Thursday, February 27, 2014

Needing a Boost

If I didn't have incentive to sew, this little stack of fabric should do it for me.  Last Friday afternoon while Mama was in the beauty shop, I went over to Wetumpka to Beth's Heirlooms with the sole purpose of getting that Easter-y looking dotted stripes fabric.  There was a sweet outfit pictured on her Facebook page, and I already had the shirt and the design.

I'm playing around with some fabrics for the Easter eggs on the shirt, but I've mainly just stacked it up and ignored it.  The bottom fabric is the sweetest softest fine-wale corduroy.  I have in mind a long-sleeved smock top for Graysen to wear with leggings until it gets warm in Snoqualmie - end of June maybe?

The yellow is just a broadcloth I might either smock or embroider a simple dress.  Such a pretty color.

So if I'm not sewing, what am I doing?

Cleaning out and throwing away a little.  A LOT.

After digging through my crowded pattern box, I decided to file my Children's Corner and other nice ones in the top drawer of my filing cabinet where they're easier to get to.

I'm putting them in file folders so when the escape that little envelope they come in and will never go back in, they can spread out in a bigger space.  I'm also copying a picture of the pattern and sizing information, etc. to tape to the front of the folder.

I had to do something with what was already there, so I moved it down to the 3rd drawer which was full of empty file folders and plastic sleeves -  things like computer information, old check stubs, folders of Christmas ideas and crafts and decorations that I've finally realized I don't even like and have learned by now what I'm capable of.

When I was in my 30s with 3 children and a group of friends who lived to cross-stitch and smock and craft, I actually did a lot of the things in those folders.  They look familiar anyway.  I love that I had hopes that "someday" I would have the time and/or skills to create all these things.   It kind of makes me sad to throw them away.

We did make bread-dough ornaments - once.  I don't remember much about it.  I know they looked nothing like the ones in these pictures, but we probably had fun doing them.

I have to laugh at this set of plans for a sewing center that I saved once - probably in the 1970s after I got my first little Kenmore sewing machine.  At $.75 for a full set of plans, it had to be a long time ago.   I showed it to Mike, and he thought it was hilarious that I thought he would ever be able to or have interest in making something like that.  I think the hilarious thing is really that it would take a dozen of those to house my sewing stuff now.

I see my coffee stains on the bottom of it, so I did once consider it enough to open it and look at it.

Looking through the Christmas cross-stitch folder, I did come across patterns that I wanted to keep.  Like the companion pictures to this one that I love.

It has so much detail and was so much fun to do at the time.

It seems a shame to have something like that just come out at Christmas, but I might look at making the other 2 and framing them similarly.

I have nothing else to do, after all.

Mike finally tore himself away from his babysitting duties and came home.  He misses those sweet morning times with her when she was allowed to empty bookcases and toy baskets to her heart's content while he watched and marveled at her energy.

He was good enough to send me pictures every few hours and some videos that I treasure.  Since I haven't figured out how to save them yet (slow learner) and I don't like to search my emails, this is a good repository for them.  

I just learned some details about the following video.  The little fenced area with the floor mat has been wonderful for keeping Graysen's toys corraled - before she became ambulatory.  She would play in there but never allow the prison door to be closed.

Then she discovered the floor mat came apart in little puzzle pieces, so that became a happy pastime.  Now I hear that the floor mat is gone, and the fenced-in area has become a parking garage for her riding and push toys.

Mike couldn't resist getting Ryan working his magic on whatever he was smoking that day.  Makes my mouth water to think about it.

(I'm not sure why the videos aren't working, but I'll try to fix it later.)

 He may not be missing these cold rainy walks.  But it's hard not to want to gaze at and snuggle this sweet face every day.

One more video that I loved until I saw her linger over the picture of the s___ke and actually touch her finger to it.

Looks like it's her favorite book though.  She seems to be looking for Pat-the-Bunny type textures (scales).

Today is our beautiful daughter-in-law Stephanie's birthday.  I don't get to see her and Gray as much as I would like, and I miss them, but I hope she has a wonderful day.

Last Sunday we had a shower for a sweet friend from the Friday morning Bible study group, Kari.  It was lots of fun with good food and laughter and gift for little Leah due to arrive in a couple of weeks.

She already has 2 little boys, so these little girl things were fun for her to open.  She may even begin to like pink one day.

Speaking of babies, we have a new cousin in Florida, but I don't even know his name yet.  I have a bunch of cousin pictures to post, but I've used up my whole morning, so maybe tomorrow for more.

Going home to a BIG sister, Emma, who is all of 15 months old.  Fun, chaos, hard work, and lots of love in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


This brief little video just makes me smile (but then they all do).  Probably only interesting to grandparents.  She sees a giraffe - puzzle piece? and decides she wants to study it a little more.  I love how she climbs up in her little chair as if that will help her concentrate.  I also love her little "room," although I think she doesn't spend much time in there.

This has been a busy week but not with fun things - just traffic and crowds and noise and errands.  One of those days where you wonder what else can possibly go wrong.

At least Mama's phone that she dropped in her water glass is showing signs of life after sitting in a container of rice overnight.

Kari's shower that we are doing Sunday is coming together and should be fun.  Teal ribbon is harder than you would think to find.  And this IS tealer than it looks.

I typed a spring syllabus for Daniel while he waited and politely admired the sad and leggy cosmos babies.

The Target $1 bins need to stop having so many cute things that Graysen can't do without.

We won't talk about chasing a bottle of pills all over Montgomery and ending up crying in my first visit to the local Sam's Club.

And picking up the second newspaper in a stack of Birmingham News in the convenience store and finding out when I got home that it was actually a Montgomery Advertiser - which we already subscribe to.

I'm ready for a peaceful day at home tomorrow - after I go pick up the prescription that they refused to give me yesterday.  I'm sure every place in the world takes Visa - except Sam's.

We hear that we're going to have "bad weather" tomorrow night.  I'll be glad to get the rain and a little storm, but I don't want to have to worry about a tornado in the middle of the night.

After a week with with Fopa, the conversations are getting a little more animated.

 She may be loosening up a little too much, but I love to see the big smile.  I hear she has a lot of new teeth.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Morning of Discovery - Sheets and Keys

A few weeks ago I lost my car keys.

We looked and looked.  For many days, we searched what we thought was every corner of the house.  I usually leave my keys and/or purse or bags or whatever in the kitchen on a bar stool.  Secondarily, I might go straight to the bedroom or stop in the sewing room if I have shopping bags.  So we covered those 3 rooms to no avail.  We had just been cleaning out cabinets in the kitchen and figured they had gotten thrown away.

So we spent the money for a new whatever - computer opener and key.  It hurt to do that, but pretty much all hope had gone.  So I stopped looking for them.  But this morning when I changed sheets, and pulled out the bottom sheet, out they popped, right into my hands.

This is not a normal foot of the bed.  I had trouble with the pillows getting down between the headboard and the mattress and having to fish them out all the time.  So I wedged an extra pillow between the mattress and the foot board.  Not beautiful but works great, and the comforter covers it.  Too well.

I've changed the sheets since I lost the keys several times and never saw them, but I don't always wash the mattress pad, and removing that is what forced them to pop up.  Glad to find them but aggravated we had to buy new ones.

That's not my Skymiles card on the keychain.  I feel like every mile I've flown is a thousand, but I'm not a Million Miler yet.

It turns out the old opener had broken, so Mike had glued that card to it to keep me from losing it. 

I think I'll just change my Tiger Eyes to the new set.  After I lost my keys, Mike also ordered something for me with this beautiful name:  Click 'n Dig.

It really works though.  I keep the remote in a kitchen drawer, and if I press the blue button, it makes the little blue thing beep.  There is another red one that we need to use.  It's another thing to carry on a keychain, but I wish we had had it last month!

As if that weren't enough discovery, I noticed a neat thing on the fitted sheet when I was putting it on this morning.

What a great idea.  These sheets are nothing special, just some that I liked at Target.  They have these crazy double elastic corners that make them fit like a dream but also make them look square when I start looking for which is the top and which is the side.

This will probably save me a few minutes every time I change sheet, but I'll take it any day as opposed to the trial and error method of putting on one corner and finding out it's on wrong.

I have more things, but I have a full afternoon, so I'll save the birthday pictures and the cousin pictures for tomorrow.

Mike gets to babysit early in the morning, so he always sends me a few pictures or videos.  I love it.  This is what I got this morning.

Just waiting for Graysen to wake up.

 Only Fopa could get a smile big enough to show those front teeth.

Sweet mama friends - Niole and Emily - with future friends Graysen and Dereck.  I think he's about 5 months old.

Playing with a birthday balloon.

Squeezing Jack.

 This neat drawer pull is one day going to do something interesting if she pulls it hard enough.

Teaching Griff some new words.

Being pensive over breakfast.

These mornings with Graysen are precious, and I know he hates to leave tomorrow.  I imagine Ryan and Emily will hate not having a little extra sleep in the mornings.  I hope my turn is soon!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Happy First Birthday to Graysen

No one believes that a whole year has passed since she was born.  So much joy.  So much sweetness.  So much laughter.

Graysen has her own email address, and I've been emailing her every week or so to tell her things that she might enjoy knowing when she's old enough to read these emails.  Rather than do so much repeating, I'll just copy the email I sent her this morning.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl.  You really don't know this day is any different than any other and probably wonder what the fuss is all about.  Fopa is there, and there are gifts to open - almost like Christmas all over again.  Then you get to go to Ro and Lou's for a dinner in your honor and probably have more gifts and a cake and a special birthday bib.  Oh, and lots of pictures.  One day you'll know what it's all about.

You won't remember - because you weren't born yet - how exciting and frustrating the days were leading up to your birth last year.  You were due on the 7th of February, and we had planned to be there in Snoqualmie when you were born, but since no one knew when that day was going to be, we just picked a date - February 14th.  On the 12th, your mom had a doctor's visit, and they found some serious things that made them admit her immediately and make plans to get you here.  

Back in Alabama, Texas, and Tennessee, your aunts/cousins/grandparents were beside ourselves, living for just one word from the hospital and then sharing every little bit of information and discussing it.  I'm not sure about everyone else, but I slept very little the night of the 12th, just dozing and praying a lot for your safe arrival.  

Everyone was a little emotional.  I got this text from your mom at 2:27 a.m. after I told her I would not sleep until I knew something:  "Aunt Kathy's crying over her catfish, and you can't sleep.  And I'm apparently not dilating.''

I must have dozed because the next conversations were between 7 and 10 a.m.  At 10:26, I received:  "C-section now.  Love ya'll.  Will talk soon."

The next email I got we were in the car on the way to Atlanta to go see you.  These were your mother's first comments about you that I heard:  Adore.  Obsessed.  She's too perfect, Mama."  

All thoughts of that dreaded airplane trip vanished, and the euphoria those words brought lasted for days.  Well, it's never really disappeared, but there was never a more perfect moment.  To know that the one we waited all those months for was really here and perfect and healthy.

And seeing the pictures your dad sent us.  I just could not keep from looking at them in amazement.

Even though we're so far away and just get to visit every few months, you have perfect parents who keep the pictures and videos coming and share as many moments of your day as they have time for.

You've made us so happy, and I love you more than life.  Mimi.

I bet we'll have some birthday pictures to share later on today, and I'll be sure to post them.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Mirror Mystery Solved

And there it is - where it was the whole time we were looking for it.  About 5 feet or less to the right are the chairs where we sit most of the time.  It wasn't until Mike was packing his suitcase that he looked up and saw it.  What a relief to know we didn't just imagine having a mirror in that foyer.

Mike is in Atlanta sorting out flights and bitterly lamenting the fact that he's number 15 on the upgrade list.  As I type, he is getting ready to leave but is afraid his bag may not make the same plane.  I just want them out before the weather conditions get any worse.  I have to say I'm glad I'm not doing this today.  I would probably be way more anxious than I should be.  It is nice though to leave the house at 11:15 and be in Seattle at 7:15 (or 9:15 CST).  Not bad at all.

Nice Monday

Always nice when I do exactly what I want to do, which is pretty much nothing.

I did check my new seedlings, and most have popped up.

We did a little crafting for another birthday party.

And more picking out of the monogram on the beach cover-up.  I hope someone reminds me if I ever try to take out a small monogram again.

Finished packing Graysen's birthday bag from her great-grandmother.

This was her REAL birthday gift from Great-Grandmother Ray though.

 I've never had anything from Tiffany.

We watched this week's Downton Abbey.  And enjoyed it, as usual.

Mike is working hard to get as much painting done as possible before he leaves.

I went in to take a picture of the original color of the living room and found Murray supervising - between naps.

In the meantime, we've lost a mirror, and not a small one.  I don't even have a picture of it that I can find right now.

We don't know who took it down (but I'm almost sure Mike did - because it's heavy).  It should be in the living room, but it's not.  It's not in the dining room either on the table with the other pictures and lamps.

We looked in the hall closet and the guest room and the sewing room.  It's just nowhere - kind of scary.  Really scary that we could lose a piece of furniture.

Graysen is still having all kinds of teething miseries, but she did take time to enjoy her new cookware set - just like mom and dad's.  Sweet girl.

And someone's grandfather will be seeing her tomorrow night - or more likely first thing the next morning.  The flight to Atlanta got cancelled because of the weather, but he found one leaving earlier tomorrow.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Wishing for spring

It's about that time when the little tolerance I have for cold weather completely disappears.

I bought seeds.  It makes me feel a little better.

I went consignment shopping and bought sweet summer things.

I'm looking at patterns for birds and whales and things to embroider on Graysen's shirts.

I've always loved this bird on vine design from Applique Cafe but never used it.  I decided to audition several fabrics on different shirts.

I ended up using this one since I needed to use the smallest long-sleeved shirt first.

I got these leggings at BabyGap and then proceeded to get confused as I pulled out all the 18-month shirts I had collected.  Which design to put on which shirt to match which leggings?

A little confusing.  But if I get one more shirt, I can do 2 shirts for each pair of leggings for 8 ways to use those designs I collect but never use.  Applique Cafe has another one I really want to try - Zig-Zag Birds.

My sweet friends Tyler is having his 4th birthday party this afternoon and wanted rocket ships for his shirt and cake.  This is what his mom Amanda and I came up with.  I love her sense of color and knowing exactly what will go with what.  All I have to do then is start the machine and do a little trimming.

And more trimming.

At this stage, it doesn't look like it's going to be that pretty.

There s one for Little Brother too.

And I guess I need to make a matching newborn onesie to match for Baby Sister or Brother in August.  Amanda has been advised to not choose any more 7-letter names for her children.

We have foyer progress.  Looking back for Before pictures, I couldn't believe it's been over a month since we started taking this wallpaper down.

Mike took over the stripping and then took the time to do precision repairs on all the woodwork.

It took me forever to settle on a paint color.  The living room is a dull gold/yellow/beige that I'm not unhappy with, and I wanted to brighten it up and have the foyer and dining room to go from the lightest shade to the darkest in the dining room.  Not that easy.  Everything started seeming TOO yellow - think daffodil or baby chick yellow.

This shows a little of the living room color - which will change to a lighter version of the present color in there if I can find it.  It's the same color as the living room in Columbus that caused me to buy the orange and gold striped couch, which I don't regret - but it does kind of limit the color family.

So the final verdict on the paint color:  Toasted Marshmallow by Behr.  I'm not sure what the first 2 or 3 coats were, but the last one ended up this, and I love it.  Such a clean look with the white woodwork.

The wallpaper that we started out with was not awful, so the change is not drastic, but it is already lighter in that foyer.  Almost makes me want a white table in there instead of the dark wood - but that's not going to happen.  Sigh of relief from Mike.

I gave him a project that I thought was hopeless, and he's worked wonders with a pair of little shoes.  I found some navy ones in the attic that Emily wore when she was 3 or 4 years old - and apparently wore them long and well.  They were stiff and scuffed and looked like they had come from the last mud puddle she had waded through.  I thought it would be sweet if Graysen could wear them one day just for a picture - I don't think they would be comfortable enough for much more than that.  He has worked on them for a week, trying all kinds of treatments and polishes, and this is how they look right now.  

He even glued insoles of white felt in each one.  A little more polishing, and they should be ready for a try-on in a few years.  I'm going to try to find a photo of Emily wearing them.  I remember a Halloween one of her in a clown outfit with them on.  Elise had the same style, but they were red.  I love these shoes on little girls.

Mike drove me to the consignment sale and waited in the car.  Such a production.  Thanks to a thoughtful friend giving me her guest pass, I was able to go before the public sale but ---- SO many people buying SO many clothes.  I came out with 11 things, but the women in line were pushing laundry baskets and trash cans just piled up with things.  After those people had had a chance to get what they wanted, I found very little, but they were fun things and will be cute if we hit the seasons right.  I'm aware that the summery sleeveless things won't get worn until August (if at all), but they were fun for me to buy and will hopefully get resold next spring.

This swimsuit and coverup didn't come together, but they match.  I'd like to get rid of that pink on the swimsuit!  I'm not even sure what it is supposed to be.

This is such a pretty monogram, I'd like to leave it and wonder if anyone would notice it wasn't Graysen's initials.  Emily and I decided that it was not ABSOLUTELY necessary to have a monogrammed beach coverup, so I might just take it out.

A bonus to find a UNC onesie amid all the Auburn and Alabama outfits.

These will probably get the most use of all the articles in Snoqualmie.  But probably not at the same time.  Those boots are size 5 but look pretty big.  

I have to do a Saturday Wal-Mart trip with Mama, so I'd better go mentally prepare for it.