Sunday, August 31, 2014

Making For My Love



I'm learning that practical sewing things like burp cloths that are used moment by moment bring me the most joy. There is nothing like hand making something that will be used for someone that you love. A handmade item that will bring them comfort or make their space more comfortable. Wonderful!

Before Liam was born I made six burp cloths (blogged here) and thought that six was enough. My thinking was that I'd use one everyday and then wash it at the end of the week. What a novice mistake! Currently we go through two or three a day depending on the amount of spit up!

So while my sister was here... two weeks after Liam was born and I felt up to sitting at my machine... I cut out a dozen pieces of chenille and terri cloth and fabric from my stash for more burp cloths. Yesterday I finally finished them. They are now washed and ready for use. I can't describe the peace that has come knowing that I have a larger stash of these very practical items.

Whenever I reach for one... knowing that I made something with my hands to help clean and comfort my child... it is such a complete feeling. A whole feeling.

The chenille is far my favorite fabric to use for the backing. It is so soft and Liam likes cuddling with it while he falls asleep after he eats. Oh my beautiful baby boy... you grow moment by moment. It's going so fast... I can barely catch my breath. Thank you for bringing such joy to my life.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Quiet Moments

Ahhh... moments like this... when Liam is cozy and napping... when the house is quiet for a moment... I am torn between the ever growing list of things I should clean or cook... but instead  what do I do? I take a selfish moment to go on Facebook and my blog. Why? Because reaching out and existing in a community - even if it is a virtual one - is like a healing balm during this time of isolation.

Everyone said get as much sleep as you can before the baby is born. I wish sleep was like a savings account - where you could store it up and then withdraw from it's energy stores as needed - but alas it is not. So Liam and I continue to get snatches of sleep - an hour here and an hour there. But those moments when he is awake and he looks at me with a pucker to his mouth... or that rare occasion when he smiles... it still takes my breath away. And through the sleep deprivation I feel a settle in my core that continues to remind me that I am so so blessed.

Baby Liam - you are so loved.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Changes

 My sewing basket as of late... small projects that usually only take a few hours now appear to take days. There just doesn't seem to be the time or the energy to finish them. In my basket there are two pressing projects that need completion:  placemats that my sister made that just need binding and some more burp cloths that need finishing.

If I could have foreseen how important all other sewing other than burp cloths would have been - I would have spent months sewing stacks of these things! Silly me, when I made them I thought that six would be enough. More like sixty are needed! In my basket I have twelve more burp cloths backed in chenille and terry cloth that are waiting top stitching... Sigh... soon. Hopefully soon.

 My sister put these together as her first sewing project while she was here for three weeks waiting for baby Liam to come. Didn't she do such a great job! All the while helping us with cooking and housework when baby Liam was here! Such a talented multi-tasker I tell you!  I valued her presence here so much! She really helped ease my transition into motherhood so nicely by answering all of my questions and helping me with caring and feeding my son.
 Have you heard of fenugreek tea? My mom sent me a whole bag of loose leaf tea. It is suppose to help with breast milk production. I didn't realize how stressful it would be to feed my son. In the movies it looks so easy... so natural. Liam and I struggled for weeks to find our way to confidence. After days and days of tears on both our ends and so many prayers - we finally found our way.

 Having a husband that works for the school has so many benefits. One of them is having a presence when teachers are getting rid of old educational material. And I tell you - Ross brought back a haul! A whole truck load of books, legos, blocks, dinosaurs, and board games. Although Liam won't be old enough to play with them for some time - we are excited to have them on hand for when he will want to play with it... and the best part of it was that it was all free! The two lower shelves of books in the above picture came from the school. The two shelves on the top actually came from loved ones that sent out books so we could start building Liam's home library. There are so many wonderful titles!

So... when you had your first child did you clean all of their toys? I went a bit crazy and cleaned every book and washed every toy that Ross brought home. It took my sister and I going at it for thee days. I'm trying to tell myself it's because these things came from the school where there is a high traffic of contact and germs... not because I suffer from it's my first baby I'm going to make sure everything is clean syndrome. Obviously not. =) I do feel better that when Liam is ready to play with these things, they have been cleaned though!
 I am still missing my sister and niece so acutely. I took a snap shot of my niece's drawings that she had left on our fridge. Every time I pass by it makes me so happy. =)

And here is a shot of Liam at two weeks old. He's so tiny. He can fit under his burp cloth. He seems to change every day though... a new alertness to his eyes... a change in the shape of his cheeks... his hair getting longer... sigh... it goes by so fast and I long to hold on to each and every moment. Do you know how much you are loved little one? Or how much joy you bring to my heart? Hold my hand and never let go... 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Finish For My Sister

My beautiful older sister was here for three whole weeks as we waited for the baby to arrive. It was a perfect three weeks and I still get teary when I think about how much I miss her.  (She left yesterday and my heart is still sore) The above picture is the Saturday right before my due date. Ross and I took my sister and my niece up the mountain to check out the Farmers markets. We stocked up on breads, jams, veggies, and fruits so we would have everything we would need to wait for the arrival of baby Liam to come. 

Waiting for her when she got here from San Diego was her long awaited quilt. She has been so patient in waiting for this. This was a birthday graduation thank you for coming and helping us with the baby quilt. I finished a quick label the day before we went to go and pick her and my niece up from the airport. 

Please excuse the bad photos. These last shots were taken right before she left to go back to San Diego. And it was also after three weeks of being loved and slept in and read with. So the wrinkles in these pictures make my heart happy because it just goes to show that she really loved it... mistakes and imperfections too. We are our worst critiques right?
 I like this picture because it shows the quilt nicely... as well as my messy house! Well... not so much the messy house... but since we had just given birth to a beautiful baby boy I dare you to judge! =)

The fabric for the front is mostly from the Posy line by Aneela Hoey with a few kona solids and low volume color prints from my local quilting shop. The smaller hexagons were hand appliqu├ęd on... and the cutters and pattern were from Bonnie of Bee in my bonnet .

My sister's favorite color is green so I tried to incorporate as much green as I possibly could. Overall I am really pleased with how this quilt turned out. =) You can read more about the making of this quilt in previous blog posts here, here, here, here, and here.
 The backing is from the posy line by Aneela Hoey. I bought this fabric especially for this pint. The girls reading on their stomaches reminded me so much of how my sister and I both share a love of literature.  I knew that this fabric would be perfect for her quilt. Don't you love how fabric speaks to you and how it reminds you of certain people?
I love this picture. My sister took this picture and posted it on Facebook with this note:



Look who I got!! Liam... remember how auntie smells like cinnamon rolls and sunshine, ok? Remember that we like to cuddle and sing songs together. Ask your mom to show you pictures of me everyday so you don't forget me. I love you, little boy.
 — feeling emotional.

It makes me very emotional when I think about baby Liam growing up so far from a family that I am so close with and love. We are only able to make it out to San Diego once a year during the summer... but the family has visits lined up for Hawaii so that makes me happy. I plan on trying to keep up with them by Skype so that Liam can see their faces and hear their voices. The Creative Memory scrapbook supplies will also need to come out of storage so that I can work on picture projects for both Liam and my family.

Do you have loved ones far away? If so... how do you make them feel close to you and your family?

Welcome Baby Liam!!!

Liam Lanakila Pagat came into our lives on August 3rd 2014. A perfect baby boy weighing in at 7 pounds and four ounces and stretching out to be 18.5 inches. He is perfect in every way. I never believed in love at first sight until I met him. 

As I write this he is a day shy of being two weeks old and he has turned our lives into something of a dream. Every day he seems to change before my eyes. From his face filing out a little more... to his mouth becoming more expressive... to his eyes taking on more moments of alertness. He is such a joy and has filled our cup over and over. 

Motherhood isn't what I thought it would be. It is so much sweeter... and painful... and joyful than I could have anticipated. I didn't realize the self doubt that would come with the joy. The thoughts of "am I doing this right? Is this ok?" constantly plague my mind. But the advice from my sister, "don't think... just do" plays over and over in my mind as a mantra. She had advised me that motherhood was full of guilt. I just didn't  understand what she meant until now. But even when I think I might not be doing something right and I'm crying with a broken heart about it... Liam still cuddles close to my heart... he still snuggles with me like he knows me best in his whole world... and the pain and the guilt all sort of balance with the melting and the love. 

Motherhood... it's a crazy kind of love isn't it.