Sunday, February 26, 2012

when the going gets tough, the tough... daydream

baby D seems to be conducting some sort of experiment. a test maybe. it could be appropriately titled...

'how many times can one baby wake in one night?' or 'a how to guide for tiny humans: how to drive your parents to insanity'

it's hard. really hard. it's hard to be tired. it's hard to soothe him when he's been fed and burped and changed. when you don't know what else to do. it's hard to let him cry it out. it's hard to hear your husband slam things out of frustration. it's just hard.

and i can't help but let my mind wander to days passed. simpler times, not necessarily better... just different. days that are gone. days that i oddly miss. and i actually feel like a big bratty whiner for even saying this. i know people try desperately for babies. for healthy children. for kind husbands. for homes and food and jobs. so i really have nothing valid to complain about.

but this is my current reality... with a little whine mixed in.

i miss uninterrupted sleep filled nights. i miss feeling refreshed. bright eyed and bushy tailed.
i miss ryan's sunscreened shoulders at the river. his hat turned backwards. his raccoon eyes after our trip. the boat. the sun. lounging.
i miss lazy, lazy weekend mornings. {and i am sooooo not even a sleep 'til noon girl. 9 at the latest} and now... i get 6:30 if i'm lucky.
i miss controlling the tv.
i miss sitting and being a spectator.
i miss planning things around myself... not naps.
i miss being selfish.

but... i wouldn't go back in time. i wouldn't do it differently.

because my reality is much better than any daydream.

we are still laughing and smiling and having fun. we sneak naps and we say sorry after long nights when we may or may not have made the nicest comments. we are surviving and...

i just keep telling myself... 'you've got this'

Saturday, February 18, 2012

just call me martha

{martha stewart ;)}

so i have these scraps. and although they look darling all rolled up and displayed in a little basket, it just doesn't feel like the best use for them. plus, i can't justify buying more material until my current stash dwindles. i can hear ryan already.

what about this stuff?

he won't understand. boys never do.

so... i've been on etsy. a lot. every time i nurse. and while i'm browsing the fabric section i always stumble across items made out of fabric. and the fabric banners grab my attention. always. so naturally i googled how exactly to make these little gems. it's not hard. and since i'm using my scraps... it's free.


scrap material or a small amount purchased

{tip of the day ~ my mom ONLY uses quality fabric shop material... no JoAnn's, no walmart. because fabric shop material is a better quality. i'm pretty sure you can use any quality for this project... since it won't be washed. but all quilts and washables should be made with finer fabrics. so they hold up} 

fabric scissors
cardboard or thick paper... or the top of a department store box
sewing machine

make templates. use cardboard, thick paper, or a box top. cut out desired shapes. i.e. three types of triangles. two types of circles. and a four petal flower. 

fold fabric in half {that way it will yield two identical pieces}. use a pencil to trace the shapes onto fabric.

cut them out with fabric scissors. make as many or as few pieces you want. 

 organized them into piles.

lay each shape wrong side together. use a 1/4 seam allowance. 

sew. i used the chain sewing method. i did not use binding or ribbon. although you can. i wanted mine extremely flexible. and thread allows for that look. and it's so easy. 

sew them altogether grabbing random colors and random shapes. do not cut the thread. 

wha la! super felxible. super colorful. super easy!

what i learned ~ if you make your circles big, sew them towards the top, not down the middle like i did. otherwise the circle or four petal flower will droop. like the picture above. 

i fixed this problem half way through. as seen above.

now our house looks like the circus is in town.

future plans ~ i want to make many, many more fabric banners. especially a fourth of july 'americana' version. we will be beach camping that week and i want it draped all over our camp site. hmmm... i wonder what ocean air does to fabric? 

Friday, February 17, 2012


how on earth did she change so much in the last three weeks? and i mean really change. her language and communication skills blow me away. her sass. her bossiness. dare i say it?... she is me.

favorite breakfast ~ honey nut joe O's with milk. 

she can count to 15. i kid you not. she skips 'one' and sometimes 'four' but she has officially gone beyond ten. then she claps. she can sing the abc's. the wheels on the bus. even a few songs from baby signing time. particularly 'wash, wash, wash, wash... i use soap and water' 

she's loving her little people bus and passengers. she gets angry when the door won't open. they must walk up the stairs and into their seats. she plays with her vtech laptop. she repeats the letters as she pushes the buttons. 

she loves outings. checking out new houses. visiting with people. but her little instincts are also telling her to be weary of strangers. she's starting to seem afraid of men she doesn't know. oddly i find much comfort in this. she's listening to her instincts. i will always remind her to do that when she's older. 

her newest addiction in life is a good, soft pillow. she carries them from room to room. looking for her bink and pillow at all hours in the day. i made her this one.  just in time for dr. seuss day... my favorite unofficial holiday. she holds it and says 'cozy' and 'cat!'

oh and drawing. her favorite pass time. pens, markers, crayons... all game. she wants you to sit right beside her. she tells you to draw things like 'happy' {a smiley face} and 'bird.' she likes when you write letters and she can recite almost! oh happy day. meeting kindergarten standards before age two makes me tear up. 

and she is drawing circles now. and signing daddy's valentine's day card. but she absolutely hates when she writes on herself. we can thank ryan for that trait.

she is careful and thoughtful about arranging things. particular i would say. she's gotten on board with calling baby D 'niz naz.' she's always looking for him. 

and my personal favorite trick this week... when she wagged her tiny little finger at ryan and said 'no, no, no daddy.' i laughed so hard i cried. ryan... not so much.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

judgy wudgy was a bear

i had visions of grandeur when i requested the move to first grade. images of crayons and story time and a class pet. holidays and singing. happy kids. eager minds watching me. listening to me. loving me.

i loved my first grade teacher. i loved first grade. my tired, tired mind remembers a lot about first grade. the colorful classroom. calendar. class jobs. name tags for every month {i may or may not still have them}. zero the hero. the Where the Wild Things Are unit. our entire classroom was transformed into a magical jungle.

oh i loved first grade.

and my teacher. mrs. alexander. she drank coffee and ate chocolate. {when i 'played' school i would do those very things... } she had long red painted nails. brown curly hair. bright eyes. i loved the way she talked. the way she smiled. i loved the way she wrote on the overhead projector. i loved her. we named our doberman after her... allie.

she was my first school experience that i can remember clearly. she made me want to be a teacher.

a few years ago i moved to my current school. the classrooms remind me of fishbowls. when you walk down the halls you can see right into most rooms. i clearly remember looking in on a first grade classroom a few years back and judging.

judging a grade i had never taught. judging the teacher for what i saw. judging an entire scene from a quick observation. it looked crazy to me. and i so pompously thought... 'oh, it would never look like that in MY classroom.'

and now... it does.
{a little bit of karma for being a lot o' bit judgmental}

that seemingly 'crazy' room is just the reality of six year olds. 28 of them putting their papers in cubbies. stacking chairs {while i watch nervously hoping and praying nobody loses an eye}. it's just how they read aloud. how they help each other spell. how they pass out pencils, fight over erasers, and use crayons. it's how those tiny bladders have no room. and how they thrive on attention, love, and praise.

it's how they tell you they like your hair during the math test and poke holes in their desk buddies. {cardboard dividers so they can't copy during a test} it's how they get to the rug and leave the rug. it's how they throw a fit and cry and say sorry. and the way they compliment a friend on his last day in our class.

they are teeny tiny humans learning and growing and watching. i must be quick to praise and slow on the sarcasm. i am adjusting. i am striving to meet their needs. mold them properly.

i am adjusting my teaching style. i am modifying my expectations. i am building and stretching and toning every patient bone in my body.

the maturity difference between first graders and third graders feels light years apart. how can they change so drastically in two years? it must be measured exponentially.

and my favorite first grade quote thus far:
'but i might be allergic. can you check those animal crackers for eggs, peanuts, augmentin, and benadryl?'

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


He :)

he is adorable. he will be 5 months old in two days. he is rolling. he has a mohawk.

he loves his swing. he watches the mobile and smiles at his reflection. he rubs the blanket on his face when he's falling asleep. 

he watches everything she does. he laughs when she talks to him. he likes when she touches him. 

he likes his turtle gus. his scout. his seahorse. 

his sleep patterns are still inconsistent. he doesn't sleep as much as his sis did. he fights it most days. but he's happy.

he has this perfectly round head. 

the tiniest little fingers. he still scratches his own face. he is grabbing things. and holding toys. he pulls out his own bink and sometimes puts it back in. he sucks his fingers. he grabs his feet. 

he smiles. at me. at sister. at ryan. we all smile back.

he's enjoying his jumperoo. 

he tried rice cereal.


he didn't like it.

he is making me happy beyond belief {besides my sleepy work days} watching him and moo interact has made two under two worth it. even the challenging days.

MY war story ~ the moo edition

my mom always says men go off to war and when they come home they share their war stories. and women have babies. i didn't really understand it until i had my story to share. and i want to share with anyone who is willing to listen... always. my ears still perk up when birth conversations come up at baby showers, birthday parties... really anywhere women with little ones congregate. with baited breath i wait for my turn. ask me, ask me... i love my war story stories.

moo was due april 16, 2010. it was easter sunday, april 4th and MY birthday, when my water broke. for my very particular husband, i was happy this happened right after i got out of the car... he wouldn't appreciate amniotic fluid in the seats and carpets.

change of plans... no secondary easter dinner, but off to zion hospital. we missed that huge earthquake because we were driving. we checked in. indeed my 'bag of water had ruptured' and off we went to our room. the window had a view of pine trees. i studied those trees throughout the night. and the lights. and often i thought of all the other people in the world doing things while i was doing this.

i didn't take out my three page birth plan. somehow it felt like bad luck to review it with the nurse. instead i told her my simple wish. a natural birth. that is all. she was game. she had had three babies naturally. i felt comforted by this information.

the week before we were beach camping. i spoke in great length to family friends about this idea. i memorized everything they advised me of. four counts in, four counts out, relaxing muscles, walking, water. anything and everything they said resonated with me.

ryan was my coach. we had attended lamaze. we felt ready. he counted. in four out four... for hours. the nurse had us walk the halls. she had me get into the shower. i didn't initially want to get wet and frizzy and messy... silly, silly me. the water worked it's magic. i didn't want to leave. i focused on the little yellow bottle of johnson and johnson's baby shampoo. the pain was intense. i lost confidence in myself during transition. i wanted to be done. i wanted to trade bodies with any other human being in the world... that wasn't having a baby. i asked for the epidural. i looked ryan straight in the eyes and said that i changed my mind. i can't.

the nurse promptly distracted me and with much encouragement said i could do it. as if i was so silly to turn back now. i did feel like it would be silly to go this far and change my mind, but i hated my circumstance and was ready to throw in the towel. she checked me. she said i was 9 cm. i was overwhelmed with relief, pride, joy, excitement.

transition was over. it was time to push. my original nurse was finished with her shift. she kissed me on the head and wished me good luck and left. i asked the new nurse when to push. she just kind of 'ho hummed' me. and then the most overwhelming sensation came over my body... the urge to push. i grunted and moaned. the nurse said that's what she was waiting for. it felt like an outer body experience.

my body was pushing and i was just along for the ride. i had no say in the matter. it reminded me of projectile vomit... the kind that just does it's thing. you know, like the pie eating contest scene in stand by me. it was a savage instinct that took over. i might as well have been in the wilderness doing this.

she rolled me from side to side which was too painful. i pushed for about an hour. everything went very well... heart rate, monitor wise. when the doctor walked in and tools were uncovered i knew it was going to happen soon.

ryan nearly passed out at this point. he was directed by the doctor to sit down. i had noticed him using my leg... that he was supposed to be supporting... as something for HIM to lean on. i remember thinking my leg was hurting because he was putting his body weight on it... in the middle of natural labor.

i was unaware that missy moo was sunny side up and holding up the process with that stubborn head of hers. the doctor calmly instructed me at the end. she got a little snippy when moo's head came out. she explained to me that indeed she was turned the wrong way. moo had a short cord too. they had ryan cut it before they could hand her to me. when she was placed on my chest she cried and cried. so loud. so strong. she was covered with vernix. lots of it. like i was.

and in that instant our world changed.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

a quilter i shall become

my mom is a quilter. like a real life, i can whip up some amazing stuff, quilter. as far as my mind can stretch, there have been quilts. on beds. draped over couches. picnics on the lawn. in dog beds. as gifts. adorning walls. even wrapped around our sweet, sweet boxer penny in her grave.

i have watched many a quilt come to life. i have joined my mom on trips to fabric shops, the machine quilter's house, machine repair shops. lots of places.

she has made me many quilts. some of which i 'kinda' helped with. others not so much. ryan has his own special quilt. the babies have a small collection.

and it wasn't until recently that something said has haunted me. while at a baby shower, i was talking to my mom's quilter friend, and she said to me:

'ya... K {her daughter} came to me and wanted me to teach her to sew. she said she needed to learn this since i'm not going to be here forever.'

it stopped me dead in my tracts. this fact is true.

my mom actually learned how to quilt by herself. but i wanted to have it passed down to me. i want to do it like my mom. i want to have this special thing that in 100 years, when my mom is gone, {ummm.... yes, my mom will be living until she is 152} that i can pass down. or look back on with pride. and gratitude.

so... despite two under two, despite work, despite housework and paperwork... a quilter i shall become. and really... what better than to learn from a pro. it's like free tutoring. mixed with a little youtube when i hit a bump in the road at 11pm and my mom is surely asleep.

and i now present to you my very first {almost finished} 'all by my big girl self' quilt:

my mom let me borrow a book with a quilt that matched my ability level and color admiration. it was the perfect pattern to inspire me.

i set off with book in tow to Rosie's with auntie m... who has magically become a quilter herself.

found these gems. skipped home with a bag full of treasures.

studied the pattern. the pieces. the details. read everything four times. ryan always says... 'measure twice, cut once' when he's out making something in the garage. it never works for him though!

i set up camp in the kitchen. it was a great work space to cut. no leaning down. it was smooth sailing until ryan booted me to the office. for some odd reason he didn't believe sewing should take precedence over dinners. hmmmmm. 

organized my pieces.

and sewed. and completed my first block. 

i referred to the book often. 

and before i knew it, my four blocks were being sewn together.

and then... the sides and the border.

and there you have it. very excited, very proud. no rotary blade cuts on my novice fingers. 

to do:
buy the backing fabric during the 'quilt run' that starts march 3rd. cut binding strips. send to the machine quilters house. add binding and blog again :)

{and my phone has the handiest little bobbin tutorial on the homepage now. i think when i become a 'real' quilter i will no longer need to refer to it. until then... no more jammed sewing machine.}