Family Reunion in Texas

My dad’s side of the family had a reunion this weekend in the Lone Star state, and we were glad to go.  I’ve never been to Texas before (except for a layover or two at DFW).  I have always pictured Texas as a flat and brown state.  I was expecting cacti, oh I don’t know, everywhere.  I was pleasantly surprised by the lush green hills that welcomed us as we drove into the country outside of Houston.  I think the word that Marji used to describe the scenery was “grashious.”

Here’s a picture of everyone that could come:

(I just love how my dad and my daughter are looking at each other and not the camera.)

There were many great activities.  Here are pictures of some of them:

Playing Fetch

Jumping on a Trampoline

Playing Corn Hole

Hitting a Piñata

Meeting New Cousins

Catching Tarantulas

Not pictured were the hayride, the game of chicken foot (variation of dominoes), and eating.  (Yes, eating Texas-style BBQ is an activity.)

My cousins were great hosts, and Texas is a great place to visit.  I would love to return sometime soon!

Who wants a pacifier holder?

Edit:  Knitting pattern can be found here.

I knew that I would be making a lot of sacrifices as a mother.  Spending time with adults, going out whenever I wanted, showering, jogging, my house, clean laundry.  (Ok, these things make me sound like a slob, and I assure you that I am not.  Well, maybe a little?)  Without a doubt, the one thing I miss most as a new mother is sleeping through the night.  Coffee can only do so much.

As the result of holding a newborn who only sleeps when being held, I do a lot of web browsing with one free hand.  I read a lot of news articles and blogs.  I re-happened across this post by another cousin and was inspired to make my own pacifier holders.  I have been experimenting with some alternate designs, and I’m happy with how they have turned out.  See?

Sewn pacifier holder made with 100% polyester barnyard ribbon

Knit pacifier holder made with 100% cotton

Katie uses velcro to secure the pacifier to her handsome son’s holder.  Since I’m a mother to a beautiful girl, I wanted to avoid anything that would potentially damage a frilly outfit so I chose a polyester cord.

Pacifier holders are great for babies of all ages.  Newborns who spit them out with great force that they fly from your front door and into your lawn, or toddlers who like crawl around everywhere.  These holders will keep you from constantly retrieving pacifiers.

Every household should have at least one.

This is where the contest comes in.  I would like to give one of these away!  In the comment section below, please tell me about something you had to give up for someone, and do you regret it or not?  You don’t have to be a mom to comment.  Not even a dad.  Surely there is a small someone in your life who could use a pacifier holder and who is waiting for you to win them one.

Contest Details:  You will have until midnight on Mother’s Day (May 13, 2012) to reply (or rather, you have until I wake up very early on Monday morning).  I will pick a comment at random and then I will contact you to see which one you want.*   If you want another color than what is shown, I can let you know your ribbon or knit options.  I will ship this out at no cost to you.  Pacifier itself not included.

Cool, huh?  Now tell me your story.  🙂

* You’re better off picking the knit one.  My sewing skills are horrible.

Before and After: Baby Edition

Last December (2011), we packed up the car with our smart mutt and headed south to Raleigh.  At the time, our dear friends Oso and Sarah were expecting twin boys.  For the first time after many visits, we walked the main streets of the state capitol.  We returned to our favourite brewpub there — Natty Greene’s.  Our dog had a blast at the dog park near their house.  I remember driving past Occupy Raleigh which consisted of maybe ten tents.  We accompanied them to their new church, Vintage 21 East, whose seats were filled with young, energetic people.  We had a great visit.

Sarah was optimistic about our adoption saying that she expected our child to arrive around her own children’s due date of March 18th.  After a routine doctor’s visit in January (2012), Sarah was rushed to the hospital where she had an emergency Caesarian the next morning.  The boys, named Aaron and Eli, remained in the hospital for weeks.  Fast forward to this March… you know the story… our daughter was born on March 11th.

We returned to Raleigh this weekend, and what an incredible time we had!  Unlike the last visit, we had only two outings.  Sarah, Wren and I went to a fascinating fiber book club meeting on Saturday morning.  The topic for the meeting was fiction containing elements of fiber.  The books I remember off the top of my head were Spinners and A Curse Dark as Gold (stories where the tale of Rumpelstiltskin is revisited) and Extra Yarn (a charming children’s book about yarn bombing which I hope to add to my own collection).  The second outing was on Sunday morning.  This was the boys’ first time at church, and they behaved themselves quite well.

I think the babies were aware of each other, but they did not interact with each other (unless you count slow-motion punching and elbowing).  I will cherish the memories from this weekend forever.

Blanketed with Love

Our baby girl, Wren, has been given so many lovely gifts from so many dear people.  Among these gifts are all types of beautifully hand-made blankets.  These blankets are just so … I’m going to cry … I have to share them with you all, and you’ll see what I mean.

Here is the first blanket she received from Sarah last fall:

The quilt is beautifully done.  Sarah has a push pedal sewing machine and then she intricately hand-stitched the stars and crescent moons in each square.  The print has the classic nursery rhyme.  According to southern tradition, the pineapples which trim the blanket are a symbol of welcoming.  So perfect!

Here is a crocheted blanket that my mother made:

This is a twelve-pointed blanket that is made from wool yarn that is machine washable.   I love the bright colors and its unique shape.  (Oh, that is the rocking chair that Okey’s father made.)  So awesome!

Here is another crocheted blanket that an anonymous volunteer made for children who are adopted:

I love the simple and bulky pink and white stripes.  It is over-sized and perfect for many uses.  So darling!

Here is a crocheted blanket that Okey’s paternal grandmother made:

I just love the simple-repeating pattern.  It is the perfect size for swaddling, and it’s soft.  So beautiful!

At night we tuck Wren into her bassinet with this blanket that Okey’s grandmother made for him when he was a newborn.

I love the colors and the texture on this crocheted blanket.  I also love the sentimental value bestowed on it, having had so many generations touching it.  So precious!

Here is a crocheted blanket that our neighbor Judy gave us:

This has similar pattern to the other blanket and is also a perfect size for swaddling.  The proceeds from the sale of this blanket went to the Project Linus which provides blankets for “children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need.”  So caring!

And then there is this quilt that my family made:

Each family member was responsible for decorating a square.  Either they drew something that represented them or had a welcoming message just for Wren.  They pulled this together is a matter of weeks.  This quilt is large enough to go on a twin bed, but for now it will hang on the wall in Wren’s room.  So loving!

It is great knowing that Wren is blanketed with so much love from everyone.  So much love!

Wren at Seven Weeks

Seven weeks seems like an inconsequential milestone, but we’ve been slacking on posting pictures, so here are some of Wren from today.

I loved seeing the photos of my cousin’s daughter in a laundry basket.  So that is the inspiration for the following shot.

I can’t resist sharing this shot either.  (I have a feeling she is going to love having her picture taken!)

PS  Look, no pacifier!  She still sucks on her pacifier, but she doesn’t have to have it all the time anymore.  Progress!