October 23, 2013

it's almost November so we're doing fine

So basically my goals for 2013 were:
1) have a baby (I added that one to the list at midnight on December 31st. At almost 42 weeks pregnant I figured my chances were pretty good.)
2) lose the baby weight (there's still time/we're getting there/Halloween will surely derail all my efforts but who cares. IloveminiTwizzlers.)
3) work on a new project I'd never tried before

The project I really wanted to start with was learning Copperplate calligraphy but I never got around to getting the right supplies. So quilting!!! I had a sewing machine, thread, scissors, pins, stacks of old sheets and living room floor space so I pinned this quilt tutorial Sunday night and got to work. (Very late) Tuesday night, it was done!!
 ^For size reference, it almost covers our double bed. I thought it'd be much smaller  when I first glanced at the tutorial, but after cutting out all the squares I realized how big it was. For my first pieced quilt it was maybe too big? But since it was such a simple overall design it wasn't that bad.

 ^Here's a close up of some of my "quilting"... I got tired of rotating the giant pieces of fabric around the walking foot on my machine pretty quickly so I went rogue. And neon. Neon thread was a game changer!

Things I learned:
- Playing around with the layout was the best part! It was like a giant puzzle on my living room floor with tons of "right" options (I cut a few different fabric squares to test out before landing on these).

- I'd like a rotary cutting mat. Cutting the squares/triangles would've been a lot faster with my rotary cutter but I don't have a mat so I just used my Ginghers. They worked ok but next time ....

- Only put the precious on the floor when the kids are in bed. I thought I could baste it really quickly while B was playing legos + Ev was napping, but I swear whenever I put it down they were drawn to it. B even managed to accidentally drop pizza on one of the corners and I reacted really well. :/

-  Stitching in the ditch was ok but I like the thread to show more.

- Mitered corners. I finally learned how to do them!! So not as hard as I thought.

- How to make my own binding + how to attach it by machine. Also much simpler (just time consuming) than I thought.


I'm already working on my second quilt and I can't wait to see how it turns out! It's a lot smaller but the design's a bit more complex this time. Slowly but surely, baby steps, give me all your Halloween candy!, etc.

October 18, 2013

9 months 9 months oh yeah

Evy girl is nine months old!

They say not to compare your kids but it's kind of my favorite thing to do:

I'm so surprised Everly doesn't have any teeth yet because Bronson had lots by 9 months. 

I'm pretty sure Ev's greyish eyes are headed for brown because that's what happened with Bronson's. We keep crossing our fingers for a blue eyed baby but my eye color genes must be very healthy and strong and Toph's blue eyes are WEAK (pretty sure that's how it works).

Ev spent the first 7 months of her life sleeping through the night like a regular human and then she decided to switch things up and now wakes up 4-5 times a night. I hate it. But Bronson didn't sleep through the night for like 14 months so I'm not too shocked. Just too annoyed and tired.

I made my way out to our storage unit finally (it's right by our front door but I seriously put it off for a good 2 months because I've been very busy not sleeping and trying to watch a lot of Project Runway) to get out the bigger baby clothes. I forgot that I'd saved a few outfits from Bronson and putting them on Ev has just been so fun. Comparing is the best!!

People sometimes ask me which baby was easier. Bronson was. Hands down. Ev is just so wiggly and cray. She's crawled out of my arms and off the bed more times than I care to remember, she crawls away during every diaper change, she unrolls the toilet paper whenever possible with the frenzy of an Olympic speed skater. She's so great.

We love her way too much and she gets her way a lot. Can't wait to see what the next 9 months of Evy girl bring! I'm voting for no more nursing and lots more sleep.

October 8, 2013

She Reads// The Book Thief

I kept yelling, "You have to read this when I'm done, Toph!" Between sobs, of course.

World War II fascinates many people, myself included. I read a lot of Holocaust books as a kid and I remember the first time I asked my parents, "Why did he pick the Jews? Did he just wake up one day and decide they'd make the best target?" And then we talked about how life isn't fair, how we learn from the past, how bad things can happen to innocent people (and sometimes the bad things are so bad that other people can't believe they're actually happening so they don't do anything to stop it), how even in the scariest of times heroes emerge who risk their own lives to do the right thing. There was an incredulous and scared fascination for me in every story.

I read The Book Thief this past weekend and by the middle I wanted to yell again, "How? Why?!" This one was so heart achingly good. The emphasis on the power of words, words can shake the world. Hans Hubermann, Max, Liesel, Rudy, Rosa, Death; each character essential and weaved together so well that by the end it was all too much and yet I never wanted it to be over. I love how Death was the narrator and guide. His description of the weight of a soul, the overtime he put in in Europe during the war, the souls that sat up to meet him in their last moments; thought provoking and perfect.

I'm well into my list of books I plan to read this fall, but this one stuck out so much that it got its own reaction post. It felt wrong to just move on to the next book on my list without looking back so here I am. Big sigh.

PS: Another favorite of mine about this era is Number the Stars. My mom had me read it as part of our home school history when I was young and I'm really glad she did. Books like these, they stick.