Sunday, August 30, 2009

Saturday, August 29, 2009

the result of letting a four year old name his pet frogs

Because everyone needs a name, we let our new pet owner name his two frogs and snail. There were a couple of suggestions: Ernie and Bert with the snail being named Big Bird or Cookie Monster, since he eats stuff of the side of the aquarium.
After a brief bout of silliness, the following names were birthed:
Calliecalla, Noble, and NorgenNorgen (which is my favorite because it sounds like something the Swedish Chef from the Muppet Show would say).

Friday, August 28, 2009

now we are four

Here's what my twelve-hours-away-from-being-four year old wanted for his birthday:

  • a watch
  • a jack in the box, and
  • a box of tiger cereal (Frosted Flakes)
When I was at the place that had the jack in the boxes, I noticed they had clear plastic water-filled cubes with two little frogs in each one. The salesman said that along with the snail and the bamboo stalk, the cubes were a self sustaining ecosystem.

"Well by golly," I remembered that he had been crying about wanting a pet recently. And this is so much more boyish than a beta fish (the only "pet" I would have been open to getting him, despite the fact that I seem to have a knack for killing them).

SOLD!

freecycle

I don't really call myself "green", however in the 70's I was impacted by Keep America Beautiful's commercial with Iron Eyes Cody (who interestingly enough was of Sicilian ancestry). Littering is sheer stupidity, and if we can reuse something, then by all means, let's do. I believe that most all of these little "recycle crafts" that kids do will just delay things going into a landfill, but I digress.

The point of this blog entry (yes, there is one) is to spread the word about a program my sister told me about a couple of years ago: FreeCycle. It is set up as a regional online group. You join, you give things away all for free. The plus side is that you get crap out of your house, you don't have to go through the "yard sale ordeal", and someone who really needs/wants the item is getting it. Negatives are that you don't get any tax write off, you don't get to go buy "more crap" with the money you made from a yard sale, and there is a chance (if you give your address out) you may run into a wacko.

I recently rejoined so that I can ask for fabric remnants. I am hoping someone will be cleaning out their grandmother's sewing room and will have some vintage stuff for me to score squeal over and use.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

neat-oh

Today was the day in which my spirits were brightened by a visit from one of my favorite people and her husband. He had biznuss to attend to and she and I got to spend the whole morning together. We shared stories and laughed and cried and laughed some more. We rode around the area and admired some pretty, old homes and laughed at the new, overpriced monstrosities.

True story: that sweet girl, she was cleaning out her jewelry box and said this reminded her of me. Now, it will remind me of her.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

absoluely unworthy

It all started when I decided to go ahead and go to the girls' night out with several friends celebrating those who had August birthdays. I left the house at the time we were supposed to meet at the restaurant.
Passing by a neighborhood on the way, I noticed that there was a man on the sidewalk who had fallen out of his electric wheelchair and his daughters (?) about ages 9 and 12 were standing there watching traffic drive by.

I drove by too.

"I wouldn't be of much help."
guilt pang
"Someone will stop."
guilt pang
"I'm sort of late already."
guilt pang
"Surely someone else will stop."
guilt pang

I looked in rear view mirror, all the cars which were behind me before we all saw the man were still behind me. None of them stopped.

I turned the car around.
As I got out of my car ONE other driver (ps- high traffic volume) had stopped.

This man is paralyzed from the waist down, the wheel of his chair had gone off the the sidewalk and overturned the wheelchair. Seemingly embarrassed and not accustomed to asking strangers for help, he is struggling with his upper body to get into his wheelchair. The other driver who stopped doesn't know what to do but is trying to help him up.

Another car stops. A black woman gets out and walks up and calmly but with confidence in her voice tells the paralyzed man to "stop and sit back down on the sidewalk."
"You are going to tire yourself." she adds.
"Are you a nurse?" the daughters ask.
"Yes." she says plainly and calmly.
"Thank you, Jesus." they pray.

"Listen carefully, this man and I are going to lift you by your arms and the back of your belt. You remain still. We will get you back in the chair." Then she quickly and succinctly tells the other driver exactly how to lift. I "steadied the chair" and was going through a mental asskickin' for not stopping right away.

Wham! Bam! And the paralyzed man is back in his wheelchair. The nurse helps him scoot back, asks if he is ok, and starts heading back to her car.

"Oh, thank you, thank you," the girls gushed to the three of us.

I felt unworthy of their thanks and said, "I did nothing."

"Yes, but you stopped," the older of the two said.

guilt pang

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

beginnings

Number 4 and 5 head to "cool".

A fun day was had by all.

"friends"

Burn me once, shame on you.
Burn me twice, shame on me.

Monday, August 24, 2009

bzzzzzz

Today was the day I could no longer stand long hair on my sons. I have not had the time to get to them, but they needed their quarterly buzz. More like a flat top than a buzz cut, really, it is so nice to look at them and not see all that extra fluff.

But, uh, sorry about the front yard honey.

that one day

There is one day in late summer/early fall that the sun is just slightly different... like you can tell it has just tilted on its axis and that cooler weather is right around the corner.

Even though it was an overcast day last Friday when I got into the car to pick the kids up from school, I could tell it was THAT day.

Sure enough, the whole weekend and today have been wonderful. Much cooler than normal and just beautiful.

And you know what that means? football!!!

microwave egg tutorial

We have always cooked our eggth on the stove in a non-stick skillet. Omelets, scrambled, fried, etc. Recently, not wanting to mess up the skillet for just one egg, I remembered that one of my college roommates used to cook eggs in the microwave. She'd crack an egg in a coffee mug and zap it, stir it up, and eat it. It turned out so good that now I prefer them this way.



Step 1: One tsp of melted butter or olive oil

Step 2: Crack egg into bowl

Step 3: add feta (add Italian spices if you want)

Step 4: mix all

Step 5: microwave for approx. 1 min (give or take)

You will need to scrub your bowl a bit before placing it into the dishwasher, even with the butter or olive oil. Also, if you leave the egg in the bowl or mug, rather than plopping out onto a plate like I did for the pictures, it will stay hot for a long time.

school reports

Number 4 goes to preschool this morning. He is so excited. He loved "school" last year (this is the same Mother's Morning Out/Preschool that all the children have gone to so far). The difference between last "year" (as in May) and this "year" (as in 3 months later) is that he is now reading on a first grade level. I'm sure I have mentioned it before, and I don't mean to sound like a braggart, I promise. It is just that the boy TOTALLY amazes me. I'd be talking about him and be equally as amazed even if he were someone else's kid. Paired with his demonstrative/melodramatic/over-actor type of personality, I think he is going to give Miss L a run for her money. She's young, though, so maybe she can keep up. I hope so.

On the other end of the spectrum, Numero Uno is enjoying high school, although she is laden with homework. Her highly distractible/unable-to-stay-focused/striving-for-perfection-rather-than-completion personality slows her down a bit. Numbers 2 and 3 are enjoying school and seem to be able to handle their homework load fairly well. Par for the course for them.

And the littlest angel, number 5 starts MMO tomorrow. She has a new backpack, she has all her supplies (paper towels, kleenex, baby wipes), and she has a mom who loves her immensely and is ready to get back to the gym!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

grrrrrrr...

I'm a bit grumpy tonight.

For one, I messed up a craft I was working on. Cute one too. Thankfully it was only $2 worth of material... but it was a goodly-sized chunk of time. *sigh*

Another reason I am a grumpster is that some woman called and when I said hello, she asked, "who is this?" I absolutely despise it when someone calls and says that... so rude. I mean if you don't know who it is you need to speak to, then don't use the phone.

Then when I tell her my name she asks me why I called earlier. "Uh, no ma'am, I didn't call you. Perhaps you misdialed."

Indignantly she said, "NO, this is the number that was on my caller ID, I copied it down."

"Well, ma'am, I sure don't understand, because I didn't call."

Still indignant. "Well, ok then." (as if to say, "well, then, you asked for it!" or "I don't believe you.")

Are you kidding me lady? I haven't called anyone, I've been busy wasting my time on some stupid craft idea that went kaputz... I don't have time to call weirdos like you who can't admit they misdialed or need a stronger prescription of glasses."

If only I had the body parts needed to say something like that.... but then again, it wouldn't be me, so..... maybe I should just get some rest, huh?

we're nearly there

Number 5 is nearly finished potty training. I'd say within a week, our work will be complete. She is staying dry so much of the time with only an accident here or there.

So, barring no unforeseens, NO MORE DIAPERS.

I'll tell you, what is sad is that she will be going to Mother's Morning Out two days a week and they ask that we send the children in Pull Ups. I sort of guess that is going to set her back a bit. Stupid Pull Ups. I started having much better success when I put regular panties on her. She realized what she was doing/when she was going better than when wearing a Pull Up... "basically a diaper".

Wonder if I will notice the influx of money?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

just one of those little things

#5 comes up to me and excitedly says, "C'mon Mommy, less go upthstairs!"

"I'm sort of busy right now, honey, why do you want to go upstairs?"

"Wanna jump on the moon."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

little helper

As I was bathing this morning, #4 (who is nearly four!) came into the bathroom all dressed! He was so proud of himself. He did look nice. However, that meant that there was yet another outfit that he "didn't quite get dirty" from the day before lying on the end of his bed. So I said, "Get the little green basket and gather up all the clothes from the end of your bed and bring them in here to the hamper."
And that is exactly what he did. Only had to be told once. It was like a breath of fresh air, trust me.

(and no, I don't get any privacy, thankyouverymuch.)


Monday, August 17, 2009

branching out

King suggested that since "drool" has become more of a log of sewing projects than a record of family stuff that I start a blog JUST for my creative side. Very good suggestion. That man is a genius.

"Sew...what now?" is located here:
http://thekidsarenapping.blogspot.com/

Sunday, August 16, 2009

repurposing a golf shirt: my very first tutorial

I bought it at a thrift store. He wore it with pride, as he loves golf and is partial to the Masters Tournament. Once I realized it, I never had the heart to tell him that it is actually a ladies shirt, because it looks so gender neutral. I even went so far as to cut out the tag. But, as sons tend to do, #2 grew out of one of his favorite golf shirts.

Rather than donating it, I decided to give it a new life as a toddler shirt to, perhaps, wear with shorts or capri pants I make out of some of my spiffy new fabric. OR, perhaps all of those are spoken for and I need to go back to Hobby Lobby! (insert evil laugh here)

In any case, I have so enjoyed reading other crafty tutorials that decided to make my own (very first!!) tutorial: repurposing a golf shirt.



If you ever want to try it, here's how:

Step 1: Grab a polo-style golf shirt.

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Step 2: I used Children's Corner pattern #242, size 2 as a guide to cut the neck and arm curves and then just cut diagonally down from the underarm to the hem. Sadly, I did not use the "back" pattern piece as a template for the back of the shirt. I simply used the front of the shirt. Ah, well. This is how we learn, right? In any case, whether you use the pattern I used, another pattern you already have, or "eyeball" it, step two is to cut a front and a back. It is easiest to keep the original hem of the shirt to save a few steps.


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Step 3: Next, though I could have used my serger to serge all the edges, the baby was asleep in "our sewing room" and I was too excited about getting it done didn't want to wake my sweet angel, so I used a type of stretchy zigzag stitch to keep the edges from fraying. There are many ways to overcast the edges.
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Step 4: Sew shoulder seams. I used a 1/4" seam allowance.
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Step 5: Topstitch on either side of shoulder seam.
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Step 6: This beautiful pleated grosgrain ribbon came from Farmhouse Fabrics and is $2.50/yd. I used less than 24". I sewed the ribbon with the open part of the pleats facing downward on the right side of the shirt. Then I flipped the ribbon up and topstitched, which makes it stand up so nicely and keeps the hem edge in place.
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Step 7: Close up side seams (1/4" seam allowance) and hem arm holes (again about 1/4 ")
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Step 8: Tah Dah! The finished product actually would fit a 4 or 5 year old. But, this is good, because in a couple of years, # 5 will be adorable in it.
***Credit where credit is due: Feel free to use this for yourself or pass it along, but I respectfully ask that if you do, please link back here. Thanks. Also, I would love to see your finished product if you decide to repurpose your own polo.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

sheer gluttony

See, wha'ha'happened is.... I didn't realize Hobby Lobby had such fun fabrics because I had never been there before... and yes, this is the third post in a row talking about fabric purchases -in one day!!! Yes, I also realize that must fall into some gluttonous category. But hey, it's cheaper than cigarettes.


ps - Santa Claus, if you follow my blog can I please just ask for gift cards this year??

honey, go ahead and take out a second mortgage!

Because I've found this.

souvenirs from heaven


Today I visited heaven. Here are the souvenirs I came home with.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

baby's got a brand new bag

Lunch Bag that is!

This puppy is fully lined, AND has insulating layer AND a plastic layer up under that lining.

(And if she spills applesauce on it, she is going to die.)

the next quilt

When I get time (that is) I have plans for a disappearing nine patch quilt with these nine fabrics.
Lori has a very easy tutorial as well as beautiful examples of the pattern.

in which we stand behind our kids when they have big dreams

video

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

This is amazing.

flotsam

Back to school means back to the homework routine. About halfway into the year last year, we hit a stride as far as time management. This year... well, let's just say the fine-tuned time management skills must have drowned in the surf.

Monday, August 10, 2009




happy first day of school, y'all

So many friends of mine and I are saying things to each other like, "Can you believe it is the first day of school, already?" "You ready for it?" "No." "Summer isn't long enough." So on and so on.

But, y'know, I think it is good that we all feel this way. It means that we all enjoyed the summer. Although we wish we could extend the beach trips and stay-in-your-jammies kind of mornings, it is good that the kids start back while they are still in our good graces. It is so much better this way rather than what would be the alternative: "Gawd, I am so sick of their fighting." "If school doesn't hurry up and start, I may not have kids TO send to school." "Ugh, they are getting on my nerves!" and so on.

So, taking a cue from Michael Jordan, when he retired at the peak of his career, I will be happy with today.

looking ahead

This song is a new favorite, especially those times I feel a bit like Lot's wife.

there she goes



Fly little butterfly, fly!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

movie reviews

Two thumbs up on two movies:

Miss Potter
A story about Beatrix Potter, author and illustrator of the wonderful Peter Rabbit and so many more.


Facing the Giants
A great movie if you love God and Southern Football like we do.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

God, I love a Saturday morning!

Friday, August 7, 2009

what a fabulous idea

Dryer sheets for stabilizer... I could hug the person who thought of this.

Check out this fantabulous website.

on a roll

I mentioned in a couple of posts back that I am nearly craving sewing projects. Here is one I have been wanting to do for a month or so: a sewing machine cover.


No more dusty threads!



The fabric I used is by Robert Kaufman called You Got The Notions! Click on the picture of the fabric to see it a bit more closely. It is cute and compliments the new curtains. I love the fact that it has a sewing theme.

In addition to the fabric, I also used a clear, rawther heavy-gauge vinyl - a remnant I found on the "reduced for quick sale" rack at the fabric store. It is a buggah-beww to sew on. I'd just as soon get some sort of iron on vinyl, if there is such a thing. Ha-yever, it is all done now. Truth be told, I have two more machines I need to cover, but whew, don't know if they are going to be lucky enough to get such fancy duds as my old, faithful Kenmore.

gotta love an engineer mind

This morning, King and I were having one of those sweet, relaxed-over-breakfast, enjoying-the-last-day-of-summer-break-before-the-kids-go-back-to-school, kind of conversations. Among the things we talked about: I have almost known him longer than I knew my dad: 21 years. So, after he went to his office he sent me this email:

You knew your Dad for 20 yrs 316 days. You have known me now for 20 yrs 310 days. So on August 12, 2009, you will have known each of us the same amount of time, and after that date, me for longer.

I Love you, and it is with immense honor that I could even begin to compare with your Dad.


Tee hee hee, isn't that silly/wonderful/fun that he would have put all that engineering and math to such frivolous use this morning. God, I am so blessed and thankful to have TWO incredible men in my life.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

doh... it's nearly midnight ..again

Lately, I have been practically obsessed with surfing the internet for sewing tutorials. Tonight, this is my favorite. She makes it sound and look so easy.
So, tomorrow it looks as if I may have to take a trip to the fabric store. I can feel a quilt coming on. I mean, just look at this one.

don't be curious

King and I joined Netflix, as I may have mentioned, and last night the movie we watched was The Curious Case of Benjamin Button . It was a very long movie with some pretty cool scenery. Cate Blanchett is beautiful in it. Brad Pitt is pretty good. But, I have to tell you, I hated the movie. It wasn't because of the storyline, or the acting, or because it was a decade long. I didn't like it because it is a bitter reminder that we are getting old. The man that I adore is growing old. I am growing old. I want so badly to be able to freeze time when we were young and newly married. Before children. We were spontaneous. We were joyous. We were SO. MUCH. IN. LOVE.

We love our children. We are still very much in love. But, we are no longer spontaneous. We are more frustrated than we were and we stay stressed 85% of the time or more. Life is slipping away while we have our noses to the grindstone trying to mold these beautiful children of God in the way they should go. We no longer have that wonderful, stay-in-bed-all-day, ooey-gooey on screen romance like that of Benjamin and Daisy.

Funny, a young friend of mine happened to watch the same movie the same night and commented that she LOVED it. The difference is that she is currently in that wonderful young love phase of her life. She is also a dancer and as beautiful as Cate Blanchett or better. Which leads me to another reason that I didn't like the movie. *sigh* Time has a cruel, cruel sense of humor.

in which we made bias tape for the first time

Here is a dress I just finished making from a man's dress shirt. I didn't take a before picture of the shirt, but it looked similar to this.
I found a tutorial online and went to the thrift store and bought up a bunch of shirts. This was my first attempt. I changed up a few things to suit my sewing style. And I may put the finished dress in the embroidery machine and put a big hot pink monogram on the front, but we'll see. So many possibilities! It's a bit big for her now, but that won't stop me from letting her wear it. Since she is toilet training, dresses are a helpful clothing item to make going potty much easier.
The most exciting thing for me was the fact that I actually made bias tape to line the insides of the armholes. I don't know why it seemed like such a daunting task, but truly it is easy breezy.



Bias tape: For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, if you take a non-stretchy fabric, such as a cotton dress shirt and pull with the length of the fabric, it doesn't stretch, same thing with the crossgrain, but if you pull diagonally between lengthwise and crossgrain, a non-stretchy fabric WILL stretch. Henceforth you cut on the diagonal (or bias) and can make bias tape. Clear as mud, right?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

childhood favorites


Little Jenny Wren, the incredibly talented Australian doll-maker who made #5's sweet dolly this year, is having a very generous give-away to celebrate turning 50. She asks her entrants to tell her about their favorite outfit from childhood, no matter if it was lovingly handmade by mom, or equally as lovingly store bought.
Here is a picture of one of my very favorites from childhood: a cotton knit top with different colored buttons. It wasn't even so much that it was "the coolest thing since sliced bread", but moreso that one of my very favorite people in the universe, my cousin, had one exactly like it.
It's amazing how much cousins influence how we grow up. I thought my older cousins surely hung the moon. I can see it now with my own children as they idolize their own cousins. No one can lift your spirits like a cousin can. Getting mail or a phone call from a cousin can lift you higher than a hunk o'fudge.

ps- I'm the one on the left.