Wednesday, October 31, 2007
This is almost the end of Sawyer's new fall/winter wardrobe. Unfortunately for us (me for sewing and you for reading), there are two more pairs that are cut and awaiting to be sewn. I'm sorry that I have to bore you with this. But, really, it's the most interesting thing happening around here lately.
The green pants are wide-wale corduroy and the rusty-colored ones are a velvety, no-wale (per the lady at the fabric store) corduroy. Corduroy has been on sale lately and dirt cheap. I couldn't resist. I just adore corduroy this time of year. The pockets on the pants are actually "back pockets," but for the sake of only taking one photo (and boring you less), I flipped the pants around. Again I used super-sweet Japanese fabric for embellishing. And I'm totally loving the Humpty Dumpty. The fabric has prompted Spenser to walk around the house reciting Humpty Dumpty. So fun.
* * *
On Saturday evening when we were getting ready for our church's Trunk or Treat party, I asked Carter what he wanted to dress up as. He said (and I really have no idea where this came from), "A middle-aged man who starts a town riot." HUH?!? I don't know if he meant a "middle-aged" man, as in someone in their 40's or if he meant a man from the Middle Ages. And what's this about starting a town riot? Needless to say, he dressed up as a knight. Do any of you know what that means? Because I sure don't.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
She is sad in the top photo because on the very last cut to remove the cast, her inner thigh was cut. She screamed. (I had to crop out some of that photo to keep her modest in her skirt.)
The doctor said she probably wouldn't walk for two days. She wouldn't bear weight on it and if she did (like when I accidentally bumped into, which forced her weight to shift onto her boo-boo leg), she would cry. She is walking a little bit now. A little on her toes. A little with her foot and knee turned outward. The doctor said she would walk funny for ten days.
Last night she celebrated with a bath with pink water and bubbles.
And, apparently, I learned last night that (while I was fixing dinner), she celebrated a little more: she walked to the trampoline and tried to jump! I was not privy to that information until bedtime. And I gasped. And I told her to please not jump anymore for a while. Until mama's heart can heal.
Monday, October 29, 2007
I was a bit worried when I found her like this Saturday afternoon
saying she wanted to be a knight, like Carter, for Trunk or Treat;
but after she put on her princess dress and hat and realized that people were going to put candy in her bucket, she was all for being a princess. A princess that had to carried around and waited on, hand and pink-casted foot.
And speaking of the pink cast ... we're heading to the orthopedic this morning and she is supposed to have the cast removed. They are going to x-ray her leg before taking off the cast. Keep your fingers crossed. (I'm almost giddy like a child on Christmas morning. I really can't wait!)
Note about the hat: I ended up stapling the fabric onto the craft foam, shaped it into the cone, and stapled it in place. There is some cute flower trim glued on to hide the staples along the bottom edge. The lace and ribbons were tied together with a knot and pushed through the opening at the top, leaving the knot inside to hold them in place. Thanks for all of your suggestions.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Okay. Here is a glimpse of Spenser's princess dress. The one I haven't touched all week. The one she needs to wear Saturday night. It needs to be hemmed. That's all. I lost my mojo after she decided she didn't like it.
I need to make her a hat. Similar to this. I had planned on making it out of poster board until I saw this about craft foam. I just bought some this week. I really hate the way it feels. It freaks out my hands. It's too dry and smooshy or something. I don't know exactly.
I would like to cover it in pink lace (like her dress). I forgot to buy spray adhesive and I don't think I have any here. Do you think watered down craft paint would work? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thread and fabric are my main medium. Yucky foam sheets and glue are not. (And the less I have to touch that stuff, the better.)
Just added: I forgot to tell you that Spenser fell down a flight of steps last night. She was trying to do it by herself in her cast and, well, couldn't. She wasn't hurt, luckily.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Soccer season is coming to an end over the course of the next few weeks. Mason had his soccer "tournament" on Saturday (I use that term lightly for the Under-6 age group); Jackson has his this Saturday; Carter the following Saturday; and Taylor the Saturday after that.
All but one of the coaches are male. I really wanted to give them a thank-you gift, but didn't think they would appreciate totes or wristlets or tissue pouches or crowns (... on second thought, a crown!). I found the perfect soccer ball fleece on sale this week and decided to cut it into scarves.
The scarves are two yards in length (including the fringed ends) and eight inches wide. I was able to cut seven scarves out of the width, when cutting along the grain. I bought additional yardage for my boys and made their scarves about 1 3/4 yards in length. Using a rotary cutter and mat made the job so much easier than using scissors.
Joe is in Kentucky this week and called yesterday morning to tell me that he was in a minor car accident. He and a friend/coworker were stopped at a red light and someone rear-ended them. The cars are pretty messed up, but no one had any serious injuries. Joe got an instant headache and felt nauseated, but refused treatment. He was better last night when I talked to him.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
On Monday I had lunch with Mason (kindergarten) and Jackson (first grade). They weren't expecting me, so it was a nice surprise. They were also happy when I gave them money for ice cream.
On Wednesday, when I was supposed to have lunch with Carter and Taylor, the power was out at the school, lunch times were shifted ahead and I missed it. I would have gone Thursday, but Carter had a field trip.
Yesterday I surprised both Carter (third grade) and Taylor (fifth grade) and showed up for lunch. Although they weren't expecting me, I don't think they were very surprised to see me.
There's such a difference in age groups. With the younger kids, the boys' classmates came around me like flies to honey. The other children sat next to me and continually tried to get my attention, leaving little time for conversation between me and my boys.
In fifth grade I was the repellent. Kids scattered like I was bug spray. One boy was nice enough to stay.
It was fun. This will be the last (and only) year that all four boys will be in the same school together. Next year Taylor will head to middle school. Am I old enough for that? Wait. Don't answer that ...
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
I've been struggling with Halloween costume ideas for Spenser. I suggested a bride or Little Red Riding Hood. She requested a princess. Bride? Princess? Almost the same thing in my sewing opinion.
So Sunday night was the night I thought I would start working on this (I needed something to divert my attention from the strange sounds). I didn't have a princess dress pattern. And I hadn't bought any special fabric, but I had some white satin and pink lace in my stash. I decided to use the basics of a pattern for an angel costume that I had made two years ago for her and modify it.
I cut the fabric, sewed it together and left a few edges (sleeves and hem) untouched so I could fit it to her the next day.
When she woke up, I told her I had been working on it. She was so excited. Until she saw it. I guess it's not what she had in mind. And I suppose when you're almost three, you don't see the "big picture" and raggedy edges are a big turn-off. I nearly forced her to try it on so I could see what changes it would need. I had to pin sleeves and shorten the bodice. She wasn't happy to see it and couldn't wait to take it off.
Monday, October 22, 2007
I saw Joe briefly this weekend. He came home Friday and left again Sunday morning. In between soccer games, I think we got to say "hi" to each other in passing.
Last week, while he was away, I stayed up late one night and sewed this little outfit for Sawyer. I would have kept sewing except I kept hearing noises. Spooky noises.
Our house is 130+ years old. I wouldn't say it's haunted, but I wouldn't say it's not either. I hear strange noises and strange, unexplained things have happened in this house. (Should I dare mention that Joe's great-uncle, Claud, died in our house? In my bedroom. Christmas Day. Before we owned it.)
Anyway, while sewing late one night last week, I heard a noise that sounded like one of the bedroom doors opening. I paused. And listened. I didn't hear anyone. So I went upstairs to investigate. Everyone was still sleeping. I blamed it on my "squeaking" chair and kept sewing.
Shortly thereafter, I heard a car door outside. I'm always terrified that someone will see our dining room light on (while I'm sewing late at night) and come to the front door. I snuck over to our formal living room and peeked through the wooden shutters. I did not see anyone, and believe me, I scanned the street.
Feeling a little spooked, I decided I would go to bed as soon as I was finished this outfit and not sew anymore that night.
So, last night, I decided to sew again. It was late. The kids were asleep. I tried to make myself believe that last week was a fluke. So, I'm happily sewing along last night (trying to make Spenser's Halloween costume) and I hear a car door shut outside. Again. I snuck over to the formal living room and saw no signs of life. Again. No one.
I think I'm about done with sewing at night. It's not good for my nerves.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Some weeks while Joe is away, everything is fine. Other weeks are ones I wish to never repeat. And then there are weeks like this one: a mixture of both.
Wednesday was one of those days. The days when I was being thrown curve balls every which way I turned.
Spenser and Sawyer have not been sleeping well. Usually they both sleep all night long. This week, they are not. When I woke up in the middle of the night, my back hurt so bad I thought I was going to be stuck in bed all day. It eventually felt better, but it was a rough start. Spenser also started with a croupy cough in the middle of the night. I eventually dragged her into bed with me (the best I could with my sore back). Spenser and the big clunky pink cast, which is not a fun bed partner.
Because of my back pain, I wasn't moving quick enough to get a shower before the boys left for school. That always throws my schedule out of whack. However, I did get a load of laundry in the wash and dinner in the crock pot. After my shower, my back was feeling better. A friend called and needed my sewing advice on a costume for a church talent show on Friday. She wanted to stop in. That was fine. But I also had a special lunch date at school with my Taylor and Carter (for National School Lunch Week). She left in time for me to straighten my hair, put on a skirt and some nice shoes and head out the door, leaving my two little ones with my MIL.
As I'm skipping merrily, and child-free, out the front door, I notice a stalled truck on my street. Our street is very narrow and I live on a dead end. The truck was blocking the only exit. No matter how hard he tried, the driver could not get the truck started. I hopped out of my car to offer assistance. We pushed the large work truck down the street (remember in a skirt and heels!) so my car could fit through. I so wish I had a photo of that. Hey, I was desperate!
That evening, as we sat down for dinner, Spenser began to throw up all over the place. For about three consecutive minutes. The boys ran out of the kitchen faster than the speed of light. I wanted to join them, but being the only adult in the house, I was forced to stay. As I went to throw Spenser's clothes in the washing machine, I found the load from earlier that day that I had forgotten about.
So, yes, thank you Dove chocolates for justifying to me that I earned it, because I did. Of course long after the visions and smell of barf left my head.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Yesterday I found her trying to put on some leggings. She got them up her good leg and then asked for help pulling them over her cast. Poor girl. I had to explain they don't fit right now and she obediently put on a skirt. Since she can't wear tights with her giant pink leg, I decided she needed some pants. Even if just a few.
I introduce to you the "cast pants."
One leg is completely normal. The other side is shorter (knee area) and
it has Velcro on the side for easy on and easy off action. The top is cinched together with a tie.
Amazingly enough, the night she actually broke her leg, I "saw" her in a big pink cast. That night, as I tried to sleep, I came up with this design in my head. When they told me it wasn't broken the next day, I figured it wasn't meant to be. When they determined it was broken two days later, I knew exactly what I would make ... weather cooperating. At the doctor's office, they asked if she wanted dinosaurs or teddy bears on her leg. She shook her head. They asked if she liked pink and she nodded. I had no input on the decision, but I have to say, it is exactly how I envisioned it.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
On Saturday morning I sewed the outfit on the left. The pants are dark denim with some Japanese fabric pockets. They seem very comfy for being denim. Sunday night (after the children were in bed, Joe left for New York City Sunday afternoon and I can't sleep at night again) I sewed the outfit on the left. The pants are a pale tan corduroy with Japanese fabric appliques.
With each outfit that I make, I think I love each one more and more.
But then it hit me, I just love that baby more and more. It doesn't matter what he wears.
(I hope you aren't sick of his outfits yet ... Last night after the kids were in bed, I cut out five more pairs of pants for Sawyer. That will make nine. I think I can stop after that. And, yes, baby is laying on the yucky cafeteria floor of the middle school where the boys take karate on Tuesday nights. The last babies seem to get away with so much more than first babies.)
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Karyn sent this wonderful package. One of her button pendants (in a cute tin), a mini card wallet, some of her awesome Gocco note cards (with great blue envelopes), some Japanese Thumbelina fabric and
a necklace (from her sister's etsy shop). Thank you, Karyn. I really love it all. In fact, I took off the necklace I was wearing yesterday and wore the red one for the rest of the day. I'm not brave enough to cut into the fabric yet, but maybe soon.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Beki had sent me one of her beautiful handmade bags for my birthday. It's big and roomy (gotta love that) and perfectly sewn. I love the fabric. Joe even loves the fabric. And there's a hint of rickrack peeking through. Such fine details.
And if that weren't enough, she also sent:
Thank you, Beki. I love it all!
On Friday afternoon, Carter had his cardiology followup. He has a bicuspid aortic valve and a moderately enlarged aorta. Currently he doesn't need any treatment for his condition, he is just monitored every few years. He used to have to take an antibiotic before dental work, but they've eliminated that.
We are very fortunate that his pediatric cardiologist is a Hopkins doctor who comes to our part of Maryland one Friday a month. We are getting exceptional care at a local office.
During the appointment, the doctor informed me that Carter's condition is usually genetic. He thinks the entire family should be tested at Hopkins, including me and Joe, but it's elective (meaning insurance doesn't have to pay). He said a colleague is doing a study and that we might be candidates. Mason has already been checked, but he needs to be checked again in February, as his body is growing and it is difficult to diagnose until around age five. I worry that I might have grown defective babies.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Our garden was a flop this year. The severe lack of rain killed almost every plant we had. Carter and Jackson have been checking the garden for the past few weeks. They've picked some cherry tomatoes, jalapenos, banana peppers, and this little guy. It's an eggplant. The boys thought it was supposed to be the size of an egg, so they picked it. It's barely larger than a chestnut and it quite resembles one.
A zippered pouch. I sewed this the other night. I am still using my old manual sewing machine (don't ask about my replacement sewing machine). It's awful. I really don't know how I ever learned to sew on that thing. Having to figure out tension (over and over and over and over again) and rethreading the needle and bobbin about every 3 minutes can make a girl nuts. Seriously. As I was sewing the last few stitches, it occurred to me that the zipper might open backwards. And it does. It opens from right to left. Not left to right. (Is there a difference? How do you install zippers?) After all the machine struggles, it's not right. I wasn't very happy.
We have decided as a family to serve our neighbors more. I want our children to learn to serve others and I think I've found the perfect solution for our family. Every week we are going to take a meal-size portion of dinner to one of our widowed neighbors. We have three. Two men who lost their wives and a lady who lost her husband. I think we're going to also do this for Aunt Lettie and my grandmother. It has made us sad to think that our elderly friends and family aren't getting a decent, nutritious meal as often as they should. In the past, we've made food for the two men, but we've decided to try it weekly and include a few others.
One (generous) portion of a meal is not harder to prepare. Nor does it take any more effort than packing it up and delivering it. My kids are very thrilled about. We are calling it Operation Service.
This past Wednesday was our first try. Roasted chicken, glazed carrots, buttered noodles and cheesecake. The only thing that didn't go as planned is that the chickens took longer to bake than I would have liked and my digital meat thermometer decided to die (not good when you're cooking poultry). I realize that most older people like to eat dinner early, so we need to correct that for next week. It didn't go exactly as I had hoped, but at least we did it. (And, Ruth, our first recipient said she would save it for the following night.)
So, while some things don't go as planned, there's always next time and always room for improvement.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
A funny 1970 maternity pattern. I didn't realize it was maternity at the time. And I wouldn't wear them even if they weren't maternity. I just couldn't leave it there by itself unappreciated.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Has it been a year already? Can I really be 38? Man, time flies when you get old!
For my birthday, I decided to make another list of things you might not know about me. I hope I don't bore you too much.
1. It snowed on my 10th birthday.
2. School let out early that day.
3. I got a sewing box for my birthday (for cross stitching).
4. I am related to Amelia Earhart (father’s side).
5. I am related to Princess Diana (mother’s side). Seriously. Can’t you see the resemblance? Not serious.
6. If someone would have told me 25 years ago I was going to marry Joe, I would have laughed hysterically.
7. I don’t like it when things stick to my feet.
8. I love to glide across my clean kitchen floor.
9. People say I laugh like my mother.
10. When I was younger, I might have been insulted.
11. Now that I’m a mother, I think it is a compliment.
12. People have said the same thing about the way I talk.
13. The other night Joe said I looked like my mother.
14. I don’t see a resemblance.
15. My family sometimes calls me “Laurie.”
16. I don’t like to be called that.
17. If you call me by that name, I probably won’t respond.
18. I’m the only one in my family (Joe and the kids) born in an odd year.
19. I guess I’m an oddball.
20. I hate to inconvenience people.
21. If someone offers me help, I usually decline because of it.
22. Sometimes I wish I could change that about myself.
23. I weigh less than my driver’s license states.
24. And my military ID card.
25. I think I am about 5’ 9” tall.
26. I used to hate being tall.
27. I used to tell people I was 5’ 8 ¾”.
28. Now I tell people I am 5’ 9”.
29. I wear size 9 shoe.
30. My feet did not get any bigger with pregnancy.
31. Thank goodness.
32. I like to wear lip balm or something on my lips all the time.
33. Even if it’s clear.
34. Right now I love Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in Radiance.
35. It’s clear and makes my lips tingle.
36. I like it a lot.
37. I don’t like dry skin on my hands.
38. I wash my hands a lot.
39. Please do not use my bath towels if you visit my house.
40. I’m very picky about them.
41. If you use my toothbrush, you will be asked to leave immediately.
42. Enough said.
43. Joe used one of my bath towels on Saturday.
44. I don’t think he will make that mistake again.
45. I hate to dust.
46. It’s a perpetual job with little benefits.
47. I love the smell of clean laundry.
48. I wish I could knit.
49. I tried the day before Sawyer was born.
50. I haven’t had much time since to really figure it out.
51. Joe told me I was old the other day.
52. He shouldn’t talk.
53. He is 364 days older than me.
54. I have long arms and legs.
55. My grandfather used to joke that I needed to carry a brick in my pocket so I wouldn’t blow away.
56. I’ve almost blown away.
57. I hate to speak in public.
58. I used to get red and blotchy on my neck.
59. I don’t know if that still happens.
60. I do know that I usually speak so fast no one can understand me.
61. I avoid it whenever I can.
62. I learned to sew a straight line at church.
63. My best friend, Kathie, also taught me to sew.
64. She taught me how to sew from patterns.
65. Our first project was a maternity outfit (1996).
66. I have known Kathie for about 33 years.
67. I’ve known her longer than I’ve known some of my younger siblings.
68. Many years ago, Kathie and I got into a fist fight in church (we were 11-ish).
69. Neither of us remember why.
70. Our friend’s grandmother broke it up.
71. We both remember that.
72. When I was a child, I tried to eat a cheese cracker with gum in my mouth.
73. The gum turned to mush.
74. The gum fell out of my mouth onto my chin and stuck.
75. I could not get the gum off my chin.
76. We were in the middle of a huge regional church meeting at the time.
77. I asked my mother for a tissue.
78. I tried to remove the gum with a tissue.
79. The tissue stuck to my face.
80. I looked like Santa Claus.
81. My mother made my older sister take me to the bathroom to clean up.
82. I was so embarrassed.
83. I will never, ever forget that.
84. My kids like that story.
85. When I was younger I was sitting on the kitchen trashcan rocking back and forth.
86. My mother told me to stop.
87. I didn’t.
88. The trashcan slid out from under me and I threw my hands up in the air to grab something.
89. I grabbed a pan of boiling water it poured all over me.
90. I was burned pretty badly.
91. I still have a scar.
92. My kids hate that story.
93. My knees get dislocated easily.
94. I don’t know why.
95. I’ve read three books for pleasure since my last birthday.
96. We have a sit-down dinner almost every night.
97. I hate humidity.
98. My bones creak and crack.
99. I’m getting old.
100. I am one lucky gal.
and 101. Any minute now I am expecting my friend, Kim, to call me laughing hysterically.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
With Spenser's broken leg, she really has to wear skirts or dresses. She has a few casual skirts (without built-in panties) and dresses, but she seems to go through her stash pretty quickly. And, really, what girl doesn't need more skirts? I'm not going to deny her that.
The inspiration of these skirts came from the same book as yesterday's dress. The first one is in Strawberry Shortcake fabric. This girl loves "Shortcake," as she calls her.
Monday, October 08, 2007
Spenser's whole disposition changed when Joe walked in the door. (She hammed it up for her daddy.) She decided it was high time to start walking. And climbing. And everything else that has slowed her down since Monday night. She's scaled the baby gates numerous times. We caught her climbing the steps trying to play with her brothers. I'm very happy for her, but I think lugging her cast around has made her completely exhausted. She fell asleep at 6:30 last night and only woke up when we took her to the bathroom and put her in bed. I'm so worried she's going to hurt herself again.
I did get a little sewing time in on Saturday, between soccer games. I sewed this little dress from linen, hence why it is so darn wrinkly.
This is the inspiration piece:
From this book. It's the first time I've tried to sew a Japanese "pattern." I forgot to add seam allowances, but it's okay because it's still a little big on her. And the neckline is a little gaping. And maybe it wouldn't be if I had added seam allowances.
There is a cute blanket-picot stitch along the neckline and sleeves. It took me awhile to figure it out, as I could only follow the diagram. I think I did it correctly.
(And P.S.: Joe likes the hair.)
Friday, October 05, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
I said, "I gotta go. Kristina's here." I could hear the hesitation in his voice.
You see, Kristina is my hair stylist. The best one I've ever had. So why is Joe nervous? Joe is fearful because he likes long hair on me. I like short or medium-length hair on me. Unfortunately for Joe, he doesn't have much say in it.
This is just to reassure him that I kept 3/4 of my hair on my head.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Although Spenser's leg still hurts and she won't put any weight on it, her spirits are lifting. She took one step last night and cried. She has not taken another one since. The doctor told me to encourage her to walk. And I do. I'm just not successful.
She sits on her throne (the sofa) all day. Surrounded by comfy pillows and blankets. She eats her meals at her throne. She watches TV and plays Pixter and reads books. Why would she want to leave? (Other than the fact that she is normally a very active two-almost-three-year-old girl.)
Her appointment with the orthopedic is Thursday at 2:15 p.m. Maybe we'll find out what's going on.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Feeling the need for some "sewing therapy," I finished Sawyer's corduroy pants I started before my sewing machine died. Even though I used my old, noisy, basic machine, it was the perfect time alone that I needed.
I used My Folklore by Lecien for the appliques on the shirt and little patches around the knee area. I'm hoping they don't look too girly with the flowers.
Monday, October 01, 2007
… you are awakened in the middle of the night by a little girl (who peed her bed) as she’s crawling in bed with you. Still wet.
… you wake up to day nine of your menstrual cycle. Although I shouldn't complain, it’s the first one in nearly two years. And it’s gotta end soon. Right?
… you try to jump in the shower real quick only to realize there’s low water pressure and no hot water.
… after your shower you realize the downstairs bathroom toilet has been running continually since the last person flushed. After several attempts (and some bad words), you finally get the seal sealed properly.
… as you run into the bathroom, to fix the toilet, you find your son crying holding his bloody wrist. You clean the wound and dress it.
… and then your older sons show you this:
And it's only 8:00 a.m.
(And Joe also left in the middle of the night to catch an early-morning flight for work. He's gone all week.)
I was going to run errands today. Now I think I'm staying home.