Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Operation Ovulation: The Checkout Dude

Checkout Dude (upon seeing my ovulation prediction kit): "Hey - good luck!" {waves the box at me}
Me: "Um. Thanks."
Checkout Dude: "I expect to be the first non-family member to hear the good news!"
Me: "You betcha...uh (squinting at name tag) 'Dave R.' I'll call mama, and then I'll run right up here to the Giant so you can celebrate with us. Can you please bag the garlic bread separately? Thanks."

Here's to yet another of life's little adventures...fun stuff, huh?

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Sick Day

Our life is pretty cool most of the time...even on sick days. We went to the doctor yesterday for Sadie's pink eye, and it occurred to me: I must miss a million funny Sadie stories while she's at school all day and I'm at work. Her teachers are so lucky they get to hang out with her. Do they know that?

Here are a few of the fun things that happened yesterday:

Story #1 - Cookie Thief. I said "this is your last cookie," but apparently she took that to mean, "this is your second-to-last cookie" because she snuck one more 'last cookie:'

Story #2: Sadie helped me take the trash to the dumpster. She pushed her "buggy" full of trash while I carried the rest in armloads. She was wearing this tutu and the undershirt you see in her cookie picture. And her tinkerbell flip flops. Pushing her little cart. Taking some trash. Have you ever seen a princess roll the garbage out to the dumpster before? It was awesome.

Story #3: As a reward for taking her eye drops, I let Sadie go to the store to pick out a special treat. After she takes her medicine for 5 days, if she does a good job and acts like a big girl, we will go back to the store and get it, but until then, I want to be able to let her look forward to it (and keep it as a carrot for our eye drop fights). She chose a Cinderella dress. I don't love the Disney princess dresses because the licensing fees they have to pay to produce that crap makes it even crappier, but I know she loves them, so I try very hard to balance my anti-marketing-to-my-kid campaign with my let-my-kid-be-a-kid campaign. Then she saw some princess dress up shoes:
Me: Do you want the shoes instead of the dress?
Sadie: YES!
(two aisles later)
Me: Sadie, look at this (way better, much prettier, much higher quality) butterfly dress!
...do you want that instead of the shoes?
Sadie: No, I want the Cinderella dress.
Me: Ok - the Cinderella dress it is!
(an hour later as I'm getting ready to put in the drops)
Me: Sadie, do you remember what you want to get for your special treat if you do a good job with your eye drops?
Sadie: Yes! I'm getting a Cinderella dress! And princess shoes! And a butterfly dress!

Story #4: While we were at the store picking out Sadie's special treat(s?), she met a little boy named Henry. We had a play date in the middle of the princess aisle:
----
Henry: Look - that's a mirror, I'm going to turn it on!
Sadie: No, you can't turn it on, see, I'll show you. {pushes rhinestone to prove point}
Henry: What's this?
Sadie: That's a wand.
Henry: What kind of wand is that?
Sadie: That's an Ariel wand. She's a princess. And these are princess shoes. Do you want to see these baby girl princesses?
Henry: Yeah - let's play with those!
Sadie: Ok! Look! You can push these buttons!
Henry: {helps Sadie push buttons} OK. I have to go look at the boy toys now.
Sadie: Ok, bye!
(several minutes later)
Me: Sadie, we need to find a black marker. Hey, look! There's your friend Henry!
Henry: Hi!
Sadie (looking annoyed at Henry): I have to go, WE are looking for a MARKER.
And that was that.
So cute!!

Story #5:
Me: Sadie, what are you doing?
Sadie (bent over a tic tac on the floor at the store): I'm lookin' at this!
Me: Please don't touch that, it's trash!
Sadie (scrunching face): Look at that white trash!
...glad we weren't at Wal Mart.

Story #6: Daddy had a rough day. I told Sadie we needed to get Daddy a special treat so that we could show him that we think he's doing a great job at school. We found a bag, some $1 glasses, and a marker (see story #4), and made him a little gift bag for his present (a CD).
Sadie drew the face herself!
She handed the bag to Eric and said, "Here Daddy, here is a special treat for you. You didn't do a very good job?" Poor Daddy. Who taught that kid to talk?

And then I saw these little guys on the way home...
They reminded me that we have a pretty fun thing going...I love my family.


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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Motherhood...in Text Messages

I had this posted on facebook. And then I realized facebook can't handle this much mommyhood awesomeness:

Me (to Eric): Really ready for Monday at the moment. I need a break.
Eric: Ok, I'll be home soon.
Me: Take your time, I'm lying on the bed in one of your shirts trying to soak up all the pee.

----
Did you have to soak up a preschooler's pee on YOUR side of the bed today? You didn't? Then buck up, friend, it could be worse. :)

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Upcycled Pillows!

I'm only using the word "upcycled" because it's a trendy word, and I want to pretend to be trendy. As usual, I'm about 5 years late on participating in a trend...

I decided to make some new pillows for our bedroom in fairly specific colors (gray, gold/yellow, black, brown, and gray-blue...it's ok that you don't like that combo, I'm pretty stoked about it).

Since we're fairly broke, here's a quick tutorial on how to make (mostly) free pillows using stuff you may already have.

Shirt Pillow:
Step 1: Find a shirt! This one is the right color, and it shrunk up so that it wasn't long enough anymore. I'm certainly not sad to lose it as a shirt...that's the key.

Step 2: Trim the sleeves off (mine were ruffles, so I get to "upcycle" those as well!):

Here are the ruffles in the process of being reused (note that I had already cut one of them to prepare for it's new life):

Step 3: Turn your shirt wrong-side-out, and stitch up any open areas on three sides (i.e., sleeves and neck) so that you'll have a side to put the pillow form into:

Step 4: Turn right-side-out, insert the pillow, and stitch up the fourth side by hand (I just whipped this one, took about 5 minutes to close):

The entire shirt pillow took about 20 minutes from start to finish, and I got to use the ruffles on the pillow below (made out of two brown dinner napkins). It was going to be just plain brown, but I couldn't waste the ruffles. Waste not, want not!

And, my friend Stacy sent me a photo of a cute felt monogrammed pillow the other day, so I decided to steal the idea (there I go again...stealing):
Recognize the fabric? It's the other two napkins that were left over after the pillow project in this post.

All finished, the pillow looks like this:

And finally, I had a big extra strip of fabric from two other projects (Andouille was one of them). I folded it over itself, sewed it up, and made one last pillow:

Here's what they look like all put together:

The only purchase I made for these four pillows was the brown napkins...$3.50. Everything else was stuff I already had (shirt, napkins, felt, thread, leftover fabric, gross grain ribbon, pillow forms). The pillow forms came from my last bedroom project which was an embarrassingly short time ago.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Shameless

Sometimes I get a wild hair. Sometimes it leads to painting.

I saw some great fun and inspirational children's posters on Ohdeedoh and wished I had a few of them for Sadie's room. Fortunately, I have tons of acrylic paint and half a dozen blank canvases. Plenty of materials for one painting project last night and one tonight! Here's how they turned out:


I shamelessly stole the vague notion of the deer from here.

I shamelessly stole the concept of this one from a combination of here and here.

Original thoughts are hard to come by...stealing ideas is much more efficient.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Afterthought: Psychology of the Back Glass Family

Warning: If you are stopped at a stoplight in front of me, you are fair game for my blog. Especially if you do something like this:


Acquaintance: "Wow, Betty, that is a fabulous artistic rendering of your lovely family you've got there on the back of your car. You must be really proud!"
Betty: "I know, I know! What better way to show the people in the car behind you those you love the most, right? It's me, Bill, baby Jack, and Fido!"
Acquaintance: "Yeah - great likenesses, really. I especially like how they got the triangle shape of that dress you wear all the time. And your highly professional pigtails. Say, didn't you have another kid? A girl?"
Betty: "...crap. I knew I was forgetting something."
Acquaintance: "uh...yeah...you can probably stick that other kid over there on the other side of Fido...plenty of room...no one will ever know the difference."

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Almost Costume Time...

We don't really "do" Halloween at our house, but I do love the idea of getting to dress up in something fun and get candy, so we've compromised: Halloween at our house means costumes and candy. No decorations, no scary nonsense, no tricks...just treats!

Last year, as a farewell to our home in the south, Sadie was a Magnolia for Halloween:

She was so darling in her little costume that I'm not sure how we're going to top it this year, but whatever we do, it will be as simple to make as last year's -- all ideas are welcome!

Here's a quick magnolia costume tutorial in case you want to trade...

Ingredients:
75 yards of tulle in about 6" wide strips
Coordinating ribbon (to cover the headband)
Headband form
Elastic for the waist band
Faux magnolia leaves
Faux magnolia flower
hot glue gun
sewing machine
white leotard
You'll also need the tulle tututorial.

Instructions:
(Skirt)
Step 1: Measure elastic according to your child's waist and sew ends together.
Step 2: Make the tulle skirt using the tulle tututorial.
Step 3: Embellish with faux magnolia leaves (I used the kind that are pre-wired for floral arrangements so that I could just wrap the wire around the elastic.

(Headband)
Step 1: Pick up a headband form from a craft store.
Step 2: Wrap ribbon tightly all the way around headband form and secure with hot glue at each end.
Step 3: Glue magnolia and leaves onto headband.

It's seriously that easy. We didn't do anything at all to the leotard (so that she could still use it for dance class). Just put the skirt on over it and slip on the headband, and tada! An adorable little magnolia.



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Saturday, September 18, 2010

My New Dress!

Like it?

Want one?

Step 1: 1 shirt and 2 yards of fabric (original recipe calls for 3, but 2 was sufficient for me).

Step 2: Cut your shirt somewhere below your boobs - around your natural waistline. I guessed (this is a no-measure project).

Step 3: Your fabric will come folded in half - leave it that way. Wrap the fabric around you one and a half times and cut off anything you have left over (I had quite a bit left over. Ideally, you should by enough material for 1.5x the measurement of your waist + about 10 extra inches to cover the seams and the sash).

Step 4: Your fabric will come folded in half - leave it that way and sew up the raw edges:

Step 5: Once you have sewn up the raw edges, make sure your skirt is RIGHT SIDE OUT and fold it in half so that both open ends meet up. Sew the open ends (it doesn't matter which side you choose to sew them on - after step 4, your skirt's front and back are identical for the moment). You will be sewing through (4) layers of fabric for this step. After you have sewn up side, you should have a sort of rectangle like this:
The bottom doesn't need hemming because it's the original fold of your fabric! How exciting!

Step 6: Do an extra long stitch (there should be a function for this on your sewing machine) all around the top of the skirt:
I would love to lie to you and tell you that I used white thread because I wanted you to be able to see the long stitches. In fact, I was just out of black thread. Fortunately for you, this means you can kind of see the stitching.

Step 7: After you have done the long stitch all the way around the top, pull ONE piece of the excess thread. You'll notice that it bunches the fabric up. This is good. This is called ruffling. Scoot the fabric all the way around until you have ruffled the entire skirt. Make sure you keep the ruffles nice and even (and take extra care not to break the thread like I did...you can avoid this by doing step 5 twice and pulling TWO pieces of thread...I was lazy).

Step 8: Once you have finished ruffling, pin your half-a-shirt to the skirt. Take extra care to make sure that you are pinning the right side of the shirt in there or you'll have to rip all of your seams and start over (ask me how I know).

Step 9: Sew all the way around - keep your shirt fabric flat the whole time you sew or you might sew little creases into the shirt and have to rip all of your seams and start over (ask me how I know).

~Sash~
Step 10: Cut a length of the fabric from the original yardage (you know - the excess you had after step 3) about twice the width that you want the sash.

Step 11: Fold it in half wrong-side-out and sew all the way up the open side.

Step 12: Turn right side out and close up the ends. (The sash won't be a permanent part of the dress, so you can wear a coordinating sash or a belt with it if you want - fun!).

I forgot to take a photo of the sash, but thankfully, every time my husband has the camera in his hands, he takes a picture of my boobs. So here's the sash:

I completely stole this idea from this clever chick. As she so accurately points out, this is way better than spending ~$50 at Delias.

Aaaannnddd...once again, the finished product:

Happy Sewing!

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Friday, September 17, 2010

30 Before 30 - The Count of Monte Cristo and The Catcher in the Rye

2 down, 28 to go!
The Count of Monte Cristo quick and dirty review:
Most awesome dude ever rights all the wrongs in the world with the most cleverly designed plot I've ever seen. I wanted to read this again. Probably will. Yay for righting wrongs!

3 down, 27 to go!
The Catcher in the Rye quick and dirty review:
Angst-filled teenager thinks he's smarter than everyone else in the world. Everyone else is annoying (no matter what they do, it's annoying). The fact that he thinks that everyone else is annoying is *really* annoying. He curses all the time and constantly thinks about sex (but maybe that's just a teenage boy thing? I don't know...I've never been a teenage boy). Honestly, I can see why it's a classic because it definitely highlights the "crazy" that some kids go through, and it brought back memories of my own ill-adjusted days. Overall, not my favorite. Glad it's over. Quick read, though!

I've already moved on to Crime and Punishment and Where the Sidewalk Ends. I will (needlessly) tell you that Where the Sidewalk Ends is providing far more enjoyment than Crime and Punishment. And why is it that most classic literature is about severely mentally disturbed people? Are normal people too boring to write about?


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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Errant Thought Roundup 18

I love, I love, I hate, I hate,
I like, I wish, for goodness sake...
I hope, I hope, I pray, I pray,
I will, I won't, and for today...

I love sleeping. I know that's sloth-like, but I just love it. I can't help it.
I love the fact that being an adult means having the ultimate say in all of my decisions.
I hate being reminded of what it feels like to be a teenager. I had a pretty good run as a teenager. It's over. I like it that way.
I hate working so hard that I forget to pee...for the entire day. 10:45am - eek! I have to pee, but I'll go after I finish this email. 4:05pm...why is my leg bouncing up and down like I have ADD? "Hi, leg? Yeah...it's me...Bladder. Yeah, she's ignoring me again - could you just bounce frantically until she remembers that her urinary tract health is important? Um...yep...I think she got the message. Thanks so much."
I like this idea so much!
I wish I could get through Crime and Punishment. It's most definitely punishment. I feel kind of bad for hating it.
For goodness sake, someone PUHLEASE remind me to stop spreading myself so thin. I keep doing things I feel obligated to do...and then I don't have time to do the things I *want* to do. Like blog. And read.
I'm very tired and cranky...I hope it doesn't come across in the roundup!
I hope you are as excited about FRIDAY as I am!
I pray for Eric's Grandpa - he's got another heart surgery tomorrow. He's 92 and super tough, but if you could pray too, that'd be awesome.
I pray that my life would reflect joy instead of bitterness.
I will probably gain 5lbs from eating ice cream (with chocolate syrup) and drinking a beer (simultaneously) tonight. This is how Eric can tell I've had a rough day "oh...beer and ice cream...gotcha."
I won't (at least for the foreseeable future) get to do all 4 of the following in the same day: wash my hair, shave my legs, pluck my eyebrows, trim my nails. I can do one of them. I can occasionally do two of them. When the stars align (and there are no red lights, or boo boos, or dishes, or meetings, or empty refrigerators, or empty gas tanks, or dirty clothes...), I can maybe. possibly. might-could-maybe-once-in-a-blue-moon-rarely do three of them. But I can NEVER (freakin') EVER do all four of them in the same day. As I was showering tonight (and shaving my legs), I thought to myself about how luxurious it would be to do my eyebrows and my nails. Sure. I could do them right now, but this is the first time I have relaxed since 6:45 this morning. (It's 10:13). Also, if I did it right now, then what would I complain to you about?
And for today...tonight's roast and gravy with veggies is tomorrow's vegetable beef stew. Thank goodness for the creativity that lean times can produce.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Easy Hair Bow Tutorial

I spent tonight making hair bows, and then I thought to myself that you might like to know how to make a pretty, girlie hair bow too! I like the giant ones, and they rarely make the ones I like with the pinchy silver clips, so I usually take matters into my own hands. Here's a quick tutorial on how to make the perfect girlie bow.

Cut 2 lengths of ribbon - I use (1) 36" piece and (1) 9" piece. I hope you know I don't really measure them. Put your tape measure away - you're a good guesser.

The clip is crucial:

Slide the clip down and pinch where the "x" is

Cross over one of the legs and re-clip

...aaaand the other one

Do that again going the other direction - first the bottom leg, then the top one

This is the front:

Remember that other length of ribbon? Put a pretty knot in it:

Pinch it all up into the clip (the clip will help you keep it straight and adjust the loops as necessary)

Tie your pretty knot around the center (with the "pretty knot" on the front side of the bow...this is how they trick you into buying those $6 bows...it's because you never knew the knot was fake. You are aware now. Please stop buying $6 bows).

This is the back:

Trim and Fray Check
(Please use fray check on your ends...your bow will last so much longer!)

Hot glue the clip on the back. You can cover it with a coordinating (1/4 inch) ribbon if you want...here are examples of both covered and naked:

And here are all the bows I made tonight:

Some are felt, some are gross grain ribbon, and one is satin ribbon. (I could have totally faked you out with the knots, couldn't I have?)

Here's the black felt bow...it's my favorite one of the night:
I can just see it with a little winter outfit! And Leggings!

1. Cut multiple rectangles of various sizes out of felt.
2. Stack them
3. Secure them with a strip of felt around the middle (I tied it in a little knot in the back)
4. Glue clip on the back

And here is a post I did that shows photos of some other felt bows I made...they have lasted forever, and Sadie wears them once a week at least! I thought I did a tutorial, but evidently I did not. You can probably figure it out (felt, DMC floss, buttons, hot glue, clips), but if not, I'll try to do a felt bow post at some point.

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