Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The finished product

This quilt is well over due, but it is done and I can concentrate on other projects now. It's an oversized twin blanket (probably more like a full). I like the colors, and made up the design myself. It's simple, but fun. I did opposing large and small inner squared squares. If you look closly you can also see a pattern of darker squares goin down from left to right, and lighter squares going down from right to left. I already had many of the colors on my stash, snd so only specifically bought a few of the colors. It looks really cute on Gretchen's bed. Come over and see for yourself. I also planned in a pillowcase as usual.

I like to make extra squares so I can play with placement and mess up a few of them with out any trouble. I made a lot of extras. So I decided to make some baby doll quilts. I had enough to do 3. These are the 2 I made for our girls. I'm still deciding how I want to quilt the 3rd. It's square, and a little different from the others. I didn't have extras of all the colors, but this is what I came up with.

Here are the backs of the little quilts. You can see better on these how inexperienced I am with my machine quilting. But it was fun, and I hope that by the time I want to do it on a real quilt, I'll be better at it. The one with green was done in diagonals and also in a tic tac toe pattern following the from squares. The one with purple was done with stippling. I need a lot more practice with that technique. I outlines the inside squares and stippled the rest.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring Break '09

We have had a GREAT spring break even though the weather hasn't felt like spring (with the exception of last weekend). On Tuesday Lorelei got to play with a favorite friend Elin Youngquist. They have been anxiously waiting for Lorelei to recover from surgery and for schedules to meet up. Needless to say, it was a joyous reunion. They always have fun. I didn't take any photos, but when Courtney puts a couple on her blog I'll steal them. We have been playing outside even though it's still chilly. We even got the bubbles out.

On Wed we went to the Library to look and get some museum adventure passes. We had also planned on Gym day at the church, but was unaware of Zone conference the same day. So we invited Alaynna and Drew (and their Mom) to come over and play. They had never been over, so it was especially fun. We also had our first official Barnhart Movie Night. We got in our jammies and piled the floor with pillows and blankets. e popped corn and had fudge bars. We watched BOLT and laughed our heads off. Braden says he wants to have a pet hamster now.
We puts the youngsters to bed and then made it a double feature. We watched the new 007 film.

On Thursday we headed for the Minnesota Zoo. It's a Barnhart family favorite! We started in the Discovery bay. It was cooler that day as well (35 degrees), but I think we all enjoyed our time outside best of all. We love the Russian Grizzly Coast exhibits. And then we walked the northern trail. There was no crabbiness until we warmed up and some had differing ideas on how things should go and when they should happen. We made it through the tropics trail and then in was indeed time to head home.

Joseph had his friend Benjamin over to play today. They have become quite good friends!
Sat Braden & I have a class to go to all day, so they kids will have yet another play day. This time with both sets of grandparents. It's really been fun family time this week with lots of fun visitors and places to go.

Gigi's Quilt

I started this project over over a year ago. It's not that it's a particularly difficult quilt, it's just that I keep getting busy with other things. Well, I must say I'm glad to be completing more projects these days. This one IS done, but I don't have a completed picture of it yet. I have made a tied, fluffy comforter for each of my kids now, and I kind of wish that I did this one in more of a traditional quilt way (with thin batting and "quilting"). But I do plan on making each of them a thin quilt too. probably when they get too cool for their blankets that I made previously. I need to start practicing my machine quilting, so I can be confident when I do get around to it. Anyway, here it is on the quilting frame that I borrowed from a friend (thanks Renae).

Spring? and Toddler power struggles

We had a beautiful and fun day last Saturday in the warmth and sun. Logan & Liam were at G&G Larsen's, and we wanted to play. So we all went to the park. We had so much fun. I also have a new respect for mothers of multiples. It's tough to keep up with 2 active toddlers. They are lucky to have 2 great parents. Between Grandma L & I we did fine, but Lor & Joe did well taking care of themselves.

I had to laugh at several power struggles between my Gigi and her very boyish cousins. Most of the time I took pictures instead of intervening. While Gretchen does try to fit in with and stuggle for equality with her sibling, most of the time she is left to her own self, and things are handled with the intellect of a 7 & 5 year old. She didn't know what to do when she was faced with 2 competing toddlers.

The village Frocks

I ran across a fun blog of 2 very creative people I have never met. She made the CUTEST dress, and after a million people telling her they want to make it she drew up a pattern. She called it the village frock and it was sold out in a matter of hours. So she ran another set through the printers and I bought one. I planned to make it for the girls in the fall, but life goes on and I got around to it in the new year. (I keep thinking that the year has just begun). They have been finished a while now, but as you know I'm not quick to get photos on my computer.
Anyway, here you go. I like the way they turned out. I tried forever to find a plumb colored linen without paying a fortune, and I settle on a pretty plumb twill with embroidery, and a complimentary deep red twill with embroidery. I frugally bought the exact length of fabric the pattern recommended (resisting temptation to buy a little extra just in case). I was so proud of myself for fitting all the pieces on the fabric and cutting them out, but forgot to cut 2 of the arm piece. So I had some fudging to do. I went back to the store and they had discontinued the fabric I had initially purchased. That's what I get for putting off my projects. After much looking I found an exact color match for the red in a regular cotton fabric, and a close match in the plumb. I was disappointed, but they still look super cute.

Late night discoveries

This is what I found one night as I went to check on some excess noise heard from the kids room an hour or so after bedtime. They wanted to sleep together and were having a bit too much fun. You can't tell from the picture, but Gigi is wearing her Cinderella costume. You can see the shiny white sleeves. We decided that our own beds were best since Gigi does not yet understand how to keep her limbs to herself.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Puppet Theater

This is another made in '09 item from early in Jan. For Lorelei's birthday I made her a doorway puppet theater. I had envisioned rich deep fabrics, but due to budget restrictions, this item lost all funding. I used what I found, and while I see it as inferior to what I imagined, Lorlei was very pleased. Keep in mind, it was good timing for such a present. Santa had brought the kids 3 puppets each; Joe got glove marionettes, Lorelei got hand puppets, and Gigi finger puppets. On top of that, we went to the Library and checked out even more puppets just before the big day to ensure a positive reaction. Plus she also got a beautiful ballet puppet for her birthday. Needless to say, she LOVED the theater! I love watching my children when they are creative and using their imaginations. It's one of my greatest blessings as a mother.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Valentine

Joseph was good to make each of us a specific valentine and actually thought about each kid in his class to match a valentine and tattoo with their personality. Lorelei did some of the same on a smaller scale and I wanted to make sure my family knew I loved them too. I've been wanting to try my hand at some felt food, and thought maybe I could combine the two while making a valentine for my family. Here is what I made. It was super simple.


Sometimes I get down on myself when I look at all the things I want and intend to make. There just isn't enough time. I don't think my list of things to make will ever be complete with how quickly I add stuff to it. Well, I'm going to instead make a list of things I complete in '09. I may not get them on the blog right away, but I hope that this will help me feel better about actually getting stuff done. It really does happen.
Here is one of the first things I worked on this year. It's been (with many others) in the back of my mind for a while, but it finished it in January. First I cropped it, turned it B & W then played with the contrast and brightness. I printed it on colored card stock. I bought a frame from IKEA for $10 and there ya go.

Lorelei's Tonsils

It all started 2+ years ago. When Lorelei started get fevers quite frequently. We took her to the Doctor and they always said it's a virus and just wait for it to clear on it's own. The frequency and temperature both rose as time went on. We started to become more concerned when the fevers were coming at least each month and they started getting REALLY high and was accompanied by aches in her legs. Just before we started seeing the Specialist (Dr Steven Marker) They were coming every 2 or 3 weeks and were reaching upwards of 104 degrees. We had ruled out several of the big things like Leukemia and juvenile arthritis. But it wasn't until Aunt Kris (Thompson) was filled in, did the thought of tonsils cross our minds. She was sure that was it, and thank goodness she was right!

We continued to see Dr. Marker with and without fevers, and after a few months he determined that in fact it was infection in the tonsils that just didn't seem to heal. He told us about all the risks that go with tonsil removal and wanted to wait to see "if she would grow into her tonsils" and the problem would solve itself. He scared me at first with what he was saying. He gave us an antibiotic and that slightly lessoned the frequency and severity of the fevers, but not by much. We (everyone) were getting fed up with waiting and waiting, so we suggested getting the ball rolling by having the initial appointment with the ENT doc so that when it's time to do it, we can just schedule the surgery.
We did, and Dr Soumek said, "Let's do it." We were pleased to see a light at the end of the tunnel. We scheduled the surgery to have Lorelei's tonsils and adenoids removed almost 2 months later. While she got sick a time or 2 before then, we knew and hoped that it would be for the last time.
She went into Minneapolis Children's Hospital on the early morning of March 5th 2009. The night before she received a priesthood blessing from Braden, Uncle Matt and both of her Grandfathers. We were confident and "felt good" about the whole process and the doctors involved. We got there and she got her hospital 'jammies and settled in. We met with the "sleep doctor" and many nurses and finally the doctor. They were wonderful and made Lorelei especially feel good about what was going to happen.

It was difficult to watch her "fall asleep", but she was a trooper. SHe was able to choose a Lip Smacker flavor (bubble gum) so she could smell something pleasant as she dozed off. The actual surgery went by very quickly, and before we knew it we were just waiting for her to wake up to see her. She was in quite a bit of pain and had a swollen face, but it was SO good to see her again. She ate her popsicle right away and wanted to watch the movie she had picked out earlier that day (Barbie Swan Lake). We stayed at the hospital a few hours while they monitored her progress and she became more aware. We only had one hiccup in the whole process when she threw up just before going home. We were told to not be surprised by any of that.
Coming home has been both difficult and miraculous. She has done better than anyone expected, and really loves having chocolate ice cream for breakfast. She also has been very sore, emotional, and tired. We need to remind her to rest her body and voice. As you probably know, she loves to talk and sing.

We are pleased with her progress and know that while there are no guarantees that this will solve the problem we are hopefully optimistic that it will. On of the most fun things about the experience was that they sent her home with a goody bag of hospital things; child sized face mask, latex gloves, hair cover, actual mask used in her surgery washed with new bubble gum flavored stuff, band aids, cotton balls, gauze, there may be more, but that's all I can remember. Anyway, she and Joe and Gigi have been playing hospital and surgery since she's been home. It's the cutest thing, and she and Joseph are both so precise and detailed about what they are doing. They really learned a lot from the whole process. I remember her doing similar things when she got home from the hospital when she was 2 and had athsma. Gosh I love those guys!
We are glad that Lorelei is home and so far all is well.

The shots are of Lorelei prior to and just after the surgery and then playing doctor the evening we were home.