Monday, November 28, 2011

Crafting Fever

I've caught it, ya'll... and I've got it baaaaaad. Crafting fever. I simply must make things. Right now.

I'm not dumb. I know that I'm smack dab in the middle of a giant coping mechanism - I mean honestly, nobody needs to finish multiple craft projects in one day - but as coping mechanisms go, this one's pretty benign and lots of fun.

In addition to finally finishing two throw pillows (WITH zippers!):

I made a bracelet for Lily Ruth (she picked out the beads herself!):

Picked up the felt ornament project again. I have finished 8, I have gotten 3 more to the just-need-detail-work stage AND I have templates for 6 more!:

Made a quickie garland (using clear lanyard lacing and felt stickers) for Lily Ruth so that she can have some Christmas of her very own in her room:

And am FINALLY re-stringing a garland of tiny shells and tiny beads that has adorned my grandfather's Christmas trees from the time he was a boy. The original thread had begun to deteriorate badly and the original beads were no longer shiny. SO, restrung with shiny new beads it is!:

I am enjoying this burst of creative energy. I really love to make things. Now, if only I could somehow channel this energy into a money-making enterprise, I'd be SET. In the mean time, I have the materials for 2 more pillowcases, some sock to turn into leg warmers (I know, I'm out of control), and an Advent calender to finish. YAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYY!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Keep Up, Already!

I have a backlog of cute for you. I've been (once again) working on my patience, and really trying to spend more of my time being truly present in the moment, so I haven't spent as much time on the computer. As with most things, being consciously present in your own life can be both wonderfully rewarding and mind-numbingly exhausting. I adore my amazing child, but I really loathe repeating the same sentence over and over and/or playing the same monotonous 'game' for long periods of time. Unfortunately, that's exactly what she wants to do these days... *sigh*... guess who usually gets their way... yep, the one with the shortest temper who is able to manipulate door knobs - a.k.a. THIS Girl. Just kidding. My fuse isn't as short as it was for a while...

Anywhooooo... Here are some pictures that I want to share, but haven't because there wasn't enough story for a full post.

First, Lily Ruth LOVES to visit daddy at his office. He has cool stuff there, and someone ALWAYS gives her candy. She especially loves to hang out on daddy's lap while he pretends to get some work done :-)

 Second, if your toddler has been 'too quiet' for any amount of time, there is a reason. Pray that it's a fairly innocuous one like... say... using mama's concealer stick on every visible patch of skin on your body - 'Mama! I put some on my NOSE!!!'

The zoo is the perfect showcase for my tiny Drama Queen - 'Elephants are over DERE!' All the world's indeed a stage and we are merely players :-P

 We recently discovered that our Darling LOVES fire trucks, and is thrilled to her core that the firefighters will allow her to 'drive' them.

We also found out that 'Pajamas in the Park' doesn't mean 'everybody wear your pajamas'. It means 'we're the only adults shameless enough to wear our pajamas in public'. Not even Lily Ruth's best friend Henry joined in. He was too busy supporting his favorite college football team.

All in all, we've had some pretty great moments recently. Thanks for sharing them with me :-)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Finally Halloween and Some Yum...

I almost forgot to post Halloween pictures! Sheesh!

You've already seen Lily Ruth as Cowgirl Jesse. When she chose her costume, she announced that Daddy was going to be Woody, and Mama was going to be Buzz Lightyear :-/ Not that I would mind being Buzz Lightyear, but it would have been a bit labor-intensive. After constructing Lily Ruth's costume and hand-stitching cow print to an existing vest for Sheriff Woody, I was drained. Daddy came to my rescue and bought a pair of cat ears for me while he was out searching for the perfect hat. Then all I had to do is run up a quick tail from black felt, and shove myself into some slim black clothes - voila, cat!

- as an aside, Lily Ruth was almost Cat Jesse. When I drew on my black eyeliner cat nose and whiskers, she delightedly demanded a set of her own. I gleefully complied. There was a moment of almost catastrophe when Daddy tried to wipe it off without her permission (Boys! What was he THINKING!?), but in the end, she asked to have it removed before we left because the nose was distracting.

So, here you go! First up, a party on the Saturday before Halloween. Jesse was pretty much attached to the leg of Sheriff Woody - it was a noisy party, and she was NOT convinced that she wanted to be there:

So Daddy picked her up and gave her a cuddle:

and I squeezed in for a quick pic:

Amazingly, those are the only pictures of us from the party...

Here are the only pictures of us from Halloween night -

Slightly fuzzy:

 Even fuzzier:

 ... I need to either be a bit more forceful about getting the camera out and taking pictures / asking others to take pictures of us OR I need to stop feeling disappointed when I end up with 5 mediocre pictures. *sigh*

Pictures aside, we had a WONDERFUL time dressing up as a family. It was even more fun to do it twice :-) Lily Ruth was positively giddy. She referred to Don as 'Woody' constantly - we're talking every sentence she uttered to him - and giggled every time that she called me 'Cat'. She also yodeled on command 'Yodel-ay-he-WHO'. It was hilarious.


On to the food!!!!

I made burgers based loosely on a recipe from Deceptively Delicious :-) They were possibly the best burgers I've ever made. Wait, you know what, they WERE the best burgers I've ever made. Yum.

Rachel's Veggie Loaded Burgers

1 Lb ground meat (I used sirloin, but you could use any beef or even turkey)
1/4 cup pureed steamed carrot
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 Lb baby bella mushrooms cleaned and finely chopped
1 zucchini finely chopped
garlic powder, salt & pepper to taste

1) Mix all that stuff together then shape it into patties. 2) Cook those suckers. 3) Top with cheese - I used Havarti. 4) Whimper softly as you take the first bite because it's THAT GOOD.

I have no idea what sent those from possibly good into amazing, but they were... Lily Ruth was not as thrilled as I was. Next time I'll chop the mushrooms and zucchini into much smaller pieces so that she can't see them ;-)

You're welcome. :-P

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Stay-At-Home Snapshot

Here are some moments that reflect Why I Want To Go Back To Work. Nothing bad, just daily general wackiness. You guys, I am about ready to trade in daily unpaid wackiness for a paycheck and some regular adult interaction.

Yes, I understand that the trade off will not be that simple. I will be giving up precious time with my fast growing daughter. I will be trading in that time for extra helpings of exhaustion, aggravation and grief all due to having to keep schedules and show up places on time both dressed and fed.

Yes, I understand that a LOT of people would give their eyeteeth and possibly their second-born* to have the opportunity that I have had to stay at home (*obviously not the first-born, since that's the one they want to stay home with...)...

Yet the siren call of bills paid on time and disposable income (hellooooo clothing that fits, is hole-free and vaguely fashionable!) draws me ever closer to the workforce...

I also feel like my Little Missy could benefit greatly from a day care program that is a pre-pre-school (a program that will actively teach things other than social skills and manners), and there happens to be one around the corner from us. Plus, well, I think she might be tired of me...

Here's how it goes down these days:

Day 1) After keeping me up for the majority of the night, both the dog and the toddler wanted to be up for the day at 7 am. I bribed the toddler with tv, and shut the dog out of the bedroom - thus buying myself another 45 minutes of sort-of sleep broken by pleas for food, diaper changes and 'watch some-fing diff-ent'.

Once truly awake, I changed and fed the toddler and booted the dog outside. Negotiations began for the day's activity schedule. I opened with 'what do you want to do today, Boo? Dinosaur bones (the museum), zoo, play with friends?' She countered with 'nothing. I want to stay home today.' After five minutes of zero progress, I called a break for bath time. For me.

Side note: I really do have an awesome kid. I can usually put on PBS and be bathed and moisturized before she needs something. She doesn't even make crazy messes or cover the dog in juice. She's amazing.

I jumped into the tub and began my ablutions. I had just completed the 'lather' portion of 'lather, rinse, repeat' when she came in holding her diaper in her hands proclaiming 'I pew-ped.' It was true. She had pooped. I managed to convince her to 1) throw the diaper in the trash, 2) bring me some toilet paper and 3) allow me to wipe her - all without leaving the tub. See - she's awesome.

She vocalized about the poop and stared into the trashcan for the remainder of my (very hurried) bath. I dried off and got her dressed. I sent her back in to watch 5 more minutes of tv while I dressed and (sort of) dried my hair. She came back in covered in yogurt and demanded that I clean her off :-/

Day 2) While I was busy throwing on an old T-shirt and slapping on some concealer in a haphazard manner, my daughter carefully laid out a wet wipe then meticulously covered it with a thick, even layer of hand sanitizer. When asked about her project, she shrugged and requested to take said wipe and the container of hand sanitizer with us in the car.

*sigh* See, nothing awful. Just an extremely active toddler brain and an exhausted mama. Now I feel like a jerk for complaining. She's so incredible! Funny, silly, cute...

Never mind. I'll stay home and wear awful clothes.

HA! Pillow!!!

I did it! My zipper is whonky, my seams don't line up and my stitching... well... I tried... But I LOVE IT all teh same!!!!

*sigh* It's lovely. Completely impractical for our rough and tumble feet-on-the-coffee-table lifestyle, but I am very very pleased with my finished product.

In case I didn't say it loudly enough before, I used the Petal Pillow Tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew, and the Zippered Pillow Cover Tutorial from Craftiness is Not Optional. All mistakes are my own, and are not due to the tutorial skills of these lovely ladies.

A few notes:
1) I used a supposedly indoor-outdoor fabric for my base. It was NOT sturdy enough. For my next try at this (oh yes, there WILL be another pillow!), I will either use heat-n-bond interfacing to stabilize the fabric before I create the flower, OR I will attach the muslin lining first.
2) I need a LOT more practice with zippers. My zipper is sort-of poking out at one end :-/
3) I LOVE the finished look of this flower! My next idea is to do a pillow with either 2 or 3 smaller flowers in different colors on it.

My hope is to start putting together a home that looks less Found It On The Curb and more Put Some Thought Into It while remaining comfortable and functional. I have no interest in a 'good living room', but I sure would like to smile when I walk in the door. Let's work on that, shall we?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dratted Sinuses

Ya'll, I'm down for the count AGAIN. Instead of recapping my adorable daughter's Halloween antics and meltdowns, I'm going to have to go to bed with some hot tea and a giant box of I Feel Sorry For Myself.

My sinuses have been giving me trouble on a drastically increasing basis for a few years now. I may opt to have them removed. You can do that, right?

Until I'm better, can you come over and pat may back? Oh, and could you throw in a few loads of laundry? AND, since you're here, could you paint Lily Ruth's toenails - she wants pink this time. Thanks! :-P