Sunday, August 27, 2006

Just Cute




So you'll be very happy to know that potty training has been a success! I'm sure you were dying for an update, but around here that is pretty big cause for celebration! It didn't take too long, so I can't really complain. What it did take was one whole package of gummy worms, one of dum dum lollipops, and a half gallon of ice cream! When it comes to potty training, nutrition be darned and let the bribery begin! It's very exciting, but on the other hand, there is the tiny bit of melancholy realizing that my baby is now a "big boy." Here he is being his super-cute self. You may think that I favor my little guy since there are way more pictures of him than my other guys, but I really don't! Mainly it is that, the older ones have gotten to the point where they act like getting their pictures taken is torture! Trust me, when they were little I took reams of pictures of them, but I didn't have a blog back then, or a digital camera. So anyway, don't think I'm biased or anything. I'll have to see if I can figure out how to put up some vintage pictures of my other boys sometime. Anyway, I just got to spend a really fun couple of days alone with my little guy while the big guys went on a camping trip with their Dad. I'll have to post some pictures of their exciting trip next.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Another Thrifty Treasure




I got this at the same little shop in upstate NY as the lunchbox. I think it is adorable! I wish I knew who made it, and when, and if they had a pattern or not, etc. I guess that is kind of the fun of thrifting and antiquing, imagining stories about the previous owners and crafters. I love the details like the little beads on the strawberries and the stitching on the flower, and I think the workmanship is really amazing. When I got it, I didn't know what the heck I would do with it, but some things you've just got to have!

Potty Training Blues

I think potty training is my least favorite parenting task. There are other stages that are difficult, but they all seem to have their good side that is cute or fun.
I can't think of anything very cute or fun about potty training. I guess you could say that not having to change diapers anymore is good, but frankly I'd rather change a diaper than clean out poopy underwear. I know eventually things will get better, and it will all be worth it in a week or so. For now, though, I'm singing the potty training blues!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Tea For Two- Or Nine!






A couple of weeks ago my sisters and I had a tea party for our lovely Mother and her friends. Since her trip to London last April, my sister M. has been a little obsessed with the Proper English Afternoon Tea ritual. It was her idea to have this little affair as a Mother's Day gift to our Mom. We had cucumber, watercress, tomato, and curry chicken sandwiches, cake, fruit salad, scones with clotted cream, and, of course, tea! (herbal and lemonade for us Mormon gals) It was quite the spread and a fun afternoon was had by all. One funny friend arrived fashionably late wearing her ever-so-proper white gloves! When you live in a house with five boys like I do, it's nice to feel like a lady every once in a while! Thanks to M. for being the Hostess with the Mostess!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Tooth Bear


I made this bear from a project on the Martha Stewart website called
"Tooth Bear With Cindy." That website has tons of free patterns and project ideas. Anyway, this is a larger version of the tooth bear. I had my husband enlarge the pattern on the copier at work. It is supposed to be really small to fit under a pillow with a tooth in the little pocket. I made one like the original pattern out of pink felt with darker pink pocket that I gave to a friend's little girl, and it turned out really cute. They are handsewn with embroidery thread. I put the kids' names on them, but I think the pictures on the website had a little tooth embroidered on the pocket.
At our house, the Tooth Fairy has been at it so long, that she often forgets or is late with her exchange, can you imagine that?! We just don't know what we will do with our scatterbrained Tooth Fairy! She must be getting old. She has even been known to leave something in the morning after everyone is up. She's so sneaky we haven't caught her yet, even in the light of day! A couple of weeks ago she made up for her extreme lateness with a package of baseball cards, which is pretty fancy for this household! Usually it's just four quarters or a dollar bill. She may be late, but she always comes eventually!

Tiny Toys




I checked this book out of the library a while ago- Sewing Tiny Toys, by Carolyn Vosburg Hall. Here are a few of my attempts at some of the projects from the book. The orange starfish is named "Fancypants," and the blue one is "Hank." There is a purple felt starfish named Timmie but I'm not sure where he is at the moment. My sewing is not that great but it is getting better. There are some really adorable projects in the book, like a penguin and an otter. Hopefully with practice my attempts will improve. The orange starfish is sewn out of regular felt, but it started pilling right away, so I think I may need to order some of the nicer wool felt for doing these projects. Also, I started out using her patterns in the book, and they were so small I could hardly turn them out, so I made them all a little bigger. I don't know how anyone could do such tiny ones, at least not on a machine. Anyway, they are kind of fun and my kids love playing with them!

Rub a Dub Dub, Three Cousins in the Tub



My sister was here visiting with her little boy last week, so we decided to take some pictures to embarass our kids with when they are teenagers!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Viral What?!?

So Friday afternoon I was upstairs watching a movie with my sister, and within about 10 minutes came down with a blinding headache. It was so bad, that after a few minutes I had to go lay down. My 3 year old son had been screaming in my ear for at least 10 minutes, and I was watching this movie called "New York Dolls," which is about a former punk rocker who became a mormon. There was still quite a bit of loud punk music in the movie though- plus lots of interviews with sweet little old missionaries and shots of the LA temple- but that's a whole other story! So, I really thought that combo of events, plus that certain "time of the month" was causing my symptoms!
My friend was having a party that night for our other friend and I really wanted to go (I don't get out much you see!). So after 2&1/2 hours I dragged myself out of bed, made dinner for my fam, and a salad for the party, all the while my head hurting so much all the way up from the back of my neck and up and around to my temples and eyes, that I felt kind of dizzy and like I couldn't see straight. My back kind of hurt too. I know, you don't have to say it- I am stupid! I really honestly just thought I was having cramps and maybe a migraine- although I've never had one before. I really don't even get headaches much. So I drove to the party and on the way I thought to myself, "Maybe I have meningitis, ha ha ha." Before I left I was cold so I put on a sweatshirt, but when I got there I was sweating. I told my sister how I was feeling, and she and my mom both felt my head and told me I felt warm. My sister freaked out a little and said that I had all the symptoms of meningitis- call Dr. D! (my bro the neurology resident). He was out with his wife for their anniversary but called me back pretty soon. Anyway, he said that was what it sounded like to him so I should go to the ER to make sure it wasn't the deadly kind. Oh joy!
So, after about 7 hours, a cat scan, lots of blood draws, and an extremely unpleasant lumbar puncture, it was determined that I did in fact have viral meningitis, and that there was basically nothing that they could do about it! Meningitis is a scary word, that is because there are two kinds- bacterial is really bad, and viral is not a big deal. Basically they just tell you to take advil for the viral kind. They would have given me some morphine at the hospital but I didn't really feel like I needed it. Frankly, the tests to determine if I had it were much more painful and unpleasant than the sickness itself! Especially because during the spinal tap, I had this weird vasal vega reaction and my blood pressure dropped to like 70- that was the top number!! and I felt totally nauseated, dizzy, and like I was going to pass out even though I was already laying down. So they had to stop and put these sticky monitors on me, and a pulse monitor, and give me an IV and wait a while, and then they had to do it AGAIN! At that point I was wishing I had said yes to the narcotics! Ugh- I highly recommend you don't have to have that done anytime soon. I was also wishing that I had just stayed home and skipped the whole all-night ER oddysey! I will spare you the really yucky details but let's just say that it is gross, involves a big needle and it hurts! Luckily my hubby was there to hold my hand so I survived.
Pretty much the only good thing about the whole ordeal was that Dr. M the resident got to practice his technique on me. I am a big supporter of the teaching hospital concept in theory- being the guinea pig myself is a bit of a different story! To be honest I think he didn't do it quite right the first time and that is why I got so sick. I don't blame Dr. M though, he was very kind and after all, that is how they have to learn, right?!
As we were leaving, I said to my hub, "Well, at least we got to spend a whole night alone!"

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Thrift Nirvanah!




A few weeks ago when we were in upstate NY, I went into this little thrifty antique type store to look around. The had lots of cute stuff, and as I was walking towards the back, I saw this lunchbox up on a shelf, and it was like- Ahhhhh! (imagine an operatic sound) All of a sudden it hit me that this was my lunchbox from elementary school! I hadn't thought of it in years, but I loved it so much! I vividly remember all of these pictures of the little old-fashioned girl in pink, pushing her baby carriage and playing her old-fashioned games, and the pink and white checks. This lunchbox is so me! It's funny how some tastes change but some stay just the same, I would have bought this new today too! It was so exciting and brought back lots of memories. I must have had it in first or second grade. That would be back in the, um 70's-ish time. Does anyone else remember this lunchbox? It's a little rusty, but I think it will be perfect to store craft-type supplies. I like to imagine that this is my actual lunchbox, come back to it's rightful owner after several years of adventures!

My First Quilt



I made this quilt a few months ago, my first one. I'm really happy with how it turned out, I really love patchwork. This quilt is mostly made of recycled clothes, like jeans, khaki pants, and men's dress shirts. One of the things I really love about sewing is the idea of reusing things and making something new out of something old and worn out. I also love that I can look at individual patches and say, hey, that's Dad's oxford shirt, or my son's back pocket. It gives it lots of personality. One of the things I love about it is all the pockets. Since it is meant to be for my son's bedspread, I like to imagine that they will store little toys or other treasures in the pockets, just hopefully no snacks or bugs or anything else too gross! At some point I'd like to decorate a bedroom for my boys with a kind of Americana type theme, with old toys and books, quilts, lots of deep barn red, navy blue and tan, stars and stripes and baseball stuff.
I made this quilt (or blanket, if you want to get really technical) by sewing together squares, then rows, then sewing the rows together. I really had no idea what I was doing, like I sewed the rows lengthwise instead of across which I guess is what people normally do. I had to do a whole lot of fixing and stretching to get the squares to match up, and they still don't all line up perfectly! There isn't any batting inside, and then I just sewed all around the edge. One side has rough edges, and the idea is to cut and then fray the rough edges by washing it. I was supposed to be making another one to match, but my problem with quilting is that once I finish a project, I don't want to do the same thing again, I want to move onto new things!

Blue Elephant


I sewed this little blue chenille elephant for my little guy's birthday a couple of weeks ago. I'm no Hillary Lang or anything, but I thought it wasn't bad for a first try. I'm really interested in sewing stuffed toys, and hopefully I'll get better at it! For this one I used a pattern from the Better Homes and Gardens website, there was a picture of it in the May 2006 issue. You can download it for free under "Storybook Nursery" at BH&G.com. Happy crafting!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!



Just over three years ago I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy- my fourth! He is a very special little guy, and had a really fun birthday. The great thing about a three year old is that it doesn't take too much to give them a happy birthday- cake, a few presents and they're set! Since I'm on a Dixie Chicks kick right now, here are some lyrics from their song, Lullaby, that capture the way I feel about my little guy- and my 3 other sweet little guys!

How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough,
Cause I'm never, never giving you up

Ambience





My hubby and I just painted our bathroom yellow and I am so happy with it! I wish I had taken a before picture so you could see the difference- you'll just have to trust me that it was big! We didn't do too much, but it is amazing what a little paint, a new shower curtain, rug and towel bars will do for a room. Here are some pictures of a few decorative touches that I think make it look cute: Beach pictures of my cute little guy, a sea horse made of wire and sea glass that my husband got me for our anniversary a couple of years ago, and this little sand dollar swag I made. It's just three sand dollars glue gunned to a grosgrain ribbon. The shade of yellow is Ambience, from Benjamin Moore. I love it because it is really pale and soft, just like butter- exactly what I wanted!

DCX




Last weekend my sister and I went to see the Dixie Chicks- Accidents and Accusations World Tour 2006. It was so great!I have been a big fan of the Chicks since I bought their album- Home- a few years ago. I love their bluegrassy/country rock style. The concert was a lot of fun and included rousing renditions of songs like Sin Wagon, Wide Open Spaces, White Trash Wedding, There's Your Trouble- lots of fun to sing along to. My sis and I aren't exactly big concert going types, and being in our-Ahem- earlyISH 30's we wondered, will we look/feel like big dork/fogies?! But we didn't at all! There were lots of, well, CHICKS there- of all ages! Lots of groups of young girls and women but definitely some older, middle aged and mom types too. We had a great evening and were very impressed with the trio's music in person. There's something about hearing a group live that is very different than a cd. Some sound just as good or even better, some a lot worse. The Dixie Chicks were very much in the better category- beautiful instrumentation, harmony, and the lead singer Natalie can seriously sing! I like that she sounds equally good belting in out or singing soft in a song like Lullaby. Plus they are fun and entertaining and I like how their music kind of pokes fun at themselves and their country origins. They came out to music that sounded a lot like "Hail to the Chief" which I thought was pretty funny! I was kind of wondering how much of a crowd a country type band would attract here in New England, but there was a huge turnout, including lots of ladies in cowboy hats! Our cell phone pictures didn't exactly turn out, so I borrowed these shots of our concert from the Boston Globe. And here is a lovely picture of me in my concert t-shirt. Thanks to my sister for a great evening- Go Chicks!!