Friday, February 18, 2011

Artsy, Artsy, Artsy!

I have some exciting news to tell you. I MADE MY FIRST QUILT! I bought a pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop. I bought the Funky Windows Quilt pattern by Carlene Westberg Designs. The instructions are for an experienced quilter, which I’m not, so I had to rely on YouTube to figure out how to do the back, sandwich, quilt and bind the quilt.  Isa, Rosie, and I went to Joann fabrics and bought 15 yards of fabric. I told Isa I wanted every color of the rainbow and she quickly picked some out. Then, I cut 320 strips and squares. I sewed 64 little windows and frames, then 16 blocks of 4 window and frames, then 4 rows of 4 blocks and then finally I sewed the four rows together to make the top of the quilt. Then I put the back of the quilt together. I sandwiched the quilt with the batting and back. Quilted the quilt. Trimmed the quilt. And, bound the quilt by hand.

There are so many mistakes it’s not even funny but I still LOVE it. Isa has already put in a request for a quilt for her bed. Maybe. I hope this isn’t my last quilt but I need a long break. It took me nearly two months to make it.

I made a template to help speed up the cutting process.

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Here I am sewing one side of the window frame.

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Once I finished all 64 little windows. I tried to figure out where I wanted them.

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Then I ironed all of them. It took like three hours but it was so worth it. It was a lot easier to line them up and unfortunately to see all my mistakes. Next time I will make sure each part is cut to the exact dimension that it should be.

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Once they were all sewn together I had to sandwich the top, middle, and back. This step was the hardest for me. I did a lot of ripping in this stage. I was using books to try and keep the three pieces in place. It took me forever. I think it took a week just to line it up and sew it in place.

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Next, I quilted it. I went with the simplest method possible. Straight lines. Here I am measuring and marking where I should sew. I feel so cool owning a yard stick.

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I took a week off or so before I went to work binding the quilt. I looked at four different tutorials on you tube. It’s amazing what you can find there. I finally settled on a method and went to work. When I started I thought it would take me two weeks to finish the binding  but I was crazy about it and finished in three days. Yahoo! Then I washed it and the errors decided to display themselves evilly and unavoidably.

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Seams came completely undone. I need to fix those, and when I do it won’t look pretty. My machine is acting up though and I want to get thread that matches each fabric so it’s not so noticeable. It might be another week or so before I really finish. But, from a distance of just a few feet, it looks pretty awesome.

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oh, and did I mention that Isa and I made a puppet stage? Check it out!

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Isa’s sign reads “This is a great puppet show.”

I know! We are so artsy, artsy, artsy!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine’s Day and (relatively) Warm Weather!

I volunteered to organize a craft for Isa’s school party. The craft was a big hit or so everyone kept telling me. It’s amazing how nice everyone is at SFX school. You feel gorgeous, skinny, and smart every time you stop by. There are 34 kids in Isa’s class. It’s insane how organized they are. It was fun to be a part of the party and make Isa feel like a queen. It was fun to hear her bragging about me being there but then a girl got sad that her mom wasn’t there so I told Isa to stop bragging. :)

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Here they are sitting and waiting to receive and give Valentines. I was sweating by the end but all the kids were happy with their 34 Valentines.

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The night before Valentine’s Day, Isa told Marc and me that we could put her Valentines in a bag by her door. She promised she wouldn’t look till the morning. Marc ran out and bought a big heart balloon,  made some velvet red cupcakes for her, and bought her some M&Ms. She woke up Happy! Jimmy enjoyed the cupcakes too!

This is what Jimmy would look like with a beard.

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He cracks me up! He’s thinking, I got you right where I want you (“you” being the cupcake)!!!

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Marc and I had a nice dinner together. I made a yummy flank steak that I scored not seared prior to marinating! Thank God! Somehow I read “score” and my brain translated it to “sear” and I almost did but thankfully reality hit just in time. Our dinner looked something like this.

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Don’t they look so happy talking and hanging out? They were talking about Isa.

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Jimmy: “so you think she will let me play with her Barbies?” Rosie: “you should play with them while Isa’s at school.”

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Isa fashioning some new clothes.  The blue headband is a plastic scrap from the diaper genie refill. 

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Isa’s been home sick the last few days and she made some cool puppets.

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Today Isa and I made some sugar cookies and spelled some fun words. First she laid out all the letters from my Aunt Victoria.

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She made the batter and rolled out the dough.

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After we frosted the cookies, we practiced spelling some words like  sun, fun, isa, dad, did, and a few others.

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After nap we went outdoors. It was 48 degrees out and you would have thought it was a summer day. The windows were open and people were venturing out. I actually ran into a neighbor. It was great.

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Happy warm weather!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

It breaks my heart…

I have a hard time checking out the Reece's Rainbow website. It’s heartbreaking. I feel like I should sell my house and do whatever I can for these kids. For that reason, I try to not look at the site, so I don’t feel guilty about continuing my life and signing my kids up for camp and buying whatever it is I want to buy. Thankfully, there is a movement out there, and people are organizing giveaways to encourage people to donate to Reece’s Rainbow, so that families can adopt these wonderful kids. One of these people just happens to be a good friend of  mine from college, Lauren.  Lauren’s sister has a beautiful daughter, Abbie, with Down syndrome. Her daughter inspired her to organize this wonderful giveaway as it’s hard to imagine that if your child was born in a different country they could be tossed aside and ignored to live a short life full of neglect. Can you imagine that happening to Jimmy? She fell in love with Elizabeth and got to work to raise money for her adoption. Check out this blog with tons of information about Elizabeth. She was recently transferred to a mental institution and needs help fast. She has a family ready to adopt her. They are just trying to raise the funds, approximately 30K, to do so. Let’s help them reach their goal. A small donation makes a difference and it’s tax deductible and you could win an Ipad and other cool things too.

Help Save Elizabeth

Please check it out and donate 10 dollars or more! I did!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Just another Saturday…

Jimmy has been waking up with a fever every morning and after nap for a few days now and then after a small dose of Advil he’s fine. This morning I was giving him a granola bar for a snack and he fell asleep eating it. I was trying to download an app on my phone and the next thing I know Jimmy is snoring with granola in his mouth.  He was chewing it just a few seconds earlier. Poor little guy.

Isa and I had an early lunch together and we discussed options for her birthday party in April. She really wants a Pump it Up party. I told her maybe because it costs a lot of money. She said, “maybe we can find a place just like it that cost shorter money?” I was also trying to think of other places and things we could do. I suggested we try and get JeanieB or someone like her play somewhere and then she can have a dance party. She lit up and said, “she should go to Pump it Up and play while we jump.” That’s not going to happen but it would be fun. Any ideas?

Marc and I thought this party should be something that Isa earns.  She will have to get four checks a day. She will get a check for getting ready/dressed without us having to ask her, cleaning up her room,  practicing her reading/writing, putting her clothes in the dirty clothes, singing nicely to Rosie, and one for reading a book to Jimmy. At the end of the day she can put a sticker on her calendar if she gets four checks.

Lastly, we thought instead of getting toys she can have something donated somewhere. My niece asked for books to be donated to her school library. I really like that idea since she can always check out the books when she wants to read them. Do you have any fun ideas?

Yesterday we made a big tent and took lots of pictures.

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Jimmy’s wondering how to get into the tent.

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Houston, we have a problem! (I’m not sure why I wrote that but Jimmy’s head reminds me of Earth when the Apollo 13 crew used Earth as a way to guide them back home.)

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the girls!

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Jims working the train.

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Isa modeling

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pure Love Giveaway!

A fellow blogger, Patti, organized a wonderful giveaway/fundraiser. There is an iPad gift pack that includes an iPad and another giveaway is a super duper fancy camera that you can win for donating a minimum of 10 dollars to help a kid get adopted from Eastern Russia. Plus, there are lots of other giveaways so your odds of winning something are good. I just donated. How about you? The goal is to raise $20,000. If 2,000 people give $10 it can be achieved. Please, please, please check it out below.

Pure Love Giveaway!

Blizzard 2011!

Our day looked a little like this. It took Marc about 3 hours to shovel out our driveway and steps. I helped for about 20 minutes. Smile

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Isa loved the snow. She really wanted to sled down the steps but we could only find one sled and it broke after two runs. Our yard is so small but looking for the penguin sled was like looking for a needle in a haystack.

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At one point, while looking for the sled, I thought I would go to the front to get the shovel. Those 40 some feet felt like a mile. Amazingly, our backyard, across the street, neighbor, Tom, walked all the way to the front of our house to let us know the attic window was open. Thanks Tom, I know that was a hike! There was some snow in the attic but not a ton.

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Jimmy, Isa, and I did an art project together. Isa and I made Valentine people and Jimmy ate the top off a green marker. He was sitting between Isa and I…I don’t know how he managed it without either of us seeing him! I looked up and there was Jimmy ready for St. Patrick’s day.

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Isa also did some knitting. If anyone knows of some real, easy, kid friendly knitting tutorials, let me know. Isa really wants to knit.

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Rosie and I came out to tell daddy it was 3pm. He had to get back to work.

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Marc was proud of his hard work (and should be) and took a picture. That is a lot of snow shoveling for one day.

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snowpocalypse and more!

First up, Rosie Rose is 5 months old. She kind of started eating solids. We gave her rice cereal but then she got sick. She’s not a big fan of the solids and gags a bit so when she got the croupy cough it was an easy decision to take a break. She still kind of has a cough but is getting better.

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Jimmy has taken a few more steps. Mostly just one at a time and then he sits. Once, while ironing ( I do that like once a year), I witnessed Jimmy take three steps or maybe better described as a 3 step shuffle. Either way, I was so excited, but I kept it to myself, and called Marc and whispered the news to him. He’s also been sharing a room with Isa and sleeps in the bottom bunk. It’s pretty awesome except for the fact that both Isa and Jimmy are tired. I hope they can get into a groove soon.

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Isa asked me to include Rosie in the photo so I put her on the safety mattress. I hope it does not get used but just in case Jimmy decides to climb out there is some padding to minimize the fall.

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I walked into Jimmy’s room to wake him up and he looked like this. Sooooooo Cuuuuuuute!

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OK, let’s talk about the Snowpocalypse. Everyone has been talking about the thunder snow storm for what feels like weeks. It almost seems too hyped up.  The snow has started to come down and the winds are a blowing. A side story, I took Isa to swim class with Jimmy and Rosie. Most of the time my father in law, Jeph, takes her but he’s in Arizona doing what Arizonians do. At 2:45pm today it wasn’t so bad outside. It was just like it normally is when it snows so we went to class. I got a pretty good parking spot and we ran to the door of the YWCA. I was carrying Rosie and Jimmy and when we got to the door I put Rosie down (she was buckled and covered in her car seat), opened the door, kept the door open with my foot, then Isa tripped over my foot, and fell hard right on the metal part where the door sits when it’s closed on the floor. It was awful. I wasn’t sure how to handle the situation. Rosie was still outside the door, I’m  holding Jimmy, and Isa is on the ground blocking the door and preventing anyone from entering.  I managed to get Isa up and inside and then went back for Rosie…luckily she didn’t seem to mind. Isa’s crying attracted a lot of help and within minutes she was given an ice pack and lots of caring words.

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It looks a lot better now. A lot of the brown was from good old fashion dirt. She was brave and went to swim class. On the way home the weather was starting to pick up. I don’t think it would seem scary but since there is so much hype it felt scarier. The wind was blowing hard and I could feel the minivan fight the wind. Everyone was driving super slow and you could see everyone skid just a bit here and there. I stocked up on wine and a few other things this morning like chips and donuts  (just kidding, Marc). I’m excited to have a snow day tomorrow and hope to see some cool pictures of the storm and the waves but pray, pray, pray that everyone’s power stays on and is home and safe.

This is what Jimmy thinks of the snow storm. I think it might look a little like that from some angles…especially at the beach.

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At 3:30pm the weather outside looked a little like this…not so bad but the “snowpocalypse” was just beginning.

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Here are two videos that are pretty cute. They both involve Rosie and Jimmy laughing. Laughter is contagious!

Jimmy's laughter makes Rosie laugh.

Rosie getting kissed and finding it hilarious!