Saturday, March 29, 2008

Dun, Dun, Dun, DONE!

Ta Dah! Baby Sam's quilt is now pieced AND quilted AND labeled! Any quilter will tell you that it's not really done until you have all of those elements. Though finished at an almost breakneck speed, (I no longer have the luxury of leaving projects out for long,)I couldn't be more thrilled with the results. If you click on the label, you can read the quote a little better.
And, as you can see, my quilter, Debbie Lee really knocked herself out with the details. She is a mother of 8 (sic), living in Idaho, and an absolute treasure to me and my quilting family. She is a true artist. If you look, you can see that she quilted "SAM" cloud letters, woodgrain on the posts, words "I *heart* U" in the onesie, ribbing on the socks, a replica airplane in the bib, grass outline ALL over the grass, and boyish details all over the borders like little wagons, balls and planes.
And all done 3 weeks before he shows up. HOORAY! It is very satisfying to create something unique, but you know it's a great match-up when someone can take your idea and improve on it. I love my quilter - she takes what I give her, and improves on it. Everyone needs someone like that - someone who takes what you give them, and can still make you look good! Thank you Debbie Lee!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better . . .

I just called my younger sister Reagan with the following comment: "I sure hope you're proud of yourself!"
R- "Huh?"
"Yeah, I went to your blog, found that quilt game, and now I'm up to level 30. And then Danika called me from work, and when she found out that you couldn't get past level 4, she started working on it. HER DAY IS RUINED TOO!!

NOW - it's like a couple hours later and I haven't accomplished a GOSH DARNED THING! And each time you hit "done" it throws up another block in seriously UGLY fabric!"
R - *laughs and laughs* "I KNEW you would be good at it!"
"I have got STUFF to do today!~ I don't have time for this!!! *and this piece goes here . . .*
R - "HOw many points do you have?"
"Ummm, 2,234,998."
R- "That's pretty good!"
"Yeah, I just hit the next level while we were talking . . ."

So, for all you people with good math skills and NO good sense:


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter 2008

Though technically NOT until tomorrow, the Cranes got Easter pics early this year. The neighborhood had an egg hunt, and we figured that it would be easiest to get dressed up today, take our pics, and avoid the rush than trying to get pictures AND be to church on time. Here are some of our favorites. What you don't see is my allergic reaction to all that beautiful green grass and blooming bushes, and the constant dialogue of,
"Don't eat that stuff yet until we take the pictures! NO! I said NO!" We still managed to get a few good shots in, and I now how photographic evidence that I was a good mom . . . this year.
There was an Easter Bunny at the egg hunt, in a bunny suit, with cartoon eyes painted over the mesh, and a very, uh, BRIGHT, yellow vest with easter eggs on it. We did get a picture, but as Matthew has dubbed it a "white trash Easter bunny" we will refrain from inflicting the pics on you. Hopefully the slideshow will show a few of the good ones. Enjoy!

And last, but not least, for Reagan: What I look like pregnant! Well, okay, there it is. Woo hoo! Please, stop those Whale Recovery people from trying to push me back into the ocean. I've already had a shower today!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Baby Sam's Got GUNS!

OH YES! Look at those puppies. Sam may be small, but he's got mighty guns!
Okay, okay, okay, maybe this is one of those, "You are the only one amused by this" things, but every time I see this little cabbage-patch clenched fist, it looks like he's showing off his incredible muscles. Poor kid - he's not even here and already Mommy is three sheets to the wind. But it does make me laugh! I can almost see him leaning over to kiss the top of his bicep, *Mwaaaah* "Watch me flex these ripped muscles ultrasonographer! Stand back from the wand so I don't huuuurt you . . .". Man, it's SUCH a good thing that I don't drink!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Lessons Learned from the ER

Not even the Luck O' the Irish hand any affect on our family. Last night I pulled an all-nighter in the ER. I thought I was dying of a heart attack. Complete with chest pain, aching and tingling in the left arm, and feeling crappier as time wore on. I was not being a pansy. And, as things got worse, dying didn't seem like such a bad idea because I literally craved unconsciousness.
For those of you now worried sick, let me tell you that it turned out to be a sudden, very severe, case of esophageal spasms. Or, in layman's terms, stomach acid so bad, that it seeps up into your throat, making it spasm, and mimicking a heart attack. FUN EH! Rx: Pepcid A/C until this baby shows up. Joy. I was getting bored with just having to deal with the diabetes . . .

Trauma is a part of life, and utterly useless though, unless you learn something from it. So, here is my hard won ER wisdom for you to enjoy:
1. The best time to go to the Emergency Room is when no one is there. Or at least very few people - you get better service and fewer people hacking and spreading their diseased coughs all over the room. We arrived at midnight, and really should have picked up a cake on the way, (I didn't ONLY because I thought I was dying . . .). 20 people had clogged the room from 7pm - midnight, and everyone was ready for a little downtime.

2. When you see tired personnel, give a wave and a "Hey man," it makes them feel like they are really a person instead of a title. It also makes them stare at you as they wonder where they know you from.

3. Ask for 8x10 glossies of your X-ray's. It will give you a good clue about how tired your technician is, and may even confuse and/or delight them at 3 am. I learned that one from my mom . . ."You can't, um, see these, without a back light." Stupid.

4. If they give you something like 1/2 C of something nasty with a pain killer in it, complain that they should have brought some for everyone as you "hate drinking alone." I SWEAR they are not used to humor!

5. Bring an interesting person to be miserable with you. Not only can they run go get you meds in the dead of night, but they can also answer the legion of stupid questions you get in triage, as you are hanging on to the plastic chair, trying not to vomit all over them,
"Okay, okay, you feel like you're dying, right, chest pain, okay, pain in the left arm. Possibly dying of a heart attack right in front of my eyes *type type typity type* A few more questions. When was your last menstrual period?"
- Are you SERIOUS? If I'm already 33 weeks pregnant, then I could safely ASSUME, it would have been 33 plus 2 weeks ago! <------ said in the kind of voice that indicates you are more dying than wanting to reminisce and count.
"And when was that - uh, what month then?"
Matthew is the best person to have in the ER. He entertained me all night with stories of the middle ages from a book he'd just read. We also discussed transgenderism, castration, and famous people who died horrible deaths (the story on St. Francis of Assis was VERY entertaining,)as well as issues with the kids, and whether or not any life insurance policies are currently in effect. Though counterintuitive, it actually makes the staff linger around you a bit longer.

6. Learn to look at the name tags on scrubs. It could be that your male nurse in his 50's is NOT the Dr. that is going to order a ton of blood tests, x-rays and make final decisions about your health, but that "Skippy" over there is actually your Dr. for the evening. Try to avoid this comment,
"The last time I was told what to do by a 27yr old was when I was 25, JUNIOR!"

They actually enjoy a little joshing, and will have a better bedside manner if you ask them whether they are only doing this part-time Dr. thang until their band hits it big. Most doctors I've met went into medicine only as a second option for a profession, and their first love is usually something more wild and fantastic. Feel free to test my theory on your next doc, "So, if you hadn't done medicine, what was your back up?"

Lastly, Remember: Everything is funny at 4 am. 'Course, be judicious. If you're too funny, they'll also think you can't possibly be in enough pain to belong in the ER, and are likely to send you home without "the good stuff."

And as a Post Script: Can anyone guess what is the MOST likely thing to happen after a night in the ER and having a full schedule the next day? Oh, yes, the woman in the back - the one with 6 children! THAT'S RIGHT! Usually after one sleepless night, you are likely to have ANOTHER sleepless night, as your daughter throws up, all over, while at the Applebees (because you're too tired to cook), and then again in her bed, and again at 2 am, with a fever, right as you are drifting off into oblivion. "Sleepless night, TAKE TWO!"

Funny thing though. When you are THIS scrambled, you start humming odd music selections that are totally inappropriate. "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas," has been ironically running through my brain, but hey, the rhythm keeps me going.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Good Vibrations

I don't know if you've ever had a 3-D ultrasound, but it is really kinda cool! The wand-thinger vibrates as it takes multiple pics in order to put together a 3-D image of your baby. Here is the latest of baby Sam.
The sonographer said that he looked like he wasn't enjoying it much because his brow was all furrowed, and he kept putting his hand in front of his face. I don't care, it's what every parent hopes for at 33 weeks; a chance to open the oven and just take a peek at what is baking inside. "D
The latest measurements show Sam at 4lbs 1oz. A little on the light side, but still doing well. 150 heartbeats per minute, and his lungs are practicing breathing, even though he is completely surrounded in water. His due date has been moved up a day because our Dr. planned a trip to Houston. FINE BY ME! So, Baby Sam will arrive April 24th - a year, to the day, after his cousin Paisley. Things are workin' out all over!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Can You Spot the Faker?

I found this on a friend's blog and thought you would enjoy a little mind bending. You get to look at 20 Brits (yes, brace yourself for a lot of interesting dental pics) to try and decide if their smile is genuine or fake. You push a "play" button for each Brit, which then shows the smile coming on and then gone. You only get to see it once, though, so don't blink much.

I will tell you that I totally tanked the test only getting 12/20 right. Perhaps you are more savvy! Let me know how you did. Especially if you did worse. That would make me feel better.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


The kids are on Spring Break here, and I was invited to go to the pool as a "get the kids tired" activity. I figured that a little pool time would be great for the kids. I assumed that some indoor facility was open and that we'd be splashing with arm floaties in a chlorine-intoxicated tile surrounding. NOPE.

IT WAS OUTSIDE! And it was just like any other sunny day of my childhood summers. Sun block, soggy towels, flip flops, hats, sunglasses, and mom's vying for the chairs closest to the edge of the kiddie pool (so you can holler "stop it, stop it, do I need to come get you out?!" without having to move much). The water slides were running, people splashing, and I did not freeze my tuckos off! It's 79 degrees outside now, and I moved my strap over to check for a tan line. Nope. I still have that neon glow, but DANG! I went SWIMMING at an outdoor pool in early March!!! I don't know why I missed it last year, but we're going back again soon!! And don't hate me because I live in Arizona, just come visit!. :D

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Yes, ~ I'll take one of those please!

I just gotta show you this! Some people think about the beautiful cars and clothes they would buy if they suddenly came into a large fortune. I came across this in my Costco Magazine and thought YES! I would love to have one of these in my spacious backyard. I LOVE those stained glass windows. Hmmmmmmmm.

Not for the kids, obviously, but for me! Oh, what a sweet getaway. A place to read, maybe hook up a tv to watch Pride and Prejudice, or be one with nature ... yet not have to be IN nature. I suffer from quite a few allergies, so it's not really plausible for me to go out in the WILD very often, but this kind of roughing it, THIS I can do! Girls Night Out at My Treehouse! Bring your jammies and popcorn! And most importantly, NO KIDS ALLOWED!! It's MY treehouse.

Feel free to peruse the sites and find your kind of tree house:

Friday, March 7, 2008

It's Not Hard, It Just Takes Time . . .

That's what this little old lady told me about taking up quilting, "It's not hard . . ." true true. I should have waited until after I had kids to have the time to pick up this hobby though!!!
My sister's quilt is done! She is due at the end of this month, and after it came back from the quilter, I knew that I didn't have much free time to get the binding on, and a label. So, that is what I did today. Here is the result. If you click on the pics, it will show them larger and with more detail. The ribbon border you see on this bear quilt is a new thing for me. It seemed like a good idea at the time; like dying easter eggs with small children, cleaning out and organizing the "junk" drawer, renovating the kitchen, putting favorite recipes in order, and other enterprises that you find yourself immediately in over your head. So, this may be the only one that I ever do.

I like the effect, but it was dang expensive and labor intensive! Other time munchers are quilt labels. I make my own, so, it's not like I can just write in sharpie, "I did this quilt on "x" date, for "x" person. No no no. It's gotta take up a whole morning, and be excruciatingly personal. Preferably with a profound quote. So, here for your viewing pleasure are the labels for this baby quilt, and the stars quilt mentioned in last month's blog.

Danika is not a real, I dunno, "ribbons and frills" kinda girl, so you will notice that her baby girl quilt has NO PINK. Scottish plaid, oh heck ya, we're all about our ancestry! But, no florals or pastels. Just high contrast, sophisticated color scheme that is non-gender specific, and "smart." So, when it came time to find a quote for her baby, it couldn't be too "sugar n' spice" -ish. It just wouldn't fit. So after perusing a ton of resources, I found this one that I really love, "If you want to know how much you are loved, just count the waves in the sea." I love that thought. The ocean waves constantly renew themselves, and as a parent, you know that the love for your children continues to renew itself, when they smile, drool, - anything! you name it. It never extinguishes. That love is sorely tried, absolutely, but never extinguished. So, it seems to fit the baby, quilt, AND new parents.

As for the stars, they are going to meet a better fate than originally intended. Instead of being just rolled up with my other quilts, it has found a home. My mother (who I have never made a quilt for) saw the pic on this blog AND LOVES IT!!!!!. And she wants to hang it in her apartment there in New Jersey where she is serving a mission. She'll pick up the quilting tab, and all I have to do is send her the binding, sleeve fabric, and label. It's a win/win situation. My quilt is loved and adored, mom finally gets a quilt from me (that she likes), and its also paid for! Mom, on her part, gets a wall hanging for just the price of the quilting, as well as all the accoutrements of finishing it off. I love the quote for this one as well.

The funny thing about both of these quilts, is the Karma. Each quilt has fabric donated from the person I am giving it back to. Danika gave me the white fabric that is the foundation of her quilt, and mom let me raid her stash during the 2nd incarnation of the star quilt with some of her beloved beiges. So, I guess it's true that if you cast your fabric upon the waters, it may come back to you quilted! And as for me, it's a great feeling to be done with both. I have closure, I have accomplished something that can be scratched off my "to do" list. Gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling! And quilts, we know, often outlive the creator. So I feel like I've sent two more bits of me into the world.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Save the Date

We just found out that our baby will show up no later than April 25th. Benjamin's birth was enough to scare everyone silly, so we're planning on a c-section unless Baby Sam just makes up his mind to come before that. In the meantime, I'll be having 2 ultrasounds a week to keep an eye on how he's doing. I can tell that he's still having a great time rolling around, kicking, punching and having a great time with that trampoline bladder.

I'm at the end of this project, and buying clothes seems so futile, yet so necessary for the sanity. Instead of hitting the maternity stores, I've just been shopping the sales at Lane Bryant. I think the clothes are cuter, and help you maintain your I.Q. It's hard to be taken seriously in a maternity top.

There's still the "official" car check for the baby carrier yet to do, and a few other things that I'd like to have done, or at least out of the way, but mostly I'd like to get my hands on this little one and see what he looks like. They say it all comes back to you pretty quick, so I'm banking on that, and sleeping as much as possible in the meantime!