Thursday, April 30, 2009

Fabric, Glorious Fabric

I do not sew. I would like to but I'm no good at it. But that doesn't mean you stop trying, right? I first became attracted to sewing in highschool when I could picture clothes in my head that I wanted but couldn't find them anywhere in the stores. So, I thought, "Why not make them?" After realizing how expensive sewing machines were, that thought was put on hold. Until one day when Rock bought me one as a surprise! (I think I was 17 then). That's when my sewing adventures began and I realized I'm no good at sewing and that it's much easier to just buy your clothes in the store even if they're not what you had in mind! I still have the same sewing machine Rock got for me and use it about once a year. I get that once a year itch to sew. Maybe twice a year. It's all because of that "idea in my head, can't find it anywhere" process. Last year I made a blue and brown baby blanket for the newest member of the family. Our nephew, Bashie. It was fun and surprisingly turned out pretty good. If something I sew looks right, it's pure accident. You see, I don't have enough patience or time to read patterns and really make a plan. I just kinda go for it. So, what's my sewing project for this year?? Curtains for Chatterbox! And maybe a blanket and some pillows and a head board... I don't want to get ahead of myself, but the ideas are there! I have been wanting to decorate her room in pink and yellow roses for a very long time. But she has the bigger of the two kids rooms and since there are 2 boys and only one girl, we are waiting to see what the next baby is before we paint any walls. But that could be a long time away since the next baby hasn't even been conceived yet. But just because we can't paint, doesn't mean we can't make curtains which can be moved later if need be. I pictured a quilt looking blanket with different fabrics in shades of pink and yellow with antique looking roses and matching curtains. But again, I could not find this anywhere. Not even on the internet. Which is why I'm going to try and make them. So, Chatterbox and I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics while we were visiting Grammy and Grandpa on Tuesday. Oh, they have SO many beautiful fabrics there! It was very hard to decide what to buy. Which is why I left with 6 different fabrics. Rock wasn't too pleased with the amount of money I spent. ($45) But I promise to put them to good use! Atleast they were having a 40% off sale. Otherwise, I'd really be in trouble. Okay, ready to see them? Here they are:

My absolute favorite is the pale yellow fabric with pink and yellow roses. It's exactly what I pictured in my head and apparently it's exactly what Chatterbox pictured too because when I found it I said, "Chatterbox! Look!" And she squealed with excitement saying, "Oooo! It's perfect, Mom! I love it!" There may be a lot of things we disagree on (what she should and shouldn't eat, what time she should go to bed, how long her bath times are, etc.) but when it comes to decorating we're right on. Especially if the decorating involves the color pink and roses.
I also love the butterfly print. It was the first fabric I saw and I was drawn to it right away. I was going to put it back because it wasn't part of the original plan. But what goes better with roses than butterflies? And maybe now we'll add blue as our accent color.
The rose print was going to be my main fabric for the curtains but they were just short of 4 yards and I needed much more than that. Okay... to be honest, I had no idea how much I needed! I'm very bad at math and I don't know how to figure out the square root of this and that and then convert it to yards. It's way above my head. I guess I could have asked Rock to figure it out for me because he does that kind of stuff at work. But I didn't. So I will work with what I got. It's all part of the fun. Anyway, I just bought all that was left of the rose fabric. But after bringing it home I could see that it's definitely not enough to make four panels. So I'm thinking of pairing it with the light pink fabric that has white polka dots and trimming the bottom with the pin striped fabric with little rose buds.
I don't have an exact plan yet, but I'm working on it. Okay, that will be the first project. We'll see how it goes. I'll have to ask St. Anne (the patroness of seamstresses) to pray for me!

More Work on the Walkway

Yes, Mr. Tickles was eating dirt. It made his big brother and big sister laugh, so he liked it. Gross.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

got cookie?

A couple weeks ago I made a cookies-n-cream cake that called for Oreos. I try not to buy these unless absolutely necessary because they are so bad for you yet so delicious. Isn't that usually the case? Anyway, I walked in the kitchen to find Mr. Tickle eating an Oreo. He had a huge smile on his face and was really enjoying that cookie. So, I decided I would let him finish it. After doing a few things, I left the kitchen. When I came back, Mr. Tickle had another cookie. (Along with a growing black Oreo cookie mustache). Little Miss Chatterbox was sitting at the kitchen table and I said to her, "Please don't give the baby anymore cookies. They're going to upset his stomach." LM Chatterbox looked up at me with a confused look on her face and replied, "I haven't been giving him any cookies." Then who had?

My little cookie monster figured out how to get them himself!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Feelin' the Magic

Old Dominion Speedway. I hadn't been there in nine years.

I was 16 years old and my best friend, Doph (nickname-but that's a whole other blog) invited me to go to the race track to watch her dad race. I had been there once before with her family ten years ago when I was six. I came home wishing I hadn't gone because my mom took my older brother and my Nana to McDonald's and to the swimming pool. To a six year old, it had seemed that I made the wrong choice when I decided not to go with them but instead with my best pal and her family. The race track was a dirty, loud, crowded place with wood bleachers and we watched a bunch of cars go around in circles over and over again. People cheered, people booed, people screamed, people clapped. But I had no clue what was going on. All I knew was that this was a magical place for Doph and her family. She had bragged to me for weeks about how great it was to go to Old Dominion. I was so excited when she said her mom gave her permission to invite me. For sure a happy meal and swimming wouldn't be as great as going to the ol' track to watch Pops in his #12 car. Unfortunately, I didn't feel the magic and told myself that I would never go there again. The only thing I enjoyed was watching her older brother play with their little cousin and a little crush was born. (I know... how could a 6 year old already have a crush on someone? I guess I was mature for my age)
Me and Doph in 1990 at Old DominionMe and Doph in 2000 at Old Dominion

Ten years later, a 16 year old girl now, Old Dominion came back into my life. After a long break, Pops was racing again. Doph and her boyfriend were going to watch him race and asked me if I wanted to come. Her brother was coming too. That was all I needed to hear. Ya' see, it was the brother. The brother I had a crush on for the past 10 years. I understood racing a little more this time and it was fun to cheer for Pops. But most of the time my eye was on my crush and I looked for excuses to take pictures of him.

I asked Doph to try and take a picture of us together.

When he was leaving he asked me if I wanted to ride home with him in his Mom's Trans Am. I wanted to jump up and down but nonchalantly responded with, "Sure". I didn't think about how my mom would not approve of this until we were driving down the highway and ran out of gas. But I was thrilled to have this chance to hang out with him and his parents noticed us on the side of the road on their way home. A couple years later we were married and now have three kids. This past Friday, almost another decade since I had been to Ol' Dominion, Rock and I took our kids to go see Pop-Pop drag race at the track. It was with some fondness this time that I looked at the track as we pulled in. It took me back to that day when Rock and I first got to hang out. I also enjoyed the smile on my husbands face as he told some of his childhood memories to our kids. I relished the excitement my MIL had for my FIL as he was about to race and how her face lit up when he waved to us from the track afterwards. I proudly cheered for Pops with his wife, son and grand kids and I finally started to feel the magic that Doph felt as a kid. It wasn't Old Dominion that held the magic like I thought as a 6 year old. (In fact, we had to spend most of the time in the van to keep the kids away from the drunks, curse words, half dressed ladies and the men peeing in the parking lot) It was the love between us all. It was the memories. It was Pops' passion. It was indeed magic.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Feeling Ambitious?

Do you ever feel ambitious to do a project? You get an idea and decide it has to be done right then and there? And so you start. And then you realize that maybe you should have thought things through a little more before you started. And then you also realize that the project is a bit more than you originally planned. And then your husband comes home from work and asks, "What in the world are you doing?"

And you say with a smile, "Oh, just thought I'd re-do the walkway."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mr. Funny's Eczema

Mr. Funny has had a problem with eczema for a while now. It gets worse in the winter and I try to keep lotion on his skin so it doesn't get too dry. But lately he has complained that lotion makes his skin burn. He wakes up in the night, scratching his legs until they bleed. This past week it looked worse than usual so I took him to our family doctor yesterday. Because of his scratching, he left open wounds and invited bacteria right in. So now he has impetigo. Our doc gave him an antibiotic, told me to put hydro cortisone cream on it at bedtime, suggests soaking in the tub 10-15 minutes every night before bed and then putting lotion on before he completely dries from his bath. She also wants him to see an allergist to get tested for food allergies that may be causing his eczema to be flare up. Poor Mr. Funny. I know it's miserable. I hope we can get this taken care of soon.

Ramble On

After publishing my first two posts I realized that they're rather long. Ya'know, it's a bit funny how my brain works. When talking to someone in person, I'm usually quite quiet and reserved. I have a hard time coming up with the right words to say and sometimes I can't think of any words at all! But when I sit down to write (or to type in this case) words come at me like lightning and I can't get them down fast enough. Which is why you will notice my run on sentences, over usage of commas and a lot of sentences beginning with "And". For those of you out there who are English professors, grammar queens and kings, or perhaps even editors, I apologize for the way I write because it may be almost painful for you. I also apologize for my rambling to those of you who are very busy and take the time to read my long blogs anyway. I could try to shorten them and I could try to plan them a little better and maybe even take time to really read them over and correct my grammar. But I'm not. I don't have time and this is just who I am. And so, I will "Ramble On".

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Meet the Family

For security purposes I will not be using my family members real names. In honor of my Nana, I will be naming my children after the Little Miss and Mr. books which she read to me when I was young. When I was 18 and moved to Florida I was very homesick and missed my family desperately. (Which is why I moved back after only 4 months!) I thought of Nana daily and we would write to eachother and she would send me goodies in the mail. One day, I remembered those books that I adored so much as a child and asked her about them. She couldn't believe I remembered them so she sent a few in the mail. I still have them and they are now on my daughters shelf and I have been reading them to her since she was a toddler. They're so much fun and they make my kids laugh.
There are a lot of Little Miss characters that could have worked for my daughter. She's my oldest at 5 ("Am I 5 1/2 yet, Mom?") Oh, yes. This month she is officially 5 1/2. I looked up a list of the characters and they each had a description about that book. "Little Miss Bossy" was the first one that caught my eye. But if Malia knew I was calling her that she would let it get to her head and would most definitely think that she ran this house. Uh, what I really mean is, it wouldn't be very nice to call her that. I could have also used "Little Miss Trouble" but again, not very nice. (I'm joking, of course!) Then I saw "Little Miss Curious" the girl who wanted to know everything. My daughter is continually asking me questions. "Why, why, why, why and why?" If I don't know the answer, we look it up. She already realizes Mom doesn't know everything and that she wants to know more than Mom. God blessed this child with an amazing brain and it is a daily challenge to occupy her with things in school that don't bore her. BUT, I decided not to use this name because all kids are curious. It just didn't explain her enough. SO, the name I decided to use is actually the first one that came to mind and is actually one of the books that we have and one of my daughter's favorites. "Little Miss Chatterbox". Anyone who knows my little girl would agree that this is indeed the perfect name for her. She talks from the minute she wakes up until the minute she falls asleep. It doesn't matter if she's in a room full of people or if she is by herself. She will talk to anyone and anything. She's either telling a story, singing a song, asking questions, reading out loud or explaining something to her younger brothers. She has a better vocabulary than I do and even corrects me sometimes if I pronounce something wrong. She started calling me "Mama" when she was 4 months old and my husband "Dada" and 5 months. By the time she was 9 months old, I had a list of 20 words that she said including "Book bag". Yes, she has been a talker from the beginning and she fills our house with much joyful entertainment and expression.
The first name I thought of for my oldest son, now 3 years old, was Mr. Sweetheart. He has such a gentle, loving heart and is always ready to give hugs and kisses. He lets his sister boss, I mean, dictate, what to do and if she gets angry and yells at him he just tells her that he loves her. If she hits him he tells her he forgives her and trys to hug her. He looks after his little brother who he called, "My baby" when we brought him home from the hospital. I remember when the little one was just a newborn and would start crying. My older son would say, "My baby is crying!" And then would run to get him and caress his head. See? My little sweetheart... but unfortunately, there is no Mr. Sweetheart. So the next name I thought of was Mr. Funny. He loves to make people laugh. He's been a joker since he could walk and can make anyone smile. I even asked my daughter to come up with one word to describe him and she said, "Funny!" So, Mr. Funny it is.
My youngest son is the most ticklish baby I know. Well, I suppose he's a toddler now since he's walking, but still my baby none the less. As soon as he learned to laugh, he would laugh at the slightest touch. In fact, when he would have a poopy diaper the wipes would tickle him and he would laugh through every diaper change. Now that he's older, he'll come after you with wiggling fingers saying, "Ticky, ticky, ticky." It seems this boy was born to tickle. And so his name shall be "Mr. Tickle".
As for my husband...I decided I wouldn't use the Mr. books for him because there is only one word that comes to mind when I think of a nickname for him. And that's "Rock". He's strong, dependable, stable and is the foundation to this family. I love everything about my husband. (The good and the bad) I am so thankful to have him as my husband (it takes a lot of patience to put up with me. hehehe) and thankful that he is such an incredible father.
Thank you for taking time to meet my family!

Monday, April 13, 2009

New Beginings

It's Easter Monday. A time for all things new. A new season, new flowers, new life, and... a new blog?

I have loved to write since I was a young child. In fact, I can remember vividly being in the third grade and visiting my grandpa on his farm in NY and after being asked what I was going to be when I grew up my answer was, "I'm going to move to New York City to be a writer." But as time has passed, my life has gotten busier and busier and time to write has gotten less and less. I always told myself that when I had kids I would write down every detail about them as they grew, write down any special moments, any cute things they said, write letters to them to read when they get older, etc. Well, now that I do have kids I have three almost empty baby books, a completely empty "mom" journal, four letters to the oldest, two letters to the middle child and no letters to the youngest and a little bit of anxiety that I will forget the details of these days.
I was just recently thrown into the world of blogs after looking for saint coloring pages to give my kids to color on corresponding feast days. This led me to Charlotte's blog, "Waltzing Matilda" and her blog led me to another blog, which led me to another blog and another and another and so on. They were all Catholic moms trying to homeschool their children just like me and they had fantastic ideas on how to share the liturgical season with their families. These were just the things I had been looking for in books and on the web and now tried and true ideas were at my fingertips. I was hooked. After awhile, I realized how wonderful it was that these families were preserving their memories through their blogs. One part of me thought this would be a great fix for my "no time to write". But a different part of me said that I already spend too much time reading blogs and that I shouldn't spend more time writing a blog. The idea contintued to pop into my mind but I continued to throw it out.
Lately, my homeschooling duties, mothering duties and wife duties have continuingly kept me on the go. I don't get much time to communicate with my extended family and keep them up to date with what we're doing. The blog idea popped back into my head again. But this time, I didn't throw it out. I started thinking of what I would title my blog if I were to start one. I thought of the blogs I read daily and how most of these mothers are way more experienced in their faith and vocation than I. So I was thinking of calling my blog, "Hi. I'm new here." I lame. But, God decided He would inspire me with a different name.
When I woke up this morning I thought about the Easter season and how it gives us all a new beginning. I thanked God for the graces He gave me this Lenten season and for the many oppurtunities I received to share and teach my faith with my children. I felt alive and ready to tackle the day. I wanted to plan and prepare. I wanted to clean and get organized. I wanted routine and order. This is rare for me because I am usually a "stop and smell the roses", "go with the flow" type person. But none the less, I strive for orderliness everyday even though I fail more times than I succeed. Today I felt especially confident, ready to make my new resolutions for this season of new beginnings. Then I realized what a great title that would be for my blog! Thanks for the inspiration, God! It's so much better than my first idea. And, ya'know, since I had a name picked out it kinda urged me to get this blog started. So, here I am. Ready and willing to blog and preserve.