Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I've Dubbed it "C. Dub."

This is happening right now.
(Thanks to 2 very special know who you are :)

So far so good.
We'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

New Hampshire Mini

I have another finish!

This quilt came about because of a couple of different things.
I began this in the fall right after I got back from visiting my sis back east.
I wanted an excuse to use the new fabric I had bought on the trip and of course I had to make the project memorialize my experience there in a symbolic way.
I had also been itching to use my Silhouette to cut fabric for a quilt so this is the result.
 So, the four main colors...purple, burgundy, gold and green are all fabric I bought in New Hampshire.  I'm pretty sure the little splashes of blue are also N. H. fabric.

Believe it or not, I had never done a blanket stitch before so I taught myself on this project.
All the shapes on this quilt were cut by my Silhouette including this star block.
This is my stained glass star I made on the trip...

 Look similar enough?
Of course the leaves are self explanatory.  Such beautiful fall foliage while I was there.

I collected acorns there because honestly, I just don't see them much where I live.
I brought a whole bunch home to make things with but most of them have ended up moldy (even though I followed instructions on baking and drying them) and I had to throw them out.
Still, they make me think of my time there :)

This "block" made me think of the waves of the sea.  Our jaunt up to Maine was fantastic and a big part of the trip.

I wanted to continue the wave theme throughout the border.
First, I tried free handing some waves with white thread.  Yikes!  What was I thinking?
After failing horribly at that I found matching thread for each side and traced the pattern from a template.  Much better! 
 The tiny pink square that you can barely see in the corner of this picture and the pink binding were my attempts to tie in the pink from my stained glass star.  I know it's kind of an odd combination but I wanted to be true to my glass project so I went with it.
Looking at it now, I probably should have added a thin border of pink and then bound it in the blue.

Other than the wave border, the quilting was just little curlicues around the shapes (and stars in the pink corners).  I just have to keep telling myself that I have to practice somewhere in order to get better and if I just stitch on practice squares until I'm happy with my quilting, I would never finish any projects.  So there ya go :)

My New Hampshire Mini!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

School Stuff

I just wanted to document some recent school happenings...

Josh made a fleece beanie in school.

Abby gave a presentation on the Nervous System in her enrichment class.

I happened to be in Matt's classroom one day as they were finishing up a dinosaur project.
It was also Beach Day (hence the sunglasses :)

Western Night (Mother/Son)

Reading Counts Assembly

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Promise Made in Maine

Back in the fall when I visited my sister in New Hampshire, we drove up to Maine and found a quaint, little quilt shop along the way.
That is where I bought my first batik fabric.
The woman that sold it to me made me promise that I wouldn't be one of those quilters who doesn't combine batiks with other types of fabric :)

A few weeks ago I was in our LQS and found some delicious pink and red batiks that I thought would make a fun valentine project.
While I bought my first batiks in the fall, I have not used them yet, so this was my first project with batiks.  Although I kind of wanted to just use the batiks I had bought, I stayed true to my promise and used a bunch of other kinds of fabrics as well; 30's, modern, & civil war repros.

I have also been wanting to learn how to do foundation piecing so I thought this would be a good opportunity to teach myself.  I found this pattern on the internet.
I had a lot of fun with my first block... I made a few more.
(I do wish I wouldn't have used the big patterned quatrefoil.  It stands out a little too much.  Oh well, live and learn  :)

Instead of doing foundation paper piecing, I found this woman who uses a piece of muslin as the foundation and then you don't have to rip it off in the end. (This is also the tutorial that I went through to learn the technique)  I traced the pattern onto the muslin the first time but then realized I could iron the muslin onto some freezer paper and run it through my printer.  It saved a lot of time that way!

Another regret is that I didn't put a white border around the hearts before the pink border.  The hearts kind of get lost in that wide, busy border.

Still working on that quilting business.  I had a lot of problems with tension on this one but from a distance it looks okay :)

"HAPPY VALENTINE'S WEEK" my cute husband has been saying multiple times the last several days :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Our Weekend Miracle

*The following is a journal excerpt from what I wrote yesterday morning...

I have a renewed perspective and many things to be grateful for this morning.
I am grateful that I am at home and not in Salt Lake City.
Instead of being disappointed that Ben stayed home from school today and I can't get everything done that I had planned on, I am grateful that Ben is alive.
Instead of being frustrated at having to run to his side every few minutes to wipe his incessantly runny nose, I am grateful he is no longer in status epilepticus*.

We were in the ER with Ben yesterday for 7 hours.  He had started a cluster Saturday afternoon and we were out of his meds.  We had tried to renew them that morning but there were no more refills so we had to wait for the doctor to okay it...and of course that doesn't happen on a Saturday :)

He seized all through the night which was no surprise.  By morning he had hit 20 seizures.  Usually, when we let his clusters go because of lack of meds he winds down around 20.  However, he kept going this time.  Every hour or so he would have another one.  Andy gave him a priesthood blessing and after #24 we decided to take him to the hospital.  We sent the other kids to church with the Smiths and headed into town just as everyone else was going the opposite direction to church.  On the way there we talked about the possibility of him being done now and there would be no point in going but we felt justified as we were checking him in at the desk and he went into another one.  It was good timing because they admitted us right away in spite of the line ahead of us.  They got him all hooked up as we explained the situation.
As usual, all the nurses and everyone else commented on what a handsome little guy he is.  They gave him some valium and he slept.  After a while they told us we could leave when ever we felt comfortable with it.  Then he had another seizure and they gave him another dose of valium.  Knowing how things go around the ER and hospital, I had made sure I had come well prepared with plenty of reading material.  I tried to get my mind off of things while I held his hand and he continued to sleep.
About an hour later he had another one.  This time they gave him rectal diastat which is what he is used to.  
Church was over so I called the kids at home and then arranged for my dad and mom to go pick them up and take them to their house. 

Another seizure and another dose of valium. 

Soon after, the NP came in and sat down to talk to us.  The doctor on call had gone home but he had been in contact with him and they had decided it would be best to transport Ben to Primary Children's hospital (1.5 hours away). 
This is not what we had expected and kind of took us by surprise.  We had just thought we would bring him in, they would give him the dose of meds we couldn't provide at home, his cluster would stop and then we could take him home.  Who knows why the seizures kept coming but they no longer felt they could do anything for him there.  We, a bit reluctantly, agreed to the plan.  I called my mom and somewhat broke down as I told her what was going on.  The kids were fine with them.  It was my brother's birthday and we had been hoping to make it to the celebration that night.  I texted him and apologized for our absence and wished him a happy birthday.  When I got off the phone Andy suggested we not rush into it and maybe give it some time to see if his cluster was over before we rushed off in the ambulance.  We mentioned it to the new doctor on call and he said it was ultimately up to us but they thought it would be wise to expedite the process.  Andy left it up to my mother's intuition.  It had been 1/2 an hour since seizure #28.  The doctor said it would take about 30 minutes to get Ben in the ambulance and since Ben was going 1-1 1/2 hours in between seizures I suggested we wait 1/2 an hour before they started the process.  They went ahead and had me sign the forms authorizing transport but agreed to wait.  

What happened next I can only describe as a miracle.  Ben had been awake a few minutes at a time throughout the whole ordeal but even when his eyes were open he was still really out of it.  After I signed the papers, he really started to wake up.  He was looking around and even started saying "Maimee" in a pathetic little voice.  Andy was very excited but I didn't dare get my hopes up yet.  However, he continued to progress and within a few minutes he was sitting up in my lap having bits of water dropped into his mouth from a straw and eating little crumbs of crackers.

I called my parents' house and my dad answered.  I quickly explained what was happening and that we probably wouldn't have to go any more.   We both became emotional as he explained the prayers that had been offered on Ben's behalf since we had called them.
I told him we were hoping to leave within an hour or two barring any more seizures and that we would keep in touch.
Andy went out and talked to the doctors about not transporting.  They were happy that Ben was doing so much better but still felt like it was kind of risky not to go to Salt Lake.  They supported us though and started working on reversing the request to transport.
As we were waiting to be discharged I returned from the restroom to find a member or our bishopric and his son there visiting with Andy.  Dressed up in white shirts and ties, it meant a lot that they would come all the way up to check on us. 
We, of course, had had to inform some people at church that we wouldn't be there to take care of our callings and so word got around.  During our long hours in the ER we received many texts and calls from friends and neighbors offering to help in anyway and letting us know they were praying for us.  What a blessing to have so many people surrounding us with love and concern.
We made it out to my parents' home in time to wish my brother a happy birthday and say hello to my grandparents before they went home.  
Bapa fed Ben his sunday dinner like he always does and we rejoiced in the miracle that had occurred.

I would be lying if I said that "the worst" didn't cross my mind that evening when they told us they wanted to transport Ben.  Was this it?  Would this time be the last time?  I often feel like I have to entertain those kinds of painful thoughts at such times so my heart will be prepared for a tragedy should it happen, all the while praying inside that it won't.  
I read on a blog this morning about a woman that sings "You are My Sunshine" to her son with disabilities and cries at the last line..."Please don't take my sunshine away."  I have done the very same with Ben.  I know the possibility that Ben will be taken from us is always there and so times like these are appreciated as they remind me of the precious gift that he is.
So yes, as Ben sits here sneezing away and I sit here in my jammies, unexercised and unshowered, I thank my Father in Heaven that we are here, at home, sneezing, wiping...and breathing.

*The doctors categorized Ben's condition as status epilepticus even though it wasn't one prolonged seizure and the seizures weren't as close as 5 minutes apart.  They said that because he was not recovering from his post ictal state in between each seizure they were calling it status.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Origami Invitations

I was in charge of putting together invitations for our ward's baptism and priesthood previews.
I saw this pin and got kind of excited.
I also found this awesome woman's blog where she had a free template for an invitation.

I printed the invitations off on regular computer paper since that would be easiest to fold.
 (The boys' shirts needed to be a rectangle and the dresses needed to start as a square)

I followed this tutorial for the shirts and ties.

And this one for the dresses.

 They turned out super cute and it was so fun to hand them out :)