Wednesday, July 30, 2008


We got home last night and are in the stages of recovering form the trip.
I am in the sweatpants, bed head, "leave me alone" stage.
Tiny is in the happy, just woke up from a long and early nap stage.
Baby Girl is in the ordered off to bed for whining and howling in stead of leaving me alone stage.
Altogether, not so bad. I'm not being left completely alone, but with the one in bed and the other busy ruining the stereo, I'm getting by. Though I suppose it would be prudent of me to save the life of the stereo.

There is a list of things that I like to do during my summer visits to Utah. Care to recap with me and see how I did with the list this year?
The first Item of business, I guess, should be sharing the list with you so here goes.

1- Visit family
2- Chill with Barefoot Cassandra and pretend to be eighteen again
3- See whatever other old friends I can get a hold of
4- Leatherby's, ahh bliss!
5- Drive around in the cool night air with the windows and sunroof open wide.
6- Take alternate bites of crisp bean, and meat burritos from Taco Time
7- Drop by Arctic Circle for a lime squeeze and yukon gold fries.
8- Sit outside and suck in the sweet cool summer evening air until my lungs explode.
9- Super Nachos from Beto's
10- Form a new obsession over one thing or another.

Wow, a lot of that list is dedicated to fast food. Let's pretend that I eat only vegetables to rest of the time to make up for it, deal?

Now, I think I'll have a celery stick while we review the list in detail.

1- I did super on this, I stayed a week with my Mother in law and a week with my Mother.
I saw all nine of my siblings, the one sibling of The Mr's who lives there, and even his sister in law who lives here but was there visiting. I saw every niece and nephew excepting one, who was not yet born on the day I visited her mother.
I saw My Grandma and most of my Aunts and Uncles. I saw The Mr's Maternal grandparents and 2 of his aunts. I missed his paternal grandmother though, darn. Still, that is a staggering number of relations to have seen so I think I can check that one off.
Also, Baby Girl seems to have overcome her fear of the teenage uncles! She's always been wary of any uncle with no children of his own, but by the end of our stay she was talking freely to all uncles, childless or otherwise, with no sign of distress. I call that progress.

2- Barefoot is busy these days so it was trickier to play eighteen than it has sometimes been. I did leave my Children with my mother last Saturday while we went to the X-Files movie.
Watching David Duchovney chase monsters always takes me back to eighteen.
Better yet, when the movie was over, Barefoot's loving papa bought us frostys. That was the cherry on top of my evening in teenagehood.

3- I ran across two old friends. I had dinner with Teresa, from my Utah Festival Opera days, and chatted in the road with Mindi, from the neighborhood of my youth.
Both very last minute and too short but really good just the same.

4- I never made it to Leatherby's, sigh, I'll have to get there at Christmas.

5- Luckily the rental car I had for a few days had a sunroof so I am able to check this item off the list. I have to say though, it's not quite as satisfying when you don't have long hair to fly in the wind.

6- Got the burritos, it's just not satistying to have either the bean or the meat. Must be both, and alternating bites is definitely the only way to go.

7- Never made it to Arctic Circle. I've started taking Lime slices on a ziploc to the movies to squeeze into my Sprite though, so it's only the yukon gold fries I really missed out on.

8- I spent some time out in the evenings but not as much as I would have liked. More than anything else, Summer evenings are what I miss most from the climate I grew up in.
Occasionally I notice a similar quality of the light on a winter afternoon here, but never the same. Never the tangible nostalgia that hangs in the air at the perfect ends of long summer days.

9- No Beto's either. Actually Beto's goes by a different name these days but I don't remember what it is. Anyway I had no super nachos from Beto's or otherwise.

10- Last year it was Arrested Development. I borrowed season one from Barefoot and stayed up too late watching it in bed on the portable DVD player. You already know about this years obsession, so I'll spare you any more details.

It was a good trip, but long. I was very ready to come home. Actually, I should rephrase that. I was Very ready to be home. I spent more than a few days dreading coming home. No good can come of taking flights that depart after your children's bed time. I'll do my best to remember that.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Early vanity

Picture this. I am sitting at the computer, Baby Girl is sitting near by taling to herself. I am ofcourse not listening because a)I am at the computer, and b) she is talking to herself, not me.
Oh wait, she just said "and that's my problem mom" so I guess she was talking to me. Would you like to know what her problem was? Her hair is light brown and she really likes dark brown hair. It really is a hardship, I've dealt with it myself. I assurred her that her hair will likely darken as she grows. Mine never did, not naturally anyway, but hers may. Still, a bit early for her to worry over it wouldn't you say?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

It's just who I am. I can deny it no longer.

When I start reading a book I get a little obsessed. I ignore my children, the dishes pile up and The Mr gives a resigned sigh as he fetches his lappy to fill the time while I ignore him too.
A year or so ago friends started tellling me about Twilight and it's accompaning sequels. Every time it came up and I mentioned I hadn't read it people would gasp and declair that i must do so immediately. One friend siad "I have never liked to read but I've read these six times now. Every time I finish I start again at the beggining"
I think the natural reaction to such high praise would be to read the reccommended book at the first opportunity. I, however am rather contrarry, we've discussed this before, and so I did not read them.
A few months ago I mentioned my failure to read them to another friend, I had come to rather enjoy the reaction I got from telling people that, but this time I didn't get the reaction. She said she liked them well enough, but was rather indifferent. There was no gasping, no declairations that I must immediately drop what I was doing and begin to read. Then she said Twilight was "The best poorly written book (she'd) ever read" and I started thinking more seriously about actually reading it/them.
Last month we read The Host for book club and I adored it. That finally tipped the scale. I knew my mother in law had Twilight so I decided to read it while I'm staying with her, but I was not going to be one of those girls, the ones who obsess, who discuss Edward and Bella with their friends at every given opportunity, who upon hearing about a friend who hasn't read the books gasps and says she must. I was going to be logical and objective. I was going to decide intellegently whether I agreed about the poor writing.
I started reading Tuesday night, the very night I arrived and the home of my mother in law and borrowed her copy of Twilight. I finnished up Wednesday night after my children were abed. Thursday was the first day of my family reunion. It was a very busy day, I hitched a ride with my sister and her family as we hopped from activity to activity. Every spare thought I had went to figuring out how I could get my hands on a copy of New Moon. I called friends and family asking if they had a copy that could be deposited in my hands that day. Finally, when the day's reunioning was over, I tucked my children into bed, borrowed my mother-in-law's car and went to Wal*Mart to buy New Moon and Eclipse.
During the following eight hours I read New Moon, then I slept for four hours, woke up late, threw our camping stuff together and left for the remainder of the family reunion. I decided not to bring Eclipse along. When, amidst the reuniting with various family members would I have a chance to read? I took it anyway, I'd need something diring the few hours drive ahead of me. I finnished before dinner the next day, so what if I wouldn't see some of these cousins untill the family reunion in 2 years? I had some very important reading to do!
Seriously, who did I think I was kidding? Of course I was going to obsess, it's who I am.
I spent a few hours today pouring over Stephenie Meyer's web site, reading every little scrap, every outtake, and shaking my head at myself the whole time.
To be honest, as much as I ejoyed these books I really loved The Host more. If you wonder how much I obsessed about that one, ask the Mr. I came close to begging him to read it so I'd have someone to discuss it with. I read it within twenty four hours, nearly three weeks bafore the book club meeting, which was just too long to wait for discussion. This helps me realise that it's in my nature to obsess about what I read. That realisation helps me feel less like one of "those girls" (although I have alot of good friends who are "those girls" so what's my problem with joining the party?) and lessens my chagrin over my reaction to the books I'd vowed not to get carried away with.
One final note,
Spoiler allert! Do not read the next paragraph if there's anyway you'll ever read these books, or possibly watch the films!
I am on Team Edward, all the way. Jacob is fantastic, I hope he imprints with a nice girl and lives a happy life just as long as Bella is with Edward.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Fare thee well

I have just cleaned my teeth with the help of my beloved water pik for the last time before I leave it for two whole weeks. I'll be entirely dependent during my stay in Utah on the use of dental flos, a dental floss threader, and that little bristly toothpick thing for the removal of debris from my braces. Wish me luck.
Also, I am leaving the Mr. I'll miss him too.
I'd like to post while I am gone visiting but my ability to do so is in the hands of my family members and their respective internet connections so if I don't post, blame them.
Here's a bit of news. I am coming close to my 200th post. I think a giveaway is in order. Be ready. I haven't thought out the particulars yet but it's coming.

Monday, July 14, 2008

We've got a match!

Baby Girl told me a few weeks ago when I mentioned out upcoming camping trip that Tiny Boy would be needing a backpack for "highping" I assured her that I would make him one. That's when she let me know that none of her elleventy-twelve existing back packs would do for hikeing, excuse me, highping, so she would need a new one as well.
I started out with the grey stash corduroy that suggested itself for the project and my dear old Dictionary. A few years back in my college days that dictionary was one of my best friends. It was nice to see him again. I even peeped inside and read a word or two for old time's sake.
This time though I wasn't after any new vocabulary, I just happened to notice that the dictionary was just the size and shape for a child's back pack so I used him as my pattern. Actually, he was a bit narrow, so I added 2 inches of width, but the height and depth of my old friend were just perfect.

Remember that Heather Ross goldfish fabric? This is what it was meant for. I'd planned to use it as the whole lining but I couldn't bring myself to waste it that way so I just lined the flap with it and saved the rest, and the fish bowl buttons for a future project.

I used the grey plaid, one of the bargain fabrics I picked up that day, as the lining.

I'd planned on putting an appliques on the pockets from the very beginning. After selecting the fish for the (visible) lining it followed that the appliques should also be fish. I mimicked the shapes of a few of the fish from the fabric as best I could.

I forgot to buy hardware to make the straps adjustable but at the point when I realized that I was not about to stop and wait until I could get back to the store, so I used buttons. The plan was to make multiple button holes so the straps could adjust but I didn't want to figure out placement for the additional holes right then. When they children grow and need their straps adjusted I'll mark them, and make some new button holes.

Now all that's left to do is fill them with snacks and send them on their way.

A bit of a guessing game

I whipped this up the other day to solve a problem I've been having with my boy. Can you guess what it is? (The item, not the problem)

Here a view of what the item looks like when Tiny wears it while eating rocks.
Any guesses yet?
Maybe you think my problem is a feeling of disconnection with my past and the item is a vest that will be accompanied by a butterfly collared blouse and a pair of uber-high-waisted polyester double knit trousers thus connecting me with the 1970's through the dress of my child?
If that was your guess you are wrong. Part of the problem with that guess is that the 1970's are not so much part of my personal past as I was not living upon the earth at that time.

By way of a hint; here's a close up view of the back.

And an even bigger hint; a view of the hardware. That's right folks, hardware.

And down the slide he goes, providing a full view of his leash!
Dig ding ding! we have a winner! The contraption is a harness providing a means to leash my son.

The kid really has been rather unruly these days. At home when he is free to wander he wants nothing more than to be held. When we're out and I need to hold him he fights to get down. After struggling a few days with this I decided on the harness and leash as a possible solution to half of the problem.
If you were wondering, yes, the dog appliqued on the front is an allusion to the fact that I've leashed my boy like a pup. I even bought the leash in the pet-care section at my local grocery store.
Some may think it shameful to leash a child, but I wonder to myself whether those people have ever navigated an airport with an independent young toddler who is in an especially tantrum prone phase. My guess is, probably not.
In all honesty, I have not done that ether, but I will tomorrow and having the leash in my arsenal of coping strategies gives me some small measure of peace in my heart as I face the challenge.

I am not a milliner and why I need a digital SLR

This is my first hat. I think it's very obvious that it's my first. If I were willing to show you the inside, it would me even more obvious.

I started out with 6 sections but that made it large enough to fit even my big fat head. Just as I was cursing myself for putting in the plaid accent "pipping" (it's not really pipping but I don't know what else to call it) which made it impossible for me to simply take it in at each seam, I figured out that I could remove a section even more simply.

The five section hat is just the right size for Tiny's tiny head but since the fabric has a bit of stretch and I wasn't all to careful sewing in the sweat band, it flares out a bit at the bottom. I thought about running a bit of elastic along the back so it would hug his head a little more but he kept it on pretty well as I was photographing him and I think that may be a result of the looseness. I might give this another try with the same fabrics someday when I'm not trying to do it all within the span of one nap.

I really don't like using a flash. It makes things look harsh in my, humble, not a photographer, opinion. A lot of the time I can get away with turning off the flash if my subject, and also my camera, are very still but with Tiny as my subject, that just doesn't happen.

I asked the Mr last night, "Can't I adjust the shutter speed on this thing some how?" No, no I can't that's part of what makes it a point and shoot camera. Oh well, some day I'll be able to adjust my shutter speed. For now I'll just have to make due with harsh flashy photos of moving subjects and often slightly out of focus photos of still subjects.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

How to (quietly) occupy a 16 month old boy

A little bag full of choking hazards is the key.
I got a few of these little coin purses a few weeks ago. I knew I had something to keep in this one but it wasn't until Friday when Tiny Boy found a spare thimble and carried it around on his thumb for nearly an hour that I figured it out.
Tiny has been crazily unruly in church the past few weeks. He screams and tantrums and the only thing that will stop him is to be let pull my earrings from my head as he so wishes to do. Given this state of things I've been dreading our upcoming flight to Utah. "At least," I've been telling myself "he dosen't have to be reverent on a plane, just reasonably quiet and contained within 2 airline seats."
This purse of choking hazards though, I think it will save me. We tested it out today at church. Both children huddled around and took turns playing with each choking hazard as it was pulled from the purse. We did have to make one rule, only one hand in the purse at a time, but they played and played.
Tiny got distracted when his sister moved on to a different activity and then he let out a really good scream before the Mr hauled him out of the chapel, but I am satisfied, none the less, with my little bag of tricks.
The other highlight of my church attendance today? Baby Girl was feeling particularly snugly as the meeting opened. She was not satisfied unless her legs were wrapped 'round my waist, her head firmly pressed against my shoulder and her arms about my neck in as tight a hold as she could manage while still being fairly relaxed herself. Also, if a little shoulder could be jammed against my esophagus she was much more comfortable. I should have thought to count the number if times my breath was externally forced from my lungs leaving me gasping, rather than singing the opening hymn.
Then there was the time she rubbed her head against my perfect, shiny, newly glossed lips and held me in a choke hold such that I was unable to either move my head out of range of her hair, or reach my hand to my mouth to remove the hair that way. That was nice, really really nice.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

After Dinner

We went out for a walk, we got the mail and visited some neighbors. Baby gilr rode her tricycle like the wind and managed to avoid running into either me or the stroller. There's a storm a comin' so it was nice and cool and breezy with an occasional far-off flash of lightening. All in all it was an ideal after dinner excursion, until we got home.
Here's some of what I found upon my arrival

Ugg. Heaven help me.

This little beauty was my saving grace. I bought her here for my Marmie as a late mother's day gift. She was the reason I went to the mailbox in the first place. Sweet lille blue bird.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

a-shopping I did go

I got this pile of fabric, most of which was on sale

Don't these buttons go swimmingly with this Heather Ross fishy fabric? I intended the fish for Tiny but Baby Girl saw, and wanted them too so I guess they'll be match.

Finally, a fabulous new thimble for me. I'm always on the look out for a good thimble. This one is squishy-ish plastic for comfort with a good 1/4 inch thickness at the top so no pesky needles can get out of line.
I suppose I shouldn't pledge my heart to it until I've tried it out. I'd better get some hand sewing ready so I can give it a chance to prove itself.

Monday, July 7, 2008


I always always always wanted a special patriotic outfit for the 4th of July when I was a kid. Since I've been grown up, I always manage to throw something together for myself in the appropriate color scheme. Maybe someday I'll make myself the dress with ruffles alternating between stars and stripes that I dreamed of as a little girl.
For my little girl I made this.

I'm not really satisfied with the photos. By the time the sun had gone down enough to get a decent one, the shorts were all wrinkled from being worn all day.
I love the shorts though, even if I don't have a great photo of them. Yep, that's the fly I'm so proud of. I still need to put a button or hook at the top, see it pulls a bit? That's why, no button.
I rather like the tank as well. I thought that was going to be a 20 minute little project, but I failed to consider that I was using my new serger for the first time, so by the time I figured out how to actually use the machine and then got the feel for how it sews I'd spent 3 days sewing time on it (swear word).
I didn't think I'd have time for the shorts. I was expecting a fight figuring out that fly. (I should have counted the times I had to unzip my own pants and examine them during the process) But I whipped those out the afternoon of the third and still had time to make a pair of overalls for Tiny Boy.
The overalls weren't blessed with the same good fortune as the shorts, so I need to revise a few things before I post about them, but I'll get to it soon.
Here's what I ended up with when I tried photographing the sorts mid-day when they were still wrinkle-free.

I love the high waist, hate the blaring sun.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Dog pood

I've had a hard time letting Tiny Boy run around and play in the back yard. Little boys need to run around outside, I know, but I have a thing about dog poo and here's why.
One warm summer day I was left babysitting my little bothers, who were 10 months or so old at the time. They wanted nothing but to run around in the back yard. I, on the other hand, did not want to be in the back yard because it was hot and I was lazy. Also, since it was just me and the twins at home, I could watch whatever I wanted on TV, and let me tell ya, that didn't happen often. Sadly for me, those darn babies would give me no peace until I took them out side. So, here's what I did. I put them in their double stroller, the kind where the babies face each other, and I wheeled them into the back yard. I parked them in a poop-free zone and I went back inside to enjoy what ever I could find on local daytime television.
What possible trouble could they get into stuck in the stroller? I'd just peek out now and then during the commercials so I could bring them in if they got tired of the fresh air.
Only, when I went to check on them, I found clasped in the hands of one or the other, I couldn't tell you which, a big ol' log of dog poo.
I don't remember how I got it away from him, or how I got him cleaned up without touching his poo-hands, but I didn't tell my mother, or anyone, about the incident until last summer.
I think it was a wise secret to keep. You may be of the opinion that I should have kept it still, but I wanted you to understand about my back yard dog poo issues, so I told.
A few months ago I finally let Tiny walk around the lawn. I watched him like a hawk. Poo from a 4 pound dog hides really easily, I didn't want him finding a bit I hadn't seen. He never showed any interest in pieces of poo he happened upon and over time I relaxed and let him play and pick up rocks and do little boy stuff. I still kept an eye out for stray bits of poo, but Tiny was pretty free to wander.
Thursday we were in the back yard. I was spraying Baby Girl with sunscreen and not paying attention to Tiny. Then it happened. He walked over from the edge of the patio, and there clasped in his plump little paw, was a lump of poo!
I took hold of his wrist and tried to shake it out of his grasp but he was hard to hold onto because he was reaching for the dog with his other hand. And what was in his other hand? That's right, poo. He was trying to feed the second lump to the dog. It was old poo, sort of petrified from being in the sun among the rocks. Feeding the dog is one of Tiny's favorite things to do. "Little bits of hard brown stuff? Well that must be dog food! I'll just pick it up and go give it to my puppy" thought Tiny Boy, and he did.
After I scoured my small boy, and could again think, I remembered this "his poop is his food is his poop" Let's just call it all "pood" I think Santa might bring that barbie for Tiny this year. I don't think he'd have much use for her, but he would feed that dog hid pood all the live long day.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Flying away

Look what I just did! I'm really super happy, it's my first fly ever.

Now, why is this photos sideways? I have no idea. I didn't take it side ways, it's not sideways on my computer, I even turned it sideways and tried uploading it that way in hopes the weirdness would even things out. No luck, still sideways.

Photo oddities aside, I'm very pleased with this endeavor thus far. If the rest of the project doesn't turn out, and this fly is wasted I will curl up in a ball and weep bitter, bitter tears. So wish me luck!

I'm done folks, and there will be no curling into balls or weeping bitter tears. I'll show you the finished product soon.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I'm greedy, what can I say?

Ice Cream Social Frock Giveaway!!!!

Yep, another giveaway at Grosgrain, and this one is my favorite of the lot. Pick me, pick me!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Snazzy Quilted Diaper Wallet

I bought fabric a year ago and planned to make this little idea of mine into a reality for myself but I never got around to it. My sister in law liked my idea and wanted to try it but, I couldn't tell her how it had worked out since I never followed though on it. Long story short, I repented my neglect of the project and made one for her.

There is a pocket for wipes,one for diaps, one for a tube of whatever bum-goo you may need, and one that will fit a pair of baby nail clippers or a spare paci.

It rolls once,


and it's closed!

I haven't put a closure on it yet, I'm thinking a magnetic snap would be ideal. It needs to be strong enough to hold the wallet closed wile its jumbled around in a purse or diaper bag and also easy to open with one hand. The magnetic snap idea is the only one I've come up with that I think will really work.
In other news, I have fallen in love with my walking foot on these past two projects. I got it with my machine 5 years ago but I'd never even opened the box. I thought it was exclusively for quilting so, since I don't do much of that, I didn't bother.
What is it exactly that I like about it? I couldn't tell you. I can't figure out what it is that makes sewing with it easier than with out it, but I know there's something and that's good enough for me.