Friday, April 28, 2017

Thistle Quilt Finished!

The Thistle Quilt

One of my before-baby goals was to finish the Thistle Quilt. And I did! Looking back over my quilting blogposts, I finished the central medallion on this quilt in September of 2015 after putting it together that summer. Less than two years to finish a decorative bedcover? I figure that's not too bad considering all the other things I was working on at the same time. Quilting is, after all, a relaxing hobby.

The central square is quilted with patterns of thistles. The white fabric is fine linen. Around the edges are colored blocks of linen, and the floral strips are cotton. The batting is cotton, and the backing is forest green cotton.

The quilting around the sides is made up of more thistles and church window patterns, while over the floral is a simple vine, and on the colored blocks are simple sentences: one side reads "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork" and the other "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, King of creation."

A corner and the backing.

I know the pictures aren't great, so just trust me- seeing that many stitches in one cover is just cool! Now I just need to finish my queen sized wholecloth... and the baby quilt... and the vintage quilt from Grandma....

Monday, April 10, 2017

Four weeks in

Four weeks ago, getting kicked from the inside.

 Things are going well. I'm tired, but we haven't had any sleep walking episodes or such. I was two hours early for an appointment, but that could have been worse. One late night I was having a dream that the baby was in bed next to me, so I started stroking her head. Only as I gradually came awake I realized it didn't feel like her head, and then John jerked his arm away and rolled over in his sleep. And I got up and fed the real baby.

Now getting kicked on the outside.

We've been enjoying lots of help with cleaning, laundry, and meals from friends and family. I'm just now getting back into doing things and trying to get my head back around a schedule. And I'm looking forward to some special sewing, eventually!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Baby Came Out

"Still no baby. I thought for sure I would go early, but the estimated due date is tomorrow. I've been baking a lot; cupcakes, coffee cake, cookies. I just don't feel like doing anything else! John suggested a healthier trend after attending the latest midwife appointment with me, and hearing the protein talk from the midwife. I know I've been eating more sugar the past two weeks; I suppose there's a faint sense of fatality. As in, well, if the baby's never going to come out, I'll just eat whatever I want. Everyone says the baby will come out eventually, but they aren't the one who's pregnant!"

-I wrote that two weeks ago. It turns out the baby did intend to come, exactly on the estimated due date, and my plans for chocolate pudding were laid aside. I rolled over in bed at 8am that morning, my water broke, and by 5:30pm that evening Baby was born. Not much else has happened since then- thank goodness!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Can the Baby come out now?

Well, maybe. It's coming soon, anyway. We're just past 37 weeks, the legal marker for home birth. I don't really expect the baby to go late, so it's good to reach this point. It's no longer worth it to shave my legs. Or bend over. Or lift anything. The baby's fine and healthy and seems determined to keep growing despite the protests of my abdominal muscles.

Baby Stuff- blankets and animals.

We're nearing the end and I've been blessed with several different baby showers. First, the enthusiastic Lutheran ladies, at Mildred's bidding. Second, a Thanksgiving brunch gathering with NE family and church friends. Next was evening tea with a few Seminary ladies, hosted by one of the Professors' wives. This past weekend was a Country brunch with the TX church ladies; and last but not least, a brunch with a few of John's side of the family in Dallas.

Diaper cake. Not really sure where to put it, but it's cute!

That all adds up to lots of little gatherings and gifts of helpful baby items(And just a few unhelpful ones) that we probably wouldn't have bought ourselves! It's a blessing. We're thankful for friends and family helping us prepare for our first baby.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Baptismal Gown

The Baptismal gown is finished!

I made the gown from leftover pieces of off-white lightweight linen. It's a pretty simple gown, mostly because we don't know if we're having a boy or girl and John didn't want lace and ribbons if it's a boy. Plus, any children we have will have to wear this and hopefully we will have a boy at some point! So anyway, a plain gown.

The gown has pleats in front and back, and simple trim on the reinforced hem. Plain cuffs and collar. A button at the back neck and ribbons to gather in as needed.

In researching baptismal gown traditions it seems to be a more high-church tradition, with the white gown symbolizing innocence and purity(not very Calvinistic!). Our family has never had a family baptismal gown; I made one more for the sake of starting a family tradition, to make the baptism of new babies special. Plus it's a fancy, gender-neutral garment already prepared beforehand.

So that's one more thing checked off the to-do list!

Monday, January 23, 2017

January Starts the Count-down

We are seven weeks out from projected baby arrival. Lists are being made. There's lots of little things like stock up on PB&J and toilet paper, but the main two goals look like this:

  • Clean entire house thoroughly by 37 weeks
  • Put food in freezer
Current state of the baptismal gown: needing lace. Current state of the quilt I'd really like to finish: close! Current state of my last sewing order: Ugh. Buttonholes.

I've had some pregnancy discomfort, but nothing really bad. It will be nice to not be rotund in the middle again; I look forward to more variety in sleeping positions! One thing I am looking forward to being over are the comments people make to pregnant women. I had no idea! People tend to all say the same things when they don't really know what to say. It also seems like younger women have been positive about childbearing, but the older women have tended to be negative. That's hard. Here are a few of the most common comments received:

  • You look tired.
  • How are you feeling?
  • You look like you're not enjoying this stage.
  • That baby will not come early.
  • Your life will change forever.
  • I know you haven't found out the gender, but what do you feel like it is? (I get this one ALL the time and I seriously do not know!)
  • Take naps/have fun now because you won't be able to later!
  • Childbearing causes your stomach muscles to separate/brain cells deplete/vitamins become deficient/whatever horrible health consequences.
Hearing these comments over and over tends to annoy me a bit. I'm thankful for a very calm, positive midwife and a husband who listens to my rants. The subtle attitude of negativity from some has left me desiring to be encouraging about childbearing to younger women, whenever I get to that higher position. For myself, I did not get married with the desire to remain childless. I did not go through ten years of singleness to turn around and bemoan the relatively short discomforts of pregnancy(except to John!). To add more perspective, we know that infertility can be very common. We see friends struggling with this and are very grateful we have not had any such painful issues. We are thankful to be having a baby, and I for sure do not need anyone to tell me about the physical discomforts of producing one!

A baby is a total life change? Yes. But I'm thankful that I'm not going into this blind. Our parents had no clue how to take care of a baby. I helped raise four younger siblings- they were so cute. And they hate to be reminded that I changed their diapers. I welcome ideas, and advice, if I ask for it, but I don't want older women to tell me how to raise or train my baby, especially if it's presented from a negative viewpoint. I already have experience and opinions, and quite a bit of available information. Plus, I will figure out my baby when it arrives. Which I am looking forward to!

I'm thankful- for a healthy, gender-unknown baby, arriving soon.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

First Texas Christmas

Christmas was abnormally warm with wind gusts from the South that put out our electricity for some of the night. John graciously accepted his very practical gifts. We're swamped with chocolate and leftover ham(both of which are totally fine). In two weeks we attended three family Christmases, of course Church on Christmas day, and one evening service with carols. New Year's and our Anniversary we have all to ourselves!

A Chair-arm pocket bag

I checked one sewing item off my list this week, a pocket-bag for our gifted glider rocker. I made a pocket for a water bottle, my phone, and a pocket that can hold at least four bars of chocolate(No, I don't plan to lose baby weight!). The purpose being, there's not much room for an end table and I thought it would be handy to have some of those things close during the first months with the baby. It turned out well! It's just a flap of fabric that folds over the chair arm and ties underneath.

Next up, Baptismal gown.