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Proud siblings

Both Junebug and Sprout are pleased with their brother, wanting to hold and caress him at every opportunity. They are both really gentle with him.

And snuggled around the cute babyness, you can see the blanket I made. I'll try to get around to taking a photo of it laid flat.

Baby picsCollapse )
I don't know if anyone remembers, but before Sprout was born, we referred to her as "Little Bean." Since "coquille" implies the outer shell to hold something, now that our little one has emerged, I'm going to start calling him Ti'Loup* here, which means "Little Wolf." Just because.

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* "Ti" as in petit, pronounced "tee", and the P in loup is silent: tee-lou. If we would have gone with a different first name, we were considering Loup for a middle name.

Must be weeds!

The thought that perhaps went through the gardener's* head before he ripped up our corn seedlings:

"Egads! What are these tall, healthy-looking plants surrounded by bare earth?  They must be an invavise species, intent on destroying all other plantlife! I must pull them up posthaste!!!'

And that was the end of our corn.  And also of a self-sown melon plant.

Ah well, we'll try again, this time putting stakes and other types of protection/markers to indicate that these plants should really be allowed to live.

Our idea of direct sowing into the lasagna bed  (a bed made up of layers unripe compost and dry vegetal matter, topped with soil) did not work.  One is supposed to transplant into the bed, but because we had nothing to transplant we tried seeds.  No luck. We'll plant flowers and things from the nursery for now and maybe add in seedlings as we have them (if we do) for this year.  The bed needs to be planted and mulched so the layers don't collapse.

We have a lot to learn.

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* It might have been the gardener or one of the two garbage collectors that our landlady sometimes pays to clean up around the front of the building.

Coquille has arrived

I guess I can close the link on what to do if birthing one's baby happens unexpectedly at home or in the car. :P

I started having contractions on Thursday afternoon, after a busy couple of hours on my feet. But they were nothing to call the doctor about, coming, as they were, at least 30 min apart and very manageable on the pain level. At two minutes to midnight, a more serious bout of them woke me, keeping me from from dozing off until 6 a.m., after which point they went back to every 30 minutes or so, allowing me to sleep 20 min at a time until 9 a.m.

At a little past 2 p.m., the contractions started coming quicker, if not harder, so my doc suggested going to the hospital to be checked out by the doctor on-call. We arrived at there at 4, with Sprout in tow, leaving Junebug in the care of our housekeeper.

Two hours later, after another swift and hard dilation,* I barely made it into the pool, as my doctor barely made it back from Alexandria to assist in the birth, in time to deliver our son. Sprout was so proud to be part of it and see her new baby brother come into the world.

So Boaz Kaelig** Faure, came to us as befits his name (Boaz = quickness, swiftness; Kaelig = Generous lord). He weighed 3.485 kgs (7.68 lbs) and measured 52cm (20 inches).

I was released from the hospital at midnight and should be in bed, but the adrenline is stll running high. Still, better try to sleep some more. I need it. :P

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* Similar to Sprout's arrival in the world, only with much less vomiting.
** Briton/Celtic name prounced "Kay-lig", "lig" rhyming with fig. I wonder, since part of the name is French and Boaz is easy to pronounce, if my mother-in-law will approve. Or will she declare that we gave this baby a "weird name," which is her verdict for her other two grandchildren. :P

That's not what you listen to at the Opera

This morning, Sprout and Junebug donned J's and my clothes so they could be the parents.  Sprout informed me that our housekeeper would be keeping us "children" while she and Papa went to the Opera.

She and Junebug went into the yard and were sitting on the steps:

Junebug sings "Who Let the Dogs Out!" *
Sprout: That is not what you listen to at the opera!

Sprout begins to hum a La, la, la, lilting tune, and Junebug insists on repeating, louder, Who let the dogs out!!!!

Sprout: No, no, no. That is not opera music.

:P

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* Junebug's interest in (and knowledge of the existence of this song) is thanks to his father who heard it over 15 years ago during his first visit to the States to meet my family. He never heard it again. Talk about a good memory for earworms. If only he remembered other things as well as he remembers music. ;)

Junebug sings this a. lot. A couple of weekends ago, we were on a family retreat, and at 1:30 a.m., Junebug woke up crying.  Both J and I tried to comfort him, to no avail. Finally, he began to quiet down, and we heard a dog bark outside. He happily sang, "Who let the dogs out" and fell back asleep shortly after. :P

Sunday Snippet

I think I'll have time for just one more project before Coquille is born (we're 37wk3d), so I've chosen to do a summer quilt. A friend is borrowing my sewing machine, but she brought it over yesterday so that I could sew my layers together.

I'm using an old sheet and two pieces of unbleached cotton for it. I have a box of embroidery floss full of floss that I got when I learned to embroidery back when I was 11 or 12.  I think it is time I put it to good use. :P

This quilt is my inspiration (the photo I once saw--and pinned--doesn't go to the homeware site where the quilt was for sale, so I can't link to the proper source).

Anyhow, wanting to use things I had on hand, I have a different and wider color selection, my hope being that I won't run out of any one color, because trying to match skeins I've had for more than 25 years and in another country?  No, thanks.

So this is what I'm working with:


I'm just a couple of inches away from finishing the blanket stitch on the third side. Next will come those runnng stitches. The blanket stitch has been so relaxing to do, and I'm sure the easy monotony of the running stitch will lend itself to the same meditative mood. Just what I need. I'm glad I decided to do this. :D

Snippet

We were at a family retreat this weekend, and I didn't feel like posting when we got home yesterday.

My project this week was crocheting a lamb for a friend's newborn. I used the same pattern as for Coquille's lamb, but from the below photos, you can see how differently they turned out in terms of size and color and overall personality.* Coquille's lamb is the one with the brown legs and face:

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* For the arms and legs, the difference is easily explainable: I just made them as long as I felt like and didn't have the two to compare.

She'll teach me

The other day, Sprout and I set up a crystal growing experiment.* After the water evaporated from a shallow dish with Epsom salts, we observed the bits of string, wood, rock, cement, etc. to see which materials the crystals grew on the best.

Sprout: The crystals didn't like this metallic pipe cleaner.
Me: Yeah, they seem to prefer natural materials over synthetic ones, man-made things.
Sprout: Human-made, Mom. You don't know if a man or a woman made them.

Right you are, Sprout. :P

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We set up three different solutions: 1) Borax 2) Epsom salts, and 3) Borax and Epsom salts.  Both 1 and 2 grew crystals, but the mix of Borax and Epsom salt, tested both hot and cold, didn't "grow" anything and nothing has formed upon evaporation.

How does your garden grow

Not very well if it's not planted, that is for sure.

We had actually started planting back in, um, February, I think, but it was a bit here and there as we tried to build up enough compost to do a "lasagna bed."  Given that we don't receive much sunlight in our garden, our first efforts have left us a bit ho-hum and unmotivated.  But after I read barbarienne's post about what all she has been doing in the garden, I decided it was time we got serious.

So, we've bought planting soil to finish off the bed and we put in lots of seeds (even though I think you are supposed to use seedlings/transplants:

marigolds
3 types of radishes
beets
Russian kale (we prefer Tuscan but don't have any more seeds. I have some growing already and plan to let at least one plant bolt)
chives
basil
lemon balm
dill
okra
bell peppers
tomatillos

We also planted 3 pots of tomatoes, 2 of tomatillos, and 1 of basil to grow on the front balcony, and 8 pots of okra to transplant out front once they are big enough not to be mistaken for weeds by the gardener who sees to the communal area in front of our flat.

I didn't have a great success rate with corn and a zero success rate with jalapeños and chilis at our other place, so I'm going to germinate the corn first and use improvised seed trays for peppers tomorrow.

Snippet Sunday

As planned, I did mostly sewing these past two weeks. I sewed a cover for our kiddy pool.  It is one of those inflatable affairs that is over 2mx1.5m, so the cover had to be almost 3x2m.

I also made a mosquito net for our king-size bed, not an easy task moving all that netting about!  But I'm not finished with the stuff; I have to make a net "room" (3mX2.8mx1.8m) for our yard, otherwise flies and mosquitos make it too miserable to eat outside.  Man, how I wish we had stocked up on some mosquito nets when we lived in Mayotte. They were huge and, even better, CHEAP!  *sigh*

I'm a little over "big projects."

I did sew two newborn hats for Coquille's first day...plus a test-run hat that turned out the perfect size for Junebug's baby dolll. LOL

Next up I have to make a new "diaper" bag and repair the nursing pillow I made for when I had Junebug. I would like to sew something for an Egyptian friend who just gave birth, but I need to find some cute, quality fabric first. Not easy at the best of times and not something I feel like doing while hot, heavily pregnant, and car-less.

On the art front, I made some more color charts, more "targeted" ones, kind of like this. I also sketch cows. I suck at cows. Must sketch some more. Lazy me thinks I should just practice some "cartoony" cows since this book is not about cows. My more studious side thinks I shoud work on getting the real deal right first.

Anyone else want to share their creative endeavors from the past couple of weeks?

Does it get any weirder?

Today, I plugged my laptop into J's, as I do, to use it in target disk mode, when lo and behold, I saw that my screen was no longer dark and was flashing the drive image.  I went ahead and turned on J's and used it a bit in that mode, then disconnected the two laptops, and restarted mine solo. And ta da. It is working.

My theory was that I had a monitor problem. I guess I have some kind of short circuit thing happening. I may be back; I may not. But it would be great to be able to use my laptop as normal until the shop opens, at which time I'll see what caused the problem while I get them to upgrade it and repair my dvd/cd player.

Fingers crossed...

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