Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bubble Dress

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

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Scream Heard 'Round The World

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.

Friday, February 19, 2010


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.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Fun In The Snow

It was A LOT of fun.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Oh, THOSE Eyes

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!”

I’m afraid I had to decline.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

This Run Takes The Cake

I've never used the same post before for both of my blogs, but what I wrote on my running blog today was worth sharing-or at least I think so. Here it is:

So today will go down in history as my closest call yet while running. It's a beautiful, clear day and after all of our rain it was great to go out. I had Laura in the jogging stroller and Moxie on my right, going against traffic as usual. I was still doing my warm up walk and was walking up a small hill near our house when I heard a loud noise behind me. I looked back to see two cars flying up behind me, driving next to each other! I guess they were racing each other or something. The one coming up behind me was an SUV and the driver slammed on his brakes and was able to stop in time (obviously).

I had a few choice words for him, although being the sweet innocent thing I am, I don't think any of them were curse words. He just sat there laughing at me which was just infuriating! I did my run and wouldn't you know it, ran past the house he was parked at. I memorized his license plate and when I got home called the non-emergency sheriff's number to report it. The bad part is that the operator transferred me to 911 (huh?) and I had to give a full report including all of my info. I requested that my information not be revealed should this person be found, but the operator didn't inspire much confidence that that will happen.

So now, in payment for reporting the fact that I almost got squished today, I get the unsettling feeling of wondering if crazy people are about to find out that I narced on them and get my address. What a great run!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Tiguan At Age 1

About a week ago I realized that I’ve had my Tiguan for a year now. My higher math skills helped me determine that I’ve put about 17,000 miles on it in that year. I don’t know if that’s a lot or not compared to what other people drive, but I do know how I arrived at that amount:

1 trip to Pennsylvania
1 trip to Disney World
1 drive in the worst rain of my life (Florida, on the way to Disney)
19 million errands (give or take a few thousand)
1 worst parking lot traffic jam ever (after fireworks on the 4th of July)
4 times riding with out of state visitors
1 middle of the night ER trip
6 convoys
2 times being barfed in (both by Moxie)
78 billion food crumbs spilled
1 worst drive ever (dropping off the Army Man for his deployment)
2 trips to Charleston
4 (if that) car washes
15 or so trips to Raleigh for shopping, doctor visits, and wishing I lived there
0 flat tires
0 break downs
0 problems

One year in, and still the best car I've ever had.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday Night Sewing

I've been feeling very crafty lately, and just wanted to share two things that I worked on tonight. The first is a baby quilt that I cut out a while back, and finally got all sewn together tonight. I think it looks so much better in person, because photographing quilts at night in a badly lit room just doesn't work out so well. It's made with some of my favorite Amy Butler fabrics, and I hope to get it quilted and listed in my shop soon. Unfortunately for me, I don't know anyone about to have a baby girl, so no one I know can benefit from it. The moral here is that my friends and/or relatives need to get cracking and provide me with a baby girl to sew for. The next thing I made tonight is a little Valentine's themed bag for Laura. I bought her a cute little stuffed dog for Valentine's Day, which had the added appeal of coming in a cute little gift bag. Sadly for me, the cashier at Target was so clueless and kept ringing up the dog and the gift bag separately, and would not be convinced otherwise that there was no way in the world the gift bag cost $5.99 by itself. She was very perplexed as to why the dog cost less ($4.99) but just did not get it that the set was $5.99 or the dog by itself was $4.99. The worker at the customer service desk was equally as confused, and I'm sure they both had a good laugh about the crazy lady ranting about the gift bag. They both were stunned by the high price, and didn't blame me at all for opting not to purchase the gift bag.

So the point of the story is that I came home from Target with probably a year chopped off my life due to aggravation, and with a stuffed dog that was no longer quite as Valentine-y without the festive bag. Not to be deterred, I whipped up a little drawstring bag similar to some I had made as Christmas gifts for the moms and sisters in my life. This version is littler but just as cute, and I know Laura will love it, since she loves anything that is even remotely like a purse, bag, or other carrying item. I have another quilt that's in progress, but it's not ready for it's close up yet. Hopefully I'll be back to share it in a few weeks.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Caulking Wizard

It's not every day that I can be convinced to buy something "As Seen On TV". But for quite a while I've wanted this nifty little caulking kit I once saw advertised. I'm sure you know the one-it comes with a little blue thingee (the technical term) that allows you to flawlessly finish any edge. They make it look so easy! I asked the Army Man to buy it for me for our 5th wedding anniversary back in 2008, and he never did, so when I saw it today at Walgreen's, I snatched it right up!

I knew exactly what I wanted to use it on, too. The caulk that connects our kitchen counter to our back splash has looked pathetic since we bought the house. It's only gotten worse and worse, and just a few days ago I decided I just couldn't take it anymore. So how fortuitous to see my little kit! It was like a sign that it was time to fix the caulk. I felt a little embarrassed bringing it up to the register, and of course the cashier had to remark skeptically, "I wonder if this actually works".

I started right when I got home from the store, and immediately hit a snag. Trying to remove the existing caulk was like chipping stone. It took forever and made a huge mess. And for whatever reason, chunks of caulk laying around really gross me out. I was so grossed out, in fact, that I dragged our giant shop vac all the way inside to clean up the debris rather than have to touch it myself. Applying the caulk was a disaster too. I practically giving myself carpal tunnel syndrome in the process. Probably not a good idea to use caulk that has been sitting in our freezing garage on the coldest weekend all season! It was so hard to squeeze that stuff out and I now have sore wrists and blisters on both thumbs.

After all that work, the caulking wizard thingee wasn't that impressive. I think I'll lay part of the blame on the weird angle of our kitchen counter-none of the edges on the thingee matched up, so either I would scrape off too much caulk, or too little. The edge I eventually settled on made it look really nice, but also smeared a lot of caulk on the back splash. Once it was all on, I spent close to a half hour and a ton of paper towels trying to make it look good, and I'm not totally sure if I succeeded. I guess I really don't care right now. It looks nice enough, and I sure feel great having accomplished a minor household fix all by myself!