Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Claudia Madrid
Born 10/20 at 2:51 in the morning. She weighed 7 pounds 10 ounces. She is absolutely perfect and we are overwhelmed with joy and gratitude.

And after 2 days of snuggling under the king-sized baby quilt with my new girl, I'm rethinking the suitability of it. Perhaps all baby quilts should be big enough for the whole family.
Thanks for all the well-wishes. We feel really blessed.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

P is famous!

Okay 3 posts in one day is a little much, but Penelope is famous!  Check her out...

Picture post

Some pictures I intended to put into the last post but got interrupted.  What I suspect will be the last outdoor, shirtless day of the year.  Below was a pizza-making extravaganza.  We tried (fairly successfully, I think) to reproduce a 'hamburger pizza' Diego ate with one of his friends after school one day.  The crust recipe was from the same cookbook as the challah mentioned a few posts back.  I highly recommend this book.

And I never showed off this quilt I made for the couch which the kids love to snuggle under.  It was made to be a vehicle for my very special russian nesting doll fabric which is in the border.  Okay, that's it for now.

Baby quilt take 2

Okay, here is the more appropriately sized baby quilt.  It has flannel on the back and puffy, light polyester batting.  I have run out of beds, cradles etc for putting this quilts on, so this one lives on the back of this chair in the front room for now (where it can be exposed to full sun at for at least 3 hours a day).
On the subject of "being past your due date can be fun if you make it fun" here is a dress I made for Penelope. The pattern is from Oliver and S which is a company that makes fabulous, easy to follow patterns for kids clothes.  The fabric is from Heather Ross's new Mendocino line.  Can you see that they are mermaids?  Fuschia mermaids.  What could be better?  The dress actually looks even cuter on.  
Because it's been chilly and I want her to be able to wear the dress to the school picnic today, I made a pair of flannel-lined pants to wear underneath.  They are also fuschia.  With cabbages and roses.  Fuschia cabbages and orange roses.  Again, remember the theme is "being past your due date can be fun if you make it fun."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Past due

I can sense all you wondering folks out there (kind-hearted and well meaning, of course).  So I'll put you all out of your misery: no baby yet.  No sign of any baby (other than my enormous and growing belly).

If I haven't had the baby by Saturday I will be able to go to the kids' school picnic which I have missed in the past because of work.  While there I might have the opportunity to schmooze with Penelope's teacher (on whom I have a small crush--you would too, she's so cool).  So that would be okay and I think I'll be able to be patient until then.  Especially as I am making P a special beautiful dress to wear to said picnic (need a conversation-starter dontcha know).

Pix of the ongoing crafting/nesting to follow.  

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Still struggling with the mac.  I originally uploaded some of the pix for this post Oct 4th, but today is actually the 11th.  I don't know how to make the date change on the post.  

No baby yet, so I have time for an update.  We went apple picking last weekend and picked a ton.  We've already made an apple pie (see above) and two batches of applesauce.  Al also made an (unrelated) challah (see above).  How gorgeous is that.

Below is Penelope with her new doll.  Her name is Posy.  I actually really made her for me to play with but Penelope has taken her over.  She is made from the 'Kit Chloe and Louise" pattern from www.weewonderfuls.com.  She was a breeze to make and she's a nice size for playing with.  Not too sure about the blonde hair, but otherwise I'm happy with her.

Anyone who has spoken to me recently knows that we had a washer and dryer installed on the bedroom floor of our house.  This has continued to be the best renovation decision ever.  Behold my new laundry room:
This works so well for us.  I fold laundry while the kids are in the bath tub.  I start laundry first thing in the morning, at night, whenever I find myself in the bathroom (which is all the time, now that I am 17 months pregnant).  I even thought about switching a load at 2 in the morning the other night when I couldn't sleep.  Decided that might be excessive.  

Below is the baby's changing table which we have also set up in the bathroom/laundry room.  I mad the cover for the changing table from a pattern in Amy Butler's new book "Little Stitches for Little Ones."  I love this book and also made the monkey laundry bag below from the same book.  For the changing table pad, I didn't follow the pattern exactly, because we already had a changing table and pad that were different dimensions than specified in the book.  

Below is a  close-up of one of the squares on the baby's huge quilt.  I also just finished a 'normal' sized quilt for the baby--just sewing the binding on.  
Holly and I collaborated on another oversized baby project--a bird mobile inspired by the one that had been on display at our local fabric store (www.spoolsewing.com).  The birds were really fun to sew and I just kept sewing and sewing them.  Unfortunately when Holly put the mobile together, it was way too big to hang where I had intended it--over the co-sleeper in our room.  In fact, even without the co-sleeper set up it was too big.  We couldn't get out of the bed on that side.   It has since been turned into three smaller mobiles and I have an excuse to make a few more birds--to fill out the smaller mobiles a bit.  More pictures to follow of the smaller baby quilt and mobiles.  I hope all these huge baby projects don't reflect any kind of maternal intuition about the size of the actual baby...especially since I'm apparently going to be pregnant forever.

Finally, belatedly a picture of the kids with my beautiful niece Dylan.  She was here with her doting parents in mid-September and we all enjoyed soaking up her delicious fatness and incredible thatch of hair.  

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My lovely doula friend Jessica tells me that there has been research that shows that women's IQ's actually go up during pregnancy and that they learn faster than at any other time in their lives.
 I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that this hasn't been the case for me.  At least not recently.
Exhibit A: the most unsuitable baby quilt ever:

Yes.  There it is.  Covering my KING sized bed.  Somehow I just didn't see that coming.  Plus, what you may not be able to appreciate from the photo is that I screwed up the batting too.  I really wanted a quilt that would be light but puffy--like a comforter.  They make batting for just this purpose.  It's called 'high-loft' batting and it's polyester and it's both cheap and readily available.  And it only has to be quilted about every 12 inches making it perfect for tying which is what I planned to do.  But I had to have a natural fiber for the batting.  So instead I used to layers of a wool-cotton blend.  Which is the opposite of light and puffy.  It is heavy and dense.  Like so heavy that when I tossed the quilt down the stairs to Al, he staggered backwards.  And it has to be quilted every 2-4 inches.  And it smells like a wet sheep.  

I machine quilted around the log-cabin blocks, and hand-tyed each embroidered square.  But the borders are about 15 inches (and yet I didn't anticipate the finished size being slightly larger than co-sleeper sized, huh) and they do not lie flat at all (guess that's what happens when you decide to be 'spontaneous' and make each square as big as you feel like in the moment, and then pull and wrestle to get the borders to fit around four uneven sides of the quilt).  So I can't figure out whether to attempt to machine quilt the borders or tie them in some way or what.  Plus, let me tell you that wrestling 15-pounds of wet-sheep-smelling quilt through my little sewing machine was... well lets just say it wasn't pretty.  Maybe all the exertion will put me into labor.