Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A baby quilt....

I just finished sewing my second quilt ever! My first quilt was for my little niece Violet and you can see photos of that one here. Once again, if you are a sewing-type-person please don't look too closely, my quilts have both been very basic and about as technically imperfect as you can get. Nevertheless I am so ridiculously happy with the results!! :) This is obviously for our new baby boy. I ordered the fabric with the idea of making fitted sheets but when it arrived I had the sudden urge to turn it into a quilt. Both the top and bottom fabric are organic cotton from Birch Fabrics, the Elk print is from the Elk Grove Collection and is called Elk Family in Sun and the wood pattern is from the Camp Modern Collection and is the Faux Bois in Mineral. The batting inside is 100% natural unbleached cotton. These photos were taken when the the room was drenched in full sun so the colours actually look a bit more muted in real life. I made the bias tape binding myself using scraps of a few mismatched fabrics I had in my stash. I was originally going to use a plain cream store-bought bias tape but I'm really happy I went with the colourful option. I think it gives the quilt a bit more character. I made it pretty big so that once the crib is converted to a toddler bed it'll drape over the sides a bit. Hopefully it will get many years of love and snuggles!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Seb goes pond skating.....

 Yesterday we went skating on the pond in town. I say we but I really mean Neil and Seb. I didn't think skating was such a good idea in my current stage of baby-growing and decided that sitting pond side with a thermos full of hot chai would be much better. Bel was in agreement so we watched the boys lace up and get on with it. 

Seb is about to embark on skating sessions with his class at school so we figured it would be good to have at least a bit of practise before he starts. I'm sure many of his classmates have been on the ice since before they could walk but better late than never! At first he was a bit unstable but within two minutes he'd abandoned the Zimmer frame thingy and was skidding about unaided.

Once Seb got going, Bel's enthusiasm for the whole idea suddenly increased and I think she wished she was skating too. Instead she slid around the ice in her boots doing a few spins and twirls with her tiara glittering in the sunshine :) I should mention that the weather was perfect! It was just above zero with lots of warming sunshine and barely a hint of wind. Absolutely one of those perfect winter days! 

I found a nice comfy bench spot in the sun, sipped on my Chai and watched all the happy skaters with a smile on my face. 

 I was surprised at just how much Seb enjoyed himself, even laughing and smiling (almost) every time he fell!

Seb tends to get frustrated easily if he can't do something right away and seems prone to giving up and getting upset so I was so happy to see his perseverance and enthusiasm despite quite a few tumbles. His skating improved really quickly, his stamina outlasted Neil and by the time we started to think about packing up he was looking nice and stable and had the confidence to go scarily fast! 

When he finally sat down and unlaced he was pooped but happy and he asked straight away if we could come back tomorrow :)

Monday, January 13, 2014

A spot for baby boy...

I haven't really mentioned baby boy Ralston very much lately, you know,  the one currently making himself extra comfy in my tummy? Well all seems to be going great for the wee lad, he is growing at a rate of knots and spends a lot of time making sure he is not forgotten by kicking and punching and generally being a big fidget! I have about 13 weeks to go and have suddenly been overcome by the urge to nest! Seriously, I've been nesting like crazy! Cleaning, scrubbing, organizing, re-organizing and buying every single type and size of storage container sold at Ikea in order to squeeze an extra being and all the inevitable stuff into our already over-stuffed house. Yesterday, after huffing and puffing and doing far too much lifting for a lady of nearly 7 months pregnant, I somehow managed to turn our always chaotic playroom into a calm and serene little nursery for our baby boy and finally my nesting urge was satisfied. (For now).

It still needs a little something, maybe a couple of shelves and some curtains but I'm loving the calm natural feel in this room, it's exactly what I was aiming for. I've ordered some fabric that I plan on either using to make crib sheets or a quilt and if that goes well I might make my own curtains too.  The crib and change table were both bargain purchases from Ikea and the little antique stripped wooden drawer chest was a Kijiji purchase that I managed to barter down to $175. I was thinking of painting it but for now I think I'll leave it natural. Everything else we already had around the house, oh and the wooden stump is one of the ones that used to reside in Breakers. Neil cut it from discarded logging wood himself out in the deep woods of Vancouver Island so it is very special to me. 

 The drawers and closet are all full already. Thanks so much to my sister who gave me tons of beautiful baby clothes and to my friend Sarah who gave me lots of bits including things that Seb used to wear as a baby that I had previously donated to her. It's lovely to have things that my kids and my little nieces used to wear! I also got quite a few sweet things for Christmas from our family back in England, Baby boy even had his own sac full of presents on Christmas morning (Thank you Kate and Mummy!)

Now I've got 13 whole weeks to wait with the odd moment or two(thousand) spent sitting in the room, hugging his toys and opening the drawers to dream and admire his outfits :)  


So you may or may not know that we were in England for Christmas. We received a kind offer of flights from my dear old Grandad and accepted without much time to plan things. I had lots of wonderful expectations for spending a lovely Christmas with all the people I always miss most at this time of year and as always hoped to cram in much more than reality allowed. I spent a grand total of five minutes at my Mum's house :( and we drove 600 miles to and fro making visits in our rental car in the 12 days we were there. Bare in mind that it was 600 miles in and around the same town! When you live thousands of miles and several time-zones away, going home can be hard work. Add into the equation a couple of jet-lagged kids, a tired and emotional pregnant lady, family members in at least seven different households all vying for our attention, not to mention all the usual craziness of Christmas and it makes for a a bit of a chaotic time. We also experienced some real sadness during our trip, my lovely step-grandfather Tony, who has been in my life since the day I was born passed away from Cancer. He's been battling the disease for many years but took a sudden turn for the worse while we were in Tofino in November. When we were given the opportunity to go to England for Christmas one of my first thoughts was that I would get to see him again but it never crossed my mind that his condition would deteriorate as quickly as it did. Neil and I did get to visit Tony on Christmas day and I can't begin to tell you how grateful I am for that hour or so we spent just chatting and sipping tea like we have done so many times before. He was a rare gem of a human being with a heart of gold and sense of humour to match!  He taught me so much about appreciating the most important things in life and always had kind words of encouragement for me when I needed them most. When I said goodbye on Christmas day I told him we'd see him in a few days with the kids and I gave him a little squeeze and a kiss goodbye. I never did get to see him again. He passed away on New Years day. 

To say the least, our trip back home was emotionally draining but despite all that happened there were some lovely moments and I was so happy to be with my family. I miss them all so much! Christmas morning was about as perfect as can be. Neil and the kids and I stayed at my brother and sister-in-laws home and my Mum, sister and her little family all stayed the night of Christmas Eve. It was mayhem but oh so perfect! My sister came armed with Christmas stockings for each of us and a ton of presents to fill them! We left mince pies and brandy out for Santa and found snowy boot prints and reindeer tracks across the floor on Christmas morning! Oh and have you ever seen a tree with so many presents??! I'm pretty sure I haven't!! The presents literally filled half the room! The kids went nuts and it was just what we all needed.

Seb and Bel loved every minute spent with their adorable wee cousins Molly and Violet and we all loved watching them play together. If it had been up to them, they wouldn't have left each others sides the entire time! 

Our time went by in a blur and there were so many people I didn't get to see. To my lovely friends Caroline and Sharlene... I am so sorry! I hope it won't be too long before we get another chance to get together. We're back now and have had a week of jet lag, colds and irritability to go along with our home-sickness and sadness. The way I see it 2014 can only get better!!