Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sew What?: May

I got a lot of sewing projects completed this month, surprisingly. I also have several works-in-progress that I hope to have finished up and posted in June, including two new baby quilts (that are gifts for very special friends) and a smocked dress for Claire to wear next spring/summer. I got a lot of smocking done on our recent vacation since the weather was horrible (and I have to have something to distract me from "Annie" watching).

Poor David got nuttin' this month, but honestly, he could change clothes 3 times a day and never run out because he got so many nice hand-me-downs and gifts.

I made Claire this super-cute skirt. I found the tutorial here for FREE. It's a little big right now, but the tie waist helps with that problem. It should be perfect for the fall (and maybe next spring too). It is so cute I started making another one with different fabric of course!

A side view ...
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I also made Claire this cute pair of ruffle pants to match this pillowcase dress Claire got as a baby gift. She never got around to wearing it when she was little (it's sized 12M) so I finally pulled it out for her to wear as a top this year. It is perfect!
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The pants are the Portabello Pixie ruffle capris. I think they are adorable! If you plan to make this pattern, I would say it runs a little on the small size. I made Claire a size 3 even though she fits the measurements for a size 2 and wears a size 2 in most other clothes.

I have 4 more pairs of capris in progress to match dresses from last year that can now be worn as tops. They are a cinch to make, especially with my new serger that Mom & Dad gave me for my birthday. I love it!

Isn't this the perfect memorial day (and July 4th) outfit? Note: I did not make David's outfit. I don't really do any picture smocking. Not yet anyway!

I made this pillowcase dress from a real "vintage" pillowcase my mother-in-law found in her linen closet. It is a gift for my friend Heather's soon-to-arrive Hannah Jo. (I already gave it to her.) [Those are Will's suits pants I need to mend in the background.]

Miss Hannah Jo also got a bib and burp cloth.

I also made some burp cloths for my other friend Heather's soon-to-arrive baby Jacob. I found these blue, navy and lime green colored burp cloths on sale at Target. They matched the elephant fabric perfect!

I can't wait for these two sweet babies to arrive!

Finally, here is a better picture of Claire's birthday outfit that I posted about here. Pardon her left swollen eye ... she was having some allergy issues that day. You like how she was posing for the picture without taking her eyes from the cartoons she was watching to the left? This girl can multi-task like her momma!
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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Can you hear me?

Claire went to see an audiologist today. We had a speech evaluation done several weeks ago and Claire was diagnosed with an articulation delay. Basically, that means that developmentally, her speech is fine, but she has trouble articulating her words, which makes her speech difficult to understand to the unfamiliar listener.

Before we could begin speech therapy, we had to have a hearing exam just to make sure everything was okay in that department. Claire was a little angel during the entire one hour exam. She is truly an therapist's dream and I know once she starts speech therapy, she will excel! She sat as still as could be, followed all of her instructions and picked up on all of the hearing games quickly.

Everything was a-okay in her right ear, but her left ear was just below normal and we think it was because she has a hole in her left eardrum (which is probably from her ear tube that we think just recently fell out). So ... next on the agenda is a trip to the ENT to get the ear tubes removed (they are still in her ears, but no longer in her ear drums) and see if her ear drum needs to be patched, and then a trip back to the audiologist to get her left ear checked again. Fortunately, the audiologist determined that all of her hearing organs in her left ear were functioning correctly and it was a middle ear problem causing the hearing deficiency. That is good because those problems can be fixed. The audiologist also gave us the go ahead to start speech therapy too so I will get that lined up to start soon I hope.

Looks like our summer of fun in the sun may be partially spent in a doctor's office. However, I am very thankful that this is a very minor health issue in the whole grand scheme of things. I am aware that many parents and children spend much of their lives in a hospital sick with things like cancer and other diseases and disorders. I praise God that there were no major problems with Claire's hearing. I am also very thankful that we have good insurance that covers all of this 100% ... it makes it much easier to stomach knowing that there are no direct financial ramifications as there are with many other families.

I promise to get some new posts up soon! With pictures! I have been quite behind and overwhelmed with everything since we got back from vacation last week. Hopefully I will get all caught up soon, but tomorrow, we are promised a day of heat and sunshine so we are headed to the pool!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

If you're in the neighborhood, stop by for a haircut.

When we were on vacation, this older gentlemen saw our kids in the double stroller and thought David was a girl. So, Will said it was time for a haircut. In the end, we didn't really cut that much hair and if this man thought he looked like a girl before, he would still probably think that. However, at least we feel better about it and he won't have so much hair in his face. I couldn't bear to cut those sweet curls off ... not yet anyway.

Meme held, while I cut.

Look at that face ... he is not too sure about all this.
All done!

Claire got a haircut too. She was just going to get a trim, but we ended up cutting off quite a bit of hair. It really does look so much better!

Before ...


Look at all that hair we cut from Claire. And yes, we bribed her with candy.

My neighbor ran over with her little girl to get a quick trim too. This was Miss Kate's first haircut, so I snapped a few photos. She really just got a little trimmed off the back to even it up.

Thank you Meme for all of the free haircuts! We will pay you with LOVE!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Spare Keys

Last summer, Claire locked us out of the house. It was a Sunday afternoon in June, right after lunch. Will was in the garage doing something and I had walked outside through the garage to throw something in the outside garbage cans. Claire shut the door from the kitchen to the garage and bolted it. We could see her through the windows in the back of the house, and managed to get her to push a chair over to the door so she could reach to unbolt the door, but she wouldn't/couldn't do it.

We tried to go to our neighbors' house for help and Will walked right in their back door and got no answer. (We knew they were home because we had seen them earlier. They were napping.) I found it comical that we just walked right into their house and couldn't get into our own.

Next, Will tried to break out a back window to get in the house and he couldn't break the glass (with a hammer). Apparently, it is some type of security glass. I am really glad it is so hard to break into our house, but it was not very convenient at the time. And, all the loud banging got a very calm-up-until-that-point-Claire very upset.

My sister and her family just happened to stop by while we were outside on their way home from the zoo. (They live about 40 minutes away.) Too bad they didn't have a key. Claire saw her cousin Evie through the window and fussed at her for getting into her kiddie pool in the back yard.

Two hours, $60 and a locksmith later, we finally got back inside the house. Fortunately, David, who was about 2 months old at the time, was asleep upstairs in his room and did not wake up. Fortunately, Claire did not try to go upstairs by herself. (The gate was not up.)

After that fiasco, we gave our next door neighbors (the ones who were napping) an extra key to our house and they gave us one to theirs.

Fast forward one year later. Saturday night, we ate dinner with these neighbors on their back porch. Claire went inside to potty and apparently locked the door. No problem, right? Because we have a spare key. Unfortunately, our garage door opener (the only way we could get into our house) was inside our neighbors' house. Ugh! Not again!

Fortunately, our neighbors' dog sitter lives nearby and had a spare key. We had to wait about 30 minutes for her to get there and let us in, but nothing too traumatic.

Conclusion: We have both decided that our other neighbor needsto have spare keys to our houses. (We live in a 3 house cul-de-sac.) Or maybe we just shouldn't let our children be inside the house alone.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What's Cooking Wednesday?

Back after a short hiatus. I know all two of you who read this blog have been sitting on the edge of your seat waiting on a new recipe from my culinary genius. If you really like to cook (and eat), you should check out this and this recipe blogs. (I know that was grammatically incorrect, but I needed two spots to add the link and "these" wasn't going to cut it.)

I have a treat for you today ... three meals in one. Sort of. You only really have to cook once. The second and third meals only involve heating and stirring and shaking. Sounds fun, huh!?!

Two of these meals are really healthy. The third, not so healthy.

Meal 1: Alabama Roast
3-lb. top round roast
2T. Worcestershire sauce
2T. soy sauce
1/2t. garlic salt
1/2t. pepper
Place roast in slow cooker. Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl and pour over roast. Cover and cook 8-10 hours on low or 6-8 hours on high.
Serves 2 adults. Save leftover meat for meals 2 and 3.

Meal 2: Beef & Bacon Spinach Salad
1-lb. roast, shredded
1 pkg. already cooked bacon, crumbled
1 bag baby spinach
1/2 head lettuce, shredded
1 sweet apples, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
toasted walnuts
Dressing: 1/4c. vinegar, 1/2c. olive oil, 1/2t. salt, 1/2t. dry mustard, 2t. Splenda.
Heat beef in microwave for 2-3 minutes. Toast walnuts on middle rack under broiler. Heat bacon and crumble. Combine dressing ingredients in separate container. (I usually combine in an old jelly jar and shake well.) Toss all ingredients with dressing. Yield: 3-4 servings.

Meal 3: Beef & Rice
Combine leftover beef with can of mushroom gravy. Heat well. Prepare brown or white rice according to package directions. Serve beef & gravy over rice. Fix a green veggie and rolls and voila!

This third meal was my own creation. I'm sure you couldn't tell. I really don't care because it cost me zero dollars and zero cents since I used leftover beef and stuff I keep as staples in my pantry anyway.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Mother's Day was not all too exciting around here this year. I was happy to sit around and bask in the blessings of a great mother, a great mother-in-law and two great children of my own to "mother". God is good!

Now for our feeble attempt to get a picture with my kiddos. Isn't this what motherhood is all about?

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This is as good as it got with David. It was NAPTIME for this sweet little boy.
My sweet girl!
Finally, a good picture when I let them just do their own thing.
Some sweet treats for mommy that the kids made at church and school this week. I love it!
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Being a mother is a lot of hard work, but it is so totally worth it! I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world!

Sunday, May 10, 2009


It has been raining here literally about two weeks straight. I am not joking. The sun has poked it's head out a few times, but sun sightings have been very rare. The rain all started about two weekends ago, the same day that Will headed out to Florida to play golf with some of his friends for the weekend. It rained pretty much all day on Friday and Saturday. I let Claire sneak outside to splash around in the driveway on Friday afternoon when the rain was just a little drizzle. She loved it ... until she got water inside her boots. Such is such a girl!

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While we were at home riding out The Great Flood of '09, Will was in sunny Florida for the second annual Birdies & Brews (aka his annual guys golf trip to Hammock Beach, FL).

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Thanks to Courtney at Shoals Trophy for donating the awards for this fine event.

Speaking of water ... last week, Claire started swim lessons and she had a ball. I think she is part fish because she LOVES the water. We will probably need to invest in some private lessons for her to really learn how to swim, but so far, her group lessons have been a fun way to get her acquainted with swimming.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

American Idol, Top 4

Tonight's theme: rock and roll. With the exception of the Beatles song that Kris sang, the only reason I knew any of these other songs was because my hubby and I spent almost every night last summer playing Guitar Hero on the Wii after we put the kiddos to bed. Thank you Nintendo Wii for broadening my musical horizons. (The only reason I knew that "Come Together" was a Beatles song was from last season of AI when they sang Beatles songs for about 5 weeks in a row.)

Adam Lambert - “Whole Lotta Love”: This was a good performance, but what did you expect from Adam on rock and roll night? Seriously ... the judges might as well just hand him the trophy on a silver platter. See BooMama's rant on this subject.

Allison Iraheta - “Cry, Baby”: I personally would like to hear Allison sing a little Joan Jett, but obviously she did not ask me what I thought about her song selection. This was a good performance too, but again, this was an easy genre for her. It seems as if the judges are trying to guarantee her a spot in the finals with Adam.

Kris Allen and Danny Gokey - “Renegade”: The harmony in this song was great! And, they actually sang a duet, which is more than what I can say about Adam and Allison, who basically just took turns singing except for a couple of mediocre attempts at harmonizing. I thought this was a really pleasant and enjoyable "rock" (maybe "light rock"is a better term) performance.

Kris Allen - “Come Together”: I was a little worried about Kris tonight ... not that I doubt his ability to perform, but this was definitely not his genre. It was really good though and he still managed to make it his own.

Danny Gokey - “Dream On”: The first part of this song was a little boring and the end was a lot shrieky, but the middle part was genuine Danny and it was good. (You know, the part where he got to the chorus, but before he got all shrieky and tried to hit a note that only a person named STEVEN TYLER can hit.) I respect Danny for taking a risk and hope that it will pay off for him tomorrow night at the results show. We shall see.

Allison Iraheta and Adam Lambert - “Slow Ride”: Both singers were good in this song but it wasn't really a duet.

Best Performance of the night was Adam. My favorite performance was Kris. I think Allison will go home tomorrow night. What do you think?