Things have been quiet in a rather chaotic way. the past couple weeks between enduring the end of my pregnancy and the arrival of our third son on the 30th. Good job Josh for making it easier on us this year with taxes. The boys are loving him and we’re all enjoying how sweet and mellow he is.
Even with that first couple of weeks haze that nursing puts you into, I’ve felt well enough to keep myself happy in the kitchen, and slowly, tiny projects have been creeping out of the sewing room too.
Day 1 past my due date (Joshua came 6 days past), I made a tiny cover for my moleskine calendar with some Marimekko samples and some leftover Echino fabric.
Then the crib needed a new flat sheet.
I’ve also found time to make a couple of t-shirts for myself, but I’ll get to writing about them in the next couple of days.
Samuel Luke + his big brother Noah
He was born last Monday just before 9 am. We’re glad he’s here! Noah’s been such a good big brother. Note Sam’s ginormous clothes–when I was culling through all of our baby clothes about a year ago, I had forgotten that there is a difference between newborn sizes and 0-3 months. Oops. So we made a little trip to Target to get some more appropriately sized onesies to solve the problem.
No sewing going on here. We’re *still* waiting for our house to close. It may be a month, it may be sooner than that. Hopefully it will be sooner. I can’t wait to show pics of what will be my sewing room. I’m uber psyched! Until then, I’m trying to rest, reading a ton, packing a little, nursing constantly, and hanging out with all of my boys.
What with waiting for baby (13 days left, theoretically) and our house (right now our closing date is set for my due date–tee hee), I can’t say I have a lot of extra motivation to start any projects. Mostly, I’m just trying to keep busy with housework, cooking, and chasing after Noah. It occurred to me that I should read more though as I’ve mostly been driving myself crazy looking for furniture on Craigslist.
I’ve been plowing through more than my usual quota of cookbooks, but this one I’ve been savoring:
I dearly dearly love good examples of food writing. Don’t just give me a pile of recipes named after your Grandma without some introduction to the beloved woman! Food is an expression of our lives, and I want to read about other people’s lives in food. Molly O’Neill took on the task of collecting recipes from home cooks around the country for the past decade! She does more than simply catalog recipes–she tells us who these people are. This book is huge (nearly 1000 pages), and I’m grateful that she had an editor who allowed it to be so. It’s good food too, just the usual home cook cookbooks full of mother-in-law recipes that are missing that one special thing, the absence of which will render the dish so-so or perhaps inedible. That I get to read about so many people like me who derive so much joy out of cooking for others is bonus! Am I taking this heavier-than-a-cast-iron-skillet book with me to the hospital? You bet your biscuits!
My husband, continued this theme by coming up with the neatest birthday present ever. Several years ago, I viciously, recklessly and savagely went through all of my issues of Gourmet up to 2004 and cut out the recipes that I thought looked the most promising and tossed the rest. Nathan, knowing that I needed some quality reading material as well as some fresh inspiration took it upon himself to right the wrong I inflicted upon myself in the form of 60 pounds worth of back issues of Gourmet ranging from 1980 to 1996.
I’m ITCHING to get cooking in our new house, and I dare say I will be more than occupied with new things. If a girl has to turn 30 within days of giving birth, I dare say that a little dose of such husbandly romanticism will take away the sting every time.
Readers, I must fess up. As you could probably guess what with my super lame postings and equally lame sewing recently, something is up. And indeed it is.
Noah’s going to be a big brother. As excited as me and my husband are about this, the realities of the first trimester have really made mincemeat of me. Things are not as bad as they were with Noah (TMI–at least I’m not throwing up daily), but I can’t say that I have any more energy either. Food is completely abhorrent, and what I can eat, I have to force down. Even the heat of my beloved tea is making me nauseous. So as you can guess, the idea of tackling any kind of sewing project is a bit monumental mentally right now. Even my go-to couch project of yoyos is out because Noah is far too interested in my hand-sewing for me to be productive/not frustrated by playing keep away with needles. I’m rather depressed, but I did just reserve an obscene amount of opera DVDs and CDs at the library. Music therapy is always helpful, plus it’s good for baby.
I will not forget my music education roots, nor what I learned in my Master’s in the Kodaly method. Kodaly himself said that music education begins nine months before the birth of the mother. Noah heard no less than 15 operas in utero, plus all of the music in my classes. I see how music calms him and brings him joy. Not having the benefit of my classes, #2 needs the music around here to be amped up considerably.
Here’s for hoping that the end of September will find me feeling better. Oy, that’s too long.
My Great-Grandma was an interesting lady. Fiercely independent, opinionated, entrepreneurial, yet absurdly generous. She baked a cake for someone in her company every day she worked, she made Easter eggs out of sugar with little scenes inside of them to sell, and she sewed many many many Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. Those things were everywhere, and I’m pretty sure each of her 17 great-grandchildren had multiples of those dolls. Fast-forward to present day.
Next week, when I go to see my family, I’m going to a baby shower for my dear cousin who is due in September. She’s doing her nursery in Raggedy Ann and Andy motifs because (I imagine) it makes her remember Grandma St. Joe. How could I pass up the opportunity to make her a doll that Grandma would be proud of?
I used my TNT doll pattern, piecing the arms and legs to make them a little more patchworky, like Grandma’s dolls were. I copied the face in fabric paint from a vintage Raggedy Ann doll picture I found on Flickr. I used this tutorial for the hair, and the clothes I just cut a little bit of this and that and went to town, as I always do for my dolls. Actually, it’s probably because Grandma St. Joe that I make dolls at all. I remember being a kid and being allowed to raid her scrap piles in the attic. I made many many a costume for my beloved squeaky pig, Spam from those bits, the most treasured being my Henry VIII garb I made from an upholstery scrap (wouldn’t you know Spam is at my parents…one of these days I’m going to rescue him and do a proper photo shoot). I never cared much for the dolls themselves, but clothing them has always been a pastime for me, as I imagine it was for my Grandma. Traditions at their best always feel that way to me. It’s amazing to participate in a tradition and to remember those before you doing the same thing while you’re doing whatever that thing is.
So, though my Grandma was quite a firecracker, I feel really blessed that she invited all of us into her world and taught us things. I miss her.
(I was the baldest baby ever!)
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone (that’s me in 1986). I hope you have wonderful quality time with your families and good food to boot. I’m personally thankful for such a sweet supportive husband and family and the sweetest, funniest, most joy filled baby. How can you not melt when you see this:
In other arenas, next weekend I’m doing another craft show with my friend, and I thought in addition to my purses, I’d make some zippered bags. I love these things. I made 5 in a half hour and spent a little more time sewing in the linings by hand. This was totally the perfect project for me since I’ve put my jacket aside for a little while. No new fabric here either. Everything is recycled from my scrap pile, including the zippers which were previously recycled from a fabulous Ebay seller who sold me 200+ zippers plus thread, beads, bits of trim and other notions for $20 which included the shipping.
I was feeling pretty depressed about my jacket not turning out exactly as I’ve envisioned it, so this gave my mind some time to rest and recast the jacket in my mind. It’s crazy to me how emotionally attached we can become to the things we make.
After a really long labor, we finally got to meet our son, Noah James. He’s beautiful! We’re just so amazed by him. At the moment we’re just coping with the lack of sleep, so I imagine creative time will go by the wayside for a little while. Still, writing is soothing to me, so I may post more than I think I will. For now, this is what Noah thinks about cantaloupe (Nathan will disagree with me on this point, but I will freely interpret this face in such a manner for my own amusement).
Tomorrow is my last day as a teacher for a very long time. This is a weird weird thing for me. I’ve taught for 7 years now at the same little school. I’ve seen 2 groups of 6th graders now from day 1 of first grade. My classroom has been the backdrop for some terrible horrible no good very bad days as well as a place where amazing and joyful, sometimes even healing things have happened. My kids went from not being able to sing hardly at all to having classrooms full of singing leaders who compose just amazing things and make musical decisions during their music-making. I went from being someone who was very fluent in my own instrument but scared of my own shadow into becoming someone who really understands the PROCESS of teaching and is comfortable and shockingly funny in front of my students. Each year I’ve set the bar higher and my students have risen to it–and exceeded it when I’ve gotten out of their way long enough to give them space to do so. I’ve always told my 6th graders every year in a cheeky way that is not atypical of me that I will miss most of them. Now, with little exception I think I will miss the vast majority of all of them.
I will miss the social awkwardness of 6th graders, the complete inhibition of 5th graders, the way that 4th graders really dig into work, ALL of the song material of 3rd grade, the beautiful, bell-like qualities in 2nd graders’ voices, and the hugs, quirkiness, joy, and general sweetness of 1st graders.
I know what I am gaining in staying home to raise this little one is well worth the sacrifice, but I know that this change will not be without sadness for me. I’ve worked hard to learn to love my students. The Lord has changed my heart towards many of them and for that I am truly grateful. I hope I’ve taught them something in return. I know they will miss me too. At any rate, they ARE excited for me and this is what they are looking forward to (this BTW is very eloquently expressed by a 2nd grader):
Valentine’s Day at our house was a quiet occasion…on purpose. We decided that we didn’t want to battle all of the people out at some restaurant where the staff is probably paid extra to be nice to you and the kitchen staff is rather annoyed that you’re making them work extra hard.
So Nathan got me some beautiful yellow roses (because I think red are boring) and we built a reading cave in our living room.
As a kid, I loved making little tents in my room with lights and pillows and blankets. I disappeared in there with a fat stack of books and rarely emerged for the entire day that the structure was up. We often bemoan the pitiful state of education, and though we haven’t and probably won’t make a final decision for a while as to how to deal with it in relationship to our own kids, one thing Nathan and I both agree needs to happen is that we need to teach our kids to LOVE to read as reading really is the gateway to further education in any subject. What better way to do so then to build a little blanket fort? It certainly was a nice way to spend the day with the man I love all stuck in this nice warm cozy den with The Silver Chair, and a couple of books on children I checked out from the library.
I emerged to make us a rack of lamb with some sauteed asparagus and stuffing.
We decided lamb needs to be a more regular part of our lives.
We also made smores over our electric stove.
It was a good day.
Sorry for my recent absence. The past two weeks have been work work work…but not the kind I’m excited about.
Another member of Sew Mama Sew’s forum suggested recently this book. After perusing the images of it at this shop (the previous link said that the item is sold out, but I emailed her and said I was interested and she very quickly listed another copy), I decided the clothes looked far too adorable to pass up. Japanese craft books are pricey, but this is the first book that really looked like I could make everything in it, so I neatly justified the cost, especially since it has 26 patterns! I’m excited to get going on these projects:
Can you handle all the cuteness of the little purse? Nathan thinks I’m crazy.
I guess these are all more girly clothes. There are boys’ clothes in there too (like the little linen suit), I just really loved these.