10.29.2011

On Being Super-Lazy Parents

Ah, parenting.  For 100 different issues there are at least 200 ways to address them and generally, my feeling is do whatever works for you, your child, and your family.  But every once in a while I do have to chuckle at how different we can all be in the way that we approach parenting.

Like when O was 18 months old, I was in a conversation with two women where one was lamenting the fact that she couldn't find a dance class that accepted children under a year and a half.  The other women readily agreed and replied "I know!  Because by the time they're 18 months old, they're already involved in so many other activities!"  At this point I nearly spit my coffee out - mostly because their child's life and my child's life could not have been more different.


Up until this point, we've done one session of swim classes with O (in which I complained about how cold the water was) but other than that we've been "super-lazy parents".  And while we fully embrace that moniker we did recently sign O up for her second ever activity - a little gymnastics class which pretty much consists of her running around, jumping on a trampoline and throwing herself into a foam pit.  And I have to say, it's adorable and highly entertaining to watch.  I can almost guarantee that we'll never be the parents of a toddler with a jam-packed social calendar, but an activity like this every once in a while sure is fun.





10.26.2011

Let's Wrap This Sucker Up

Behold!  My first maternity sewing project!  It's done and it's wearable!  Let's all say it together now - hurrah!


Okay, enough with the celebration.  Let's get down to the knitty-gritty, shall we?

The pattern is the Wrapped Maternity Top pattern by Megan Nielsen (who is also the genius behind DIY Maternity, a great website to peruse through if you're looking for maternity sewing ideas).  I'm pretty sure that the fabric is some sort of cotton rayon blend, but I just happened to find it in my stash this weekend so don't quote me on that.  Whatever it is, it is ridiculously soft and drapey and has great four-way stretch so it ended up working really well for this project.  Unfortunately, I didn't have the called for three and a half yards of fabric to make the ties from one uninterrupted piece of fabric so instead I just fiddled with the length that I did have and sewed two pieces together to make each tie.  It probably would look more finished without the seam in the middle of the tie but using up some yardage from my stash is definitely worth the two little stitch lines on the ties (which can pretty easily be hidden under the other three yards of fabric).  I have to say that the design of the shirt and the stretch fabric make this top incredibly comfortable to wear, but it's a bit of a pain in the butt to put on.  With three yards of fabric on each tie, it's a feat to get it just so but the massive amount of fabric does allow you to get a fit that works perfectly for your shape (plus it'll allow me to keep wearing it when my stomach gets a wee bit - okay alot - bigger). 


(Speaking of which, I'm 17 weeks along now and I'm pretty sure that 99 percent of the population just thinks that I've just eaten too many donuts.  Super.)

Oh, but I forgot to tell you my two favorite things about this shirt, both of which really appeal to my lazy side - it's made from only three pattern pieces and because it's made from a knit you don't have to finish the edges.  Of course, you could finish them if you were an over-achiever, but then I'm pretty sure that we couldn't be friends...

10.23.2011

The Purge


Seriously, people, if you're not nailed down to something in this house, there is a good chance that you will either be thrown away or given away.  The massive purge is coming.

(Don't be all that impressed with the purging effort.  I have major hoarding tendencies and this is long overdue.  Like these textbooks?  They're from over a decade ago and I've opened them approximately zero times in that decade.  See?  Total hoarder.)

10.22.2011

Our Annual Trek To The Pumpkin Patch

While I'm pretty sure that you couldn't care less about our local weather, I'm going to tell you about it anyway - because it went from summer to fall in about 1.2 second this year and this made for a very cold morning at the pumpkin patch last weekend.


Despite freezing our butts off though, a good time was had by all.  There is just something so entertaining about watching grown folks wander around a muddy field trying to find the perfect pumpkin.


And then you throw this little cutie into the mix and well, you can see why I get a kick out of going to the pumpkin patch every year.

Our favorite pumpkin patch activity?
Nose picking!


(And just because I'm sure that you have nothing better to do than look at old pictures of O - look at O at the pumpkin patch in years past.  Seriously, I know that every parent says this, but I can't believe how big she's gotten!)


10.21.2011

16 Weeks and Counting


I will say that I generally don't complain about my pregnancy in everyday conversation becasue

1) I know how fortunate I am to be pregnant and

2) I'm pretty sure that people don't want to hear about my petty problems

But if you'll allow me just a wee little minute to complain, I promise to love you forever and ever. 

Okay, so here goes.  I'm 16 weeks at this point and still exhausted.  A night that I make it past 8:30 is considered a miracle around these parts.  In addition to that, I still feel completely gaggy (yes, I made up that word) and I have the cold that refuses to die and it has somehow mutated into a sore throat that won't go away.  And I think that I'm completely wearing myself out during the week days so that every weekend I end up completely exhausted and feeling ill and I spend at least one day apologizing to Ben for not getting enough done around the house (even though he never makes me feel as if I'm not getting enough done).

And that is my extremely long-winded way of saying that I am officially in the second trimester now and if the first trimester yuckies would kindly go away, that would be much appreciated.

End whiny post.

10.16.2011

My Sole KCWC Project

Despite the fun that I had participating in KCWC during the last go-round, I had to be honest with myself and realize that there was no way in hell that I had either the time or the energy to fully participate this time.  Life is just too crazy right now and the thought of adding one more thing to my plate just makes me want to crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head.

That said, I did make one kid's item for KCWC so if you'll allow me to be an honorary member of KCWC I'll show you what I managed to whip up - a little pair of flannel pajamas for the special little toddler in my life.


With the weather developing a distinct chill in the air and with O far too big for all her little fleece footed pjs, I figured that she deserved a little something warm and snugly to sleep in at night (don't we all?).  And that's when I remembered that I purchased an Oliver and S's bedtime story pajamas pattern eons ago.  I remember after I bought it thinking "why the hell did I do that?  I'll never spend that much time making pajamas" and yet here I am, doing just that.


The pjs are made out two Moda flannels and they are so soft.  Seriously.  Even though they are both from the same line I was a little worried about pairing these two colors together (I'm kind of a color-matching wimp) but in the end, I think it came out okay.  As for the pattern, it was fabulous - as all Oliver and  S patterns are. 

O embracing the kimono style and practicing her bowing
Now there have certainly times been times that I've had to bribe my child to wear what I've made for her, but fortunately this was not one of them.  In fact, when I went to change her the next morning she began to throw a total fit.   And when I asked her what was wrong she told me "I want to wear my pajamas today."  It turns out that she wanted to show her little buddy at the babysitter's house her new pjs.  Um, could that be any sweeter?  Nope, pretty sure it couldn't.


Pattern: Oliver and S Bedtime Story Pajamas
Size: 3T
Fabric: Flannel from Moda's Bliss collection

10.13.2011

An Official, Honest-To-Goodness Thank You


For my husband - who has been picking up much of the slack that I've been putting down lately.  Who's been solely dealing with our crazy toddler on those evenings that I fall asleep before said crazy toddler.  Who's been slowly but surely finishing the 1000 house projects that we haven't gotten around to finishing in the last five years.  And who, in spite of all the extra work that he's been doing around the house lately, did not blink an eye when I told him this morning that it would have been nice if he had done a load of dishes last night.

The man is a keeper.  And fortunately, I plan on keeping him.

10.10.2011

The One In Which I Almost Hang Myself With The Strap Of A Toddler Backpack

How could something look so cute and yet be so evil?


Okay, okay, I know it's not actually the backpack's fault, nor is it the fault of the pattern (which was awesome, by the way).  My lack of patience and attention to detail are solely to blame for the mistakes that I made while making this bag.


Mistake number one: I blatantly ignored the direction about not sewing one piece of fabric close to the zipper so you don't break your needle...and I then proceeded to break my needle.  And then did it again when serging the seams.  And now my serger is out of commission until I find time to re-thread it and hope that that fixes the problem.

Mistake number two: After having a hell of a time sewing the front of the bag to the side loop I realized that I sewed it on inside out.  And then proceeded to contemplate poking my eye out with my seam ripper.

Mistake number three: After finally completing the bag I realized that I twisted one of the straps when sewing it on.  For about five seconds minutes I contemplated just leaving it, but my better judgement got the best of me and I proceeded to rip through something like 5 layers of fabric to fix the damn strap.

Mistake number four: Did you know that there's a right side and a wrong side to strap adjusters?  Yeah, me neither.  But now I do.  Enough said.

Mistake number five: Perhaps I should have chosen heavier fabric or perhaps I should have interfaced the fabric that I used, but in any case, the backpack came out a little floppy.

Mistake number six: There's a reason that there's such a thing as a piping foot.  I tried to sew the whole bag together using my machine's zipper foot, thinking that that would allow me to sew close enough to the piping.  Now I know that this has worked terrifically for other people...but for me, not so much.  You've never seen such ugly piping.  In the end, I ended up going out and buying a piping foot a couple days after the backpack was finished and then I went back and re-sewed all the seams that I could.  My conclusion?  Piping foot = awesome.


What do six little mistakes added together make?  A toddler backpack that this little toddler loves.  The day I finished it she packed it up with snacks and headed out with her dad for an afternoon of fun.  And that, my friends, makes it all worth it.


Pattern: Toddler Backpack by Made By Rae
Fabric: From IKEA

My child's latest talent?  Making the hang loose sign.
Yeah, I know, she's a genius.

10.07.2011

The One In Which My To-Do List Tries To Kill Me

Life has been frantic, hectic, and chaotic lately.

Work has kept me running non-stop and outside of work I feel as if we have a to-do list a mile long...and for every item we cross off we add five more things to the list.

There's something about knowing that a new little one is coming into your world that makes you think about all those things that you've put off for years.  And suddenly it feels as if they need to be done immediately.  We need to clean out the basement, get rid of all the old magazines, shred our old bills, and find a new computer table and bed for O.  And the list goes on and on and on.

Last weekend I had a surge of manic energy when Ben took O out of the house for a couple of hours and during that time I didn't sit down once.  I was shredding and sorting and piling and discarding and sweeping and mopping and vacuuming and cooking and washing and planning and stressing.  And then I lost all motivation and have done nothing since.  I may burn hot...but I fade fast.

Amidst all the craziness and thinking about all the things that need to get done, I'm trying to remember  (sometimes more successfully than others) to appreciate the little things that can get lost amid the chaos.

Like how ridiculously cute O looked heading off to the baby sitter's house in the morning in her little ladybug costume that she insisted on wearing.


Or how sweet it is to see a child stop to inspect the flowers.


Or how deliciously yummy homemade cinnamon rolls are.


Here's to not forgetting the little things that can so often get lost behind the big ones.

10.04.2011

The Universe Calls And I Answer

After seeing this, and this, and this, I'm convinced that the universe is trying to tell me something.

I must make this bag.

And who am I am to ignore the universe?

10.02.2011

The Weekend

Photographic proof of where O gets her awesome facing-making abilities from

This weekend was just what I needed - a weekend filled with nothing.  No obligations.  No plans.  No big errands.  No running around.

Sure, there were the things that always need to be done (hello, dishes!).  And there was an event that Ben signed me up for - and I politely declined to attend.  But other than that, my time was my own (well, as much as it can be with a toddler at home).

And I have to say that I am better for this weekend.

This past week seemed so long - between work being crazy lately and fighting a losing battle with a nasty cold cold and Ben being out of town for a couple days I've just felt exhausted.  And I needed a weekend filled with nothing.  And fortunately, sometimes life gives you just what you need.
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