Friday, December 31, 2010

A quick year in review - projects

I've seen a number of these types of posts floating around and I thought that I would go ahead and compile my own. I've been busy with school and with a lactation mentorship, so my sewing was scattered and not at all regular.

Pink, black and white apron. Became part of my sister's Christmas gift. :)

Black, red and white apron. I think this is my favorite apron from the whole year. And it sold. :)

Steeler apron #1 - My sister snagged this one from me for a gift. Hopefully the gift recipient likes it. She's a huge Steeler's fan, so she just might. ;)

Steeler's apron number 2. This one will be on it's way soon to the intended gift recipient. I'm just bad with the mail.

Another of my faves. It didn't sell, so I kept this one for myself. Because we all need a cute apron (or eight). ;)

Apron for the Christmas flirty apron swap.

One of two identical aprons. One went to my mom for Christmas, the other one is still here. I'll keep it on hand for a quick gift.

The couch recover. I've since washed the cushion covers and as predicted, they shrunk, so they fit much better. It's slightly concerning that I prepped the fabric and it still shrinks every single time in the wash because I don't know how long they'll last at this rate. After all, I've got young kids, making washing often necessary!

I did start and not finish a number of crochet projects. I need to get back into that - as I'd like to make the newest little one on the way a blanket. Plus, I'm teaching myself to knit. So far, I like it, but I can see me tossing it to the side because right now I'm just practicing - not really making anything. I could make so much more with crocheting and the time spent. I have a scarf for DD almost done but ran out of yarn, went to a different JoAnn's and they were out of that color, so I need to go back and get some of that yarn yet. Also, I made a cowl for my sister for Christmas. I didn't take a picture of it, but my sister snapped one of her husband in it. It's very warm and fluffy.

All in all, a light year in terms of craftiness. Maybe 2011 will be better. I'm almost hoping it won't - as I'm hoping to finally start nursing clinicals in the fall. But, maybe I'll have some time between now and then, you know, despite being about to welcome another newborn home. :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas sewing....

I had a whole post written about various Christmas sewing that I'm undertaking, but alas, a spool of cotton yarn fell off the back of my desk and knocked the plug out of my computer. I don't feel like writing the post completely over, so let's just say that I have lots of Christmas sewing to do - both to sell and for gifts.

And here's where I started - with a swap apron. I still have to buy the tuck ins, since I've been sick this weekend and haven't ventured out since Friday. I also don't recommend sewing while having a sinus headache, because you'll likely end up like me, with her seam ripper the next day. Ooops.

And, I also discovered that my coat rack works wonders for taking pics of aprons (not perfect, but the best I could do - and no, the houndstooth is not in the apron, that's my daughter's "fancy coat"), since when I put the apron on to take a self photo, I realized that my big baby belly just got in the way, lol.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas decorating

We're hosting Christmas this year, including for my lovely sister, BIL and my mom. Because they'll be venturing from California and Montana, we're busy here prepping the house. General organizing has been happening since October. It's amazing how quickly I've filled up tubs and tubs of kids clothes (out of season, too small), bags of Goodwill donations and yet, we could probably still fill dozens more totes and bags! We have some time before they arrive, so we'll continue to purge stuff out of our house - it's good for when they come to visit, but it's also good nesting for me. Speaking of nesting, this baby is due in just about 8 weeks. Not sure how that happened!

Oh, back to Christmas decorating. Yesterday I brought up all the decorations and the tree from the basement. Very tiring for a pregnant woman! I then set the tree up, scratched my arms up arranging the lights and branches (yes, we use a fake tree) and then set about decorating. The pictures aren't the greatest, as they're taken by my itouch, but I didn't feel like bringing out the camera. I'm sure I will at some point. And, I didn't take a picture of all the decorations evidently, I was too tired.

Finally finished those couch cushions...

It took way longer than I anticipated. Not because they took a long time, but because it took me a long time to get motivated. In the end they came out okay, not the best, but certainly better than what they were. The cushions look a little big, compared to the cover itself - but, the cover has been washed about five times since I made it, and has shrunk a bit each time. I expect the same thing to happen to the cushions over time, so I purposely made them a bit big to start with. This couch takes a beating, with a two and a four year old being the primary beaters, so it is good that the fabric washes up so nicely. Now we just have to hope that it stops shrinking! The couch is so comfortable and even though it's our main couch, one day when we can afford to buy a new couch, this couch will be kept for a basement rec room couch - it's that comfortable, I just won't be able to part with it until it falls apart. Since it was built well, I'm hoping that day is a long, long way off.

Without further ado, here is the couch today vs what it started as:

For more before pictures, and to see just how bad it was, see this post. At some point, I'll probably add a pleat around the bottom like it had before, since as it shrinks, it rides up a bit, but for now, I'm going to leave it as it. ;)

Monday, October 4, 2010

The weather is cooling down....

And I'm thinking Halloween! I'm going to be more ambitious than normal and attempt to make Nora's entire costume this year. Last year she went as Little Red Riding Hood. I made the cape and her apron, but the rest was just things that I pulled from her closet. Still, I got lots of compliments on her apron, so I'm going to attempt to go all out this year. I want to be super mom this year. ;)

Monday, September 27, 2010

ahem, yes, it's been another month...

I've been busy. Completely my 500 hours for my lactation mentorship, studying for school, reading for the lactation exam and shuttling my kids around.

Nora started back to school and is doing well.
It's her second year of preschool and I was initially apprehensive about the fact that the school switched teachers, but so far, it seems great. Nora grew socially last year, but there wasn't really an academic focus for her, since it was geared towards things that she already knew. This year, she's starting to identify lowercase and uppercase letters. I can tell that things are clicking with her when we're reading books now! She can recognize letters and even a few words (mom, dad and her name for now). It's so exciting!

She misses our school districts cut off for Kindergarten next year by 9 days, as the cutoff is Aug 1. They'll test her, but from what I understand, pretty much no one passes their tests. One woman told me her daughter was short for her age and didn't get a point for height and ended up one point short. For reals. I am a public school product and really thought that we would go that route, but it's now looking that at least for Kindergarten, she'll be going to our Parish school. I'm not entirely upset about this for now. It's five days per week full days, whereas the local school district is split into two groups, the Monday/Wednesday class and the Tuesday/Thursday class. They go all day on their assigned days, plus every other Friday. Can you say scheduling nightmare? Especially since I should be in nursing clinicals by then?

Josh is still receiving early intervention through the Help Me Grow program, for his speech delay. Cognitively and Gross Motor skills are ahead of the pack, Fine Motor skills are the only other area that he is even close to borderline on, and I'm told that it's common for a speech delayed child to have some Fine Motor skills that are slower in emerging. And, let's face it, this boy is all about the Gross Motor skills at this point. He climbs, jumps, does stairs, etc. Josh has several words that he uses very regularly: mommy, daddy, 'kay, go, kitty and his new word that emerged this weekend was sissy! Yay, so happy to hear that one. :) He also signs, with his big ones being please and more. The EI Specialist and his EI Coordinator are impressed that despite his speech delay he is able to readily communicate his needs. They note that he shows his emotions well (his smile does light up a room if I do say so myself) and he's generally just good about pointing and letting people know his needs.

All is going well with this pregnancy. I think I'm 23 weeks along (yes, I said think....that's what happens when you have a few to chase down, you can't keep track as well). We're members of Team Green (and no, I'm not talking earth friendly here, rather the want to wait and find out group). :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

I skipped a whole month, oops

So, apparently, I haven't posted since June. Ooops. That's what taking microbiology in an 8 week summer session does to one, I guess. That class kicked my rear end. Thankfully, I passed (with a C, which I normally would have been upset over, but oh, heck no, it was just fine!). I got sick one week, then Nora, then Josh, then Nora got it again. Did I mention it was an 8 week class? Yeah, that's a lot of sickies in 8 weeks.

I haven't been doing much in the way of projects or craftiness. I plan to remedy that. :) My fall term looks pretty mellow - all online classes. I still haven't finished the couch, though it's a big part of this month's plans. I will finish in August. :P

I guess the only think that I've been working on this summer is baking. Baking a new baby. ;) I'm 15 weeks pregnant (heard the heartbeat today!) and due in January. I plan on a few projects in anticipation of the baby arriving. You know, things like moving rooms around to make room for a new little one. :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Progress on the couch

The actual couch portion of the slipcover didn't take me too long and I think it turned out fantastic! The seat cushions, however, are way more time consuming! I've been working on one this afternoon. ONE. It's done, minus the closure (and I haven't decided how I'm going to close it). Sean thinks that I should close the backs with snaps, but I can seem to find the actual snap press to do so. I'm sure I'll find it, it's just that currently my sewing stuff is in two different rooms (well three, since I took over the dining room too!). :P

Each seat cushion has been double stitched, which also adds to the time investment per seat cushion. I'm sure being as it was the first one, made it take longer as well.

I think I'm going to work on the back cushions next because I think they'll go way quicker than the seat cushions and at least I'll feel like I've gotten more accomplished!

Please ignore the fabric mess in the second picture. :) I'm still working now and that's my great cutting surface - the floor. ;)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A project finished

Slightly under nine years ago, Sean and his dad built a new porch, really small, just to enter and exit the kitchen because the cement stairs there at the time were just not cutting it (no hand rail, not even, separating from the door, etc). Well, they built the stairs and they built the floor, but never put any side rails on it. With Nora, she always stayed close and we never had any fears of her jumping. But, with Josh, well, we did. So, Sean finally built the rails to surround the porch. It's fantastic, now I don't need to wonder where Josh is while trying to unlock the door! Now he just needs to build a nice handrail to match!

In the next few days, I'll have some pictures of the basement - as we've been working down there as well. All we're working on is walls and floors, not getting too fancy with a ceiling or anything. ;) We've set him up an office, just in case he gets a job working from home (and also to get all his stuff in one place - anyone with a husband in the IT field can understand that you have lots of crap, particularly if he does both hardware and software). We're also going to work on the main area in the basement, tossing up a few walls (to block off the sump pump, water heater and furnace) and finish painting walls and floors.

So there's a party going on....

And it's for the ugliest couch. I'm pretty sure that I've e got it. The thing about this ugly couch? It's so comfortable. I adore it for it's comfortableness. It's also very old, it was Sean's great Aunt and Uncle's couch. It's solid. None of that cheap crap that they make today, kwim?

So, what makes it so ugly? Well, clearly the pattern is old and dated. I'm sure it was fantastic during it's prime. Also, notice that it's white? Well, it should be white, I know, it's pretty dirty. We used to have a 90 pound black lab that would jump on the couch - especially when the couch was in front of the front window because then he could see (and bark at) his squirrel friends. Add in a few kids and well, the couch is now stained and even torn (part dog, part kids). But there are parts that are worn through (like on the arms) that clearly were not caused by kids or dogs, but rather, probably just age of the material. We try to position the torn cushions upside down so that it doesn't look totally hideous, but if the kids put it back together (because the love tearing it all apart), you never know what you'll walk into.

Here it is.

The torn arm.

Notice the marker here?

And the many tears....

It might be the last time anyone sees the ugliness though, since I bought some fabric yesterday for a slipcover. I'll be slipcovering the main part of the couch and also making individual cushions. Everything will be removable, because, as most of my momma friends can attest to, kids make messes. ;)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Five years ago...

I became a mom. After 17 hours of labor, I ended up having a c-section for fetal distress and failure to progress. We spent two days with our little man.

The Dance, by Garth Brooks always makes me think of my little boy.

Looking back on the memory of
The dance we shared beneath the stars above
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known you'd ever say goodbye
And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance
Holding you I held everything
For a moment wasn't I the king
But if I'd only known how the king would fall
Hey who's to say you know I might have changed it all
And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance
Yes my life is better left to chance
I could have missed the pain but I'd of had to miss the dance

Happy Heavenly Birthday, Andrew Wyatt.

Monday, May 17, 2010

School's out for....

Well, school's out for a few weeks at least. I have an online medical terminology class that will start the end of this month and last for ten weeks. I'm also taking Microbiology, but that doesn't start until June 7th and lasts for 8 weeks. I have a feeling it's going to kick my butt this summer. I might be slightly possessed to be taking it over the summer. I'm also going to take a one credit, two day course in cpr for healthcare workers in early June.

Sean has a few more finals this week, but he graduates on Saturday! I'm so proud that he went back. He'll graduate with two associate degrees, one in software development and one in web development. I hope that at some point he'll go on to finish up his Bachelor's degree.

As for me, I'll be renewing my name on the applicant list this August, but I'll also be applying to a few BSN programs as well. It'll take a year longer in most cases (3 versus 2), but since I don't know when I'd start the ADN program, it might work out to less than 1 year.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My view - Top 5 baby items you'll need

I recently read an article by yahoo finance about the top 5 things that you need for a baby and they are pretty far off the mark. Here's a link to their top 5. As a side note, since the author didn't include items like diapers, wipes and clothes, I'll omit them as well. :)

Here are my top 5 things you'll need for a baby:
1) An awesome sling or wrap. I think wraps are fantastic as they're forgiving on size and allow you two hands of freedom. Plus, there's tons of holds that you can do with a wrap. A good sling is a nice alternative though. I've had both and would pick a wrap over a sling, for it's versatality.

2) Car seat - look, even if you live in the city, you have to have one in order to leave the hospital. This isn't a purchase that I ever buy used on, either. You can borrow from a close friend or family member if the seat hasn't been in an accident and isn't past its expiration date - which, for most seats, is six years. This is the only one that I agree with from Yahoo's list. I like an infant bucket seat when the babies are younger than six months old, but switch around that point as they become to burdensome to carry and to awkward to just leave in the car. For that reason, I recommend the Graco Snugride (not the 30 pound one). Great seat, easy to use and install and come with bases so that you can outfit more than one car as a baby mobile more easily.

3) A great double electric pump. Okay, so you're not going back to work, so you don't really need, nor can afford the double electric pump? Then buy a decent hand pump. The Medela Harmony or the Avent Isis. Both are good hand pumps that retail under $35. They usually both come with a bottle too, so you might not even need to buy number 4 on my list.

4) Bottles - contrary to the Yahoo Finance article's suggestion, you do not need to buy several sizes of bottles. Try the ones that came with your pump first, if those don't work buy another kind. Breastfed babies can be somewhat finicky with artificial nipples and bottles, you have to find what works for you. As to the suggestion that you'll need larger bottles, I call major shenanigans on that one. Most breastfed babies aren't sucking down 6-8 ounces per feeding. They typically take what they would get at the breast, a normal amount being about 2-4 ounces. There are some breastfed babies that are super amazing (as is mommas milk supply) and can quickly nurse 8 ounces, but those babies are the rarity, and not the norm. I have no scientific journals to back this up, this is all personal opinion, having spent the last year as a volunteer weighing babies at a breastfeeding support group.

5) A good swaddling blanket. The ones sold in stores are usually too small, so look for large ones as a swaddle is so important for super young babies. Some people have friends or family make them some larger blankets - super easy as you just need flannel and to either serge the edges or to finish the edges with a sewing machine.

As for a place to put baby, well you have the infant car seat if you need it. Or you can try putting the babe in your partner's arms (or a grandparent, etc). While a swing or bouncy seat are essential to some babies, they aren't for all. We got our use out of our Fisher Price Papasan Swing with my daughter - she loved it. My son was just as content to lay on a blanket on the floor. Different babies, different personalities, and all that.

Finally, as to author Stacey Bradford's assertion that "of course, you'll also need clothing, formula and diapers", well, I can agree with the clothing and diapers. I completely disagree with the notion that you'll need formula. While supplementation is sometimes needed for medical reasons, for the majority of nursing babies, supplementation is not needed. What's needed is support for the breastfeeding mom, so instead of putting a can of baby formula in your kitchen for just in case or taking that free formula bag, why not find the name of a local IBCLC as well as the meeting times and dates of local breastfeeding support groups (or la leche league meetings). If, for some reason formula is needed, worry not....there are tons of stores open 24 hours a day, no need to keep that can of formula tempting you at 2 am because the baby isn't sleeping and you're tired (it gets better, I promise!).

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Life is busy

I actually go to class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. My other classes this semester are all online. Wanna know what my next two weeks look like? A&P II lab final test, Digestive System test, Reading Day HAPS test (I'm not sure what to expect, but it's bonus just for taking it) and finally A&P II final exam. Yep, two solid weeks of tests.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it here or not, but I'll be all finished with my support classes for the nursing program this summer. All I have left is Microbiology and I'm taking that, along with Medical Terminology this summer. My apparent wait for the nursing program at my local community college is at least until Fall of 2011. I met my pre-reqs in August 2009 and got onto the list for the applicant pool. The college likes to boast that they have no wait list, but um, they really do. :P

I'm considering applying for some BSN programs, as it would only take another year to finish. In addition, I'm going to be doing a mentorship to become an IBCLC over this next year, and then will hopefully sit for those boards next July. I'm excited to do that! When I finally do get into and finish nursing school, my hope is to work L&D, so I'm hoping that will help!

And with that, I'm off to bed!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A review...

So, life is really exciting around here! We were recently in need of a new vacuum as ours just wasn't doing a great job. While shopping at Target (you know, the place you go for q-tips and walk out spending $100?) we happened upon the vacuum aisle. Sean started checking out the various models, I lovingly stroked the sides of some Dyson's and I thought we would be on our way, but Sean insisted I look at his new favorite vacuum, the Hoover Wind Tunnel Rewind. After I looked at it a bit, I noticed that it was on sale, marked down to $99 from $149. I was sold as that was my price limit on a new vacuum.

It's very cool! The cord rewinds automatically when you press a button. I know many who hate winding the cord will enjoy this feature. In addition, it has all sorts of cool little gizmos and gadgets on it. But perhaps my favorite feature is that it has a washable liftetime hepa filter. You have to let it dry for 24 hours, but still, washable! Our last vacuum had a filter that cost almost as much as the vacuum itself. We never replaced it.

Finally, the first time I vacuumed with it, it wasn't a particularly bad day at our household. If you have kids, you likely know what I mean, some days are way worse than others in the vacuuming department. This was a typical day for us and yet it filled half of the canister. I think it was picking up stuff that the old vacuum had left behind. Now, to understand our carpeting situation, we have one room of carpet - the dining room. The worst possible room ever for carpeting (it will be getting yanked out soon and the hardwood's redone) and then the living room has a very big area rug in it. I love that this vacuum can go on the plush dining room carpet, the bare floors and the low pile area rug without adjusting the settings.

I'm very pleased with the money that we spent on this vacuum. We've had it a few weeks and I still love it. :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

What to do, what to do...

It's a rainy Saturday here. We need a good nap time today for the kids, for good study time for mom and dad. But, what to do on a chilly, rainy spring morning? There's the Green Fest in North Ridgeville, but that promises to be a soggy mess. There's the library, but that probably wont' get enough energy out of the kids. And energy do the kids need to spend! This morning, Nora, supposedly going to the bathroom ruined my phone. Now, you might be thinking, what was your phone in the bathroom for, and well, let's just say that I forgot it last night when I was taking it out of my pants. So, yeah, partially my fault I suppose. I found it a soggy mess. To be fair, the phone is about six years old. My phone, that was decent, but not fancy, broke last fall. The phone quit picking up my voice. For a few days, Sean and I would have conversations that lasted like this.

Sean: "okay, I need to ask you a question, press one button for yes, and two buttons for no" Got it.
Me: press one random button.

Then my husband would ask me a question and I would respond, with one button or two. Around that time, my ILs purchased new phones for themselves and gave me FILs old phone. So, this has been the very crappy phone I've been using for the last six months or so. Now, to be fair, I'm very thankful for it, because we had no extra funds to purchase a new phone and we weren't eligible for an upgrade.

But, I am eligible for an upgrade now. Blackberries are buy one for $29.99 get one free right now, but unfortunately, I can't afford the $50 per month it would cost in additional data charges that it would cost us. On the other hand, I really don't want to have the basic, basic, basic phone because, well, they're ugly. But the phones in between the blackberry and the basic phone have additional charges on them as well. I guess I'll have to go into Verizon today and find out exactly what my options are.

Although I would, love, love, love a blackberry, I think perhaps, an itouch would meet my need of wanting internet access on a little gadget. And, the itouch would also allow me to put educational type applications on it - things that will help me in nursing school (you know, when I finally make it off the wait list, er applicant pool list).

Friday, April 23, 2010

I've been a bad, bad blogger

I'm having a heck of a time finding time for blog posting these days. We're in the midst of the craziness of the last few weeks of spring semester. I feel like I have a test or quiz every few days, papers due, etc. I don't think I have any tests next week, but I have a lab final test the following Tuesday, so I'm preparing to sink my teeth into a review this weekend of the anatomy of reproductive, respiratory, cardio, veins and arteries, digestive and urinary systems in preparation for that final.

I'd like to promise that things will get better, but I can't. Summer courses will be here before you know it, and I have class on campus four days per week during the summer. I'm taking Microbiology in eight weeks, Lord help me! I might be crazy. That's half the amount of time that it normally takes, with all the information still there to learn.

The kids and I have managed many little trips out. We are usually at a local park once a week or more, which feels pretty good since the weather is still rather iffy. We've been to the zoo every few weeks, which we really love to do. We got a recent deal on the Cleveland Museum of Natural History for only $30, so we can't wait to add that to our things to do list. We can activate the membership anytime until August, so we might wait a few months on that. Our zoo membership will expire around September, so that will be a nice replacement. Although, hopefully we get gifted another year which is how we got last years. A gift for the kids birthdays. Best gift ever!

Wednesday we went to Cascade Park. What a fantastic day! We played on the playground and then took a hike. Here's Josh enjoying the swings:

Time at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

For real? Chocolate Formula?

That's right, a new formula is on the market folks. This time, it's chocolate formula. Don't believe me?

One of the saddest parts is the one review who says that it's a great product for newborns. YUCK!

Formula is sometimes needed and I'm not even going to get into the long list of reasons why you should nurse today, today I'm just going to talk about this disgusting formula.

Frankly, it's just wrong. The idea of toddler formula isn't a bad one, especially from the standpoint of Enfamil. It can also lend argument for extended nursing of a toddler. Toddlers are often picky eaters. But, why are they picky eaters? Why are so many young children only eating crap food, food like mac and cheese, chicken nuggets and french fries?

Why? It's because we give them tasteless, bland food. Have you ever tried baby food? Nasty. Every child I know who ate from their parents plates continue to eat what their parents make. Of course, if you're going to feed your child off of your plate, you should take safety precautions and you should make sure that you're eating healthy food.

And why will kids only drink chocolate milk and juice? Why will they not drink any water? It's because we start giving them juice in a bottle! Babies don't need juice! My daughter did not have juice until she was two. She's three and a half now and although she asks for juice first and foremost, she will drink water if she exhausts her other options of milk and apple juice. And that apple juice? Yeah, that's about 8 ounces of water with a splash of apple juice. And, we won't even get into the number of children that demand soda. Soda, demanded from a two year old! My husband's cousin had his two kids one day and she whined for about two minutes before he gave it to her. I said "C, what are you doing? She doesn't need soda, she's two!" to which he responded "it's easier to just give it to her. You'll understand when you have kids". Hey, cousin C, I still don't understand. There's no reason to give your two year old a soda. None. Sure, there is the occasional child who will grab a soda can or a glass, but we're talking about deliberately giving your child a soda.

Chocolate milk? Yeah, the first time my child had chocolate milk was in preschool. This is the same preschool, that when I protested about bad snacks and suggested fruits and vegetables, I was told that the teacher buys healthy things like Ritz crackers and saltines because she has to find things that all the kids would like. My daughter asked for white milk and was told they don't have any.

For me to think of chocolate formula is insane! What are we setting our kids up for when we have these products being pushed at us? And if you think they aren't being pushed, think again. Enfamil, and all the formula companies, do an awesome job of pushing formula on moms. My husbands cousins were amazed by how much free formula the formula companies sent me versus them. Well, the very simple explanation is, I was a breastfeeder and they were formula feeders. They wanted me to wean early to have to rely on formula. They already had them in their pockets.

Now, back to our chocolate formula. Our obesity rates continue to climb. More kids are now obese than ever before. Kids don't know what vegetables are. Kids won't eat vegetables. Kids are drinking juice, soda, etc out of baby bottles and then sippy cups. And now, enter chocolate formula. What a recipe for disaster.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

more on jeans...

Yay! I found jeans! I browsed around Lane Bryant's website and then was able to swing out to North Olmsted after Mass today. Sean sat in the car with the kids while I ran in.

When I went in someone asked me if I needed help and I replied that I was just looking for jeans. Quickly glancing around I notice that they are all distressed, otherwise known as full of holes. For real? The sales woman tells me that they have some great styles, blah, blah, blah. I smile and nod my head and then ask the young whippersnapper for the jeans without holes in them, telling her I tear them easy enough myself, but I'm looking for something more age appropriate without holes in them. She laughs with me and then tells me that they're mainly all distressed, but they have a few left of the ones without the distressing, but that it's slim pickings as they won't be getting another shipment of the Right Fit jeans until July. Yikes! I go over to the one stack of the blue (that would be blue for curvy) and discover that they do not have the size that the online sizing chart tells me that I'll need. So, I grab some that are two sizes smaller than the online chart tells me that I'll need. I also found a few more pairs within the clearance racks, one of which was just one size too big. The sizing chart online runs WAY big, so I'm glad that I went in.

I venture back to the fitting room and I put the one size smaller pants on and um, HUGE. Hey, that's a nice feeling! Then I put on the first pair that are on clearance that are two sizes smaller. A bit loose, but not bad. But they're LONG. I mean, they were marked long, but me being 5'7" you'd think that they wouldn't be super long. Um, wrong. They're about a foot too long. I try on the other pair that are two sizes smaller but a different style. They also fit nicely except for the length. I take both of the two sizes smaller out and have the sales clerk tell me how much they'll be (one is on clearance). That's where I find out that the other pair is also on sale. It's really like getting two for the price of one! So, I bought both, despite knowing I'm going to have to bring out my broken sewing machine. Or maybe I'll have to run over to my mil's house if my sewing machine won't work.

Oh, and not only are there some crazy distressed jeans and some bleach stained jeans, there are gasp.....zippered ankle jeans. For real! The pair I saw in store were much lighter, very reminiscent of 1988.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


My favorite pair of jeans bit the bullet recently. They wore out in the thigh area. At first, I patched, like any good seamstress would. I matched the thread to the color of the jeans and patched on the inside. You couldn't tell. I was thrilled. But then two more spots popped up. Now, it wasn't like these jeans were tight - they fit perfectly. I knew that they were destined to rip when I bought them, back in October. I knew because the material was just too soft. But, at $8, who was really going to complain about a pair of jeans that fit. And why did these jeans fit so well? They fit because they had a built in elastic in the waistband. You know, like the one for your kids? Pull the elastic on the inside and put it through the button hole? Yeah, like that. Well, I get horrible back gap in most pants, no matter my size. My hips are large and my stomach is smaller. It's not exactly hour glass right now, but when I'm smaller, that's what I'd call myself. Right now, yeah, not so much.

Anyways, so the jeans were patched again. When two more spots popped up I knew that it was over. The middle portion of the jeans were practically a patch job now and the material was just breaking down everywhere. I have several pair of jeans that fit, but none that are comfortable. One the waist comes up too high. Another is just a smidge tight in the thighs, etc.

Last week, I decided to make a quick trip into the mall on my way to class. AKA = time without the kids. So, I walked in by the store I knew wouldn't fail me - only, Lane Bryant did fail me. Why? Because they closed the store! This particular mall is slowly dying and now my favorite store was gone. How come I wasn't warned? Why didn't someone call me to tell me that they were closing? Surely there were some great sales that I could have scored some good deals at! Alas, no one called and I was sad, but decided to trudge on. I went into Sears (my now retired jeans were bought at Sears) and JcPenney. Why is it that the pants that they sell are only granny style or cut so low that they don't cover my crack?

Hello, designers? I'm talking to you. Yes, I'm a plus sized woman, but I do not want to feel like I'm 70, when I'm only 30. And designers? I'm 30, I have no desire to show my crack. Her's a good litmus test for you - when you design a pair of pants, ask yourself, if a mom was wearing these, can she bend over and pick a small child up without showing off her crack? If so, you've got a winner. Oh, and one more thing, not all of us like jeans that are cut slim in the hip. So, maybe have more than bootcut - slim in the thigh available. Mmmmkay? Thanks.

I'm going to venture to the bigger mall in the next county over soon to check out Lane Bryant. I hope they don't fail me this time.

PS - I hit up two thrift stores later that night. I was able to get some cords and a dressier pair of pants but no jeans. It's slim pickings in the thrift stores too, unless you want to pay $7 for some jeans that had a bleach stain on them.

Time Warner Cable

Recently, we got a bill from Time Warner Cable that drastically increased our monthly bill. From $106 to $131 per month. That's for basic digital cable, DVR and high speed internet. I called and was told that I was on a promotion package and it's done. The best that they can do is take my bill to $117.84 (before taxes). I told them that I was considering other options. They didn't care. I guess that they'd rather no money from me than the same amount? Unfortunately, I called AT&T and Verizon, neither of them are in our service area. Which means, we're stuck with TWC if we want the joy of high speed internet. What's that? There's DSL? Um, yeah, which is rather like dial up. Been there, done that and we went back to cable.

Unfortunately, with Sean being laid off, we can't exactly afford the increase - either one. I mean, we justified cable right now because it's pretty much our only form of entertainment. The cable internet is easy to justify, I'm taking so many online classes that if we didn't have cable internet, I wouldn't be able to watch the streaming lectures, so I would have to go to campus to take classes. Going to campus = more $ for the sitter. Needless to say, the internet is cheaper than the sitter. ;)

So, we can:
1) Go with the local phone company and get a phone, DSL and satellite dish. It's about what we pay now. The cons are that the DSL is way slower than the cable internet and we'd get next to no channels. I mean, no Bravo? Adding more channels would put us more than we're paying now, which isn't an option (at least not combined with the slow internet).
2) Cancel the cable and DVR and just have the internet. We can watch shows on various websites (abc, cbs, nbc) or on We'd also get the converter box to pick up the local channels and PBS. The internet price would got up, but we would still save about $30 per month this way. Cons - no DVR! I love having a DVR. No Nick Jr. Which means we'd need to buy a new DVD player (thanks to the kids, it's broke) and buy more DVDs to keep the kids company for 20 minutes here and there while I get things done.
3) Suck it up, lock into the 2 year rate of $117.84 plus taxes.

I'm thinking. If it was soley my decision, the cable would already be gone, even though I'll miss shows like House Hunters.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Just another update

School started again = busy.

Sean and Nora were sick this week, but seem to be on the mend now. Nora stayed home from preschool all week since she goes W-F. We thought about sending her today, but she was still sort of out of it today. So, to recap = Daddy and Nora being sick = 3 babies to take care of for mommy. ;)

School started, did I mention that? I have a crap ton of homework to finish before tomorrow, plus a quiz, a test, a paper and studying for an A&P quiz on Tuesday. Um, I'm taking flash cards to bowling tonight.

And because every post needs a picture - I give you one from a few weeks ago in which Josh destroys the living room shortly after I clean it. It's a common theme here. If it's not him, it's Nora or daddy.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Because my sister requested more pictures of the kids

Josh isn't an easy boy to capture these days. Between his speed and the digital lag, I end up getting a lot of shots of his head, back and sometimes nothing at all!

Not to worry, sister will help!

Nora with daddy.

I love this girl. :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

While some of my friends are complaining left and right over the snow that has *finally* hit our area, I find myself enjoying it. Except for the lack of boots (since my two pair of boots have bit the bust the last two winters), that part sucks.

Here is Nora when we got home from her preschool this morning. I think you might notice something in the window...anyone?

On closer inspection, oh, yeah, now I's my little daredevil. The boy will climb anything. Here he is on the back of the couch looking at mommy and sister. And yes, I'm fully aware that there is a piece of siding missing, it fell off a few weeks ago in some very strong winds.