Quilts for Bennett

Still no baby.  But while I know some of you are looking forward to baby pics, the only thing that could possibly come in as a close second is pictures of beautiful handmade quilts.  Lucky you, I have three to share!

We are blessed to have many people who love us and are excited to welcome little miss Bennett.  People share their excitement in many ways--and personally, I love that some people share their excitement in the form of handmade gifts.  Especially quilts.

My gal pal Laura (who you may remember from several guest posts) made this awesome simple and humorous quilt.  It's modern and clean, and she hand stitched whimsical swirls and flowers (which is not shown in my pic, unfortunately) all over the light green fabric.  Laura chose to leave the batting out of the quilt, as Bennett is being born in FLORIDA in JULY.  Does it get much hotter than that?  I'm a seriously sweaty pregnant woman.  I digress.  But seriously, don't you love the calm colors and the message?

This lovely quilt was made with love by a wonderful woman named Evelyn.  She used an awesome color combination that is so fun and feminine without being "pink".  I love the embroidered little girls on the light blocks.  They're very vintage looking and being stitched in bold red, they really "pop"!  It's seriously adorable.

Quilt number three is a double pinwheel pattern masterfully crafted by an avid quilter named Marsha that James works with.  I love the bright oranges and corals and eclectic fabrics all worked into a classic design.  It makes me smile every time I look at it.  When James brought it home, I laid it on the floor to take in its awesomeness and charm and immediately Elliott and our westie Brian started playing tug-of-war with a dog toy on top of it.  Marsha said that a requirement of receiving one of her quilts is that it must actually be used--not just looked at.  I agree, and I am glad to share that it was given a proper welcome into our home.  ; )

It amazes me how different each of these quilts is, but how much I love each one.  I like them all for different reasons and I treasure each of them and the women who created them.  I love the modern-feel, humor and calm colors of Laura's quilt, the girly vintage charm of Evelyn's, and the nod to classic quilts with the emphasis of a fun color scheme of Marsha's.

Isn't Bennett already a lucky gal?

Waiting for Baby.

So, I'm a week overdue and finally getting less nervous and more excited about her arrival.  Bennett, like Elliott, was a desired pregnancy, but as soon as I found out I was actually expecting, I kind of freaked out.

I'll liken it to skydiving.  The first time I went skydiving nearly a decade ago, I was not afraid.  You would think you'd be scared about jumping out of a plane at 15,000 feet strapped to a barefoot Aussie named Simon (which, again, is the name we'd planned to use if we'd had a boy...) but I was not fazed.  In retrospect, I know the reason for my lack of healthy fear--I didn't know what to expect.

The second time I went skydiving, I was nervous from the moment I got in the plane because I already knew the stomach in your throat feeling I was about to have.  Also, this time I was strapped to the pot-belly of a redneck named Bubba.  I had a rough landing that resulted in an ankle injury and have never jumped from a plane since that fateful day.  Note to self: one should seriously question putting their life in the hands of a man named Bubba.  Keep that little pearl of wisdom tucked in your back pocket--I'm sure it'll be useful someday.

Now, it's not the labor that I'm afraid of.  As bad as that may be, it lasts for only a short time.  It's not the actual infant, either.  I've learned that they don't break, even though they look like they should.  I'm afraid of having another infant like Elliott--one that doesn't sleep, has a hard time nursing, and in general is a miserable baby.  Cool kid now, but daaaaang she did not like being a baby.

Best Friends
Elliott, at 8 weeks with our beloved Westie, Brian.
I also did not like being a mother for the first... say, 6 months or so.  Or maybe longer.  Heck, some days I'm still not thrilled at the prospect.  Truth is, I suffered from some pretty bad depression after Elliott was born.  I've been more and more open about that fact, and now I'm sharing it with you.  Prior to Elliott's birth, I'd never experienced "depression".  In fact, every time I saw a commercial for depression medications, I thought, "What a load of garbage--those people just need to cheer up".  Yeah.  I was one of those people.

And then I was humbled.  Boy, was I ever humbled.  Turns out all of those frowny-faced people in the commercials looked like they were eating popsicles at Disneyworld compared to how I felt.  I didn't think there would ever be a way out. 

Luckily, I have an amazing husband who supported me without questioning me or making me feel incompetent or crazy.  He was just there for me.  If I cried, he hugged me.  When I shared deep dark thoughts and feelings, he listened and sought ways to make things better for me.  He stayed up through the wee hours with me.  And it wasn't just my husband--my wonderful parents embraced me and were helpful, as were my in-laws.  There were others, too.  One in particular--a wonderful and worthy woman that I attend church with had "been there" before and she helped me feel normal and she has helped me realize that I can handle another child and that things can be different this time.

Elliott at 5 months, with her BFF.
Let's just say I'm approaching this new addition with a bit more apprehension than I did the first time around.  But along with that, I'm getting excited, too.  Newborns may be super-tough, but 6 month olds are pretty dern cute.  And you have to start somewhere, right?  I guess I'd love it if my kid entered the world as a three year old.  Then I may fear birth a lot more, but the kid?  No three year old can scare me.

To cheer the mood, I'll leave you with the quote of the day from Elliott:

"Mom, will you please play games with me?  You can be the winner." 

That girl sure does know how to get me off the couch.  A guaranteed win?  Why, thank you child.  I'll take it.

Rosette Embellishments

Sometimes it's all about the details, isn't it?  Especially if like me, you take the easy way out and make a simple hat for new baby gift-giving.

Pearl Bead Detail

It's no secret that I love to crochet hats, but a plain beanie for a baby is just too boring.  So embellishing is FUN!

Baby Beanie

I used this pattern to create the rosette that I attached to a simple baby beanie that I made.  Then I made a million more rosettes, just for fun.  I have hot glued them to alligator clips to make simple hair embellishments for Elliott.  They'd also make some cute headbands.


And just in case you're wondering, none of these rosettes are being worn by the new baby gal because she's still hanging out in the uterus (we're 5 days "over" so far).  I joke to my husband that it must be like a 5 star resort in there, because neither of my gals has been in a hurry to come out.  Whatever.  All I know this time around is that I don't mind an "overdue" baby--they're a lot easier to manage while they're still nestled inside than they are when they come out. Right?!  Let's just hope she's not growing too much...  


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