The Quilt is Finished!

I finished it one day before we left for Jodi’s and Matt’s wedding in San Francisco.

There were moments I wasn’t sure I would finish it at all.

The marathon quilting that occurred during the last week took a toll on my fingers. Not even the quilter’s callous could save them. They throbbed and even bled. A little bit of blood dripped onto the quilt in my haste. One finger has still not healed a week later. Yet, it was worth it.

It is not your typical wedding quilt, but a traditional wedding quilt didn’t seem right for Jodi and Matt. So, I went a bit retro on the front.

and a bit modern on the back.

a close up of all the quilting

Pictures were shot in my neighbor’s backyard on Friday before I stuffed it in our luggage. Thankfully, the airline did not lose our luggage.

Even though gifts are rarely opened at weddings, I insisted that the newlywed couple open the quilt. I was dying to see their reaction. Happily, they both loved it.

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Sunday Snapshots (of Suloman’s Dairy)

Suloman’s Dairy has been in business since 1971. So, how is it that we just found out about it? Even my neighbor who has lived here for 25 years, had never heard about it.

Thanks to the huge flock of ducks in the nearby pond, it is now our favorite place to get ice cream. They also sell milk and local produce.

Elly could care less. It is all about the ducks. Heck, Elly wouldn’t even touch her ice cream until she had fed the ducks.

By the time she got back to her ice cream, it resembled more of a milkshake than a cup of hard serve.

Sunday Snapshots (of bugs)

I know I have already told you about Elly’s fascination with bugs, but I don’t think Elly has had the chance to tell you.

That is a caterpillar crawling on her arm. It made the mistake of landing on my arm. I quickly transferred it to Elly who hugged it, petted it, tried to feed it and searched for its body parts, like legs and mouth.

Luckily for its sake, Elly accidentally dropped it on the ground so it escaped with its life.

The pill bug didn’t fare so well.

Many thanks to Aunt V for the bug catcher. It has seen a lot of mileage.

The best conversation was had between Elly and Rene.

Elly: “I found a worm!”
Rene: “Ewww. I don’t like worms”.
Elly, aghast: “Why don’t you like worms?”
Rene: “I don’t know. Why do you like worms?”

My Child who Hated Sleep

Shortly after Elly born, friends and family came round to see her and gush over her. Almost everyone asked how she slept and when I explained that she didn’t sleep well at all, they all bestowed me with a piece of advice and then assured me that she would sleep soundly in a few months.

I remember clearly wishing she would hurry up and turn 3 months old so she would magically sleep through the night like all the books I read promised.

If I knew then that the first time she would sleep through the night would be a few days after she turned 3 1/2, I might have curled up into a ball and refused to come out.

I was going to write that I would have cried, but I remember all too well crying. I cried because she wouldn’t sleep and surely that was my fault. I cried because she wouldn’t stay asleep at naps and I desperately needed sleep too. I cried because she woke up constantly throughout the night and I was exhausted.

Everybody told me that what I needed to do was leave her in her crib and let her cry it out. I just couldn’t. It made no sense to me. How could a child who couldn’t go an hour without nursing in the day magically sleep for 5 hours or more at night? Of course the real answer of why I couldn’t let her cry it out is because I couldn’t bear to hear her cry. No power on this earth could make me stand outside her bedroom door and listen to her cry. All I wanted to do was pick her up and hold her when she cried.

Instead I searched for an answer on how to get Elly to sleep better at night and at naps without crying. I bought a stack of books, namely the No-Cry series, but none helped. I pulled out the sound machine a friend had gotten us, I darkened the windows and I hummed nursery rhymes until I thought I was going to lose my mind. It all helped a little, but Elly still woke up 13 times in the night. Finally, I gave up trying to get Elly to sleep in her crib and I brought her to our bed. Angels sang me to sleep the night I did. Elly slept only a little bit better, but I felt like a million dollars because I had gotten more sleep in one night than I had in the past week. She slept in our bed until she turned 3. I have no regrets. Scratch that. I have but one regret; I regret that I didn’t bring her to our bed sooner.

After her 3rd birthday, I decided it was time to transition her to her room. Still unable to listen to her cry, I laid in bed with her each night until she fell asleep. There were nights she begged me to put her to bed in my room, but thankfully they were few. She eventually became used to the new routine. Now she loves her room and runs to jump into her bed. I still lay down with her each night, but it is a small price to pay for being able to sprawl out on my side of the bed when I turn in for the night.

Now, the light at the end of the tunnel is visible. Elly slept through the night in her bed for the first time ever. It likely won’t happen again tonight or even tomorrow night, but perhaps by Elly’s 4th birthday, she will stay in her bed and I will get to enjoy a full night’s sleep.

Sunday Snapshots (of my birthday weekend)

I turned 37 today, but the party started yesterday as all good birthday parties should.

Yesterday, Elly and I went to the Bug Fest at the Academy of Natural Sciences with my best friend and her 2 sons.

Elly held a cockroach.

I did not.

Then, she pinned a dead one to a piece of foam so we could take it home. Joy.

When she grew tired of the bugs, which took several hours, we went across the street to an awesome park with a huge fountain in the middle of it.

Elly climbed on the different animals.

This morning, Elly helped me decorate my birthday cake.

It was a blueberry cake with cream cheese icing. I stole the recipe from Lofty Bites.

In the afternoon, we went to the Elmwood Zoo with family.

The best part was when she got to ride the pony.

Elly was also delighted when she got to feed the chickens a leaf, which went surprisingly in her favor. They actually took it from her … repeatedly.

Of course, the playground in the middle of the zoo was also a big hit. The tire swing in particular put a huge smile on Elly’s face.

So, yeah, it was a great birthday weekend. I got to spend time with family, with great friends, with my 2 godsons, with Dan and with my sweet Elly. Thanks to all who made it so and to all who wished me a happy day.

Next Paint Project

Now that the living room is done, it is time to start painting something else. Two candidates came to mind.

First, the dining room needs to be finished. I have my heart set on orange walls above of the chair rail and orange stenciling over the yellow paint below the chair rail. Soon every room in our house will have bright colors – just you wait.

Second, the porch is in a sad state with peeling paint everywhere.

Since the dining room can be done at anytime of the year, the porch takes priority as I can only paint it during the summer. It could be painted in the Fall too, but then I am having to hope for a stretch of no rain. Rain is less plentiful in the summer though I imagine the humidity will not be helpful, but you can’t have everything.

Saturday morning was spent scraping the old, flaking paint off. Elly helped for a total of 2 minutes before she hopped on her rocking horse.

After I finish painting the porch, Elly has asked that we paint her rocking horse.

She would like it orange.

Great minds think alike!