Category Archives: Things that Make You Go 'YES!!!'

Surfacing

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I am starting to feel like I can blog again. This past weekend, I tidied paperwork, got some exercise, went to the pool with Dave and the kids, and finished an entire sewing project. I didn’t feel the need to lie down on the closest surface and fall asleep.

Dave and I are beginning to feel optimistic. Maceo has been a horrible sleeper from the beginning, and he’s battled even more as his teeth have come in. So it feels like we haven’t slept in years. Well, we haven’t. But slowly, slowly, he is starting to sleep better. When he isn’t teething, I’d say he sleeps well. When he is teething, he whimpers and cries out, grinds his teeth audibly, and is generally only happy if he can fall back asleep with his head on top of yours.

There are only four baby molars left to go and they should come in soon. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and, this weekend, I felt a shift. As if I had the energy to get things done. That I could take moments in between tag-parenting two boys to start to tackle big things. Maceo is finally no longer a baby, and we have room to breathe. I think. Inhale. Ah! Exhale.

The Internet, She Does Not Lie!


Weekend before last, I flew to Colorado to spend a weekend with my friend Kelli.

For years we’ve read each other’s blogs, shared joys and sadnesses, recipes and sewing patterns. And I feel in our correspondence a clean connection and a kindredness of spirit. We click. Really well.

I flew into Denver and we immediately picked up Kelli’s friend Sheila and drove up to the mountains. “Ladies, you two really are so similar. I know you are going to get on REALLY WELL … no pressure!”

What a way to see the beauty and scale of Colorado first hand. Dodgy photo taken through the car window:

We were headed to Glenwood Hot Springs for some serious R ‘n R. And did we ever R ‘n R! Soaking in the springs is just so relaxing! Until Kelli suggests that the only way to improve on this experience would be for them to fill the pools with those tiny little fish that nibble the dead skin off your feet. Sheila and I were equally grossed out, and fits of giggles ensued.

Back at Kelli’s home in Golden, CO, we spent the rest of the weekend hanging out at her very comfy home, catching up, and realizing once again just why we get on so dang well. Stories about kids and dogs, friends and family, likes and dislikes, loves and losses.

The moment that I realized that the Internet doesn’t lie about what’s in a person’s soul? When we realized, while idly chatting, that the one possession we’d both wanted from our grandmother’s homes, were the biscuit colored mixing bowls they used all their lives for baking.

Kell, almost identical to your stand-in. See?

Sunday night, a bunch of friends came over for pizza and board games to celebrate Kelli’s birthday. The kind of group I’ve seen time and time again on her blog, eating a  meal together or celebrating a holiday.

Kelli and her roomie BJ:

It was a fun get together, one where we laughed so hard playing games my belly still ached when I went to bed.

Speaking of beds, the biggest treat of the weekend was the peace and quiet of a room of my own. No little feet or voices waking me, comfy cotton linens, and one of Kelli’s Mom’s intricate quilts at the foot of my bed.

Kelli, you know how to open your home and heart to guests so well. Thank you for a wonderful time!

Getting His Climb On!



Tau took a few of his friends rock climbing for his birthday. Fun!

Click through for all the pictures on Flickr!

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Tau Turns Seven

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When Life Hands You Basil



Basil is one of the few things I’m able to grow and not kill! So it’s ever so thrilling to make a batch of fresh pesto and eat it!

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Second Grade

 
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Fabric-By-Fabric One Yard Wonders: On-the-Strap DSLR Camera Case




So, here it is! Fabric-by-Fabric One Yard Wonders! And in it, my design for the On-the-Strap Camera Case!

I was SO excited to get this book in my hands, and thrilled to see the excellent job Rebecca Yaker and Pat Hoskins did translating my copious notes, illustrations and photos into lucid instructions.

This is the first sewing pattern I’ve ever designed and published.

And here I have to credit my mom for instilling in me from a very early age the conviction that I can truly make anything I want to out of nothing. Kudos, Mother!

On-the-Strap What?

So what the heck is an on-the-strap camera case? If you’re like me, you hate carrying STUFF around. I don’t do umbrellas or lunch bags, or the kind of big and boxy camera bags you see photographers lugging around. I’m also reluctant to throw my digital SLR into my purse bare — it’s likely to get scratched by my car keys or get a little too friendly with a leaky bottle of hand cream.

I wanted a camera case that would provide a soft layer of protection for my little Canon Rebel, but that wouldn’t add bulk. Also, when I took my camera out of the case, I didn’t want to have to find a safe spot to set the case down while I was taking pictures.

Introducing the one, the only, the wunderbar On-the-Strap Camera Case!

The clam-shell design fits over your camera easily, the Velcro tabs make it easy to open the case, slipping it along the length of your camera strap, and voila! Camera’s in your hands, ready for action!

The fleece case hangs (light-as-a-feather) on the strap as you snap pictures, and when you’re done, you simply slide the case back over camera body and press the Velcro to keep it all closed up and cozy!

Oh, and did I mention, there’s a nifty little pocket inside to store your lens cap? So you don’t have to worry about putting that down somewhere and walking away!

How Will You Make It?

I’m so excited to see the variations that are bound to pop up across the blogosphere as people start using this book. The sample case I made for the book featured freehand quilting and some pretty button embellishments, but I can imagine crafters making my pattern their own:

  • A monster case with felt eyeballs and teeth around the clam shell?
  • A pretty floral case with fleece tassels?
  • A brown suede case with fringing?

I’ve been using my own on-the-strap case for about two years now. It really does protect my camera when it’s slung over my shoulder or gently stowed in my purse. And the fleece becomes softer with wear and conforms even more closely to the shape of the camera and lens.

You’ll note that the book includes sizing for an average DSLR camera and variable lens. It also shows you how to measure for a custom-sized bag if your lens is shorter or longer than most.

I’m sure I’ll be posting again about Fabric-by-Fabric One Yard Wonders as it becomes more popular over the months. Rebecca and Patricia’s first book was amazing but I have to say, the projects and variety in this second edition are mind blowing! I can’t wait to get stuck in sewing!

I will be sewing along with Africankelli’s Fabric-by-Fabric Sew Along this year. As much as working and having a 6-month old baby will allow!

Want to read about some of the other projects in the book? Here is a list of links to recent blog posts on the new Fabric-by-Fabric One Yard Wonders:

Rocking Around the Christmas Tree!

 

 

Second Time Around

 
I only have time these days to fling the odd picture or two up on this blog. Not much chance to write it all down.

But this week, I dressed Maceo in a sweater that a friend originally knitted for Tau. Tau wore it a few times, only on nice occasions because it is so beautifully made, and then I packed it away with all the other baby stuff.

And here’s the thing when you don’t know whether you’ll ever have a second child. You look at all those totes and cardboard boxes in the garage, and wonder whether you’ll get to open them up again.

Using the family heirloom cradle, learning how much rice cereal to add to the sweet potatoes, carefully picking off cradle cap while the baby’s drinking. One of the very sweetest things about adopting Maceo  is Eek! I really do get to do this again!

Call it fate or blessing or the odds or karma — I woke up that day and dressed a little boy in that beautiful cardigan. I could just have easily had no second child to dress. I am so grateful I do.

Tau at 12 months – sweater getting small

Maceo at 4 months – sweater too big
but we’re gonna wear it every chance we get this time!

 

The Angry Birds Cake

 
This year we gave Tau the choice of either having a party for his birthday (big bucks) or getting annual family Legoland passes (equally big bucks). Smart boy, he opted for the Legoland passes, and so to celebrate his birthday, we let him choose just two friends and have their families over for a barbecue.

Can I leave it at that? No. Of course not. Got to make a little bit of a fuss and have a little fun. So when Tau asked for an Angry Birds birthday cake, I went whole hog.

We’d seen this video:



With a new baby in the house, I had to take a few shortcuts — I bought readymade plastic birds and pigs online, and used wafer cookies, KitKat bars and other candy for the tower, but the effect was the same. Tau was thrilled!

I also used a fabulous free download from The Party Animal to create a few Angry Birds balloon decorations and goodie bags for Tau’s friends.

The kids (not to mention a few of the adults) had a great time launching the birds at the pigs and trying to annihilate the cake. A great time was had by all!


The rest of the birthday pics are on Flickr.

Tau Turns Six

 

 

First Day at Big School

 
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a first grader in the house …

First grader

One that doesn’t take his mom’s efforts at documenting milestones very seriously!

First grader

Welcome Maceo Hayden Walsh!

Well, it’s taken nearly two months but I’m finally finding a moment to introduce our beautiful baby boy, Maceo Hayden Walsh, born June 27th and adopted into our family with huge love! If feels like he has always been with us!

Maceo is now seven weeks and we are starting to find our feet parenting two kids and a newborn all over again! He has a sweet nature and a very gentle disposition, and is doing of the things you would expect at this age:

  • Exploring the somewhat fuzzy world around him and taking delight in anything that stands out or crosses his visual field. For this reason, dark picture frames and ceiling fans are a great thrill!
  • He has been smiling for a few weeks now, and gives us his best grins right after a long sleep or when Dave and I come in nice and close and talk right to him. Maceo also loves the sound of Tau’s voice. When his brother first comes into the room there is a slight delayed reaction, followed by sunbeams and angel choirs all around!
  • Sleep. Ahem, yes. Maceo loves his sleep but we wish he loved it more, especially at night. The pattern, at this stage, is a long sleep (3-4 hours) from around 8 p.m. on, then he feeds about every 2 1/2 to 3 hours after that. Sigh. Tau slept through the night at around 11 weeks and it would be very much appreciated if Mr. Maceo did the same. Hear that, little man?
  • Maceo loves his bath time, everything about his bedroom, his thighs and feet being massaged, and his head and hair being stroked. Not a big fan of his pacifier but because he has such a calm nature, we’re OK with that. The only time he really cries or screams is when we don’t get a bottle to him fast enough. Touching wood as I type.

I will write more about his birth, the adoption and other topic as the weeks unfold and we get more sleep. For now we just wanted to welcome our little boy, officially, here on nobaddays!

Next Stop? First Grade!

Carefully practiced songs were sung, graduation caps tossed high, and with that, Tau passed from Kindergarten and is now a first grader! He has matured and achieved so much this past year!

More pictures on our Flickrstream.

Significant Journeys and New Adventures

 

Tau in the wheatfields at Eltville

I read this quote today: “Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.”

Hmn, no. Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, God gives us a mind-bending, heart-pumping adventure, with a dash of good old-fashioned tear jerker and feel-good flick thrown in just for good measure!

Three days before we left  on our vacation to Germany, we got a call from our adoption facilitator to say that we had been picked by a local San Diego mom who had chosen to place her baby boy. Talk about having your world turned upside down!

We were excited, we were amazed and yes, we were more than a little in shock after waiting nearly two years to adopt a baby. Apart from being a wonderfully relaxing vacation, our two weeks in Germany gave us the opportunity to fully absorb the fact that we will soon be holding a newborn. This wonderful, new little man is due in early July.

Tau is excited and keeps asking, “When is our baby coming?” He’s also absorbed with all of the organization going on in the baby room, especially with various toys and bits of equipment, and how they work and at what exact age the baby will need them—ever the engineer!

Sue and Tau on the cable car at Hattenheim

All of that said, until the adoption is finalized, we are not going to post details here on the blog. Instead, we’ll be finishing preparations at home, transitioning Tau to his new school, supporting our wonderful birth mother, and bringing our new son into our family with great love!

I’ll let Dave post details about our amazing trip through Baden-Baden and the Rheingau, but in the meantime, you can see our Germany pictures on Flickr.

Tau and Dave at Strasbourg