Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hazel Checks in with No Bags

We are leaving for Texas tomorrow for a week-long visit with Mr. and Mrs. Spupspe and all the siblings, nieces, and nephews, and we will be able to see a couple of Houston friends while we're there. I should be packing right now but I wanted to check in with you all since it's been a while. I'm very excited about the trip, and being able to introduce Blueberry to more people I care about. When we first planned it, I was quite nervous about traveling with Blueberry, but time has passed, things have gotten easier, I've eased up a little, I feel more prepared, and now Blueberry and I can't wait for that plane to take off.

Blueberry is doing well, thanks for asking. She's a little over 5 months old and getting stronger and stronger as babies do. When placed on her belly, she'll stay there for a while and likes to hold her head up for longer periods and play and look around, allowing me to take photos from this angle, as I've been dreaming of doing since the Blueb was conceived. I think it's the quintessential baby pose.

It's fun to take care of her now that I've sort of gotten the hang of it. She goes through regular, predictable patterns of hunger, playfulness, and sleepiness. She doesn't sleep through the night anymore but she only wakes up once for a quick feed, which is fine with me. When she wakes up from a nap or in the morning she makes cute yawning wake-up noises interspersed with pppbbbttthh sounds. She is easy going and when she fusses, it's not annoying, but pretty cute, because she seems like she's trying to communicate rather than just whining. If something scares her she gets the cutest look on her face and I hope to get that on video before she stops doing it. Just in the past couple of weeks, she has started to reach for me when someone else is holding her and that feels pretty good.

Today my friend Lucille* came by for a visit and brought her sweet baby Almond* so that the babies could play and get re-acquainted.

I took about 30 pictures and picked the one above because it does not involve Blueberry yanking Almond's ear, picking Almond's nose, putting her hand over Almond's eyes, or moving around and making her head, arms or legs blurry.

In sewing news, I still love sewing. It was really gratifying to give our friend Rosa* a dress for her 2-year-old daughter today that I had made using these instructions. Here it is:

I really want to see what it looks like on her daughter, partly so I can make changes to future dresses in this pattern if necessary. I consider all my projects thus far just prototypes. She said she is going to take pictures and post them on Facebook, so I immediately sent her a friend request.

I also made two sun dresses for Blueberry using these instructions. One is light blue (not shown), and here's one I made in the same pattern using fabric from an extremely frilly girl's dress that I bought at a yard sale. The original dress had long sleeves, tons of ruffles, and was quite atrocious, but I liked the strawberry print, and I think on a simpler dress it looks less Strawberry-Shortcake-Goes-to-Church.

Do you know how badly I wish I had taken a "before" shot of the dress? Pretty badly.

If you want to know how the garden is doing, you should check out the Minnesota Mitchell's Garden Update, which I started so that Stanley's mom could get info on the progress of the garden she helped us plant this spring. If you comment, do not mention Hazel's House Blog, as Stanley's folks do not know about Hazel's House Blog and I would like to keep it that way.

Okay now I really must get packing.

*Names changed.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Hazel Finishes a Quilt, and Blueberry Notices a Bear

Hazel is starting out on Day 3 of no caffeine. Day 1 was by accident - I just forgot to pour, sweeten, and drink my coffee along with getting myself and the Blueb fed and dressed. I didn't get a headache! So I thought, it would be nice not to have coffee on my morning to-do list. So, Day 2 was on purpose. So here we go on Day 3. I'm bleary, I can't think straight, I have a bunch of stuff to do, mostly cleaning, that I can't get myself to do, even though I really want to, you know what I'm saying?

Hazel just had an espresso. It was a few hours old, and cold, but bold, and I needed it. I'm already feeling better. That's it, just one little espresso today. Much better than the usual 2 cups of coffee (either regular coffee from the maker, or Americana, wherein I add hot water and milk to the espresso that Stanley has made for himself). Tomorrow, back on the wagon. Or is it off the wagon? I can never remember.

Last Friday, Hazel and Blueberry went to the zoo. Blueberry's first zoo visit! It was a Saint Paul mom's Meetup at the Como Zoo (as opposed to the "big" zoo) in which there were 4 "Yes" and 4 "Maybe", but for whatever reason, only myself and one other mom showed up. She was nice. Her name was Tilly*. Her two-year-old daughter's name was Gooseberry*. At one point, while we were watching the seals, yet another mom next to us said something to her daughter, who was named Blackberry*. So there was a Blueberry, a Blackberry, and a Gooseberry all in a row. I wish I could tell you the actual names so this sounds less like an acid trip.

Tilly took our picture in front of the brand new polar bear exhibit.

Note that I no longer care how my hair looks.

Yes, if you are the type to be concerned, I kept Blueberry out of the sun. She gets about 10-15 minutes of sun per day, but not during peak hours, as recommended by pediatricians and other knowledgeable people.

Blueberry noticed the polar bears but was way more interested in the humans and common shrubs. I was able to capture this photo of her and a bear together. That's Blueberry on the far left (the entire far left), and that's a polar bear near her forehead. Also another one in the water on the far right. As you can see, I used to be a photographer for National Geographic.

We parked for a moment near the buffalo, and as I pointed the camera at Blueberry, I asked her, "What do you think of the buffalo smell?" And this was her response:

Kind of an amused, scared, disgusted look.

In sewing news, in case you haven't heard, I finished a quilt I started six years ago.

It's approximately 77" square, and is backed by purple fleece (it felt great to finally use up the rest of those horrible sheets), hand-tied with green embroidery thread, rather than quilted. There was no way I was going to try to learn to quilt this thing, and risk messing it up due to my lack of experience after all the time that I'd put into it already. I just needed to get the front and back attached somehow so it wouldn't flop around.

In order to get myself to finish it, I took advantage of an old tradition amongst real quilters that says that you should have at least one mistake in the quilt, for good luck. Each time I saw that there was another flaw, rather than try to make it right, I left it as is or did a quick fix so that the quilt maintained its functionality (e.g., no gaping holes) but not necessarily its beauty. So there is a TON of luck in this quilt. Most of the pieces are hand-sewn rather than machine-sewn, since I only recently got a sewing machine, so I was pretty worried about putting it in the washing machine, but it had to be done because it was loaded with all sorts of dust from years on the (figurative) shelf. But I did a gentle wash and a short tumble dry, and it came out with no ripped seams. I have a great sense of relief having this little guy done. Not sure where I'm going to use it, but I've got some ideas. I considered giving it to Blueberry but I would rather make her a different one. Of course if she wants it I will give it to her.

*Names changed.