Friday, December 31, 2010

Six Years

While waiting to see if Edwin falls asleep this morning, I figured I'd take some time to post. Today marks 6 years since Dan and I got married! Congratulations to us, Dan!

New Year's Eve, Friday night, 5pm on the dot (sorry for all of you who arrived a little late and had to walk in after me...punctuality is a Mennonite virtue we decided to uphold that evening).

We'd dated for 5 years, (minus a few months) and were engaged for one. Most of our dating years were spent long-distance, including 1 year on different continents where we didn't see each other for a year and a day. During those long years of dating, I remember thinking: "Someday this will all be behind us, and we'll have been married for 5 years, and this time of waiting will seem so far away." And now we've passed that point by a year, and life together seems so normal, it is strange to remember back when we weren't married, when life didn't include each other in the way it does now.

Here are a few pictures for fun.

Shock Trauma Christmas Party
2000 or 2001?

Dan visited me at college after returning from Swaziland

Fall 2003

Our engagement picture
Early 2004

Summer 2004 - Engaged
We both wore our wedding bands on our right hands instead of me wearing a diamond

Peach Pie Yumminess
Fall 2005
Wesley & Buttercup
Fall 2006

Family Wedding
Summer 2007

Summer 2008

Returned from Zambia
Spring 2009

Med School Graduation
Spring 2009

New Family
Christmas 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Winter Walks

How to still take your baby for a walk in the cold:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Drumroll, Please

I'd now like to announce that I am... of the newest sewing instructors at Spool, a hip fabric store in Philly.
(sorry, did you think I was going to say "pregnant"?)

I got connected to this store through a good friend of mine and it just so happened that the owner was looking for more sewing instructors. Because, you see, sewing is making a comeback. I'm starting small and just teaching one 2-hour class one Saturday a month starting in January. Either Dan or a friend will watch Edwin.

I'm so excited. I get to hang out with other people who are interested in sewing, and I get to use some of my teaching skills.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cozy Hats & Mittens

A few weeks back I posted a bunch of random tidbits about life. One of those things was that I was making Edwin a winter hat and mittens. I've finished them and he's been able to wear them in this cold weather. It took me a while because I made a lining for the hat and it took a few tries until it fit correctly.

What's funny is that I have a kid who's in style. I like to be aware of fashion, but I'm not always the most trendy person. And now that I'm not teaching and around high schoolers all the time, I'm a little out-of-the-loop when it comes to what's en vogue. Most of my things come from thrift stores, so I'm usually a little behind the times. But it seems that Edwin's winter hat is one of the trends for this winter. I think it makes sense for a little baby to have a hat with ear flaps, so I wasn't style-watching when I picked out this pattern. It just so happens to be what's "in" now.
We were walking past a bunch of middle-schoolers yesterday while on our walk and one of them saw Edwin in his hat and commented to his friends: "The baby has a hat like ours!" Maybe he just doesn't realize that he's wearing a baby hat. Now all he needs is some mittens with a string!

Thanks to this site for the basic hat pattern and this site and this pattern for the mittens.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

8 Months

Edwin is quite the busy little boy these days.

He often insists on at least partially feeding himself at lunch and supper. I guess he's hungry enough at breakfast to not worry about it.

If it's paper, plastic, crinkly and unsafe, he wants it.

He gets excited when I pull out my scissors and sewing needles.

Watching cars drive by outside the window could be hours of fun if he was big enough to stand on the couch unattended.

De, da, ma, ba and ga are is his current vocabulary along with various yells and hollers.

The army crawl is his preferred method of locomotion.

He has discovered my earrings and laughs delightedly while trying to get them.
(Thankfully, they pull right out!)

One of his favorite things to try and get is the blue light on the computer.

He has 7 teeth: 4 on the top, 3 on the bottom.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pies, laundry, coffee and a sleeping baby

I baked some pies this morning for my family's Thanksgiving meal, and as I was cleaning up I savored the aroma of baking pastry mingling with coffee Dan made this morning, sun shining on the diapers hanging on the line, the hum of the drier and the knowledge that Edwin was snoozing peacefully (after a restless and early morning) in his bed.

I sighed and thought: "I like this stay-at-home gig."

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Photo Shoot

I think most of you who read this are also my friends on FB, so these pictures aren't really new to you. But I like them, so I thought I'd just post a few that aren't on FB.

The big guys is currently working away helping to save lives, the little guy is snoozing in his crib, and I'm trying to finish the gazillion projects on my list. I have a habit of starting projects, getting great ideas for other ones, beginning those, and then ending up with a lot of unfinished projects that all cry out for my attention at the same time.

Friday, November 12, 2010

We Would Be Dans

I was using a cake pan today that once belonged to Dan's grandmother Susie. Every time I use it I notice the initials written on it in permanent marker. The interesting thing about this pan (that she baked cakes in, used for fellowship meal casseroles, etc.) is that the initials on it aren't Susie's. They're her husband's.

I don't know if this was just a common thing in that generation in general, or if it was just common among the Mennonites, but it's not a tradition we've kept among my generation.

Another tradition we did away with is calling families by the husband's name. My mom's generation did this (or at least my mom did and sometime still does - no offense, Mom!) Growing up the families we often hung out with were Dons, Roys and Marshalls. We got to see Mervs sometimes during the year too. And we were Marises.

Just some of my random thoughts today...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Pink Ribbon and Other Things

Blogging has been on my mind, but I just haven't gotten around to it. Part of the reason for that was that I didn't feel like writing about what was really on my mind so much last month.

October was "breast cancer awareness month," but it may as well have been called "breast cancer fear month" as far as I was concerned. That fear seems to have dissipated, thankfully, after some journaling, praying and meditating on the truth of not being able to add an hour to my life regardless of how much I might worry. (Just FYI, for those who don't know, I'm considered "high risk" in relation to breast cancer since a close family member had it, and for some reason last month, I was thinking about it so much and fearing it, although it's nothing I've feared before despite a family history of it.)

In other news, of the more cheerful kind...which I may, or may not, expound on later:

...Dan has only 1 week left of this grueling rotation

...I've started a new braided rug with wool from some great stores a friend introduced me
to recently (thanks, J!)

...I'm going to be a sewing instructor 1 day a month this winter at a cute, cute fabric store

...Edwin has begun pulling himself across the floor on his belly

...I've ordered a new Keeper (size A) and am excited to see what cute fabric it'll come in this time (google "The Keeper", if you're curious)

...I've had to return more of my bumgenius diapers b/c of faulty velcro but I've been able to get them replaced with snap-closure diapers

...I've crocheted Edwin a wool hat with ear flaps and am going to try and make mittens too

...I'm going to experiment and make Dan a reusable, washable lunch bag - using my own pattern (which is yet to be created)

And now I hear a little boy upstairs, so it's time for me to go!

Friday, October 22, 2010


Months like these are what most people think of when they hear that Dan is in residency. He's working all but 4 days of the next 4 weeks, and he puts in anywhere between 11-14 hours each day.

That means he and I see each other for just a short time at the end of the day and he may or may not see Edwin awake some days. And that means he often misses fun times like this:

Since we're sharing a car, things like grocery shopping can be a little trickier. It works alright if I take him to work or just wait until he gets home in the evening and then go to the store.

During these I-hardly-see-Dan-months, I realize how important my social life is. I have a tendency to wait for others to plan social events that I can happily attend. Dan tends to be our social-events planner, but rotations like this remind me that I need to stay on top of things and take initiative too.

It's a bit tough with only one car...but I'm trying to make it work.

I'm so thankful that Dan's schedule is only crazy for a time and then it changes and will be easier. Meanwhile, Edwin and I use the bus to take trips downtown to do some things like get library books and go to the bank, and we go on a lot of walks to the park. Have I mentioned on here how great the parks are in our neighborhood?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fall Fun

Now that Edwin can sit up, we've been enjoying something new on our trips to the park. The first time I put him in one, he laughed and laughed.




Thursday, October 14, 2010

Clutch Purse

This was my first attempt at making a clutch purse. You know, for all the times I dress up and need a clutch purse. (I might need to get Dan to take me on a date just so I have an excuse to use this.)
I used a free pattern from this site. I made a few minor changes - like padding it with fleece, including a small interior pocket, using gathered fabric instead of piping, and adding an antique pin.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Pictures NOT posted

Here are some pictures I didn't post on Monday.

(Those spots would be melted spearmint gum covered in lint.)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Rainy Day Fun

It started with an outing to the Delaware Children's Museum with some friends in the morning.

After lunch, while it rained, this is what our afternoon looked like:

I love rainy afternoons.

Friday, October 1, 2010

6 Months

Will the next 6 months go as fast as these past 6 months? Or even faster? I look forward to every stage Edwin will go through, but I'm not ready to see my baby move into toddlerhood.

I am enjoying Edwin so much. He's seriously one of the cheeriest babies I know (I'll ignore his current squeals of frustration because he can't reach a toy block). I tend to get eased into life experiences - college and teaching experiences are examples - and am thankful it's been that way so far when it comes to having a baby.

Happy 6 months, kiddo!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Baby Wearing

It's a pretty big deal these days, this "baby wearing." How many carriers are out there on the market? Scads. We have 3 (not including the sling that I hardly used because my son is a giant and didn't fit in it very long.)

When I "wear" my baby, I am reminded of all the women I saw in southern Africa who carried their babies on their backs using nothing but a rectangular piece of fabric (practical, cheap and oh-so-sensible!). I watched a woman in Swaziland bend over, put a baby on her back and then wrap the fabric around herself (under the arms) so the baby was nice and snug, and tie it in the front with two knots. In Zambia they wrap one end up over a shoulder and fasten it with one knot. Voila!

I still have yet to try it, but I have the fabric for it, purchased in Zambia. I decided that since I'm not familiar with how to do this and don't have anyone present to show me, I'd wait until Edwin was no longer a newborn. One of these days I'll get around to it. Until then, I've been using other carriers such as these:

The Snugli
The snugli is my least favorite. I think it's the most uncomfortable, actually, and have only used it once or twice. But it is more masculine-looking, for the guy who is concerned with that type of thing. Thankfully, as you can see from the picture below, Dan is not.

This is a carrier I made from a pattern. It's similar to a mei tai. The nice thing about this carrier is that you can use it for front carrying or back carrying. Dan carried my 2 year old nephew on his back with this a couple of weeks ago. It also folds up nice and small for stashing in a diaper bag. Definitely the most portable. The down side to this carrier is the narrow shoulder straps. If I make one again, I'll widen the straps in order to disperse the weight across the shoulders.

And our 3rd carrier is pictured below. The Moby.
A friend gave this to me, and it's definitely the most comfortable carrier I have. It's one long piece of knit fabric that is folded in half width-wise and then wrapped around in certain ways. (A manual is provided that included pictures.) The fabric is super soft, stretchy - which can make it tricky to know at first how tight to tie it so it doesn't stretch too much - and breathable. Plus, the should straps can be nice and wide. I've never felt them digging into my shoulders. This can be worn forward facing like shown or the baby can be facing towards you for when they are littler. See this previous post.

The only down-side to the Moby is that it is so long the ends trail on the ground while you're wrapping it on so it can be tricky if you're putting it on at the beach. Then you just need to have someone hold the ends so they don't get dirty.

When I finally get around to putting Edwin on my back "African-style", I'll post a picture.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Must've Been Hogs

You know you're from farm country when you intentionally sniff the manure-scented night air just to figure out which animal it is that you smell.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

5 Months

Happy 5 months, Edwin. You have no clue that 5 months ago at this time you were born, but we sure remember it!

Edwin is now rolling over. He first rolled from his back to his belly, but since he spends a lot of his waking time on his belly (trying to prevent a flat head, you know), he quickly mastered rolling from belly to back and does that more often.

Now that he rolls over, we find him lying any-which-way in his crib. And since he combines rolling over and kicking, I've had to free his legs from between the crib bars a time or two. He's recently decided that he likes falling asleep on his side where he has great access to his thumb.

He watches me and seems to be smacking his lips while I eat. Baby food isn't too far down the road, but he still seems fine with just breastmilk. And it must be working too, because at his checkup last week he weighed in at 20 lbs. even. I'm getting a good workout lifting and carrying him. Who needs a gym when you have a big baby?

(And, yes, that is a scrub shirt he's wearing)

And how can I forget his laughter? Is there anything better than a baby's laughter?

(Just try to ignore my voice and enjoy Edwin's laughter!)