a Ziploc bag. So, instructions were great - I looked at them real good, then got up and did it from memory. I did a pretty good job, too...
...except for one little detail...

On the left, we have the correct side of the fabric facing out, and on the right, the incorrect side facing. What a bummer. Of course, I could go back and fix it, but I don't see that happening. I'll hang onto it as another lesson learned - both in humility and paying attention.
Tomorrow is my due date. I've spent the past 2-3 weeks thinking that this little boy was going to come early, but I'm not seeing that anymore. I suppose he'll get here when he gets here, and I'll be filling the time until he does...