Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Almost August

Summer has been flying by! All sorts of things have happened that I didn't even blog about or show pictures of and now more things are going to happen next month. To start things off my friend Laura is coming tomorrow!! Someone loves us enough to come all the way to Jersey to see us! Hopefully in the week she's here we'll be able to go down the shore, to the city, and go to Great Adventure. Fun, fun, fun. Then a few days after she goes home I'll go to Vegas! Yes, Las Vegas sans kids!!! I haven't done much without my kids. Heck, since Seth was born the only time I've been away from him is if I was at a birth. I know, I live life on the wild side. THEN towards the end of the month another wonderful friend will be down in Philly and I get to see her. Also, through out the month there are a ton of fun MOMS Club activities and my mom and I are going to do some home canning. (Again, I live life on the wild side.) I actually am looking forward to canning because I've never done it before.

Anyway, there is a lot coming up for us next month. I think summer will be over quickly this year.

I thought I'd share some pictures of some of the other things the kids have been doing this summer.

We learned about the volunteer first aid squad.

Played in the water at the spray park.

Ate lots of huge ice pops to stay cool. Ok, I bought jumbo and didn't mean too. Read the box before you open it at home.

The library. One of our favorite places to go in the summer. We are there ALL the time!

Here is a sneak peak at the pattern for my mom's quilt. I didn't sew the second star block together... I am not that bad at sewing. I just like to see what the design looks like up on the wall. I can't wait to see the whole top come together. It's gonna look good.

I may not get much blogging in over the next week but I'll try if I can.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Um... more quilting and other stuff

I've started working on my moms quilt. This week I got all the fabric washed, ironed, and cut. I still need to square up the bird panels.

I don't have a 10.5" square ruler and I want to make sure the block is perfectly centered. I tried messing with them with my regular ruler and a 9.5" square ruler... it didn't work for me. One tool that I do have that made some of my cutting easier was the Diagonal Set Triangle Ruler. I love that it has all the math right there all done for me . All I need to know is what the finished size of my block is and it tells me how big to make the setting and corner triangles.

I was already planning on stopping in at the quilt store tomorrow (they're having a sale!) to get backing for my aunts quilt that is completed so I can get the 10.5" ruler while I am there. I'll stop by after my postpartum visit with doula client S. in the morning.

This afternoon half the family went to a BBQ. Little Hannah had to stay home with her dad today though. She got a fever last night and even though she insisted she was fine today she was still warm. She had to stay home. Dan was perfectly fine staying home. I on the other hand would have been bummed to miss out. So, the boys and I got to go. It felt like most of the PTO from school was there. It was nice to see everyone though because I don't see all the moms over the summer for the most part.

I can only hope that whatever Hannah has isn't too contagious. She seemed just fine at bedtime.

Friday, July 25, 2008

County fair

Where can you ride crazy rides like the Gravatron, eat nothing but fried food, pet farm animals, admire the 4H projects, and catch some fire works? The Monmouth County Fair of course!

They were calling for rain on Wednesday but we forged ahead and went with Tiff and Chloe to the Fair. It was family night so you could get a bracelet for $15 and ride all the rides you wanted. Sounds good to me. Tiff being a good sport took Seth on the little rides while I stayed with the older ones. Hannah and Simon had a blast. I let them go on all the rides but one. Bumper cars. I just don't think whiplash would be good for Simon's neck and head... am I silly? Yes.

I didn't have my camera so I took some from Tiff's gallery on her blog, thanks Tiff!

The man on the stilts told Simon a very funny joke or at least Simon thought it was very funny. He pointed to his knee and said this is my low knee and then he pointed to his butt and said this is my "high knee". Oh boy, that was a good one wasn't it?

Seth is ready for the train ride with his friend Chloe!

Kids love to feed the animals.

Simon got to play checkers using corn cobs and a wooden board. The lady he played with works at Long Street Farm. I love that place.

The fireworks were over and the big kids got one last ride before we headed out. Once we were safely in the car the rain started. It pounded down rain. I could barely see to drive. At least the rain waited until we were in the car!

The kids had a great time. That's what it's all about anyway, right.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Saturday fun

On Saturday Hannah was complaining about how bored she was so I thought we'd do a little project together. We got out the quilting book for kids that we have and found a project to do. We were supposed to hand sew most of it but for the sake of making it all in one day we used the sewing machine. She picked out the fabrics from some leftovers I had from another quilt.

She wanted to put her name on the bag. Which means I had to make the letters and cut them out.

We used fusible web to put the letter on the bag. I stitched around the edges for her too.

Here she is sewing the straps. I did the pining and she sewed everything together.

Here is the final product. A book bag! She loves it.

It was a great little project to work on since it was so hot outside that we didn't want to go out at all.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Another quilt top completed

Ta da! One lovely quilt top completed! I still haven't had a chance to get to the quilt store to purchase the backing. It's hard to go to a quilt store and leisurely browse fabrics with 3 kids in tow. I'll get there soon. There is a store that I haven't gone to yet! Gasp! It's true. I will have to remedy that.

In order to get a picture of this large quilt top I needed some help from my little ones. I had Hannah and Simon each stand on a chair and hold the quilt up as high as they could. It still puddled on the floor a bit but you get the general idea of what it looks like. Thankfully no children were injured in the filming of this quilt.

I tried again to take a picture of it on my bed but two things didn't seem to work. One, the light coming in the windows seemed to soften the look of the quilt and two, the darn cat had to sit in the middle of it. C'est la vie, non.

What's next on the quilting agenda? My mom's quilt. I'm working on the math for it right now. I couldn't find a pattern I liked so I am making up my own. I was worried that I didn't have enough fabric but it seems like I do so far. Phew.

Also, Hannah is going to help me make the charity quilt I've been wanting to do. It will give her something to work on this summer, she'll earn a girl scouts badge, and she'll have done something kind for someone else. Sounds good to me! If Simon seems interested I'll let him help out too. It probably wouldn't hold his interest for long though.

So, two things I'd like to add that have absolutely nothing to do with this post are:

1- This political satire about the current presidential race is hysterical. Check it out.

2- My mom took this photo of my daughter last weekend and I just had to share. Isn't she beautiful. (Says, the biased mother.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

An antique to treasure

I think I might possibly be one of the luckiest quilters ever! I am now the proud owner of a family heirloom quilt that has blocks in it from the Civil War! A cousin of ours, on my moms side, knows I am an avid quilter (not to mention, the only one in the family) and he knew that I'd truly appreciate this quilt for what it is. Some of the details about the quilt aren't quite clear. We know that the blocks were made between 1861-1865 but we don't know when the top was pieced together. The pattern is a variation of Twelve Crowns. Oddly one of the block fabrics matches the border but the fabrics in the original blocks differs from the background fabric. Did they need an extra block to make the top pattern work? Well, we definitely know it was hand quilted in 1984 in Kansas.

There was a note attached to the quilt written with a shaky hand that says, "My grandmother & my mother pieced the blocks in this quilt during the Civil War-- 100 years ago. 1861-65 Stella M Wolf." Stella is my great-great-aunt. Her real name is Sexstella because she was the 16th child.

Since the note itself seems to be written back in the 60's I am thinking she might be the one who pieced the top. The original blocks were hand pieced and the top was machine done.

I don't have all the answers but I do know that I'll do my best to preserve it so I can pass it on to another generation. Thank you for entrusting me with the quilt James!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The tragedy of our maternity system

I have to take a moment out of my normal blogging style and vent about how tragic our modern maternity system is.

The way woman are treated is truly appalling. I had a full in your face display of this yesterday.

S. was brought in Friday night for an induction even though she'd has a biophysical that showed baby was doing fine and she was only a few days past 40 weeks. Her cervix was hard and closed. She wasn't ready yet but they were. They gave her Cervidil to soften her cervix and maybe get her going that night. By morning S. was having little contractions but not much was happening. We tried walking a little bit but you feel like a mouse in a wheel walking around the same small loop again and again. Cant' go outside. You're theirs now.

They started the pitocin and ruptured her membranes. The nurse wanted to see those contractions every 2 minutes. They kept upping the pit until they got the results they wanted to see. Baby was tolerating this but the mama who'd originally had a vision of natural birth wasn't handling it well at all. The contractions hit her hard one right after the other without stopping. She was stuck on the bed because her "membranes were ruptured" they said. She couldn't even get up to use the bathroom. They made her pee in a bed pan. How inhumane. 5 feet from the bathroom and she isn't allowed to walk to it. She couldn't even stand next to the bed to try a different position for laboring. Nothing. Totally trapped. Flat on her back getting hit hard over and over and over.

In steps her gallant OB. "Do you think you'll get a medal for doing this without an epidural? Who put this into your mind that you have to suffer?"

Through her tears and unrelenting contractions she finally consented to the epidural. She couldn't do it anymore. Pit made the contractions too strong.

A few hours later she pushed out her beautiful little girl. (I could start in here about how quickly the cord was cut and baby was removed from mom to the incubator but that's for another rant.)

I just can't get over how wrong it all was. They just kind of did things to her. They didn't really ask, just told her what was next. They just moved her through their little assembly line and shuffled her off to recovery. It is a money making business after all. The only thing she didn't get was an episiotomy.

If I start attending more births as a doula I am seriously going to get some medals made. Those women who are able to get out of the assembly line and birth on their own terms deserve a freakin' medal. Not just an "I did it naturally" one but a medal that says, "You can't make me do it your way!"

Friday, July 11, 2008


The kids and I went blueberry picking today. We actually had to drive a way to get there but it was worth it to get fresh organic blueberries. My favorite part of the trip had to be Hannah and Simon telling everyone that they don't like blueberries but then after they tasted the berries they loved 'em.

We rode a wagon out to the picking field. My little man sure does love tractors and wagons so this was an unexpected bonus.

Let the picking begin.

Once he started eating everything I put in his bucket I had to take it away. He was shoveling them in! I figured if he had to pick it to eat it that'd at least slow him down a bit. I seriously think they should weight in all the kids before they begin picking and weight them again when they are done.

It was rather hot out today so we didn't stay too long. We still ended up with 3 lbs of blueberry's! I guess we'll be making muffins tomorrow. That is, if I'm not at a birth. I am a back up for a Jewish woman who is a doula and she can't attend births on the Sabbath. I gotta say that really works for me personally. I'm only needed on the weekend! Her client S. is being induced tonight... don't even get me started on how asinine inductions are... grr.

Anyway, I had one of those crazy busy days again. I need them every now and then to make up for the lazy ones. After we finished with the blueberry picking we came home dropped off the berries at home and went to Costco. We had lunch there and did our shopping. Got home, unloaded everything, put it away, and got our swim suits on! They swam and played with some of their friends for about and hour. We raced home from the splash park with a wadding pool so I could deliver dinner to the mama that I made the baby quilt for. Her baby is so cute. I love little babies. They don't stay that way though. Bummer.

I will wait for my phone to ring tonight. I'm sure this means I'll miss the company picnic tomorrow but it'll be worth it.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Center done, borders to go

I worked on this into the wee hours of the night and got the center of the quilt top pieced. I think it's looking pretty good! I'll get the borders on it pretty soon. I realized that I hadn't gotten backing for it yet. Oh, no. Now I'll have to go to the quilt store. What a shame.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Kazoo Band

We had so much fun today! We got to participate in a parade down in Ocean Grove by playing in the Starving Artists at Days' Kazoo Band. It was a blast. Fun was had by all! Now I think we are done celebrating the 4th of July for this year.

Practicing before we started.

Since we were waiting, might as well get a picture of the family!

Seth refused to wear the t-shirt. Silly kid.

My new summer house. :)

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Fourth of July!

We mostly did our celebrating yesterday. The fireworks display was scheduled for last night so we figured we'd do the small BBQ the same day. My mom had the day off of work so we hit the beach too. What a great day. Beach, barbeque, and fireworks. The only down side was that it was a bit cool at the beach. The kids bravely went in with my mom for a bit but then mostly played in the sand. Seth would forget it was cold and run as fast as he could toward the water. When the water would splash up his leg he'd gasp, turn around and run back. It was pretty cute. He also thought he could catch seagulls.

And when did my little brother start looking so much older!

The rest of last week was rather uneventful. I've got almost all of the blocks done on my aunts quilt. Only one more big block to go. Then I have to assemble ALL the blocks into the quilt top.

There's a new quilt hanging in my dining room right now. I absolutely love this quilt. When I was working at the quilt store in Denver (Quilts in the Attic which moved and is now Holly's Quilt Cabin) a woman gave me the quilt. She brought it in and told me it was worn out and she didn't want it anymore. It had been a wedding gift. Her grandma had it made by a woman who used old scraps and did it all by hand. I told this lady that she should keep it for her kids, get an appraisal, take it to an antique store, anything! But no, she was done with it... and I covet it. I truly don't understand how she walked away from this quilt.

Lastly, I thought I'd throw this in. I hear from people all the time how much Seth looks like Simon and I have to disagree. He looks like Hannah!