Wee and Wonderful Indeed

I took a leaf from Jenn's book
today and raided our scrap bin to make a spur-of-the-moment flannel
quilt top for Rilla. We are in the process of transitioning her to her
own bed in the girls' room. (My three big girls share a room, and we're
adding a trundle for little sis.) This is something that's always on
the to-do list during a pregnancy, moving the toddler out of our room
to make way for the newborn, but I admit I've been a bit lax with it
this time around. Rilla still nurses a little at night; that's part of
it. And also, she's very cuddly. Toddlerhood passes so quickly, and I
like to savor every breathy little snore of it.

A month or two
ago, we set up a (bedraggled old) child-sized futon next to our bed,
and Rilla has been starting out her nights there. At some point in the
night, she climbs into bed beside me. She's like a cat, the way she
sort of pours herself under the covers and curls up next to me with a
contented sigh. She's also like in a cat in the way she'll turn on a
dime and hiss and snarl at the blankets because they have offended her
somehow, and she's all flailing paws until the malevolent covers are no
longer touching any part of her body. A mercurial little creature, is
my Rilla.

Yesterday we moved the futon into the girls' room. She
thought this whole "sleeping with the big girls" thing was a pretty
swell idea right up until bedtime, when suddenly it was The Most
Offensive Idea Anyone Has Ever Had in All of Human History. But I
snuggled up beside her in the dark, and her sisters whispered to her,
and the devious plan I'd carried out earlier in the day—feeding her
marshmallows at naptime instead of putting her down for a nap—paid off
pretty quickly. She sighed, and sank, and slumbered, and when her limbs
began lashing at the covers I knew it was safe for me to slip away.

Jane and I thought a special new blanket for her special
new bedroom might help ease the transition. Rilla doesn't have a
blankie she's attached to, though she does like the little patchwork
baby quilt I made her before she was born. It's way too small now, of
course. So this morning Jane and I pieced together the remnants of the
same cozy flannel plaids and prints I'd used for that baby blanket
nearly three years ago and came up with a sort of wonky, large-patch
quilt top. We've got a big piece of pink plaid-and-polka-dots to use
for the backing. I've never actually quilted anything before, mind
you—the baby quilts I've made are just patchwork tops with flannel
backing, no batting in between. I need to go buy some batting tomorrow
and we'll see if we can pull this thing off.

In the meantime, the quilt top seems to have passed Miss Rilla's muster.

The little embroidered kitty with flower umbrella at the bottom is a pattern from the Wee Wonderfuls "Tulip Fairy" Stitchette
set, which I bought a while back and forgot about until today. That
blank pink patch was just begging for a bit of embellishment. And I
have to say, I am completely enchanted. The Stitchette pattern is a
reusable iron-on which took all of ten seconds to transfer to our
fabric. Suddenly everywhere I look are blank bits of fabric crying out
for a little Wee Wonderfuls snail, or the mice pouring tea from that cunning acorn teapot, or that kite-flying ladybug, oh the cuteness of it all.

Our Staycation Winds Down

I have lots to write about this past week, but we're heading into
busy breakfast time so it'll have to wait. In the meantime, a few more
photos. Lots more at Flickr.

(If you have a Flickr account, let me know so I can Friend you.)

Day Four: Old Town San Diego. Fun and free—can't beat that!

One of the beautiful rooms in the hacienda that belonged to the commandant of the Spanish fort circa 1825.

Candledipping takes fierce concentration.

Stencil on the wall of the visitor's center.

Stay-cation Day Two

Only a quickie post for now. What a day we had yesterday! Took the
big girls to Julian, our favorite little California mountain town. This
time we tried something new: visited the beautiful Smith Ranch
and took a narrow-gauge train ride into an old gold mine. SO MUCH FUN.
The engineer/tour guide/ranch owner was the nicest guy and had so much
fascinating history to share with us. The tour usually lasts an hour
but we were having so much fun he stretched it almost to two hours for
us! More detailed post to follow. Have put some pix up at Flickr if you want a preview. (Added a few more photos to the Sea World set, too.)

Vacation Day One

Scott is taking his first real vacation since we moved to San Diego.
Yes, I’m excited. My awesome parents have flown in from Denver and are
entertaining my "twins" while Scott and I take the big girls on some
outings of the sort that can be a wee bit difficult to mesh with the
needs of little ones.

So yesterday, after two years of oohing wistfully over the proximity (i.e. 20 minutes from home), we went to Sea World.

Of course, if you follow me on Twitter, you already know this.

I’ve put a few photos up at Flickr.
Mostly, though, I was too busy waving to my girls as their cars paused at
the top of horrifically scary rides and revisiting my adolescent Vicky Austin-wannabe fantasies at the dolphin tanks.

Not to mention sobbing with awe through the Shamu show.

Not sure what’s in store for today. It’s possible I overdid the
walking a teeny tiny bit yesterday. Today might have to be even more of
a sit-and-wave-at-daughters kind of day for me.

One Home, Many Hopes

Lifted in toto from Scott’s blog (Scott’s pal DT’s brother is one of the people behind this project):

This is a campaign called “One Home Many Hopes,”
organized to ask people to consider donating $10 in an effort to raise
$20,000 in 30 days.

”One Home Many Hopes” is a charity Jon Tapper, who owns a public
relations firm in Boston called Melwood Global, helped put together
last year after a good friend of his was moved to action by the poverty
he saw in Mtwapa, Kenya.

In short, there is an orphanage, Mudzini Kwetu, which takes care of 35 girls, all of whom were rescued from the Mtwapa streets, where they searched through trash piles for food. Mudzini Kwetu not only gives these girls a home they didn’t previously have, it has also given them a childhood.

So the gist is that we’re trying to raise a lot of money—$20,000—in
tiny donations by November 23. People can become a part of it by
visiting Raceto20K.org to make a donation, as well as telling friends, families and colleagues about the effort.

They can also visit One Home, Many Hopes to learn more about this amazing organization.

There is absolutely no overhead for this charity—every last penny you give you will go directly to the girls.

Thanks to everyone who considers participating.

Thursday Links

Wednesday Links

Special ’Livery

you ever pre-ordered a book and then forgotten you’ve done so? And then
months later you get the shipping notice, and it’s like a little piece
of Christmas in your in-box? That’s what happened to me the other day
when a certain online book retailer notified me that my copy of Alicia
Paulson’s long-awaited Stitched in Time: Memory Keeping Projects to Sew and Share was on its way. It’ll be here today. (You may know Alicia from her delightful blog, Posie Gets Cozy, which was the very first handcrafts blog I ever subscribed to.)

Hurry on over, Mr. UPS Man; we can’t wait to get cozy with this book! (Good thing I got all caught up on my Cybils
reading yesterday. I can’t peruse any more nominees until the next
batch of library holds comes in, or until another nice fat packet
arrives from a publisher. Which may well be today. We’ve been keeping
Mr. UPS Man hopping lately. And may I just say he is one of the nicest
guys you’ll ever meet? One day he brought us a bag of clementines from
his neighbor’s tree—he said he’d been given so many he couldn’t eat
them all and he thought maybe my kids would enjoy them. Don’t think I’m
unaware this is all Rilla’s doing: she charms him daily with her warm
reception as he jogs up our driveway with packages stacked high. "Hi
dere! You ’liver dat for me?")