Tuesday, January 27, 2009

On a happier note...

I've been scrapbooking again! WOOHOO! Jonah has totally taken away my creative mojo, but it seems that I've gotten a little of it back the past few days. I have scrapped my hiney off LOL! Here are a couple of the LOs I've done - if you want to see all of them, they are in my gallery at Enchanted Studio Scraps. They've got a really friendly forum, and great challenges! They're brand new - go check out the store, too! They've got some great stuff in there!

Credits for all the LOs are in my gallery.

I'm so frustrated.

Not much has changed, but I've determined that I have to let this go and move on. No reason to have my frustrations sitting here looking at me every time I log on lol! *I* know what they are, my friends know what they are, and I appreciate all the love and support I've been given, not just in this one area.

It's time to grow up and be the better person - at least for now LOL! Taking a deep breath and accepting that everything is what it is, and there's not much sense in complaining about it ;o)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

As promised, a few pictures.

Not a whole lot going on here right now. I started Greek class last night, and am really excited to be learning another language! I've dabbled in Spanish, and played a little with ASL, but haven't had an actual language lesson since I quit school in '94. I'm hoping I'm not too old to "get it" LOL! The teacher is a retired Greek Orthodox priest, and is just amazing! He is so funny and sweet and lovable, and I think there couldn't be a better teacher for this kind of class. He said that he doesn't "teach" so much as he just shares what he's learned in his 83 years here :o) And his goal is to make the weekly lessons a relaxing and enjoyable hour. No pressure! Now, that is my kind of class!!!

It snowed a little this morning - a real treat for us southerners lol! Ellie was so excited and Noah caught the enthusiasm very quickly. It was actually snowing big, fat snowflakes when Ellie dragged me out of bed, but by the time we found a way to bundle the kids up a bit, the snow had all but stopped. Thankfully, the ground is cold enough that a light dusting stayed, and Ellie wanted to make snow angels ROFLOL! I told her that this wasn't good snow for that, so she resigned herself to making "snowballs". Noah, on the other hand, didn't want anything to do with it. He finally got brave and leaned over to touch the snow, and freaked out about having "dirt" on his hands lol! I told him it was just ice, and he calmed down enough to start tramping through the yard. It was all fun and games till he splatted... I think we were outside for a grand total of 5 minutes, but it was enough to suit him lol! Ellie wasn't as amused about going in, but she's finally stopped buzzing around the house (thank goodness!), and is playing rather quietly with her dishes. I have discovered that the kids fight less and are generally quieter when they don't watch tv all day. It's been a nice couple of weeks since I figured that out lol! Anyway, here are a few snow pictures. Noah actually owns a coat, but we couldn't find it, and neither he nor Ellie has a hat. Ellie has gloves, but we couldn't find Noah's mittens. I felt like a horrible mom for sending them out like this, until they came back in so quickly lol!

It started off so well...

"Ummm... Not too sure about having this stuff on my hands mom...." He is trying to shake off the "dirt".

I finally explained that it wasn't dirt, it was ice. He decided to (gingerly) step out into it, while Ellie was making a "snowball" lol

He thought he'd try again - I mean, Ellie was having so much fun...

Yeah, he still didn't like it lol!

Poor Ellie - soooooo determined to make that snowball.

Ahhh... the play structure! That oughtta be fun!

Hmmm, nope, not gonna slide today. There is too much "dirt" here.

Uh oh. It was inevitable, but after about 5 minutes outside, Noah finally splatted.

Yeah. Shocker here, right? LOL! He was screaming that he wanted to call his daddy!

Oh, and here's the dress I wound up making for our friend's little girl :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Busy, busy, busy!

As usual, life's been a little crazy here lol! I can't imagine what it would be like if it wasn't. Actually, I've been contemplating life recently, and wondering what it would be like if we only had one, or even two, kids. Not that I WANT that, just trying to figure out what it's like in "normal" families lol! I can't imagine only have a couple of kids - that seems like crazy talk! Then again, having 5 kids prolly sounds like crazy talk to the majority of people I know. And, no, there's no way to imagine what a house FULL of kids is like if you only have one or two lololol! It's nothing like what you would think, I promise. 4 kids isn't twice as loud as 2, or 4 times louder than 1, for that matter! The dynamics are so different. There are such interesting relationships between each child and each of their siblings. For example, Audrey and Madeline bicker a lot, and Noah and Ellie nearly kill each other most days. But Audrey and Noah, or Audrey and Ellie tend to be really quiet when paired up. Madeline isn't quite as nurturing, I suppose, but she's great with the littles, and more playful than Audrey is. However, when the 2 big ones get along, it's LOUD! LOL! They play and have so much fun, and it's girl talk all the way. I love it! The littles go back and forth between hugging and fighting, so I don't usually let it bother me too much. It's great that when any of them aren't getting along, I can reassign their "buddy" and it nearly always fixes it ;o)

My brithday was last Friday, and I had the best birthday ever! I got so many texts, FB messages, and a handful of phone calls, all wishing me a happy birthday =D It was awesome! Then, that evening, Adron took us to the Carrabba's where I used to work, and I got to see some of my favorite people I used to work with, my baby sister who still works there, and some regulars that were in at just the right time for me lol! Our server is one of those people I fell in love with the moment I met her, and it was just the most wonderful thing to have her waiting on us! Several other servers that I'm friends with also stopped by to say hi, and then there were 3 different people that also used to work there, and were in eating at the same time we were. The funniest part is that I'm friends on Facebook with nearly all of these people, so they knew it was my birthday. Then, my sister told everyone else lol! So even my favorite regulars knew and wished me a happy birthday! I felt soooooo spoiled and LOVED! I know it's just words, but it's nice to feel important ;o)

I sewed myself a shirt to wear, and it's another from the Ottobre pattern I used for the shirt I made for New Years Eve. I really like this pattern! I'll have to get someone to take a picture of me wearing it. I'm not sure why I'd want that, but I think the shirt wouldn't have the same effect on a hanger ROFLOL! On the way to dinner, I noticed that the shirt was making me really itchy, and it hit me that somehow I must have missed prewashing the fabric lol! Ah well. It did shrink up some, but not enough to make it unwearable. And it's so soft now - I like it even more!

I had an OB appt. last Wednesday, and my fundal height was 31 cm. At 25 weeks, it should have been no more than 27 cm. or so, and I've NEVER measured more than 2-3 cm. over the number of weeks I am. So, my amazing doctor had me come back in this morning for another ultrasound, just to make sure everything was fine. The u/s tech we had today is so wonderful! I loved her with the last two, and was so glad I had her this morning! She really seems to enjoy her job, and was getting tickled by Jonah's behavior - and HUGE feet! It was so nice!!! He's quite a ham, it seems, and was just stretching his legs out straight, then curling up into a little ball, and every time he felt the u/s wand at the top of my belly, he would flip over and start kicking it! It was so cute, and seemed so playful :o) I really think he's going to be a funny little guy! He's weighing in at approximately 2 lbs now, and his feet measured TWO INCHES!!! Eeeeekkkkkkk! Ah well, all of my kiddos have had big feet when they were born, then, as the u/s tech said, they grew into them lol! They start off big, but by the time the kiddo is 1, they have tiny feet for their age. As soon as I get to a scanner, I'll post pics. She got some cute ones - far better than the last u/s I had with him.

We've got a birthday party for Noah's godsister on Saturday. I'm wanting to sew something for her, but I have no idea how she normally dresses. I'm guessing by the things her mom has bought for Ellie and Noah that her tastes are pretty cute and trendy, but I'm not sure if the little one wears dresses, and I'm fairly certain that her tastes aren't nearly as over the top as Ellie's are! I was kind of thinking about a Feliz, minus the ruffles on the shoulders and up the back, or maybe a Vida, but I don't know how something that busy would go over. Maybe I can do an Olivia underdress for her, with some leggings. I don't know! And if she doesn't like dresses, I guess I could do an Anna top and some ruffle bottom pants to match. ARGH! It's so much easier to sew for my own kids!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I'm not really a "worry wart", nor am I an insomniac at all! But last night I couldn't sleep. We went to bed around 11, and my eyes were heavy, but I couldn't go to sleep. Then, I woke up sometime not too long after 3 a.m., and finally got out of bed around 5 since I just couldn't sleep. I was having horrible nightmares, and have been stressing out about my kids. It's insane!

Mostly I am worrying about Ellie. She has had a major fascination with death and dying for over a year now, maybe about 1 1/2 years. Anyway, she talks about max nearly every day, and it is ok with me, but hard to handle on occasional days. Now, for about the past week or 2, she has been flipping out every time I get onto her for something. She starts crying and saying that she doesn't like herself, and that she wants to die and go to heaven. Rationally thinking, I guess she just figures that in heaven, she won't get in trouble, but how rational can I be when I'm 25 weeks pregnant, have already lost a child, and now have one saying that she wishes she were dead??? I am totally freaked out, and she had me in tears over it the other day when she was saying it to one of her sisters. I don't know what to do. I've told her that it isn't her time to die, I've tried telling her that God wants her to be here with us, and that it probably doesn't make him happy that she's being so ugly. I have tried talking to her when she isn't upset, but none of it has made a difference. I think my next step is to call our priest, who she absolutely adores, and see if he can explain things to her in a better way than I can. I just don't know. The big girls never did this to me.

Adding to this is the belief that Ellie is probably ADHD - her behaviors are very similar to the way Audrey acted at this age, but worse, and much like my ADHD siblings. There's a definite family history of it (my grandfather used to tell stories about being chained to a tree in his yard, and the neighbors would walk by and say, "You must have been bad again, Frank!"), and when I started dealing with her that way, instead of thinking she was just being bratty, it made things a lot easier. I think her emotional development is about 2 years behind in many ways, so if I look at her fits as something Noah might do, it makes perfect sense. She's not a bad kid at all - in fact, she is one of the sweetest, most loving, generous little souls I have ever known! She is so curious about the world around her, she always wants to hug and kiss one of us, and she loves to ask questions and get to know the people she encounters. She has the most beautiful smile, and can be so sweet! But there is the flip side where she screams at least 4 hours a day (not all at the same time lol), she sleeps deeply, but doens't get nearly enough hours of sleep for her age, she loves to play with things, ending up with the total destruction of whatever it was, or the things around her. She has absolutely no attention span, forgets what I tell her to do, and has an unbelieveably low frustration level. I really struggle with this child. I love her so much, but I have no idea what to do with her! I can't imagine that her being in trouble all the time would be a good thing, but do I just let these horrid behaviors slide?

That poor baby - she's so excited about kindergarten, and for the first time ever, I am with her! I am ready to have a break from this. Madeline and Noah have never shown signs of this, not to say they don't aggrivate me, too lol! It's just a different mentality. I can see the differences as far back as when they were babies - I bought a sling because Audrey wanted to be held so much. Madeline never used it, and while she liked being held some, she wanted down when she was ready. I didn't hold her nearly as much as I would have liked. When Ellie was a baby, I learned all about different kinds of slings because I seriously spent all day nursing and holding her. It was exhausting! Noah, however, doesn't care a thing about slings, and I haven't used them on a regular basis with him since he was big enough to sit up on his own. He's the snuggliest little thing, though, and loves to sit beside me, or on top of me, but not being held exactly. I am praying that Jonah isn't as high maintenance as the 2 girls are - but if he is, then at least I have an idea of what to expect. And at least it has been every other one so far lol! I guess God knows that I needed a break from the chaos so I didn't snap ROFLOL!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I sewed!

LOL Like that's something new.... But really, I feel like I've accomplished something. I smocked the little area on Noah's romper last night, and today I sewed myself a brand new pink tee shirt and a black floral knit maternity skirt. They *kinda* go together, but I am thinking this skirt needs a slightly more fitted top. Hmmmmm.... I wonder if I have any fabric that would work with it? I bought 1 1/2 yards each of black interlock and pink interlock, but after washing, they lost about 8". Ugh. Barely enough to get the pink tee and the neck binding! So, I determined that the black would be great for the maternity panel, and there's enough left over to make something for one of the little ones. Works for me ;o) The best part of buying the knit was finding out that it was 20% off the original $9/yd., and then it washed up nice and thick.

Unfortunately, I've not been feeling quite up to par, so I didn't get to bake any cookies that I need for gifts for tomorrow afternoon. I guess I'll hafta bust tail to get home after church so I can start cooking. I'm also making a Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole clone to take with me, per my baby sister's request. I went to the grocery store this afternoon, and spent forever walking around trying to find stuff. Peanut butter, for whatever inexplicable reason, is now on the cereal aisle. I couldn't find where they were hiding the beef broth or the seasoning mixes, either, and had to ask for help. Grrrrrr! I've shopped at this store plenty of times, but I guess it's been a couple of months since I was at this particular location. The signs don't clearly describe what is on each aisle, making it even more difficult. And to make a great trip better, they were out of hashbrowns!!! Ack! Ah well, I can run up to the grocery store that is closer to home anyway, and they should have hashbrowns - and I know where they are lol!

Ah - stupid comments time! So I was in line at Costco, just buying butter and pork tenderloin. Butter there is $7 for 4 lbs., but at the grocery store it is about $3-4 for 1 lb. Totally a rockin' deal at Costco! I usually don't go through a whole lot of butter. 1 lb. quite often will last for a couple of months. Anyway, there was an older guy in front of me who seemed to be quite a control freak. I was getting a giggle out of his refusal to put his (heavy?) rotisserie chicken on the belt, and then his insistance on rearranging the little divider bars to "make sure" he didn't get skipped over. The employees, unknowingly, kept undoing what he had done to make things more orderly. He was starting to turn a bit red, so I made a comment about how they must think he REALLY wanted to take home my tenderloin and butter lol! Jerk turns around, looks me up and down and says, "I'm not paying for YOUR butter." Okay then, whatever, that wasn't at all what I was implying. THEN he went on to say, "You must watch a lot of Paula Dean." I told him that clearly wasn't possible as I had no idea who she was (ooooh I so lied! But that woman totally disturbs me!!!). He just had this disgusted snarl on his face and made some comment about her using a lot of butter on everything. Uh, yeah. For whatever ungodly reason I don't know, I felt the need to explain that I was making shortbread cookies as gifts for my family Christmas celebration that is tomorrow. Sheesh - why did I even bother? Like I care what he thinks? Sure, I'm a big girl, and I am quite aware of that, but there's no reason to make judgements about people's purchases! For real, that is a 6 month supply of butter for us, barring any extreme baking. Some people!

Today's been good though, despite stupid people and rearranged grocery stores =D Audrey is home!!!!!! I hate it when she's gone - I miss her sooooo much!!! Yeah, sure, she can be difficult, but for the most part, we get along well. She's a great kid, and is so much fun to be around! I love her bright personality, that beautiful smile, her sparkling blue eyes, and that impish look she gets in them when she's up to something. I love talking to her, and hearing her views on life, as she's honestly a fairly mature 13 year old. Granted, she's had to learn a lot of things the hard way, but she seems to be a quick study and has a good measure of common sense when it comes to relationships. Yeah, I know, she's 13, and it might go away, but I'm enjoying it for now. I LOVE having a teenager, and am so blessed that she's such a great young woman! Sure, there are times that I'm ready to choke her, but if we got along all the time, something would be wrong lol! She really has a hard time when she spends more than a weekend at her dad's. It seems like she gets along with him fairly well, but not so much with her step mom. I really hate that for her! I know that she and her dad's wife could have a really special relationship, but it just isn't happening, and it's been 10 years. Audrey said she feels like an extra person, not a part of the family. I have to wonder why she feels that way. I know kids are good at manipulating, and that she very likely goes there with a bad attitude and is difficult to live with (nah, she wouldn't have EVER done that to us LOL!). It still makes me sad. I wish she liked her step mom better, but I can't make her, right? I know that there is a lot Audrey could learn from her, if Audrey didn't fight it so hard. Sighhhh.... I still just want to hug her when she tells me that she didn't enjoy her visit. Needless to say, I am thrilled she is back home!!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Some random observations and a commentary on friends :o)

Have you ever felt so incredibly loved and accepted that you just wanted to cry? I mean, not by your "significant other" or anything, but by someone who totally doesn't *have to* love you? I can't explain the feeling, but there is the most amazing family at my church, and they have totally taken us in and treat us like long time friends, or even family! I don't know why, I have no clue where this all came from, but I do know it is completely providential. I met this couple the first time I went to this church, back at the beginning of July. They were walking in at the same time we were so, I asked where to go and they told us to follow them :o) Nothing major, but really sweet! I followed them in, then slipped into the back pew totally unsure of what I was supposed to be doing, but knowing that was where I was supposed to be. Not the back pew in particular, silly, the church lol! Anyway, from that point on, every time I saw them, they were so friendly! We totally don't blend in at all there - most everyone has dark hair, and we are pale redheads lol! I knew it would be a pretty closed group, but quickly discovered that this is the warmest, most accepting bunch of people I've ever met. I was so happy to be wrong!

A couple months later, I was at a festival, and this same couple's GORGEOUS 20-something daughter came up and introduced herself to us! What??? I mean, really? I was totally floored that she took the time to come over to where I was (the festival was at another church entirely), and then go out of her way to make us feel welcome =D I dunno. I've never seen anything like this before! As the weeks have gone by, we've gotten to know them better, and I think I'm starting to forget what life was like before we met them LOL! Noah fell in love with the gentleman, and whenever he sees him, he goes running and squealing "My Bob!" Not that his name is Bob, but whatever, right? Their daughter has taken Audrey out, just to let Audrey have a break from normal life. Ellie is in love with her and they have (almost) matching hair - they both have gorgeous curls :o) Madeline started sitting in the choir with Noah's Bob, and is having a great time. Ellie and I have moved from the back of the church to sit with his amazing, beautiful, and sweet wife. I've never felt like I belonged somewhere like I do here! This precious couple has even agreed to be Jonah's godparents - what a blessing! Last night, we were over at their house just hanging out for a while, and on the way home, I was totally overwhelmed by the amount of love they have shown us. Granted, I'm more emotional when I'm pregnant, but I think I'd be just as touched even if I wasn't pg lol!

I've always felt like an outsider, the odd one out, the black sheep, or even invisible. It's something I've grown used to, and had accepted as my place in life. I stopped fighting it years ago, and had resigned myself to sitting in corners, being by myself, and the inevitable hurt it would bring when I ran into someone I'd talked to for hours at some function, only to discover later that they had no idea who I was and didn't remember the conversation. Sighhhh.... This has only been going on since I was 16, or at least that's when I became aware of it. That's not to say I don't have plenty of amazing friends, just that strangers don't usually notice me. Heck, for that matter, I'm utterly amazed that ANYONE ever reads this blog LOL! Even my own husband doesn't. As far as I know, he's been here once? I'm really ok with that lol - I don't think I put anything here that I wouldn't tell him in the first place, right?

So, I saw a girl in the grocery store parking lot a couple of weeks ago, and I loved the carrier she was using for her little one. I asked about it, and she said it was a Babyhawk. Sweet - I checked it out, and MAN! I'm totally in love with their designs, and hope to be able to save up the money to get one someday. They are freaking awesome!!!!!!!!!! Go check 'em out - they have a fabulous collection of fabrics to choose from, making it really tough for me to decide what I actually want. I *want* about 10 different fabrics, or 5 reversible carriers ;o) I have determined that until I can save up that money, I'm going to make another mei tai style carrier to tide me over. I ordered fabrics from this amazing shop on etsy, and am going to make myself a reversible carrier. Granted, it won't be any Babyhawk lol, but if it's comfy and I LOVE the fabrics, that should work for now. I bought some of the Alexander Henry Calaveras fabric, which I've been wanting for AGES, and I also got some of his Bascha Spice fabric that I had seen on the Babyhawk site. I'm hoping they go together, colorwise anyway, not that it matters - they aren't going to be seen together lol! I figured that as much as I love the calaveras, it probably wouldn't quite be appropriate for wearing to church, so I have to do something "presentable", too. I could make 2 carriers, I suppose, but when I have 7 different slings in the car, Adron starts to get a little upset. Not that there are carriers in there, but that the van is messy, so bless him, he takes it upon himself to clean it out. Unfortunately, about half the time, he brings all the slings and such inside, and I don't realize it till I'm out somewhere and need one. So, I'm thinking that one carrier that can pull double duty might be a good idea... LOL I am just picturing me showing up with 5 kids, Ellie in some smocked dress, Noah in a jonjon and knee socks, the baby in a daygown, and me wearing a carrier with brightly colored skulls on it. Talk about rocking the boat! Somehow it just seems WRONG! ROFLOL! Not that I'm ashamed of my affinity for all things punk, just that there's a time and place for it, and I don't think Sunday morning at our church is it! The nosering, however, has never come out for church - only for work.

Oooooooh! Just got some yummy mail! My fabrics came in and are perfect together! Oh wow!!!! I just ordered them on Monday and they are here already. I totally recommend Lucky Kareu's shop!!!!! And she's got a ton of fabulous Japanese import fabrics that are screaming my name!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

So far, so good, here :o) We kept the kids out late last night, and they, for once, slept in this morning. I got up and managed to get a bit of sewing done, and have just been chilling out ever since.

I put together and pleated a bishop dress for Ellie, and a Jordan's Romper for Noah. I can't find the pique I bought for the collar for Noah's, and Ellie wanted a bishop, not the yoke dress I had been planning lol! That was fine - less work on the construction, and more actual smocking =D I used a gorgeous deep green and navy blue checked flannel that I picked up on clearance at a local heirloom fabric store quite a few years back. I had intended to make dresses for Audrey and Madeline, but that (obviously lol) never happened. So, since Noah and Ellie need church clothes, I thought this was the perfect time to use it. So now I have 2 projects ready to work on, and they should be relatively quick, as I'm just smocking a geometric design on both.

I have realized that my whiny temper tantrum about how I spent my Christmas money is a little silly. I'm OBVIOUSLY lacking whatever gene it is that makes me think shopping is fun lol! I realzied that I'm incredibly blessed to have been given moeny that I could spend however I wanted, and now have the opportunity to replace my well-worn maternity jeans. I really wasn't trying to be a spoiled brat - I just really, really hate spending money on clothes, and more than that, shopping for them. I went back to Motherhood yesterday and picked up one of the pairs of jeans I had tried on the day before, and was very happy to wear them last night! They are too cute, really, and other than being a little too big (they didn't have a smaller size...), they were on sale for $25! Now THAT totally rocked! I also cut up my tee shirt and lounge pants and traced them into patterns. I've made a tee that just needs neck binding and hems to be complete, but it fits perfectly. I lengthened it by a couple of inches, and that seems to be the right amount. I haven't made up any lounge pants yet, but plan to in the next week or so. I also cut out a nursing cami, as well as a maternity skirt, but haven't sewn them yet. I discovered that I didn't have as much black knit as I needed for the maternity panel on the skirt, so it's going to have to wait on a trip to Hancocks. Oh, and I made a really cute maternity top from one of the Ottobres - I think it's the only one that they did in my size, which is just fine as I like it, it's easy, and has lots of room for versatility. I added 3" to the length of it, too, and was slightly surprised when I tried it on and it was 3" too long LOL! I guess I'm built like a fat European? Sweet! 'Splains why American patterns have never fit right ;o)

I also have determined that my sewing machine, the ruffler, and that darn pettiskirt fabric are destined to NOT work together. I got my machine home yesterday, and started working on the pettiskirt, and broke 3 more needles. It started off just fine, but I guess it's just the fabric. Thankfully, I can ruffle cottons just fine (so far), so it's quite a useful tool, but not for the purpose I had intended. I don't know what I'm gonna do with all that chiffon that I've got cut into strips. I really want a pettiskirt for Ellie, but since I can get one for a very reasonable price if I'm willing to wait 4-5 months on delivery, then it's not too big of a deal.

Off to help Noah - he woke up cranky and needs some hugs. And the angelfood cake I baked seems to be burnt, at least on the top. I'm hoping that a.) it will come out of the pan, and b.) it won't be burnt lol!