Monday, January 28, 2013

the crazy quilt

Several people asked me about the quilt B is snuggling in my last post. Yes, I did make it, but there's a bit of a story behind it...

Do you ever see a project on a blog or Pinterest and think, "I can TOTALLY do that!" And then you get started and realize, "what the HELL was I thinking attempting this?!"

This quilt was one of those projects.

It all began a couple years ago when I made this scrappy blanket for Miles.

Sister decided she wanted one too. Except, she wanted hers to be big enough to cover her twin bed. So last fall, I set out to make one in time for Christmas.

I'm not much of a seamstress, and I'm certainly not a quilter, so I looked at "cheater quilts" online (using a sheet or existing blanket as the foundation of your quilt and ironing on the squares). Nothing looked quite like what I wanted, so I decided to wing it. I ended up buying an ultralight bedspread from IKEA for $18:

I draped it over my ironing board and started gathering the fabric scraps I wanted to use. I arranged one row at a time, starting at the bottom, then sewed the scraps together.

I then pinned that row of scraps onto the bedspread and ran it through my sewing machine to secure it.

I left the seams unfinished so it will fray (let's call it shabby chic).

Wrestling all that fabric through my sewing machine wasn't easy. The stitching is crooked and uneven. Each row took over an hour to complete. It's the most imperfect thing I've ever sewn.

I broke the walking foot off my machine twice. I jammed the needle. I went through tons of thread. I cursed (a lot).

I started to think B would hate it, actually. But halfway through, I figured I'd at least finish it and see how it looks.

When I finally presented it to B (two weeks after Christmas), she gasped, grabbed it close to her face and said "Mommy, it is SO beautiful. It's my favorite thing you ever gave me! It's PERFECT!"

She carried it around for days, fully aware that I had made something special just for her. Which makes it, despite its flaws, the most perfect creation ever.

Later, my mother-in-law came to visit and I showed her the quilt and she said, "you made a crazy quilt!" ...A crazy quilt? Yes, apparently quilters have a name for this type of imperfect, no-pattern, make-it-up-as-you-go quilt. Who knew?

B doesn't care what it's called. It's a portable hug from her mama.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

sick week in photos

I've written about it before, the bittersweetness of being ill: the forced downtime, extra snuggles, rest, quiet, and searing appreciation for what we're capable of when we're healthy.  

It's easy to find the bright side after a few days under the weather. But how about a few weeks? Or maybe six? 

We've been riding the winter-virus merry-go-round since December 6th, when B (then Miles, then Kris...then two weeks later, me) got the stomach bug. Since then it's been colds, laryngitis (me), persistent sore throats, and finally this last week, high fevers that may or may not have been the flu....but slammed us all hard for several days. Miles got a spinoff double ear infection and the beginnings of a respiratory infection.

The worst part about it was the feeling each time of "ok, we're all feeling better now, glad that's over with," only to begin the downward slide a couple days later into another shade of ill. 

And, from what I read, this is the story for so many families right now. This winter of severe, relentless sickness. And, I do look on the bright side because we are healthy enough to take a few hits without dangerous consequences. My kids are old enough to be outside the "high risk" group for influenza. They don't have underlying medical concerns. They bounce back. I am forever grateful for their strong bodies and good health. 

Another bright side: The timing of each bout of illness wasn't so bad. At my absolute worst, when I couldn't get out of bed to care for the kids, Kris was already off of work. It was hard, but we managed just fine.

When I needed extra hands to care for one child while I ferried the other to and from school, Kris' mom was here visiting.

I learned that it's fun to browse Pinterest with Miles. He has a great eye for dessert recipes, toy storage solutions, and fashion. I learned that B loves chamomile tea, so now we can have real tea parties. 

After days of barely talking or moving, Miles is slowly getting back to the business of being three.

"Look, Mommy! I a moose!" (the day they realized putting underwear on your head is funny)

I'm cringing a little as I write this it too soon to count my blessings? Are we really almost, nearly, finally well? I can hear one of the kids coughing down the hall from me. The harmless cough that always seems to linger after a cold?....or the beginnings of something new?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

it's rare

It's rare I can get all three of my kids to pose for a photo.

ps. More updates soon. We've been sidelined by illness and travel and house guests, and more illness, and...what year is it? 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

the best part

"Mommy, can you make cookies again so we can lick the bowl?"

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

modes of transportation

Long ago, when I was struggling with Miles' wanting to be carried everywhere, someone suggested I buy him a scooter. Thank you. 

Now I'm running to keep up with him. And it feels good.

Friday, January 4, 2013

half marathon music playlist, redux

With the race a few weeks away, I've tweaked my half marathon playlist. Kept a few favorites from last year, but added and rearranged others. The playlist is just over 2 hours, since I'm hoping to finish in about that time (I typically run 9:30 miles).

My criteria is the same as last year: strong beat, steady pace, uplifting or fun lyrics. I have a tendency to go out too fast, so I stacked a few slower songs at the beginning. Thew in a few goofy songs just for fun.

What are your favorite songs to run/exercise to?

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