Thursday, February 28, 2008
Today, I baked cookies for the preschool fun fair. I made Rice Krispie-oatmeal cookies. I think I put too many rice krispies and then didn't stir it well enough because I had many many krispies left in the bowl. And the recipe only makes about 2.5 dozen and I doubled it. But the school wanted me to put 6 cookies per bag--6! There were no leftover cookies for us. I feel slightly bad because I have about ten baggies of cookies to contribute. Next year I'm making brownies.
Then, I've been sewing like mad. I'm making the Little House bonnets. It's going well. I was dreading having to make five of them, but I'm ahead of schedule. I'll post pics when they're done. Now I just need to get out the party invitations.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Caitlin is invited to a birthday party for twin girls next weekend, and I wanted to start making birthday gifts instead of buying crap. Here are the bags:
It's funny. I didn't realize that I had left more space around the embroidery on the purple bag until I looked at this picture. Oh well. Each bag has something I like better about it...but they're both great (IMHO)--kinda like children! *wink*
I got the pattern for the embroidery from needlecrafter.com and I stitched those over the weekend. I'm going to have to buy a really bright light or glasses or both if I'm going to continue to embroider. It was tough on the eyes!
And here is the back of the bags. Turkey Feathers made her XOX bag using jelly roll strips. I just cut pieces of fabric that I already had into long strips. I figure I have to use up what I have before I start dropping $30 on moda jelly roll strips...
On Friday, we're going to go to the bookstore to buy books to put in the bags. Caitlin didn't want to wait until Friday, she wanted to go yesterday! This has been fun, and now that I have started thinking about all the girls I know with spring birthdays, I can see that I'm going to be quite busy!
Sunday, February 24, 2008
This is obviously before. With apologies for the unclean mirror and the bathrobe. And the flash. It's hard to take a self-portrait! And here comes the after--with apologies again because my arms aren't long enough. We're just a little too close to my face for comfort, but anyway:
Time to go make breakfast!
Saturday, February 23, 2008
I managed to get to the fabric store late yesterday afternoon. I bought enough fabric to make five Little House bonnets, two patterns for clothing for me and fabric to make both. I'm so nervous about trying to make my own clothes--even though the patterns say "easy" on them, I'm wary. They may be easy enough to stitch together, but if the fit isn't that great, I'm not sure how to go about fixing that. Maybe I should wait until my mom comes up to visit. She has years of sewing expertise...knowing me, I'll at least try one of them before too long. I'll be sure to report the results.
I've decided to keep Caitlin's birthday party very small--five guests. And that's if all the invited guests show up! I want to do a Little House theme, that's why I'm making the bonnets. They'll be the girls' party favors. I think five guests will be perfect! We can actually do some activities and I won't be all stressed out.
The hair salon was closed yesterday, so I couldn't make an appointment. Can you imagine? The hair salon closed for a snow day! And it had stopped snowing by early afternoon. They could have opened up later in the day. Not to worry. I'm going to call in a little while to see if they can fit me in today. Or tomorrow. I feel like chopping a few inches off the bottom of my hair will somehow lift my spirits.
Happy Saturday to you all!
Friday, February 22, 2008
But then, I saw that I had three comments--three of them! I've never had that many comments at one time! I'm so excited! Hello! And thank you for stopping by! I have been having such a great time lately finding new blogs. I'm just blown away by all the creative energy out there--and it's always fun to read about other moms' adventures.
I suppose a day off from school will be okay. We're all still recovering from last week's viral fun, so another day at home won't kill them. I just feel a little frustrated. After Caitlin woke me at four this morning with a nosebleed, I had trouble falling back asleep partly because I was busy contemplating a run to Joann fabrics this afternoon...I was making a list of projects and supplies. And I was getting quite excited! Then, I really should have gone to the grocery store yesterday. It's funny--I grew up in South Carolina, and there, at the slightest mention of any kind of frozen precipitation, you had to run to the store and buy all the bread and milk you could find. And I still retain that mentality. Maybe because I wasn't feeling well yesterday I just let it slide. I honestly was surprised that school was cancelled today. The plows haven't even been to our neighborhood today! Maybe the town and the school district conspired to get the day off and avoid paying overtime for early-morning plowing!
We're out of hot chocolate, which seems to be the most important part of a snow day. I think the kids will manage, though. They're playing Whack-a-mole right now. I wonder how long until they start going after each other with the little plastic mallets...
I'm going to look up the salon number and make myself an appointment for a haircut tomorrow! Then I'll go to Joann tomorrow and line up sewing projects to see me through the end of winter! I have to remind myself that I was begging for snow...it's really pretty, so I'd better go take some pictures.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
So, in the meantime, here are some pictures. I took this one of Caitlin in her bonnet. I've been in stealth-mode with the camera lately...
Because as soon as the kids see the camera, they start hamming it up and saying "cheeeeese" and striking poses, like this:
Okay, it's kinda cute. So Monday it was mercifully warm. I opened windows throughout the house. And guess what I saw when I looked out into the pond? Two frogs sunning themselves! I know the picture isn't great. I was shooting through a window screen and the sun was shining directly into the room at the time. But the frogs were right below the window and there was no other angle to work from. And the frogs are very dark. And there's a piece of straw or grass on one of the frogs. Anyway, there it is:
Wishing you a funk-free (or less funked) day!
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
This one is for Bobby. It's not perfect, but it's good enough for the love man. And the other two will be much easier to make (I hope). I'm fairly tickled. I also finished the girls' Little House bonnets today, but haven't had the opportunity to get a picture. Huge thanks to Turkey Feathers for the inspiration!
This is how Bobby spent the day--poor thing is still not feeling well.
This turned into a delicious brownie dessert for the grown-ups.
Grandma and Granddaddy sent cards to the kids.
And some flowers for mama from her valentine!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
And it looks like Caroline was surprised!
This is how the quilts turned out. There are some mistakes, but not bad considering I really didn't know what I was doing.
And that's pretty much a wrap for Valentine fun this year. Oh, we'll probably do something special for dessert (if I can find a recipe and if I have all the ingredients in the house). But on the whole I'm pleased. Each kid had one present to open--it was something I had made with my own hands, and each kid loved it. More importantly, I wrote valentines out for each child and for Rob, telling each person what I loved about him or her, and those went over hugely (I know the grammar/syntax is off there, but you get my point). That felt great.
The reason I have to use ingredients from the house is because I woke up at 4:00 to the sounds of Bobby throwing up. Bless his heart, he got all the way to the toilet and threw up in the toilet--what a kid! Of course, I couldn't fall asleep after that, and only when I woke up again at 6 did I realize that I had indeed fallen asleep. Bobby had apparently been in the bathroom again and had left on the light. I got up, turned it off, and was awake again at 6:20 when he went in for what I'm guessing was Round 3. In the toilet again, my little man! Then, at 6:30, the dog had to pee, and by 6:40 I gave up and went to take a shower. Bobby has no fever, but he is pretty crusty. Poor thing missed out on pancakes and hot chocolate this morning, and that kid just loves his "panpakes," as he calls them.
On the plus side, Caitlin finally returned to school today. I'm thinking she'll probably exchange valentines and germs just in time for the long weekend--that's right, no school Friday or Monday. Sigh. One of these days, everyone will be healthy!
Happy Valentine's Day to you all.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Caitlin is home again. After being all perked up yesterday afternoon, she woke up feeling hot and coughing and not wanting to eat. Another day at home. At least her ears and throat were clear, so now it's just a waiting game.
Valentine's day is tomorrow--and I've done nothing for my husband! With a sick child at home, I haven't been able to go out. I'm almost out of half-and-half, so we'll have to run in the store this afternoon (because I must have my coffee in the mornings, and half-and-half is required!). I can pick up a card for him then. Don't you just love how things like holidays--even though you know exactly when they're coming--can sneak up on you? Funny.
Wishing everyone good health!
**update** The headache is gone for now--I managed to sneak in a nap this morning. Caitlin is still slowed down, Bobby has red lips and cheeks from all the goodies at his Valentine party, and now Caroline is asking to skip dance due to a tummyache. And I think I'm going to go for it!
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
So this afternoon, I decided it was time to get to work on something fun for me--an apron. Now, I didn't have a pattern, but I have viewed enough online that I was able to come up with a design. I started with one of my own aprons, added in some of what I liked from my online viewing, and came up with something cute.
Here it is--most of it. I uploaded the wrong picture, but you get the idea. Now I feel like I should go bake something!
Caitlin perked right up after lunch, so the kids painted Valentine's signs for Daddy. It's always a messy affair. Our kitchen table is about twelve years old, and as long as the kids do crafts, we won't get another one...which means we'll never get a new kitchen table!
I'm hoping Caitlin is out of the woods for good and can go back to school tomorrow. It'll be nice to get out of the house.
Monday, February 11, 2008
I finished the first of the Little House bonnets last night, and it's so cute! I have to say, sometimes the sewing instructions are not always clear, and I often have to talk myself through it, or worse, try it one way and then take out the stitches and try again, but I got it done, and I'm super excited. I can't post a picture today--the intended recipient is on the couch right now, so I can't very well start taking pictures of it...maybe tomorrow.
Friday, February 8, 2008
I'm trying to come up with a theme for Caitlin's birthday party next month. I'd like to keep it simple (and by simple, I mean "cheap"). She has 12 girls in her class, plus three other friends from the neighborhood. So I'm up to 16 kids--and that doesn't sound "simple." It sounds like work. Last year I invited her preschool class and the neighborhood friends. I think it was about 12 kids, and that was a lot of work. Of course, half of the party was 5 year old boys, and they are exhausting. Only girls this year--and I'm wishing there were some way I could cut the numbers down, but they're kindergartners and I don't want to cause hurt feelings. Looks like it's 16 kids this year. Ugh.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Friday's Target outing was more expensive than I had hoped. And I know that "hoping" I spend less money isn't quite the same as "planning" to spend less money, but I'm not going to beat myself up over it. The prescriptions were more than I had thought--one of them is a brand, no generic available, so it was $40, not $10. Bummer. Then the rest of my shopping pretty much stayed on list until I got to the Valentine's section. I ended up buying heart-shaped lollipops for the girls to tape to their valentines, and I bought M&Ms and Hershey Kisses to make "twisted kisses" for Bobby's class--and for us! This will be the last time I run down expenses in a post--I'm boring myself.
Saturday, I headed to Jo-ann Fabric full of ideas. I stopped at a quilting place first, but I got so overwhelmed by all the great fabrics that I had to leave. I wasn't really sure what my next project was going to be. I have several (8 or 9) ideas floating around in my head, but nothing is definite enough to start purchasing material. While I was at Joann, I got the idea to make a skirt for the girls' nightstand. It's one of those $5 tables with the screw-in legs. I couldn't find the tablecloth I had used on it previously, so it's just been in their room all naked and ugly. I'll let the pictures tell the tale.
This is what their nightstand looked like before (minus all the junk and toys around and on it).
And this is after!
Here is a close-up.
So now I'm onto another project. Don't know what that is exactly, but I'll be sure to post when I'm done.
Friday, February 1, 2008
I'm amused that I chose the word "stuff"--because that's really how a lot of it felt on Christmas morning. Honestly, Rob and I returned much of what we got each other. I knew even as I bought some of his "stuff" that I'd probably be returning it, and sure enough, on December 26, I did. It was almost like we felt this expectation that there be a minimum amount of gifts for each other to open, so we bought just to meet the minimum--really, Rob bought me pajamas that were too big (and he knew this) because they were out of my size. Just so I'd have something to open. That doesn't feel like Christmas spirit. It felt ... off.
And after returning everything on December 26 at an almost empty mall (I didn't have to wait in line anywhere), I wasn't pumped about taking that money and getting some bargains. There were signs everywhere--60% off! I didn't want to buy anything. The woman in Ann Taylor was practically begging me: "really, we have some great deals...sure you don't want to look around before I do this return?" I just wanted to go home.
I don't know what was behind my not wanting to buy. Was it because I just felt like we'd bought too much? Shopping for so many family members at once adds up quick. Too much of anything can make you feel sick. Was it because the general economic news has been so dismal? Who wants to spend when all the news is telling you that bad times are ahead? Presenting family members with a gift card to their favorite store just really felt like a hollow gesture this year. And yes, I have a stack of gift cards too. They're gathering dust--even the cash from my grandfather--and cash money usually burns a hole in my pocket faster than you can say "you're on fire."
So for January, both for economic reasons and I guess I'd say "spiritual" reasons (my spirit, not any Holy ones), I've just not been shopping. My biggest single expense this month was $140 to sign Bobby up for teeball. And I didn't like paying that. No trips to Target, no stops at the teacher supply store (I have a secret addiction to teacher supplies.). I did spend $28.00 at the fabric store to make the kids' Valentine presents. No clothes, no expensive shampoos. I have been working on spending my $50 gift card to Borders. I've stopped in about every week to buy a new magazine or two. That's really been my only indulgence this month.
At times, my "not shopping" has felt like work. I'm constantly thinking about how I don't need to run to the store every couple of days. I'm constantly reminding myself that I have enough--of whatever. And in spite of the mental wear and tear, not shopping has felt pretty good. I guess the way to get to a "homemade Christmas" (which is something I'm seriously considering) is to wean us off the unnecessary accumulation of material goods. Slow down the shopping so that it becomes a habit and then a way of life.
So now that it's a new month, I'm wondering if I'll be able to maintain my newfound...I can't even come up with a word...perspective, maybe? The FlyLady says that it takes twenty-eight days to form a habit. Well, it's been thirty-one days. Am I going to run into Target today and blow $100 on crap for the house? I have to go in there today--I have some prescriptions to refill, so there's $20, and I need dog food, now we're up to about $40. I don't want to blow my financial diet here. But it also feels like it's about more than just money. I think this is also about learning to realize that we have enough, more than enough really. I hope to train myself to resist that urge to get more--to repress that need to hoard stuff. Because stuff is not what makes me want to get out of bed in the morning.
I suppose all of this could fall under the description of "New Year's resolution," and I think beginning in January is good. With the spending hangover of Christmas fresh in my mind, I can begin now to visualize the kind of Christmas I want for 2008. And I can take all year to get the rest of the family to adjust their expectations. Scaling down expectations, changing the focus of holiday celebrations to the actual holiday and not the material goods that accompany the celebration. It's going to be hard work, but I feel this is important. With the first month under my belt, I can begin to put my plan into action. After all, we have a Valentine's celebration, and then I have to start planning Caitlin's birthday party. And Rob turns forty in March...getting through March 12 is going to be big challenge, but it's a great opportunity.