Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A New Season

Now that it's officially fall, I feel like I need to make "new season's resolutions" or something to mark the change of season. I think that taking time to type up what I want to do/accomplish over the next three months or so will help me maintain some kind of focus. Otherwise I get all flighty and know, I'll be walking through Joann's and decide all of a sudden that I need to make three styles of shirt and a couple of dresses and hey--couldn't I knit myself a purse?...better to have it planned out.

I have many green tomatoes out on the vine--I'm hoping they'll hurry up and ripen before any frost appears. I'm not ready to put away my canning kit just yet. I hope to make more tomato sauce, some red pepper spread, and some applesauce in the next few weeks. I have enjoyed my little garden this year, and I'm hoping that we'll enjoy what I've put away for winter... I'm already thinking about what to plant next year!

Craft-wise, I'm deep in the throes of Christmas crafting. I've started on Caroline's knitted gift. It's a hoodie, and this is going to stretch my limited knitted knowledge to its limit. Bobby's quilt is coming together, and then I have to start the girls' quilts. Those are my big home-made holiday items for this year. Knowing me, I'll come up with a half-dozen other small things to make for various family members. At the last minute. Without the necessary supplies...that's how I roll.

Now that it's getting cooler, I want to sew a few clothing items for myself. I hope to make a couple of shirts (maybe blouse is a better word?) and at least one skirt. I love wearing skirts in the summer. I always feel a little more put together in a skirt. I saw some cute fabric at the store last week, so a fall skirt may be happening.

Today we have nowhere to go after school, and I'm very happy about that! Monday and Tuesday are rough--we're constantly watching the clock as we move through the afternoon. Today the kids can relax, do their homework, and then go out and play until dinner. Tomorrow is school picture day, so it'll be a mini-spa night tonight (and by mini-spa, I mean shower and clip the fingernails! Maybe we'll use a curling iron tomorrow.).

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Checking in

I feel like I've been running around all day, and now we're home for another twenty minutes or so before Caitlin's dance class. The kids have had about three snacks apiece and are still saying they're hungry! Doesn't anyone grasp the concept of "snack"?

Anyway, before the day's running began, I was able to finish piecing this together:
I still have to decide what I'm doing regarding a border--I may not have enough fabric. I think it only really needs a border on the sides because it's plenty long enough. I hope to get it sandwiched and ready to quilt this week.

Here are the fingerless gloves I've been working on. In the book, they're about five different colors and the flowers are embroidered on in a variety of colors as well. I used one color because I didn't want to buy more yarn...I'm not sure how I like the same color embroidery, but I'll live with it. I actually have to finish the flowers on the other glove...but this project is pretty much done.
And here is the poncho! I was going to put little bobbles all over it, but when I found the pattern for the knit flowers, I was all over that. It looks really narrow across the shoulders--I hope it fits her in December!
That's what I've been up to. This weekend Caroline and I are going camping with her Brownie troop (and a whole bunch of other Girl Scouts). It should be fun. Is it wrong to be annoyed that a weekend camping with my daughter will take time away from crafting? (Yes, I know it's wrong...bad Mommy!) That's why I'll be sewing and knitting like a maniac this week. And now, it's time to find the leotards and get our JAZZ HANDS ready to go!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I didn't get to my morning yoga class yesterday...but I DID get to the one o'clock class! I'd forgotten about the afternoon classes. It's perfect because then I'm totally kid-free, so I don't have to pack a snack (because we can't go anywhere without a snack, even if we did just finish lunch) and go through the whole kiddie-care sign-in procedure. It was great. I'll be back again on Monday afternoon.

I'm not going to beat myself up as I try to find some balance. I'm all about baby steps here, and two yoga classes a week is a good start. Now if you'll excuse me, I had best go take some baby steps on piecing a quilt!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Finding balance

I was dressed to go to the gym this morning. Then I poured my cup of coffee and logged on to the computer. Then an hour and a half disappeared.

There's my problem.

I'm on this computer too damn much.

I didn't get to the gym today. Again. And now that my membership is unfrozen, I'm getting charged again for not going to the gym.

I am going to have to rethink my whole morning routine because I need to get back into the routine of breaking a sweat at the gym (hot flashes don't count). That means--and this is the part I dread--I'll have to give up my morning blog-reading ritual. Not give up entirely, just move it to another part of the day--like snack time when the kids are watching TV. Wish me luck.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Is it hot in here?

Or is it just me? I turned off the AC, because it's only supposed to get up to 82 today (and we'll be out a dance class this afternoon). And the crock pot in the kitchen is putting out more heat than I thought it would. But, Lord help me, I'm sitting here about to break into a full-on sweat! TMI? Is 37 too young for hot flashes? Deep breaths. And maybe a tall glass of ice water...
On Friday, I went to my favorite thrift store. And it was Vintage Pyrex Wonderland there! Since I only had $20 on me (and since I was supposed to be using that money for other things...ahem), I bought three items. Here's what $13.00 will get you:

They are new patterns for me. I love the yellow and white ones together. The large yellow one is currently holding potato salad for tonight's dinner.
It's another crazy Monday here. I've already mailed out my apron swap package, so that's no longer hanging over my head. In about twenty minutes, I have to go pick up Bobby and then pick up the girls. At 4:30, Caitlin has dance and at 7, I have back to school night for Caitlin. The sitter I called for tonight has not returned either of my calls, so a neighbor is going to juggle her three and my three for an hour tonight--God bless her! All the other neighbors have first graders! I'll have dinner either before I dash off to school or after the back to school night--you know, around 8:30, when Rob finally gets home from work! Where was my ice water?

Friday, September 12, 2008

I'll catch my breath right after this

I'm so glad it's Friday. We can take a break from the daily grind of homework and signing and returning papers to school and looking for dance outfits and making lunches to take to school. Pant, pant, pant. Anyone else tired?
Today is Bobby's first full day at preschool. On Monday, I had to go with him for an hour. Wednesday, he was by himself for an hour. Today (finally!) he goes the whole time. Which means I can finally relax a little and get some errands done without having to watch the clock quite so closely. The poor dog is hungry because we ran out of dog food yesterday, so Target is high on my list of stops this afternoon.

I also need to spend some time doing a little menu planning. I have fallen out of the habit, and we're all paying the price for that. I can't tell you how many times in the last few weeks I find myself wondering "what's for dinner?" at five thirty--with no vegetables in the house. We've been eating a lot of pasta. Somehow I'm okay with just serving pasta with sauce. It feels more like a meal than say, just a grilled chicken breast...So back to menu planning we go!

Here's the apron I made yesterday. It's supposed to make you think of Holland (Rob guessed Germany--close enough, I figure). If I'd had more time (or been less lazy), I was thinking about appliqueing (is that even a word?) a windmill or some tulips to really make it scream "Dutch!". This will have to do. And I think it turned out pretty cute.
With the return of the school year comes the return of the weekly birthday party. Caroline has one on Sunday. This is the bag. I love this fabric!

Caitlin's eye appointment on Wednesday went pretty much as I expected. We had to wait for at least an hour before we saw the doctor, and he did dilate her pupils. He said that her eye is crossing inward at close range (like when she's reading), but her vision is still 20/20 in each eye. He wants her to wear a patch on her stronger eye for three hours a day and he'll see her again in a month. Easier said than done. Patching has never gone smoothly around here. I'm hoping she's old enough to understand the reason now--I made her wear it for an hour yesterday and she asked constantly, "can I take it off now?" Baby steps, right? We'll get to three hours eventually.

And Caroline has me tied in knots. As usual. I'm beginning to wonder if I've programmed myself to get this stressed out about her--when maybe the stress is uncalled for. She's having a tough time adjusting to the responsiblities of third grade. Maybe my nightly harping on the importance of homework isn't helping. She just doesn't seem to care whether her work is neat or spelled correctly. She doesn't want to do the daily reading. This child is the one who keeps me in the parenting section of the library...looking for the magic book that will unlock the mystery and make her magically want to do all her homework. It's possible that I wasn't this Type A at eight years old, maybe I should give the kid a break.

I'm hoping this weekend will bring us a little relaxation and a little perspective. Maybe with some ice cream on the I'll go catch my breath.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

It feels like I've been away for a really long time, but maybe that's just because I've been so busy. Bobby turned five on Saturday, but we had to move his party to Sunday because of Hanna. We had about 2.5 inches of rain on Saturday, but Sunday was beautiful. And I'm very proud to say that no paper plates, plastic utensils, paper napkins or juice boxes were harmed in the throwing of our party!

Then yesterday we hit the ground running. It was Bobby's first day of preschool, Caitlin's first day of dance, and back to school night for Caroline (our school is really large, so back to school night is done by grade--Caitlin's is next week). Today Rob had surgery to repair an umbilical hernia, so we had to be at the place by 6:30--that's AM, people! We're a little tired today. The procedure went well. We were back home by 9:45, and he's sleeping now. This evening Caroline has her first dance class.

Tomorrow, I get to put Mom on the train, take Bobby to school, pick up Caitlin early and take her and Bobby to her eye appointment! At some point this week, I'm supposed to be sewing an apron for a swap...Thursday could be the day. Monday is the mailing deadline. I just hope I bought enough fabric!

Caroline has a Brownie camping weekend in a couple of weeks (before our regular meetings even begin). I have to round up a couple of sleeping bags for, am I missing summer or what? This is the first year that everything has seemed to start up so quickly.

Here's hoping that we'll find our rhythm soon!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Step into my workshop

Remember these? These were quilt blocks that I started back in ...May? They've been pieced together for a couple of months. I have to stay-stitch around the edges of all 35 blocks, and that's not something I'm excited about doing. So they've been gathering dust...until next week. Next week I'm going to have to start back up. This quilt is going to be a Christmas present for Bobby. Here's a preview:
As I uploaded this picture I noticed that the bottom left block isn't aligned correctly--it should be flipped so that the red part forms a diamond. You get the idea.

I waited for what seemed like an eternity for Sandi Henderson's new fabric line to go on sale. It's called Farmer's Market, and it's just so yummy! I finally ordered a bunch--both girls will also be getting quilts for Christmas.

Here is a preview of Caitlin's. It's going to be a series of nine-patch blocks. I'm using thrifted sheets for the solid patches.

And the design for Caroline's is going to be blocks that are made up of strips of different fabrics. I saw a similar one on Old Red Barn Co. over the summer and decided that it would be a simple pattern to do. I'm going to incorporate some solids into this--it's a queen size quilt and doing the whole thing in Farmer's Market would be too expensive. The gingham fabrics are thrifted sheets. I'll look for more thrifted sheets but will probably just go with some solid cotton.
Look at this fabric! It's so beautiful. I don't think I could choose just one favorite from the collection.
My knitting projects are coming along. I'm on the second panel for the poncho. That has been pretty easy. It's just a large block of knitting. I've finished another hat and am about to start some fingerless gloves.

I'll be spending lots of time creating this fall! I look forward to it. What are you creating?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Cue the Music...

"It's the most wonderful time of the year!" "Show me what grade you're in."
They're saying "school rocks."

Aaahhh, that's more like it. The girls are in school! We walked them over this morning. Their backpacks were overflowing with supplies and they each had an additional shopping bag full of kleenex, clorox wipes and ziploc bags. We met all the other neighors outside the red door, where we waited until a school official let us in. We took Caitlin down to her classroom. She was uncharacteristically quiet, but fortunately our neighbor is also in her class, so she was with a friend when we left her. Then we went upstairs for the first time ever to take Caroline to her class. Caroline will have a student teacher in the fall semester, so I'm glad about that. Nothing like two teachers in the classroom to make sure she gets enough help.

Bobby and I are enjoying a quiet moment before we take Rob's car to be inspected. Then I don't know what else the day will bring. Maybe we'll make a special snack for when the girls get home!

Happy Tuesday!