Monday, January 30, 2012


It seems that our poor daffodils and forsythia are confused. These are the two local flowers that have always heralded the coming Spring for me. They usually do not appear until late March, but as you can see they are happy to pop up and say hello in January! Sadly this means if we get another frost, and I am sure we will, that they will die. I must say the crazy weather we've had this Winter (if you can call that) has thrown me for a loop. I'd say the past four years we have always had at least one nice snow and normal cold temperatures. Plus in the last two years we got tons of snow and very cold temperatures. Not this year I suppose. 

Our poor co-op kids have been learning about snow and Winter animals. Even they really want snow. Oh well. Maybe one day I'll take them to Wintergreen- a local ski resort about three hours away- to see the snow before our real Spring begins. 

In other news, we are sick again over here! Will it end? I do not know. This time it is Deirdre. Hopefully this will be short lived. At least my children only seem to be ill once a year (always in January) and then generally they get a mild sniffle in Autumn. I am trying to stay positive since so far they have not needed any antibiotics or the like. I'd prefer it to stay that way too. 

However because of the on and off colds we've all had, I won't be able to finish my Rhythm of the Home article in time. I am pretty disappointed by it- but what can a Mamma do? I still plan on finishing it- so maybe it will go well for next year or maybe on their blog. In the end, there isn't much more I can do. Sick kids need loving- not a Mama furiously crafting and writing to make a deadline. Next time I will take 'colds' into consideration. With the Autumn and Winter editions, I had tons of time. On the up side though, I already began a Summer article and I won a "Woolly Rounds" giveaway today :) 

Before Deirdre got sick again, we had some fun coming up with new night time "tv-free" activities. Deirdre decided she wanted to wash dishes and give her playmobil a bath. Now it is an every other evening event. She loves it, I don't mind, and she washes her and Jonas enamelware (which should not go in the dishwasher). 
I'd say it is a win-win. 

I also had a stroke of genius when it came to pops. My kids, when they were sick, loved to have pops for their throats. But they were- bless them- making a huge stained mess of their clothes even with bibs. So I thought well let's try in the tub, and it worked! The mess was contained and I was not having to do extra laundry. In the Summer we just do it outside so a mess wasn't an issue but in Winter, I think the tub idea is great. 

At any rate, I hope you all are well! Thank you for your well wishes on my last post. It means the world to me. 

Always, Nicole 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Precious Little One

It seems that this little baby is well on its way- and I cannot wait! My pregnancy has hit its stride. No more hyperemesis or placenta bleeding scares. Lots of growth and kicking abounds now, with some serious cravings. All told,  sometime between mid April and early May- this little one will enter our lives. I can't help but get excited since I have only two full months left until we meet him or her. 

With that added peace, I have been able to reflect on how unique this little one and its pregnancy has been. We feel so immensely blessed to welcome another precious child into this world as well as to be pregnant. Having experienced loss, I am reticent to complain about being pregnant. Children, in our view, are blessings. Pure and simple. They're lots of work yes, but the way in which our children have blessed and enriched our lives only affirm and strengthen this view. Plus I am up for the task. I am honestly not daunted one bit by another child. I got all my fretting out when I had Jonas. I can do this, and God made me for this. 

I also really think a mother's 'glow' comes from her joy for the little life inside of her. 
Who could keep that in?

 I also believe this makes it equally hard when others- especially family- don't share in your joy and try to rob you of it. As this baby through the years grows into a child, I can honestly say it will be hard to just forget negative family attitudes. It also, to me at least, seems extremely patronizing and dehumanizing when others' try to chalk up your feelings to being sensitive and pregnant. My moral compass and reasoning did not leave my body when I became pregnant.

I can only journal and pray about my hurt so much before well I accept it for what it is- selfishness. I don't need people to be happy for us if they can't be, but they can keep the negativity to themselves. I used to be a very blunt person and that changed along then line somewhere. However I think I might bring it back some and just shut down what I call "diarrhea of the mouth" before it crops up. Not in a nasty way, but in a matter of fact way. 

So I suppose that all in all, I resolve to not let anyone rob me or my family of our God-given joy. I also resolve to not be a doormat. Our sweet baby will be welcomed into this world surrounding by love. If some family and friends won't be part of our loving village- then please leave. 

I considered making this blog private but I won't. This isn't an attack, it is just how I feel. I choose to be open about this, because I know I am not the only mother who has felt this way before. All life should be celebrated.

Maybe this will just remind us all to be loving to one another as well. 

Thankfully you all, my dear blog friends, are quite nice. I really appreciate that. I do have a large supportive and happy village as well. I am so blessed to have them. Many pages in my journal are filled with praises for my village. Many more pages of happiness than hurt. For that I am thankful. 

Who could not love this baby!

Monday, January 23, 2012

One Sick Mommy

Hello dear friends!

I write you from the comfort of my couch, aka my sick bed. I have been battling a terrible cold since Thursday. It has now gone from my head into my chest. This means I am on my way to the doctor tomorrow. I can usually kick a head cold but because I am prone to bronchitis- due to the nasty smoking habits of my parents that I was exposed to for the first 17 years of my life- I need to go in at this point. Being pregnant also doesn't help. 

So please keep me in your thoughts and prayers. Amid this cold I still have a house and little ones to care for, and my husband and in-laws can only help out so much. Needless to say, I am ready to be better. 

Until then, keep me in your thoughts. I will update once I got to the doctor. 

Always, Nicole 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Little Buddy for Jonas

Yes that's right! I actually made a 14' Waldorf doll. Who knew when I began this doll making trial and error journey that I would actually finish it, and be happy with my results!

I also firmly believe anyone can do this!!

Armed with "Kinderdolls", a bunch of wool batting, very tan knit fabric, very large sewing needles, a crochet wig, tons of blonde yarn, and embroidery floss- I began the task of making Jonas a 'little buddy'. Craig came up with the name little buddy. I think it is cute and that it fits well because my hope is that this doll will replace his sleep sheep (a raggedy sheep that he loves dearly and calls baby) as well as become a comfort for him when the new baby comes. 

When I had Jonas, Deirdre attached a blue doll and would mimic my behavior with the new baby- with her own doll. It seemed to help and comfort her, and I can honestly said we had no regression issues. However with that being said, she also has a very nurturing personality so if Jonas regresses, I won't be upset or surprised. They just are different in that way and I love it! 

I also realized that I don't have a boy doll. They are all girls, fairies, or gnomes! Jonas likes the dolls but I think he will really like having one that is a boy, that he can dress, and that looks like him. 

Another reason that I wanted to make him something special for his birthday is because I make Deirdre lots of things. I don't know what it is about girl things, maybe because I am a girl, but sewing dresses to me is easier than sewing a button down shirts and pants!! DD has tons of Mama-made goodies and while I am sure Jonas doesn't realize it yet, I do, and it bothers me. When I make things, it is out of love, so I want to make sure I make an effort to make him clothes and toys as well. 

So here is mini-Jonas, his new little buddy. I quietly began him back in late November. I don't know how many times I took the body apart, re-stuffed the head, cursed the sewing needles, but he is done. I like him and I am happy with him. I also understand why these dolls cost $100 plus from an experienced doll maker (A LOT of work goes into them). He was made with lots of love and for my first doll ever- I think he looks pretty good. Will I be making another one? Yes- for Deirdre before the new one arrives. But until then I am going to hug mini-Jonas and excitedly await his 2nd birthday to give it to him! 

I love how Waldorf dolls have vague faces and are soft. Deirdre creates such imaginative stories and adventures with her Waldorf dolls, much more so than with other dolls. I highly recommend you make or purchase one for your children. Magic Onions featured a great article on the importance of Waldorf dolls here if your interested! 

Oh and an FYI- I used Adirondack Pattern's Waldorf doll clothes pattern for his clothes. It was a fabulous pattern- super user friendly. I highly suggest getting it. I will never pay for doll clothes again. 

A few tips from a first timer: 

- I suggest getting extra wool batting. At first I did not have enough in him so when I went to sew the limbs to his torso- it looked terrible. 
-I also suggest drink a glass of wine and relax before you 'form' the head. That was probably the hardest part for me. 
-I also bought a crochet wig cap. That made looping the yarn on the wig easier. Then all I had to do was sew the wig on instead of sewing the strands down bit by bit (as the Kinderdoll book suggested). 

Other than that, I am now a firm believer that if you have the time and supplies, then anyone can do it! They also are not terrible to pull apart if you mess up. I took out the embroidery on his mouth three times and I can't tell now! At any rate I hope it helps and I'd be happy to help you as I can. I am however still a huge novice. I am sure other real doll makers out there have much better advice!!! (It still was much cheaper doing it myself than buying one)

Until next time (oh and please pray for me, I have a yucky cold! It seems I have what the kids had a week ago!)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Quilt or Two!

From time to time I get a sewing bug that I just can't itch. It comes and goes really, because in between those time I rarely enter my sewing room but when it does come, oh the glorious productivity! 

Back in late May I made these quilts, one for Jonas and one for our playroom. Deirdre loves gnomes so when I saw the gnome fabric I caved. She already has a quilt (her fairy baby quilt) so I don't think she really needs another right now (besides the Christmas one I just made her). 

Jonas on the other hand did not yet have a baby quilt (he is almost 2) so I hopped on that project as well. The results are above. Once I finished, I sent these off to be machine top quilted. So when I got them back in late June, there they sat ready to be bound. 

The cowboy fabrics that I used for Jonas' quilt came from a dear friend Linnea and her daughter Rachael. The backing was a Michael Miller Cowboy print. I really love the look of them all together. The fabrics from the gnome quilt were from Moda's "Wee Folks" line, including the mushroom print backing. I used a charm pack for the front as well. All together I really like them. 

You must be asking yourself at this point, so why are they just now finished? Well that is the sad part really. I spent all of July packing up our house and refused to let myself do any sewing or projects so that I could pack up my sewing room. Then one month after we moved in, I found out that I was pregnant. I spent September to early November terribly sick with Hyperemesis only to just feel better by December- which was Christmas crafting time! So finally here comes January and the perfect time to finish the quilts (not to mention Jonas' 2nd birthday is in a few weeks so that is a perfect time to give him his quilt). I also want to begin the baby's quilt and I told myself I would not touch it until I was done with the other two. It also doesn't help that I HATE to bind quilts. I just hate it. 

But it is done, and I am very happy with them both. I am still undecided as to whether I will machine quilt the baby's quilt myself or send it off to the quilt lady. I quilted the Christmas quilt totally by myself and I was happy with it but the quilt lady still does an awesome job and she charges maybe $20. We will see! 

I am in full baby nursery mode right now too. I believe nesting as set in some. I also have two projects to finish in time for Jonas birthday- his Waldorf doll and a pair of big boy pajamas. Here is hoping that I get ot all done!

Until then I leave you with an awesome quote and a few photos of the fleece tie blanket I made Jonas. 

Daily Quote or Verse: 
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction...The chain reaction of evil -- hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars -- must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation." 
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Progress and Completion

I am officially done with my Valentines Day craft swap (not pictured yet are the candies I will pick up at the store on my way to to the post office)! I really enjoyed dreaming up this little gnome set, wet felted heart ornaments, and sachet. I am slowly realizing that crafting gnomes and embroidering are coming more and more easily to me, which is good and validating. I also find that the artistic/crafty medium of wooden pegs and felt have endless possibilities once you have a basic method down. So all in all, I can't really take full credit for the gnome peg people and sleeping bags I make, since they were all inspired by Wee Folk Art's tutorials. The designs at this point are my own, however this really isn't about artistic integrity for me, since I make these for my children and friends as gifts. I want to keep it that way too. But I also want to give credit where credit is due! 

Deirdre helped me wet felt the purple heart ornament. She was very proud of it and is even more excited to send it to our swap partner in New Zealand. I pulled up photos on the computer for her and map. She concurred that  New Zealand  is beautiful but far away from us. I find that to be one of the really neat things about blogging though. I am making connections with people, different yet like minded at the same time, worldwide. It helps me feel not quite so alone in my homeschooling and Waldorf journey. Plus it's the next best thing to travelling (which Craig and I fully intend on doing again since we'll barely be in our forties when our kids are grown). Don't get me wrong, we totally plan on travelling some with our children as well but I am still looking for my money tree to make that happen ;) Let's hope I can still speak a few of the languages I studied by the time I find it! 

Enjoy the photos and feel free to use them to craft your own little Valentine sets. I will post a tutorial later on to explain how we wet felted the hearts as well as a spool table and spool mushroom tutorial. I realized that I did not give directions on how to make your own! Opps!

Until then, Happy Monday! (And enjoy some photos of the littles!) 

Yes they do help me cut them and it is helpful. Deirdre did one whole by herself (with a butter knife). Jonas tried really hard but ended up eating the raw potato more than cutting it. 

Homemade pound cake- yum! The kids helped with this too. They're great egg crackers. 

We are slowly replacing TV time with planned nightly activities. We started again to watch more TV when I was very ill with hypermesis. So far it is working. They also totally clean up after themselves collectively. I am very proud.

For the Kids Friday

Friday, January 13, 2012

{this moment}

A Friday ritual birthed by Soulemama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see!