A Time to Give Back...

Snarky
It's hard to believe that this is our fourth year participating in the walk for premature babies as members of Team Angel Emma. We were so saddened by the loss of our cousin Emma in December 2006, and walk in the hope that no parents should ever have to lose a child to premature birth ever again. The rate of premature births is falling, but not fast enough - in the US, 8-10% of babies born are born too soon, compared to 25% 10 years ago. We're making progress, but there's still more work to be done.

We walk for our own girls, Ainsley and Caitlin, both born healthy and happy at 39 weeks. Thanks to the research done by the March of Dimes, Amy was able to deliver Caitlin close to full-term, despite being treated for pregnancy-induced hypertension.

We also walk for our godson Theo, born in December 2008 with a ventricular septal defect (VSD) - a hole in his heart that had to be surgically repaired this year at Children's Hospital in Boston. This congenital birth defect is one of the most common affecting the heart, occurring in 8 of 1,000 live births each year. Thankfully, Theo's surgery went well and he is recovering nicely, thanks in part to research by the March of Dimes. Someday, we might be able to better detect and fix VSD's or even prevent them altogether!

And we walk for our friend Naomi, born August 2009 with an esophageal atresia and tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF) that required surgery at just 2 days old to connect her esophagus to her stomach and separate the trachea. Esophageal atresia occurs in about 1 out of 4,000 births, and thankfully, Naomi is making a full recovery, thanks in part to research by the March of Dimes. Naomi's parents had no idea anything was wrong with her until she was born - wouldn't it be great if we could better detect EA and TEF, and fix it earlier, or prevent it altogether?

We walk for all of these children, and so many more. We've been blessed with two healthy girls, but our family and close friends haven't been so lucky. The bottom line is this: the funds we raise in the March for Babies support research that saves babies' lives every year.

If you sponsored our mini-team last year, thank you so much. Ainsley and Caitlin had a great time walking and earning your pledged support, learning a valuable lesson about giving back to her community. We appreciate your continued support, in whatever dollar amount you wish. Please remember that every little bit helps - last year we had a bunch of people give us small amounts, but they added up to over $400 raised by us and over $9k raised by our team!

(And remember, the March of Dimes gratefully accepts gifts matched by your employer!)

Thanks so much,
Greg, Amy, Ainsley, and Caitlin


Birthday Portraits

Snarky
Hard to believe, but my girls are nearly five and one, respectively. Tonight we took them over to Babies R Us for their birthday portraits.

You will not regret clicking here...Collapse )
Snarky
This is our second year participating in the walk for premature babies as members of Team Angel Emma. We were so saddened by the loss of our cousin Emma Christine in December 2006, and walk in the hope that no parents should ever have to lose a child to premature birth ever again.

We are blessed to have both of our daughters arrive safely close to full-term. Sadly, though, not every baby is so lucky as our two girls have been. In 2006, over 540,000 babies were born prematurely. Premature birth is the leading cause of newborn death and many life long disabilities. The funds we raise in the March for Babies support research that saves babies' lives.

If you sponsored us last year, thank you so much! Ainsley especially had a great time walking and earning your pledged support, learning a valuable lesson about giving back to her community. We appreciate your continued support, in whatever dollar amount you wish.

If you've not sponsored us before, won't you consider making a donation, however small? Every little bit helps!

To donate safely and securely online (and yes, they accept PayPal!), simply click on the link below:


The Blanket

Snarky
My good friend mushmomgreen finished Caitie's blanket and gave it to me today at church. This photo just doesn't do it justice - it's awesome!

Caitlin's Blanket

You can read all about it and see more photos of the front and back, as well as a special little surprise she made in her knitting blog.

Thanks so much, Laura!!!

Ravelry [knitters]

Snarky
Anyone else out there a beta tester for Ravelry? I just got in last night. My username is... the usual. ;)

The Blanket...

Snarky
My friend mushmomgreen is making a blanket for BabyMarr2.0 - it's no secret; I picked the one I wanted because I knew I could never make it, and she could.

She posted a funny story about making my blanket (as well as the one she made for wwpostergirl's baby) and I thought I'd post a link here for amusement and posterity. Be sure to read the text on both photos of the blanket. ;)

Thanks for the laugh, Laura. :)

Love it, Like it, Absolutely no Way!

Snarky
ganked from Grumperina, a crafty meme:

What are your limits when it comes to creative pursuits? Mine, in alphabetical order:

4. Love it! This is my thing.

Knitting, photography, scrapbooking, writing.

3. I do or have dabbled in it.

Baking, calligraphy, card making, cooking, crochet, designing/pattern writing, embroidery and cross-stitch, flower arranging, gardening, jewelry making, needlepoint, papier-mâché, pattern editing, rug hooking, sewing, stamping.

2. I'll give it a try.

Balloon animal making, dyeing, felting, lace making (needle lace, cutwork), quilting, spinning (wheel or spindle), stuffed toy making, tatting, weaving, wood carving.

1. I've got absolutely no interest.

Appliqué, basket weaving, beading, book binding, candle making, collage, doll house making, etching, glass bead making, glass blowing, lucet, macramé, millinery, mosaics, pottery, origami, shibori, soap making, straw marquetry, string art.

It's Mine. All Mine!

Snarky
Well, it's been over a year now, but I finally have my Birch shawl, which I started, ripped, started, ripped, etc. about 20 times before handing it over to the oh-so-talented mushmomgreen for her to enjoy. Not only did she finish it for me, she blocked it for me, too, since I borrowed her blocking wires with the honest intention of blocking it myself, but never got around to it and had to return them to her.

As anyone who has utterly failed at something like this can probably understand, at some point, the whole thing becomes less about the process of knitting or the challenge, and more about just wanting to own the darned shawl. I've never owned a lace shawl in my life, and now I do. Look at how pretty it is:


Completed Birch Closeup of Completed Birch



It's just lovely. I put it on over my tank dress at church yesterday after receiving it, and got many compliments, all of which I deflected of course to mushmomgreen.

Thank you so much!!!

Emma's Hats: The Winners

Snarky
Well, it was really tough, picking the winners here. I used a random number generator in Excel to pick the winners, and once someone won a prize, I tossed their name out of the running for more prizes. Sorry, but otherwise jamib would have won half of my yarn stash, and I just couldn't let that happen. :)

Here are the winners, twelve total:

jamib wins a ball of Lion Brand Trellis, as well as two balls of a hand-dyed, limited edition Motomo yarn (which ironically, she helped wind from skeins). She must make something for herself with these yarns. :)

Eleanor and Judy, both formers co-worker from WPI, wins a gift certificate to Bath & Body Works.

Debbie, another former co-worker from WPI, receives one ball of Berrocco's Foliage yarn (it's yummy).

Sheila from church will receive a ball of hand-dyed soft wool I picked up at a fair in New Hampshire. It's enough to make a scarf - I already did so with the other ball. :)

mushmomgreen, lucky dog, adds to her stash 2 skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in raspberry. She must also make something (socks?) for herself.

Pauline, a colleague of lcmed's, will receive a wax melting bowl set from At Home America, kindly donated by wwpostergirl. heidi_and_colin's grandmother-in-law, Betty, will also receive one of these.

signal_chick won herself a set of cards, handmade and donated by criminalgrace.

Joan Dickert (known in our house as Mrs. Sticker), wins two balls of Crazy Cotton in cute pastel colors perfect for making something for her granddaughter.

Lora, another former co-worker (I swear, this was random) picks up a ball of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino. I shall forward her a copy of knitty's "Fetching" to make with this yarn. :)

Finally, jgreeno wins a set of cards donated by xinie, which I will mail as soon as I receive them!

I hope all who won prizes are happy with them - I tried to match prizes according to frequency of knitting, and whether I thought you'd like something. To those who did not win, I can only say THANK YOU SO MUCH for your help and time and support.

The hats are going to be delivered to Baystate next Sunday afternoon, when the hospital will be hosting a memorial service for many of the families who have lost babies in the last year. I think that's very appropriate.

I've already been asked if this will be a yearly thing, and I'm honestly not sure if it will or not. We'll see. :)

Tags:

QOTD

Snarky
The scene: This morning, while waiting in line at Dunkin' Donuts, I showed Ainsley the start of a three-season sweater I'm knitting for her. I had just started it last night, so I literally had about 1/2" of the ribbing done, and I wanted to see what she thought of the colors (the five variagated balls in the foreground of this picture, if you're curious)...

"Ainsley, I'm knitting a sweater for you. Do you like the colors?"

*pause*

"Yes, but it's a little small..."

Kids. True.