Whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on

Lots and lots happening in our household lately. I took some time and took pictures of baby things that either I or someone else has made for the little one

This lovely blanket was knitted by my cousin who has her own little one on the way just a few weeks after ours is due to arrive.

The jacket and hat were made by her mother

This blanket was made by my aunt- it is beautiful and so intricate

These next two were made by Jarell’s great-aunt. This little one will be her great great niece- how awesome is that?

I love the granny squares

Here’s the changing table all set up for the homebirth with blankets, towels, clothes, diapers, and a whole bunch more.

Close-up of a few of the newborn diapers I’ve made

One of the fleece skirty soakers complete with owl applique

Hand cut applique of the ninja turtle, Donatello because he was always my favorite

More diapers in one-size

And a few more soakers.

I’m excited to see all of this coming together at long last!

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Finally Friday

Not that it matters much around here for me since my class is a Thursday through Wednesday class instead of Monday through Sunday, but Jarell being home for the weekend is ALWAYS the best part of the week whether he’s been working here locally like this week, or out of town.

I’ve been a busy bee lately between gardening, baby creating, (and creating for the baby), working on assignments, trying to get some cleaning done (not much, but some…), and running the various errands that go with my life. Monday I hit some thrift stores with J11 to look for some clothes for our annual Sisk Birthday bash that’s coming up. If you’re new around here, you won’t know there are 14 kids in my husband’s family, each name starting with the letter J (hence J11 is the 11th child) and, even with 2 kids who are still strict Jehovah’s witnesses, 1 that lives out of state, 1 we prefer to pretend doesn’t exist, and one we don’t see very often because her life is “complicated”, that’s still 9 birthdays to celebrate every year. A lot of those birthdays happen to fall in April so to make things easier, several years ago we started doing annual birthday parties for the April birthdays. This year, we’re combining everyone’s birthdays into one big event (yours truly included) to make things a little easier on this mama to be. The theme this year cracks me up because it is so appropriate for us. We’re doing a Redneck Bash. So the trip to the store was necessary in order to get Jarell a shirt I could rip the sleeves off for his costume. I myself plan to be ‘barefoot and pregnant’ which is just too easy, but should be fun.

While out at the thrift stores I scored some adorable baby clothes for super cheap (think 90 cents a piece!) so that made for a fun day.

Tuesday I overdid it in the garden getting corn, beans, okra, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, eggplant, and quinoa seeds in the ground. That evening I had to have Jarell just about carry me because with my hip problems + that wonderful hormone, relaxin, I took about 2 steps from the couch and got stuck. The pain was literally too much for me to move. So Wednesday I took a lukewarm bath with epsom salts to loosen things up again and took the day easy by helping my mother in law pick out plants for a flower bed around her house. We got mulch to fill in and spent the last hour tearing out weeds and the super invasive but delicious smelling chocolate mint that had gone haywire there. J12, 13, and 14 helped out to varying degrees- they’re practically grown up and at that age, but still really good kids so they pitched in. I hope to get over there this weekend with Jarell to finish the job.

Yesterday I spent too much time online entering giveaways for diapers and other baby stuff- figured hey why not. When I decided I’d had enough of that, I got to work in the garden again, this time digging a 16 foot long by 8 inch deep by 8-10 inch wide trench for my asparagus crowns. I’m glad to finally have them in the ground because I really want an asparagus bed and I was dreading the work that went with it. I took the tortoise way out and went slow and steady so it wasn’t so bad. I even took a break in the middle to plant zinnias next to my beans since they’re supposed to be a good companion plant.  Last but not least I set up a bed with some yellow straight neck squash inter-planted with nasturtiums for bug control. I’m really getting into companion planting this year because I want my garden to produce as much as possible so I can preserve it and feed us this winter. Its a huge undertaking, but having a baby on the way is a big motivator.

Today I’ll be hitting the library, doing an assignment, and then getting back in the garden to try and finish up with a few more things. This weather has been beautiful, but its crazy. My daffodils, crocuses, tulips and grape hyacinths (muscari) are all blooming at the same time and on Wednesday I saw irises blooming down the road! Fought off the first mosquitoes of the season yesterday and the ticks have been out for several weeks. I’m not complaining tho because getting the garden in now is a blessing since bending over is getting uncomfortable. Hopefully I’ll have some pictures soon to verify all this hard work but for now, Happy Friday!

Oh and a P.S. if you’re on Pinterest, come hang out with me here!

Big News!

Life has caught up with me once again- the last you heard from me I was busy with planning Thanksgiving and getting assignments done for class. The picture above was my art assignment for this week and it has a story behind it. This week we studied Expressionism and although I’ve never been a big fan of Picasso and his contemporaries, there’s something to be said for the amount of emotion their work… well… expressed. An artist I had never heard of, Kathe Kollwitz, really struck a chord with me this week and I chose her work as an inspiration for my own piece. (our assignment every week is to create a piece of art using any medium based on something we’ve studied that week)

The picture above is introspective- looking down on top of the body (a self portrait) one arm outstretched, the other curved protectively around my belly. The reason? I just found out last Monday that I’m pregnant and boy if that doesn’t bring on the heavy introspection, I don’t know what will. There are nerves galore- will everything be okay? Do I really get to keep this baby? These things are on repeat in my mind almost non-stop as background noise, but they are mostly drowned out by happier thoughts- I hope its a girl, but I’d be okay with a boy if my husband would just pick a boy’s name he’s okay with. (he actually wants a girl too- lucky me 🙂 ) I can’t wait to decorate the nursery although packing all my craft stuff up is daunting- I have a whole room full and overflowing with stuff that I absolutely cannot part with so a trip to the store for storage tubs is high on the agenda before I can do much else.

I have plenty of time- I’m not even 6 weeks along if things are as I think they are (although AF last month was weird and late so I suppose I could be closer to almost 1o weeks along instead of almost 6 but I don’t think that’s the case. Either way I’ll find out more when I have my doctor’s appointment next Monday (a whole ‘nother week seems interminably long!)

As busy as I’ve been, I’ve officially gone into overload. I will be cutting out the vow renewal ceremony- I can’t really concentrate on anything other than baby right now and I don’t want to try and fit my 4 or 5 month pregnant self into a wedding dress here in a couple of months- it just doesn’t seem that important any more, but we do still have plans to do that someday. (can’t let that $13oo dress go to waste after all!)

So that’s my news- big news at that 🙂

Whats going on in your worlds?

Another picture post

I haven’t been around much on the internets lately- the weather has either been great and I’ve been outside, or its been terrible and I’ve been hiding in the basement. Add that to me not being a shut-in any more since I got my own car again (finally!) and keeping busy with school and its no wonder I’m hardly around any more.

This business also explains why I haven’t gotten around to getting to meet one of my fellow bloggers for the first time in person last week. We got together and did a photo session and I must say it was a lot of fun meeting Miss Toi. She’s every bit as sweet and funny in person as she seems online and I had so much fun hanging out with her and her dog Lucy while we explored the area around my home and did some picture taking.

Back tracking a little more, I had an interesting assignment for my final for the last photography class I took. We chose a word at the beginning of the class and then we were supposed to illustrate the feeling of that word. My word was ‘discarded’. I’m very literal and this assignment was therefore pretty tough for me. I want to take artistic photos but I’m not sure I get the psychology of it all and that is honestly a little daunting for me. In the end I halfway figured it out tho and the professor gave me some good pointers to get me closer to where I need to be. With that in mind, I think I’ll be doing some self-imposed assignments along the lines of this assignment to broaden my base of experience.

Discarding the trappings of society (no models were naked or harmed in these pictures- she had shorts and a tank top on but it sure looks fun, huh?)

Discarded life, discarded prom queen, discarded love, you pick the discard

Childhood discarded and growing up. J12 was great at riding off on his bike over and over for me until I got just the right angle for this one.

Left behind (this one wasn’t used in my final, but I love the feel of the picture) J14 with her little dog, Dirty Dan, was so helpful and she’s the model in the other shots as well 😉

Still alive

I swear I’m still alive. Its just been a very busy and messy year so far. Its almost April and we haven’t even sent out the yearly invitations to the family reunion! (oops!) My grandfather died in January and while that was sad, I knew he’d lived a long and productive life. I’ve been busy with classes but that’s not much of an excuse. I was sick quite a bit for a while there. I’ve been working on my photography business (yes business! I’ve currently got two paying gigs lined up in the next month!!) And then on Friday, my dog was sick. My 11 month old Bessie who had puppies on Valentines day. (yes she was too young, I wanted to get her spayed, but we were low on funds when it came time to take her to the vet due to my husband’s job not paying him for almost a month and it was too late by the time we had the money) I planned to take her to our vet on Monday because she had thrown up a couple of times and wasn’t eating much. Saturday night we kept her inside so she could get some rest and when I went to check on her Sunday morning, she was dead. I have no idea what made her so sick that she was gone so fast and I can’t help but blame myself because I feel like I should have known if something was that badly wrong with her, but aside from a worried sick feeling in my stomach, I had no idea. I took her to the vet after the puppies were born. He checked her out, sent her home with some antibiotics and she seemed fine. Its still a shock to me and now I have 8 orphaned babies to watch out for. Thankfully I have 2 adult females who tolerate the babies because they still need someone to show them how to be dogs.

For those of you who have dogs who are like your family (or closer for some of you) you understand what a blow this is I’m sure. It has me off-balance but playing with her little ones has been some of the best medicine. They’re precious and irresistible and I will be keeping at least two of them. We will be setting aside a nice chunk of our tax refund to take care of all the vet bills (spaying, shots, etc) so that I don’t have to worry about this happening again. 

Busy! I’m so busy my head is spinnin like a whirlpool it never ends…

Silly Melissa thats not how it goes! Oh alright maybe not but it fits. Okay so the business is self-imposed but thats alright. I have been working outside in the garden every day and it feels so nice to be keeping up with things. Sadly this means that my housework is suffering and that bothers my poor husband more than it does me. I actually had to make myself stay inside and do dishes today instead of going out to the garden to see a new baby zucchini growing on one of my plants. The conversation (out loud of course) went something like this. “Melissa that will still be there when you’re done with the dishes. Get in the kitchen now!” Why yes, I do talk  to myself. Is that a problem? Sadly I still don’t have any pictures from the garden to show you because my camera is still dead. So I won’t bore you with glowing descriptions of my babies. I will tell you that I have had fun chopping nasty squash bugs in half with my clippers today while I trimmed the leaves they had killed off my zucchini plants. I also got to see the end of my first okra blossom and noticed new bell peppers coming on. Now I need to figure out what I can plant in July that will be ready to harvest before our first frost and I think I might be able to swing some sweet corn. Which would be…. sweeeeet! *grins* I couldn’t resist that one. Alright I know enough about the garden already. Hope all is well everyone. Au revoir!