Friday, July 26, 2013

More Baby Gifts Finished...

Quote for the Day:
"A Hundred years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child." 
~Forest Witcraft, Excerpt from an essay originally published
 in the October 1950 issue of Scouting magazine

I have a friend that is going to become a first-time grandmother in September, so I made a receiving blanket and 3 of my flannel burp cloths for the new baby.  I did the edge crocheting on the blanket as my "take along project" for the recent car trip to Georgia.  I have to say, time goes by much faster when I have a project to work on.  (It also makes the trip more pleasant for Andy because I'm not paying attention to the road and his driving!!!  LOL)

I think they are holding a baby shower for the young mom next weekend, so I dropped it off to my friend's house today.

I was a little apprehensive about giving a homemade gift to someone that I don't know very well (my friend has 2 daughters, but I've never met this one that is pregnant), but I've been assured by my friend that Tabitha does like homemade gifts.   (Some people don't, ya' know.)

To make these receiving blankets, I take 2 squares of PRE-WASHED flannel, about 40" X 40".  Placing them WRONG SIDES TOGETHER, I serge around the outside.  Then I take crochet cotton and a small crochet hook and crochet an edging directly to the blanket over the serged edge.

I would say that from the cutting of the fabric to the finishing of the crocheting, it takes about 12-15 hours/blanket, but only because the crochet thread is so small and somewhat difficult to work with, ie, keeps slipping out of the crochet hook.

The burp clothes are made with 2 pieces of flannel serged the same way...WRONG SIDES together.  I don't crochet an edging on them...only on the blankets.  I can't see spending all that time crocheting a pretty edging on something that is made specifically to be spit up on!  LOL  I have, however, been known to use my embroidery machine to embroider on the burp cloths such things as "Spit Happens"!  :)


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Some Organizing and a Quilt Update...

Quote for the Day:
"It's a sure sign of summer if the chair gets up when you do."
~Walter Winchell

We got back home on Sunday from our visit to our son and daughter-in-law's house in Georgia.  I brought back with me one doozy of a cold.  I've been really sick with this cold...and hoping that my left eardrum doesn't burst from the pressure because my hearing still hasn't returned in my right ear, yet.   :(

I also brought back with me several baskets that I found when we were out "thrifting" while there.  I like to use baskets for organizing, and my stash of square and rectangular baskets was nil.   I've gone to only buying baskets that have straight sides and are, preferably, square or rectangular because they are the best at utilizing space without wasting any.  I will occasionally buy oblong baskets as long as they have straight sides, and only buy round baskets if I have a specific use for that particular round one or if it is really small round basket...the kind that are good for corralling things on a desk or table.  So, whenever we are out "thrifting", I look for baskets that are good for organizing...and are CHEAP!  BTW...any basket with straight sides will do.  If it is an ugly color, I just spray paint it white.  If it has a stationary handle, I often remove it by cutting it off level with the basket part.  This is easily done with a hacksaw, or, if really thin, a pair of scissors will suffice.

Since I've been sick and haven't been feeling up to doing much, I decided yesterday that I'd tackle a small organizing/decluttering project in the downstairs bathroom that's been needing done for a LONG time.  

The bathroom downstairs is really small...well...actually BOTH bathrooms in this house are really small...but I digress.  Because the bathrooms are small, we only have pedestal sinks and there is no storage cabinet underneath them.  Instead, I have this bookshelf that we found in the garage when we moved here 15 years ago.  It was from someplace industrial because it was painted a machine-gray and had safety-related stickers on it.  LOL  I removed the stickers and painted it white.  Usually it has a pair of battenburg lace curtains covering the front held on by a tension rod, but I removed them while I cleaned this cabinet.  They need washing before being put back up, so they still aren't up.

Anyway...back to the ugliness of the contents of this cabinet.  Those orange and red bins are really flimsy and the sides kept coming un-snapped, so they had to GO!  

I went through everything being stored and threw away all the old hair products, etc., that weren't being used.  I grabbed some of the baskets I had found and went to work.   I refolded the towels in thirds so they would stack neater.  I would still like to find an appropriate basket to hold those bottles on the bottom shelf, but for now, they will be fine.

I had planned on cropping out the stuff on top of the cabinet so I didn't straighten it up, but I decided to keep it in the picture and just "keep it real", as they say.

Now...on to the quilting update.  

After not doing any quilting for 2 weeks while we were away, I've been "itchin' to be stitchin' ".  I've been working on the Blue Ridge Beauty since we've been back and yesterday I gave the rollers another crank and found THIS...

Those arrows at the top of the frame are pointing to the CENTER BLOCK of the quilt!  That means I'm very close to being 1/2 done with this quilt!!!  I find that diagonal lines go fairly quickly, so that's why I'm moving right along on this quilt.  The diagonal lines on the other end of the frame that you can't see from here go the opposite direction so they meet with a "V" down the middle of the quilt.  


Friday, July 19, 2013

Baby Pictures...

Quote for the Day:

“A father is someone who carries pictures in his wallet where his money used to be”

~author unknown

All of these pictures were taken by my daughter, Erin, except for the last one where she is kissing on Alex.  I'll warn you right now that this blog post is picture-heavy.  :)  But I'm a new Grandma, so we do things like that!  :)


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Vacation Update...

Quote for the Day:

"Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability."
~ Sam Keen

We are busy vacationing!  It's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it!  :)

We've been enjoying visiting with our kids and grandkids...

 What says "childhood" better than sliding down a slide...

...or twisting up a swing as tight as it will go... feel the wind in your face when it twirls you around!!!

Of course, there has to be summer watermelon...

That's right...yellow watermelon!  We'd never had it before, but this is a very agricultural area and they grow it here and sell it out of the back of trucks on the main street of the small downtown!  :) 

Yellow watermelon has the consistency of red watermelon, but a much milder, though very sweet taste.  I'm not entirely sold on it because of the milder flavor.  I think I prefer red, seedless watermelon over this, but it's still good and will get eaten!  :)

And, last, but not least...let's not forget the other ubiquitous summer thing...BUG BITES!!!

This is a fire ant bite that I got 3 days ago, on Saturday, while out helping Andy, Erin, and Paul do lawn work. 

I've never had a fire ant bite before, so I'm not sure how long the blister will last or how I'm supposed to treat it.  It hurt when I was first bit, but it doesn't hurt now.

For the rest of the trip, I'm going to try NOT to have anymore illnesses or injuries!  :(


Friday, July 12, 2013

Baby Alex is HOME!!!

Quote for the Day:
"A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on." 
~Carl Sandburg

At the ripe old age of 10 days, Alex FINALLY got to come home to the family that loves him!

Needless to say, a lot of time has been spent cuddling and loving on this little guy!  After all, we have 10 days of not being able to hold him or even be in the same room with him, so we've got some time to make up!  :)

When he first came home he was still being fed breast milk through a bottle, but after a couple feedings of that, Trinity has taken to nursing him and supplementing him as needed!  There are little "extras" that need to be done to take care of an underweight baby, but we are all just taking it in stride and pitching in.  

I'd like to thank each and every one of you for your prayers and expressions of caring!  I have read each and every comment, and often cried when I was reading them.  They have meant so much to me during this time!   I truly have the BEST readers out there!  Thank you!

And now...if you'll excuse me...I have a grandbaby that needs some of Grandma's love!  :) 


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Alex Update, and More...

Wow...what a crazy few days it has been!

On Sunday, Andy & I traveled to Georgia to see our son et al.  We usually do the trip in 2 days because it is just a LOONNNGGG trip.  But, because of the circumstances with Baby Alex and all, we decided to leave early enough Sunday morning to do it in one day.  

WRONG DECISION!!  We ran into not one, not two, but THREE different traffic jams that lengthened the trip by 1-1 1/2 hours.  :(  We left WV just before 9 AM and arrived in GA at 11:45 PM.  UGH.

Trinity got discharged from the hospital on Saturday and she and Paul are staying at a motel across the street from the hospital so they can go visit Baby Alex as much as possible.   Because of that, we didn't get to see them till Monday evening when they came to the house for supper and a very nice visit!  Our daughter Erin, and granddaughter Sera,  have been staying at Paul & Trintiy's house taking care of Andrew, the dogs, and the house.  :)

The latest update on Baby Alex is from last night:  All tubes and IV's have been removed except for the oxygen.   They are weaning him off of that, and as of last night, he was down to just 1 liter by nasal cannula.   Their goal is to have that off by today, Wednesday, move him to a regular crib in the regular nursery, do a car seat test today or tomorrow, and then plan to discharge on Friday!  On Tuesday, he was up to 30cc of breast milk every 3 hours and today they were going to increase him to 60cc.  So far he has been tolerating his milk without reflux or issues!  

I wish I had a more recent picture to share with you all, but the last picture I have access to was texted to me on my phone and for some reason I can't get it off of there and onto my computer for posting.  I hope to have pictures of him in person, soon.  BTW, we still haven't been able to see him in person because only the parents are allowed into the NICU.  When he gets moved to a regular crib, we should be able to at least see him through the glass of the nursery, if not actually allowed to hold him.

Let's hope and pray that he does well with each of those and is able to come home!

On Tuesday, I woke up to the sound of bubbles in my right ear...and a very wet feeling on my pillow under that ear.

My right eardrum had BURST!!!  (I think the pain of it bursting might have been a factor in waking me up, too, but since I was asleep, I don't remember feeling it.)  After much ado on the phone with my insurance company trying to locate an "urgent care" or "quick care" clinic that I could go to that took my insurance, we finally found one in a town about 20 miles away.  During the hour that we sat in the waiting room to go back and be seen, it burst AGAIN....quite painfully and loud that time...spilling serous fluid down my neck.  :(  They took us back to an exam room and I waited there ANOTHER HOUR to be seen.  (I think they misnamed the clinic when they called it a "quick" care.)  At that point, my ear was "popping" every 5 min. or so (like when you are on an airplane or driving through mountains), except that every time it "popped", fluid spilled out of my ear.

Well...I finally got seen, got a shot of steroids and a shot of antibiotic, plus prescriptions for an antibiotic, steroids, and antibiotic ear drops.  In the meantime, I'm deaf in that ear until the membrane heals.  

Thank God for Erin and Andy who have been taking care of things here at the, cleaning, dogs, kids, etc.,...while I'm trying to mend.

Will post updated pictures of Alex, just as soon as I can get them!  Thanks to all who have prayed for us during this time!  Please continue to keep Baby Alex in your thoughts and prayers!


Thursday, July 4, 2013

When the Going Gets Tough...

...the quilter's get quilting!

Update on Baby Alex: 
Alex's left lung collapsed today, so they had to insert a chest tube to re-expand the lung.  They have also placed him back in an oxygen hood.  They have given him a few drops of breast milk, but are not going to increase the amount at this time because of the possibility of him regurgitating and aspirating.
This is a set-back, but Paul said the doctor told them that this should be the worst of it.  Let's certainly hope so!  We are in serious need of some good news at this point.

The whole situation is made even worse by the fact that we aren't down there with them due to my own health issues and some very important doctor's visits that I have scheduled.  We will be leaving to go join them just as soon as it is feasible.

It has been a very stressful is a holiday, and there are no "distractions" to take our minds off our little grandson.  I've vacuumed the carpeted floors and dusted the hardwood floors, but that's about all I could do, cleaning-wise, before my back started talking to me.

So I thought I'd retreat to my sewing room and work on some things.  

About a week ago, Trinity asked me if I'd make a quilt block to frame that would go with Alex's nursery theme:  black & white damask with blue accents.  

Yesterday I went to the quilt store but wasn't able to find "damask", but since I've seen the bedding, etc., I got a black and white fabric that I thought would go nicely with it.  The rest came from my stash and today I came up with this block...

Tomorrow after my doctor's appointment, I will run by AC Moore and see if they have a mat and frame for it.   It's 12.5" X 12.5", so I'm hoping they do.

Hope Baby Alex will enjoy looking at it on his wall when he finally gets to come home!  :) 

Alex Update...

Update on Baby Alex from Trinity this morning...
The neonatoligist that has been overseeing Baby Alex says that he has bilateral pneumonia. They have him on oxygen & antibiotics. He has an IV through his umbilical cord that is currently feeding him but are planning to start him on breast milk this afternoon as well. He is going to be at the hospital for at least 7 days to ensure he has recovered. He has to stay in NICU during this. At this point we can see him & talk quietly to him but not touch him as he is in a low stimulation environment. I miss my baby. =( It's so hard to be without him, but I know it's for the best so he can get better.
I'm going to make a black/white/blue quilt block to be framed and hung in Alex's nursery, so I'm going to work on that today.  Hopefully, I'll be able to find an adequate frame for it at AC Moore tomorrow without having to pay the high price of custom framing.

I also have a customer's vintage quilt that I need put a new binding on.  I'll be working on that, too, today.
Enjoy your holiday and please remember to say a prayer for Alex and his parents! 

Edit:  Just heard from Trinity that she was able to go in and hold Alex's hand.  He was fussy so she sang to him and he calmed right down and went to sleep.  :) 


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Baby Alex is HERE!!!

Alexander Pierce is HERE!!!

There have been issues with Trinity's pregnancy since the 32nd week when they found out that the baby was very small.  The doctors and neonatalogist followed the pregnancy closely, but when the baby still wasn't growing enough by her office visit on Monday, they decided to admit Trinity to the hospital that night for a C-section the next morning.

So Alex made his debut yesterday, July 2, sometime around 8:30 AM!  He weighed in at 5 pounds, 4 ounces.  He appeared to be doing well for the first hour or so and was able to be in the room with the parents and family for  a little bit.  However, after a couple hours, it was noted that he was grunting and retracting...both signs of respiratory distress in infants.  

He was taken to the intermediate nursery, placed under oxygen, had a chest x-ray and some lab work.  Today tests show he has bilateral pneumonia.  :(

At this time he remains in the nursery in an incubator, unable to be held by his loving, and obviously upset, parents.  They have placed an IV in the cord vessel and have started giving him nutrition through it until the mom's milk comes in.  

These pictures were taken when he was still in the room soon after birth...before he was whisked off to the nursery/incubator.

Is he making "moose ears" or is he saying "nahnah nahnah nah nah"?

As soon as she learned that her sister-in-law was going to have her C-section, Erin and Sera packed up and drove to Georgia to be there to take care of Alex's big brother, Andrew, and to get the nursery and house in order for Alex's coming home.

Here is Erin holding Alex...

Does she look like a proud Auntie, or what???  :)

Andy & I cannot be there till next week.  We are beside ourselves with concern for Alex's health and longing to hold and kiss our new grandson!  This is the first grandchild that we have not been present for the birth.  :(

Please keep this little peanut in your thoughts and prayers for a quick healing so he can be cuddled by those who love him so much!

Oh...and before I forget...HAPPY 8th ANNIVERSARY to Alex's parents, Paul and Trinity!


AND...a very HAPPY 31st ANNIVERSARY to my husband, Andy!   Here's to another 31 years!  :)