Tuesday, July 28, 2009

whew! i survived

Alright. Remember the big, big, big, project that was scaring the bejeebers out of me? Well, I finished! And I'm still alive to talk about it. I even learned a thing or two along the way. This project took me waaaaay outside my comfort zone.

You may have guessed the nature of the project from the sneak peak ~ or maybe I was successful in keeping you fully in the dark. I made Aiden's baby bedding. Oh my gosh was this ever a daunting project. Suzanne wasn't finding any ready to buy bedding she liked in the store, so she wanted to commission custom bedding. During our early conversations she was wondering who she could have make this cute stuff. I tried to brainstorm that right along with her, thinking of who I knew that could do this kind of thing because I surely wasn't offering up my mediocre skills.

Then a coworker of ours approached me and mentioned that I should do the baby's bedding. Wha? Me? No, no, I'm not a professional. Then the idea ate away at me and all of a sudden I found myself telling Suzanne I'd do it if she wanted. (Um, thanks, Sharon!)

So we talked a little about what she wanted. She gave me the fabric she had already purchased. Then it sat. And sat. And sat. Finally one day I told her we needed to shop for the rest of the fabric. It took me a while to start this baby. And then a while to finish. Good thing it takes nine months (well, almost this time) to incubate a baby! But overall, I think all the pieces turned out pretty nice. I followed a pattern for the bumper pads and bed skirt. Suzanne said she wanted the square block motif for the quilt, but I figured out how to do that one on my own. I also designed and figured out the valence and the pillow. Can I tell you, the pieces I like the best in the bunch are the ones I figured out myself.

This was my first real quilt ever! In the late 80s, my mom paid for me to take quilting classes to keep my mind and hands busy while I was trying to get over a boy. So I know the basics of quilting (although I never finished that wall hanging I was making). I even know how to hand quilt. I used to be a purist and never thought I'd machine quilt anything. Ha!

So I didn't walk into this empty handed in the knowledge area, but I'd never completed a quilt project, never done a binding, plus never attempted anything of this size. But, I couldn't stop there! I upped the ante by deciding that I didn't want to do the binding the way you normally do it. I wanted to try something new, something I'd learned how to do to finish skirts. It worked!

You can't really tell from this picture, but the bed skirt has box pleats.

So I repeated that in the 'ruffle' on the pillow.

Now that I'm feeling very accomplished with this little quilt, I'm wanting to do another quilting project. I'm thinking a smallish table runner kind of thing. Maybe I'll move on to a lap quilt for the living room. Who knows what will come next.

Monday, July 27, 2009

someone's got to come to the party a little early

My friend, Suzanne, was due to have her baby in early September. Notice I use the word was.

She called me yesterday to tell me she was in the hospital having the baby! At first I thought she was messing with me.

She wasn't messin'! Aiden Michael was born about an hour after she told me she was six centimeters. He was only 4 lbs 3 oz.

He's in the NICU right now, but doing very well. I visited Suzanne this evening, just in time to listen to her discharge instructions with her. Great timing! I didn't get to see Aiden because I wasn't allowed in the NICU. That's ok, because mommy needs a little attention right now, because goodness knows she'll never get any attention ever again!

Welcome to the world, little Aiden!

Monday, July 20, 2009


Our little family was the last to arrive at the beach house a couple of weeks ago. During a scrumptious Spaghetti & Co. dinner we looked around and realized we, meaning the adults, were outnumbered. Wendy & Chris brought two of their neighbor kids, which made a total of 8 kids and 7 adults. We chuckled about that fact and was pretty sure we could handle ourselves ~ one of them is a baby for goodness sakes!

Petting manta rays at Sea World. I'm trying to muscle my way in so the girls can reach.
Move it woman, I'm not afraid to use this hiney!

A few days later during lunch at Sea World, one of the boys exclaims that there are more kids than adults. To which Chris wisely replied, "Andrea is outnumbered every day. She's not afraid of you."

I laughed and told him that she was right. Then I thought for a moment about that. I am outnumbered on a daily basis ~ 18 to 1. They could really take me out if they wanted to. Good thing they don't.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

vintage photo of two sweet girls

While I was messing around on the computer this morning, I found something fun on another blog (here is where Greg says, "Of course you did.").

You can turn this photo of two modern day lovelies....

into this vintage photo. Pretty cool huh?

You can try for yourself here. It's a Japanese website, but you're smart enough to figure out what to do!

You can probably do the same thing in a photo editing program, but sometimes it's way more fun to get it done instantly for you.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

not present

I have to say, this is turning out to be a very tough week for me. The first day back from track break I was kind of lost. I did my lesson plans for this week before I left, but coming back I failed to feel the excitement for what I had planned. I wasn't into it. The students were tired. I let them have probably way too much free reading time on Monday ~ which they love, by the way.

And it's hot, really hot ~ record heat. Because Greg works in it all day every day, we are usually not allowed to complain about the heat. But I tell you, it saps all the energy out of me! I think it's worse sometimes because I do spend all day inside. I come out at 3:11 (strange time, I know) to dismiss the students and think I'm going to just die. It feels like someone slapped me in the face with a hot poker!

Then all three of us girls in this house managed to catch whatever bug Megan had at the beach house last week. Thanks, Megan. Now we are battling sore throats, stuffy noses, and the like. Right in the middle of summer. So when I come home from work all I want to do is go to bed. When I get up in the morning, all I want to do is go back to bed. Dishes are not done. Even though I managed to get most of the vacation laundry done, much of the other stuff is still scattered wildly in the living room.

So much for my grandiose plans of being productive in the evenings ~ crafting, cleaning, general happy housewifeness. Ha! I'm lucky I can peel myself off the couch long enough to make dinner. Even still, Tuesday night I told everyone they were on their own. But the kids think it's cool to have cereal for dinner, so I can't go wrong really.

I guess I know what I'm doing this weekend!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

eeney, meeney, miney, moe

Yesterday while we were taking our district trimester exams, I watched one of the girls in my class play eeney, meeney, miney, moe to select her answer.

With all four answer choices, not just narrowed down ones. No kidding.

She, of course, denied it. But I know it when I see it.

The picture? It has nothing to do with this post. It's today's computer wallpaper. Greg told me he set it up to change every day. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

this is the life

This is the life, isn't it? Walking along the beach barefoot at sunset with your sister and your cousin. Not a care in the world. What more do you need?

I sat down at the computer this morning to find this picture as the wallpaper on the computer and was reminded of the story that happened just after Greg snapped this picture. One evening, at sunset obviously, Greg took his camera and tripod down close to the water to get some wave/beach shots. All of the kids in the beach house followed him. There were seven plus the baby. The baby did not follow him. This was the case all week. Anytime anyone went remotely close to the water, they were followed by wave loving children. Sometimes they got wet even after they just showered all the salty sand off of them. Sometimes they restrained themselves.

This particular night they were restrained and did not get wet (maybe?). Anyway, the girls headed off toward the nearby lifeguard station. They climbed up the ladder and sat on the deck. Oh, I should tell you, I did not follow Greg to the water. So I was watching this action from my perch on the porch. I actually missed the girls walking over to the lifeguard station. As I was counting heads (as mothers and teachers often do) I noticed the girls were missing. Scanning the nearby areas, it looked like they might be on the life guard station.

Next thing I see is Heather sprinting across the beach toward Greg. We all know that sprinting on the sand is no easy feat, but she was giving it her best. I looked back to the lifeguard station and now can surely see Stephanie and Gianna on the deck. Heather talks to Greg and points back to the station. Gianna was stuck. Some of the older kids followed Heather to help get Gianna down.

Like I said, what more do you need than a sunset, a beach, bare feet, and your sister & cousin ~ plus some other cousins to help you out.

Friday, July 10, 2009

where have you been?

Where have you been? I've missed you!

Oh. Right.

I was the one who was gone.

I've just spent the last week at the beach and did not see the likes of a computer except when my sweet brother-in-law, Tony, let me use his laptop with his phone internet connection (because I've got to be complicated) to post something for an online class I'm taking.

I did nothing responsible for the whole week other than making sure my children were fed, bathed periodically, slathered in sunscreen - except the parts I missed - and not drowned in the ocean. Even then, Greg was largely responsible for the not drowning part.

I finished a book, read another whole one, and started a third.

There are pictures, but they aren't uploaded to the computer yet. Then it might take me a whole year to go through them all.

I managed not to sunburn my lily-white body (for the most part) until yesterday. I was having so much fun in the waves, I forgot to reapply my sunscreen. Now I am lobsterish.

I'm glad to be home and even took a mini-nap in my own bed as soon as we got here. But now I'm overwhelmed with *real life* because:
  • I go back to work on Monday.
  • I still have not finished that big, big, big project.
  • I didn't pay bills before I left - really gotta do that.
  • I am now behind on my online class assignment for this week because I pretended the rest of the world didn't exist unless there was sand involved.
  • All the stuff that was jammed into our car for the trip is now in my living room and needs to be dealt with. Blech!
  • I'm going to have to go grocery shopping.
  • I started having *school dreams* while we were gone. I'll tell you more about that later.
  • Did I mention there's a bunch of laundry to do?
On the bright side:
  • I'm sure I will live.
  • Only four more weeks of this school year.
  • I still have two days of my track break left.
  • I'm getting good grades in my online class.
I'll be back later with pictures and more coherent tales of our adventures. Until then, don't forget to reapply your sunscreen!

Friday, July 3, 2009

little bits of random

I went to my favorite quilt store to buy more of this because I am a total dork so skilled at reading a pattern, altering a pattern in my head, plus calculating enough fabric for another project that has no pattern. The lady who tried to help me figure out how much I needed recognized me. We both missed the part on the pattern where it said 'cut 4' and both assumed it said 'cut 2'. Sheesh.

While I was there this fabric jumped in my arms. I really did try to walk by all the pretty fabric while heading straight for the stripes. But my head seriously snapped to the side when I saw this out of the corner of my eye. One store lady teased me when I stood there and held the owl fabric for a while. She asked me if I needed it cut or did I just want to snuggle it for a while. Oh, she gets me.

When I was getting it cut, the lady asked me what I was going to make with it. Dunno. We'll worry about that later.

The kids and I washed the car yesterday. It may or may not have been raining a little while we were doing it. If our just-graduated-high-school-and-oh-so-cool neighbor saw us she probably thought we were nuts. No biggie ~ I just pulled it into the garage to dry it.

Greg was a happy boy when he came home to find me spooning this delicious goodness onto a cookie sheet.

We have another new neighbor. This little chick has been hanging around our porch and grass area. He has apparently fallen out of the nest. The neighbor guy told me when I was outside in my pajamas (that's right ~ I have class) taking the picture that he put this birdie and his brother back in our tree the other day. Clearly the two have no spacial skills and can't tell where the edge of the nest ends. He alternates between the grass and our front porch. Hopefully the nasty cat down the street doesn't find him.