Tuesday, March 30, 2010

He, he, he!

It seemed to me like yesterday was a long time in coming - it was our sonogram day! It's SO exciting to see your baby for the first time - what a treat! Either we had a more experienced nurse, or the baby was in a better position, or the hospital has updated their equipment, because we found out several very fun things about our little . . . boy!

Yes sir'e he's a he!
Manly little profile, don't you think? Especially when compared to Alaina's (Posted in Aug. 2008).

Besides finding out that our little guy is . . . well, a guy, we also discovered that he has his Daddy's feet! Notice that longer second toe - I'm getting to be quite outnumbered as far as foot shape goes. The lady doing the sonogram also commented that it looks like he will be tall.


Surprise, surprise!

Ever since we got home, I've had my Christmas gift from Kyle hanging up where I can see it.

Today, I'm thinking happy blue thoughts!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Growing, growing.

We're having lots of fun here with the everyday antics of our little girl. Her signed and spoken vocabulary is slowly increasing (bye bye is her newest), and she knows lots of animal noises. "What does a Lion say" always gets a good reaction! She recently added knees, elbows and shoulders to her repertoire, although "elbows" end up looking suspiciously like wrists sometimes.

Alaina cracks us up with all her expressions and imitations. It's especially hilarious when she mimics Kyle brushing his teeth! She has brushing down now, in fact, she sometimes starts spitting before her tooth brush even leaves the holder. She also does a darling little patty cake of her own, which takes about 5 seconds. We call it the fast food version.

As to our other little person, I'm starting to feel more movement now, which is great fun! We should have some more news to share about him or her next week - so you better get your boy/girl guesses in. We can hardly wait to find out more about this little one!

Monday, March 22, 2010

As cold water to a weary soul,

. . . so is good news from a far country!

I loved getting your e-mail Jaimie! I'm glad to hear that you're having fun horseback riding. I like riding horses too! Love, Gretchen

Friday, March 19, 2010

And now, the moment we've all been waiting for . . .

. . . seeing the girls in their dresses!

Of course I had to get some pictures after our final fit-check! I must say that I think the dresses look cuter being modeled by a happy young lady. ;-)

Their Mom said that each dress was a perfect reflection of their personalities and tastes.
I couldn't ask for a better compliment!

As you can see, we did have a bit of fun with our pictures.

The girls with their sweet Mother and darling baby sister.

Have fun with your dresses ladies!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Ah, the wearing of the green! I just love St. Patrick's Day. It might have something to do with St. Patrick being a pretty amazing man (someday I'm going to do a post about his life). Or it might be because I love corned beef. Or it might have to do with the fun of a celebration so early in the spring - who knows!

We celebrated with company a day early, so I can already share the results of my Use-What-You-Have decorating. This took a bit of thought, because almost nothing in my house is green. (No, the couch doesn't count.)

However, here is my creation from some pieces of ivy (they used to be in Kyle's store) stuck into a toothbrush holder, and paired with a lovely green book. Not bad, eh?

Alaina helped me with the cooking.

Her job was to pick up the stray potato peels and put them back in the garbage.

We had a tough time digging up some green in her mostly-pink wardrobe, but we did our best.

And yes, we did take pictures of our daughter putting stuff in the garbage. We're that bad.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Constance Dress

What a fun project this has been! Dress number four went quite smoothly, and now I'm all done.

The Constance Dress, elegant simplicity in forest green and gold. The green fabric has a bit of sheen to it, which goes well with the richness of the gold fabric.

A simple lace adds a touch of brightness, and you can see the subtle pattern of the green fabric.

Cuffs trimmed in gold braid add a touch of tailoring to the sleeves.

I'm very happy with the cuffs. ;-)

A rich gold braid, again in the zig-zag pattern, ornaments the stomacher.

I love invisible zippers!

The Constance Dress. It has a bit of an equestrian air to it, don't you think?

All from the same pattern, but each one unique. What fun!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Meditations: On a Polish Lulluby

Ever since we got back from our last visit to Kyle's folks, I've been enjoying a CD they gave me of lullaby's from around the world. The sweet tunes and quaint lyrics have been such fun! One of my favorites is the catchy song from Congo with it's subtle sense of humor:

Little babies
Never cry.

If they cry,
You will not go shopping.

Makes me chuckle every time I hear it! Other songs speak of Father tending sheep in the fields and Mother bringing sweet dreams as she gently rocks her Sunshine, her baby. The child is assured that he is safe, cared for and will always be in the hearts of his parents who, like birds who nest deep in the forest, seek what is best for their Little One.

Darling photo stolen from the Pollock family blog.

The hints of different times and values in the songs made me think about what a modern American lullaby would be like. It was a pretty depressing thought. A lullaby for today would probably have to be written for a temporary care-giver, something like:

Hush little baby, why do you cry?
Mommy's career must not be delayed,
And credit card bills really ought to be paid.
Someone will show up to get you at five,

So hush little baby, why do you cry?

Yuck. I know why we stick with the old songs. Lyrics reflecting today's values would be too depressing to sing!

Personally, I aspire to be like the Mommy in the Polish lullaby. My goals are to have a heart contented with the (very abundant) things I already have. A heart that takes pleasure in the infinitely valuable work that I have been given to do. A heart that seeks to make eternal investments in the lives of others, rather than acquire short-lived possessions for self. Now that's something worth aiming toward!

The Polish Lullaby

Oi lu lu, lu lu. No cradle of marble,
No pillows of lace for you my darling.

Splashing in the water fall the red berries.

You my little baby, you make me so merry!

Though I own few things I'll not ever need more,

I have you my darling, you are what I've prayed for.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Amity Dress

Dress number three is done - whew! This one took a bit more time, partially because I had to start with an un-trimmed stomacher (I didn't want the bows to get beat up during the sewing process) and partially because I had enough fabric to do the skirt treatment I wanted to do! So then I had to figure out how to actually do it. ;-)

Voila! Well worth the extra effort, I think. The main color of this dress may be brown and not necessarily a girlish color, but there's no mistaking the uninhibited femininity of this design! Top to toe, it's as lady-like as can be.

I had to leave the skirt bows off because they looked . . . well . . . silly. It made the pulled back skirt more subtle, but also more elegant. It should look nice with a full slip.

The lower sleeves are attached on the outside, creating a gentle ruffle.

The back.

The stomacher is trimmed with double layer ribbon bows.

Nasty picture with flash, but it does give you an idea of the richness of the taffeta.

On to the last dress . . .

Monday, March 1, 2010

Got Booka?

It's always good to start em' early!

(I was referring to a love of books, not to distracted driving! ;-)

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