Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Without Further Ado... Project Two Completed

My second completed project (I finally got the button on).

The handles...

This is a shot of the inside lining and pocket (I couldn't get a good shot of this without my hand

being in the picture, too).

I cropped that last photo in PhotoShop all on my own! C, now that you see the cropped version, are you still impressed?

I love the fabrics, but I think of something a bit larger when I hear "tote." I really would like to try to play with the dimensions and make it bigger. However, for me, it might be better to find a novice-level pattern. There are several more projects I want to get busy on, but I need to get to a sewing supply store before I can get very far with anything. I am considering packing the boys up in the car and going today or tomorrow. It's not so easy taking them to the sewing supply store, but maybe I can swing it. The weekend is getting quickly booked up with haircut trips, a birthday party, and the like, so I'm pretty sure today or tomorrow may be my best bet.

We loved watching It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. H laughed out loud at Linus struggling with the big pumpkin at the beginning. Our whole family was snuggled up on the couch watching together by the end of the show. Now that's a Halloween treat!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

From Blue Lagoon to Routan Boom

Am I the only person who finds the Routan Boom ad campaign, um, strange? It’s not really offensive or necessarily disturbing; it’s just odd. Maybe that’s Volkswagen’s diabolical, reverse psychology plan? It wouldn’t be quite so weird if they had not chosen Brooke Shields to be their spokesperson. That she agreed to appear and say the words in the ads seems out of character to me. See, when I think of her, first, of course, I think Blue Lagoon. Then, I think of the whole anti-depressant spat with Tom Cruise. This is a woman I admire for writing Down Came the Rain (I haven’t read it, but I’d like to, love the title, too). I love that she spoke up and said PPD is real and needs to be treated, in some cases with meds. I have been blessed to have okay postpartum experiences, but I also know that those first few months with a newborn can be very trying. I can see how PPD develops in some. So, back to the point, I find it surprising that this same Brooke Shields would sort of poke fun at becoming parents “just to get a VW Routan.” That she would say, “Have a baby for love, not out of a desire for German engineering” (or something like that). I have to admit every time I see one of the ads on television, I have this sort of uneasy feeling come over me. I question, is this really a good idea for Volkswagen?. Not that I own any stock in Volkswagen, but it just doesn’t feel right to me. IMO, they should be focusing on the great color choices they offer on their automobiles. I have to hand it to the German auto-makers, their car colors are tops (ooh, how I love that dark navy blue of a BMW or the silvery blue of a Mercedes). So, am I the only one?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

A few posts back, I mentioned that we read this book when Halloween is coming. I just saw that it's being shown on ABC Tuesday October 28 at 8:00 Eastern/7:00 Central. Charlie Brown is definitely not PC (there's a lot of blockheads, stupids, etc.), but we like it! So thought I'd put it up here in case anyone was interested in tuning in!

Friday, October 24, 2008

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

First, let me explain what's been going on with me. I've been sleeping on the couch. Don't worry there's no trouble in paradise, but there are some germs! H started with a sore throat and coughing last Thursday evening (while I was at sewing class, the minute I walk away, the germs must make their move), then W started sniffling Sunday evening, and last, but by no means the least sick, C started feeling bad Tuesday. So, it's been sick house around here (again). Luckily, H and C seem to be mostly better, and W is just still battling a runny nose. Thankfully, everyone slept well last night. I didn't have to get up to give W his pacifier at all! Hooray! The night before was another story altogether. Of course, H said his ear hurt tonight. More to worry about. Every time I ponder a third child, I also question whether I could handle worrying about another one. I know worrying is useless, and if someone could tell me how to push the off button on my worry, I'd be more than happy to give it a try.

I got a new Cookie magazine in the mail today. It's stressing me out a bit. I usually devour my Wonder Time magazine in just a few days. This month, not so much. Cookie? I'm like two and a half issues behind. If I don't read them, I feel like I wasted my money, made a bad decision (oohh the guilt). I'm still pushing through Making Your Children Mind Without Losing Yours. So, who am I blaming? It's the phone, the iPhone, I tell you! I can't put the little handy dandy thing down. Getting W to sleep at nap time? Use the iPhone to browse some blogs. Letting H play in the bath before getting out? Check emails and reply (really browse some more blogs). If only it were easier to comment on blogs and post to this one with the iPhone, then I'd be a bit more productive. I am getting better at commenting from it. It seems the only thing that can make me put down the iPhone is a fiction book. I really am going to have to put the thing in time out (as someone commented at Eat, Play, Love). We really do need to do some serious scheduling in this family.

This is where the dream part of my title comes in, but maybe it can be more than a dream. The boys need to go to bed earlier. Sometimes it's apparent that H should be in bed as he becomes so whiny and irritable. It is just a matter of getting my and C's behinds in gear to get H to bed earlier. Feed him, get him in pjs, do the normal routine, just earlier. W is going to be a bit more of a challenge. He is still taking two naps a day (H did until 18 months), but W's PT has expressed surprise that he's still taking two naps. Not sure if I can expect much before we go to one nap a day. I also have to buckle down and make a weekly menu and grocery shop for it. Right now, my grocery shopping is often haphazard (meaning I don't have a set day, my dad shopped every Saturday morning, why don't I do that?). There's more, but I better get to bed. And, honestly, my thoughts as I drift off to sleep after saying my prayers are of sewing and knitting projects I want to do. There's colorful yarn and glorious fabrics playing before my eyes. No scheduling happening in those dreams.

Just a couple of cute things. W has offered his PT a kiss goodbye on her past two visits, isn't that the sweetest? He also behaved wonderfully during his haircut this week. H used some of his wooden train track to make a track for W and gave him a couple of trains to play with. I told him that was nice of him to share with his brother. He said, "Yes, it is nice, and maybe he won't tear up my track if I let him have his own." Always thinking that little guy :)

Note: I responded to the comments on Meltdown Makers.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Meltdown Makers

I thought it might make some of you laugh (and possibly disturb others) to see a list of what makes my three-and-a-half-year-old have meltdowns.

1) Putting on socks and shoes. The socks feel funny. The shoes are too tight and too loose (sometimes at the same time).

2) Clothes in general. He doesn't want to wear that shirt or those pants. The pants are too loose or too tight (sometimes at the same time).

3) How far his chair is pushed in at the table (it's too close, too far away- sometimes at the same time).

4) The towel in aforementioned chair has the slightest wrinkle in it. It must be fixed. Note: The towel is there in a fruitless attempt to keep my dining-room chairs cleaned. Really we should just get rid of the towel and save ourselves a few tantrums.

5) His car seat straps are too loose or too tight (sometimes at the same time). Also, a piece of fabric that his back touches when he's in the car seat is ever so slightly wrinkled.

6) There is too much or too little juice in his glass (sometimes at the same time).

Those are the main reasons for our battles these days. As you can see from the repetition of the theme "sometimes at the same time," this seems to be more of a test of wills to see who is in charge. However, we do sometimes get a bit worried that he may have some OCD tendencies. Of course, his grandfather (my dad) had folding undershirts, towels (heck, all laundry) down to an art form. When my dad was sick, and I did laundry, he pretty much left the room rather than watch my pitiful attempts at folding! Maybe he gets some of this honest, but it still drives me and C a bit crazy some days. I try to see the humor in some of it and remember, I am in charge. So what makes your children become the Tasmanian Devil?

Friday, October 17, 2008

I won at MOPS!

By guessing the number of pumpkin candies in this

I won these
at this month's MOPS meeting! It's a cute Halloween bowl filled with some candy, a candle holder, and a small pumpkin. I was so excited, because I actually used my Sid the Science Kid estimation skills to guess the number of pumpkin candies in the jar! C laughs at me, but I think I learn almost as much as H watching Sid and also Zula Patrol. We also tie-dyed shirts for our children and made a cute "build a pumpkin" game at MOPS. I'll try to post pictures of the shirts when I complete them (I need to add pumpkin eyes, nose, and mouth with fabric or fabric paint). The best part of MOPS (for me) is just talking to other moms and laughing and commiserating about some of our shared trials and joys.

I spent most of Wednesday sewing at home on my old Kenmore (it was my grandmother's). I was making a little zip pouch, and it did not turn out so well. The zipper foot for this machine is not easy to use, and I had to keep re-setting the pressure on the presser foot to get the material to feed. I even took the presser foot to sewing class to ask the teacher. She looked at the zipper foot, mentioned it might be for an invisible zipper, and shook her head. I'm thinking that's not a good sign. I am thinking of asking my aunt to come over and give the Kenmore a test drive. She is an avid sewer and could give me an opinion. I am still trying to figure out exactly how old the machine is... I have the model and serial numbers but still haven't found an internet site to tell me the age. Anyway, I refuse to spend money on a new machine until I know I am going to stick with sewing. So, I am going to try to work on a tote here at home that doesn't have any zippers! (The Kenmore seems to do everything else pretty well without any "feeding" problems!) I did finish another purse at sewing class last night, but I don't have the button to sew on yet. I will post a picture when I get the button on there. My next project is pajama bottoms! Mel and I met up at a really big fabric store earlier in the week. Wow, it's a bit overwhelming to have so many fabrics to choose from (poor Mel, Indecisive could be my middle name), but so inspiring to see ALL those fabrics. Thanks for meeting me, Mel.

In other news, W and H got their flu shots today, C got his yesterday, and I have to find out when they are giving them at our family doctor so I can get mine! We are hoping to go an Apple Festival tomorrow, but H seems to be getting a cold. We'll have to see how everyone is feeling. Also, I know I am behind on blogging about the books I've read and need to do those. Last weekend, I helped host a couples shower for a dear friend who is getting married next month. It was fun and held very close to our house, so we weren't out too late. I forget how much I enjoy socializing :) C came home before me and told H I was helping clean up the club house where the shower was held. So, when I came in, H asked, "Mommy, did you have fun cleaning up the club?" He's keeping us hopping with questions about the Milky Way galaxy (see Zula Patrol above). W has his two top front teeth, two bottom front teeth, and his left eye tooth and now his molars are coming through on top and bottom. Is that crazy that he doesn't have all the other teeth in between? I can't believe I forgot to ask the doctor about the teeth when we got the flu shots! Wow, the boys have been great letting me type this. Of course, Super Why was on the telly ;)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Autumn Views

These are the trees I see from my kitchen window. Unfortunately, I'm still a bit leery of staying outside for very long because of our allergies. Hoping that some recent rain will have washed some of the pollen away. Below is a perfect little seat that one of the dogwoods makes. I can just picture a young woman in a white dress sitting on it (think Anne of Green Gables times).

Excitement! I just figured out how to move a picture a bit (we'll see if it lasts when I publish this post).

I have recently re-discovered that I really enjoy creating. I have been taking a sewing course, and we made this small bag/purse.

I hung it on a tree limb as they do in department store ads. I decided I better post a picture or all the sewing bloggers I've been visiting won't believe I've ever sewn a thing. It's far from perfect, but the evening I got home after making it, I had this creative adrenaline rush. I wasn't sleepy; I was jazzed. So, if one little bag can make me feel so energized and, well, just plain good, what would it be like if I could find (make) the time to create more often? We'll see if I can really do it, after I stop taking the classes (where I have a dedicated time and place to sew).

Finally, sometimes my mind's eye puts a picture to verse. While walking with H this morning, I snapped this with my iPhone...

H was wearing his binoculars, because it is "a perfect day for bird-watching." When I saw our shadows holding hands, I just prayed, "Thank you, God, thank you, God, thank you God." It made me think of Emily Dickinson's

Some keep the Sabbath going to Church –
I keep it, staying at Home –
With a Bobolink for a Chorister –
And an Orchard, for a Dome –

So thankful for my precious boys and beautiful days spent with them. Below is the rest of the poem.

Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice –
I just wear my Wings –
And instead of tolling the Bell, for Church,
Our little Sexton – sings.

God preaches, a noted Clergyman –
And the sermon is never long,
So instead of getting to Heaven, at last –
I’m going, all along.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

October = Halloween

I have one excited big brother on my hands this morning. We put out a few Halloween decorations we have including a plug-in pumpkin, Halloween-themed dish towels, and the like. H is really pumped about Halloween this year. He is going to be a dinosaur (a T-rex), and my little guy is going to be a lion (thank you to S of the three sons for the hand-me-down lion costume- it's new to us!) We'll go to the pumpkin patch in a few weeks for a pumpkin to carve and a couple of small pumpkins to decorate the table. We usually get some great pictures of the boys at the pumpkin patch. I can't wait to put them in jeans and Halloween shirts (that will just be a black shirt for H most likely). I am even thinking of trying to find some Halloween fabric to make a little something to hang on a door (I always have grand plans :)

Another treat that I am going to discuss with C is taking H and W to a local apple orchard for a festival they have in a few weeks. It has hayrides with tractors, and if it has tractors, H is in! The weather is so beautiful, but both H and I are plagued with seasonal allergies that seem to be bothering our eyes right now despite allergy medicines. Sometimes the best help for H's itchy eyes is a damp cloth. We are looking forward to some fun outdoor time now that it's starting to really feel like autumn.

I forgot to add that we just got out my old read-along-with-a-record (some of you youngsters may not know what these are) copy of It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. H loves it, and we get to anticipate watching the original on the telly in a few weeks!