Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This, that, and a whole lot of sewing.

I've been simultaneously working on so many projects that now that they're finally finished, I'm excited to share!

I'll start with Neely's football-season-is-coming dress. I bought this New Look dress pattern with the intent of making a dress like the one with the tulip applique in the picture, but I wanted to do orange and white and put her initial on the front. What do you think?

It turned out pretty well, except I think I needed some heavier-duty stabilizer under the applique. It's a bit puckered. Oh, that and the thing is huge. I followed the pattern for her height and weight, but it looks like a two-year-old could wear it. I need to try it on Neely.

Then, I had to do bloomers to match. I bought some already made, embroidered her name on them (as you saw the other day), then added bows. I adore the bows!

What's that? You want to see more? Okay. I also made my first attempt at a pillowcase dress. I found this funky pillowcase among the clearance stuff at T.J. Maxx last Christmas. I had no idea what I was going to do with it at the time, but for $2, I couldn't resist. Here you have the $2 pillowcase dress.

Here's the back...or the front if you prefer. It could go either way.

Do we have bloomers to go with this dress? Of course. Here's what I embroidered on them.

And then, because that leftover pillowcase fabric was so cute, and I stock up on little tank tops and what not when they go on sale just for occasions like these, I did a little reverse applique for Maddie.

Then, THEN, we have the piece de resistance. Some of you got to hear me gripe about this little lady. It took me three tries, holding my mouth just so, and the moons aligning to get this applique done without my machine jamming. Minnie requires a heck of a lot of stabilizer. She's on that funny piece of fabric, because she's meant to go in a mug as a gift for our Disney travel agent that I've been running in circles over the past week.

I have a Mickey design, too. I'm going to do Minnie and Mickey t-shirts for the kids for our trip. I know, I know. It's MONTHS away, but I'm giddy with anticipation nonetheless. And there you have it. On this rainy, stormy, tornado-ey day, I've decided to pull out all the stops and blog about all my projects at once. Sorry if I've bored you to tears. Hopefully I can get some extra things done soon and start adding more to my Etsy shop.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Bloomers

I've finally ordered bloomers to personalize for Neely. I also bought this adorable font and voila! Bloomers. And yes, I'm aware that the name is off-center, but it's very tricky to get elastic-y bloomers into an embroidery hoop. I had to hold onto it while it sewed to keep the opposite side out of the way. I'll get the hang of it soon. This pair is to match a mystery project that I will share soon. :D


For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!

~ 2 Corinthians 4:17, NLT

I need to print this out in huge letters and post it in every room of my house. Anybody with me?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Creative Boy

Rather than use them for their intended purpose, Aidan was doing this with his train tracks yesterday...

Making faces! Very creative. Of course, it was right where I was trying to sweep and mop, but we took a picture, relocated them, and he was happy.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


They're so adorable when the play together.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Neely Lately

I realized earlier today that it's been a little while since I've given a good Neely update. She's getting so big! She's fast approaching 19 pounds. She's a champion crawler. She definitely holds her own against Aidan now, and she loves to explore our house. She's awesome at finding fun things to put in her mouth!

Neely is also trying to stand pretty frequently now. And when she's feeling really brave, she lets go for a few seconds. I'm not really encouraging her to learn to walk just yet. I'm not ready for it! I want to prolong baby phase as much as I can.

She's also started to eat table food. I haven't given her a single thing that she didn't like yet. So far, she's eaten blueberry muffins, oatmeal, a cinnamon roll, strawberries, grapes, mandarin oranges, biscuits, crescent rolls, lasagna, chicken pie, green beans, cheese, lunchmeat, and baked chicken. She already has a longer list of approved foods than Aidan, and we've really only been doing this for a few days. It's so exciting to have a child that eats!

The only other big thing I can think of that's happened lately is talking. She's been saying Mama for a while, and something that sounds like "Yeah." But lately, she's starting saying "baba" when she wants her bottle. She can say "Dada," but she doesn't very often. Once or twice, I thought she said "Hanky." And she's said "bye bye" a couple of times. Cutie cute cute.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tis the Season...

...for sun tea! Don't have one of these handy jugs? Get the the clearance aisle at your local Wal-Mart. I just got mine today for $3 and immediately put it to work. I haven't made sun tea in YEARS, and I'm anxiously awaiting perfectly brewed sun tea. Yum!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Tonight, I took the kids to see a movie. There was a family event on base, and they provided dinner and showed "Up" at the base theater. I'm glad it was free. To begin with, Aidan refused to eat his pizza. Typical. Then, within minutes of the movie starting, I kicked over my drink. Awesome. I wasn't playing around, either. There was none of this knock it over but the lid stays on so you don't lose too much of it nonsense. I might as well have drop-kicked it, there was so much splatter. I don't even know where my lid and straw ended up.

But it was a cute movie...I think. Why, oh, why did I have to have the two loudest children in the theater? I guess I'm just really super duper lucky. Neely has one volume: fortissimo! She wasn't crying or unhappy. She just had to make some noise...and squirm, and squirm, and squirm. With about 30 minutes left in the movie, she finally stopped wigging. Why? It was that magic time, 7:30pm, when she's suddenly ready to sleep. It never happens at 7:25, only 7:30.

Aidan had to talk through the whole movie. The louder the movie got, the louder he got. He had to comment or ask questions about everything that was going on. Oh, and when I gave him popcorn, every ten seconds he'd announce to whomever would listen, "I have popcorn!" It got to where my friend Ashley would egg him on, saying, "Aidan, do you have popcorn? What is that you're eating?" Thanks a lot!

Oh, and let's not forget about the seat gnawing. You'd think I was talking about Neely, wouldn't you, since she's the child that puts everything in her mouth. No, this was Aidan as well. He'd turn around and chew on the back of his seat, or stand up and chew on the seat in front of him, or lean over and get at the armrest. I mean, what?! You can't blame it on teething with a three-year-old.

Needless to say, I won't be paying to take my kids to the theater for a long, long time.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Carpool Debacle

Why is it that when you put three boys together, all you get is mischief and noise? Two of my girlfriends and I all have little boys about the same age, and we keep thinking of new ways to torture ourselves. Tonight, we thought it would be really bright to put all of them, the three of us, and Neely (bless her sweet little heart) in one vehicle. (If you need to haul that many people on a regular basis, get you a Yukon.) Just so you know, I'm pretty sure that if I end up in hell, this is what it will be like. They were so loud and boisterous, even after a couple hours on a bouncy castle. I'm not sure where the energy comes from, but I'd love to find the source.

It was an adventure, to say the least. We are really racking up on our list of things never to try again. No restaurants, unless it is Chickfila, McDonald's, or somewhere else with a playground. No carpooling. No objects or toys that can be used as swords indoors (ex: toy baseball bats, golf clubs, light sabers). No leaving them unattended with a computer that isn't password protected. (Thanks for helping me fix my settings, Dad.) I'm eager to see what's next!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Great Cupcake Caper

I've finally made my first fancy cupcake attempt. I was most enamored by the beautiful sunflowers, so they are the ones I chose to try. Above is the picture from the cookbook showing what they're supposed to look like, you know, if you were a professional decorating cupcakes to be photographed for a glossy cookbook. Here are mine.

They're a little Monet meets Salvador Dali, but I'm hoping they'll be so delicious that it makes up for it. I still have a whole tray of unsunflowered cupcakes, because it took me nearly two hours to decorate these and by then, I was DONE. And that was just the decorating part. I actually baked the cupcakes yesterday! Maybe I'll sunflower the rest of them tomorrow. Then again, maybe we'll just eat them as they are.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Baby Gifts

I have been away from my sewing machine for nearly three weeks, and I have missed it. The result? I finally got around to making a baby gift for a friend whose little girl is now over a month old. Whoops!

A few months back, I read a tutorial over at Lil Blue Boo on reverse applique, so I decided to give it a try. I hope baby Sydney likes her "S" and little bird. And I couldn't resist but to make matching burp cloths. I had to get some use out of that embroidery function, you know.

Here they are. Ta-da!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Week in Review

I have been lazy with my blogness this week. Most of our adventures, however, have had a little too much yuck factor to photograph. Brace yourself, several of them involve poop. And this one's wordy.

On Monday, while we were still at my parents', Aidan disappeared. I checked on him, and he was tinkering with the piano in the den. Not wanting to deter my lil' Mozart from his work, I let him be. About ten minutes later, Dad notices he's still MIA and asks, "Where's Aidan?" (Here's the part that varies depending on who's narrating this story.) I say, "I don't know. He was in the den a little while ago." (When Dad tells it, all I say is, "I don't know," and don't budge from the table. Total lazy mom in his version.) Another five to ten minutes later, Mom and Dad both go upstairs, Mom to take a shower and Dad to get some work done, I think. Dad saw the mess first. Aidan has this uncanny ability to poop in the potty when he needs to, but since he can't wipe himself yet, he manages to smear it all over the place. It was all over his legs and the toilet seat, and he was standing on the toilet brushing his teeth with my mother's toothbrush. Needless to say, that toothbrush (and all the ones sharing living space with it) went in the trash. I told her that at least they didn't have a cat, because he'd have probably been brushing the cat intermittently as well.

Tuesday was the day we returned to Louisiana. I'd like to start by saying if you're ever considering traveling for any distance where you'll have to stop along the way alone with two children and a dog, DON'T DO IT. Or don't do it if you can absolutely help it. It probably wouldn't have gone over too well if I'd opted to skip Jopey's wedding. Anyway, the most eventful part of our day was the part where I wanted to drop-kick the GPS out the window. When I got into Memphis, I was following the thing blindly before I realized it was taking me a different way than usual. We've done this trip about a zillion times. Why would it suddenly want me to go another way? And where was it sending me? It wanted me to go through Jackson instead of Little Rock. I got back to where I wanted to be, and the GPS basically had a does not compute moment. It gave me some error message that basically said, "I can't get you there this way, but I can show you a map of where you are." What?! Come to find out, the settings had been switched from fastest route to shortest distance. When I got it back how it needed to be, it shaved an hour off my projected arrival time. Thank goodness!

Wednesday I cleaned and washed laundry, because I simply cannot manage to pack and leave my house clean at the same time. I'm not sure why. I'm just not one of those special people who's programmed that way. So alas, I always return to a dirty house. It's a bummer.

Also on Wednesday, we had a repeat of the poop smearing incident, only this time it happened while I was in the shower, was not contained to just one toilet, and did not involve a toothbrush. It was so gross that by the time I finished cleaning up after him, I felt like I needed another shower.

Thursday was stressful, and I don't want to recap it, not even in print. So sorry.

Today was pretty awesome, especially when compared with some of the insanity we've encountered this week. And it comes with a funny story. We went to the gym this morning, and this happened when I picked the kids up from the nursery. As you walk into the room, there's a big bookcase straight in front of you where all the toys live. You have to walk right by it to get to anything else in the room. Whenever I go to pick them up, I always do a quick kid-check before signing them out, and at first glance, I didn't see Neely. Most of the time, she's passed out in a swing or a baby chair, and I didn't see her there. As I'm signing them out, I hear Neely squawk, and my friend Ashley tells me I've got to come see something. Neely has climbed into the bookcase and is sitting on the bottom shelf, grinning and laughing. She looked like she belonged there, like a baby doll! It was too funny. Before we left the house this morning, I thought Neely looked so cute that I took a picture, so imagine her in a bookcase instead of on the floor and you've pretty much got the image.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A First

Last night, Aidan, Neely, and I made our first visit to the Loveless Cafe. I know. As a Nashville native, it's probably sacrilege to live nearly 30 years without ever having gone, but somehow it happened. Blame must be assigned, Dad? I'll give it to you. ;) Anyway, it was, of course, wonderful. The biscuits and jam were just as fabulous as I'd heard, my barbecue was awesome, and the iced tea was so sweet, I could crunch the sugar in my teeth after I'd swallowed it. Mmm...

Even Neely got to enjoy a biscuit.

We take our coloring very seriously in my family. My Dad's is on the fridge downstairs. No, I'm not kidding.

Pop and Aidan.

I love these things. I especially like how Neely's holding on to hers.

Proof that I was there.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Wedding Day

I'm finally getting around to posting some pictures of Joseph and Margaret's wedding day. Things were crazy, so I didn't take a whole lot. I didn't want to show up the real photographer. (ha! yeah, right) I'll share my favorites. Up top there are the bridesmaids' bouquets - GORGEOUS! I love all the bright colors. This next one is of Margaret with a bunch of her bridesmaids helping get her hair and makeup perfected.

In the next one, Mary Ellen is putting Margaret's garter on. She was saying, "Ew! Ew! Ew!" I think it's hilarious that she was so yucked out by this. I'm glad I caught it on camera.

And here everyone goes to have their pictures taken. I'm not sure why I like photos taken from behind so much. I hung back special so I could get one.

I wish I had some pictures of Aidan in his tuxedo, but I don't. He was with the boys getting ready, and my camera was locked up in our dressing room from ceremony time on. I also wish I had my own photo of Jopey. I'll have to get copies of somebody else's photos.