Friday, September 21, 2012

New Round of Projects

I've sort of been cheating on knitting for the instant gratification of the sewing machine.  It might be wrong, but it just feels so gooooood.

I've been working on a fall wardrobe for my baby girl.  So far, we have a couple of dresses, a jacket, and I'm currently working on a pair of corduroys.  Add leggings and a sweater/sweatshirt or two and it's everything Lucy will need!

This is a recycled shirt of the Bubba's. I modified this pattern.

Play dress. I'm not sure I love the V-neck on my 4 year old?
Maybe I'm just so used to seeing her in crew neck everything, but the V looks so grown up...
I made up the pattern for this one.
This is from the summer, but she'll be sporting it with a sweatshirt, I'm sure.
It's a favorite. I used an acutal pattern for this one!

This is an experiment gone very right.  I wanted to figure out how to make something reversible, wanting to do a bright corduroy (or something) jacket, so I bought this fabric to make a template with since it was on super sale.

I made up the pattern.  It turned out so cute and cozy, I might not even make the corduroy one!
And, you can't *really* sew without at least trying your hand at quilting, right?

This was my first try.  It's ok. I learned a lot in the making of it.

 So then I made this one in an hour glass pattern for a friend's new baby, Thea. I did a way better job, and I just love the way it turned out.

I made my own applique with fusible interfacing and zig-zag stitched it on.

I haven't COMPLETELY stopped knitting.  I'm working on a hooded sweater jacket with toggles for Johnny. Something like this pattern, but I'm kind of winging it with some super soft grey yarn... (Poor second-child/boy-child. It's so much more FUN to outfit a girl!)  The Bubba just laid some pinstriped pants to rest, so I'm looking forward to salvaging what I can to try to make Johnny some pinstriped overalls with them!

After I'm done with these couple of things I'm not sure what I'll do with myself.  Everyone will have a full wardrobe.  

Wait.  What am I saying?  It'll be Christmas next!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Photo-Heavy Vacation Recap!

This year we had our first ever family vacation!

Every year we try to make it back to Wisconsin to visit family at least once, but it's getting so expensive and the Bubba has been working so crazy much we decided this year that an actual honest-to-goodness family vacation was in order instead.  I suggested Hawaii for two weeks without the children.  We ended up in San Diego with the wee ones, and it couldn't have been better.

We stayed in a one bedroom condo on Mission Beach that we found on VRBO that was equipped with a click-clack type futon, a pack-n-play and beach toys. We bought food to grill, we enjoyed the beach view from the deck, the kids slept well. It was perfect.

Stuff we did:

We basically went straight from the airport to the beach with a quick change at  the condo.

As my Bubba was playing with the kids, digging and running from the waves, I was thinking "Weird... when is the last time I watched my husband play with our kids?" THAT is the kind of work schedule he's had.  The kind where he might not see the kids for a couple days at a time.  Or he goes to work at 5am and gets home in time to kiss the kids goodnight at 7.  Every day of the week.  Oooooh, we so needed this time together.  Any spare moment we weren't up to something else, we were at the beach.


I got to visit with Shelby!  The internets have introduced me to the nicest friends.

We met at the first Blathering in 2009


We spent two days at SeaWorld mostly because Lucy got overwhelmed the first day and couldn't stay longer than a couple of hours.  I realized something important about Lucy's personality on this trip.  I mean, I've *known* that she gets crazy overwhelmed sometimes, but when we were doing so much go-go-go on this trip and experiencing new things, I realized that she needs frequent short breaks to assimilate stuff going on.  It ended up being about every 2 hours that she needed a quiet spot, no one talking to her, nothing to do or look at, and a drink or a snack.  Just 10 minutes or so of mental rest, and then she was back to loving exploring, but until she got a little break from the action she was just miserable.
Lucy took this pic

Seeing Shamu


Man, the zoo is something else.  We concentrated on just seeing the animals that are not at Seattle's zoo and we were still there for 7+ hours.  We loved the aviaries.  And the Skyfari.  And everything else about the zoo.  Really awesome.

Lucy always had her camera at the ready


Just north of San Diego the zoo has a safari park with animals in huge natural habitats instead of small cages which was also really cool.

Of course, the highlight for Lucy was the carousel!
Feeding Lorikeets
Lucy also got to feed the Lorikeets. They loved her!  After a minute, she was all, "I'm done!" so I took the little cup of nectar that they eat.  Well.  Let me tell you that my four year old is twice as brave as I was and those Lorikeets are creepy ass creatures with their pokey dinosaur feet and thick grey tongues sticking out.  It was awful.  My Bubba can't think about it without laughing hysterically and saying again and again "I wish we had gotten a picture of YOU and the birds!"

Look at her! SMILING ABOUT IT. Ugh.


This Navy aircraft carrier turned museum was awesome.  They had all kinds of different planes on display, some of which we could crawl in the cockpit and pretend to fly!  Totally cool.  Johnny was in the Ergo on my back and he kept yelling "BLUE! WHITE! AIRPLANE! TOUCH IT!" The whole time we wandered around.  He just wanted to push every. button. ever.


One of the docents, a retired navy pilot himself, suggested that Johnny would be a flyboy.  I joked that I'd rather he go to college in his hometown and settle into a nice, safe CPA career.  Said the docent, "Spoken like a mother."

After my miscarriage, I feel like my hormones were not quite regulated yet, and weird things were emotional for me.  Like Shamu.  During the One World show I just blubbered through the whole thing, "What an amazing creature, and how many hours went into the training and how can something like that even EXIST and we have such a CREATIVE Creator!"  Or the  Chinese acrobat show at the Zoo.  It was a group of about ten acrobats, all under 20 I'd say, that did such amazing things!  There was a sitting-on-a-unicycle-throwing-bowls-with-his-foot-catching-it-on-his-head guy and foot juggling girl and some other just jaw dropping things.  And again the whole way through I'm blinking tears thinking "These kids have worked so HARD! Look at the amazing thing they've accomplished! Their parents must be SO PROUD."  Or the USS Midway, I walked in and was overcome by the people who died flying planes off aircraft carriers like this.  What a basket case!!  Even moments after, of course, I thought my reaction was funny, but man, hormones are crazy-making things, aren't they?  My poor Bewildered Bubba of the Perpetual Back-Patting.  HA!

On the whole, the trip was just lovely.  We packed every day with fun and fell into bed exhausted at the end of it.  I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Coming Down

I've been sitting on this post for a while, not exactly sure I should publish it.  The clincher is this: I have stories from vacation to share with you (funny ones, even!) that you will only understand if you know the back story.  So.  Here you go...

I was pregnant in the end of July.  I knew right away.  I felt all the things you feel when you're first pregnant. Kind of cautious-stomached, kind of tired-slow-moving, but not full-blown first-trimester bleh yet. After having done it twice before, I was just so sure.  A week and a half later I took a test and my knowing was shareable with my husband and my mom who was visiting at the time.  And the Bubba and I went through all the "Wow.  Ok.  Three.  That's kind of a big deal.  Huh.  Ok...  Yeah.  We can do this.  Three!  Wow!  Yeah!  High five!  Woo!"

And then two-thirds of the way through August I wasn't pregnant anymore.  Just like that.

I started spotting.  I thought "No problem!  Implantation!  I think it's too late for that, but WHATEVER, THAT'S WHAT IT IS!"  But it wasn't.  I lost the baby.  The baby that we had just gotten our brains around.

What just happened?  This is something that happens to OTHER people.  Not me.

Of course my first thought was "I ran a 10k on Saturday." and "I wasn't sure about this at first." It's my fault.  I did something to bring this on. I did something wrong. Which wrong thing was it?  I'll go through the litany and analyze them all.  And along with all of those thoughts of guilt (which I sort of expected and was able to keep from getting too out of control) came this strong feeling of shame.  I was so embarrassed.  So embarrassed that it took some working up to even tell my husband.  I felt like I should have kept the pregnancy to myself and then no one would even know, I would never have to admit this.

So after admitting to the four people who knew, I carried on pretending that nothing happened. Except that after the shame started wearing away, I started feeling much more plain old sadness.  It was early, but it was a loss.  A disappointment.  And there were hormones involved.  I am sad, but I'm also afraid.  What if it happens again?  What if I can't get/stay pregnant ever again? What if the kids I have are it?  Is this my whole family?  (I know full well how incredibly blessed I am to have the two amazing babies who are snoring softly in the next room.)

Then from sadness and fear to helplessness.  Ah, helplessness -- I've come around a little to realize that something happened to me.  Not something I did.  Not anything I could help.  It was a THING outside of my control.

So, at this point, I think I DO want people to know.  I mean, I've let go of (most of) the shame by now. If you're part of my life, I share most everything with you, anyway. It happened. It was a bummer. You support me. (Thanks for that.)

I also realized that I could use prayers.  I could use some lifting up.  Isn't it always after the fact that I realize I should have asked for some help? In this moment of sadness and disappointment and fear, I'm having a hard time imagining that I will ever be pregnant again.  I know everything will work out, but right now I wouldn't mind at all being in your prayers.

And I need you to know why I can't show super-excitement for your pregnancy right this very second.  I want you to know why I'm kind of sad holding your six-week old baby.  I want you to know that I really am over the moon that you had an ultrasound today, but I just can't be part of the celebration yet. I'm still getting over the fact that it's not me.

I just need a minute, and then I'll be dancing with you again.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The First Day

Lucy started pre-k this week.  

We missed the first week because we were vacationing in San Diego, but I thought the vacation post can wait. You need to see pictures of my great big four-year-old thrilled to be going off to her last year before kindergarten.

This outfit that she's wearing?  She picked it out herself.  At the store.  And the dress and pants were in two different sections.  How could I possibly not buy it? It was the very first time she's ever shown an interest in what she was wearing other than "It's not comfortable!"  Going shopping with her was actually a little bit fun that time.

She's going to school two days a week at the same neighborhood Christian preschool that she attended last year.  It's so dang convenient, only six blocks away from our house, and there are only a handful of other kids in her class.  I didn't connect with her teachers like I did with last year's, but I figure it's not the first time I won't want to invite my kids' teachers home with me.  However, I think Lucy feels at least a little bit the same way because she was looking at some pictures from last year and she said with a sigh, "I really liked being in Ms. Heidi's room."  But this year she gets to do some cooking and some Science Projects, and there's a Math Station and a Reading Station.  Kind of a big deal for a nerd born from nerds, you know?

I'm torn because two days a weeks seems like plenty to me to have to drop off and pick up and stay close to home for 3 hours, and yet, I think Lucy is so mature in so many ways I think she'd benefit from being at school three days a week. I feel like school LIMITS us. The timeframe, I mean.  We live in such a weirdly placed part of Seattle that getting anywhere takes a longish time and I can't do much between dropoff and pickup except maybe go to the grocery store. Or the library.  Neither of which are particularly fun with a 17 month old hell bent on destruction.  So I go home from drop off and get a couple things done.  John wanders mournfully around saying, "Lulu go. Cool.  Dadeee go. Wuurk."  Like, "Man, I wish there were somebody fun to hang out with right now."  Can I do that three days a week?  I don't know. Another thing that plays into in is the baby that I take care of. I have him Wednesday and Thursday now, so that means I have to have my act together and get errands done on Mon/Tues if it happens at all. Would it happen if preschool was those days?  Ah well, I guess it's not worth the fretting.  I'd be better to just see how things go in the next month or so. 

Lucy is thrilled to be in the big pre-k rooms, her besties are in her class with her, and all is right with her little world.