Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Night - a Recap

It was picture day at school on Tuesday. Here's Carsie with "Ona" (one of the 4 most popular dollies at our house) - We have 2 "Claires", a "Honey Buns" and "Ona..." Ona is the only one with hair, and the largest of the 4-some, so she got to go to picture day in her pretty dress, too...
This was at the ballet studio, at the end of the day, so Carsie had been playing hard - but she still looks adorable!And here she is in her ballet clothes. Tuesday, Cole also had a tee ball game at the same time as ballet - so that's why the gorgeous boy was not in these photos - but he had on a coordinating navy & white striped tee, courtesy grandmomma - more of Cole later this week!!!
And then on Friday, I had a hair appointment. I try to knock off early from work at least once a month and pick up one child early for a little one-on-one time with Mom. Carsie came with me for her first "real" haircut. I've "trimmed" it twice before for her - but it needed a real shape. SO - I took her to Laura Beth - this is the "before" (and no LB is not putting color on her hair - that was for me ;)
And the "after" - complete with shampooing & styling - she felt like a pretty princess. Honestly, I think the thing she was MOST excited about, because she said it 50 times is "I don't have to take a nap today!!!" because I picked her up just at nap time...

I'm thinking of starting a new trend - whatcha think? I think foil is a good look, yes?

And then, Carson was SO worn out from getting beautiful, I looked over and this is what I found. So much for no nap, eh?
And then Saturday, the chillies were invited to go to Callaway Gardens with my grandmother, and I went to the 2009 Atlanta Steeplechase!!! Fun times. All high society and redneck country mixed together. It was WAY hot - you can see the red cheeks on all of us here! These are my newest girlfriends, Ashley & Shauna - lovin' the hats...but they kind of get in the way when you're squeezing together!!!
And this is my sweet friend Brooklyn. We had to have a photo op because we both broke out the black with tiny white pin dotos. Love it!!!

And...a gratuitous photo of my sweetheart. Cute, huh?
Phew. What a week!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My to-do list

Just because I know you're dying to know (bwahahaha)
1. Put all the laundry away - and keep washing. (This is ONGOING at my house).
2. Be sure to wash and pack up tee ball stuff for 5:30 game tomorrow!
3. dishes (ick)
4. clean up all the clutter (This one thing should occupy most of my evening) for Yolanda to come clean the house tomorrow
5. Write check for Yolanda.
6. Remind self that I am ONLY one person, and if everything doesn't get done, life WILL go on.
7. Make Carsie's ballet bag... 6 months late.
8. Finish tutorial for note-list-folio thingie (no one suggested a better name!!!) and continue making boatload of folios for Mom's Day presents and at request of paying buyers!
9. finish hand-quilting (only like a tiny bit left) and binding quilt for best friend that has been hanging out 90% complete for, oh, 18 months...
10. Get Steeplechase outfit together for this weekend...
11. Figure out my life. (This will be on my everlasting To-Do list.)
12. Find crafty fun thing for kids to make for Mother's Day presents...ideas anyone? I'm thinking chocolate dipped/sprinkled pretzel sticks.
13. Have a beer (or 4)...
14. Try to figure out what the plan for the children is this weekend. (This is week 3 in a row of all-mommy-all-the-time - minus Saturday night...and I don't mind at all, but I need to figure out what we're doing!)
15. Call 401(k)/investment guru and set up you know, my life.
16. Get hair appointment ASAP.
17. pedicure (it's REALLY bad, folks...and sandal weather is upon us!) - and eyebrows (also in somewhat disgraceful disposition...)
18. Print photos - lots of them - of children for Moms/Grandmoms & Aunts...

Hmmm, 18 is probably enough to get me started.... (as I pass out in my office chair just thinking about these things...*sigh*)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Good, The Bad & The Gorgeous

The Good:
It's Tuesday. One day closer to Friday.
Saturday is STEEPLECHASE. Yay.
I only had 12 voice mails at 9 this morning, as opposed to the average of 17-20.

The Bad:
It's Tuesday. Picture day at school, ballet @ 5:30, tee ball also @ 5:30, Junior Service League meeting at 7. Something's got to give...and tonight, it's JSL.
8 of my 12 voicemails were mean-spirited, angry folks.
My house is a W-R-E-C-K...(but Yolanda comes Thursday - which is GOOD, but, I have to actually pick a lot up and put a lot a lot a lot of laundry away for her to be able to clean!)
I'm exhausted. This is week 3 straight of having the children to myself. Their grandmomma, Mema, did take them Saturday afternoon and I got them back on Sunday afternoon, but I helped a friend move Saturday and Sunday, so though I was glad to help, I didn't do too much at my own house!

The Gorgeous:
My kiddos!!! Today was picture day at school. Cole wore a navy tee with white horizontal stripes and some pants...totally cute. Carsie wore a pretty navy sailor dress and took "Ona" (one of the dollies) in a MATCHING dress. I'll have to get post-school pictures - oh, wait - they'll be in ballet & baseball gear...Alas.

Also gorgeous - I've been playing around on Flickr while waiting for laundry and stuff (I just upgraded to a "pro" account with unlimited storage!) - and finding SO many pretty things people have made! *sigh*

I promise to have more pictures later this week. Nothing fun right now - but I AM (Sarah - mexcitymom) working on the folio tutorial this week. No promises until next week - but I'm still working on it!!! If I post it early next week, it gives everyone almost 2 weeks to get it together for Mom's day presents ;)

Friday, April 17, 2009

As update.

So much to share!!! I just spent 45 minutes trying to choose the best of the best pictures I've taken in the last week to let you all in blogland know what's been going on. First - SARAH in Texas...I love you. I am working on instructions and I PROMISE they will be up before Mother's Day because that's what I plan on doing for several presents...

Now - on to what's been occupying my life and keeping me from blogging:
My Lil' Viking baseball player!!! He played First Base in his game this week and did AWESOME!
Easter Egg Hunt - This is Carson with her haul. She's such a hoarder...

My beauties. Cole always looks so stoic in photos that are posed. Carson either goes whole hog posing with her hands on her hips or won't look at you at here.

This is my dad - aka "Pop" - and that gorgeous lady on his arm is my sweet lovely niece, Sadie. (The sun was in Pop's eyes...obviously, but he's known to pull a face here and there anyway ;)

An afternoon visit to Swan Lake and letting my kids run wild with the ducks, geese & the one swan. I forget sometimes (since they argue, like, all the time) that they are almost completely inseparable. Here's "bubba" helping Carsie cross the little rock-water fall thingie. I love to see them whispering and giggling and they're just close and dependent on each other. Siblings are the best!
Holding Hands...and laughing together.
OK - so I'm in this Swap world now. God help me! I could go hog wild. So, I entered this Tea for Two swap - so you basically are supposed to send 2 teabags to your partners (we had 2 partners...) - and mine are in Australia (South Australia, not NSW, family...) and Norway. Fun, right? Well, I had seen this tutorial for a "tea wallet" and decided that would be a nice thing to include for tea lovers, right?

So I made two, right? And, they hold 4 tea bags each, so why just send 2???

And, finally, finally...this is what I did in about 2 hours of spare time between washing, drying, folding, sorting and putting away laundry this afternoon. It's Heather Ross's "Summer Blouse" pattern from Weekend Sewing. Um, I LOVE this pattern? It turned out bigger/roomier than I expected (I made a large because who wants a tight woven cotton "summer blouse" right? - and because I thought it might make a good swim coverup...) - Well, it WILL make a good swim coverup, but I will probably re-trace the medium for next time and add a few inches to the bottom. Oh, and PS, the sleeves were insanely long for me, but many other patterns I've made have the same problem, but I don't *think* I have oddly short arms? Oh, and it looks a little "That 70s Show" or "The Partridge Family" because the way the collar is folding out, but I don't think it looks like that in person...and if it does, I don't care.
You're lucky you're getting this HORRID photo of me posted here on the free internet for the world to see. I *just* took it with my self-timer on the camera. The light in the kitchen is terrible because, oh 5 of the 6 cannister lights are burned out and I don't have a ladder to be able to reach them to replace them (and I don't have any bulbs anyway...and they're like $3 a pop - so right there it's already $15...*sigh*) - I digress. It's also 11 pm at night and I've been all over town, cleaning out my garage, working in the yard, and to the Rome Braves game tonight. So there. I'm allowed to look like this. I'm ok with me ;) And i have a pretty new shirt (albeit wrinkled), too.

Just a Teaser...check back later...

It has been brought to my attention that my blogging regularity is sketchy lately. Sorry. I happen to be overly busy ;) - I've been in court for like 2 weeks straight - and at home with the kiddies, it's insane.

BUT - I'm in the office now, have 2 little appointments and then a long to-do list of errands and house-related upkeep. I will UPDATE tonight or late this afternoon (I hope, but don't shoot me if it's tomorrow!) - with fun things, including but not limited to:

Easter Egg Hunt pictures
Tee Ball photos
A fun update on a little swap I'm doing with cute sewn stuff
An update on the progress (er, lack of progress) of my Steeplechase dress...which I'm second guessing anyway...

In other news, we're headed to the Rome Braves game tonight!!! Mema (Kiddos' grandmomma) is coming to Cole's tee ball game at 10am in the morning and taking them back to Alabama with her for Cullman's annual "Bloomin' Festival" - and I'm helping my honey move from one apartment to the apartment one-street-over. Good times.

Catch ya on the flip side. Check back for updates. I promise.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter, yo.


THE GIDDY RECIPIENTS (look at Cole's grin & Carson's hand-to-mouth)My Boy - with a Superheros Book - he was SO excited. My Girl. With Lipgloss - equally excited.

We're up early. We're having scrambled egg sammies for breakfast. We'll go to Church in four hours (dang, did I mention we got up early?) - and then head to GG's for Easter Egg hunting and an Easter Feast with the family. More pretty Easter pictures from the day tomorrow.

Friday, April 10, 2009


We're in the middle of thunderstorms & apparently tornado watches. So, we're stuck inside today on this Good Friday. Here's a silly picture of the short people.

I'm in a funk. I've been SUPER stressed this week. Work was I-N-S-A-N-E...I had probation matters to deal with Wednesday, which were mentally draining - not the cases, so much, but the clients. I didn't have an inordinate amount of cases on my trial calendar Thursday (only about 20!) but they were VERY complicated cases with extreme maximum sentences (armed robbery carries 20 year minimum, life maximum; I had a drug case, NINE prior felony drug convictions - so the State is asking for 30 years, serve 10, as a recidivist (which means he can't get parole...)) - and that was only 2. Of the 20+ cases I dealt with yesterday...and then the kids are out of school today, so I had a sitter because I had to be in court at 8:30am for arraignments. Fun times, but hey - it's over now. On top of the work stress, I have some personal things I'm a little anxious and stressed about - nothing major - and I'm ok - just some things I'm trying to work out and figure out and all. Add all that to the fact that neither of my children has slept through the night this week, meaning I have gotten very, very little sleep - and I'm a MESS!!!
So, after work today, I decided I needed some sort of therapy. After I got out of court, I could NOT calm down from the stress-filled week and these personal things I'm worried about... And...what better place for therapy than - THE FABRIC SHOP!?!?!? I've been thinking about making a cute dress (cute but COMFY) for Steeplechase this year - I've made my Steeplechase frocks in the past, and Easter dresses, and other such event-based ensembles...but it's usually not a "plan" - well, this year, I'm going to be a guest of the V3 Magazine tent. (Guest may be the wrong word, as I am in fact paying for my ticket - which is totally worth it, by the way...) - The theme is an 1800-period Saloon - "A Fist Full of Dollars" - and one of my FAVORITE local bands - Atomic Boogie - is playing. FUN, FUN, FUN! So, anyway, I was wandering aimlessly in the cotton section (You know, cotton? It's the fabric of our lives? ;) ) - and I ran across this gorgeous blue toile with COVERED WAGONS and cowboys and horses and cute for a Western theme, without being cheesey!!! But, I had planned (in this time of economic recession) to wear one of my hats from previous Steeplechases (I have 5...but they're all black, black & white, pink & black or pink & ivory...) - thus, blue wouldn't work...but SO CUTE...and then. THEN - Lo and Behold, I found the same print - in black and white!!!
And it was on sale ;) I looked and looked through the pattern books but found NADA for what I was really wanting...but I dug through my pattern stash at home and found these. I haven't made the New Look one ever, but prior Easter dresses were made out of the other two, so I know they work pretty well. One is a vintage pattern from the 60s - and it fits GREAT - and is very clean-lined and flattering - which is necessary for a somewhat busy print. The other Simplicity one is a redraft of a vintage pattern - and is also flattering, though if I use that one, I'll make the A-line a little less wide, because it's pretty full on the pink linen dress I've made before from that pattern. And, I'd probably use some black Sateen that I have for the bodice/bust piece, instead of the western toile print.
If I have enough left over, which there should be, I'll probably try this out - and even if there's not enough left, I have enough of like 5,000 other fabrics to do this pattern, anyway ;)

Stay posted for dress construction details!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Thank God for Small Miracles

Cole's first tee ball game got rained out last Thursday. He also had a game scheduled for Saturday....but it was a Daddy weekend, and as Daddy lives in Huntsville, it was totally impossible for him to make the 10 am. Mommy guilt takes on a whole new level. Of course I could do nothing to remedy this situation - except hold tight to the fact that Cole would be able to attend the next FIVE scheduled games in a row...

And then, at 8am, I found out upon dropping Cole off at preschool, that his rain-out makeup game was to be at 5:30 tomorrow. Tuesday. And, as luck would have it, Carson Claire has ballet every Tuesday at 5:30. Across town from the ball field, of course. What's a single-mommy of TWO supposed to do? Two children, two activities scheduled for the same time, one mommy, one car... No grandparents in town. oooohhhhh, CRAP.

I neglected to mention, it was Parker K.'s dad who said "We'll see you at tee ball tomorrow!" and I MUST have had the "oooooohhhhh, CRAP!!!" look on my face when I muttered "hmm, ballet is at. the. same. time..." But, of course I had back up plans...Back up plan A) skip ballet. (Carson has been protesting ballet because she's not delighted with her lack of passe' skills (I have no idea what passe' means, but Carson's upset that she can't passe' - keep in mind. Carson is THREE. Who CARES if she can passee'...) - BUT Back up plan A isn't a very good plan. I have PAID for ballet, she only has about 4 or 5 weeks left until her spring recital in May, and then we're DONE with ballet...for a while, at least. Move on. Back up plan B) call Miss Brittany, savior to single-mommy-lawyer. See if she can meet me at 4:45 and take Carsie to ballet and shuttle her to the ball field after. For a price, of course...

In the meantime, I'm drinking coffee, making a list of to-dos for the Jail clients, researching a Motion dealing with the sex offender registry requirements, and balancing my checkbook while mulling over a potential Back up Plan C)...

And then...then the phone rings. A local number I don't recognize, but again - if you're keeping up, I'm on cell phone number THREE in 8 months thanks to preschoolers' inability to keep said phones away from liquid. Thus, I have lost numbers...

But after running out to the back door to answer the cell (my office is in the basement/old vault of the old signal) - I realize it's Parker K.'s mom. (Stay with me, it was Parker K.'s dad that told me about the game...) - Parker K.'s mom - Alison - says "Parker's dad said you might need some help - with getting Cole to the ball game tomorrow. I know Carson has ballet on Tuesday, so if you want, I can totally pick up Cole and carry him and Parker to the game - you can just come on when you're done with ballet." Um, Parker's Mom ROCKS!!! AND she already has an extra car seat - plus, bonus, Parker K. is one of Cole's best buddies - and he's SO excited to ride in Parker's car to the game. Parker's parents are an answer to a prayer I hadn't even gotten around to uttering yet...Amazing, eh?

Alas. The Mommy Guilt remains. My boy will be at what is, essentially, his first ball game - in his NEW uniform, new cleats, major league pants, fancy jersey & hat (#21) and there will be not a parental soul there to cheer for him. Cry cry cry. Sniff sniff sniff. And, I mean, what if he gets whacked in the head with a bat or a ball or something?!?!?

Maybe Back up Plan A) (skip ballet) should happen after all...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Don't be jealous...

but look what arrived in the mailbox yesterday!!! Yep - what you're seeing is 26 GORGEOUS fat quarters -yum yum yum. I haven't ordered any fat quarters in a little while because, well, I've been on fabric purchase restriction for the last, well, the last year, frankly, and I've been requiring myself to just go through my stash and find things that work. And, it's working. I've used up a fair bit - including almost ALL of my fat quarters!!! Fat quarters are basically 1/4 yard of fabric, but it's 18x22 instead of 9 x 44. You can get bigger squares, etc., out of it (even though it's the same square-inches total) because it's wider, make sense?

Anyway - I gotta figure out what to DO with these!!! I'm thinking DEFINITELY more of the little note-folios like the one I prototyped below. (Tutorial to come, I promise, for you folks that want to'll need 2 fat quarters, a 9.5 x 12.5 piece of batting, or fusible fleece, and a scrap of muslin the same size. A ponytail holder or piece of ribbon, and a button. That's it.)

So, my other excitement for the day - is as follows:
1. I had a great lazy weekend. I mean, I did get a ton of laundry done (miraculously), and I actually completed my grocery shopping trip (I go once every 2 weeks.) AND I came in under budget - $120!!! (my budget is $150 every two weeks, which I usually go over by about $15 - but I DID buy dog food and Easter basket stuff at Wal-Mart adding that in, I was right @ budget...ah, well.)

2. TONIGHT IS THE BEGINNING OF BASEBALL SEASON. I can't tell you what a relief I feel about this turn-of-season. Tomorrow is the championship for college basketball, and the rest of the week, I'm able to watch baseball. Glorious, slow-paced baseball. Ahhhhh....

I think one of the things I love about THIS baseball season is that I got divorced during baseball season, so the return of baseball season this time means it's been a year. It's like a benchmark or something. I mean, I hate that I got divorced, and it's definitely not an ideal situation, and my ex and I get along fine, really - we're both great parents, but something about the one-year mark makes me feel more at peace. I have no idea why. I'm just rambling now, so ignore, please.

For now, I'm off to fold and put away the laundry and figure out something to do with my yummy fat quarters for now. Then I'll head to get the kiddos in a couple hours and back hopefully around the 2nd inning of Braves @ Phillies - I need to check out this Japanese pitcher Kawakami and Derek Lowe (who we paid a pretty penny to get) and of course, my personal favorite and underdog of pitchers - Javy Lopez...

I'm out. Have a happy week.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hang tight, baby.

I don't have much to say - but what I DO have to say is brief...

1. There will be no tee ball pics thanks to a very rainy day (much to my dismay and the 4 year old's spirit was crushed...but a visit to Pasquale's - where Mom was pleased to learn that kids 5 & under eat FREE! - solved most all our problems.)
2. This weekend has been deemed (by me, and by Will) "Operation Chillaxation" - which is pretty self-explanatory - but it basically means we have plans to "do nothing." Sometimes, actively doing nothing is really hard, but SO worth it in the end.
3. THANK YOU for admiring my little note-holder thingie - many emails and questions I'm getting about how I did it - and I'm thinking one of my "Operation Chillaxation" projects for this weekend will be to do a tutorial on how to do it so that you, too can have a fancy little "Note-holder Thingie" - be sure to check back Mondayish (ok, maybe Wednesdayish?) for that...
4. I am officially taking suggestions for a better, more sophisticated name to call the "Note-taker thingie" - it's not really a portfolio - maybe a Note Cozy?
5. Note to self: Income Tax returns do not complete themselves.
6. I had another house showing (supposedly) this afternoon. Please keep praying.
7. I have run an average of 3 miles a day, 3 days this week (today I planned to, but then I had to run home after the jail visits to make sure the house was clean - see #6)
8. Not only have I exercised religiously and really pushed myself (well this week, anyway) I have also eaten very "clean" and well this week. Lots of non-processed stuff, lots of fruits & veggies...I even had a salad at Pasquale's and passed up the pizza/pasta bar. (OK, I had the crusts of the kids' pizza - but I hear there are starving children in China, or India or somewhere.)
9. Note to self: Cars do not clean themselves out, laundry does not wash itself, and dogs need to be fed. Take heed.
10. Is it really midnight?!?!? I MUST GO TO BED NOW. (So, hang tight, baby - I'll be back another day soon.)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The downhill slide...

to the weekend...that is. I can almost taste the sweetness of a weekend with no plans. And, seeing as it will be the ONLY weekend with no plans for MONTHS on end, what with tee ball games, Easter, Steeplechase, Mother's Day, a ballet recital and 84,000 other things, you can bet that I will enjoy EVERY MINUTE of the upcoming nothingness of this weekend.

This is what sprouted out of my machine in about 30 minutes this evening. A quilted little list-book thingie. I love wallet-ish you can see in my "Happiness" post from last month...because A) they seem to be quick! B) they're highly useful and utilitarian (which is redundant, but I love the word utilitarian, but that sort of belies the fact that it's not JUST useful but also pretty...) C) IT'S PRETTY and it uses small pieces of fabric. This was made with 2 fat quarters and a scrap of fusable fleece, and a ponytail holder. Oh, and the button. That's it!

This is it open. And yes, I choose crayola thin markers to do ALL my notemaking. (In fact, I can never find a working ink pen in my house, but we have markers and crayons galore.)
This is it open flat down. Oops, shouldn't have done this on my kitchen counter, now there's a definite tomato soup stain. Alas. Measurements (finished) are 12ish by 8.5ish...

Today was...uneventful. Got my replacement phone at 4 pm only to learn that I have to charge it for 12 hours - and then call from a landline phone (which I don't have at my house) to activate it...but I DID get the crystal light-logged phone to dry out (in a bag of rice) overnight. It is working intermittently, which is better than not at all.

Tomorrow is Thursday. Jail-visit day for me...and then, Cole's first tee-ball game! Pictures to follow, I promise. I MUST take pictures after dropping a good $60 for cleats, pants, another $40 for jersey & socks and this all on top of the $60 playing fee. All worth it of course, but every time I turn around I drop another $50-60 on some activity for the children. Of course, I wouldn't have it any other way. They deserve it!!!
This evening, after supper, I left them playing contentedly in the back yard and came out to find them both buck naked playing with the water hose, which - yes - was turned on full-blast. Ah, well, the damage was done, let them play. (This led to a 10pm bedtime, though!!!)
So - that's all I got today. Neither witty nor inspiring, but I am pretty pleased with my little note-book holder. I'm thinking Mother's Day gifts...hmmm....