Thursday, August 26, 2010

before things get really crazy

so really, i haven't been just sitting around, diddling my fingers, waiting for baby 4 to come. i have been sewing like a crazy person. i guess i figure that in just a few days my time for sewing will be thwarted by other things.
*other things: staring at new baby, holding new baby, falling in love with new baby, nursing new baby, and cuddling all my babies.
i love to sew, but nothing quite beats those precious few first days of newborn love.
but- this is what i've been sewing.

i've been trying to create a drawstring circle bottom purse. this did not turn out the way i wanted it to- at. all.
but, i LOVE this fabric. i'll probably use it, even though it isn't lined and the linen is paper thin, but still, they were scraps i had and i just can't stand cutting into new fabric.

burp clothes. its just white flannel that i sewed together, and did a little felt/fabric applique on. the duckies on the bottom is a receiving blanket that i made for the new baby. its stretchy and not flannel- its so unbelievably hot here. i know i have some amazing receiving blankets in one of my newborn bins, so after the baby is born i will send sam searching for them. i have fabric to make one more- but if i don't need it, then i'll use it for a different project.

the little white shirt that i made for baby 4 came in a 3 pack. well, i couldn't just let that go to waste. so i had fun resting on the couch and embroidering these.

any guesses?

we went up to redding last week to visit dear friends and to have family pictures taken. my wonderful friend (and great mothering encouragement) just had her 4th son and thinks (falsely i might add) that i behold some creativity in sewing. ha.ha.ha.
anyways, i have yet to create anything for her. so, as a woman living in an all boy house i thought she deserved just a little clutch style purse, something to always help remind her that girlie things are great.
i also made her a coffee sleeve, which i forgot to photograph.
i literally whipped this up the early morning hours before we left, because i wanted something else besides the coffee sleeve. i "came up" with the design myself. so the flaws are apparent. one of those- oh, i should have done it this way kind of things after you are half way through.
below are messenger style bags that i made. the blue one i really don't like. mainly because i wanted it turn out totally differently so that i could use it for a camera bag.
the green one (right below) i actually do like, but it could have used some interfacing. but that's what i get for hurrying through a project just so i can see how it will look.

this bag was my own design. and i have used it a couple of times. i sure do love this color green. a lot.

and this purse i really don't like. mainly because the tutorial was AWFUL.

there's a flap. i didn't even picture it. whoops. oh well. i'm not quite sure what i will do with this bag. it's lined with padding (you know, because i wanted it to be used for my camera) and the pockets are sewn to a specific size (for camera things) but it just did NOT work.
and did i mention the tutorial was dreadful? you know someone isn't grand at tutorials (not that i have any room to speak at all) when you mention who did it to someone and they comment, "oh yeah, so and so does terrible tutorials" you know its not just you.

i do have one more unfinished project on the ironing board. its almost done. and again, its coming from my crazy crafting brain, so i don't know how it will turn out. but i did figure out how to do a circular bottom, so i am pretty excited about that.
and today my dad is here, helping me transform some rooms.... so pictures to come from that.
oh, and did i mention that i am going to try and naturally induce labor tomorrow with some castor oil?
i guess i have a few things going on.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


its growing. in a barrel in my front yard. this is truly a feat for me, because every single houseplant i have ever had has died a sad, slow, death. in fact, even the pretty flowers that i had on my front porch (and have replaced twice) have suffered at my hand (suffered and died). needless to say that our little garden doesn't look all that great (okay, it looks pathetic) but someone we have some little munchkin pumpkins growing- and growing crazy i might say- but we have some real possibilities in some tiny little cherry tomatoes (or roma's are not looking good at all) and then there's the squash. and honestly, the only reason i wanted to plant this little garden in the first place was for the zucchini. i just realized i keep referring to it as squash, when i don't have any squash growing in my garden, its strictly green zucchini.
and its awesome!

this big beauty showed up out of nowhere....or i guess it was growing for days and had been painfully neglected. oh well. it still tasted great.
so today while i feasted on various zucchini cuisine, i thought i'd share a couple of my all time favorite ways to eat zucchini:

1) fried.
okay, so sam's mom makes the best best best fried zucchini in the world. sam and i have tried to recreate it and we fail almost every time. its dipped in egg white, flipped in flour, crisped to perfection in a LOT of butter, and seasoned to your hearts desire.
it sounds easy enough, but for some reason we cannot mimic the tastiness that she produces.
i need fried zucchini right now. pronto.

2) roasted.
i like to slice my zucchini in circles (and if its big then i'll cut the circles into moons) place them in a pyrex dish, drizzle olive oil, garlic, salt, a little pepper (if i'm sharing with the kids) and a couple tablespoons of parmesan cheese on them. i set my oven to 400 and roast them for about 20-25 minutes. wonderful.

3) in this recipe: rice with summer squash
i didn't put in any onions (because i hate onions) and i added a little extra pepper to my own portion and some parm (because i think that the carrots in it make it a little sweet) but for a quick meal its very tasty. plus, i think it would make an impressive side at a family gathering. or for a more complete meal- add chicken.

4) in this muffin: zucchini muffins.
i've already blogged about the amazing-ness of this recipe. i have several muffins in my kitchen right now. the kids are warming up to them (not as sweet as blueberry, but i think they rock) and i reduced the amount of cinnamon and nutmeg to help the kids- i think it was a bit to much spice for them.

5) and my favorite is a little dish i call chicken/tortellini/zucchini.
now, i usually use both zucchini and yellow squash, but when i only have a garden of zucchini, i just use that. however, sam's parents garden is INSANE, and i have access to a bountiful supply of various squashes. i have varied this recipe off of a ravioli and squash recipe i found in a real simple years and years ago.
what i do:
cook 1lb of fresh (or if mine were in the freezer) cheese tortellini's.
set my oven to 400 and roast 3-4 zucchini/yellow squash (cooked just as i mentioned above, only i will add a little bit of red pepper flakes)
sautee up some chicken breasts in olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little garlic.
when all have cooked- add together in a big bowl, mix generously with parmesan cheese.
and devour. i think this dish tastes well tepid too.
that's my way of saying, i eat it all night long and rarely remember to get it in the fridge for leftovers. oooh, and it reheats wonderfully.

i am officially hungry. and need to work on a small sewing project before it becomes midnight.

Monday, August 16, 2010

baby 4

everything i had hoped to sew, crocheted, or knitted (for me) for this new baby is complete and packed away neatly in this little bag, just waiting to be taken to the hospital.

and here is what's in the bag. a little baby t-shirt with a zebra that i embroidered, (that is not a patch- i made every little stitch myself) tiny little shorts for the baby to wear (in neutral muslin) a small blanket with green trim that i crocheted, and a beautiful knitted hat that my dear friend made for the new baby. although, this time it was delivered to my house. for henry she had shown up at the hospital to see her sister-in-law's new baby and i had surprised her by being there as well, and she had henry's hat in her purse.

a number 4 sewn onto the back of the shorts

and a close up shot of the zebra. my friend christina was there as we tried to determine 3 different shades of gray. it was actually difficult.

so, my hospital bag is packed, the baby's bag is ready. i need to get the other kids ready with some little bags. and we still need to find a bear for this baby. we've had bears at all the births. so.... we need a bear.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

what a week

i cannot believe that is sunday evening. i cannot believe that 12 days from now i should be holding our brand new baby. i cannot believe that at 37 some weeks pregnant i am still feeling this nauseated. why is that? its gross. i would love to just feel like i don't need to throw up every time i eat or don't eat. of course i don't throw up, but i do feel like i want to.
anyways. only 12 more days and no more pregnancy posts. how excited are all of you?
back to this week. this wild and wonderful (albeit sick-ish) week.
monday was a crazy day. the usual stuff, trying to home-school campbell and mason, trying to keep up after whatever henry is needing from me, and trying to start some cleaning projects so that i wouldn't be overwhelmed the next day when our bible study would be coming over. i remember about 10 am sending my sister a chat message asking her why she wasn't at my house helping me so i could take a nap.
i went on with my day, remembering that later that evening i was having a small baby party to celebrate the arrival of number 4. i didn't want a traditional shower, just a small gathering of us gals to eat food and laugh.
sam had opened, and came home around 1:00. i knew that he had to leave again to go get retrained on espresso down in sacramento. i was a little bummed, because it meant being alone with the kids for another 3 hours and then rushing to my party.
he came back a little early. about 4:30ish? which was good, i was about in tears and really needing a break. i left him with the kids and went back to de-boning a chicken i had roasted. minutes later there was a knock at the door. which truly annoyed me. why, why, why was someone stopping by right now? 2 hours before i needed to leave for the party, and i still had so much to do. i wasn't even really dressed.
i went and opened the door, and standing there was an angel.
my sister.
she and sam had completely surprised me. and i am not one to be surprised. i find out everything. and i cannot believe how absolutely dense i had been regarding this. it really makes me think how self-involved i must be these days, to not put it together. like sam asking me weeks ago to just not check our credit card bill saying he had got me something as a surprise. or him randomly needing to drive down to sacramento for a very short 1 hour meeting the night of my baby shower (our airport is in sacramento).
seriously, where is my head?
i am glad they pulled it off, it was the most wonderful surprise. we spent the evening at my baby party and then talked till about 1 am. when my lovely children awakened us at 6:15 she literally leapt from our bed (thanks to sam for sacking out on the couch) and did not stop working until about 8 pm that night.
she cleaned everything. she used attachments on my vacuum i didn't know we had. and used that vacuum to clean every room and crevice in my house. she deep cleaned my kitchen while i did school with campbell and kept mason and henry busy. she then moved down to our family room and put toys away and vacuumed the spider rug. she dusted, she cleaned up spills, she paused to read books to the kids.
and then she transformed my bedroom and bathroom (side note, ash- the bathroom floor hadn't been cleaned since we moved in.... in march....). the pictures aren't the best- but check it out. our bedroom was such a disaster zone (and we didn't even take pictures of what was the second kitchen, which is now also completely cleaned and organized) and just the last thing on my list to do- mainly because i would never make it over there to clean.

this before picture does NO justice to the mess and chaos of our room.

i only include this pregnant shot for my sister. but there's me. ready for baby. really ready, like hospital bag is finally packed.

i wish i had more pictures of all the work she did. i'd love to say that at this moment the house has never been cleaner. but that's a lie. the house has never been more deep-cleaned and more organized. because she let us change her ticket and she stayed an extra day and i was finally able to mark off more and more from my epic to do list. and now that so many little things are done, i have the ability to keep it cleaner longer. well, at least picked up.
i am so thankful my sister came. i love you so much! i wish you were still here- not so you'd be cleaning and helping- but just because i had so much fun having you around. i am so glad that you will be back soon, and we need to figure out a more frequent way to get you down here!
i miss you! thank you so much for everything you did!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

a reminder to myself

i am about to have baby number 4, and you are fairly exhausted. the kids i am already raising are keeping me up late. once great sleepers, campbell and mason seem to be pushing to stay up late. campbell upset mason tonight by taking her night light out of its spot and putting it 2 feet away from her head. i went up and switched the night lights, told campbell that he couldn't move her night light and tucked mason back in bed. only to hear her cry out mere moments later in pain. i found her standing in her room, tears running down her face.
somehow she had grabbed the bulb on the night light and burned her little finger. she insisted on a band-aid between her sobs. i moved her into the bathroom and gently turned the cold water on. she let me hold her hand under the water and she slowly calmed down. and as i knelt next to her and watched her little eyes following the movement of the water and slowly start to smile as the pain cooled off, i realized how precious this little moment was. she was so upset just a few moments before and now she was happy, enjoying the cool water as it ran over her hands. every know and then she would glance over at me and smile. she was completely safe in my care and she knew it.
she still wanted a band aid when she was done, and kept telling me that my band-aids were not any good, and that she had to have a curious george one.
i realize this story seems really non-exciting. but it just hit me how these tiny, precious moments only last a minute and then they are gone. i won't remember this in the months/years later, except now that i have written it down i have the memory saved.
mason, my sweet little girl. she talks and talks and talks, and in this moment she just stood and let me help her.
i know i won't remember every moment of my children's precious childhood as it whisks past me, but i do need to be better at writing these little things down, so that i can transplant myself back to this night.

Friday, August 6, 2010

he could cook.

another day that i watch a little of our "extra" money disappear. not spent entirely poorly by any means, and i am continually amazed at how abundantly the Lord provides for this little family, but spent in one way that i could control a little better.
eating out. its my biggest vice, and my greatest luxury. i love to cook. love it. there's something fantastic about creating something delicious to eat and especially fantastic if it tastes really good reheated the next day.
but i hate doing dishes. and i hate cooking in the heat. and i hate doing dishes in the heat. and all 3 of those things must be done after one cooks.
sam knows that i know how to cook, and he loves the food that he cooks. but he equally knows how much i enjoy to have food that someone else has cooked.
and so, when i have found myself utterly exhausted this pregnancy (the total exhaustion deserves its own post) sam generously offers to run out and get whatever sounds fantastic, as i throw something mediocre together for the kids.
it could be worse. he could insist i cook, or hate spending money on eating out.
or he could cook, but i know that he is as equally tired as i am.
and so as i try to not think about how much it would total all added up if we didn't eat out a fraction of the time we did, i try to instead focus on how blessed i am, that we can eat out, that my husband is very willing to serve me in this way, and how yummy the food does taste.
because, in just a few short weeks (9 weeks to be exact) i will be resuming weight watchers, and i don't usually eat out while doing weight watchers, at least not in the beginning.
i am debating starting a 100 day fast from eating out, in combo with finding 10 new amazing dinners to cook.
sounds like interesting ideas. because welcoming a 4th child to my 4 years and under crew just makes me believe i will have oodles and oodles of free time.
on a separate note, if you want to get me a baby gift (you of course don't have too) i love gift certificates for food :)
oh and meals.

in my free time.

or something like that :)
i have been sewing! i had some very odd goals of getting all of my christmas gifts made before the baby came.
ok. please stop laughing. you won't be able to read this if you are still laughing.
anyways. that hasn't even started. and i realized that today marks 3 weeks from when i intend to take my 2 T of castor oil and beg the baby to come. so unless i either get an energy transplant or my children become amazingly self-sufficient without needing any correction or training (or a combo of both) i highly doubt that any christmas gifts will get done.
never mind that. i still have plenty to keep me busy. i have made a massive to-do list, that does continue to grow daily, but luckily somethings are getting crossed off of it. but it does still feel like a lot to do in a short amount of time.
instead of dwelling what's still not done, take a look at what i have done:

another one of the bags i "designed". i really love how big they are. i think i might do another one, but vary it a little. maybe. it's always fun to experience.
i keep experimenting with the coffee cozy as well. i am having a fun time adding a little personalization to it, and this one is reversible- there's a button on both sides.
now if only jess hadn't changed her drink to a grande non-fat latte everything would have been perfect.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

i hope i don't lose any readers....

but i truly hate spiders. i know one isn't supposed to "hate", but really, i absolutely hate spiders.
and somehow i think they know it.
i'm not sure where my hatred of spiders came from, but lately it seems to be magnified.
i seem to be un-naturally attracted to spiders, with an odd sense of "spidey" vision. really, i do. i can spot a spider emerging from a hiding place from a freakish distance. i think i might actually be able to sense spiders when they are in my presence.
but still, at every appearance of a spider my blood runs cold and chills overwhelm my body and i think it must be on me.
which reminds me. i would kindly love to stop shedding like a mad woman, because every tiny hair that leaves my head and floats to my arms runs panic through my bones. and quite to often sam and the kids wonder why i am doing an odd arm waving dance.
lately spider time has gotten worse. ever since the stairs to our laundry went in and we were able to utilize our "first" garage as a family/play room i have been on high stress alert for those 8 legged monsters. you see, the family room has a throw rug on the concrete- but everything else is concrete, with some brief exposure to the outside. it is a great deal cooler in the family room, but it comes at a great cost to me to be done here enjoying it. i am constantly awaiting for emerging horror. and so far, i have found one almost every day.
its the worst when the kids have their toys everywhere, strung on the floor. because i just know (and have been been proven correctly) that when i go to grab a toy to put in its home that it will cause a scattering of spider to race away.
growing up, my bedroom was in a basement. converted basement i should say. our laundry room was not finished. i think i finally begged my parents for the attic bedroom because of my fear of spiders (and my growing addiction to the fumes of bug spray). one memory will always stand out it my mind. i was hanging out in my room and from the corner of the wall a huge spider crept on the floor. i grabbed my spray and went nuts. as i was moving something out of the way a SECOND spider appeared, equally huge, requiring even more spray.
it was awful.
the laundry room in our home growing up with unfinished, with stairs that led to our carport and concrete steps. hanging webs would loom. and because this was a basement laundry room and far away from the rest of the house we maintained a strict "drop dirty clothes on the floor" and let them wildly pile up. when i was taught how to do laundry, i can remember the horrid fear that would arise when you would grab dirty clothes from the floor and pray that nothing would be moving on them or under them.
usually there was.
i will never know how my mother, who did the vast majority of our laundry handled this. was she not afraid of spiders? or did she maintain a level of bravery just for her children's sake.
my sister had the worst experience. when our laundry was clean, it was folded and stacked and left on a counter in the laundry room. apparently my sister had grabbed clothes to wear and left for school. it wasn't until later in the morning when she had removed her sweatshirt in class did she realize perched upon her chest was an inhabitant of our basement laundry room.
and now, my laundry is in a basement. i have returned to concrete floors and fear of leering guests.
i am ashamed to admit that in our family room/play room/laundry room that i have sent my children to the front of the battle field. blame it on the growing belly and exhaustion (cause its really a handy excuse for this) but i simply perch myself on the couch- after investigating it carefully for anything that moves- and with a shoe in my hand (for squashing) i carefully instruct my children on what toys to pick up, what clothes to throw in the hamper, etc.
all the while prepared to attack anything that has attached itself to a toy.
i am a woos.
and i think the spiders are retaliating against me. the other morning when i went to finish a purse i was sewing, i started to iron out the fabric and a tiny little baby spider scampered across the fabric- quickly, to meet its twin.
2 baby spiders on my fabric, which were quickly met by a third. of course this had me scaling the walls searching for more, the dead fear in my heart that an egg had somehow hatched without my knowing.
and can you even imagine how disgusting it would have been if i had ironed a spider into my fabric.
the very next morning i noticed a bigger "momma" spider in the curtain of the same room. luckily sam was on his way home and was able to assist me in the removal of that visitor.
needless to say, i truly despise spiders. i really don't like many bugs in general. but i am frustrated by spiders, because ultimately i do see their purpose- to kill the other bugs.
but why God? why?
a talking cucumber once asked a grape (who was acting as an angel) if God ever makes mistakes. this wise grape answered no, never.
but in his mind, "the jury's still out on spiders."
truer words.
and yes. i did just write an entire post on why i hate spiders.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


that's right, i somehow finished.
it wasn't easy. and i lost motivation a lot. and honestly, i had finished many days ago, but it seemed moving the fabric from our bedroom to the 2nd kitchen was just an impossible task.
however, it was finally moved. and i hate to admit it, but i did move it myself- something i regretted moments later, and hours later as i found my energy completely zapped and myself really out of breath.
stupid pregnant lady that i am.
so here's what i came up with- feel free to breeze through this, as it might not be super stimulating to all of you.
these 3 tubs- the top tub consists of solid colored fabrics.
middle tub is all of my felt and i believe some fleece.
bottom tub is holiday fabric and gingham/polka dots that i was given from a friend.

and in these 3 (well 4, but you only see the top of the bottom tub) tubs:
top is all my interfacing, tracing paper, batting and more essentials like that. i kept it on top because i knew that i would need easy access to it.
the 2nd tub from the top is fabric that i have that is still uncut. meaning, i haven't used it for a project yet- it most likely ranges from 1 yard to 3 1/2 yards.
third tub- all the fabric that i have for children projects.
and the un-pictured bottom tub is another tub full of fabric i haven't cut into. i have a lot of beautiful fabric just waiting to be used :)
ok, i am very proud of these next 3 tubs (pictured above) and this is where my total inner geek will come out. its either geek or crazy "monica" mentality.
you pick.
so, these 3 tubs are basically organized scraps.
in the top tub it is all scraps that are small enough to be used for tiny projects- if i ever quilt, or make log cabins, or need little pieces for embellishments or applique.
the middle tub is bigger cuts of fabric- almost fat quarter sizes, in fact- this is where you would find all of my fat quarters. any fabric that i have already used by still has a good 1/4 to 1/2 yard left in it was folded and placed in here.
the bottom tub. is well, medium sized scraps. anything that i would use for bigger applique or coffee sleeves or embroidery uses.
and that's it. i left myself a walkway. i put the tubs of scraps out front because i will need to put scraps in it as they come, and also, i have a very difficult time cutting into fabric. its almost painful. so i usually go for the scraps first in a desperate attempt to find a 1 yard out of 1/2 a yard.
and i guess technically there are 2 more tubs. i moved them down to our hall closet. one consists of fabric that will be used soon(ish) or at least has an intended purpose. the other tub is full of my un-finished projects.
well that's about it. i am quite happy this is done. maybe i'll clean up the sewing area and show you how its changed too!