Sunday, October 26, 2008

One of those weeks . . .

After a week full of

bumped heads,

and broken toes,
and my general weariness
(sorry, no picture of that). . .
My wonderful husband surprised me with these:

Thank you, honey. I love them and I love you.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bedtime Memories

I have such fond memories of bedtime with Elijah - that is, until he started to buck the system about a year ago. But when reminiscing about those days between infancy and 3-year-old tyranny, I always smile wistfully.

Although Elijah always went to bed easily, I had the luxury of time that you only enjoy with one child and only after it is gone, so we rocked and read and sang almost every night. We read the obligatory Good Night Moon until it was memorized and I sang the standard lullabies until he was old enough to put in his own requests. And we cuddled. Our son was a world-class cuddler (still is, to be honest). He would wrap his arms around my neck and nestle his head on my shoulder and I would sigh and wish it could last forever.

But it couldn't, because then we had Allison . . .

. . . and life got more complicated. Dan and I soon split bedtime duties, and since I was nursing, I always got Alli. One might argue that is when and why Elijah's bedtime woes began, but that is for another post. Life changes and you have to adapt.

Now Allison was also a good sleeper, and still is. In fact, she didn't need to be cuddled or rocked, only needed a full tummy and her crib. So I would nurse her and lay her down with a quick kiss and leave the room. And that is the routine we stayed with for over 2 years. Well, now she is old enough to enjoy a good story (Good Night Moon is back!) and requests one nightly. So while Dan and I still split bed-time duties, it is usually more evenly between the kids than those first months.

That's why I almost cried last night when it was my turn to put Alli to bed and we read Mommy's Best Kisses, a book all about how mommy animals kiss their babies while putting them to bed. Alli insisted that I kiss her in the same way each page described, and after I was done reading she said, "My turn. Read mommy" and proceeded to turn each page and kiss me likewise. Oh, how I melted and enjoyed that precious time with her. I may not have memories of night after night rehearsing the same traditions, but I will cherish every night like that one I get.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Alli's Quilt

. . . is finished! Well, not quite. I still have to take it somewhere to be quilted and then I will have to attach the binding, but the majority of my work is done! So, as promised, here are some pictures . . .
It measures 72"x82" and looks like it might be wide enough for a full-sized bed, even though Alli sleeps on a twin.These next pictures are of a small throw that I made. It was my first quilt that I made from start to finish. It was VERY easy, so good to learn on! And it was small enough that I could quilt it on my own machine, and easy to quilt, since I just sewed straight lines!

I love the fabric on the back almost as much as the front!This is how I display it - on the end of our bed, ready to be used for naps or for watching a movie in bed!

Now I need to get busy on some Christmas presents!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Homeschooling Question

I have a question for all you homeschooling moms out there:
Do you reward your kids, or give them any kind of incentive to do their work?

Here's my issue - I have a 4 1/2 year old, who LOVES doing every subject except reading lessons. We only do about 3 subjects: math, perception worksheets and reading, along with a healthy dose of reading aloud (I read aloud to the kids). Elijah thoroughly enjoys all but the reading lesson. We use "How to teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons" and each lesson takes only about 15-20 minutes, tops. He is doing well and learning all his sounds and letters, but hates to do it. I would be inclined to put it away if it weren't for the fact that he can already read the 1st of his BOB books, and is so excited to learn, but he doesn't enjoy the lesson itself!

So how do you handle this? Do you reward your student when they perform with a decent attitude, or do you lose your patience, like I have been guilty of doing? What has worked for you? I'm really interested to know!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Progression on Alli's Quilt

This quilting thing isn't so hard -if you find a beginner pattern, that is. Alli's quilt is going together really quickly. I thought I would update you on my progress:

First of all, this is the main fabric that I chose to work off. I'm going for a scrappy, shabby-chic, cottage-y look. I've already made a matching pillow-case for Alli's mini pillow on her bed with the leftover of this fabric.

Step 1: Cut out 2 8-inch squares from each fabric.

Step 2: Cut remaining fabric into 3-inch strips. Sew sets of 3 and 4 strips horizontally together to make strip sets.

Step 3: After sewing horizontally to form the strip set, cut it vertically to get these lovely little sets.

Step 4: Do this many times to get a big pile of cut strip sets. Pile them together and marvel how easy this has been so far.
Step 5: Start to join strip sets together with the 8-inch squares to make the rows of the quilt and then join the rows together to make the quilt top.
Step 6: Stop to ponder the other responsibilities you are shirking in an attempt to make a quilt for your daughter. Namely, the dishes. But hey, there will always be dirty dishes, but a homemade quilt lasts forever, right?!?!More pictures to follow as I finish the quilt top . . .