Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Donald William III made his arrival at 5:19 a.m. on Saturday, May 22, 2010. 8 lbs, 21", and perfect in every way!

Labor was VERY intense but very short. Though I had been having contractions throughout the day on Friday, it wasn't until waking up at 2:00 a.m. on Saturday morning that I knew the time had come. We arrived at the hospital shortly after 3, and Donny was born only two hours later. I am also pleased to say that I had no pain killers or epidural - I did have an epidural with Amy and this was a COMPLETELY different (and better) experience.

We spent only Saturday and Saturday night in the hospital, and were home by mid-afternoon on Sunday. Little Donny has been a nursing like a pro from the beginning and at only a few days old is falling into something of a routine for his days. He is a complete delight. Amy is being a model big sister, and is sweet as can be toward him. With Don home on leave for two weeks, we are finding ourselves in the midst of a remarkably peaceful and enjoyable time for our family, with hardly any of the newborn-stress we experienced when Amy was born.

There is more to say, of course, but I needed to start somewhere. You can expect more pictures and much more on our family of four (!) in the weeks to come.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Finally getting around to a post on the quilt I recently completed. This one might take the prize for length of time "in progress." The fabric was a set of 35 ten-inch squares in coordinating blues, yellows, whites, and greens. Blue and yellow has always been one of my favorite combinations. Anyway, I know I ordered the fabric with birthday money - probably 4 or 5 years ago. It took THE longest time to decide how to use it all, because as much as I like blue and yellow, in the decorating world none of my other stuff really leans in that whole French-country direction. So I knew if I made a quilt it would be a bit of a misfit for the time being.

But anyway, somewhere during the time I was expecting Amy I decided I'd cut all the squares into strips and re-piece them together... and then sometime later realized that because of seam allowances I would no longer have squares... and then sometime later had the brilliant idea to trim off the extra length (about 2.5") and sew all that together to use as binding.

Last summer/fall I decided to do a basket-weave layout and nixed any plans to add sashing. Within a few weeks I sewed all the blocks together, added the border, batting, and backing, and tried valiantly to machine quilt the top but just. could. not. finish. I blame a combo of cats, morning sickness (or rather, naps), and a sewing machine that jammed and/or broke my thread approximately every 3 minutes. I was so close and yet so far...

Anyway, fast forward a few more months to April when I acquired my lovely new machine and at long last, finished up the remaining free-motion quilting in one afternoon, then sewed on the binding, labeled it, washed it, and photographed it. Hurray!

Isn't that exciting?? I think so - I love completion. This makes the fourth quilt I've completed, with another one just waiting to be quilted (that one has been hanging around since last summer now, too - drat).

Now it just needs a home!

Monday, May 10, 2010

May, So Far

The rose bushes in front of our house are blooming again. We can take absolutely no credit here - they are part of the pre-installed shrubbery and are maintained by all the busy bee law mower and landscaping people. In fact, every March these guys come through with one of those chain-saw-style pruners and whack this huge rose bush practically to the ground, and ever year it responds with even more vigorous growth and blooms. All. Summer. Long. So much for a delicate touch when pruning roses.

Here's a picture from our pool opening last weekend. This started out as a hugely cranky morning for Amy and me. Most of the crank came from spending a very hot and sticky Sunday morning at Walmart with everyone else in town - buying vegetable plants, and this pool, only to get out to the car and realize that the Subaru was not going to be quite as accommodating of awkward cargo as the Explorer is and consequently driving home not being able to see out my rear window.

THEN thinking it would be a great idea to get all my plants to the backyard in one trip by loading them in the pool. Then having Amy do nothing but get in my way and make the walk around the house the most sweaty, annoying, pool-bending 50 yards I have ever experienced. This is the sort of thing that happens when Don works on the weekend. Anyway, we recovered, and later in the afternoon Amy had a lot of fun scooping things out of the new pool with her butterfly net. Day salvaged.

Last week Amy had her first "real" haircut at the salon. She's had little trims before, on her bangs and to even up some ends, but she's never had enough length to really get a style going. Above is a before picture - if I could get her to keep pigtails or barrettes in it wouldn't matter so much, but as much as she likes wearing "pony hair" she can't resist pulling them out inside of an hour.

So I made her her very own appointment where I get my hair cut and she made it through the experience without any meltdowns. The lollipop won her over from the beginning. She got some better bangs, and a nice amount off the back so now she has less of the "baby hair" look and a little more going-on-3-year-old style. Oh, and we capped off that experience with a special mother-daughter lunch at Panera Bread. She and I can pretty much have a real conversation over a meal now, and being out at a restaurant with her, just chatting over lunch was a huge flash into the future and how much more fun such outings are going to be with every little bit that she grows up.

And what general update would be complete without a shot of a cat in the middle of something?

Still to come, some pictures of this quilt, all finished at last. In the meantime I've got to put on my bookkeeper hat for a bit, then get to bed at a decent hour. Happy Month of May!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sewing Again

This is nearly old news now but I must take a moment to share the excitement over my NEW sewing machine. I certainly have spent plenty of air time here hinting at how much I would like one, and how my machine was no longer functional, woe is me, etc.

So I think Don was simply tired of hearing me talk about it as I shopped around, and he pretty much told me to just go buy something. I had done so much deliberating up to that point and had decided on what I wanted, so before I lost my nerve I went to Joann Fabrics and dropped a couple on a Singer Confidence 7469Q. I couldn't be more pleased. I had seriously considered an entry level Pfaff because I was intrigued by their sturdiness and reliability... but when I really thought about the type and amount of sewing I do, it became clear that it really made sense to spend far less money on a machine that actually did more.

On sale for a neat $299, this machine has so far proven to be the perfect compromise - it is fully electronic and very well-built but without the fancy computer screen or any of the embroidery bells and whistles that really don't interest me. It has almost 100 stitch functions and can do button holes, drop feed, free arm, etc. The "Q" designation means it came with an accessory kit of goodies for quilters, including an extension table and several extra feet - a walking foot, darning foot, and 1/4" foot among them. Another feature that I did not realize would be so handy is a button that can switch between automatic needle up and needle down - both extremely useful in different situations.
It is a sturdy and smooth machine and it is incredibly pleasurable to sew on a machine that simply sews without jamming, bunching, or otherwise complaining. So nice.

Two completed projects:

One pretty tote bag for me...

And one for my mom:

Both used fabric we already had (amazing, I know) and were quick and easy to make. And of course, who doesn't need another tote bag?

The other project that I FINALLY finished had been hanging around much longer, and really deserves its own post. Not to mention that I haven't taken pictures of it yet...

So that's what I've done in the last month. I'm not expecting to get much more done between now and Baby Time as I have a list a mile long of other "nesting" things to get done. As of today I am officially full-term (37 weeks) so I'm shifting into waiting mode - and hoping I won't be waiting too much longer!

Saturday, May 1, 2010


I am almost a year into the world of blogging and, like most things I do, I tend to tiptoe in and figure out how things work before anyone notices that I don't know what I'm doing.  So apparently blog hop/sharing parties are a way to further link up one's blog to the greater blog world, and since my dear friend Melissa has charted the waters for me I think I can take the plunge.


While I don't usually write about military life issues on my blog, I do feel the need to get some publicity for Coast Guard spouses who are often left out of the military circle, so here I am.

My name is Susan and I have been a Coastie Wife for four years now.  My husband, Don, is currently on active duty and stationed at a USCG Small Boat Station in Southern Maryland.  Just like all the other military branches we deal with lots of uncertainty in both our day-to-day schedule and the path Don's career may take.  We have a lot of "whose idea was this?" moments and a lot of moments where we can't imagine not being a part of the military.  The Roller Coaster is certainly a phrase we can relate to.

Don and I are both University of CT alum (where we met) and have been married for almost five years.  We have been blessed with our beautiful and amazing daughter Amy, currently 2 1/2, and we are expecting our second child this month.

I am a stay-at-home mom and in my scant free time I love to quilt, sew, crochet, and dabble in any number of other creative projects.  I always have something in the works.  I really do enjoy keeping house and get a lot of satisfaction out of those small victories in everyday life ("ahha, I found the perfect basket to keep those toys in!").  We also have two feline-types, Juliett and Ollie, who get frequent cameos in my blog as they are in the middle of EVERYTHING.

And with that I will finish up, link up, and see what happens.  Thanks for stopping by!