the third


this pregnancy has been so different from the two girls in so many ways. mostly in ways i'm not loving. a lot more worry, a lot more discomfort (the separating pelvis of this week has been really cool), some serious grumpiness, weird vivid dreams involving violence, espionage, world domination and ricky schroeder and tossed in the mix these last two weeks; a good amount of possibly offensive commentary from neighbors and strangers who have apparently just now noticed that i am, in fact, pregnant with the third child.

here are two gems.

the most common- if not exact wording, the same sentiment:

"you just don't know when to quit!"

apparently not.

and my personal favorite comes from upstairs neighbor (postal worker by day, swing and electric slide dance instructor by night. not kidding.):

"tell chip to keep up the good work!"

consider him told, mr. jackson.



prep work

i had big plans with the remaining easter egg dye- especially the cabbage dye. after carefully storing it on my counter, i started my brainchild of a project, opened the bottles and found that the stuff had totally fermented. cabbage wine. very chic. so that went out, the RIT came in, and i began my very first foray into dyeing fabric at home. because i feel tie dye deprived (only having done it twice in my life- when i was "teaching" groups of teenage campers to do it) i couldn't resist the urge to throw some rubberbands in the mix. here's the end result:



the girls love to spin in it. (i couldn't resist the bum shot). having totally thrashed almost every other twirly skirt, they are more than happy to have a replacement and think a yellow one needs to be made soon.

and since i am really good at putting aside all the things reality tells me i should do and instead rely on the sketchy logic of my brain, i've been busy making more clothes "so eve has something to wear once school starts". . . which is at least five months away, if we can get her into a program. . .

"school" clothes:


jacket. (yes that's ruthie wearing it, except for pants they are at the point of interchanging clothes- which is so fantastic).



shirt and little pinafore. i feel like i should call her "heidi" when she has this on.

the jacket and jumper are my own little patterns and the shirt is (again) from a vintage night gown pattern i have, but a close equivalent is simplicity 4206, just add some length to the sleeves and the shirt body. really, there's hardly an easier piece of clothing to sew than that shirt. if you haven't tried it, do.

in the meantime i'll be using more brilliant logic to justify random sewing projects that i can't get out of my head. is it springtime? is it pre-baby nesting instinct? maybe. whatever it is, it's fun.


funny faces and gimpy runs

thank you all so much for the name help! i have loved hearing from old and new friends alike. really, i can't thank everyone enough; i'm excited for this little boy all over again and chip and i are feeling closer to a name than ever- or at least happy with the great options we've now got to choose from. we were in such a slump there for awhile. . . thank you thank you!

for the time being, things are calm, productive and funny with just the right amount of worry and stress thrown in.

ruth has us entertained all the time with her arsenal of faces. in fact, i was woken up this morning with "ohay [ok], now funny faces!" and this was the ensuing show:




so great, especially when she goes full speed with her newly acquired peg-leg run, quickly stops and throws one of those gems our way.

a mystery injury resulting in ruth not being able to bear any weight on her left leg meant a trip to the pediatrician and then hospital for x-rays this past weekend. she was awesomely brave and tolerant during the whole ordeal, not to mention insanely cute in her hospital gown, and is now back on her feet, but doing the peg-leg limp. now that i know it isn't anything permanent or too serious (chip had me freaked out , throwing words like "polio" around. . .) it is quickly moving up the "favorite things about ruth" list, just under her crooked smile and crazy eyes. if i can get it, i'll post a little movie clip of the run in the next day or so. and the reason for the limp? no one is really sure; no fractures, no abnormal blood results, probably a bruised ankle or just a random no walking/limping episode that is apparently common with toddlers. . .

it must have been having the sound of crawling back in our house- i adore that sound; the hands slapping the floor, the knees shuffling behind- but the whole stressful ordeal has me weirdly excited to throw another child in the mix. the number three is still terrifying. my girls are already a handful (i can't count how many times they were referred to as "free-spirits" in the hospital, the workers must have had some seriously specific training when dealing with ultra hyper and squealy kids) but really, this should be fun.

right now we're off to the playground to enjoy a legitimately beautiful and slightly warm day here in brooklyn. eve is having trouble deciding between full rain regalia (no rain anywhere near) and her superman cape. tough choice.




this baby is supposed to be arriving in just over six weeks. usually at this point there are two or three names we really really like and are happy to choose from. if this baby were a girl, that would be the case. but he's a boy and we're clueless and the lack of names is killing us. so, i need some help. please give me some boy names. as many as you can think of and like. help a pregnant lady in need.


with cardigans for now

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sewing a bunch of maternity wear for myself is not appealing (i'm pretty sure i'll end up looking like a giant yellow egg in my current project) and despite the twenty+ sketches i've got floating around i'm also very sure sewing clothes in my regular size will send me into a deep depression. so, instead i'm using my recent wave of energy to make more clothes for the girls. and by making little summer numbers for them i'm hoping to usher in a little bit of warmth around here. until then, cardigans over and shirts under.


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i found this fabric under a pile of old glass pitchers in salt lake city when chip and i were newly married and made a weekly habit of checking out local garage sales in his grandpa's pick-up truck, and i have been carrying it from place to place for the past seven years. i think it was originally created to be a tablecloth, but i'm not much of a tablecloth person.

eve's halter dress is a bit va-va-voom, which is really funny to me. and ruthie's is a little more classic-little-girl-dress made all the better by that big belly of hers. i know she'll grow out of it at some point, but we LOVE that belly. and the girls seem to like the dresses enough to wear for pictures, but immediately after they strip, put their princess "pretties" on and get back to the work of pretending. eve takes great pleasure in the fact that my foot never fits the glass slipper while hers always does. . .


he works hard for his money

the long rime reader of this blog may remember this post which featured a glimpse into chip's grueling work days. for your viewing pleasure, here is another:

what a champion. could a wife be any prouder?


booties for a baby


baby shoes are probably the most adorable things of all time. i loved making them for a friend's anticipated (and now brand new!) baby girl this past weekend. the tedium of small handwork usually drives me crazy, but not with these; the entire time making them i just couldn't stop smiling and wishing i had my very own baby girls back so i could outfit their little feet in one of my favorite fabrics- railroad engineer's denim. add some polka dot lining, pewter buttons, bright orange velcro and i'm a really happy little cobbler.




easter dresses


inspiration struck late saturday night and the girls were outfitted in their easter best by the time church rolled around sunday morning. i didn't give myself time for the little easter coats as i had secretly hoped to make (oh the plans i make in my head with no time to actually execute them) but i'm hoping the next time around things will be different. because maybe at that point i'll miraculously become a different person who has the ability to manage her time and children effectively. . .


i was going for a little bit of sophistication and maybe a hint of "grandma in her glory days" to come through in the dresses and i think i got it. now these two are ready to go hang out with the italian ladies in brooklyn's carroll gardens, reminisce about the old neighborhood, hit the bakery for some pane dolce and then maybe make their way to marco polo ristorante for a nice lunch.


happy belated birthday sarah!


oh i love you sarah. i love thinking of you wearing roller skates in the house and trying to convince mom that it was ok because it helped you clean faster. i love remembering of the hours you spent reading "les miserables" and "of mice and men" to me for my high-school english classes. i love that you ditched school to cheer me on in my 8th grade talent show. i love remembering you smiling, running down the hallway and up the stairs with our furious, teeth-clenched mom hot on your tail. i am still amazed at your ability to get to me; bleating "oh, poor katie" like a goat for 15 minutes strait until i lost it, sitting down next to me on the couch and ever so slowly pushing me over and then completely off, obnoxiously killing me at risk or monopoly until i threw the board and screamed that i would never play with you again, only to do the very same thing the next sunday. i love the letters you would send to me at girl's camp- complete with drawings, "skate or die" and "i skate, therefore i am" scrawled on the back. i love that you can beat almost anyone at any game involving quick thinking, logic or strategy but have asked me more than once how to spell the word "of." i love remembering the day when i realized i could count on you to defend me against any outside attack. i love that you taught me how to write my name in cursive before i was in kindergarten and that with your help i got into the real choir without having to audition before ms. perpall. i am so entertained by your terrible memory but i love that almost all of my childhood memories are incomplete until i remember your reaction, your help, or your company.

yes, you once made me sit in the way way back of the toyota because you were mad at me. and sure, i once wrote a song for you with the title (and only real lyrics) of "you ruined my life the first time i laid eyes on you" but even then i knew the words were ridiculous. because, no matter what, you were always a constant to count on for kindness, help, friendship and protection when i really needed it. and you are still that constant; the person i can look to and call (everyday) for understanding, perspective or just to laugh with. i love you sarah. oh how i wish we lived closer so i could see you and laugh with you everyday, but even with 3000 miles between us i am so happy to know you are a part of my daily life, that you are my sister.

happy (substantially late) birthday.


eggs and cabbage


for the last six years i've been dyeing my eggs with vegetables and spices. i continue to love the process and the results. aren't those colors amazing? totally worth the combined stink of boiled cabbage, turmeric and beets looming in my apartment for a day or so. . . and apparently filling the hallways of our building, based on the amount of air freshener that a neighbor sprayed outside my door yesterday. sorry neighbors. i'm just here to spread easter cheer.

there are two ways to dye your eggs. the first is boiling/simmering your eggs in the dye. this generally results in really saturated, even colors for 30 minutes. the second is "cold-dipping" them in strained very warm to room temperature dye, anywhere from 5 seconds to hours depending on the desired color. this results in more translucence and subtlety and also requires regular rotation of the eggs if you want even coloring.

the general ratio for making the dye is 1 cup of vegetable (chopped if necessary) to 1 cup of water. for turmeric, add 3Tbs to every quart of water. bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. add about 2tsp (i never measure) vinegar in the dye after about 20 minutes.

this is what can result- with a billion variations in between.


onion skins. (from left to right) first egg cold-dipped for about 30 minutes. second boiled in dye for 30 minutes. third rubbed with vinegar, wrapped in onion skins (while raw) then wrapped and tied in cheesecloth and boiled for 30 minutes. i love the marbling. the colors that come just from onion skins always surprise me.


red cabbage. first egg cold dipped in warm dye for 20 minutes. royal blue left in dye for an hour or so. marbly egg boiled with the cabbage leaves in the pot for 30 minutes.


turmeric. middle egg boiled for 30 minutes. other two left in warm/hot dye for about 15 minutes. i had some lovely and subtle yellow shades that i had just cold dipped, but ended up dipping them into other colors.


turmeric and cabbage. various combinations, various lengths. since these two dyes are the quickest and most obvious, i played a lot with them last night as i was teaching some ladies at church the glory of natural dyeing.


beets. first cold dipped for about two hours. second boiled in beet dye for about 40 minutes. third cold dipped for about an hour. beets are always a little disappointing, but i like having some sort of pink-ish in the mix.


coffee. first time using coffee and probably my last. i was hoping for a really dark brown but ended up with this after nearly an hour of simmering and another hour sitting in the dye. the lighter was about 40 minutes in the hot dye. perhaps the coffee i made was too weak? it looked really really dark to me but i have no idea what i'm doing with coffee. chip had to ask the editing studio he was working at that day for the stuff i used. . .

so now we have a lot of beautiful colors to look at, some dye i'm considering using for fabric and two dozen hard boiled eggs i'm hoping to find a use for.