Monday, November 29, 2010

Mommy Monday--The questions...

I grow weary of the questions…even more so of the answers.

What am I talking about?

Those questions kids ask over and over and over. Only to get the same answer from me.

Like: When can we get a dog?

Answer: When the youngest child turns 5.

Or: Can we have a piece of our Halloween candy?

Answer: When you’re all done your supper.

I’ve been thinking of jazzing up my answers when all of a sudden Missy D, soon to be 5 yrs old comes up with this:

“When can I learn to milk a cow?”


“A cow mommy! I want to milk a cow?”

“Why do you want to milk a cow”

“To get milk” (I got the duh tone and expression--she's already heading to the teens here)

“But we can go to the store to get milk, you don’t have to milk a cow for it.”

“Mommmmm, milk comes from a cow. So we should milk a cow for our milk.”

Oldest female child gets in on conversation and adds “Well, we do grow our own vegetables….”

Exasperated look from me shot in her direction. She tries to hide her giggles.

“So mommy, can I milk a cow when I’m 5?”

“I don’t think so sweetie”


“How about when you are 22?”


Blissful silence for 3 second, then Missy D asks:

“Mom when can we get a dog?”

I bang my head on the table: “when the youngest child is 5…..”

I don’t know if I can give a more creative answer—they keeps me on my toes with their creative question! What comes after milking cows? And do I really want to find out?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

How to sew one seam pants

One of my favorite type of pants to sew are one seam pants. I have a tried and true pattern for my little girls that I made years ago by taking apart a pair of pants, tracing and adjusting until I came up with this:


Notice when the pattern is folded in half the back side is slightly wider than the front—on this pattern it starts at an inch from the crotch and tapers down at the ankles (where it is just about even).

I spent a while experimenting until I got a shape I liked and a pant which fit my girlies well. But there are many one seam pants patterns commercially available (which I found after the fact!)

Since I’m using a really stretchy polar fleece, I wasn’t concerned about the bit of pattern that didn’t fit on the fabric. I’m making two pairs of these is the just about the same size so I’m cheating by cutting them all at once.

Next I sewed (serged) the inseam of each leg. Note that you can tell the back from the front quite easily.

Next take one leg and turn it to the right side. You’ll have one leg where the wrong side is facing out and the other the right side will be facing out

Then put the right side leg into the wrong side leg and match up the center.

Sew the center, turn everything to the right side—you have a pair of pants!

I just fold down the waist about 2 inches to the wrong side, sew and pull elastic through (the elastic still needs to be done)

With polar fleece you don’t have to hem the legs, but I like the finished look of a hem. This makes three pairs of chix rule pants done! One more pair for my oldest girl and I can call this fabric out of my stash for good!

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Gobble Gobble!

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope everyone had a wonderful day!

I was lucky enough to celebrate at a friends house...not having to cook turkey made me very thankful!

I made a fun little kitchen towel for my friend:

Maybe she'll have us over again next year...because this no cooking the bird thing rocks! (smile!)

Monday, November 22, 2010

winter wonderland...and ugly wreaths!

I woke up to this:

So I started getting out this:

and this:

Which turns out 1/2 the bulbs are burned out or not connected right...over a thousand wires on the tree and we have to check them all...

Then I got out these:

And thought, boy are they UGLY! 

I'm a bit obsessed over Cristie's wreath at It's Just My Imagination--it's just so beautiful!

I'll have to spruce up my two outdoor wreaths to the cloud to gather ideas! (yeah there's something about those Windows commercials that I like!)

Suggestions on what to do to spruce these up are, as always, very much appreciated!

Mommy Monday—the snow edition

I grew up in Ontario, Canada and I know snow.  If we looked out the window and saw only a foot of it, we knew we would be going to school. Two to three feet—check the news to see if schools were closed (they usually weren’t).  Four feet—woohoo!  Snow day!

I now live in the Pacific Northwest, the Seattle area.  We don’t get snow and what we get is barely enough to make one small (tiny!) snowman.

my backyard this morning

This is the kind of snow my kids have known all their lives, and this morning I really had to keep reminding myself of that little fact.

“It’s snowing!!!”

“MOM!  Do we have a snow day today?”

“Can we go out and play??!!”

“Is school closed?”

These types of questions hit me before I even opened my eyes this morning.  I look outside—we’re talking less than an inch of snow!  Granted schools here have been closed for less, but come on!  Can I at least get out of bed before you bombard me with Christmas carols and singing “it’s snowwwwwwiiiiiinnnnnggg….”?

Nope. Four voices have merged into one and I can’t tell anymore who is asking what this morning.

Snow is the PNW—not what I grew up with, but I get the excitement my kids have when they see it.

So we checked the news, school web sites—all clear! Kids are going to school (woohoo!)

Bring out the winter jackets.  Find gloves.  Repeat “don’t lose your gloves/hats” ten times to each child.

Find boots.  Have discussion about wearing boots. Have kids convince us they can still wear their runners (I had friends who wore their runners in four feet of snow, less than an inch—the kids can win this battle).

My husband decides he’ll drive all 3 school going children to school since I don’t have to leave for class with the youngest for another hour.

Thank you darlin’!

Ten minutes after they leave—phone rings:

“uh, you may not want to go anywhere it’s really slippery out here”

Thank you darlin’!  I just needed an excuse not to warm up my car.

Minutes pass, phone rings again:

“I’m headed home, the hill to MissyD’s preschool is backed up with people sliding down the hill…”

OK, see you soon.

Minutes pass, phone rings again:

“Can you see the entrance to our subdivision?  Apparently there’s a huge pile up down there”

Nope, see cars going up, no cars coming slow.

Thirty minutes later (of what should be a ten minute commute), door opens and in they come.  Older kids are at school, younger kids at home. I'm informed that the ditches are full of cars on the hill right before our subdivision entrance.

And there is now a whole inch of snow on the ground.

The deck...just over an inch of snow

Gotta love winter in the PNW.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mice go with elephants...

If you make elephants, you have to make mice.

One just goes with the other!

So I made 26 mice to go with my elephants…yes, for that party I made monsters, elephants, mice and cupcakes! Needless to say, I’ve got a lot to live up to for the next one!

The mouse pattern here.  Cute site with some fun ideas!

I used pink and blue felt and put the mice together with the blanket stitch on my sewing machine. Added a fuzzy yarn tail and used permanent marker to mark the eyes—Voila! Mice!

Only a few blue ones left to show off!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Blogger Blogging...comment threading

I've been having fun (and by fun I mean pulling out my hair!) trying to "fix" the commenting section of my blog.  For some reason only a select few comments were making it into my e-mail if I haven't replied to a comment, forgive me!  I'll do better now that I have fixed a few issues.

I've been hesitant to go to a third party comment module--but after the headache of the last week I've been researching them (only to get another headache!). 

I'd love it if Blogger would add comment threading...maybe everyone who blogs on this platform could ask for this (go here and submit your request) the genies behind Blogger would full fill our wish?

It's a thought.

In other news, my oldest is working on her second Market Place--the theme: Holiday!  It's been fun!  We'll even be posting a tutorial in the next day or so!

I love it that my kids enjoy being crafty (as in creative...they enjoy being sly too, but I don't love that so much!)

Friday, November 12, 2010's cold outside!

It's getting colder in the Pacific North West! So I decided to whip up a pair of fleecy warm pants!

I really love this pattern!  The pants fit nice and look good on me.  BUT, I'm not a big fan of the waist.  First, there is no elastic (I've always added one in) and second I don't have a belly I want to show off (at this time!)

The fabric has been in my stash forever!  I only have a few yards of it and wanted to make sure i had enough to make my three girls pants I made the hips a bit smaller than usual.  It's fine, they still fit (a bit snug) but the fabric is stretch and warm and perfect for lounging around the house!

I opted for a "regular" waist band, as you can see from the picture below:

Now to hem the bottoms and I'll be nice and warm while I make the girlies their pants tonight!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Better Elephant Pictures!

I found some of the elephants!  So as promised, better pictures! (see previous post for pattern information)

Here's the pink version, I tried to make a "tummy" by altering the pattern a bit.  But in the end I didn't like how it turned out.

Dear well intentioned, interfering *#%!

Dear well intentioned, interfering BITCH person,

You do not know my child.  You do not know me.  So for you to stand behind me and comment “poor thing, she’s terrified!” in a tone of horror while my child pitches a fit (and I am dealing with said fit pitching) does not help.

For you to further bend down, give my child a hug while I walk away two feet so that my child will follow me is fricken inappropriate.  I did not abandon my child.  I am close enough to touch her, yet you think you know better than I how to handle her?

Let me tell you what you did.  For that second you managed to calm her down, she learned that if mommy isn’t giving her what she needs she can go to random strangers and scream/cry/throw herself on the ground to try and achieve her objective.  This means that I must now chase said child while my other children try to keep up or are dragged to where fit throwing child is.

You managed to prolong this incident to a 30 minute scream fest.  Thanks.  You can’t possible realize how fun it is to try to deal with a slippery wet child who has just come out of the pool in the locker room, as she throws herself on the floor in front of other mothers (who know dang well to leave her alone, ignore her and let her own mom deal with her!)

What you did is piss me off.  My fit throwing kid didn’t get me as angry as you did with your condescending attitude!  It’s been hours and I’m still pissed at you.

Before you decide it’s your god given right to interfere next time, consider this:

  • You don’t know the child—the child may have mental difficulties even if they look “normal” and you messing up the chain of communication between parent and child is not helpful.

  • Sometimes a parent must physically restrain a child to keep said child from hurting themselves.  It is not abuse; it is for the child’s own good.  Go to an occupational therapy session sometime and you may learn a thing or too.

  • Not every child is wired the same.  How you treat the children around you is not how every child should be treated.  If the parent is doing what they can do, in a calm manner, who the hell are you to yell out your two cents?

  • You don’t know the situation…so butt out.  Do you know why the child is crying?  Do you know what that child needs to calm down?  Do you thing you as a stranger trying to comfort a 2 year old, who is not in a rational state, while their mother is right there is a good idea?  You are so lucky I was in a decent mood or I would have told you off—yeah, that’s right, my child was throwing the mother of all fits and my mood was fine.  As the day’s gone on and I think about what you did it’s gone right down the toilet!

I see things like this every day, but I don’t interfere.  If I have a better way to handle the situation I’ll let the parent know after they have dealt with their child or the next time I see them, NOT in the moment when the parent needs to try to regain control of the situation.  AND as a stranger I’m not about to place my hands on any child, even to comfort—so keep them to yourself next time!

So well intentioned, interfering BITCH person, next time think about your actions.

And just in case you were wondering, my child was happy, laughing and fun loving after going through our “calm down” process…which took a whole lot longer thanks to your brand of “help.”

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mommy Monday—I’m a mommy

Sometimes the dreams you have in your youth have to be adjusted for the reality of your today.

When I was young I thought I would have a career, have a child (not a husband, just one child) and be able to manage both.

Yes, I thought I would be super career woman/mom.

That didn’t happen. 

I gave up a job I loved (with people I didn’t much care for) to marry the man I fell in love with and moved across a content and to another country.  Where I was rudely awakened by the fact that I couldn’t work. 

So I threw myself into being the best housekeeper and wife I could be.

Then came baby #1, and I immersed myself in playing/talking/getting to know my child.  I pointed out letters, numbers, sung songs, cooked healthy meals, cleaned the house—did the whole super mom thing.

Never once did I question why.

Then baby #2 came along and I did the same thing, to a lesser extent, but sill gave it my all.

Then baby #2 turned one.

Then I started asking who am I?

Of course it all got complicated when I got sick, when the autoimmune stuff kicked in.  I looked everywhere for answers, but the constant question was: “who am I?”

I spent a number of years not being satisfied being just a “mommy”.  I suffered for that, and so did my kids.

Something changed after I had my last two kids.  I became resolved to be the best mommy I could be, to put aside my dreams of a career and just focus on the here and now.

Today I’m seeing friends go back to work and struggle to “do it all”, and while I do feel a bit of jealousy at times, I’m OK with where I am.  I do plan to go back to school, to get a “fun” degree or something totally different form the sociology and economics degree I got (and barely put to use) years ago.  I’d like to go back to work at some point—more for the social contact, adult conversation and to show my daughters that mom's can work outside of the home too.

But right now, I’m ok. I’m a mommy.  And today, when people ask me what I do I say I’m a mom of 4, a wife of 1.  I don’t justify.  I don’t explain.  I just state the fact.

Because I now know that being a mom for me IS a full-time job, and that with the age range of my children I may never have that career I dreamed about.  My cards weren’t dealt to me the way I dreamed they would be.

But in the end, I think I got a much better hand.

Now I just have to play it the best way I know how. And the first step is to say loud and proud:

I’m a mommy!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Elephants everywhere!

I’m planning a kiddy party.

It’s not until February.

But since I am planning to sew party favors once again, like I did last year with the monsters, I need to put a little more thought into the party and a little more planning…I don’t want to be swamped with sewing at the last minute.

So I’ve done the monsters, the elephants and the mice.

Elephants you say? We never saw a post about elephants!

OK, calm down! I can do an elephant post!

First let me credit the most awesome Michelle Engel Bencsko of Cicada Daydream for offering such a great pattern! I used it (for the most part) but I did forget to put on the tusks! My kiddos loved these elephants so much that they have asked me to make more, in different sizes and with the tusks this time…I’m thinking about it. In my effort to destash I’m much more inclined to make big things…hmmm, how big could I go with this?

Anywho, here are the blurry pictures from January of this year—I cut out all the pieces and made 26 of these cuties. My sewing desk was a regular production line! (better pics can now be found here)

And I did try to give one of the elephants a "tummy"  Not recommended!

I had leftovers and they are all over the house!  If I track one down I'll be sure to post a better picture! (click link or go to next post to see!)

I'm participating in and Photobucket and   and the other great blog hops found at the right hand side of this blog!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My little seamstress....

My oldest child has a really cool school project; it’s called “market place”. They older grades usually hold it and invite the younger grades to come through and “buy” their product. The buyers are all given $100 of play money to spend on the products offered

Basically what happens is the kids in the class make or buy products to sell. They need to buy their tables, track the cost of their product, price it right and report their profits. The teachers have done a really great job to make this a fun way to learn a bit about economics and the value of a dollar.

My kids have been buyers for the past few years, now one is a seller and so excited.

And she has me as a mom.

The first question I asked her is what does she think she could make that other kids would buy. She has to stick to a theme: harvest.

She took one look at all my scraps of fabric and asked if she could sew bags, because in the past she’s noticed that kids buy stuff, but have nothing to carry it in.

OK. Design them.

Out came the butcher paper, and she designed a complicated embroidered in the hoop mess...Her idea was to digitize an in-the-hoop bag and make them on my embroidery machine. But I raised the question about time and cost.

I got the sad face.

So I suggested that maybe she could use the same concept, a long piece of fabric, folded three times, but use the serger to put them together.

So she serged the ends, then folded the fabric and surged the sides: voilĂ  a mini messenger bag, in harvest colors!

To spruce it up a bit, she digitized little pumpkins, which we embroidered on orange felt, cut out and glued to the bags.

Here she is, my oldest making bags to sell at her "market place"

Her store was a hit!  She was so proud to come home and tell me that store was so busy she didn't even have time to shop at the other stores!

Her next store theme:  Holiday!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mommy Monday—the Halloween edition

October 1st, 2010:  I inform all my children that any part of their costume that needs to be made, needs to be submitted to the manufacture (me) by mid month.

Youngest children submit giraffe costume request right away.

Older children need to “think” about it.

October 9th: manufacturer buys giraffe printed fabric.

October 10th:  youngest child decides to raid the costume bin and be a princess for Halloween, second youngest  discovers a cowgirl costume  that is "perfect"!(She ends up wearing it everyday around the house and for trick or treating.)

Giraffe costumes never get made.

October 19th: manufacturer reminds oldest kids their costume orders have not yet been placed.  Youngest children still sticking to princess and cowgirl.

October 23rd: Oldest finds costume in costume bin and decides to be a vampire…or a witch—no need for manufacturer to produce anything.

October 29th (bed time): Boy child tells manufacture that he needs a costume, a Link (from the legends of Zelda video game) costume…and he needs a shield, and a sword and a tunic and a hat a pair of tights, a belt...

October 29th: manufactures shrieks can be heard throughout the house as she sends boy child to bed after reminding him that he’s had all month to put in an order and now it was too dang late (yes, manufacturer kept language clean, but inside she was swearing up a storm)

October 30th: boy child wakes up and tells mom he’s going to be Harry Potter again, wearing the robe manufacturer made last year.

November 1st: oldest child to manufacturer “Mom, I need some holiday type dresses.  Can you make me some?”

Younger  girl children “Me too! Me too!”

Manufacturer, reopening the dress making shop…

Well, at least someone learned to place orders early!

Sharing this as part of Ain't She Crazy's linky party!