As if the miracle of being born the first time into an earthly family wasn’t enough, there is the miracle of the invitation to be born a second time into God’s family. Generally speaking, our priest doesn’t “dunk” for baptisms, but his liberal hand with the water could hardly be called “sprinkling”. We like to think of our kiddos as being “dunkled” into the body of Christ.


I’ve always wished that I’d hand-crafted some gorgeous baptismal gown with hand-smocking and crocheted lace, but I just always seem to prefer to make things that get more use than once in a lifetime. Still, I managed to make a onesie for the occasion.


And in spite of the unfortunate lighting situation, I had to share this last photo because the Pumpkin looks so pleased to be celebrating his new extended-family.



It’s my opinion that if you are a newly minted babe making your way in the world, you’ll be greatly helped (or at least entertained) by having some older siblings around. They can be relied upon to provide you with all of the necessary petting, kissing, and snuggling.


And they’ll be the first to introduce you to things you are too young to accomplish on your own, and that your Mama and Papa would, in their wisdom and maturity, not attempt to teach you. Like hanging over the back of the couch:


And you can count on them to share things with you that are way beyond your age and development, but are still fascinating even if you don’t understand them. Like books by Alexander Dumas.


Yes, the Pumpkin’s life would be pretty boring if it wasn’t for his siblings. Then again, if it wasn’t for his siblings he might be able to finish a nap. Ah well. No loss without some gain.


A Nursing Song

Some time ago I was clicking my way through blog-land and found this pithy quote from a knowing dad:

“Parenting a newborn is like playing Uno with a five-year-old. As soon as you start to think you’re winning, the rules change.”

So true.


I had just figured out a workable sleeping arrangement for the Pumpkin and me (not to mention the Sweetie Pie husband who had been ending up on the couch night after night) when the Pumpkin decided to change the rules. Since the Pumpkin is my fifth newborn and I have some experience behind me, I know that this rule-changing can cause great bitterness, strife, and resentment in me.

How to keep yourself from becoming uselessly angry at your sweet baby? Sing a song that reminds you what a privilege it is to have him in your arms. I find myself singing the song below repeatedly as I nurse and rock and sway and bounce away the hours through the sleepless nights. You can click below to hear it, just pretend you’re rocking a warm, squishy baby and not being sold on the idea of a “wholesome” artificial beverage.

Wives and Porcupines

A few nights ago, we were having a rare evening of family togetherness. Everyone was sitting in the same room, at the same time, and no one was poking anyone else or messing with someone else’s Legos.

The Sweetie Pie, who has been studying the history of King David, mused aloud about Solomon and all of his wives and concubines (over 700!) This led to discussion among the kiddos about how many children Solomon may have had, which (naturally) led to discussion about how many birthdays he had to remember.

The Bean: It must have been, like, three birthday parties every day!
The Sweet Pea: Plus he had all of his wives’ birthdays to remember!
The Pickle: And don’t forget about all of those porcupines!

The Pumpkin

Our newest family member has been given his nickname. The little man has been dubbed The Pumpkin. Actually, his complete nickname is Slice of Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Sweet Cream Half Eaten Up. But we usually just leave it at Pumpkin.


He has spent the past two weeks learning important life skills. Such as how-to-burp-without-letting-milk-come-out-of-your-nose (he’s almost mastered this one) and how-to-hold-your-hands-in-front-of-your-mouth-so-that-you-can-suck-on-your-fingers (still working on this one). And the very important how-to-sleep-without-needing-to-have-your-mother-touching-you (this one’s going to take a while).


It’s taken me five babies to learn how to savor life with a newborn. The snuggles and coos are the delightful parts that others are happy to share in but I’m unwilling to give up, but the 3 a.m. colic is the part I can’t get anyone else to take. Even so, I am drinking deeply from the sweetness of my days (and nights) with the Pumpkin.


Labor Day

Turns out baby was waiting to make a grand and dramatic entrance. On Labor Day. We should have seen that one coming. Shouldn’t there be some kind of bonus prize for laboring on Labor Day?

photo 1

After a few extra days in the hospital to correct some blood sugar issues of baby’s, we are all well, home, and snuggled into our familiar surroundings. Familiar, of course, meaning dodging paper airplanes, stepping on Legos, and listening to complaints about chores and oatmeal. And we’ve added a lot of baby snuggling to our routine, too. Which seems to make all of the former seem a bit more cheerful.

Line ‘em Up, Move ‘em Out

There has been much discussion here lately of how anxious the kids are to meet their new baby brother. The Bean noted recently that as soon as the baby could talk, he (the Bean) intended to ask if he (the baby) remembered what it was like to be in my tummy.

This line of conversation led to the following observation by the Pickle:

Pickle (to the Bean): I remember when you were in Mama’s tummy
Bean: What?! You weren’t even born yet! How can you remember that?
Pickle: Well, I was waiting in line right behind you! I saw you leave!

Bed Rest by the Numbers

If you ever feel like you just need a little bit of time to catch up on a few fiber projects, just get yourself a high-risk pregnancy and several months of bed rest. You’ll be moving on to new things in no time.

Indulge me in a retrospective of the works of my hands since January? It helps me feel like I haven’t wasted all of my time languishing in front of reality television on my laptop.


cozy baby blanket, matching hat and cowl for me,

pair of baby leggings, cozy sleeping sack, adorable stuffed fox,

inspiring embroidery project,

pair of baby overalls,

long overdue neck warmer for a friend (which I completely forgot to photograph), and an Advent tree skirt (finally finished!)



…little baby bonnets (one here and one here)




…pairs of knitted baby pants (but I only photographed three).



…Christmas sweaters for five precious children (for the Sweet Pea, the Bean, the Pickle, the Peanut, and the wee one)


…little ornaments for use with the Advent tree skirt pictured above

AND (something like) 20,000 LITTLE STITCHES…

…making a sweet cross-stitched nursery rhyme from a friends’ collection. Unfortunately, I forgot to photograph it before giving it to her, so here’s the best photo I have.


* for fellow knitters and curious crafters, all knitting projects are linked to my project pages on Ravelry, where you can find pattern and yarn details, along with my alteration notes. Other projects (when available) are linked to places of purchase.

Why, Hello, World! Nice to See You Again.

Last week, our perinatologist agreed I could be done with bed rest. Hallelujah! Here, a few of the things my hands and feet have done in the past week. You might call it “nesting”, but I call it making up for lost time.

  • I pulled weeds in the garden.
  • I cooked dinner.
  • I deep cleaned the living room.
  • I bought school supplies.
  • I struggled to remember how to write a check, and then remembered I own a debit card.
  • I walked the Sweet Pea to a birthday party 2 blocks away.
  • I spread bark mulch around our new apple tree.
  • I went to the grocery store and bought six half-gallons of ice cream for an ice cream party. (You can only imagine the looks that a very pregnant lady pushing a cart full of ice cream might get.)
  • I went to the library and picked up my own books.
  • I spent two hours at Joann’s browsing buttons for the past 6 months of knitting projects. I may also have browsed, but resisted purchasing, a few other things, too (hello, peacock feathers dyed my favorite goldenrod color! Enameled beads in the shape of little owls!)

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