Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Yes, designers, fat chicks DO get pregnant.


It's been a really long day so far - and it's not even 4:00 yet. I have determined that shopping is the prefect way to ruin a gorgeous day for me.

It all started innocently enough. I woke up this morning to no screaming, and no one telling me I needed to get up for whatever reason. Sweet! Adron was (is) brewing beer today, so I got dressed then sat down to check emails/Facebook. Had a few graham crackers for breakfast, then printed off the mail-in form for my prescription meds. I had Madeline put Noah down for a nap, and I grabbed both of my sewing machines and left the house.

It was absolutely glorious outside! Sun out, 60 degrees, and a very light wind, not even enough to make it chilly in my jeans and tee shirt. I drove over to my favorite sewing machine repair shop - and they weren't there. Not the employees, the whole store! Gone! Ack! So, I drove about half a mile or so down the street to the other sewing machine place. It's more expensive, and in the past, they weren't terribly friendly, something I've come to expect living in the southern US. Sighhhh... Well, I went in, and was immediately greeted by a cute guy back in the repair area, then by an older gentleman who was walking from the back to help me. He came outside to carry my machines in for me, an incredibly generous touch that none of the other repair shops in the Memphis area have ever done. We discussed the possible problems with my machines, and the quote to work on the cheapie machine was nearly as much as I paid for the darn thing to start with. So I laughed and told him not to bother with that one. My good machine, however, was quoted as a $90-150 repair, if it was just something small. Great. Last time my machine was tuned up, I paid about $75, plus a bit more to cover the repair of a couple other things I had managed to throw out of whack. Ah well, it is what it is, I suppose, and they were phenomenally nice to me, so I said okay and left in a great mood.

Next stop was the mall. My wonderful ILs gave me cash for Christmas, and I've been trying to decide what to spend it on. Adron fussed about the cost of the machine repair, and I tearfully said I'd use my Christmas money on it. He said that was silly, and not to worry about it. I told him I needed to go to the mall to look for some maternity clothes. Poor Adron - his company has severly messed with payroll, and in the process of changing from paying him every other week to paying twice a month (on the 6th and 21st, no less :o/ ), his last check this month was about half its normal amount, compromising our ability to buy anything not strictly in the budget and still being able to pay the house note. I told him again that I would spend my Christmas money on the clothes, as I totally understand the timing of this isn't good. By this point I was in tears because I was really, really hoping to buy something fun for myself, not something strictly utilitarian. Anyway, I went in with high hopes of being able to find a few maternity clothes for myself. Yeah, right.

Ok, so when I had Audrey, almost 14 years ago, there was no such thing as maternity clothes that were cute, stylish, and for tall girls. Plus size wasn't really that much of a problem at that point, which was a good thing, as that wouldn't have even been an option. With Madeline, 3 years later, similar problem, PLUS the additional complaint of no plus clothes. 6 years later, with Max, there were a few plus sized clothes, but not many, and nearly ALL the jeans barely skimmed my ankles. I did manage to find some that fit well, and I bought 3 pairs. I've worn those 3 pairs of jeans with Max, Ellie, Noah, and now Jonah. By the time I had Ellie, I'd bought about as many maternity clothes as I would need. Since she was a summer baby, I didn't need a whole lot of winter clothes, so I just bought a couple of tees, 2-3 pairs of capris, and the one pair of shorts I had found that fit me. Noah wasn't a problem - I made a few maternity tops that were short sleeved and sleeveless. I also bought a couple more pairs of jeans shorts. The weather here isn't even THINKING about getting cold in October, so Noah was basically another summer baby. Sweet! Well, Jonah is due in April - with our only hope of real cold weather starting in mid January, and running through the end of March. April is usually chilly by my standards - most days are in the 50's and cloudy, so not exactly shorts weather for me. By the way, I'm normally "hot natured", happily wearing shorts year around, but being pregnant really messes me up and I'm cold almost all of the time. I'm fine with short sleeved tops - I only wear long sleeves when it's in the 30's or so. A tee shirt and light jacket or hoodie is perfect, IMO, for most of the "winter" here. Leaving me with a need for jeans. These poor jeans I bought 4 kids ago have just about had it! I've repaired holes in the knit maternity panels, and had to restitch the waistbands countless times lol! They were obviously made very well, and I'm truly grateful for that! However, I really do need another couple of pairs of jeans, both to update the slightly dated jeans I'm wearing now, as well as to replace them when they finally wear out. Then there is the shirt issue. I don't really like sewing with knis as they always wind up stretched out and wonky (yes, I've tried all the tricks - ballpoint needles, walking foot, stabilizer, etc), and I have never found maternity patterns that actually fit me. I do have quite a few maternity tees, but they aren't long enough to cover the maternity panel on my jeans. I won't wear them out of the house like that, since I percieve it to be sloppy, even for my laid back tastes. I have 2 tees, 2 long sleeved tops, and one nicer black top that are all barely long enough, plus a couple of non maternity tees that are long enough, but nearly too small around lol!

My *favorite* maternity tee is a pale pink, and has been worn so much (bought when pg with Ellie) that it is stained, has a few tiny holes beginning, and is discolored from all the washings. I've determined that I'm going to have to cut it apart to create a pattern for more tees that fit right. I am going to lengthen the pattern by about 1 1/2" to give me a little better coverage, too. I've found that my torso is about 3" longer than the average that pattern designers use. That would certainly explain why I've never been happy with clothes I sewed for myself, huh? I've known this for a few years now, but hated sewing mama clothes so much that I've not taken the time to make the simple modifications so the patterns would fit. Well, I'm desperate now! I have Ottobre's women's magazines, some of which do have maternity patterns in them. However, those patterns stop about 2-3 sizes too small for me. I guess that fat is so repulsive to Europeans that they don't assume that us fat Americans might have a need for plus sized maternity clothes? Ah well, I'm not patient enough, or at all inspired to create anything right now, so there's no way I am redrafting those patterns to fit. Now that I've got a plan for the tee shirt pattern, I think I'll be fine lol!

I ordered two patterns from Blessed Designs - I highly recommend her! I haven't managed to sew them up yet, but they look great, and her shipping was so fast! I bought the Florinda skirt pattern to make up some clothes for church, and I bought her lingerie pattern so I can make my own nursing bras. I have exclusively worn "sleep bras" to nurse the last 2, and they were all made with the same surplice styling she has used in her pattern. Adding to that, she gives pattern pieces to modify the bra into a camisole or a nightgown/slip, and additional instructions for a tummy cover :o) Let me tell you - I'm *all about* not showing my belly when I have a hungry baby LOL! And I am totally looking forward to making comfy pajamas that will hold my nursing pads in place, and be able to be worn afterwards. I don't do those typical nursing pajamas or nightgowns, I usually just sleep in a nursing bra and panties. After disecting my shirt, I think I'm going to so the same to my favorite pair of lounge pants - as all of those are about 6" too short, and it would be great to have some that fit right lol! I think my fave pair is worn out enough that I can justify the sacrifice right now. I'd better cut fast before I rethink it LOLOLOL!

Anyway, back to my day. I left the mall in tears after going to Motherhood maternity, JC Penney, and Sears. JC Penney and Sears were a total bust, and Motherhood only had a few things. However, they do have a v-neck version (in a slightly brighter pink) of my favorite pink tee, which I may have to buy, depending on how my pattern turns out. I tried on some dressier pants outfits that looked horrible, as well as a couple of pairs of jeans. I love them! They fit great, maybe even a little loose, meaning I get to try on the 1X's next time I go in. However, the problem I'm having with them is that they are almost $40/pair, and Adron is insisting that this is our last kid. The thought of not having more is depressing me pretty badly, and I am struggling to justify spending more than $80 for 2 pairs of jeans that I will wear for 3 months and then that's it. Yes, I can pass them on to friends, but my best friend is about 5'2" and I'm 5'9", so our ideas of "perfect jeans" don't quite mesh LOL! IF it's long enough for me, it's going to be way too long for her. Yes, I guess it just comes down to me being cheap and feeling like buying something that is only useful for the next 3 1/2 months of my life is a waste. Maybe it's that I feel like I'm not worth it? I dunno....

Ok, so I went by Starbucks and spent Fourbucks (actually almost 5) on a venti caramel frappucino. Yummy! I totally needed something horrible for me to make me feel a little better lol! Therefore, I ordered it regular instead of light, like I would normally do on the rare occasions I am willing to spend that kind of money on a coffee drink. Headed to the grocery store after that, nothing momentus happened there, unless, of course, you feel like I do about the way groceries get bagged. I only had a few things, but the girl bagged ALL the frozen stuff TOGETHER! And then put my meat in its VERY OWN BAG! And, to top it off, she put the bread on top of the rest of the stuff =D I was nearly giddy about that! I am so sick of having my ready to eat foods put in a bag with raw meats (strawberries with a touch of salmonella, anyone?), and having bread thrown in with canned goods, or frozen and refrigerated foods just mixed together in bags with shelf stable foods. It is a huge pet peeve of mine, btw ;o)

Drove home, walked in the house, turned the oven on to warm up, then sat at the computer. Wrenching my back and straining my abs in the process. My dadgum yoga ball was waayyyy underinflated, and when I sat down, I dropped much lower than I expected. Whatever. After the oven was hot, I put pizzas in, and walked back into the living room. And promptly stepped on a needle - that went right through the sole of my tennis shoes and into the bottom of my foot! I started crying, took the shoe off, and had to get Adron to pull out the needle with pliers. I sat back down on my pitifully small ball, and realized that it must have a hole in it. I'm assuming from the same needle that poked a hole through my shoe. Now, not only do I not have a comfy chair to sit in and relax, I don't even have a chair for the computer. I am currently sitting on the floor with my keyboard on top of one of Noah's toys to make it semi-comfortable to type... Ughhhhhhhh.

Add to that, all the kids are being difficult. Madeline is refusing to do anything we've asked - mainly cleaning her room. Ellie thinks that she's too good to help Madeline, and Noah is just getting into stuff, and dragging toys all over the living room. I normally love having the Christmas tree up and don't take it down until the Epiphany (Jan 6th), but this year I'm struggling to leave it up until New Years. Adron cleaned out the garage yesterday, and had me go thrugh about8 large totes of toys. I filled up 2 lawn and leaf bags, plus a few other things that were contained well enough that we didn't bag them, and Adron took it all to Goodwill last night. We still have way too many toys, but now it's so much better. One tote with blocks and legos to rotate with the cardboard blocks we have in here now. One tote with "Little People" stuff, divided up and contained in 3 gallon ziploc bags so that we can fairly easily rotate those without bringing ALL of them out at once. Plus the tote that isn't full-full of toys I couldn't get rid of (yet). We are left with a laundry basket full of toys they play with, plus a tote holding the cardboard blocks. Oh, and Ellie's play kitchen, and Noah's play work bench. Much better!!!

I guess I've got to quit whining and help Noah - he keeps coming over saying "Help me", and "'Pider Man wikes batteries", which is just pitiful lol! I sure hope we have some batteries to make Spiderman happy LMBO!!!!!!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Grown Up Mac & Cheese

I made this for dinner tonight, and it was waaaaaaay yummy! A couple of my friends on Facebook wanted the recipe, so I figured I'd make a card to share ;o) I used the kit I made for the Faith Sisters Birthday Bash, plus a ribbon from Ashalee Wall. Enjoy - it's really quick and easy, and we had it as a main dish, but would be a great side dish, too. And for the non meat eaters, just leave out the bacon, duh lol!

Click here to download

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Belated Merry Christmas

Our Christmas was wonderful! It was crazy busy, hectic as anything, but the kids had a fabulous time, and we all got to enjoy time with family and friends.

I was hoping to make a pettiskirt for Ellie's Christmas present, but my machine and ruffler decided not to cooperate, so I now have miles of chiffon cut into strips, just waiting on me to find a way to ruffle it lol! Unfortunately, that left us shopping last second. Which, actually, wasn't so bad. I knew Ellie had been wanting a Disney Princess Talking Kitchen, and we found them in huge supply, on sale, and with an offer for an additional free Disney Princess Makeup Kit with the purchase =D Talk about a great deal! All the rest of the the kiddos' gifts were already bought, and I was just waiting on gifts for the grandparents to be delivered.

We did a ton of baking - I made a triple batch of cheese straws, which wasn't a bad idea in itself, but the idea to use a cookie press handed down from my great uncle probably wasn't a great choice. Man, those things are hard to use! Not *too* bad for making actual cookies, but for extruding long strips of cheese straw dough, it was HARD!!! Ouch - Audrey and I had blisters from it! Thankfully, Adron bailed us out for the last 2 sheets lol! Then, I made a batch of Millionaire cookies from a recipe I'd never used before. I wasn't thinking about the amounts used in the original recipe, and opted to double it. Yeah, that was silly! I think the original recipe was about a quadruple batch to start with!!! EEEEKKKKKK! We made 16 dozen cookies - and, man, were they good! Then, we were going to make gingerbread houses. However, I couldn't find my icing bag. I went to Hobby Lobby the morning of the 23rd, and got everything I needed, with the minor exception of boxes to wrap gifts. No problem. Came home and heated up some leftovers, and when I pulled out a plate to put them on, it dropped. I, brilliantly, tried to catch it, but it shattered when it hit the counter. That never happens! It would have been fine, except for the piece that hit my hand and left a cut that was about 1/2" long, and to the bone. Right on top of the bottom knuckle of my pinkie finger. No chance of that cut staying together and healing right. So, we were off to the Urgent Care center for a little dermabond. No biggie, but quite painful! I tried making graham cracker houses, but the graham crackers I had picked up were squares, not the double sheets I needed. Arggh! I gave up on those, and I think I might try to make them with the kids in the next few days.

Despite slicing my hand open, Tuesday was a fabulous day! My oldest sister came up to visit with her two gorgeous little ones, and my baby sister took me with her to see the Transiberian Orchestra! It was a fabulous show, and our seats were amazing! I had a great time, and think that we're going to try to go again next year lol! We wrapped presents after I got home, and went to bed a little late...

Wendesday was a bit hectic - spent most of the day at Mimi and PopPops doing the family Christmas thing, then we went home so I could get a nap before church. That was wonderful! After church, we came home, put the kiddos to bed, and got to kick back and relax! We're always up really late on Christmas Eve, putting together any gifts that need assembly and wrapping presents. Since that had all been done the night before, we got to just hang out and enjoy the evening :o)

We got up Christmas morning, and Deb came over to open presents with us and eat breakfast. After we ate, Deb and I fell asleep while Adron and the kids played Mario Cart lol! Then we headed out to Adron's parents' house. That was fun, too, and they spoiled all of us so much! After that was dinner at his aunt's house, then back home. I was so worn out that I slept the whole way home! Audrey loaned me her Twilight books, and I managed to read the 1st one before bedtime on Christmas day.

Yesterday, I read New Moon, and all but the last 100 pages of Eclipse. Audrey took Breaking Dawn with her, so I have to wait till she gets home to read it lol! I am really tempted to read the 1st 3 books again, too. I *never* re-read books, but these are just so good! I can't believe I sat there and cried most of the way through New Moon!!! Ah well, it was good, and I didn't have any mascara on, and no one but Adron and the kids to see me crying lol!

Today has been extraordinarily lazy, and nice lol! I've not done a thing, and Adron is even cooking dinner again! I'm sure tomorrow will be busier, as, at the very least, I have church in the morning.

I'll be back to post Christmas pictures once I have a chance to do a little editing (red eye removal, mostly...) and resizing for the web.... Might be next week before I make it that far, but I've got some uploaded to my Flickr and Facebook right now. Feel free to friend request me on Facebook - I update that much more frequently than I ever blog!

Muno 'targ Hero (Guitar Hero)

Saturday, December 13, 2008


It seems that Ellie has learned a new trick... She has discovered that when someone compliments her on her dress and she simply says, "Thank you", the conversation is over. However, if she says, "Thank you! My mommy made it!" she gets a whole lot more oohing and ahhing out of them lol! At first I was a little flattered that she was bragging on me, but I knew something had to be up. That's just not like her ;o) Then it hit me - after she tells them that I made it, they have all kinds of comments and she can engage them in an all out conversation. What a little ham!

Friday, December 12, 2008

A few photos

I woke up yesterday morning to the kids fighting and tattling - and realized that I actually have a "large" family LOL! Not "large" as in having a wonderfully enormous amount of kids, but "large" as in having more than a couple of kids making annoying sounds all at once lol! Noah was screaming "Madeline bein' WUDE", Ellie was yelling about Madeline not making the cookie oatmeal that she wanted, Madeline was griping about Noah not sitting in his seat, and Audrey was screaming about missing the bus because her clothes were still wet and that she didn't have time for something. Sure, I had a headache within 5 minutes of waking up, but somehow it was a really nice sound lol! I LOVE having kids, well, at least *most* of the time, and I always wanted a bunch. I haven't ever felt like I had anything more than a rather small family until I realized that I had 4 that were big enough to fight - and tattle! LOL! Granted, I certainly don't see 4 as a particularly big family, but it's far larger than just having 2 that are fighting...! I would so love to have 8, 10, or even more, but I have a feeling that isn't in The Plan. After all, this will be my 5th c-section, and I don't know how safe it will be to have another baby after this. My OB told me after Noah that I looked fine, but I know good and well that it is just a matter of time before the tissue around the incision site becomes too thin for me to safely carry another baby. On top of that, Adron says he doesn't want any more, and has been saying this since we were pg with Max. Thankfully, he hasn't gone through with his threats of surgical sterilization, but I'm just not sure that he isn't serious about it this time. I pray that God will soften his heart, and that this won't be a decision that we have to make - rather, one that He will make for us. I do feel blessed that I have been given all of these precious children, and I am trying very hard not to take any of them for granted.

Ok, 'nuff rambling - now for some pics! First up, I've got pics of some of the 130+ bows I made for cheer competiton.

Marabou clippies for the Level 1 girls:

Cheetah inspired bows for Level 2:

Huge bows with names embroidered for Level 3:

And last, but not least, the spooky zombie cheerleader pigtails for Level 4:

And, my favorite, here are some of the Christmas outfits I made for the littles. I am LOVING the Feliz pattern! Now that I've made it once, I am sure it will go together much more quickly.

After finishing about 12 yards of ruffles for the dress, Ellie came in and informed me that she didn't want "too many" ruffles on the dress. Sighhhhhhhh.... So, I did what any good mama would do, and I reassured her that there weren't too many at all! Just one around the bottom, one on each arm, and five up the back ;o) Her response? "Oh, that sounds PERFECT!" ROFLOL! Yeah, not too many at all! I guess she just wanted some input?

I'm really loving this jonjon for Noah (is it still a jonjon if it's long pants?), as the plaid gives it a totally 70's vibe! He's so cute in it, and just loves the Santa on it. I got that Santa applique file from www.designsbyjuju.com - she's got a KILLER special going on right now, too! Buy one set, get 3 free! So for $20, I got 4 darling sets! WOOHOO! Oh, I snagged the fabric from my stash. It's not nearly as busy as I was afraid it would be lol! The lining was some fabric I picked up the other night in hopes of making a peasant top for under Ellie's Feliz. However, with not so much of the underdress fabric showing, I thought the green made it a bit dark, and just went with a white tee shirt until I can get something else. That is, if I even bother... At this point, I'm good with the tee, and she loves that Noah's outfit "matches" hers. Sure, whatever floats her boat!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I'm so sorry!

I totally spaced on posting here last week!!! ACK! I *did* post to my Facebook, but that sure doesn't help here lol! Anyway, I had a great doctor's visit, and got to peek at the little one =D That was so exciting! And it looks like we are having another BOY!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOO! Noah gets a brother, and he looks just like Ellie! I will post u/s pics as soon as I get access to a scanner. I'm technologically impaired these days, ever since the last scanner died. Shoot, I just got a new printer after having the last one die several months ago lol!

Other than that, life has been pretty bland. I'm enjoying it, for sure though! I've got a Christmas party tonight, and I think I am going to make a Cream Puff Cake, but modify it to become an Eclair Cake lol! I suppose that means I should get the babies dressed and head to the store. I also need to get some fabric to line some new winter church clothes for Noah and Ellie. I've got a navy plaid corduroy long jonjon cut out for him, but nothing to line it with. I've also got the sweetest, softest navy/dark green fabric that I believe is a brushed twill or a very lightly napped flannel. I'm planning a yoke dress for Ellie, and wanting to find a long sleeved romper pattern for Noah. I'm also nearly done with Ellie's Christmas dress. It's a Feliz, and I am LOVING it! I finally put the ruffler attachment on my machine and last week I turned out about 12 yards of ruffles for this one dress! Of course, as I'm pressing the last ruffle, Ellie informs me that she doesn't want her Christmas dress to be "too ruffly". Arrrrggggggghhhhhh! I think she'll survive, and I'm not going to cut down on the amount of ruffles I have planned for this dress. I'm using 4 different Christmas prints, and am thrilled with the way it's looking.

Noah is torturing Ellie - I've gotta run!

Monday, December 1, 2008

I must really enjoy that burning sensation.

We went to Angela's parents' house to celebrate Thanksgiving Wednesday night, then to Adrons parents' on Thursday. I had fully intended to cook a huge turkey dinner here on Friday, but it seems that it was not meant to be. First, my sister, Rebekah, had to cancel, which meant that she and my 2 youngest brothers weren't going to be able to make it. So I put off cooking the pumpkin pies. No biggie, I just thought I might skip that part and do the rest Friday morning. Well, I woke up Friday feeling quite ill. I decided to postpone the turkey dinner until Sunday so I could get some rest. By the time the girls were getting ready for the parade, I knew I was sick and couldn't make it. Thankfully, Adron took them, so I could stay home and puke. Fun stuff, huh?

I was feeling enough better on Saturday that I went ahead and went to the last Tiger football game of the year. Ugh. I felt so weak, but it was manageable as long as I was sitting down. Sunday, I woke up feeling much better, but still a bit weak, and I prepped the turkey for roasting. I headed out to church and gave Adron instructions for putting it in, and I would handle the rest when I got home. All went really well, and I put the rest of dinner together while it was cooking. I made homemade mashed potatoes, dressing, sweet potato casserole (with a YUMMY praline topping instead of the marshmallows!), gravy, and warmed some brown and serve rolls. Holy cow, that was the best darn turkey I have EVER made! I used Sandra Lee's garlic & herb butter turkey recipe from the Food Network site, and that was the moistest turkey I've ever eaten!

However, in the process of making dinner, I managed to burn myself 4 times - in 4 *different* ways! Ouch! First, I splashed a little boiling water all over both hands when I was working on the potatoes. Next, I brushed the back of my hand up against the heavy-duty aluminum foil that was covering the top of the turkey to keep it from over-browning. Yeah, I learned that unlike regular foil that doesn't hold heat worth ANYTHING, the heavy duty stuff hangs onto that heat and is more than happy to share lol! After that, I (for some unknown reason) left the thermometer *in* the turkey when I checked it for the last time, and let it cook for another 30 minutes. Lemme tell you - that was HOT when I tried to pull it out! Blisters on 3 fingertips right then and there. After that, I was putting the rolls in the oven, and pushed the side of my right index finger right against the oven rack, thinking it was the edge of the cookie sheet. I feel like a complete genius right now, but at least I came up with a variety of ways to abuse myself ROFLOL!

I've not really been feeling like myself for several days now, and all that unusual clumsiness in the kitchen makes me think that I may be having a harder time recovering from that stomach bug than I had thought. I'm drained today, and have just wanted to sleep all day - not that the kids let me lol!

I'm outta here for now - my big ultrasound is on Wednesday and I am totally looking forward to seeing the baby!!!