Wednesday, April 02, 2014

It's SEW easy ... Ha!

After a whole month...yes, a whole month...I am finally finished sewing Iris' bedroom curtains!  You didn't know I was even sewing any for her room, did you?  I painted her room last summer to transition the room from being the baby nursery to the little sister room and the color combination changed from bold green walls with white stripes and orange polka dots to a light turquoise with lavender stripes and various coordinating accents.  Well, let me tell you, the painting was the easiest because the coordinating accents have proven to be incredibly difficult!  One awesome thing we did was convert a dresser to a bookshelf for her and we painted it the same lavender that's on the walls so that really helps the turquoise pop and balances the blue of the room with the lavender stripes.  I found the idea on Pinterest (surprise, right) and Book did all the hard work to convert it.  It definitely was not as easy a project as a lot of pinners make it look.  Dang, I just looked for pics and can't find any.  I know Book has a bunch so I'll write another post about that project later. 

Anyhoo, back to the curtains.  I was searching, searching, searching for the "perfect" fabric for her and just kept finding the wrong things.  I was really frustrated because finding B3's curtain fabric was so easy!  It took me a long time to finally admit that I was quite possibly searching for a "perfect" that did not really exist for 2 reasons: 1) it had to have a lavender background and lavender is not a "hot" color right now and 2) Iris is very back & forth & up & down & all around regarding things she likes at any given time.  Oy.  Once I accepted I was not going to find "perfect" fabric, my search was made easier and I pretty quickly decided on one of my "fall-back" fabrics that I had identified as a potential winner over the summer.  Here it is:

Now, I just have to tell you that I've sewed several sets of curtains at this point.  I've sewn the dining room valances and I also B3s curtains for his room.  Curtains are easy.  Just a series of straight lines and ironing and such.  Easy.  Unless you mess up like I did.  I was incredibly frustrated with myself for making this project difficult.  First, I measured incorrectly.  Yes, you read that right.  I broke the cardinal rule of cutting - I only measured once!  Luckily, my mistake wasn't so terrible that it couldn't be accommodated with some design changes because I cut the panels only slightly too short (and not as wide as I initially intended but they still turned out all right). Second, I was working only during Iris' naps and a bit here and there after dinner and the little snatches of time versus just spending 1 or 2 blocks of time on the project caused me to make mistakes due to rushing or being tired or whatever the case was.  I ripped out a lot of stitches which I'm embarrassed to admit.  The design initially had me making 4 simple rectangular panels but since I cut the length too short, I ended up adding a 3 inch ruffle to the bottoms.  This mistake turned out to be a blessing in disguise because the ruffle actually makes the curtains super cute and definitely feminine.  Although, since I'm confessing here, I hate sewing ruffles!  They're easy in theory but take a lot of time and patience to execute and my machine hates them!  I'm serious.  My sewing machine does not like any bulky fabric bits!  Grrr. 

A few things to note: the stripes don't have anything in them yet because I have not yet decided what to put in them - thinking about bunnies and butterflies but not totally committed yet, you can see a corner of the dresser Book turned into a bookshelf, the coat rack in the corner is currently Iris' closet because we have some funky closets in this house (1940!) that we are still puzzling over how to reconfigure to accommodate the kids.  In short, the room is taking shape but very slowly.

Ok, so the big reveal!
BEFORE (with funky lighting, hmm)

AFTER (other window in room - no before pic)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Neglect and Life

I'm feeling a bit guilty that I really wanted to be committed to this blog for 2014 and here it is the end of March and I have barely posted at all.  I don't know why I am so bad at posting regularly because I certainly write many posts in my head.  I get frustrated with myself and my inability to make good habits and keep them.  One good habit I need to make is regular/scheduled check-ins on an actual computer-type device versus just my phone.  Writing long emails, blog posts and/or working on various documents is not as efficient or easy on a phone versus an actual pc or tablet.  When I worked outside the home I needed to be on a pc as a part of my job and, therefore, I was better at keeping up with pc-related activities.  Now, though, being a SAHM, I am not required to be on a pc and the result of that lack of requirement equals neglect on my part. So, what have we been doing lately? Here are a few pics to update you:
Sibling Love ... oh, and Valentine's too!

Early morning on a bitterly cold day - beautiful

Snow + warmth = Perfect for outside fun!

A vision of my future with a teenage daughter...

Last day of hockey season!

Going on a walk with baby in B3's "baby carrier"

Cuddle time (with help from a video player lol)
Iris LOVING Eric Litwin (author of Pete the Cat) in concert at our library

B3 also enjoyed the Eric Litwin concert!  Thanks Mr. Litwin; we think you rock!

B3 posing as a soldier with his hair "done" like a clan chief from Pixar's Brave. I can't remember the character's name but B3 insisted I make his hair look like this! ... Call me a progressive parent.

Monday, February 24, 2014

A new (to us) car!

Life in our neck of the woods got a bit hectic and a few things had to be neglected for a couple of weeks.  I apologize for the dead air!  We were a 1 car family for almost 3 weeks - as we debated between fixing up Book's car or getting a new car and then our car was in the auto body shop for almost a week so our schedules were all funky and everyone was scrambling to make it work.  Sadly, our city is not as family-friendly in the public transport department and so being a 1 car family was more of a hardship than I imagine it might be in other cities.  Regardless, the car is fixed!  Woohoo!  I have my Volkswagen back!  I did drive Book's new car for a week...yep, we decided it was more cost effective to buy a new (used) car than to sink money into fixing up his 2000 Civic.  He is now the proud owner of a Mazda5. Let's face it people, they're both family cars and one of the bonuses of the Mazda5 is the optional 3rd row seating which will allow us to join in a carpool for school next year and let us take friends or extra family members out and about with us.  Truthfully, the Mazda5 was always our 2nd choice to the VW when we were initially looking for a new car just before Iris was born.  What did I learn about myself while driving the Mazda5?  I learned:
- I find it nearly impossible to live without my Sirius radio!  I'm completely addicted and converted to satellite radio! Especially because classical music is always my first choice and due to a weak tower, our local classical music station is not reliable throughout the city/area; with my Sirius radio I always have classical.
- The radio, in general, seems to be a very important component of my driving/riding experience.  The Mazda5's stereo set up is not as high quality as the VW and I missed the sound quality and various options of the stereo in the VW while I was driving the Mazda5
- I do not really like driving a tall car.  I feel very strange being up so high.
- The sliding doors of the Mazda5 totally rock!  Those doors make getting the kids in and out so easy and, honestly, it's not that hard in a "regular" car but something about those sliding doors somehow makes the in/out even easier!  Ditto for the individual captain seats the kids sit in in the Mazda5.  Easy-peasy!
Oh, and for an update regarding the accident: the insurance company let us know that they are feeling confident the ruling will be in our favor regarding fault due to our witness and based on the other driver's documented accident history.  We may even get our deductible back!  That would be so great! 
So, I leave you with a pic of Book and his new car (and the salesman who also happens to be our church friend) and a pic of Iris in cute pigtails for the first time!

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Ups & Downs

UP - Iris is potty trained!  She is very proud of herself and her new big girl panties.  Way to go, Iris!

DOWN - We were going to fix up Book's car to make it drivable/safe for me and the kids to ride around in while our car is in the shop but it turns out Book's car is going to cost a lot of money to fix up.  :-(  Only after he began to get cost estimates from the mechanics did he realize that the brake line is now completely shot which may mean the fuel line is too.  Ugh.  (SIGH) Now we are discussing the whole cost/benefit analysis of sinking the money into his 2000 Honda Civic with almost 200,000 miles on it or investing in a decent used car.  It's always something, isn't it?

UP - B3 has his 1st hockey game on Saturday morning!  He has no idea.  LOL  I mean, he knows he has a game but he hasn't quite grasped the whole win/lose concept (surprising considering how smart he is in so many other areas!) so it's not as though he's entering this game experience with a competitive drive.  Regardless, it is going to be a bunch of 4-6 year olds who have just learned to skate playing against a similar group.  I am sure it will be hilarious!

DOWN - The weather!  Look, people, I love (really love!) winter but we haven't been able to spend as much time outside due to the incredibly low temperatures and everyone is ready to be free of these 4 walls!  That said, we did get a ton of snow last night/today and the kids & I did get out and play and it felt so good!  Although, in fairness, I did a lot more shoveling than playing but they still had a great time and I was just happy to be outside.

UP: We took Iris ice skating for the first time on Friday.  She and B3 were almost exactly the same age for each of their first times on the ice!  Anyhoo, she had a blast and was pretty good for her first time.  Book even let go of her a few times and she didn't fall right away.  lol  There was no one at the rink with us (ok, only a few others) so we were able to get out the skating helper things (no idea what they are really called) and she liked being able to scoot around with it.  I'll leave you with some adorable pics of Iris & B3 skating!


Mama!  Take a picture of my "hockey stop".

Rockin' it!

Can you tell she's having fun?

Miss Independent

Fun times on the ice!

I know, not an ice skating pic but he's having so much fun playing in the snow.
If you're still reading, I just want to quickly share a few B3isms ... 1) he says badana instead of banana - I know I should correct him but it's so cute and I haven't brought myself to yet, 2) he says am-ant when he is asking me things like "am-ant I a good skater, Mama" - of course, he should say "am I" but, again, it's so darn cute that I haven't been able to make a big deal out of it yet.  I know there was one other one I wanted to share but I can't think of it right now so that's that.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Snow Ice Cream

We continue to be held tight in the grip of the Polar Vortex (hahaha) and have been suffering from a severe case of cabin fever as a result of the frigid weather. Today they reported a high of 12*F but said it never felt above -28*F.  Eep!  The kids have been cooped up inside for the majority of January due to either below freezing weather or rain/mud.  We're all going a bit batty and everyone's nerves are frayed.  Usually, the kids play well with one another but the past couple days have seen them fighting and being very cranky with each other.  Yet, when I separate them so they can play by themselves for a short time, they both throw fits as if I'm asking them to cut off their arm!  I guess I can't win.  But, WAIT!  I did have a major win today - thanks to Pinterest!  Last night I searched for winter-themed activities for preschoolers and came up with several great ideas but only had all the materials necessary for one of the ideas.  So, we made Snow Ice Cream.  It was super easy and surprisingly tasty!  B3 & Iris had a blast and talked about it to me, to our friends, to daddy, to lamby, to puppy, etc., all day.  They also asked for multiple helpings of their snow fun treat.
Snow Ice Cream Recipe: 4 cups fresh/clean snow (we needed more than 4, maybe 8?), 1 cup milk (we used almond milk), 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp vanilla ... Per some blog-type research we also froze our milk for about half an hour before pouring it into our snow so the snow would not melt too quickly

Happy mixing & making a sticky snow mess!

Sneaking a taste...mmm...yummy

Shoveling it in.  Not too fast little girl, you'll get an ice cream headache

Yea! We love Snow Ice Cream!