Friday, February 24, 2012

Little Projects

I probably should be posting more when these things happen rather than catching up all at once but I've been busy with little projects that don't really need doing so I haven't had time!  Haha.  I SHOULD be working on a list of things that need to get done . . . Oh well.

Last weekend Chopper had the monthly boy scout camp out and they did a hike.  It rained on them and was pretty miserable so I think that means that they actually camped this time!  But in anticipation of the rain, Chopper got out his Goretex and boots and all of his military stuff for bad weather.  This was a particular joy for Abby who had some new shoes to tromp around in for a while.
The shoe thing has really become a problem lately because I can never find them when I need them . . . 

One of the projects I've done that was completely unnecessary was a wreath for the door.  I've seen these yarn-wrapped wreaths all over the internet and love them.  Plus, if you just pin in the flowers, you can easily change them out for the seasons or holidays and it doesn't cost hardly anything.  Thank you pinterest for the tutorials! 
 So I wrapped a straw wreath with twine because that's what we had in the house.  I thought it turned out really cute and then Chopper and I started smelling this odd burned rubber smell in the house.  We could NOT figure out where it was coming from and were worried about wiring and electronics bursting in to flame when we managed to discover that it was this wreath!  I don't know why but something about plastic wrapped straw and twine stinks really bad.  So the wreath is in the garage and the flowers are awaiting a new home -- maybe on yarn-wrapped Styrofoam!

We have had some really amazing days this week -- in fact, amazing enough that I actually had the urge to pick weeds!  Yes, that amazing.  So we went into the front yard and I pulled up all the weeds from under our hedges and Abby discovered that there's a nice little depression under there that is perfect for rabbits or little girls who are smaller than they should be.

Of course once Megan realized what was going on, she wanted in on the action but she just barely fit.
I tried to get a picture of them both together but Abby refused to look at me.  She kept saying "cheese" though.

Last but not least, the warm weather has been freaking me out about being pregnant until late July.  Megan and Abby were winter/early spring babies so my maternity wardrobe is all cold-weather clothing.  But I hate to spend a lot of money because maternity clothes are expensive!  Plus, they all seem to be sleeveless and want to show off the cleavage for the summer so it's just a nightmare to shop.  I've been really wanting a maxi dress and Old Navy had a great one that I tried on that was SOOOOOO comfortable -- but a little low.  So I gave up in frustration and used an online tutorial to take a t-shirt and some knit yardage and make this: 

It's not bad really but it works and it is really stinking comfortable.  Besides, it's not like I look like a fashion plate when I leave the house anyway -- I only really dress up for church.  I am just getting more and more lazy the older I get and the more children I have.  Maybe when I'm forty and done with having kids I'll invest in cute clothes.  Maybe.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Bad Dreams and Other Horror Stories.

Abby woke up crying at 5 a.m.  That's really unusual.  When I went in and picked her up and asked her what was wrong she very distinctly said "a eagle mommy.  A eagle, it hurts."  Poor thing must've had a nightmare.

And then today she said something funny and I can't for the life of me remember what it was!  I need to write these things down when they happen although I tell you what, part of the charm is in the sound of their little voices or in Megan's case, the hand gestures.  I love their personalities.

Megan refused to let Chopper listen to country music or Mark Levin last night while he did the dishes.  She insisted on "dance music".  Which is classical by the way -- not club dance music!

Oh and I had to share this -- Abby is a defiant little bugger.  If you tell her no, she goes further.  Yesterday at Megan's dance class I picked her up so she could watch through the window and she started sucking on the ledge (she always has something in her mouth or is putting things in her mouth.  I am NOT kidding).  I told her "no" and "yucky" and when she did it again I told her she would have to get down if she continued.  So she persisted.  And when I put her down, she promptly opened her mouth and began licking the wall.  Not a lollipop lick, a drag your tongue along that disgusting surface lick.  And then she walked the entire length of that wall with her tongue out and looked at me the entire time.

And I wonder why she gets sick all the time.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dancing Queen

It's not perfect, but dance classes are going so much better than they started.  Last week Megan had a meltdown about putting on her tap shoes and cried through the whole thing, but this week she was excited and really did everything.  They even threw in a little tumbling today!  Lately she wants me to video her all the time and then watch them so I told her today that I would take some video of her dancing in class.  The first one is at home but the last 3 are class.  Sorry they're dark -- I can only video through the mirrored window.

I have seen so much improvement in her dancing as well.  She's gone from standing and watching to actually doing.  Her teacher told me today she's doing it like she's done it her whole life so that is fantastic.  Now on to find her a preschool for next year!

On a sad note, I think my mom is putting the dog, Arthur, down today.  They've had him for nearly 12 years and there's been a lot of joking about when he'd actually kick the bucket but now that the time is here, it's really very sad!  Unfortunately, he's developed diabetes and apparently taking care of a dog with diabetes can be expensive (they have to be on insulin) and time consuming so my parents made the decision to let him go.  Overall I think it's the best decision but I wish I could be in Michigan to distract mom from not having him around for a while.  He could be a real pain and he was NOT good with children so he was having to go to a kennel when we came to visit but he was a loving dog (to all except my dad!) and funny.  I'll miss his bullet run and his 3-legged walk (he did have 4 legs though -- that's why it was funny).

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Because you love my children as much as I do!

Or at least I think you do.  Happy Valentine's Day!  For my less-than-motivated day, I uploaded some very random videos that needed posting.  Ok, maybe not NEEDED.  They're really nothing special.  But you get to see the girls in action and that is something to love today!!

This first one is Chopper chasing the girls -- however, note that Abby's ability to run is severely hampered by her shoes.  Which are not her shoes.  Because she wears anyone's shoes she can get her hands on but her own.  I suppose she feels pretty!

Abby also has taken to saying that things are so cute.  "Mommy, baby.  It's so cute.  Mommy, a teeny tiny sugar ball.  It's so cute.  But I had to prompt her to say it for the camera of course.
Side note, not only is she obsessed with shoes, she is obsessed with babies.  And half of them are her size!  My friend who runs the junior nursery at church told me today that Abby's the only girl in there are all the boys are bigger than she is but none of them talk while Abby does full sentences!  She does talk a lot.

Megan of course wanted to get in on the action.  So I asked her for some dance moves -- this is what we get!

She looks like she should be on the red carpet!  

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Quilt for Project Linus

I know, I know, it's about time.  Or at least you'll think that after I tell you the whole story.  Which I am going to do by the way.

I've been following the blog of fabric designer Pat Bravo and her Art Gallery fabrics for some time actually.  And I drool a lot.  But even though I have several wonderful quilting shops within about a half hour of me, they don't carry about 90% of her fabrics.  And in all honesty, I hate buying online for the first time because you're never quite sure of the color and the scaling of the pattern.  Sigh.

So when she offered to send bags of scraps to whoever wanted them to use in a quilt for Project Linus, I sent an email right away!  Yes please!!!

And right after I got back from the Quilt Festival in Houston, guess what came in the mail?  Glory hallelujah!

First things first of course: sorting, ironing, some arranging.  Look at these beautiful things!

And then I encounter a problem.  Well, several really.  
Problem #1:  I don't work this way.  I tend to find the pattern and then go for fabric.  Looking at fabric and determining pattern?  Well, my brain doesn't work that way.  I also tend to work with monochromatic colors and prints and small scale prints.  There were so many geometrics, large florals, multi-colored prints that I kind've felt lost.
Problem #2: I find out I'm pregnant.  Now that's not a problem in that we're very excited but I tell you what.  The day after I find out I'm pregnant (almost literally), I get a cold.  And the day after I get over that cold, I get morning sickness and exhaustion big time.  So quilting ANYTHING kind've gets pushed to the back burner -- especially with the holidays coming.
Problem #3: The holidays are coming.  My parents will be here for Thanksgiving and MY ENTIRE FAMILY will be here for Christmas.  I have a lot to do!!!

So the fabric sits until Christmas and then my sister-in-law, Denise, saves the day.  Literally.  Because you see, she is a professional artist.  And she's fabulous.  And her brain works in ways that mine doesn't.  So when she's here for Christmas we spread all the fabric out and start discussing.  And not only is she getting colors together, she's mindful of my "condition" (don't know why they call it that but what else do you call it?) and suggests that I do a quilt like the one I made for her son Liam when he was born.  That quilt is Elizabeth Hartman's Charm Squares baby quilt and it is super easy and stinking cute.  And it's about showcasing the fabric, not the pattern, which was perfect.  

I did tweak the idea and created color strips in both 6 1/2 inches and 4 1/2 inches with the white sashing between.  And I didn't measure the width of each piece -- I just cut them in sizes that I liked for the fabric and started going to town on my design wall.
 My daughter got into it too.  She LOVES playing with my fabric and she really enjoyed "quilting" with me.

Anyway, voila!!  I shall call it, In A Pinch.  So yes, it took me approximately 3 months to finish a lap size quilt done with strips.

But I love it.  And I want to keep it.  But I won't because that's not right. 
 But doesn't it look great draped on a chair next to my bookcase???
I am not showing you the back because it's just pink Kona cotton but also because I quilted it on my home machine and there are some wrinkles.  I hope they don't look at it and think it's terrible but I really need a long-arm quilter.  Really.  Too bad Christmas and my birthday have already gone by!!

Sigh.  So worth it though.  And yes, now that I have seen these fabrics in person, I have purchased others by her online.  They are beautiful!!!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Happy Birthday Megan!

Well, first I should probably post these pictures about what we've been up to lately: 
 It's amazing what a box can do.  I picked up a few at the post office for shipping some things and the girls have really enjoyed them.  Anyone want a couple of kids?  They'd ship cheap!

 Abby is developing quite the shoe obsession.  She loves to put on everyone's shoes and walk around and she's getting pretty good.  Problem is, none of us can ever find our shoes any more . . .

And like her sister, she loves books!

Megan turn FOUR today!  She was very excited because I gave in and invited 3 of her favorite friends and their moms to come over for play time, lunch, and cake.  She SPECIFICALLY requested a round strawberry cake with pink icing and sprinkles.  Well, we went with a white cake with red sprinkles baked in (but she chose it at the store in my defense) and I tried a Jell-O frosting (that was decent but not a keeper I think) and she got her sprinkles!  

Abby helped with sprinkles, at least for the picture.  After that she ate them and started sticking her finger into the cake and tasting.  Don't tell anyone that . . . 

It all went great -- playing was good, picnic lunch in the living room, and then the cake.  Megan was very excited about the candles (chose those too and counted out four) but when it came time to blow them out . . . 

she didn't want to get close enough to really blow them out.  Abby did.  So in the interest of keeping Megan from screaming bloody murder because I'm forcing her to try again, and keeping Abby from grabbing flaming candles, I blew them out!

See?  Pouty face on Megan (because she couldn't do it -- in her head she can't do it and doesn't want help) and one arm on Abby to keep her away.

But they ate it.  All in all actually, Megan ate 3 pieces.  And even though she also requested chocolate ice cream, she didn't finish it.  Abby on the other hand asked for MORE ice cream and abandoned her cake.

Megan got LOTS of presents that I made her wait until Chopper got home to open.  She LOVES her magic wand that lights up and makes a nice little noise (that Chopper already hates).  She has turned us all into something multiple times by now.  We also got her a complete summer wardrobe of skirts because that is ALL she wants to wear all the time.  I would just rather not fight about clothes right now!

This was waving the wand to turn someone into a frog.

She got dinosaurs from Dinosaur Train -- a cute PBS show she has fallen in love with since I've spent the last few weeks letting them watch a ton of TV because of illness among us (I'm better, the girls are better, the TV is suffering again).

A Dancing Game that she was very excited about and we'll try to play tomorrow when Abby is in bed and can't snatch and run away (which she does with everything -- she's very calculating and excellent at getting horrific screaming fits out of her sister that way).

This was such a fun birthday because Megan got SOOOO excited about everything.  Notice the look on her face AND SHE DOESN"T EVEN KNOW WHAT THE PRESENT IS!  It was hilarious.  She's making these faces and gasping with joy and then she says "what is it?"  We laughed a lot.

Grandma went way overboard and sent Tinker Bell slippers, 

A music box (which she loves -- I know the face isn't as good but she was completely mesmerized by the dancing fairy ballerina.

And some fabulous crayons for the bathtub.  They work really well!  I may have to revise that statement after I try to clean the tub though.

Abby really enjoyed the day (and did not hide under the counter the hole time -- look, there's my shoes!).  She has talked nonstop about cake mostly and now I don't know what we'll do in the dry spell between birthdays.  Fortunately, Abby is next.

All in all it was a really good day for all of us.  Birthdays are just so much fun and I'm glad that we're able to celebrate with the girls.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

We've Been Busy

Ok where do I start?  I guess I'll catch up a little bit with more random pictures.  You know, for living outside of Dallas, TX, we sure do get a lot of wild life.  I just wish they were the kind of wildlife that ate wolf spiders and tarantulas.  Fortunately I have NOT seen any of those lately.  But we do have some toads.  Chopper says they greet him every morning when he leaves for work.  Well, a few weeks back they were out when we came home late from something (I can't remember now what it was) and the girls got a good look at them.
 One of them took off under the bushes but this one was too frightened to go anywhere and ended up getting poked a little bit too.  Megan has named them Ribbit and Ribbit.

I found this picture from when Megan was so so sick.  I knew it was the flu because when she took a bath she complained about the toys touching her and then when I got her out she fell asleep on the bathroom floor.  I didn't have the heart to wake her up and move her so I left her there.  Fortunately, she's the only one who came down with it and is fine now.

Abby loves to get in the storage hole of this table and I've posted pictures before of her sitting in it but the other day she's screaming and when I walk in she's gotten her rear-end in and none of the rest of her so she's stuck pretty good.  She's glaring at me because I made her wait until I found my camera and took her picture before I would get her out.  I'm a mean mommy.    Hey, I sometimes need a good laugh to survive these two!!

Right now I'm immersed in getting our Blurb book replaced (it came to us with pages coming out and for the $$$$$ that I pay this is unacceptable!) and working out insurance for therapy for Megan.  We've had her evaluated by an occupational therapist who has found her lacking in several areas of her motor skills.  Not a surprise really -- after all, that's partly why we had the evaluation done -- but a little shocking when they tell you how many times a week they want to see her and how the $$$ works out because of that.  I'm also looking into behavioral therapy and trying to decide what needs to be addressed first.  Although first we need to have her evaluated in that area too.  She just needs help.  Heck, I need help!!!!

I however am feeling much better.  The headaches are almost gone and the nauseousness is too although I still don't love food.  All I really want is meat and Mexican food.  Weird huh?  So I've been making tacos and burritos all the time and we've had cheese steak sandwiches (so good) and I've been stopping at Arby's a little too often for MarketFresh roast beef sandwiches and I need to stop talking about all of this because it's just making me hungry.  It's just funny to me.  Megan I craved odd, strongly-flavored foods like Greek salad and Abby I had to have smoothies ALL THE TIME!!  This one is meat all the way.  Definitely a boy.

We continue to struggle with names.  Well, I struggle with names and Chopper has the one that he likes and hasn't thought about it since.  I can think of dozens of girl names that I just love but boy names?  I completely draw a blank.  So we may go with Chopper's suggestion which is actually fine with me, I just want to really love it, you know?  We've had some very interesting suggestions from his mom though who always gives us names from family history (and I'm thinking -- but we're using Lloyd and THAT's from family history) so we now have the possibility of Dewey, Ivey, Zadic, and Hobart.  And then she says "of course there's John and other things like that" which just makes me laugh.  But then Chopper and I have also been laughing over Lloyd Voldemort and Lloyd Vader (cause it sounds so much like LORD Voldemort, get it?) so it's actually been a lot of fun to try to name this baby.  More fun than it was with the girls in a way.

Oh and that was a little flutter kick.  Someone wants meat!!!!