The other day Henry and I walked through our local cemetery to meet Ben after work. (Ben always takes the cemetery route because it has some of the biggest, oldest trees and the birds like that spot. Ben's favorite bird sighting there is a Philadelphia Vireo.)
As I looked around, I thought of all of the yards with fake headstones out to celebrate Halloween. I think gravestones are beautiful, not scary.
Now, if you want scary cute, here's a skeleton and a pumpkin boy.
I finally learned how to install a zipper! I was so excited to learn something new that I made 4 zippered bags in one night and then 2 the next night. Two went out to my niece for her birthday (Happy 6th, Haille!), but here are pictures of the other four.
I've made a few more since then. Do you ever figure out a new skill and then get a little high on practicing it? I guess that I do :)
When Ben and I designed our wedding ceremony, we chose to invite only 30 people. They were members of the short list of the people that had to be there or the wedding didn't count. Daria, my friend of 17 years then, got ordained so she could perform the ceremony. Everything was just right. We were married under a shag bark hickory tree with candles hanging from the boughs and our feet inside a circle of flower petals and the butterflies flew around us.
Henry's birth was also picture perfect. It was a gorgeous summer day as we walked the neighborhood around the Birth Center. When I was ready to come inside to the room, we had our midwife, Anastasia, and two birth assistants dipping in and out of the room as needed. Ben was my constant as I labored in the birthing tub. He sang songs and told me stories from our backpacking trips together to keep me centered, and he helped catch Henry as he was born. The midwife and birth assistants took pictures, encouraged me when I didn't think I could go on and told me how beautiful my boy was.
Last week, I had an idea to throw together a quick welcoming ceremony for Henry. Quick not because I didn't want a meaningful event, but because I still had Henry's placenta in my freezer and it is fall in Wisconsin. I called Daria and asked her if she'd put together a few words to say over the speaker phone the next day. I know, that is not ideal, but you settle for good enough as a new mom (my hair is brushed enough, my kitchen is clean enough, etc.) Thankfully, Daria was able to visit and facilitate another fitting ceremony. On Sunday, I took a bath with Henry as we told him the story of his birth. It was really interesting to recall the detail of those events as he splashed and played in the tub. Then we sat out on a blanket and Daria told Henry about his sources of nourishment starting with the placenta, then breast milk and then the Earth. We placed his placenta in the ground and then we planted some written hopes for Henry as he grows up and added flower petals to the top. Then we filled in the area with dirt and planted some daffodil bulbs. We hope the daffodils will bloom on his birthday next June. It was a gorgeous night. A 60 degree evening in late October in Wisconsin is hard to come by. In the still night air we sat around a candle and talked about our dreams for our guy. Our little man got tired just when Ben was ready to entertain him with some dirt shoveling, and then he was off to bed. I'm glad that Daria was there to help us welcome Henry into our family officially.
Krista and the twins arrived for another fun Beloit day. The weather on Wednesday was fantastic--dry, partly sunny and 70's! We went for walks, ate lunch at Bushel & Pecks, ice cream and Sweets 'n Treats and kid-watching at Turtle Island Park.
For some reason, we attracted a lot of attention due to the sheer number of cute babies :)
My friend, Kristen, has a vegetable CSA called Blue Moon Community Farm and she's started raising animals, too. Last weekend Henry and I made the trip for the Harvest Farm Party. We printed T-shirts and a onesie
and visited the animals. Kristen has laying chickens, pigs...
...broiler chickens, and turkeys.
I got the stink eye from this chicken and the turkey up above. It must have been the camera because the animals liked Henry just fine.
After checking out the animals, I showed Henry Kristen's lettuce, kale, brussels sprouts and many other tasty vegetables. We also chatted about how much he'll help Kristen weed the vegetable patch when he's a little bigger.
I already have some overalls for him to wear in the 2T size. That's old enough, right?
Every fall, I get an extra burst of energy to start something new. Last year I tried jogging and push ups. (I never said that this something new stuck with me for long.) This year I've been following a lot of art and craft blogs and have been inspired to do some crafting of my own. This stamp carving tutorial reminded me of projects I used to make. (Also, the thrill of using sharp objects after the baby goes to bed sounded like too much fun.)
The first stamps I made were remaking old stamps I had that had deteriorated.
Then I started a batch of numbers of different font styles.
Since then, I started doodling everyday things (for me) and carved these. I've been using them in a journal that I recently started...but that is a post for a different day.
Ben and I tried to make a pact not to dress our kid funny, but it is hard some days. I made these baby leggings out of ladies knee high socks before Henry was born. He's especially cute when we I sing him "Remember My Name" from Fame and songs from Flashdance. I think he likes it.
I've shown you some handknits by friends, but very little by me. Rest assured, my needles have been busy as of late. Here is the hat I made in February of last year, before Henry was a zygote. The sweater is another picture of the lovely one from Nicole.
Here is the vest I started after Henry was born. I love the smile in this picture. He does that a lot now.
And, lastly, here is some other fun knitting. They may look threatening :) but they are only an inch and a half tall.
Between these little guys and the popcorn, I've been doing a lot of small item knitting with lots of bobbles. (Here is the link to the pattern. Be careful, they are addictive.)
I've got another sweater for Henry on the needles and more lovely gifted sweaters so you'll see more handknits here soon.
This was my first back carry with Henry in the Ergo. He was very patient with the pulling of the tomatoes and zinnias and he eventually fell asleep.
Saturday was the most time I had spent in the garden since the pregnant days of spring. In May, I was observing new shoots and thinking about my baby's arrival. I spent a lot of time then worrying about how I'd stay on top of the weeding. On Saturday he was on my back and I was trimming or yanking out the whole overgrown plant and thinking about how much growth I'd missed in the garden because I was focused on Henry. It is wild how fast the time passes. Gardening and paying attention to the seasons helps me to stay more present, but, sometimes, just barely.
Henry and I had an exciting day in Milwaukee on Wednesday. We drove there to meet up with my parents for the day. We went to a coffee shop, my favorite Milwaukee local yarn store, a park, out for dinner and my favorite frozen custard shop. It was a great day, but Henry needed a break for a nap at the same time that my dad was not interested in the yarn shop.
If you spotted a gorgeous handknit on that baby, you are right. That is a beautiful sweater of handspun merino wool yarn made by the talented Nicole (or iclone).
I've been crafting like a busy bee over here, but have been slacking in the photographing and blog posting departments. It doesn't help that we've had a very rainy couple of weeks which makes for poor lighting for the pictures. Anywho...
I recently finished a picnic blanket using vintage sheets and very loosely using the instructions from Amanda Blake Soule's book, Handmade Home. I love, love, love the prints and colors. I also love using sheets that I've collected over many years of shopping at secondhand stores. Yay for thrifting!
and a close-up
That project has gotten use on a picnic and in the backyard already.
I whipped up this hat in three days for a baby shower at work. It is the same pattern as Henry's green hat and I'm thinking of making him another one (bigger of course).
I've also been knitting popcorn! Why? Well, I found a pattern for knitted popcorn and cranberry garland at Knitpicks. I love the look of fresh popcorn and cranberry garland, but I don't like it when it starts to fade and fall apart. I also have the worst time not breaking the kernels when stringing the popcorn. Solution: knit it!
I should have some new baby sweater knits and some handmade stamps to post here soon. Until then, I'll be busy crafting and waiting for sunshine.