Hi there! I'd love to hear from you!

The story of Everett's birth starts a week before his due date. Actually, the story might even start earlier than that. ...

At 35 weeks, I was feeling big and ready with Braxton Hicks contractions happening daily. I felt like the little boy could be here any day. There was even one night when I had to stop making dinner because the contractions were coming so often and so strong. I had to make it to 37 weeks to deliver at home, so I was doing what I could to take things easy but work was stressing me out and life with a 2.5 year old is not what you might call relaxing.

Then 37 weeks hit and the worry about reaching the home birth cut-off lifted. I was still rushing and working hard to get everything as ready as possible for my leave. 38 weeks hit and I started my leave. All the pressures and worries lifted and suddenly I had the feeling I was going to be pregnant for the rest of my life.

Then came Monday, the day I hit 39 weeks. All throughout my pregnancy I'd had in my head that a week early would be a grand time to have this boy. Second babies come early, everyone said. I was ready to be done being pregnant and it wasn't too early for the baby. I had my usual appointment with Michelle, my midwife, and told her my hopes, but also that I was still feeling like I was going to be pregnant forever. That night I started having contractions worth timing and at 3 minutes apart we called Michelle. But, by the time she got there and then Amber, the midwife in training, arrived I was doing good... too good. The contractions had all but stopped and everyone turned around and headed home. Everyone that is except for the grandparents coming from Santa Cruz. They were on-call to take big sister when the time came. The false alarm ended up being a long night for them.

And then nothing... the Braxton Hicks stopped and my due date rolled around and nothing. I was more than ready. In the week between the false alarm and my due date I'd developed stretch marks and then pupps rash. The rash quickly spread from my belly to my legs and then my arms and back too. It was incredibly itchy and uncomfortable. I was ready to be done! I was walking all day every day hoping to bring on baby. The day before my due date Michelle stripped my membranes hoping that would get things started, but Monday, my due date, rolled around and nothing. In desperation, I called around and got myself an appointment for acupuncture that day. It helped calm me down but I was still pregnant by the end of the day.

Still pregnant the next day, I treated myself to a pedicure and had a fun day at the park with EddyLou. Still pregnant the next day, I went for another round of acupuncture and had spicy Cajun food for dinner. Still pregnant the next day, Lukas took off work - planning to be off until baby came - to help me. We did preschool drop-off together and for lunch we picked up a prego pizza. The legend is that this was the trick to get labor started.

But, by dinner time I was still pregnant. We ordered Thai food - mine especially spicy - and EddyLou and I drove over to pick it up - it was a little after 6pm. As I stepped out of the car I felt a pop. "Oh shoot," I thought. "My water just broke." I felt my pants and miraculously they weren't wet. Quickly I grabbed EddyLou from her car seat. We ran into the restaurant where our food was already waiting for us and there wasn't a line. In less than a minute we had paid and were back in the car headed home.

My contractions started when we got home, but I managed to eat Lukas's dinner (mine being unnecessarily spicy now) and we called Michelle. She said she'd gather her things and come on over. We called Grandma and Grandpa too - no false alarm this time. Lukas put EddyLou to bed while my labor started to progress. Between contractions I gave her a hug. By the time Michelle got there, I was up and walking between the contractions. I was filled with a nervous energy. This is really it.

As a contraction would come I would fold over the arms of the easy chair, sway my hips, and concentrate on my breathing trying to ride it like a wave. I am strong. I am open. Between contractions I tried to walk off the nervous energy. Michelle suggested I sit and relax but I couldn't do that. At some point, breathing through the contractions wasn't enough. I started to hum/sing the same three notes - one for the build up, one for the peek, and one for the descent. I think maybe I was trying to avoid both tensing up and waking up Ediza. The singing wasn't anything I planned (though I do remember singing for a little bit during my labor with Ediza as well).

I wasn't ready for the tub and then... I was ready to be in the tub. Oh, the glorious warmth of the tub was so incredibly soothing. The support of the water and the distraction each time a bit more warm water was added. Between contractions I could rest and during I folded over the side of the tub, singing my three note song. It was focused and quiet until suddenly the notes were bursting from my mouth. Afterwards, Michelle said it was almost operatic. My whole energy was focused on those notes. The intensity was astounding. I kept my hands open wide and not fighting the contractions.

At some point Grandma and Grandpa stopped by and collected EddyLou's go-bag and pack-n-play. They were all ready to come get her when she woke up. Around the time the intensity of my singing peaked, Michelle quietly told Lukas, "I think the baby will be here soon." Lukas asked what to do about the sleeping kid and I think Michelle's response was a shoulder shrug along the lines of maybe she'll just keep sleeping.

Then I was pushing from hands and knees in the tub holding tightly to Lukas's hands. Michelle asked me to turn over when the baby seemed to go back up after every push. As I rolled over there was a little pop and the last of my water broke. I pushed in a bridge with my hands overhead gripping so hard on Lukas's hands. I held my breath and pushed. And then, he came quickly. Big head and shoulders and arms and legs... he was here! Quickly, hands helped lift him up from the water to my chest. "Keep his face out of the water," as he took his first breaths and let out his first whimpering cries. "Hi baby, I'm your momma." It was 10:27 pm. 

We made our way to the couch and the midwives cleaned up. It was all so contained because everything had happened in the tub. After everything settled down and the midwives had left, it got quiet and EddyLou woke up. Lukas ushered her from bed to potty and back again. She had slept through all the noise and Grandma and Grandpa hadn't needed to come get her. In the morning, she came out to the living room with her tussled bedhead. "Baby brother come out you's belly," she said with a shy smile. And then... life with two kids began.

:: "It miss-appeared" aka disappeared

:: "I do it All.By.My.Self!"

:: favorite activities
- putting away the silverware
- helping cook dinner
- doing anything that involves getting to use her stool
- dancing aka spinning around in circles
- playing with Papa's calculator in the garage
- touching all the tools

:: "This baby brother's chair."

:: "reads" stories to herself by making up describing what's going on in the pictures

:: mag-ga-nets = magnets

Happy New Year! 
I'm so ready to reboot everything... my goal this January (and maybe it should be my goal for the full year), is to be INTENTIONAL. To make sure that everything I am doing is done with intention - I use my time efficiently both in big and little ways. Pretty soon (looking at you March!) that time will be even more full. That, even when I am relaxing, I choose to do so intentionally by picking activities that actually do let me relax and let go of the other worries for a time.

::At Home::
A place for everything and everything in its place. The next month will be filled with cleaning up and cleaning out. There's just too much STUFF! And thinking of bringing all the little baby things back out just compounds this problem. So, this must happen. The end product will be a functional home that is a joy to be in. A home that is easy to clean and maintain because everything has a logical spot to go and what we do have is useful and purposeful. As things get done, this will mean recommitting to doing everything 100%. The extract couple minutes it takes to fully complete the task at the time are not worth the mountains of extra work created when I only get things 80 or 90% done each time. Why make more work for myself later?

::At Work::
Being intentional in my work will mean focusing on work when working and not let the busy, stressful times seep into family time. Additionally, my intentional work will include preparing heavily for maternity leave.

::To Make::
With all the intentional actions happening at home and at work, I will hopefully be left with a little time to make. Time to get my work in progress list whittled down. It took a firm deadline to actually finish the one thing on the list from last year. With baby coming, I can't see my time getting any more available. Yet, the list of things in progress... and that I want to make just keeps growing. My best bet for finishing will be to make a plan - a realistic one - and give myself some reasonable deadlines to work with. Scroll down to the bottom of the post for my #2019finishalong goals.

{bison & narwhal quilt}
I took these pictures just as the wild fires were starting. The light was eerie in its orange, hazy glow. Yet, it was perfect for the colors of this quilt. Now, as we've finally got a rainy season the weather is perfect for thinking about finishing this big quilt. Perfect for remembering rambling fall adventures. Perfect for turning inwards, for being cozy, for melting into the season.

This quilt has been years in the making. Or more accurately put, it has been years in the not making. But finally I have a finished flimsy to share. 

:: The Quilt Story ::
In the summer of 2014, we drove a drove along a narrow road through the redwoods. Around a bend, tucked just off the road stood a little grove of trees. We sat on rustic benches and watched as Jeff and Sam exchanged vows. All the tiny, beautiful details that Sam had worked so hard to plan came together. A little over a year later, Jeff was gone (F*CK cancer!). 

When Sam moved out of their home down the street from us, she asked if I would make a quilt from the linens they used on their wedding day. They all had been hunted down at thrift and antique shops - curated to the perfect combination of lavenders, oranges, and warm browns. So, as she left town I sat contemplating the heaps of table cloths, napkins, and doilies. 

Things sat because of the monumental emotions that go along with this quilt. Sure, I wanted to take special care with this task. But more also it was that I couldn't work on this project without thinking of Jeff and Sam, their wedding day and all the times we spent together. And that's heavy, happy, and sad all rolled together. So sometimes I plan to do a bit of work on the quilt only to get side tracked looking at pictures of Jeff. Or staring off into space remembering his goofy antics. 

Yes, this quilt has been slow coming. Every ounce of love is being stitched in - one slow, thoughtful stitch at a time.

::The List::

Realistic Deadline: March 1st

Realistic Deadline: July 1st

Realistic Deadline: rosettes basted March 1st

:: the three category system for drinks 
The options for drinks include water, milk, and beer with beer being the broadest category covering almost everything that is not water or milk. Though, some nearly clear liquids like lemonade might also be called water.

:: "hmmm... let's see..."
Said with scrunched up face, as if in deep thought, while perusing the options for what to eat.

:: "watch out Eddylou"
Meaning, watch out for Eddylou. Said if Papa wheels the balance bike in her direction.

:: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13
Eddylou can count up to 13 but skips 4, 10, and 11 quite consistently. 

:: "MomMA! Come! Here!"
How Momma gets called for in the mornings or if Eddylou has been left sitting on the potty too long.

:: "It's everyone's Happy Halloween Day!"

To carry on the tradition of making Ediza a dress for Thanksgiving, she got this momma sewn Hazelbee Baby Dress. While the fabrics weren't quite as on the nose as her first Thanksgiving dress, I did think the 'eat it all' fabric was quite cleaver - and more wearable for everyday. 

I may be short on words these days, but actual pictures in a momma made dress?! Winning!

Fabric :: Eat it all - Boardwalk Delight by Dana Willard for Art Gallery
Mothlike Shadows Deep - Nightfall by Maureen Cracknell for Art Gallery

Lolo the calculator goes everywhere with us.
It was sad when Eddylou hid it in the Instantpot and it couldn't be found for a few days.

WIP status
Started - June, 2016
Progress to date - Fabrics pulled and whale partially pieced

This little whale paper piecing pattern I designed based on art work I found online is supposed to be a quilt for Ediza. I loved pulling all the blue fabrics I have and arranging them by color/value. Hopefully, when the whale is pieced this will come through. The background of mostly Heather Ross prints makes me very happy too. I'm excited to get back to this one, but need to finish the Bison and Narwhal quilt first.

WIP status
Started - designed: July, 2016; piecing: September, 2017
Progress to date - top 85% pieced

Way back in 2015, Sam asked me to make a quilt using the linens from her wedding. In a show of great procrastination it took me almost a year to come up with a design/plan and another year to start piecing it. When I set aside my sewing time, this is what I'm currently working on. I'm loving these colors together and to me it is feeling very seasonal. I'm looking forward to having this done so I can give it to Sam to enjoy. It's been too long coming.

:: weave me the sunshine quilt ::
WIP status
Started - April, 2011
Progress to date - Top 100% pieced, back partially pieced

Not quite my oldest WIP, but certainly the most colorful. This started as a challenge from the Modern Quilt Guild when I used to go to meetings when we lived on the peninsula. I'm not sure what I'll do with this one when it's complete. That might be way it has sat around for such a long time. Time to get it done and move on.

:: sea stars quilt ::
WIP status
Started - June 2010
Progress to date - Blocks from the quilting bee all received

And the longest WIP award goes to... the sea stars quilt! I requested 12.5" blocks in Hope Valley prints way back in June of 2010. The colors reminded me of star fish clinging to rocks on the northern California coast. Seven and a half years later, the blocks are still sitting in a stack waiting for me to do something with them. I was supposed to add a couple of my own, but I think I talked my mom into sewing those for me at some point. There was at least one block I had thoughts of redoing due. I dreamed of making this a bed quilt, but not quite sure the colors would make Lukas happy and now, not sure if it really fits with our room. My plan is to get the blocks pieced together, back it, quilt it, and donate it somewhere. 

:: beginner's jacket ::
WIP status
Started - December, 2017
Progress to date - The body is 95% done

I'm lacking a picture for this one, but I'm adding it to the list as my last work in progress. I've been taking this with me on the bus commute and working here and there on it in the evenings. It's fun to watch it grow, but slightly nerve wracking as I watch the ball of yarn dwindle. 

:: pin banner ::
WIP status
Started - January, 2018
Progress to date - Fabrics pulled and pattern inspiration gleaned

I couldn't help but sign up for the Heather Ross mini quilt swap happening over on Instagram. I really didn't need another project (or two) to be working on, but I couldn't resist. I've pulled some fabrics to make one of my extras for the swap - a banner for keeping cute pins. A glance at my fabric selections below has me thinking it still needs a bit more. 

:: sun-catcher mini quilt ::
WIP status
Started - January, 2018
Progress to date - Fabrics pulled and pattern designing happening

The actual mini quilt is also underway for the Heather Ross mini swap. I loved pulling and arranging the fabrics for this one. When I began to sketch my ideas for the pattern I kept stalling and just wanting to go back to the fabrics. I think I'll dive head first into some starting piecing that I can then play around with for layout options. It's fun to imagine what my partner will like (like when I did the Blueberry Park mini swap).

:: anything with a bubble is called "BubbBle!" 
A little vial of bubbles from Halloween, a tiny snow globe, every level. The tiny snow globe was smashed and every once in awhile I hear a forlorn "bu-ble" so I think she remembers and misses it.

:: din-tee = binkie 
Tonight Eddylou asked for it in the sweetest, hopeful little voice as I laid her down in her crib. She only got to have it at naps and sleeping at night, still it was time to say goodbye for good. We were doing a gentle wean off the binkie, but today was day-1 cold turkey.

:: melmo = Elmo
The source of much toddler angst. Sharing is hard. Sharing Melmo is impossible. Side note #1: She's terribly confused and thinks Grover is also Elmo. We're working on it. Side note #2: She has one syllable sounds to identify Ernie and Cookie Monster. Big Bird gets two B sounds.

:: Ah! = water
Eddylou's version of the sign for water (pointer finger tap to the nose) was one of the first signs she picked up. The only problem is that when both parents are up front in the car we can't see that she's signing for water. She learned to grunt "ah!" to get our attention and it just kinda stuck.

:: if she's bored with you she'll wave and say "bye-bye", all while smiling sweetly

:: side = both outside and inside 
Context is everything. If we're inside and I ask, "Do you want to go outside?" she excitedly walks to the door waving her arms back and forth around her round belly say, "side!" with each step or two. When she's ready to come back in, again it's a "side" with each step but a more mellow version.