Archive for February, 2008

Pillowcase Dress

February 27, 2008

I saw this dress on a forum I visit and thought it was pretty cute. It looked easy enough, so–in spite of my minimal sewing skills–I decided to give it a try. The idea is that you use a pillowcase and just add arm holes and a drawstring casing to put it together. I didn’t dare cut into a vintage pillowcase until I knew was I was doing, so I started with a piece of scrap fabric that I had in my stash. Here’s my final result:

Isn’t she adorable with her bed-head??  It’s a bit big on her now, but hopefully by the time it’s warm enough to actually wear it, it will fit better.  And, I think the ribbons are a bit wide….maybe next time I’ll go with a bit smaller width.

I had a little trouble with the first pattern I used. I got halfway through and the author ended the pattern with “finish the rest of the dress per the instructions in the magazine”….but left no other info. So, I had to go searching for another pattern to finish up with. THIS is the one I ended up going with, and if I could figure it out, I’m sure everyone else can too! Just don’t look too closely at my stitching 😆 . I’ve got one more piece of scrap fabric that I think I’ll make another with before actually cutting into my pillowcase….a little extra practice never hurts!  It was a fun project anyway, and now that I’ve got a feel for how to make it, I think I should be able to whip the next one out in about 30 minutes.

Goodreads

February 26, 2008

 Whew!  The things you’ll blog about to make a few extra bucks!  I promise this one isn’t an advertisement!  It’s actually a really cool site that my friend Allison recently passed on to me called Goodreads.  I’ve found it to be a really useful tool for my 2008 goal to read 10,000 pages.  Many of you offered suggestions of your favorite books to read when I first set my goal, and I was able to make a list online of all of those books, and then rate them as I finish each book.  I can build a network of friends who also enjoy reading and see how they’ve rated the books they’ve read.  I’d love for any of you to join up as well so that I can see what you’ve enjoyed reading and keep building my own list so that I can read my goal!  Click HERE to register and be added to my friends list!

Belated Birthday Pics!

February 26, 2008

Things have been pretty crazy in the last week and I just managed to find time to take my pictures off my camera.  I wish there were more to share, but it just wasn’t a very fun day for Owen & Emmy.  They both felt soooo miserable!  We had to un-invite families with small kids so that we didn’t spread our yucky germs, so we just had grandparents and one aunt & uncle.   We ate pizza while we watched each of the videos I had made.  We managed to grab  O & E’s attention long enough to sing “Happy Birthday”, and then they were done.  They didn’t even get the coming-of-age experience of digging into their cake. We let Ryan open presents for them, though there weren’t many because we asked for March of Dimes donations in place of gifts this year. Here are a few pictures anyway, and a video of Ryan on their actual birthday that is cute enough to share!

I think the after party was more exciting for these two than the actual party was!

 I had to tack on a little bit of Emmy playing with her doll at the end of this video….what a cutie! 


Photo and video editing at www.OneTrueMedia.com

Two Tags

February 25, 2008

Just trying to catch up on some of the tags I’ve received! This first one was a fun one!

20 years ago: I was 8 1/2 years old living in our first house in the Coves. I was working my tail off to save enough money to buy a bird. Just after I turned 9, I had saved enough to buy Katie. She was my little companion for all of my growing up years and she lived an amazing 17 years!

10 years ago: In my first year of college at CEU. I was having lots of fun, meeting lots of new people, and generally just enjoying life!

5 years ago: I was 7 months pregnant with Zoey. I remember counting down the days until March 1st because, from that point on, we had things planned almost every weekend and I knew the time would just fly by until my due date. Little did we know that the greatest heartache of our lives was just a couple of weeks away.  March 1st is still a hard date for me because it feels like the beginning of the end.

3 years ago: I was a completely exhausted mom of an almost-8-month-old little boy. Ryan was such a HARD baby! At 8 months old, his reflux was still bad enough that he slept in his bouncy seat next to our bed. He still needed to be swaddled. And he still only slept 15-20 minutes at a time….which meant that I never got a good night’s sleep! It was right about this point that he got rotovirus and we spent a miserable night in the hospital with him.

1 year ago: I was spending my days at Owen & Emmy’s bedside in the NICU and missing Ryan while he was away at Grandma’s house. O & E were a week and a half old, so I’m sure I was still feeling pretty crappy from the c-section.

So far this year…2008: I’ve read almost 2,000 of my 10,000 pages. I was put into the YW presidency. We celebrated O & E’s first birthday (while nursing them back to health from their RSV). We have our plans laid out for the great remodel of 2008!

Yesterday I…Went to church and taught the YW lesson. Made a turkey for dinner. Started my next book.

Today I…Got breakfast for each of the kids, have Ryan in the bathtub, and have a load of laundry started.

Tomorrow I…Hope to make a pillowcase dress for Emmy!

This year I hope to…Complete the big remodel project (preferably by summer!), finish my 10,000 pages goal, take some fun little trips with the kids, and STAY SANE!!

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I’ve done this one before, but for the sake of boredom, I’ll try to do it again!

#1 Link to the person who tagged you….http://arthuradventures.blogspot.com/
#2 Post the rules on your blog.
#3 Share seven random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog.
#4 Tag 5 people at the end of your post.
# 5 Leave a comment on their blogs so that they know they have been tagged.

Okay, here goes. Seven random facts about me.

1. I always carry chapstick and fingernail clippers in my pocket

2. In the winter, I have to sleep with socks on.  In the summer, I never do.

3. I started adding purees to my food after I got Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious cookbook.  I know that I can’t REALLY tell that I’ve added things to my food, but just knowing that it’s there makes me not like what I’ve cooked.  Guess that means if I’m going to get my veggies in, someone else will have to be on dinner duty and sneak it all in!

4. Joseph plays the guitar fairly well and I don’t.  But I can still kick his butt at Guitar Hero!

5. I’m not much of a dessert person.

6. When I was a teacher, I started collecting children’s books.  Now that I’m a mom, I hardly ever buy them.  Go figure.

7. I kind of stole this idea off of Emily’s because it jogged a memory I hadn’t thought of in a long time…..I had a totally psycho roommate my first year at USU.  She was really weird about the phone.  She was constantly knocking on the door to see if whoever was on it was done and she would pick up the other line to listen multiple times during your converstaions.  When it wasn’t being talked on by someone else, she carried it with her everywhere.  She also had a fear about crumbs on the counters…..she was certain that they were going to attack her.  She had told the landlord that she was 26, but we later found out that she was actually in her 30’s and that the name she was using wasn’t really her name.  We had the police at our apartment more than once because she threatened to kill herself, and my mom once had a dream that she came after me with a knife.  I moved the next semester.  Thankfully, the rest of the roommates I had were perfectly normal.

For a limited time only!

February 22, 2008

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I generally listen to talk radio rather than music.  So, I’m really not up on the latest and greatest in the music world (though I did hear the JLo and Marc Anthony had their twins today….I knew she was pregnant, but not that it was twins).  And, I’m not sure how I feel about music players in blogs…sometimes I don’t mind, but I usually end up hitting the mute button.  However, during my morning blog stalking, I heard a couple of old songs that I love and had forgotton about.  So, I decided maybe I’d give a playlist a try on my blog.  The fact that I primarily listen to talk radio made it hard for me to come up with very many songs to put in my player (and many of those I wanted weren’t available), but I did manage to squeak out 6!  I’ll see how it goes.  I might find my own music annoying enough to nix the player after a few days…but then maybe not.  And by all means….if you think my music stinks, hit the mute button!

Did You Know…

February 21, 2008

Thank you to everyone who made a donation to the March of Dimes in place of gifts for Owen & Emmy’s birthday! We are almost halfway to our goal (if you’re wondering why the donation meter here and the one on our team page don’t jive, it’s because donations by PayPal take time to show up…..so if you made your donation that way, it should show up soon), but we still need your help to reach $500! If you haven’t made a contribution yet, please consider doing so….every dollar counts! It’s quick and easy to donate–simply click on the “Donate Now” button in the sidebar and it will take you to our team page. You can enter any dollar amount and pay with credit/debit card or PayPal. If you’d prefer to send a check or cash, let me know! In the meantime, here are a few facts about prematurity that you might not know:

Today more than 1,400 babies in the U.S. will be born prematurely. Many will be too small and too sick to go home. Instead, they face weeks or even months in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). These babies face an increased risk of serious medical complications and death; however, most, eventually, will go home.

But what does the future hold for these babies? Many survivors grow up healthy; others aren’t so lucky. Even the best of care cannot always spare a premature baby from lasting disabilities such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation and learning problems, chronic lung disease, and vision and hearing problems. Half of all neurological disabilities in children are related to premature birth.

Although doctors have made tremendous advances in caring for babies born too small and too soon, we need to find out how to prevent these tragedies from happening in the first place. Despite decades of research, scientists have not yet developed effective ways to help prevent premature delivery. In fact, the rate of premature birth increased almost 35 percent between 1981 and 2005 (9.4 to 12.7 percent).
Source

Did You Know…

February 21, 2008

Thank you to everyone who made a donation to the March of Dimes in place of gifts for Owen & Emmy’s birthday! We are almost halfway to our goal (if you’re wondering why the donation meter here and the one on our team page don’t jive, it’s because donations by PayPal take time to show up…..so if you made your donation that way, it should show up soon), but we still need your help to reach $500! If you haven’t made a contribution yet, please consider doing so….every dollar counts! It’s quick and easy to donate–simply click on the “Donate Now” button in the sidebar and it will take you to our team page. You can enter any dollar amount and pay with credit/debit card or PayPal. If you’d prefer to send a check or cash, let me know! In the meantime, here are a few facts about prematurity that you might not know:

Today more than 1,400 babies in the U.S. will be born prematurely. Many will be too small and too sick to go home. Instead, they face weeks or even months in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). These babies face an increased risk of serious medical complications and death; however, most, eventually, will go home.

But what does the future hold for these babies? Many survivors grow up healthy; others aren’t so lucky. Even the best of care cannot always spare a premature baby from lasting disabilities such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation and learning problems, chronic lung disease, and vision and hearing problems. Half of all neurological disabilities in children are related to premature birth.

Although doctors have made tremendous advances in caring for babies born too small and too soon, we need to find out how to prevent these tragedies from happening in the first place. Despite decades of research, scientists have not yet developed effective ways to help prevent premature delivery. In fact, the rate of premature birth increased almost 35 percent between 1981 and 2005 (9.4 to 12.7 percent).
Source

Book Review: The Thirteenth Tale

February 20, 2008

The Thirteenth Tale
By Diane Setterfield
404 Pages
Finished 2/19/08

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Summary:

All children mythologize their birth…..So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter’s collection of stories, which are as famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale as they are for the delight and enchantment of the twelve that do exist.

The enigmatic Winter has spent six decades creating various outlandish life histories for herself–all of them inventions that have brought her fame and fortune but have kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she at last wants to tell the truth about her extraordinary life. She summons biographer Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth, hidden by those who loved her most, remains an ever-present pain. Struck by a curious parallel between Miss Winter’s story and her own, Margaret takes on the commission.

As Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good, Margaret is mesmerized. It is a tale of gothic strangeness featuring the Angelfield family, including the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmaline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden, and a devastating fire.

Margaret succumbs to the power of Vida’s storytelling but remains suspicious of the author’s sincerity. She demands the truth from Vida, and together they confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.

I had a hard time in the beginning with this book. It took me a good 50-60 pages to really start feeling interested in it. One of the problems I had right off was that the time period was never clearly defined. For some reason, I had a hard time with that. I kept looking for clues–the use of a certain technology, for instance–that would tip me off, but the author never dropped any big hints. So, I had to be satisfied with knowing that Miss Winter’s storytelling was set in a time 60 years prior to the vague time period that she and Margaret currently lived in. I also had a hard time creating an image of Margaret in my mind. The summary mentions that she is a young woman, but beyond that, there isn’t much information in the way of describing her. Those factors, along with the fact that reading while nursing sick kids meant lots of interruptions, made it difficult for me to wrap my mind around the story in the beginning.

Once I got past the initial story of Isabelle and Charlie (their story was a bit confusing to me in the beginning….a lot was implied, and I was never sure if I took the implications correctly), Miss Winter’s storytelling really took hold of me. I was eager to keep reading to find out what happened next.

Near the end of the book, a twist takes the plot in a direction that I didn’t really see coming. Perhaps I was too caught up in trying to figure out the time period or building a picture in my head of some of the characters, but I felt that the author could have done a better job leading you in the direction she would eventually go–not giving the twist away prematurely, but crafting her tale in such a way that you could look back and clearly see clues that would fit into the ending. The clues that she did give felt somewhat disjointed to me during my reading. I knew they would have some significance later on, but they way they came into the story felt somewhat staged and out of place.

All that being said, I did enjoy the book. Once I got caught up in the story of Angelfield, it was hard to put down. When it came to Miss Winter’s storytelling, I was able to create vivid images in my head as the story unfolded. In spite of some of their oddities, I came to enjoy the characters and feel connected to them. It’s not one that I’d put on my top ten list, but I could easily recommend The Thirteenth Tale as an enjoyable read.

2008 Page Count:  1998

Sick Babies Update

February 19, 2008

What a weekend!  We spent most of it holding sick babies and sucking out snotty noses.  Owen & Emmy were both pretty miserable all weekend. The doctor prescribed a machine to help suction out their noses, but it was never delivered.  I wasn’t able to reach anybody at the doctor’s office on the weekend, and by yesterday, they were both perking up a bit, so I figured we could do without it.  But, after Emmy woke up from her afternoon nap, she wasn’t feeling good at all.  By 6:00, we decided we needed to take her up the RSV clinic at the hospital.   Her oxygen sats were at 82….waaaaay too low.  So, they suctioned her out and she went up to 96.  So, the poor thing just couldn’t breath!  They checked Owen while we were there as well.  He was in the low 90’s….after the suction he went down into the low 80’s, which is opposite of what we expected to have happen.  We finally got him to 90, which is right on the border of needing to be admitted.   We were glad we took them in, and I called first thing this morning to find out why the machine hasn’t been delivered yet so that we didn’t have a repeat of yesterday and end up back at the hospital.  There was a miscommunication between the doctor and the nurse and it was never ordered.  Hopefully it will be here in the next hour to two.

Both babies are looking pretty good today.  They’ve been sleeping well, which makes a huge difference (for them and for us!).  They both ate fairly well this morning, and while they still aren’t having a ton of wet diapers, we aren’t as concerned about dehydration right now.  So, I think we’re on the up and up.  Hopefully.  I hate to count my chickens before  they’ve hatched…..that backfired on me yesterday!

Icky Sickies

February 15, 2008

The bug that Ryan had earlier this week has been handed down to Owen and Emmy.  Em started feeling icky on Wednesday night, and I spent the majority of yesterday holding her.  Then, late yesterday afternoon Owen started feeling icky too.  Thankfully, Grandma showed up just in time to hold sick baby #2.  They had their well-child checkups today, but the doctor skipped right over those and sucked out some snot to test.  They both came back + for RSV.  They aren’t sick enough at this point to hospitalize, but she said they aren’t over the worst of it yet so we need to keep a close eye on them.  They’ve both done lots of sleeping, not enough drinking, and have the most pathetic little coughs and whimpers.  We’re waiting for the home health people to bring us a super-snot-sucker to keep their airways clear and hopefully that, along with some tender loving care, will get them over the hump and avoid a hospital stay.  Keep them in your prayers!