Here is a quilt top I made for Hank right before he was born. I had a spurt of nesting energy and put it together in a few days. All I remember is being hot and uncomfortable at the sewing machine, but driven. I look back on that free time fondly now. It will return some day. I have a feeling this won't be made into a quilt for a while.




Yesterday I took everything out of my fall window boxes. I had some dried millet and flowers so I started making a wreath. It all came back to me. I guess when you make wreaths every day for a job for a couple of years you don't forget. Everything from this wreath is from our garden. I put it on our back porch.


This is a picture of our first fire in our house. We had a gas log that I hated at first then tried to embrace. It didn't give off much heat, it smelled weird, and looked funny. We explored putting in a wood burning insert but it was too expensive. So we had someone come take out the gas log, unplug the chimney and cap off the gas line. Then last night we lit our first fire. It smelled wonderful, sounded great and was beautiful.





Here are some pictures of darling Hank. He is so sweet. I just love having him around. I heard him laugh for the first time yesterday and it was wonderful. I tried to get it on video today but it was hard to take the video and kiss his tummy.



For Thanksgiving Willie's parents and brother Adam came out from Omaha. We made a great dinner, played music, went to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and played cards. Willie's mom Kathy kept my kitchen spotless. I really enjoyed having family around. I had some free time to go running, work in the garden and go to the bead store. It was a wonderful holiday. I wish we saw Willie's family more.

Willie and his boys in his new library chair.

We all went to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. It was really snowing. The canyon was also full of fog so we couldn't see to the bottom, but it was still so beautiful. Hank and I hung out in the visitor center and I watched the video on the cayon while everyone else did some exploring in the snow.

Thanksgiving dinner was delicous and beautiful. It was a breeze with everyone helping. Willie bought a few flowers for the occasion and I collected some herbs from the garden. They were the only things still living after a few good frosts.


video
Wyatt has been exploring the performing arts. Sometimes I hear him in the front room saying, "Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls". His favorite song as of late it the rock 'n roll version of itsy bitsy spider.











It's been 7 weeks since Hank was born. I think we are starting to adjust to having a new baby around. He is adorable. He is so warm and snuggly. He just started smiling and he sleeps a lot. Today was his first trip to Colorado National Monument which we tried to do two weeks ago but we ended up getting in a car accident (no one was hurt but the car) which ruined our plans. He slept on the whole hike. Wyatt just loves him and holds his hand in the car when he's crying. We love Hank so much. We are really glad he's part of our family. I am really enjoying him. I struggled with post-partum depression so long after Wyatt was born and the stresses associated with a preemie that I don't remember just enjoying having a baby around. Even in the middle of the night I'm happy to see Hank and feed and hold him.


I'm really glad I'm not pregnant anymore. Some people really enjoy that time, but for me it felt like the longest 39 weeks of my life. I'm so glad he's finally here! I have my strength back now and I'm feeling good. I can bend over and I started jogging again this week. I'm underslept which I think will last for a while, but I'm getting enough sleep to function. I was retaining so much water towards the end of my pregnancy that I lost 35lbs in the two weeks after Hank was born. I think I'll have to work a little harder to get the rest of the weight off. It obvious I'm getting back into the swing of things because I have a new post of our blog.












Our baby boy was born Sunday September 30th, (Sally's and my seven-year wedding anniversary) at about 3:00am. He weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces. We've named him Hyrum Gunnison DeFord. We'll call him Hank.

He came really fast. Sally started having regular contractions at 11:45 Saturday night. Her water broke at 12. We went to the hospital at 1, Hank was born at 3. It was an intense couple of hours. During the birth Hank was in distress and his heart rate started to decrease and they needed to get him out fast. The doc said they would have to take the baby by c-section, at which time Sally made one last heroic push and they dragged him out. They took him to intensive care to help him recover from the birth trauma and watched him for a day.


Hank and Sally are doing well. Hank is bald as can be but will most likely grow in some white hair like Wyatt. Wyatt is constantly giving Hank hugs and kisses and calling him his baby brother. We are so happy to have him here and part of our our family. More pictures and doting to come.

The Library







We usually work on some kind of project over the weekend and this week we finished up some shelving in our library. Most people don't have a library, but if you know Willie a library is a must. This room in our house was the original dinning room, but since we have an actual dinning room addition and this one has pine paneling and already a lot of bookshelves it became the library.


Weekend before last Willie informed me that he'd run out of shelf space for books. So we got some books from the library and looked into some built in shelves and realized that it wasn't in our budget, so Willie came up with these semi-built in shelves. He had a great time putting them up and arranging books. We have enough shelf room to get us a few year into the future. Now we just need a comfy chair to finish off the room.


I also included a picture of Wyatt with his new tool belt and tools. We went to a birthday party on Friday and I bought a tool set for the birthday boy. Wyatt wanted it so bad. So I went back later that day and got him one. When he woke up in the morning he said he was so glad the tools were back. I gave him a little tool box to keep them in and he's been working around the clock. We put up the crib for Hank (probable name for the new baby) and Wyatt is still doing some fine tuning on it.




Here are a few pictures of our garden. It's really thriving right now, it's almost an uncontrollable jungle. I planted a little too tight this year but everything is still doing well. I just need a machete to get in to pick tomatoes.

Willie also made a gate for our back fence. Our neighbors have an all rusted metal fence and they had some left over that they gave to us. We had some wood left over from the previous fence, so really all we needed were a few bolts and hardware. I really like the way it turned out. We have plans to build an arbor over the gate and I already have honeysuckle growing, ready to climb over the arbor.

We have cucumbers and tomatoes at almost every meal. I am about to make my second batch of "sun-dried" tomatoes in the dehydrator. I usually pick green beans in the morning to have with dinner then eat them all before dinner time. They are just so good. I have plans for more eggplant, less tomatoes and more cut flowers next year. I love my zinnias. They just keep coming back after I cut them.

Totally pregnant is not my favorite time to be photographed, but I thought I better add a few pictures for posterity. I've entered the huge stage with constant comments about having twins or delivering any day. The same thing happened when I was pregnant with Wyatt. Being short only leaves out in front for a baby to grow. In this picture Wyatt is wearing his superman cape that I made for him. He's been flying everywhere. His imagination is really growing. As he is flying around the house he lists the things he can see from the air, like the post office, our house and a flying dog.

This week in my pregnancy with Wyatt is when my water broke and I was put on bedrest. I'm feeling hopeful about that not happening again. Though the thought of getting two months bigger is dreadful, being able to take our baby home from the hospital in good health is worth it. I just have to remind myself of that when I'm wishing I wasn't pregnant anymore.

I start out my day with a lot of energy. It's nice and cool and I go for a 1/2 hr walk before Willie leaves to work. Today I harvested produce from the garden, watered, weed wacked, did laundry and cleaned up. As the day goes by and heats up I slow down and lie on the couch and watch Barney with Wyatt. By the time Willie gets home, it's legitimately hot and I have most of my clothes off trying to make dinner. Then I try not to be too cranky and take it easy the rest of the day. These next few months are uncharted territory for me. At least fall is coming and the heat will let up. I only have a few pieces of maternity clothes that fit anymore so i wouldn't say I'm very stylish, but two months is only two full moons and two fast Sundays. I can do that.




Wyatt and Willie took the train to Omaha to visit Willie's parents recently. They had a blast. Wyatt had been talking about going on this train trip for almost a month and I think it lived up to all his expectations. He got to go to the zoo in Omaha, play with his cousins, and go to a place like Chuck E Cheeses. Willie brought his fiddle and read many books and spent time with his parents and his brothers.

I wasn't crazy about an 18 hr (at least) train ride, so I stayed back. While they were gone, I flew to Utah for a few days thanks to a buddy pass from my brother. I did some essential shopping of things I couldn't get in Grand Junction, like a bra in my size. I spent time talking and hanging out with family then came back home to enjoy some alone time. I made a baby quilt for my nephew, went swimming every day, went to some antique stores and laid around. It was great, but I was eager for Willie and Wyatt to get home. I picked them up at the train station and was so happy to see them get off the train and get back to normal family life in Grand Junction. .


And as far as butterfingers go. I have never loved a candy bar like I love this one, at this time in my life. Though I've started regular exercise by recommendation of my midwife, to gain strength for the birth and help with weight gain, I can't cut out the butterfingers. I found four for a dollar on sale today. It was a blessing.





I finally finished our front room curtains by adding a strip of blue canvas along the bottom and sewing everything that was pinned. I also made a few throw pillows to match some colors in the rug (not pictured).
Wyatt loves running through the sprinklers in the back yard when I water the grass.

I set up our old backpacking tent around Wyatt's bed and he loves it. He was so excited the first night that he couldn't fall asleep until well after 10pm.

I also included a picture of some the things we are getting from our garden. The picture shows basil (more than we can handle, I'm freezing pesto by the truckload), cucumbers, summer squash, and Japanese eggplant. We did loose our summer squash plant to squash bug so I've been diligently picking squash bug eggs off our zucchini. It's a gross job, but someone has to do it.

I'm also including a picture of Wyatt on the mandolin. He's really interested in music right now. He's so funny how he copies us too. He has a penny whistle and he asked me last night if I wanted to jam. I said yes and when I was picking up the guitar he said he wanted to play in E (don't worry, he doesn't actual know how to play on or in any key yet). Then after we were done he started to tune his penny whistle to the piano by hitting a key then blowing a note on the whistle. He's so dear. The other night at the Farmer's market we were watching a band and he was dancing along. Two people approached me commenting that he has great rhythm and suggested getting him an instrument.

The Pics







When we bought this house the back porch was just a gross sunroom. I wish I had a before picture that could do justice but you never think of taking the before picture, just the after one. There was also a diseased stray cat that came with the house and was living in this sunroom. It was enclosed with dirty plexiglas with cheap metal blinds, the floor was green outdoor carpeting, there was a falling apart storm door, with cat door, enclosing it.

Stage two, the porch got worse. We took out the plexiglas and took off the door which improved the look but by then we had three chickens who only wanted to be put in their coop at night by Willie. So until he got them to bed they roosted on the porch. Envision piles of chicken poop.

Then my brother Calder, his wife Starr, a friend Andrew, my mother and her husband David came to the rescue. In May we had a work day where we ripped off the outdoor carpet, pulled up the plywood underneath and redecked the porch. We put on a new set of stairs and did repairs. In one day the porch became a real porch.

Then last weekend we got the energy to put the finishing touches on the porch. I say "we" but Willie did most of the work. A huge pregnant lady a toddler aren't that helpful. We painted the whole thing, ceiling to floor and installed a ceiling fan and reading sconce. So behold the pictures. We are so pleased. Last night Willie and I sat out talking and reading. It's a magical place. You should come over and enjoy a cool morning on the porch or stay up talking with us as the evening cools off or watch a thunder storm.






















Well, since I updated our website every 6 months, at the most, I figured it was time to start a blog. So what's new since our last post on our website?

The biggest news is that I'm 6 months pregnant with another boy. I thought for sure I had ruined my life when my morning sickness started and I couldn’t believe I had willingly done this to myself. It was a tough 3 months or so. I'm feeling much better now and just have this huge belly sticking out which makes me grunt when I bend over and want to lie on the couch when it's hot. Things are going great with the pregnancy and we are really excited for someone else like Wyatt to come into our life. As far as my midwife is concerned, we can consider Wyatt’s premature birth a fluke (my water breaking early) and plan on a full term baby.

I’m in love with our plants. I’m always working on something in the yard. The bigger I get, the more I have to ask for Willie’s help with things, but our flowers and vegetables are so much fun for me. I worked at REI a few times a week for about 6 months until I realized I didn’t like having to work on Saturdays. It was really cutting into our fun time. So it was great while it lasted. I made some good friends, collected a lot of gear and had a great social outlet. I’ve been doing bookkeeping for my brother’s branding/advertising firm in New York and I love it.

Other big news, Willie is a fiddler. For Christmas I had an old family fiddle (rumored to have crossed the plains with the Mormon pioneers) fixed up for him. I had no idea the monster I was creating. Almost without fail, Willie has practiced at least an hr every day since the fiddle was put in his hand. He’s taken lessons, bought books, CD’s and found people to pay with. He’s gotten so good. He’s obsessed and loving it. We’ve been having a lot of fun playing together and we even played at a friend’s wedding reception up in the high country.

On a sad note (for Willie), we got rid of our chickens. They went to a good five acre place with 3 toddlers to chase them around. They were absolutely destroying our back yard and digging up my plants and pooping everywhere. So I posted them on freecycle and they had a good home the same day. I cried when they left but have been glad ever since. Willie misses them. In exchange for getting rid of his dear birds, I agreed to get a cat. Now we have little Deuteronomy, a gray tabby, who goes by Ron. He’s really grown on me and he’s friendly and well behaved.

Work is going well for Willie. He’s been working hard to get up to speed on his required billing for work. I have taken it upon myself to be his billing coach to keep track of his billable hrs and let him know how his month is looking. We celebrated the end of a great billing month yesterday with a blueberry peach crisp. All and all his work does not require an absurd amount of work and the work is interesting. Willie has made some great friends at work. We have gone on several camping trips with his coworkers and their families.

Wyatt is adorable. He’s communicating so well and is funny and loving. His interests as of late are going to the library, riding his tricycle all around the neighborhood, going to the public pool, and playing our instruments. He loves when Willie plugs in his electric guitar (which he calls the yellow guitar) and lets him go to town. He also likes to bang on an old hand drum while we play together. He’s already talking about wanting to play the banjo, which is weird because that’s one instrument we don’t have. He is Willie’s shadow. He wants to do everything Willie does including carrying around a small Nalgene bottle with peppermint ice tea in it.

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