It seems to be an essential part of childhood....going to the circus. Tonight was Laura's first time going and I think she lucked out with a great experience. There were trick dogs, cats, birds, lions, and of course elephants. There were acrobats and gymnasts, along with magicians and clowns. The whole show was very well done, and she had a wonderful time. Mommy thought she was going to lose it at one point over the absolute stupidity of the people who showed up 20 minutes late and stood in front of Laura for a good 5 minutes trying to figure out seating arrangements. But aside from that it was a wonderful night and Laura was grinning ear to ear when we left. I believe the words "totally awesome" were uttered as we walked out (or should I say speed-walked out, because I am truly my father's daughter and would do just about anything to escape that awful crowd of people leaving).
I wasn't able to get many good pictures because it was so dark, but I do have a few of Laura before the fun started!
Laura waiting for the show to start. The kids were allowed to go down and check on the ring, which we did. Susie the elephant came out and did a trick or two, and then did some "art" with her foot. It was really cool!
Poor Laura has strep throat for the third time since September! After a busy weekend with Daddy and Grandma, her fever came back late last night, and she didn't get much sleep, so she stayed home from school today. She accompanied Mommy to work for a few hours, and then did a little bit of fishing, from the somewhat relative warmth of the garage. Look, she only needed snow boots, a jacket, and a scarf! Temperatures in the mid-40's yielded no fish, although she did manage to hook a can of Pepsi, which she generously gave to me.
In other news, yesterday was the 2nd anniversary of me acquiring my Volkswagen Tiguan, and I wanted to report that at 34,768 miles, she's still doing beautifully. I love my little VW and I don't know why more people don't have them. I finally got her a new Jack ball for her antennae (thanks Mom!) This cute soccer Jack was mailed all the way from California and despite what appears to be a smile, he's not particularly enjoying the cold weather. Don't worry little guy, soon you'll be sweating to death in the humidity and begging for winter again.
Check out my post from when I first got the Tiguan if you want to see a picture of how bad the old Jack ball looked.
Laura and I had a pretty hectic January, so here's to hoping that February will be a bit more mellow and maybe give us some more time for "fishing".
Surprised to see me, aren't you? I know, I know, it's been forever since I've posted. I feel terrible about that, but as is the case for most people, life keeps getting in the way. I can't even begin to talk about everything that's happened since I stopped posting regularly, and I simply can't post all the pictures I've taken since the summer. I'll share a few January pictures, and hope that I'll get back into a more regular posting routine.
Laura enjoying our second snow of the winter...a bit out of the ordinary for our part of NC!
Moxie in the snow...crazy how much she loves it
As for me, I have red hair again.
Laura was recognized by the county school board as a "Shining Star" for having the kids that came to her birthday party bring books instead of presents, and then donating the books to her Kindergarten class. She was called up to the front of the meeting to receive her award...she was a little bit shy but did a great job!Laura and I after she got her award...I think she was done with smiling for pictures by this pointThe shirt I made for Laura for her 100th day of school
The back of the shirt
That's all for now...wish me luck as I attempt to wrestle my life into order and get back to blogging and running, two of my favorite things that have fallen by the wayside the last few months. Oh, and yes, my background and blog name are totally different now....not sure if either of the changes will be permanent, but we'll see. The background got lost by mistake (I accidentally deleted it and can't figure out how to get it back) and the old blog name needed revamping, and 3 Square was the best my non-creative brain could come up with. It kind of applies, yet makes no sense at the same time, which is why I like it so much. For now.
The marketing guru at my job had a great idea a few months ago...to make a video that was fun, silly, and explains what exactly it is that we do at Southern Regional AHEC (since trying to explain it is kind of tricky). A lot of hard work from a lot of very creative people went into this video, from changing the words of "YMCA", to writing a script, arranging the filming, editing, the list goes on and on! I think the end result is a professional-looking, funny video. But I'll let my readers be the judge. Here it is, in all it's glory. I'm curious how many times you think you see me....I'm in it a lot more than I expected. I'm pretty sure I'll win an Oscar for my main part.
I don't have time to write much today, but I wanted to share pictures from Laura's first day of Kindergarten! Laura goes to a year-round school and today was the big day. It truly is hard to believe she's old enough for Kindergarten. Our picture taking was a bit rushed this morning, and the sun was pretty bright, but we got a few relatively normal looking pictures. By this point she was desperate to get rid of me. Her "smile" says it all!
Along the same lines, I heard this song for the first time a few days ago and it really touched me. When I walked away from Laura's class this morning, I choked up a little bit, but I didn't cry. But when this song came on my iPod as I drove away from the school...yep, I totally cried.
So last you heard I was working part-time at a bank, right? Well, try to keep up, because that's out already. I loved working there, but really needed a full-time job, and when my friend Angela recommended I check out an open position at a local health education center, I jumped on it. Since I seem to have the best luck when it comes to finding jobs, I was quickly called in for an interview and got the job!
I started today, and won't go into too much detail since there's problems with confidentiality and the fact that I don't really even understand what I'm doing (yet). The gist of it is that there are several grant-funded health programs being run by this non-profit organization, and I am the assistant to the program heads. I'll work on two very different grant programs, and possibly a third one in the near future. It may sound glamorous, but in actuality it's a very entry-level job, full of making copies and other such enthralling things. The pay is a mere pittance, but I'm excited to think that after 14 years of working, and 13 other different jobs, I may have finally embarked on an actual career.
Pity the poor fly that I killed today, the one that signals the end of winter and the return of my eternal torment. I killed him with such vengeance that his corpse has not been located. A splatter on my door indicates he is dead, but I fear in my desire to send him from this world to the next, I was overly enthusiastic.
Have I talked about Jared before here? I'm sure I have. He's a great guy; funny, smart, a true friend, and I have so many great memories of him from high school and beyond. He's been there for me in all of the big moments of my life, and the not-so-good and trivial moments too. Laura absolutely adores him. I always think about him when I listen to "The Longest Time" or do a 4 lane sweep while driving. One of my favorite things to do when I visit California is to meet him at Vincenzo's for some pizza.
He's one of my very best friends, and in honor of his 30th birthday (which I'm embarrassed to report was back in March), I made him a quilt. He finally picked it up from the post office today, so now I can post pictures and share it with everyone! As shocking as it may be, I'm fairly certain this is the very first quilt of this size that I've ever completed. I've done a few smaller ones, and I've completed a few quilt tops, but this one has actual quilting and binding and everything. I was inspired by this quilt for the pattern, and it was definitely a challenge trying to pick "manly" fabrics. I fear I may have allowed some of my girly preferences show through, so hopefully he won't be too embarrassed to use it.
For those who are interested, I'll mention that I machine sewed the binding, with help from this tutorial and it turned out wonderfully! It was very easy and so much quicker. I don't know if I'll ever hand-stitch a binding again. Sorry, any future quilt recipients. You're going to be subjected to my laziness.
Note: It's hard to take pictures of a quilt when you have no one to hold it for youTurns out laying it down is much easierI didn't do the quilting, but it turned out nicelyThe label I made-I'm pretty proud of itLabel sewn onto the quiltAll folded up and ready to go to CA!
I think everyone who knows Laura knows how much she loves pink-a lot of her clothes are pink, as is the paint color in her bedroom and bathroom. Her car seat, her jacket, her sheets-all pink. If she had her way, our car would be pink too. I just never thought she'd take her love of pink so far and get pink eye!
Her eye actually doesn't look too bad, and she says it doesn't itch too much, but the moment I saw her this morning, I knew. A quick trip to the doctor this morning confirmed it. The moment I saw her eye, all sorts of thoughts raced through my head. I thought about the fact that I'd have to skip work today, which is never good when you're a brand new employee and have a big "final exam" on Friday that you were supposed to prepare for all day today. I wondered if I'd even be able to go to work tomorrow to take the test, and had visions of me bringing her with me to do it. I speculated on when she could go back to school, how she got the pink eye in the first place, and if she had given it to anyone else. I wondered to myself: if I did have to skip work, why did I still wake up at 6:15 and get entirely ready before she woke up and I noticed her eye?
But all of those concerns and worries were a blip on the radar compared to what popped into my head quicker than you can say pink eye: eye drops! It was like a neon sign flashing, all morning: EYE DROPS! EYE DROPS! EYE DROPS! When you have a child like Laura, you're not being dramatic at all when you want to roll around on a bed of nails rather than administer eye drops (to both eyes) three times a day for the next SEVEN days! And just as I expected, despite my nonchalance, when the moment came, the tears and begging and screaming and thrashing was truly a sight to behold. Not to mention that the bottle of drops the doctor prescribed is so tiny that it seems to have exactly 42 drops in it, so the first drop this morning was basically wasted. It may have touched her eyelashes, but I can't be sure. Even if it did get in, her eye being so full of tears just washed it right back out. I'll be surprised if it ever clears up, at this rate.
And just for the record, my favorite color is not pink. So hopefully I'll be spared the same fate!
Finally, a legitimate excuse for being so tired: I've gone back to work. Does this mean I need to update the "about me" on my blog to a total of 13 jobs? And does this also mean I can no longer count goofing off as my main pastime? Sadly, I suppose so.
I was lucky enough to get a part-time job at a bank well-known here on the east coast (for now I've decided not to name them, in case they are feeling shy and don't want to be discussed here). I know the economy still really stinks, so it was a pleasant surprise to be hired rather quickly once I finally got up the nerve to start looking for work again. Laura will be starting Kindergarten in July, and the Army Man is frequently busy with all things Army-related, namely being deployed and being gone all the time when he isn't deployed. Moxie doesn't seem to have any interest in me beyond food, the occasional run, and door-opening abilities. My Etsy shop is slowing down (my own doing) and I found myself actually being bored during the day (horrors!) So essentially, the time had come.
My first two weeks are full of training goodness, and I have to work full time both of those weeks. That is a big downside, because I have to tell you: I'm two days in, and I'm exhausted. Getting up early is not my thing, and today, to make things even worse, I ran after work. So yes, I really am tired. For real. The only thing making me stay up past 9pm tonight is the fact that LOST is on. And even LOST, beckoning to me with it's confusing plot, might not be enough to tempt me tonight. (Don't worry LOST, I won't actually go to bed early. I'm just being dramatic to get sympathy for how tired I am!)
I don't have too much to report now, other than to say my co-workers are all very nice and helpful, and the work seems like it will be interesting and challenging. I thought for sure they eased new people in nice and slow, but nope! Next week I have to start helping people. Real people, with real money. So in about 4 more days, I have to learn how to work an entirely new computer system, all of the rules and regulations regarding money and banking, how to quickly and accurately count money, how to work a drive-thru with three lanes and those tube thingees that left the west coast about 20 years ago, and how to deal with customers irate over their money (so far there has been one daily). Easy, right? Come back next week to find out if I'm still employed!
PS. Did you like the pun in my title? I am SO proud of myself for coming up with that!
The bubble dress is completed! As I said in my first post about the dress, I have a really hard time using patterns, and this time was no exception. The directions are well-written and the pictures are great, but that still wasn't enough to help poor clueless me. I was so stuck at the end on how to sew the bodice and skirt together in a manner that looked halfway decent, that I ended up having to trek up to our city's quilt store to get some advice. I happened to arrive right when a clothing construction class was finishing, and the instructor took a few minutes to talk with me. That's how nice they are there; she gave me one-on-one attention and some invaluable advice (for free) and seemed happy to do it!
The funny part was that the moment the instructor and I began looking at the pattern together and discussing it, the light bulb went off and I knew exactly what I was supposed to do. The trip wasn't wasted though-I got some great fabric, and an ego boost from everyone who admired the dress. Even better, the instructor told me she has used Oliver + S patterns in the past, and while they make some adorable clothes, the patterns are sometimes lacking in really detailing all the steps to take. So that made me feel better too.
The dress is a lot shorter on Laura than I expected (it is a size 5) so if I make it again, which hopefully I will, I'm going to try to make it longer. It doesn't "bubble" as much as Laura would like, but most people who have made the dress say the same thing. I might try a little bit less elastic next time to make it poof a bit more. As usual, my pictures stink and really don't do justice to the cute fabric (the blue is a tad darker in real life). I think it looks really cute on Laura!
Laura being forced to try it onStarting to enjoy herself more once I allowed her to curtsyThe buttons which also look cuter in real life
What's that? You just heard hysterical screaming? Yeah, that was Laura. See, she had a splinter-a tiny little thing-in her palm, and after several days, it still hadn't worked itself out, and I knew I had to get it out. A nice bath first to soften up her skin, and we were ready to roll. Except that Laura wasn't. I have never met such a strong 5 year old in my life. I COULD NOT unclench her hand. She was screaming and crying, begging me to stop. Not fun. Finally I had to send her to her room so that both of us could calm down. She sat in there, crying that she wished she was six so she could be older and brave.
Eventually she reemerged and we tried again. No dice. I simply couldn't pin her and get it out at the same time. I have to say that splinter-removal is definitely a time when I miss the Army Man. I hate having to do the actual removal and he always handles that, plus the two of us combined are usually strong enough to hold her down. Remember, this is the girl who at nine months old had to have the biggest male nurse in the ER hold her down so the doctor could check her ears. She is strong, she is stubborn, and she is huge wimp. Not a good combination.
Finally my motherly instinct kicked in and I figured out the answer, the answer which is usually the answer to everything with Laura: the TV. We set up camp in front of the TV and she was calm enough to let me poke around for a minute and eventually get it out (or so I hope-I honestly can't tell if I got it or not). Afterward she was proud of herself and her extreme bravery and has been reliving her 'victory' ever since. And after all that, I'll now be dying at age 88 instead of 91.
There's not much new here at our house. Our snow melted almost as quickly as it came, but sadly it didn't take the cold weather with it. Laura and I are desperate for some warmer weather! I'm already planning what clothes I want to make Laura for spring, and I've purchased a few patterns. Unfortunately for me, I'm such a visual person that I have a VERY hard time with patterns-no matter how many diagrams there are, it's still not enough. I bought this pattern from oliver + s (I'll make it without the scalloped sides) and I hope it will be just as cute as the pictures, despite my ineptitude with patterns. Stay tuned to see the finished product soon--I hope! I've also been trying to learn how to use my sewing machine to quilt, with terrible results. It would be so much faster and cheaper if I could figure out how to do it and quilt my own quilts, but I'm quickly accepting that it's just not meant to be.
But enough crafty talk, how about some pictures of Laura? I know that's the main draw here! I have a few from Valentine's Day so you can see just how much she enjoyed the holiday.
Heart shaped toast for breakfast (Mommy's idea)With her new dog that Daddy sent (with a little help from Mommy). She named it Cassie.Heart shaped sandwich for lunch (Laura's idea) We also had to use her heart shaped plate.
Driving home today, Laura was looking at a library book when she came across something so shocking that her poor 5 year old brain just couldn’t take it: someone had written in the book. Being the stickler for the rules that she is, Laura was appalled. APPALLED! She demanded that I turn around and read what had been written (perhaps in an attempt to track down the perp and dole out some justice). I informed her that sadly, I was driving, and could not turn around to look. In her most exasperated tone, she said, “Well, turn on your back eyes then!”