Summer Craft Round-Up (Part 1): Sew This, Knit That

I have been a busy bee these past few weeks.  It all started when little Chickadee was under quarantine.  Not only were we staying home, but she was taking solid naps.  Wren has always been a good napper, so I took advantage of the situation and set up shop in the basement.

First, I took out this unfinished quilt and finally attached the binding.  It was one of those stories where you wonder why you let it sit unfinished for half a year when it took one afternoon to complete it.

IMG_5351

 

IMG_5346

It is not perfect, but it is the second quilt of this size I have ever made, and it is d-o-n-e!

- -

Then, feeling bad about having neglected my needles, I was determined to finish yet another project.  My mother had sent some bamboo yarn my way.  It was not enough for me to make a sweater that I’ve been dreaming about, at least not one in my size!  So I did some arithmetic and scaled it down many sizes.  It will fit a 3-6 month old baby.

IMG_5359

IMG_5363

IMG_5368

My Ravelry notes are here.

- -

THEN some leftover squares from the table runner I made back in December were calling my name.  I didn’t know what to do with them, so many evenings you could find me in the basement rearranging the squares.  After reading Modern Log Cabin Quilts, a really great book I checked out from my local library, I found my inspiration.

IMG_5426

IMG_5437

IMG_5441

 

The greatest part about finishing this project, aside from the finishing of it, was sending it off in the mail.  I really liked it, and I’m pretty glad that it’s going to a good home.  (Happy Belated  10th Wedding Anniversary, Andy and Lindy!)

- -

And THEN I decided that I was done knitting my nursing shawl.  It wasn’t shaping up the way I wanted it to.  I like the pattern a lot, but the wool/acrylic blend just didn’t drape.  So I knit a few more repeats until it ended on a good colour for symmetry and called it a baby blanket.  The cast-on edges like to curl so I’m contemplating what to do about that.  So technically, this project is not done because I need to … add a detailed edging?  … line the back?  Hopefully, I’ll figure it out soon enough and then I’ll come back with more photos.

- -

Oh, and Chicka is finally a good napper!  Alas, she’s awake so I’ve got to run.  Until next time.  :)

 

In their words

Chicka has been waving for a long time now. Only recently has she added “hi” and even “hey” to her warm greeting. Ever since she was a newborn, she has commanded attention.

She is starting to babble a lot. She likes repetition, and she will utter “dada” x 50. She is also keen on repeating the phrase “I did it.”

We stayed home recently from a trip to see family because she spiked a fever. Then she developed a rash. A trip to the doctor’s determined she had a viral infection which was contagious, so we stayed indoors for four more days — an eternity to a toddler and her mother.

Despite her illness, Chicka was determined to check off a few more developmental milestones off her to-do list. Stand unassisted, check. Crawl up steps, check. So, yes, she did do it.

Sometimes I wonder though how often her big sister puts her up to it. For example, if I were to ask, “Who drew on this wall?” who do you think answers “I did it.” Right, not the one who did.

I don’t know how much Wren understands, probably more than she lets on and probably more than I want to admit. The age of complete innocence is definitely going away.

I asked, after spotting lotion and wet paper towels on the carpet, “Who made this mess?”

Wren replied, in her sweetest voice, “Daddy.”

“I don’t think Daddy did this. He is working,” I countered.

“Ohhh.” I can read Wren’s mind, and this is what the “ohhh” meant: “I should have pinned this on Chicka.”

Wren does actual speak in sentences now. She likes to talk about her sister. And every now and then she sparks interest in crossing off a developmental milestone herself. Like this morning, when she said, “I want to go potty now, Mommy.”

That’s a first!

We struck up a conversation easily at the backyard crab fest that a mutual friend hosted, but things got a little awkward when she asked if my girls were twins. She must have confused me, or perhaps one of my daughters, with someone else, because no, they are not.

20140616-142141-51701979.jpg
These two are inseparable. Here I attempted to take their photo before church one Sunday, but I couldn’t get either if them to cooperate.

20140616-142800-52080872.jpg
This one is from a few weeks back. They have very similar hobbies, can’t you see?

Well, as we say all the time around here, never a dull moment!

Should you adopt just because you should?

Last Wednesday, as Wren, Chickadee and I were getting ready to go on a walk around the neighborhood, I got a phone call from the adoption agency.  It was important.  It was the kind of call that makes you stop everything you are doing.

Mama Tee had given birth to a baby boy, and she wanted us to adopt him.

“Hold up!” I am hearing you all say. “Didn’t you just see her?  Did you know she was pregnant?”

Yes, we saw her back in February.  She was wearing a coat indoors which was a little strange.  While I briefly entertained the possibility of her being pregnant, the subject did not come up.  I figured she would tell me if she wanted to, and I left it at that.

Did I secretly wish deep down that she was pregnant and that we could raise him?  Yes.

So why did Okey and I respond no?  It’s complicated.

The reason I’ve struggled with writing this post is that I don’t feel it’s my place to share the details surrounding his birth.  I’m not going to reveal much here because I want to respect him and his family.

Like his sister, he was born early.  No one knew when he would be released from the hospital.  With my two little ones, I knew that I could not make the daily trips (80-miles one-way) to see him.  I felt strongly that he needed his mother to hold him daily, and I could not offer him that.

Okey and I also recognized that our girls have needs and fully deserve our attention.  I’m sure we could have made it work, bringing him into our family, but it would have been a lot of work.  We’re already feeling like a fragile ecosystem.

We spent days asking difficult questions.  We felt like philosophers by the end of the long weekend.

Does blood matter that much?  Should we adopt because it is the right thing to do?  How do we fit three car seats in the SUV?  Will Wren resent us?

We talked it over with our parents and some friends in the adoption world, and I’m so thankful for their support and perspectives.

The tug on my heart to hold him was there, but I didn’t feel a motherly love toward him.  When we got the call about Wren, we knew she was our daughter.  The bond with her was instantaneous.  We just didn’t get that same peace with him.  Maybe it’s because we weren’t looking to expand our family, or maybe it just was not meant to be.

Some Interesting Things

I was right. Things did get interesting last week.

For starters, Chickadee started to roll over during her diaper changes with glee. She knew what she was doing — making my task very difficult.

Then, later that same day, she got on all fours and crawled forward a few inches. Each following day, she practiced her crawling until this weekend where she showed off her speed crawling to her grandparents.

And then I found her sitting up. She got that way herself and seemed confused about it. But as she kept at it, she became more confident, and she loves her new ability.

My “sits there and smiles” baby is now a delightful handful.

So when we were asked this week to adopt a baby boy (oh yeah, that happened — I told you it was an interesting week!), we had to make the most difficult decision in our married life.

I’ll get to that in another post.

A Chickadee Update (Seven Months)

I’ve been told that I don’t write enough about Chickadee.  I responded along the lines of “well, she’s not very interesting.”  She’s a happy and mellow baby who doesn’t do much.  Seriously, she just sits there and smiles.

DSC_0049

I’ll admit I haven’t been as good at getting out the nice camera once a month to take her pictures as I was with her sister.  I could blame the cold and snowy winter, though honestly, it’s second child syndrome.  As someone who suffered from sixth child syndrome, I should be a little more sympathetic to her plight.  Case in point:  One of my infant photos I’ve come to learn is not of me.

So let’s see, what can I write about my Chickadee…

Chickadee doesn’t sleep through the night consistently, so she’s still in our room.  We are hoping to put her in the room with her big sister, but Wren isn’t sleeping through the night either so it seems like a pretty bad idea to do it now.

Chickadee is a pretty tall baby.  She’s all torso (like her daddy).  Her hair is starting to come in, and it’s blonde?  red?  I’m going to go with strawberry blonde.  It changes colour depending on the light, but there is always a hint of red.  Her daddy also had red hair as an infant (shocker) as did one of my sisters so I shouldn’t have been surprised, even though I was.  Her eyes are mesmerizingly blue.  I’m pretty confident that they’re not going to change.

I can count  on one hand how many times Chickadee has rolled onto her back from her tummy.  On Friday, she finally rolled from her tummy to her back!  Without using words, she cried “I have made a terrible mistake!”

IMG_5034

 

I don’t know why she doesn’t like rolling around.  She is pretty strong and flexible.  In fact, her daddy’s nickname for her is Pretzel.  She can still wrap her legs around her head like some acrobat.  And when Chickadee is made super happy, she folds to her side.   So I’m pretty sure her desire to crawl will trump all in the end.  She doesn’t mind tummy time and can get into the crawl position easily.  She started rocking a few weeks ago, and so it’s only a matter of time before things around here get real interesting.

DSC_0204

DSC_0176

Yummy Yams

I have two daughters, and neither of them looks like me.

When the older was an only child, and we’d be out and about, strangers would say, “She must really take after her father.” Now with a second one in tow, people assume correctly that she’s adopted. But this second one, who came from my womb, she doesn’t look like me either. People exclaim all the time, “She looks like her daddy!” All the time.

It was starting to eat at my soul a little bit. I even had a ridiculous dream where I asked for a maternity test. Every little thing she does can also be attributed to him, well, except for this one thing.

She’s been a picky eater when it comes to “solid” foods. It hasn’t stopped me from introducing her different things, despite her indifference to swallowing. Anyway, I think I finally found something I have in common with this precious girl.

Last night, she was introduced to sweet potatoes. Unlike her daddy, she could not get enough of it. She loved it. She was reaching for more. It was simply the best feeding experience ever.