just a newbie.

hard work...who ME?!?

as you have clearly figured out, i have a newborn in the house. loving the little one, but ummm..newborns are hard work! holy bananas. i mean, don't get me wrong, it is all good stuff, but it is HARD WORK! i was expecting the typical eating, sleeping, pooping, and crying...but i did not realize the potential complexity of those four events. 

milk time...censored, because this is not THAT kind of blog.

eating. this is not a simple affair of have some milk and then be fine with life. nope. first, he nurses eight to twelve times a day, for thirty to forty minutes at a time. yikes!! never knew it could take so long to fill the world's smallest stomach. of course, at least half of the time i forget to grab my phone, the remote, or something to drink, so i end up stuck under a nursing newborn with nothing to amuse myself and completely parched. second, i am supposed to remember which side he nursed on last and start on that side at the next feeding. do who, what?!?! right. i can barely remember to brush my teeth and i am supposed to keep track of which boob is up next. ummm. sure. third, make sure he eats every three hours. well luckily, despite never remembering to look at the clock, this is not a problem. this kid never stops eating. fourth, change the kid's diaper BEFORE he eats. okay, check. and finally, burp the kid AFTER he eats. oh sure, spend forty minutes waiting for the kid to suck his way to sleep and then wake him up?!?! no thanks. he will burp in his own good time. (this is probably the point when someone is freaking out, because i do not regularly burp my kid...but hey, sleeping babies are much more pleasant than cranky i-am-supposed-to-be-sleeping-but-you-woke-me-up-to-burp-me babies.)

sleeping on prime real etate...momma's lap.

sleeping. that is, the baby sleeping. seems straightforward. mmmhmm. easy peasy, until the little dude discovered that he can sleep in his momma and poppa's bed or better yet...on top of them! yup. little guy is already spoiled. if he is even remotely awake, he refuses to sleep in his crib. this is a great time to point out that his crib is butted up against our bed, so his mattress is essentially an extension of ours. it's not like he is sleeping miles away, but apparently he thinks the 9" space between him and his momma is too much. at this point you might be wondering how a newborn refuses a crib. well, we lull him to sleep wherever he likes...in our lap, on our chest, next to us in bed, etc. then we move him to his crib. for up to five minutes things seem fabulous. and then the noises start. he squeaks. then he opens his eyes. next he waves his arms and kicks his feet. sometimes he manages to give himself the hiccups (sounds ridiculous, but i swear he does it!), and no matter what, after a few minutes he starts crying. oh and did i mention that when i manage to get him to sleep somewhere other than on top of me, he invariably wakes up right as i am thinking "i hope he sleeps for two more minutes, so i can finish what i am doing." this kid has a sixth sense for how best to dominate momma's world. whoever said that babies are boring, because all they do is sleep, has clearly never met my kid.

nonchalant pooper.

pooping. okay, even i have to admit, there is nothing complicated about the little guy's poop. he poops, i change his diaper, he poops again. sometimes he does not wait for a new diaper before pooping, which means big clean up for me. but still, pooping is basic and easy peasy. although, i have to say, his pooping is amusing - the kid lets loose some whoppers and he does it all while gazing nonchalantly into the distance.

this is the "PICK ME UP" shriek.

crying. according to the experts (whoever they are), newborns have different cries for different issues and if i tune my brain, then based on his cry i should know exactly what my kid wants. ummm..i guess my brain is not tunable, because i have so far only deciphered three different cries. the first is the rhythmic shrieking, which is the little dude saying "pick me up, pick me up, PICK ME UP!!!" check. then there are the startling screams combined with kicking, which means "my belly hurts" and is almost always followed up by a humongous poop. got it. finally there are the fussy and whiny cries, which cover all other issues. this is the crying for which i wish i had translations, so i could tell if the dude is hungry, tired, hot, cold, needs a diaper change, or is just generally uncomfortable. maybe in another few weeks i will have the guidebook, but for now we just bop along hoping to find the cure for his crying. luckily pringle is an easygoing dude and has been patient while i figure out how to be a momma.


mommy list.

**warning: some folks might consider this a sappy post. you're gonna have to deal. i just had a baby...sap is now in my blood.

while i found pregnancy to be a delightful experience, it has nothing on the fascination of life with baby. when the doctor put my little nugget on my belly and i stared into his wide-open eyes, i could not believe that i was finally holding my precious pringle. so perfect and so complete. despite having taken all the requisite science classes in school and having previously seen tiny babies, i still marvel at the fact that this little thing popped out with ears, hair, eyelashes, eyebrows, fingers, toes, and nails. i had tried to envision life with pringle, but having never experienced it, it's a little hard to imagine.

before you have a baby, there are lots of folks who are ready to give you unsolicited commentary on what to expect. they typically focus on the humdrum and negative, reminding you of the poopy diapers, sleepless nights, and the expense involved in bringing a baby into the world. i tried to just nod and smile whenever these folks felt the need to speak their mind and kept reminding myself that obviously there is a reason why people say "congratulations" when a baby enters the world. luckily, in my life there were lots of positive folks, excited for the impending arrival of our little nugget and readily telling me how my life was about to be turned inside-out, but in a wonderful way. it's hard to put into words the amazingness that comes with a newborn, but if i had to try to explain, these are some of the things that keep me constantly fascinated with my little guy and mommyhood...

1. the wild-eyed look he has when he is fighting sleep.
2. he squeaks.
3. his soft and squishy little knees and elbows.
4. his baby sneezes.
5. the way he relaxes at the sound of my voice.
6. the way his hair smells.
7. he has the hiccups about 17 times a day.

8. he throws his arms above his head when he is sleeping.

9. after nursing, he turns into a limp noodle.

10. his look of nonchalance as he lets rip a LOUD poop.

11. he purses his lips and scrunches his eyes when i put kisses all over his face.

12. watching the mister play with him.

13. when he is tired, he closes his eyes, raises his eyebrows, tilts back his head, and rolls it around, in some sort of weird stretch.

14. as sleep-depriving as it is, i love that he would rather sleep curled up right next to me, than 9" away on his bed. (yes, the white sheet right next to him is his bed, but it is too far away from mommy).

15. his serious study of the world around him.

16. his chubby cheeks.

17. his hair is all over the place and completely uncontrollable.

18. watching the myriad of faces he makes when he sleeps.

19. he falls asleep on my chest or on my lap and i want to melt.


welcome little one.

you will have to excuse me for not posting anything on the blog lately. i have been staring at my darling pringle. he was born on june 6, 2011 at 1:00pm. he weighed in at 8 pounds 11.2 ounces, and was 21.5 inches tall. welcome to the world little man!!!


THE wishes.

in case you did not know it, the quilt is finished. it has actually been finished for a few weeks. super exciting. many folks expressed interest in knowing more about the fabric's origins, so here we go, in no particular order...

...forty contributors. forty stories.

#1. from my pops in california. pringle's grandpop. his hands-down favorite activity (other than purchasing glass sculptures) is refereeing soccer. this fabric is a piece of one of his favorite referee uniforms.

#2. from ausi karabo in colorado. she and i were in the peace corps together. she lived in the mountains and i lived in the lowlands...but we didn't let that come between us. this fabric was given to her by another peace corps volunteer who was also stationed in the mountains, so it is sort of a double-wish. lucky pringle!

#3. from one of my mum's dear friends in california, who is also one of my most faithful supporters. i cannot remember a time when she was not in my life, so you do the math...it's been a while. she gave me a gorgeous pair of turquoise earrings to protect me during my time in lesotho. i wore them every minute i was there, so if you see pictures of me from my peace corps days, you will see those earrings. this fabric is from her son's crib bumper. he is now in his twenties, so once again...you can do the math, this fabric has been lovingly saved for a long time.

#4. from a fellow returned peace corp volunteer (rpcv), who also served in lesotho, except her tour was thirty years before mine. we "met" when i started doing graphic design work for a lesotho rpcv organization. we have never actually met in person, but sometimes i find that hard to believe. in 1976 she bought a tablecloth that commemorated the 10th anniversary of lesotho's independence and now here it is...part of our precious baby's quilt.

#5. from ms. pumpky in miami. she and i met when we started teaching together. it has been a long and crazy adventure, but we are still stuck together, like glue. she cut off the leg of one of her favorite pairs of jeans and donated it to pringle's quilt. nifty!!

#6. from mrs. nipper knapp in california, who inspires me (and fills my to-do list) with gads of awesome sewing projects she finds in hidden corners of the internet. i met her at one of my dearest friend's weddings - she is the groom's cousin-in-law, oh, and she was the photographer - and the connection continued. thank you facebook. she sent three fabrics: 1) an awesome floral print, 2) gingham which was used in said dear friend's wedding, and 3) the sparkly skull fabric, which is too awesome for words.

#7. from a lovely lass who i met in miami, when we were both first-year teachers, teaching kindergarten at the same school. sadly, she has since moved to new york, we do not often have a chance to see each other. she sent this lovely pink polo shirt, which she frequently donned during her teaching days.

#8. from my peace corps "parents," who now live in california. during our time in lesotho, they took me in when my host family booted me from my house a mere four months before the end of my service. he was the calming voice of reason and she was a fellow crafting and sewing afficiondo, with delightful night-owl tendencies like yours truly. she groomed my sewing skills...forcing me to do things like iron seams and sloooow down. oh and did i mention that the two of them presided over my wedding to the mister? yup....they are keepers. we love them dearly and wish they did not live so far away.

#9. from another of my mum's friends in california, who has known me since i was in kindergarten. her son and my brother were in the same grade and she and my mums were both involved at the school. and they played tennis together. she has watched me grow up and sent this darling ladybug fabric for the quilt.

#10. from a kick-ass lady, who i met during a summer teaching training program in miami. sadly, she too has moved away...now living somewhere in the 'burbs of D.C. oh and as you can see from the fabric, she switched careers. now she works for the diplomatic security service. she carries a gun, which normally would scare me, but in her case it makes me feel like the world is just that little bit safer. the fabric speaks for itself.

#11. from an awesome lady that was in the peace corps with me and now lives in florida. she is always up to fascinating adventures, which often involve lots of long-distance running. but what i always remember from her is during our peace corps training when we had 11 females in one hut and we wanted some music to play...she jumped up and said "i've got jock jams." it endeared her to me for life. that and her exuberance, smile, and constant laughter.

#12. from another one of mum's dearest friends in california. she too has watched me grow up. she is one of the most bubbly ladies, always excited to hear about my latest escapades and adventures. oh and she is from ireland, so she has the world's most lovely accent.

#13. from one of my dear college friends. i honestly cannot remember how we met, because i do not actually recall having any classes with her, but we were both always working in the same studios, so we spent a lot of time together. there was also a wine festival where we enjoyed the bottle too much..ooops. and a visit to her parents' farm, where she taught me all about the different types of cattle. apparently they are NOT all cows. a lesson i have never forgotten. she and her husband participate in historical reenactments and she HAND-sews (to maintain authenticity, but wow...) her own dresses...this lovely fabric is from one of her dresses.

#14. when my paternal grandmother passed away a couple of years ago, i found this piece of yellow silk in an envelope labeled "china." presumably, it is from the trip she and my grandfather took to china. since it was her fabric and happened to be in my grandfather's favorite color, i thought it apropos to include it in the quilt.

#15. from one of my college roommates, who lives with her lovely family in virginia. she and i were suitemates our freshman year, roommates our sophomore year, and housemates our junior year, so we spent a lot of time together. her darling daughter picked out these lovely fabrics for pringle's quilt.

#16. from one of my bestest high school pals, who lives in northern california. he and i attended the same schools starting in 6th grade, so we knew each other, but we did not become friends until our senior year of high school. he is a free-spirit, with a wonderful heart and a never-ending youthfulness, which is probably why we hit it off the moment we ended up in the same group in physics class. we have not seen each other in years, yet we have kept in touch through letters...real live letters (and some emails). interestingly, he and his wife are also expecting their first child this june, so despite our distance, we are still totally in sync.

#17. from another of my mum's dearest friends in california. she has watched me grow up and encouraged all of my artistic endeavors. she sent a beautiful applique patch that i had to reassemble a bit to fit it into the circle format, but i think it still encompasses the spirit of the fabric.

#18. from my mum's younger brother and his wife, who live in germany. the white hen is the literal representation of their last name, so it is a rather perfect piece of fabric to represent my mum's side of the family.

#19. from one of my closest and darling friends, who i met in middle school..she now lives in georgia with her husband. she and another friend are responsible for naming me pickel. so many stories of so many adventures...early morning birthday picnics, track & field, shakespeare in the park, a thwarted midnight trip to buy glue, a shared fascination for writing snail mail letters, and so much more. the owl fabric is just darling and the other fabric is from a trip she took to africa.

#20. from a wonderful lady that i was with in the peace corps. she now lives in illinois and sent this beautiful fabric, which is actually from a dress that she wore while we were in lesotho!

#21. from a girl in my village in lesotho, who followed me everywhere i went. when i met her she was 11 and she quickly became my shadow. she helped me fetch water, showed me around the village, and taught me all sorts of useful skills, like hand-washing laundry and cooking basotho foods. this fabric is from a bandana that she used to wear all the time and then gave to me when i was leaving.

#22. from one of my bestest friends, who was living with her husband in rhode island when she sent the fabric, but they are soon to be back in their home in tennessee. we met in sixth grade and got to spend a lot of time together after school waiting for our mothers to pick us up...they both had a fondness for being a tad on the late side. sometime that year i declared her my best friend and have never looked back. along with the lass from #19, she gave me the nickname pickel, which stuck so well that i am quite certain her parents forget my actual name.

#23. from the mister. this fabric is from one of his favorite shirts, which he wore all the time, when i met him lesotho. he loved it so much that it was one of three shirts he brought with him when he moved here.

#24. from a darling couple that was in the peace corps with me. they are originally from kansas, but now live in arizona. when i pondered my relationship with the mister, she is the one that i asked...how did you know that your husband was "the one?" although it did not seem like a concrete answer at the time, she said "you just know." and you know what? she was right. she and her husband sent two fabrics. the first is a southwestern design, obviously indicative of their current locale, the second is the peace corps logo cut out of a shirt that i designed for our group at the beginning of our time in lesotho.

#25. from a wonderful lass who i met when we were both teaching at the same school. sadly, she was an international exchange teacher and she had to return home only a few months after we became friends. she is currently teaching in dubai, but she is from ireland, hence the fabric has the lovely green design.

#26. from an awesome lady in tennessee, who i met when we were in the peace corps together. she attended the university of alabama and is a die hard fan, so she sent this hounds tooth fabric to represent the traditions of the crimson tide.

#27. from my brother and his family. they used some photographs to design this awesome fabric for the quilt. so cool!

#28. from a sweet lady in idaho. we "met" after she read about my etsy shop on keri's blog. she ordered a bag and then we became facebook friends. we have never met in person, but that has not stopped her from being amazingly generous to our darling pringle. she sent this gorgeous red fabric along with a beautiful wish.
#29. from my best friend in lesotho. she did not have any money to buy fabric, so she was always trying to redesign old clothes. on one of my fabric shopping adventures, i found this fabric and bought it for her. it was so precious to her that she never had the heart to cut the pieces to make a dress, so she just wrapped it around her like a sarong.

#30. from a wonderful lady, who i met during our summer teaching training. she lives with her husband in florida, although no longer in miami. she is a math whiz, so she did not teach at my school, because she was teaching high school math, but i saw her most every friday for happy hour. she sent this fabric, which i believe is from one of her shirts.

#31. from my mom's older brother and his wife, who live in germany. this fabric is a piece of a towel that was one of the linens in my grandmother's (pringle's great-grandmother) hope chest. that makes this fabric over 80 years old!!

#32. from a fabulous lady, who lives with her family in australia. she and i met in florence when we were both traveling solo. i had no plan for the next week of my travels, so she invited me to join her plan...she was heading to verona for a few days. we got along so well, we traveled together to venice, vienna, and munich, which was our final stop because i had to get on a plane to come back to the states. she sent this gorgeous fabric, which features an aboriginal design.

#33. from keri who i met at my darling friend's wedding (same wedding at which i met mrs. nipper knapp)..she is the wife of the groom's brother. she and her husband live in colorado and bought a nifty house a couple of years ago, which has given her lots of opportunities to hone her interior decorating skills, so she is a fellow DIYer. i recently helped convince her to buy a sewing machine. major coup. oh and did i mention that she is a HUGE supporter of my etsy shop...close to 50% of my sales have been people that have found my shop via her blog. she was a bit worried that this fabric might be too "girly," but i assured her that this quilt has no rules, so lucky pringle got this glorious fabric in their quilt.

#34. from a dude who is a dear friend of the mister and i. he was a teacher in miami, now he is a teacher in new york. he taught the mister how to be a male in america...introduced him to the wide world of sports, specifically, american football. turned the mister into a die hard new york giants fan. he also taught the mister how to drive..thank goodness, because i did not have the stomach for that endeavor. he is the king of ties, so this fabric is from one of his stellar ties. the polka dots were actually the lining of the tie, but so awesome that i could not resist including it in the quilt.

#35. from a wonderful couple that i met in college. i met her through the wonderful lady of wish #13 and i met him because we both spent ridiculous amounts of time in the graphic design computer lab. they live in virginia with their three adorable boys. the fabric is from one of their boys' shirts.

#36. from an awesome lady that was in the peace corps with me. she and her adopted basotho son live in california. she loves everything about horses, especially riding them, so she worked with a friend of hers to design this gorgeous fabric for pringle's quilt.

#37. from an amazing lady that was in peace corps with me. she was my closest peace corps neighbor since she lived in a town about 25km from my village. i spent many weekends hanging at her house, drinking coffee, reading, and just being silly. one day she asked me to take her wrap skirt and add a zipper to make it a regular skirt. so i did. and wouldn't you know it, the fabric she sent is from that very same skirt...a few years later and much loved.

#38. from a darling lass that i met in high school. we call her lemon. she is an amazing drummer and photographer. when i decided that i wanted to buy an old slr-camera, she was the one who went with me to pick out my darling nikon. and then we had lots of photo-taking adventures. she lived in new mexico for a long time, but now she is back living in los angeles. this fabric is from shirt for a women's roller derby team. yahoo!

#39. from my mums. the first fabric is a new fabric that represents her wish that pringle's life be filled with rainbows. the second fabric is from her mother's dress. it is a fabric that her dad bought her mother, in vienna, during the beginning of the war years, when fabric and new dresses were a huge luxury. pringle is so lucky to have such a beautiful silk in the quilt.

#40. from yours truly. the first is my favorite seshoeshoe (traditional fabric of lesotho) design. the second is from my wedding dress. the green is my favorite color.