Monday, January 17, 2011

Patience? A virtue, you say?

Patience has just not been one of those beautiful gifts with which I have been blessed. I have had to work for every little bit of patience I have ever possessed (thanks be to God, perseverance is one of the gifts I've been blessed with!), and the results are not always what I would call virtuous. Perhaps I judge myself a bit harshly, but then...don't we all?


The snow is blowing and coming down at a pace. A blanket three to five inches deep is what is expected by nightfall, and I'm convinced that I'm the only one perfectly fine with it. I don't mind a bit being snowed in, especially this winter, while I wait for the small Applelumpkin to make a decision about a birthday.

The weekend wasn't super-snowy, but it was cold and bright, and afforded wonderful light by which to work on the quilt! AND--I FINISHED IT!!!! I am so thrilled to have this part done, and now I truly feel that I can just..........wait.

You know, patiently.

Pictures? You want pictures?? Well, I HAVE pictures!!

First, the co-sleeper. I was very fortunate to spot a listing for a co-sleeper on the infamous craigslist, for a fantastic price. We happened to have some Christmas money just waiting for some special use, and between the two of us, My Darling and I decided that this co-sleeper would be a wonderful gift for our little Applelumpkin.

Now, usually, we would side-car the crib--that is, remove the front side of the crib (which is very sturdy, heavy, OAK even, and can withstand having only the three sides by merit of the fact that it is a convertible crib and meant to be used as a toddler bed down the line), raise the mattress height by adding a second crib mattress, butting it up to my side of the bed, and taking certain precautions to ensure that there is absolutely no gap between the two. It's a lovely arrangement, really, because it gives the baby plenty of room, and means that our queen-size bed does not begin to feel like a camp cot, for Pete's sake.

The downside of this arrangement is that, well, the crib is gigantic. Once it's in place, we don't move it until we're ready to transition whoever is sleeping in it to a room with a sibling, which means it's in our room for about a year. Because I like to have my bedside table handy--for my reading lamp, my glass of water, a place to put my book--you know, the whole reason one would have a bedside table...anyway, the crib is generally centered alongside my side of the bed. This means that my access point at the foot of the bed is only about 18 inches. It's doable, for certain, but it's not in the least bit ideal. Plus, with the size of our room being what it is, and walls not being movable, there are about FOUR inches left between the back side of the crib and the wall. Noooooooooot a whole lot of wiggle room there.

Enter the co-sleeper. It's the length of a bassinet, plus about 6 or so inches. It's the width of a bassinet, plus about 6 or so inches. It is a lovely proportion, and will allow Applelumpkin to be directly beside me, just as though the crib were there, though perhaps not for quite as long. But the good news is, hopefully (she said to herself, secretly praying in earnest that it was a legitimate hope...) the new master bedroom will be finished not too long after this little Applelumpkin makes an appearance--and then the room will be so gigantic--cavernous, even--that having the crib side-car arrangement will not be an inconvenience!

So, in the meantime, I give you...............the CO-SLEEPER!

See the lovely plaid fabric on the back there? It's just for decoration at this point, but I need to find a way to incorporate it. I'm not sure how I'll do that just yet. It's actually a small tablecloth which was found in My Darling's grandmother's cedar's ridiculously soft, both in texture an the beautiful muted colors. I have a *thing* for antique fabrics and linens, so this fits my bill quite nicely. And as you'll see, the colors are perfect for our needs as well.

When we bought the co-sleeper, I had looked at many reviews of it, and noticed (too late) that several owners reported that the "sheet" which came with it was scratchy, thick, and if laundered in washer and dryer ( else would I launder it??) would shrink in such a way that it would no longer fit the mattress. If I had gotten the full-size co-sleeper, a sheet made for a Pack & Play would fit. But the mini? Well, no standard sheet of any kind will fit.

BUT--a standard pillow case does the trick! I used a flannel case, and secured the open end with three diaper pins. Problem solved!

This is where the co-sleeper will eventually be placed. In the very, very beginning days (and nights), Applelumpkin will probably just sleep on My Darling's chest, for that is how all of our babies have begun. And with the number of feedings and diaper changes which happen throughout the night, it's really most convenient. But the day (or night) will come when Applelumpkin will begin to put on the pudge and become squirmy...and need a place to sleep...and that is when the co-sleeper will be employed.

This is my side of the bed. The little plaques with lambs on them hung on the wall at Grandma's house, in what was Aunt M's bedroom. I remember the wallpaper in there was a similar color to my bedroom walls here, and covered in beautiful birds. I'm almost certain, though, that the lambs got their start over my mother's crib back in 1942.

Grandpa made the little wall chest. He loved to craft things out of wood--all of them have this same finish and color. There are bookshelves, sewing organizers, and tables which he made. Grams gave me this little chest and one of her sewing organizers when she moved from her little house. I am honored to have this on the wall in our home.

My bedside table is my holds my glass of water through the night, and I always have some worth-while reading there. The book on top at the moment is Jan Karon's In This Mountain, and just underneath that is Pope Benedict XVI's Jesus of Nazareth. Both are wonderful, and I pick up the one most suited to my mindset. The little shelf next to the table holds more books--the Mitford books are on top, and there is another shelf packed with all different books, from the Mary Poppins books by P.L. Travers to books by Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

I've frequently talked about The Basket. This basket is where my mother, her sisters, my sister and brothers and I, our four maternal cousins, and each of my children have slept in infancy. When I was a baby, Pop rigged hooks on the ceiling and a way for Mom to hang the basket to keep my brother's sticky hands off of my face. I like that I can put it on the kitchen table, or on the gigantic ottoman, or wherever I need to. I can pop it in the back of the van and take it with us to family gatherings if necessary. And for the moment, I like that it so neatly holds all of the things Applelumpkin will need, from tiny t-shirts to receiving blankets to sweet little gowns.

The Towels are there, too. There, on the left, is the towel which will be warmed up in the dryer while I'm busy holding our little Applelumpkin, so that when the time is right, My Darling can hold his youngest child for the first time. That towel, I promise you, is impossibly soft and will be delicious when it's warmed so nicely.

By comparison, here is the Squash as a baby, lying in the basket and playing with his little elephant rattle:

And the Cuppie, barely awake, snuggled into the basket:
The Bug in the Basket

So snuggly and cozy that I almost want one for myself.

Well then--a glimpse of the quilt.

I made six nine-patch flannel blocks, ran strips of creamy colored chenille between the blocks, and backed the quilt with the chenille. To finish the edges, I had pondered using a satin binding, but opted to just turn the chenille and tack it around the edges with a decorative zig-zag stitch. I love the way the chocolate brown and the aqua blue work together.

I also found the adorable polka dots in the same aqua and chocolate, and pieced them with the aqua pea pods....I love the print!

The finished product is pretty big--I have it spread across our bed, and it nearly covers the surface of the queen-size mattress. Definitely big enough to snuggle beneath! Oh--and check out the blanket underneath the mother-in-law must have had some divine inspiration while she was Christmas shopping. She gave me this king-size plush blanket as a gift for me and Applelumpkin. I could not believe it when I saw the color!! This plush blanket will go in the dryer after The Towel comes out, to be warmed up and then wrapped around me and the little Applelumpkin as we're tucked into bed together. I cannot wait!!

I am definitely not a professional quilter, but my babies don't seem to mind. I am very pleased with the way this quilt turned out, and am very eager to snuggle my newest little one in it.

1 comment:

kkollwitz said...

That is a glorious quilt and a fine first effort. My daughter-in-law made us a lap-size quilt for Christmas, and it was her first as well: simply terrific.