Monday, February 28, 2011

One Little Change

This is truly a little change.  One of many I plan to make.

I'm not crazy about where we live.  We rent, so there aren't an awful lot of changes I can make to improve the things that bother me.  We don't have carpet, so there is nothing to dampen noises and there are times that my kids running around playing makes me crazy.  Yes, I can buy rugs, but sometimes laminate flooring is a godsend, even if it's in constant need of sweeping and mopping.  A rug or two might be coming soon, but I also need a vacuum cleaner when I get them. 

I started the year with the intention of trying to fix some of the things I can fix to make it so I enjoy living here better.  I haven't made a lot of progress, but I still have big ideas.  I've never been really into interior decorating, but I really believe that if this place is pretty, I will be happier.  If I could keep it clean, I'd just be in a constant state of ecstasy, I'm sure, but with three kids I don't see that happening.

My least favorite room, by far, is the kitchen.  It has wood paneling, which makes the room so much darker and I can't stand a dark room.  We have no dishwasher (aside from myself...).  We have very little usable counter space.  It just is dreary and blah.

Over the weekend, my sister and I went fabric shopping and I bought a yard of some really pretty green sheer fabric that I had absolutely no idea what to do with.  I don't usually buy fabric without a purpose, because I don't have a lot of storage space for my crafty stuff.  But I just loved the color, the price was right, and knew I'd come up with something.  When I got home and pulled it out of the bag, I looked up and saw the kitchen window and knew exactly what to do with it.

I didn't even take a before picture of the window.  The curtains that were up were a frumpy, country blue, lace mess.  They were up when we moved and the curtains I had up at our old house were way too long and I wasn't really into sewing at the time, so I left the ugly things up and never really thought about it.  Plus, all kinds of junk gets put up there.  Needless to say, when I have to wash the dishes, I have to stand in front of one of the ugliest spaces in the house.

Not anymore though...

New curtains

Yes, I do realize that they aren't straight.  It was one of those "I have to do this NOW" things and Isabelle won't sleep, so I was slightly  distracted in the process.  I imagine at some point I will rehem them, but it doesn't bother me right now.

The jars of marbles on the left are the girls' behavior marbles.  As you can see, we're not off to a stellar start this week, but hopefully it will get better.

New curtains

The roses are very special... they were from our wedding.  I think they look awesome next to the curtains.

You have no idea how happy the window makes me.  It lifts my spirits when it look at it.  It should make washing dishes more tolerable.  Hopefully some of the other little changes around the house that I have plans for make me just as happy.

M-m-m-my Ramona

Remember me telling you about the month-long series at no big dill celebrating story book-themed crafting?

Well, I had this idea, you see...

I love Ramona.  I think that book series is timeless and just awesome.  I read all of them to my kids.  All three of them have a streak of Ramona in them, especially Isabelle, who looks eerily like this photo of Ramona:

I wanted to make something with Ramona on it and had the idea of freezer paper stenciling her on a shirt.  Then I thought that they would be more likely to wear a dress.  So I decided to stencil it on a shirt and just add some material to the bottom to make it a dress.  But that didn't really satisfy me.  I went ahead and found two solid color tshirts on clearance, a pink and a purple.  The purple one fit, the pink one was too big, but I was just going to cut it up, so that didn't matter.  As the idea stewed in my brain, I remembered a black and gray striped shirt I bought ages ago with the plan of turning it into a dress.  The color scheme didn't really sit well with me at first, but as I kept passing the three shirts together, it grew on me.  I thought about making the striped shirt the main part of the dress and making possibly ruffles out of the solids.  Eventually I decided on just making strips out of all the shirts and piecing them together.  I've seen several tutorials on it, but I didn't use any of them... it's pretty easy to figure it out.  (By the way, you can find tutorials for just about everything I've done to this dress.... if you are interested and need help finding them, let me know)

I stenciled Ramona's silhouette onto a white tshirt I got from the gym that I had no intention of ever wearing.  I mean, I pay them to go there, I don't really care to advertise for them for free.  Then I cut the long sleeves on the purple shirt into short sleeves and put a lettuce edge on it.  I cut the purple shirt just under the sleeves and then cut different width strips out of all the shirts and sewed them together.  I liked having exposed seams.  I was looking for something a little wild and messy looking.  We are talking a Ramona-inspired creation, after all.  I cut it into a slight A-line  and didn't hem it (tshirt material doesn't fray... it will curl up a little, but that's fine).  Then I put some interfacing on Ramona and appliqued her onto the shirt.

Isabelle refused to wear the dress.  But Olivia loves it.  Excuse the not-so-great photos...
I have to seize the opportunity to take photos when they occur

If I had my real camera she wouldn't have posed...

It was all pretty easy.  It would have been easier if I didn't suck so bad at sewing knits, but I am getting better.  I tried using my walking foot, but I'm not sure what happened... I broke two needles because they kept hitting the foot, even after adjusting it and tightening it back up.  So I went back to the regular foot.  My bobbin started giving me fits then, even when I adjusted the tension.  And I couldn't find my ballpoint needles, so I just used a regular needle. I pressed on and finished with minimal swearing.

I love it.  Love, love, love it.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Marshall Dry Goods

My younger sister is a quilter.  She's made 4 quilts for my kids... a baby quilt for each of them and Olivia has a twin sized quilt.  They are all awesome.  I need to get some pictures of them.  She decided it was time to make Isabelle a twin sized quilt for her birthday in April.  She's found a pattern and needed to go buy fabric for it and remembered a place she had been to before called Marshall Dry Goods.  It's in Batesville, which is about an hour and a half from where we live.  She asked me if I wanted to go with her, so I jumped on it. 

The morning started out kind of rough... my husband was on call and actually got called out about 2am.  He doesn't normally get called out when he's on call, but - of course - since I had plans it had to happen.  He didn't get home until 7:30am.  We had planned to leave by 7am (I had to be home about 1pm and there was 3 hours worth of driving to do), so we got a late start, but it was fine.  We had plenty of time to browse and not feel rushed.

I learned several things over the few hours we were away from home.  The first is that I'm a terrible navigator.  Seriously.  She has GPS on her phone with turn-by-turn directions and I was keeping up with it.  But there were at least three times I said "Oops!  You were supposed to turn there!"  And I'm really bad with left/right directions... always have been.  I didn't realize she was too.  So I'm sitting there getting it all straight in my head to tell her to turn left or right and she's trying to go the other way.  It's probably a miracle we made it.  But we did.  Needless to say she turned on the voice directions for our drive back, which was actually pretty funny when we stopped for lunch and sat down to eat and the GPS started telling my sister directions from her back pocket!

Batesville is not exactly a bustling metropolis.  And the store is just tucked away in an old building.  It's not fancy by any stretch of the imagination. I think I heard someone say that they have been open 60 years.  And I think I found some fabric that has been there about that long.  I was a little worried when I started browsing.  I'm picky about fabric.  It doesn't have to be designer, in fact I think plenty of designer fabric is just plain obnoxious and ugly.  When I was looking at some of this stuff, it reminded me of when I was a kid and you could tell who had homemade clothes because of the cheesy prints.  It reminded me of all the things I dislike about homemade stuff - the hokey, cheesiness you can sometimes get.  Don't get me wrong, I obviously love handmade things, as long as they don't look homemade.    Does that make me a craft snob?  So be it.

I found a few things I liked and just kept wandering.  Then I discovered these bins with fabric that wasn't on bolts, just folded.  I was worried at first that you'd have to buy the whole bundle of fabric and it was like 6 or 7 yards.  But that wasn't the case.  I started digging through those bins and it was just awesome.  I probably could have bought at least twice what I did buy, but I figured we might want to buy groceries or put gas in the vehicles this week.

Marshall Dry Goods
It's not as big as, say, a Walmart shopping cart, but still....

My sister's shopping cart was stuffed, even more than mine.  Izzy requested a rainbow quilt, so she had to get an insane variety of colors in different shades... I don't know that I could coordinate that much fabric.  I was trying to coordinate 3 fabrics for a pinafore and was struggling.  

I learned that I am definitely drawn to a particular color:

Marshall Dry Goods
These were the first 4 fabrics I picked.  

I had to force myself to concentrate on pink.  All three girls wanted pink or red.  I'm not a fan of red and I was thinking along the lines of Easter dresses and red is just not an Easter color to me.  So I went towards pink.  I changed my mind about their Easter outfits and have decided against pinafores.  I'm still making one, because I did buy the pattern.  And of course, it's mostly pale green.  I just can't help it.  But their Easter outfits will be pink and/or purple.

I learned that if you visit a fabric store in the country, you will find this:

Marshall Dry Goods
Camo... and I couldn't even fit the whole table in the picture.

Not only did they have an enormous section of camo fabric... but I overheard the ladies at the cutting tables discussing how they just got in some camo fabric for a wedding dress.  Silky, sheeny, fancy camouflage.  Different strokes, I guess...  

I walked out of there with 18 yards of fabric.  Yes, EIGHTEEN.  How insane is that?  And what is more insane.... I only paid $60.  Yes, that's way less than an average of $4 a yard.  I paid $2 a yard for a few of my fabrics.  You can't beat that with a stick.  I actually do have plans for a lot of it, but there is some that I bought just because I liked it.  And at those prices, I'm OK with that. 

I know that so far I have Easter outfits, a pinafore, curtains, and a purse planned for sure.  I can't wait to scheme up some more ideas.  =)  I had a wonderful time with my sister and a much, much needed break from my crazies.  I spent the afternoon with them and we even went out for frozen yogurt.  Wonderful day, all around.


Thursday, February 24, 2011


It's not a typo.

I do not like potlucks.  So, to me, they are potyucks.  I'm not an adventurous eater.  Growing up, nobody could cook as well as my Mom or Grandma Davis, so it's just kind of ingrained in me that I won't really like what you cook for me.  It's not usually true... I've found plenty of dishes that other people prepare that I enjoy... but I have to get over that "I don't really want this" feeling first.  I'm weird, I know.

Why do I participate?  Because there are plenty of people at work that don't like me as it is (hard to believe, I know LOL) and not participating makes me look even more antisocial and stuck up.  I'll admit to being antisocial, but as for stuck up.... well, after 11 years at the same place, you just stop trying to be friendly with people who are petty and negative.  I'm not a social creature, small talk does not come naturally to me, and I rarely initiate conversations because that's just not comfortable to me.  If you want to talk to me, I'll talk and be friendly.  I just am very socially awkward and it just gets worse as I get older.  Like I said, I'm weird, I know...

But I digress...

We have a potyuck tomorrow at work, so I made some Cheddar Artichoke Quiche Cups.   That's the name of them, but my sister will quickly point out that they are technically frittatas because there is no crust.  I say they are technically really yummy no matter what you call them.  If you like cheese, because that's the bulk of what goes into it.  A lot of cheddar. 

Let's move on, shall we?

Here is my latest mohawk hat:

Mohawk #2
I'm not sure what the Spartans invaded this time...

It's for my friend in Canada, but she hasn't seen it yet.  Apparently not everyone is on facebook hourly.  ;)  Olivia asked if it was for her.  She always wants me to make her hats, but she won't wear them.  Sometimes she'll wear one when she's playing, but she hardly ever will wear them out of the house.
And here is a sneak peek at something I have in the works:


I've mentioned before that in March, one of the blogs I read will have a month-long story book theme.  I got to thinking about what one of my favorite kids' books would be, and it has to be the Ramona Quimby books.  So I have a little something started with Miss Ramona's head for my own Ramona - Isabelle.  I posted the picture on facebook to make sure it was recognizable as a silhouette and everyone knew who it was (or at least the first person did and everyone else was like "oh yeah.... that's who it is.").  I showed it to Isabelle and she said "That's me."  So true, my child.  I remember once I had the actual picture up on facebook and someone actually thought it was Isabelle, so it's not just her actions - she does look like that version of Ramona anyway.

So stay tuned to see what I do with Ramona's head....

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Birdcage

Zoe has the cutest little dress.  Nothing fancy, just a simple little A-line dress.  I think it looks very sweet on her.  And since it was such a simple dress, I decided I should copy it.  I just layed the dress out on some parchment paper and traced it, made it a tad bigger, and was ready to go.

The fabric I decided to use was some that I got by mistake.  I was ordering some Laura Gunn Climbing Lantern Pods fabric and what the etsy seller sent me was this Laura Gunn birdcage fabric.  It's cute, but I really needed the lantern pods, so the seller just gave me the birdcage fabric as an apology.  I didn't have any plans for it, so it's been sitting.  Waiting for a purpose.  It's time had come....

Birdcage dress
The color is a bit off in this picture... you'll see in a minute...

I am in love.  The original dress has snaps on the shoulder and I don't have any snaps... or buttons.  I know, how can I not have buttons?  I don't care much for fasteners on kids' clothes.  Most of the stuff I've made the girls has not needed any fasteners of any sort.  So I decided to just make some button holes and knot the strap through it.  I've seen a lot of apron dresses like that and it works here just fine.  Maybe I'll find some buttons I like to put on there, but it's no big deal.
There is one problem with the dress...

This is a more accurate representation of the color... 

There is a little rip in the fabric.  Makes me glad I got it for free.  I'm pretty sure it was there before the fabric was washed since it's a little frayed-looking, and it was washed very shortly after I received it.  For the time being, I just ironed on some fusible interfacing on the inside and I'll probably crochet a little applique to disguise the rip.  I just don't want it to get bigger.  

I also finished hemming the peasant dress I started a few weeks ago.

Peasant dress

I had planned on getting some brown bias tape to finish the hem and sleeves with instead of actually hemming it, but my children barely let me hem it at all.  Isabelle loves it and didn't care that it wasn't finished.  She wanted to wear it.  Olivia likes it too.  Zoe didn't seem to care.  She hardly ever wears anything I sew.  Hopefully she'll wear the Birdcage dress, but it should fit Izzy if not.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Itchin' to get to stitchin'

All fall and winter long I wondered why I just had no real desire to sew.  I made a few things, but for the most part, my poor little sewing machine was neglected.  =(  Instead I turned to yarn.  And it kind of worried me, because you can only make so many hats before you just have no more heads that need to be covered.  My kids don't even really like to wear them, except on the occasional whim.  It's sad, really. 

Well, it's been nice and spring-like the past week and my brain seems to have switched gears.  I want to make cute little dresses.  Now.  Like, I wish I could just call in to work so I had more time.  Tonight I took a dress that Zoe likes to wear and I traced a pattern from it.  It's a really simple little thing, so it shouldn't take me very long to sew up.

I am going to probably get myself in trouble this weekend.  Well, I say that, but I'd be the one getting on to myself, because Bill generally is pretty clueless about our finances... but anyway... My sister and I are going to Batesville to some fabric store that she promises me is out of this world.  She needs fabric to make Miss Iz a quilt for her birthday and I need fabric for their Easter dresses and the fact that I'm just chomping at the bit to sew is probably going to lead to me purchasing fabric with no real plan in mind.  I'm not really one of those people who have a huge fabric stash at any given time.  I buy fabric with a purpose most of the time.  Yarn... well, that's been a different story. 

We need a picture, don't we?

Greenie's new shirt

The shirt says "Greenie."  I really should stop taking pictures with my cell phone so much.  I probably shouldn't encourage the whole Greenie thing, but it's amusing.  I doodled some designs on the shirt in bleach and then stenciled it with freezer paper and silver paint.  I just love freezer paper.  My goal is to one day use the whole roll.  It might take me until Zoe graduates, but I'll try.  It's a HUGE roll.

Let's see... what else....?

Oh yeah.  I have a photo gig coming up.  I am just in demand lately.  Ha ha!  A friend of mine is in a band called Lazy Mary and they need photos.  And, of course, he thought of me.  I have no idea what I'm getting paid and I don't really care.  I just think it will be a fun experience and something different.  

So, in the past few weeks, I have had three different people seek me out to make or do something for them.  I love it!  It would be great if I could make real money at it, but I'm fine right now just doing the occasional job.  It makes me feel good and that's worth more than money.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Like a kid in a candy store

That's me at Hobby Lobby.  Of course, the real kids flopping around on the floor around me kind of dampens my excitement a tad.  It's like we walk in the place and they lose their minds.  Zoe tries to eat the plastic grapes and the other two try to play tag.  But I was on a mission.

A few weeks ago, I made a mohawk hat for a friend of mine in Canada (I guess that makes me international, yep, yep) and she said that her respite worker for her son (who is severely autistic) loved the hat and wants one for her baby.  So my friend has asked me to make one for her to give her friend as a gift.  She wanted it to have wild colors, so I had to see what I could find.  It wasn't much...


The yarn I used to make the first one, that frizzed up so wonderfully, doesn't really come in anything remotely wild.  It's the one on the left.  That was as wild as I could find.  Up close, it is a mix of purple, orange, yellow, red...  but it's kind of muted.  They did have some brighter colors, but they were very girlie.  Most of the "wild" I could find reminded me of girls, and this is for a boy.

The other yarn was pretty much an impulse buy.  I wanted to give her a choice and I just fell in love with this stuff.  I haven't used anything like it before and I can't wait to play with it.

I have another "commission" I'm working on.  An old friend of mine ordered a sock monkey hat and fingerless gloves from my shop and when I told her I had shipped it out, she asked me if I would make her something else.  She wants a bandana-style dress like I make for the girls, only in her size.  I'm kind of excited for the challenge of translating it into an adult size.  And she likes the Michael Miller fabric the girls vetoed for their Easter outfits, so I get to use it  anyway.  

So I have lots of stuff going on and I'm pretty stoked about it. =)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Decisions, decisions....

I'm planning Easter outfits.  This will be my third year making the girls' Easter outfits and I think this will be the cutest, and hopefully the ones that will be most likely for them to wear throughout the year. 

My idea this year is pinafores.  I know, you're thinking "Do you really think your kids are going to wear pinafores more than once?"  Look at it.  It's totally adorable, reversible, and I can see it paired up with jeans and a tshirt easily.  I especially can see Izzy in one.  Is it bad that most of my sewing is Isabelle-inspired?  I know I should probably sew with the other two in mind also, but I guess her taste runs closest to my own.

I'm struggling with fabric ideas though.  My first idea came from the Michael Miller Antiquity line.  I adore the Breeze colorway and I want some of that old script fabric so bad I can taste it.  However, there are two problems.  First and foremost, Isabelle HATES it.  I could just go with it anyway, but if they won't wear it, what's the point?  Secondly... it's designer fabric.  $9 a yard and I'd need probably 9 yards total (I can get away with 6 probably, but my original idea would run about 9)... that's way more money that I really should spend on their Easter outfits. I'm still going to figure out something to do with that script fabric though.  I need it.

Well, there is a third problem... all three outfits would be very similar and I think I'll get more wear out of the outfits if they're different. 

So, I've been scouring the Hobby Lobby website.  My thinking is that I can start buying fabric as I get 40% off coupons, which they have every few weeks.  Their fabric usually runs about $7 a yard or less, and if I can space it out use enough coupons, I'm running in a much more reasonable ball park price-wise.  I'm making sure each pinafore is a different color scheme... pink, green, turquoise.  And I think I'm going to just make white peasant dresses (plain white fabric, $4/yard!) to wear under the pinafores and then I might dye them after Easter.  We don't do well with white in our house.

I'm excited and want to start them right now.  I have some serious crafting ADD.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


If there's any part of my job that I truly love, it's medical terminology. 

This was my poor Dodo yesterday


We were both home sick.  I couldn't get her fever to break for anything most of the day.  I'm normally a very warm person, but with me being sick and her running a fever, it was so uncomfortable to hold her.  Luckily she wasn't very clingy and preferred to lounge alone while we watched Little Bear.

Today I decided to send her to the doctor.  Normally, I take the kids to the doctor.  It's not that I don't trust Bill with it, I just tend to be too much of a control freak and I'm on pins and needles until he calls with a report.  It just cuts out the anxiety to go myself.  But I'm behind at work due to my own illness and the snow last week, so I had him take her.  

He called to report that she has a double ear infection.  No big surprise.  And then he said the doctor said her spleen is enlarged.  If you know my husband, you know how I pretty much blew him off on that one.  But he assured me he was serious.  Her spleen is enlarged.  Let's just say I tried to be as quietly freaked out as I could be.   Of course, I googled it and discovered that it's not uncommon for your spleen to become enlarged when you have an infection.  Whew!  He mentioned that they drew blood and her blood count was fine, so they just want to see her in two weeks to make sure it's back to normal once her ears are.

Of course, what he didn't say on the phone, and God knows we're all glad he didn't at the time, was that the doctor drew blood to check her blood count because an enlarged spleen can indicate leukemia.  I would have come UNGLUED.  But with what I read and the fact that her blood work was fine, I am comfortable that it's just infection-related.  

And just look at my little Dodo today:


Hopefully we're all on the mend now and can get back to something resembling normal.  It's going to take me forever to recover the house and laundry, but until I'm back to 100%, we'll just have to muddle through.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cranky Soapbox Moment

Happy Valentines Day!  To everyone who has a sweetie, I hope you cherish even the tiniest token of affection you got.  To everyone who doesn't - go pamper yourself... I'm sure you know how better than anyone else anyway.

So now, let me get to the part where I get all preachy and crabby...

I am so sick of women who define their happiness, or themselves even, by a man in their life.  It just screams out that you have no self-worth.  Trust me, no one enjoys the roller coaster of emotions you set off on every time you meet a man.  You're giddy and obnoxiously happy, planning your wedding within a week of meeting some guy, and then when he takes off because you're a smothering nutjob, you can't get out of the bed because your life is pointless again.  It's insanity.  A partner is someone who compliments your life, brings an added dimension... your life should be perfectly fine without them.  I've told Bill that he's in my life not because I need him, because I do not need him.  He's in my life because I want him to be there.  Plain and simple.  And to me, that should mean more.  I don't want someone to HAVE to have me in their life. 

On a similar note, do not change who you are for a man.  If you do not have a strong enough personality to still be YOU when you are in a relationship, you have no business being in a relationship.  I understand that being around a person, things are bound to rub off, and that's fine.  But when your religious views change... your musical tastes change drastically, you pick up habits that you condemned before.... maybe you really need to think about things.  If you as you are is not good enough, maybe that's not the right person.  It would be like me starting to listen to country music and watching RFDTV.   If someone didn't question that, the world is just going to hell.

I think a woman should know, without a doubt, that they can stand on their own two feet without a man.  Yet I know so many women who couldn't and wouldn't.  I don't think I'm some feminist.  I would say the same thing about a man, but it's rare to find a man who acts like that.  I just don't think a woman should get lost in the shadow of a man.  I guess I just come from a line of very strong, independent women.  I've tried to give this advice to friends in the past (in a nicer, less bitchy manner, mind you...) but it just goes in one ear and out the other.  I just hope I can raise my own girls to feel like I do... so that when they get married one day that they appreciate their husband as a partner, not as their reason for existence.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


That's what I feel like.  3 day old trash in the hot sun.  Ugh.

Everyone but Bill has been sick.  I'm 99% sure we had/have the flu.  Glad I got that shot, let me tell you.  I hate shots but I get guilted into it every year.  I've already called in sick to work tomorrow and can barely muster up feeling bad that I'm already way behind due to the snow and that someone else is going to have to get up early and get there at 5:30am.

I got lucky that the worst part hit yesterday while Bill was off work.  He doesn't call in for anything.  He's at work tonight and I'm sitting here wondering how I'm going to manage getting the girls out of the tub and dressed for bed.  I'll perk up a bit, try to do something and crash again.  Waiting on a perky moment right now so I can get them out.  They might not get their hair washed.  (they didn't...)

I still need to finish up their Valentines for school.  My plan was to get them done earlier in the week, but I procrastinated and I'm regretting it.  I probably shouldn't be putting my germy little hands all over them, but there's no other option at this point.  I'll just spray it all down with Lysol.  LOL

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Today we got about 5 1/2 inches of snow.  Not a lot to some of my friends and in-laws who live in snow all winter, but it's a pretty big thing here.  I love it at the moment... the yard is a perfect white blanket of fluffiness.  The girls wanted to go play in it, but they're sick.  I might let them go out tomorrow, but only because they've been cooped up all week so far.

Unfortunately, the snow has caused me its share of anxiety this evening.

Let's start with Olivia, my precious drama queen.  She's a very whiny and needy little patient.  She's been running a fever for 4 days.  I took her to the doctor and she checked out OK... it must be a virus of some sort, but her ears and throat are fine, so we just have to wait it out.  Tonight she fell asleep on the couch about 5:30pm.  Every once in a while, she'd start getting upset in her sleep.  I thought maybe it was a fever dream or something.  Then she just flipped out.  I tried to get her to calm down and take some Tylenol, but she was fighting me and then told me her peepee hurt.  Great.  Lovely.  She's had UTIs in the past.  The last one was so bad that I actually had her in the van to go to the ER before she stopped screaming.  It would explain the mysterious fever, so my mind is spinning... Bill took the van.  The roads are crap.  I can't put all three kids in the truck and even if I could, I don't feel comfortable driving the truck in the snow, knowing how awful it was when I was driving home from work.  I was getting ready to call my sister to see if she could help me out in some way, when Olivia jumped up and ran to the bathroom.  She just had to pee really, really badly. 

Then I put the girls to bed and settled in the chair to read a bit while they fell asleep.  I was coming to the end of my chapter, ready to sneak out of the room, when an ambulance drove past.  My sister lives 4 houses down from me.  Earlier in the week, an ambulance came down the road and I ran outside to make sure it passed up her house.  I was about to do the same, but decided against it.  But then I couldn't concentrate anymore.  And then a second ambulance drove past.  I jumped up and put my shoes on and ran out to see where the ambulance was.  It was much closer than the ambulance earlier in the week.  Normally I have no problem picking out my sister's yard even in the dark because there is a road across the street from her driveway.  But with all the snow, I couldn't be certain where the road was and the ambulances were really close to where my sister's house should be.  So I had to text her to make sure she and her husband were not about to take a ride in the ambulance.  She said it was two houses over from her.  I felt a little silly, but I just had to be sure.

And the icing on the cake is that my husband is at work.  I tried to convince him not to go to work, but he went anyway.  He made it just fine there, but sometimes he has to go out on the road while he's at work, and he has to drive home in the morning.  So I get to worry until he comes home.  Aside from worrying about his physical safety, there's also the concern that he has the van - the family vehicle.  If it's wrecked, we have a  pretty big problem.  At least he can wait until daylight to leave... I'm off work tomorrow so I don't need him to get here at any particular time. 

All I can say is that for causing me to worry, if there is anything open in the morning, he needs to stop and get me a big coffee on his way home.  I broke the coffee pot Sunday, which hasn't been an issue since I don't drink any until I get to work during the week, but being off tomorrow, I'm looking at a coffee-less day.  And that's just no good for anyone.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Working Mom Blues

I would never in a million years say that a stay-at-home mom has the easy life.  But there are days, like today, when I really wish I were one.  Working full-time with little kids is so complicated and frustrating.  I'm really blessed to have a job as flexible as I have, but even then things get tricky.  I try really hard most of the time to look at the positives... but sometimes it's tougher than others. 

I have three sick children.  Olivia started running a fever on Sunday and it's still going.  She was peppier today, though, so hopefully we're on the downhill slide.  I took her to the doctor and she said her throat and ears were fine, which were my main concerns.  It's just some random virus.  The other two decided she was having way too much fun being sick on her own.  Isabelle woke up with a fever this morning, and by this afternoon Zoe joined in.  Unfortunately, based on the way I felt like utter doodoo earlier (freezing and hot at the same time and just completely ran down) and now feel better after taking some Excedrin, I have a bad feeling I'm an unwilling participant in this junk.  I'll probably hit the sack a little early tonight and just hope I wake up A-OK.

The past two days, with all three kids home, have reminded me that I need to get an action plan in place for summer - PRONTO.  Bill works nights.  He has to sleep during the day.  If I'm at work and the kids are home... things get a little crazy.  I swear the man is borderline narcoleptic sometimes, but even if he couldn't fall asleep at the drop of a hat, the little bit of sleep he gets isn't enough for him to properly supervise our little angels.  Last summer was insane and I eventually went to working half-days so that he could sleep and the girls could not burn the house down or go run the streets.  And you think that's an exaggeration, but it's not.  They did get out of the house.  Twice, if I remember correctly.  My boss tried to get me to enroll them in summer camps and activities, but Zoe is too young still for most of them.  I don't want to have to put them in an actual daycare - that would most likely run me about $200 a week, which is about double what we pay now for Mother's Day Out.  I don't know anyone who could babysit (plus I just find it kind of uncomfortable and inconvenient to have a babysitter here with Bill asleep.... ).  I guess I need to just really sit down and figure out my options and the costs involved and see what will work best.  I just don't want to use up every little bit of my vacation time.  The perfect solution would be for Bill to get offered a really nice job making twice what he makes now so I could just stay home.  At least for the summer.  =)  I can dream...

Tomorrow is going to be another snow day.  School has already been canceled.  Of course, working where I work, I still am expected to go in.  Which is yet another day of Bill being home with all three kids and no sleep.  I'm really on the verge of just saying I will not be in until the girls are back in school.  I hate doing that.  There are people there who don't have that option - it's a medical facility and someone has to be there if there are patients.  But my job is not critical to the daily operation of the place and while I hate playing that card, I can't in good conscience put my kids in jeopardy because it's "not fair" that I don't have to be there.  And yes, there are people there who would say just that... But the fact remains that I can always replace my job, but not my kids. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

One Little Change

Last week I did a lot of crocheting to put items in my zibbet shop to sell for charity.  It felt really nice, did my soul a lot of good.  But there was something else that I did that made me feel even better than that.  This:

Spartans Invade Vermont side

There is a story behind this hat.  I have a friend.  I've never technically met her, but she's just as much my friend as any one else.  She lives in Canada.  There are two things about her that make her a front-runner in the "people who inspire me the most" category.  First of all, she has lost over 100 pounds.  She's reached her goal weight and looks fantastic.  I made her a corset top last year so she could show it off.  =)  Secondly, she has three children with Austism.  I cannot imagine the struggles she faces, but she faces them head on with the best attitude you can imagine.  She just rocks.

When I was showing off my Heart Association donation items, she mentioned that she wanted a mohawk hat for her son.  She found one for her daughter, but they didn't have any boyish hats.  So I decided to make one.  I asked her kind of what she was looking for, but I didn't tell her I was doing it, because I wanted to surprise her a little bit (and I wanted to make sure I didn't just make a hot mess of a hat LOL) I was just giddy when I saw the finished hat, knowing that it would make someone very special happy.  I showed it to her and she loved it.  I would have just mailed it to her as a surprise, but I'm pretty sure she would just mail me a check after the fact (she was very adamant when I made her corset top that I charge her what I would charge any other person), plus I'm just going to add it to my Heart Walk money.

And about a week ago, I did surprise someone with something I made...

Shirt for my sister-in-law
This is a shirt for my sister-in-law.  She had mentioned needing this exact shirt, and without saying a word, I made it and shipped it off to her.  I thought I was going to lose my mind waiting on her to get it.  =)  She was so excited and it just made me feel so good.
So that's one of my little changes this year... trying to brighten up someone's day with something I made for them.  I have a few ideas planned and I committed to the "Pay It Forward" challenge on facebook earlier in the year and need to get those taken care of, too.  It's so much fun to make someone smile.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sleepy Weekend

Lately, Sunday evenings is where I post all the fun we've had over the weekend.  And you'd think with it being Bill's birthday weekend that I would have extra special fun to post.  But we've been lazy.  Yesterday I was really, really lazy.  To the point that any time I had to go in my room for something, I found myself laying on the bed for a few minutes.  I tried to sneak in a nap, but for some strange reason, I don't go unnoticed around here.  If Mommy is missing more than 2 minutes, it's a full on search and rescue mission until she's found.

So we didn't do anything this weekend.  Bummer.

The girls did have fun yesterday, though.  I went out in search of a few art supplies for them.  We go through crayons like Pull ups around here.  I literally could buy a new package every week.  I'm sure if I moved the couches I could find a dozen or so, but I am kind of afraid of what else I might find.  I had someone sing the praises of Melissa & Doug crayons and was really curious.  No paper, washable, triangular (so they won't roll under the couch), harder than regular crayons, they come in a hard plastic case...  I decided to shell out a few extra dollars (about $5 for 24 crayons) and see if they'll last longer around here.  So far we still have all of them and the girls love the case. 

I also had discovered that they make safety scissors that don't cut hair, skin, or clothing.  And if you know me at all, you know that we have serious scissor issues around here.  I managed to find a set of their scissors, also, and they are awesome.  It's like they got in my head and asked me what I needed in order to give my kids a pair of scissors without feeling like I couldn't even blink or my girls would spend yet another year looking like a boy.  They definitely don't cut hair (yes, I tried) and they didn't cut my shirt I had on.  They're all bright and glittery so they look so much cooler than my metal scissors.  But they cut like a dream.  I even had bought some foam sheets to make Valentines out of  and thought that there was no way they were sturdy enough to cut through craft foam.  But they did.  Like butter.  =)  It's like magic... it knows the no-nos and abides by it.  I hope the magic rubs off on my kids. 

By the end of the day, we had tiny scraps of paper all over the floor and I did not mind one bit.  And everyone's hair is intact.

Today is going to be devoted to laundry and cleaning.  Aside from my living room, which my dear, sweet birthday boy has kept tidy all weekend, the house looks like the playroom and closets puked.   Then to top it all off, I have one kid who woke up telling me she didn't feel good and another one running a fever.  Isabelle is still asleep at 8:45, so that's not really looking too promising.  And it's going to snow.  Again.  Snow is fun and magical once a year.  The rest of the time it can bite me.  Blah.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My latest project...

For the past few years, my sister and I, along with our cousins and a few other people, have participated in our local Heart Walk.  I am not the best fundraiser in the world.  I'm just not very aggressive.  But it's been very important to me to participate, even if I know I won't raise much money.  I have a very strong family history of heart disease on my dad's side of the family.  My dad himself has had bypass surgery and can't even remember how many stents are living in his body right now.  There are a few charity walks that I try to participate in yearly, but this is the one that has seemed to have settled into being the one I focus on the most. 

This year, my sister and I attended the team kick-off and it was very inspiring.  A few people shared some of their fundraising tips, and it set some wheels in motion in my little crafty brain.  I love to crochet and knit and whatnot...  why not use that to help make money?  So I am in the process of making up several items to sell for donations.  I'm not just donating profits... the entire amount paid will be donated.  I actually sold my first item today.  To my sister.  ;)

I don't normally put my crafty stuff on this blog, but I can't resist.  (Actually I'm thinking I should just condense the two together...  )  Anyway, lookie...

A slouchy hat... with a heart.  

This is not my sister... this is my super sweet coworker and part-time hat model (for me anyway LOL)

The hat design is not mine.  It's by April Draven.  She has some super cool and whimsical  patterns and if you crochet, I suggest checking out her stuff...

I have other stuff in the works, and will probably make at least one more of these hats.  I'm really excited.  I hope to meet my goal of raising $200 this year.  I'm trying to focus on Valentine-y things, but I think most of them will be heart related.  Obviously. 


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