Saturday, September 08, 2018

On the couch

If I had to pick one picture that was my absolute favorite of all time, I would probably pick this one(okay, two).

It doesn't live in a frame on any of my walls(which I plan to remedy), but it has always stood out in my mind. It's one of those pictures that makes me want to go back in time and squeeze those precious little souls. I can hear their laughter in it. I can remember so many vivid details about the moment it was taken. That's my favorite kind of photograph. I don't care about the angles and the lighting and the sharpness nearly as much as I care about the memory. kids would probably argue that that previous statement is, in fact, bull malarky as I tried to recreate that moment on four separate occasions with the latest addition.

It can't be redone. The children have grown in size and number. The couch has been abused by too many moves. Their cute little boy feet reach the ground now. But there's this. 

Poor sister. They caught her going cross eyed. 

I think I've heard more votes for a Jude look a like than any other brother, so I went digging for a picture of him at the same age. A friend described Sparrow as delicate and I think it's the perfect word, especially when comparing her to her brothers. They were all a bit sturdier at a month old. 

She's dainty and delicate and looks like a Rutan. Fun fact: the outfit she's wearing and is right on the cusp of outgrowing is one of the presents I wrapped this past Christmas to announce my pregnancy to her big brothers. 

And one more because I haven't been posting pictures nearly as much as the Grandmas would like...

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Sparrow pictures + random thoughts

Time is short & it's taken me 11 days to get these pictures off my camera and edited. Perhaps top off your coffee, it's a lotta pictures. 

She was born at 8:17pm, but I wanted the boys to meet her before they went to bed. Sean shuttled them all in. Simon and Felix went right to work taking pictures. The most excited one during my pregnancy, the one who asked repeatedly for days when she was coming, the one whose face dropped every time I walked in the door empty handed suddenly clammed up upon meeting her. 

He gave her a wave, then approached my side to ask, "How's she going to ride a bike?"

Sean took them all home once the little two decided the doctor's stool could be ridden in tandem. 

Day 2: Sparrow and I had to hang around at the hospital until dinner time. 
I heard Darius Rucker sing, "It Won't Be Like This For Long." Bawled my brains out. 
I feel like I got to know all the L&D nurses really well. I loved each and every one of them. One of them happens to be my neighbor. One of them was named Fern, seriously one of the greatest names ever. Very random, moving right along. 

The watermelon blanket from her Auntie Beth. I love it so much!

I expected Ruby to be a maternal pup. She is not. Gus was like a nervous new papa from the second we arrived home. He paced. He moaned and whimpered every time Sparrow made a peep. He growled at Ruby every time she even looked in the baby's direction. He physically blocked Ruby's path and stood between her and the baby. It was the strangest thing. I'm happy to say he calmed down pretty quickly.

One of my BFF's got Sparrow this bunny hat when I was in Seattle. She only bought it on the condition that I take pictures of her in it. But, of course. 

My other BFF got her the blanket. It is the SOFTEST, most cozy blanket. 

Jude still isn't real sure about this baby sister thing. He's getting there, he just thought she'd be a little bigger and a little quieter. 

Her Aunt Niki got her this smocked dress. It came with a bonnet, but just like all the bonnets I made her...too big. Way too big. 

Sean won't take the hospital bracelet off until he has to. All the heart eyes. 

Simon has been having a blast taking pictures of his baby sister. He's also the one I have to share her with the most. I LOVELOVELOVE this set he got of the two of us(and her crocheted blanket from Grandma). 

Our first big outing was to Hinohara Falls. It's typically a very calm, quiet, barely-qualifies-as-a-hike hike. On this particular Saturday, there was some kind of festival going on. Thankfully, it wasn't too terribly crowded and the weather was perfect. We did end up in many, many conversations that went along the lines of, "Ahhhhhh, boyboyboyboyGIRL?!" 

Locals, the coffee/pottery shop with the face on it has the BEST (ridiculously overpriced, but totally worth it) iced caramel latte. Also, the donut place closes early, so get the donut BEFORE you hike up to the Falls, not after. 

Thank you, Random Stranger, for the family photo. Note to self, pay attention to where you're standing in the next family photo. Standing at the front of the crowd atop a tree stump will make you appear 3xs the size of your husband. Not awesome for those 1-week, postpartum feels. 

On that lovely note, gotta end it here. More pictures to come! Soon-ish!

Saturday, July 28, 2018


It's been a while since I made the oldest boy a quilt. When I spotted the camera fabric, it became the start of an idea. The problem with quilting for teenagers is that they're big. A lap quilt doesn't cut it. I had to make this one big enough to cover his lanky self. I don't know when it happened, but he was eye to eye with me not too terribly long ago. Now, he's eeking past Sean. 

I love the polaroid quilt pattern that is all over the internet. I was so excited to get started until I realized the terrible lighting in our cell fooled me again. All the fabrics I'd pulled for this quilt were not going to work. Some backgrounds were off white and some were white. So. Stinking. Frustrating. So I started again, pulling from my stash. 

All in all, I'm happy with how this one turned out, but I am tired of the black and white after two in a row. Which leads me to: girl fabric. 

I am officially out of things to sew for baby.

She has bonnets. 

She has babies. 

Sean painted their faces on. The boys helped me stuff their skinny little legs. There's one doll that didn't get her picture taken because she became an amputee and has to be mended. 

She has blankets. This isn't even all of them. She will certainly never go cold. :)

She has bows. Lots and lots of bows. I was able to use up so many scraps! The first batch is my favorite and I plan to make at least a thousand more.

Alright, Little One. It's time. I have nothing left to sew for you. That's not true, actually. I discovered another Yuzawaya thanks to the internets. For those of you who didn't know, Kichijoji has a TWO STORY Yuzawaya. It makes Tachikawa Yuzawaya look like a Craft Heart. I have been to Kichijoji no less than a dozen times and had no idea it was there. There's parking in the bottom of the Marui building(which is also chock full of awesome shopping).

We drove vs taking the train because I caught Sean in a moment of weakness and he agreed that accompanying me on a fabric shopping trip sounded like a good idea. In hindsight, he kinda put a damper on things. Also, driving anywhere in Japan kinda puts a damper on things. Less than 9 miles took us over 45 minutes, and that was with me driving. The trip home was even longer and I was more frustrated because it was "Parents Day" at swim lessons and we were the slackers that didn't show up. Never mind that I was the parent sitting and watching my kids instead of staring at my phone during every other swim lesson they've had this month.

Back to my happy Yuzawaya place. Sean gave me all kinds of looks when I started loading the little fabric cart. It's a small cart, m'kay, and bolts of fabric are big. It doesn't take long to fill a cart. And when I found the Cotton & Steel (not quite) fat quarters and layer caked those bad boys into my basket, his math skillz suddenly got mighty proficient. I justified that it's my last trip before the baby comes-although I'm wondering if I couldn't squeeze in just oooooone more. And that's the story of why I had to deem another piece of furniture as "fabric storage."

Also, if you have a member card to Yuzawaya and you leave it in the car because your purse makes your very pregnant back ache, they do not have a way to look it up. Even if you ask in perfect Japanese. Even if you tilt your head like a puppy and make sure you touch your very pregnant belly a lot as way of excuse.

It's no Tomato, but if you're looking for a fabric trip that's closer than Nippori, Kichijoji Yuzawaya is the place, just remember your member card!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

the Gus&Ruby quilt

These pups were born three years ago, almost to the day. They are my biggest aggravation on any given day, but the fact that they landed their mugs on a quilt speaks more highly than my threats of selling them or feeding them to the crows. Guster is actually the best dog ever, it's Ruby that's got more Chihuahua than Jack Russell. They are both super obedient, but Rubes has more spice and gumption and bark in her. It could be the red hair, but I blame it on the Chihuahua half of her.

This quilt took me a bit to finish because I fell out of love with it. I do not like triangles. I didn't really love the fabric in the end. I didn't like how slowly it came together. I don't like how it doesn't really make sense. Jeeps and sharks and dogs and panda bears? In the end, all things a five year old boy likes, so I guess there is some rhyme or reason to it.

When Jude saw that Gus and Ruby were on his was all worth it. He was so excited and he kept thanking me over and over. The dogs are a pattern I found here. I had to personalize them a bit. Guster's eyebrows are everything. And Ruby's smile is the one thing I'd miss about her if the crows ever did snatch her up and carry her off to Tokyo. She greets us with her toothy grin every time we walk in the front door. Ruby is the only living thing in Tokyo right now still shivering. She is wherever a blanket is. She prefers to be wrapped up in it, preferably emitting extra heat onto already hot humans(me). Seems appropriate that she now has a blanketed shrine to herself. Although, if I catch her laying on it, it's on.

Their dog smirks crack me up. 

Ruby approved of her likeness. :)