Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day

Joe and the boys slept outside in the tent last night. Spenser and I slept inside. While I was hoping for "all the comforts of home," I am quite a scaredy-cat when I'm "alone." I hear all kinds of noises. Last night, I think I had the worst night sleep ever! There was something in the wall (mouse? bird?) making noises all night long! It started before I fell asleep and went all night. I considering going out to the tent, but I didn't think this pregnant body could sleep on that hard ground. (Joe went in the attic this afternoon and found 3 birds flying around. They are out for now. I hope they don't return.)
What would be Memorial Day without a parade? We went to enjoy the annual parade in my hometown (just 15 minutes away). This is "most" of my family (with the exception of the two men on the far left). This is my mother's side of the family ... or some of it.
And a parade without fire engines? No, it couldn't be! And, yes, that would be my brother, Andy riding in the volunteer engine.

I have to add that I am thankful for my grandfathers who fought in the war. For my father-in-law who served in Vietnam. For my cousin, Joe, who served one tour in Iraq and, I think, serving a second one now. For my husband, Joe, who is safely on American soil. And for all the service men and women who have served to give me and my family the freedoms we enjoy.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Family Visits and Some Good Bargains

My cousin and her family are down from Vermont for the weekend, so we went to my aunt's house to visit. Taylor got in the pool wearing his shorts. Carter woke up with an earache, so we wouldn't let him in the pool. Jack and Mason are too small to get in without an adult (and none of us took swimsuits). The three little boys were disappointed, but the water was kind of cool ... low 70's.

Taylor bobbing in the cold water (with cousin, Ian, in the background).

Taylor and cousin, Alejandro, trying to get warm in the sun.

Jo-Ann's is having a big Memorial Day sale, so I stopped by last night when I took Carter to a birthday party. I bought these fabrics from their "vintage" collection. They were on clearance and then were an additional 40% off, and then an extra 10% off because I had a special weekend coupon. I think they wound up being like $1.50 a yard. I only bought 1 yard of most. 1 1/2 yards for two of them and 2 yards of one. So I got these:

And these: (and 3 yards of a fuschia Asian fabric so I can make a Mandarin dress after I have the baby. It was $3 a yard, minus the extra 10%.)

With more time to kill before Carter's party was over, I stopped in Office Depot. I had a $30 "rewards" gift card from purchases in the store (from when we bought our new camera in December). I had a rubber stamp made with "handmade by lera" on it and bought some labels. It was inexpensive and they made it in the store while I only had to wait minutes. I still have $6+ left on my card ...

So I made sure to put a label on the bag I donated to church.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

What's That Saying?

"When the cat's away, the mice will play" ??

How about "when the boys are away, the girls will sew" ?

Yes, another maternity skirt. This is a new pattern. One I picked up yesterday at Walmart for under $3. The fabric is from a thrifted sheet (from Wednesday).
All three bags are from babybug's tutorial. Excellent tutorial, I must say. The small pink bag was my first attempt. Thrifted sheet and pillowcase were used.

Again, thrifted pillowcase was used on the exterior and sheet for the interior. This bag is larger than the pink one.

This little blue bag is made from a thrifted sheet and "new" blue with white polka dot lining. This is a donation for a youth "auction" at church. The youth have been earning points at church and are holding an auction on Tuesday. I am donating this with hopes that someone will like it. I will be really bummed if I find out that no one "bid" on it ...
Update: I forgot to mention that I painted Spenser's toenails for the first time on Saturday. She wanted me to, after watching me paint mine. They are so adorable! Such tiny toenails!

Boys Go Camping

Joe took the boys camping last night (Friday). It was our church's annual "Father and Son Outing." They went fishing and played flashlight tag and went to sleep at midnight. I think they had a blast! (And it only rained a little bit.)

Friday, May 26, 2006


Here's my little guy with his legs above his head. I wasn't able to see much of him because the monitor was turned away from me (and there is only one in the room). He was a cutie. He waved a couple of times and snuggled his head and neck around like newborns do. It was very cute to see it in utero.
Well, unfortunately, I learned nothing today. They won't tell you anything at that dumb radiology place. I guess the first time they did because I was having a problem and the radiologist came in to talk to me.
At Hopkins last month, they talked to me the entire time during the sonogram and the radiologist came in to speak to me.
So today, the girl says, "Okay, we'll have the report to your doctor in 2-3 business days, " which translate to at least Thursday with the holiday. At Johns Hopkins, they faxed the report to my doctor the very same day. Such a difference in care. I much prefer Hopkins (and my insurance covers them).
Joe couldn't tell anything from the sonogram. Although the one view I had of the baby, he was snuggling into my placenta, and she was scanning low on the outside of my abdomen. I guess we'll just have to wait for the "official report."

Rushed a Little Bit

Today is my sonogram appointment. I'm a little rushed right now because Jack had preschool this morning. I have to leave in a little bit, but I will try to post after my appointment.

I have to go drink a ton of water now ...

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A New Little Tote

I couldn't resist the clean, thrifted pillowcases and had to dive in last night. I cut out the fabric and interfacing in the afternoon, and prepped everything (ironed on interfacing and pinned everything together) and then it sat. After sitting for an hour or two, I could stand it no more. I finished my dinner and slipped into the dining room while the children finished their dinners in the kitchen (they are slow eaters) to sew it together. I think we finished around the same time ...

Corners of My Home

These are pictures of our front door. Our house is 130+ years old and this is the original wooden door. The door has an old "doorbell" (which, sadly, doesn't work) and cool blue-glass windows above it. (It needs to be washed and re-painted ... we live in a dusty, little, historic town.) Here is a view from the outside:

And a view from the inside:

The back of the door was actually faux-finished. We thought it was stained until further inspection.

A closeup of the cool blue-glass windows above the door. From the inside looking out.

And a closeup of the old "doorbell." Joe has taken it apart and studied it. We have been trying to figure out exactly how it was supposed to work, as there are missing pieces.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Thrifty Finds

Pillowcases from the thrift shop. Lots of oranges and yellows. The one on the top row at the right is a sheet. It has some lily of the valleys on it, which I love! Can't grow them, but love to look at them!

More pillowcases. More oranges and yellows.

The funky one on the right is so bright and colorful. It cracks me up.

All are washed and ready to go!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Play Day

Today was "Play Day" at the boys' school. We enjoyed the chilly morning watching them run races and relays.

This is my friend, Nikki, with Jack and Mason. We sat on the hill to watch our boys play "tug of war."

Taylor is the third from the end in the red sweatshirt and camo shorts. His class won.

This is Carter running the 400-meter race. He won 2nd place ... I think.

Taylor crossing the finish line of the 800-meter race. He won 1st place! (Although he only had one opponent.) It was a tight finish. My father and youngest brother, Pete, were track stars in high school. I guess he inherited those genes.

Mason and Jack rolling down the grassy hill before we left.

And, of course, Spenser. She just finished enjoying a blue sno-ball, hence her blue lips.

Monday, May 22, 2006

zebra bag

I made this bag today. It is made from leftover fabric from my zebra coat. The lining is hot pink and black polka dots (matching the button I covered on the front). My sewing machine was laboring at the end.

Chalkboard fun

The younger children have enjoyed playing with the chalkboad on our deck. The chalk lasted about 2 seconds before being broken into bits.
Spenser was loving it and actually "posed" for both of these pictures. They are so funny, that I couldn't decide between the two!
I went to my OB appointment today. I gained 7 pounds in the past 4 weeks. I am disgusted! Really! I eat healthy foods. I guess my activity isn't what it has been, partly due to my bedrest and "taking it easy" now. I have gained 20 pounds so far and I will be 23 weeks tomorrow. I just gain wait too easily when I'm pregnant. I usually have only gained about 11 pounds by this point! Although I never have any problem losing the weight, I think it's a vanity thing. You should see my thighs! Okay ... maybe you shouldn't.
Oh, and my next sonogram is Friday (5/26) to check on my placenta previa. My doctor said he will "definitely want to talk" to me after my next sonogram ... that sounds a little scary and intimidating.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


My children. After church.
From left to right: Taylor (holding Spenser), Mason, Carter, and Jackson.

Mason and Jack in their matching suits. (I think Joe's mom bought them for Taylor & Carter years ago.)

Mason wearing his "I'm thankful for my ears" hat. I guess he learned about ears in Primary today.

Spenser and I in our matching green/white polka dots and pearl bracelets. If I had to pick someone to match, it would definitely be my only girl, whose legs are naturally tanner than mine.

Okay, this is the skirt I made yesterday. It was non-maternity (like the last one), but instead of the "panel" in the front, I sewed a stretchy knit band around the top. It is a little snug where the top of the skirt meets the knit band, and a little snug in the hip/thigh area, but loose in the stretchy band area. I'm hoping that I will be able to remove the stretchy band after the baby (or after I outgrow it very shortly), turn the top down, and sew some casing for elastic.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


Poor Spenser was supposed to be taking a nap yesterday. Mason dumped all the books, stuffed animals, and (baby) toys from her room into her crib. She had no room to lie down! She was not happy ... neither was I!

I decided to wash my fabric stash yesterday. I have been accumulating this for a few months.

Now it's ready and waiting for me! The fabric on the far end is Amy Butler (which I bought on sale in January/February). The rest is mostly $1-2 a yard stuff that I've picked up, with a few exceptions (the polka dot and some Tracy Porter fabric).

I sewed a couple of things today. I finished my poppy-sheet tote (I ran out of lining). I sewed another bag (for a gift, which totals 4 bags this week with 3 of them gifts). And I attempted another maternity skirt. Notice I attempted it. I'll leave it at that for now. (It's not exactly fitting me. Well, it fits me now, but not for much longer.) Sigh.

Today's bag. Amy Butler's In Town pattern, without the beaded fringe.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Happy Birthday, Kathie!

Happy birthday, to my best friend, Kathie! Kathie and I have been friends for over 30 years! YIKES! We were very young ... especially me! I just mailed the following tote to her:

This was made from the thrifted poppy flower sheet I bought on Wednesday. It is lined with white and black polka dots. Kathie is a teacher turned librarian. After completing more schooling (in a few days), she will become an elementary school librarian. Every librarian needs a tote ... Right?!?

Target has their children's sandals on sale this week, so I had to go summer-sandal shopping for the boys. The sale saved me over $12.

Joe (who is still in New Jersey in his very giant, 3-TV presidential suite) had to go to a retirement dinner on Wednesday night. He brought back this yummy cheesecake. Have I mentioned how much I love cheesecake?!?

And a little update on my brother, Andy's, first day of career firefighting. He worked a 24-hour shift on Thursday and went on like 10 ambulance calls. He was able to sleep all night without any calls (unlike the firefighters, who had one call that night). The best part about Andy's job (which I just found out today) is that he only has to work nine (9) days a month!!! Yes! Nine days a month with a 24-hour shift each day! Is that incredible or what?!?! He's considering getting a part-time job to keep him busy, although I think he has spent all of his free time at the local, volunteer station. (He wasn't able to fight fires with them while in the academy because if he were injured, he may have to postpone his graduation.) I guess we'll be seeing a lot of Andy now!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Corners of My Home

I almost forgot:

Another peek into our downstairs bathroom. We use this dresser for storage. Towels, washcloths, extra bathmats, etc.

A Few Thrifty Finds

Yesterday I stopped at the thrift store and found these pillowcases:

And these sheets:

Everything is washed and ready to go!
On Saturday I sewed Spenser another pair of capris. They are a little snug around the diaper area. (I was also disappointed on the "sheerness" of the pink gingham!) I will try it again!

And I made a bag as a belated birthday present for Brinda. I used Amy Butler's In Town pattern. I'm really starting to get the hang of it! Even though I really, really, really hate sewing that beaded fringe!

Joe just left for Atlantic City for a few days. They are having some Army training conference there. He has to teach. He'll be back some time on Saturday (after their classes on Saturday morning). The thing with the Army and their conferences is that they really get no free time ... at all!!! Joe has been to Orlando twice (and other interesting places) and never saw anything. They keep them in classes until 8, 9, 10 p.m. (without dinner) and make them be up for breakfast at like 6:30 a.m. He wanted us to go with him (as he has one of the "presidential suites"), but I can't imagine being in a hotel room with 5 kids, with Joe in classes all day and night ... not fun for me (or the kids).

Spenser is sick and just wants to be held. She is crying a lot today (thus the reason for the expression on her face in the above picture). I should have showered before Joe left ...