11 September 2018

Blankets



I love homemade gifts. I think it is probably because my numero uno love language is quality time, and homemade gifts just feel like someone has handed you time in a package.

Since we announced that squishy little Ezra was coming into our lives, we’ve received some very special presents. Some of these presents were blankets, many which were handmade, and were given by some of the special women in Ezra’s life from all around the world. There is so much love and hope in every stitch I feel like there needs to be a record of them, so that is what today’s post is: a visual record and story behind each blanket. 

Play Quilt from Grandma Bingham

For years I’ve been telling my mom I wanted a quilt for my future baby to play on that was made with their visual development in mind. Since a baby’s vision develops slowly out of the womb, I wanted something high contrast, in black, white and red (as red is the first colour babies can discern).



I think she thought I was a little bit crazy, as I know her impulse (as with every proper grandma) is to make something soft and snuggly in pastels. But she did this especially for me, which is what makes it so special. Ezra has tummy time on this little quilted mat virtually every single day.

Swaddle Blankets from Grandma Young



Possibly the single most practical gift anyone has purchased for us are these two jersey swaddle blankets. They work for everything—blanket, spit-up rag, towel, you name it. They’ve in nearly all of our recent posts because we use them constantly. They were especially perfect given that Ezra was born in the middle of summer and they are not too heavy or hot. 

Also, I really love the animal print. 

Blessing Blanket from Auntie Elizabeth

As soon as my sister found out I was pregnant she offered to knit me a blanket. That is no small offer as these things take FOREVER to make. I was so excited. I had secretly been she'd offer as I’d been wanting an heirloom quality blanket for our baby blessings. She ended up making it out of natural-coloured baby alpaca wool so it feels (and smells) amazing. For reals, I could sleep face down on a blanket like this for the rest of my life.



In typical overachiever fashion, she also surprised me by making a matching pair of booties and hat to go along with it. When I saw those little booties I probably screamed out loud. And if not out loud there was crazy schoolgirl screaming going on in my head because they are the most lush (new British word that I love!) little things I’ve ever seen.

London Blankets from Great Grandma Bingham

Over the course of my fertility journey, my grandma has made me several lovely flannel blankets. Whenever she finds a London-themed print, she buys it and makes me a blanket. We always tease her about her fabric buying addiction, but it's one I've definitely profited from over the years.



Seeing Ezra with the red one above is especially poignant as she gave it to me when Jon and I were heading home after one of our family reunions. It was back in the dark trying-desperately-to-get-pregnant days. 

At the time, I had never had a late period. Not EVER. But I was about two weeks late on the day she gifted it to me (we hadn’t had a chance to take a pregnancy test yet as I didn’t want anyone in the family to find the test by accident) and I was certain I was pregnant. Jon and I had spent the whole car ride from Utah to Montana talking and dreaming and getting excited about baby. The next morning I bought a test, but before I could take it, my period started. 

I remember packing up the blanket after that and wondering if I was ever going to have a baby to wrap up in it. But now I do and it's a special reminder of how far we’ve come. 

Also, we need to take a moment to acknowledge the cuteness of his little outfit. An 80+-year-old lady in our church congregation had been in hospital for several weeks, but then (as soon as she got out) immediately went to buy him this glorious little romper so she could give it to me on Sunday. People are so kind. Our church family has been especially important to us.

Snuggle Afghan from Australian Nanna

The last blanket was the least expected. When Jon and I lived in Australia, we met this sweet woman named Debbie at the place that Jon was working. I’d go into his work sometimes and help her push through some of the more mundane paperwork, which is when we became friends. 



She was there the day after I found out about our low chances of having a baby, but said “I know you’ll have a little one, and, when you do, I’m going to make them a blanket and send it to you! I'm going to be his Australian grandma!” To my surprise, she was very serious. She sent us a gorgeous blanket with  this note:

"Once upon a time, there was a lady and a man, VERY deserving of a little one to call their own. They waited and waited and waited until GOD had chosen just the right baby to send to them. FINALLY, the most perfect little boy was ready and he was sent from heaven to the lady and man. They were so excited to know that soon they would be called Mummy and Daddy. 

While they went about getting ready for their gift, a Nanna in Australia who knew the Mummy and Daddy and how much they had longed for a baby, decided to make a blanket to keep the little one warm in chilly London. The Nanna chose snuggly 100% Australian Merino wool to make the blanket and began crocheting. She spent many, many nights in her chair making sure each stitch was as perfect as the next. A little dog named Wilson sat on Nanna's lap all the while, keeping her company. 

One day, while the Nanna was at work, the little dog (who could be very naughty) tried to do some of the blanket himself. The Nanna came home that night to find a big hole right in the middle of the blanket where the little dog had chewed through! The Nanny was so sad. She had to unravel rows and rows of work right back to before the whole and hand wind the unraveled wool and start again. 

Months and months passed until at last the blanket was finished! It wasn't as perfect as the Nanna would have liked but it was made with love. She hand washed the blanket in wool wash and waited for it to dry and packaged it up unto a box ready for the postman to collect for its journey to London. 

The Nanna was happy, she could see in her mind the little boy all snug and warm in his crib under the blanket she had made and later when the little boy grew, dragging his blanket about the house and hiding under with his favourite toys. The End."

So.... yeah, I bawled while I read that the first time... and the second... and when I was typing it up. That is real love and you can feel it from all the way on the other side of the planet.

So there they are: mobile hugs in the form of blankets from all around the world.  Our little man is sure lucky to be able to be wrapped up in so much love from so many wonderful women. 




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