Archive for October, 2008

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Wednesday’s Word

October 30, 2008

Yes, I know, it’s Thursday.  So sue me.

The Word of the Day for October 29, 2008 is:

superficies • \soo-per-FISH-eez\  • noun

1 : a surface of a body or a region of space
2 : the external aspects or appearance of a thing

 I am very concerned with the superficies of life.  Yes, I admit, i am materialistic.  I want things shiny and new and pretty.  And a big factor is that I worry about what people think about me.  Always have. Of course, I am not rich, never have been, and probably never will be (I blame this on Hubby – i married him for his potential, then he turned around and decided to go for a PhD and will probably be making less when he’s done than he was before he got it… now tell me that’s not screwed up).  I’m still waiting to win the big lottery – granted, that means playing it and remembering to check the numbers – or for that long lost rich relative.  But, i accept, begrudgingly, the fact that I can never have that comfy luxury car with heated seats and memory sear positions and all the bells and whistles, or amazing clothes (though, seriously, I don’t think I could ever spend $200 on a blouse or $700 on a pair of shoes), or all the cool gadgets I want, or all the crafting supplies I could ever want, or all the neat decorative thing for the house, or jewelry, etc., etc.  So, I just want a lot of stuff, knowing I will probably never in my life get it.  Is that necessarily a bad thing?  I mean, I am at least realistic.  For instance, when we were looking at cars, I WANTED a new car and really liked the luxury features of the Volvo (not to mention the built in booster seats in the back and huge trunk space) but I knew we couldn’t afford that, so picked another car.  And though, I will always wish that we could have gotten the top car, I am satisfied and will be content with what I got.  And isn’t that what matters?

And here’s a quick side-rant question.  Why do magazines and the style section for the newspaper only ever show the really expensive stuff for clothes, etc.?  I mean, really – how many people out there would really pay $700 for a pair of shoes?

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Writer’s workshop

October 30, 2008

The Prompts:

1.) Write from the point of view of a glass at the edge of the table.
2.) Describe a typical day during your Jr. High years.

3.) Why do you write?

4.) When I’m around too much negativity I…

5.) You’ve been hired as a writer for “Late Show with David Letterman.” Your first assignment is to come up with a witty, nonpolitical Top Ten list for him to read on air.

 

I’ll do number 1: a glass at the edge of my table – the living room table.

  I sit here at the edge of the table and lead a pretty boring existence. I am emptied and refilled and watch life go by. The dog sometimes comes by and sniffs me or I am beaten by her tail as she goes past, but, overall, it’s a pretty humdrum life I lead. Occasionally something exciting will happen to me, like the time the human woman tripped on the power cord of my friend, the laptop. He sits on the table with me, but he gets to travel to the outside world. I love to listen to his stories.  Anyway, she tripped over his cord and the next thing I knew, her hand was sweeping over the table right in my direction.  Well, as you know, I have no legs, so I couldn’t exactly do anything about it.  So, smack, I fell down and spilled my innards all over the table, even on Laptop.  I was so embarrassed.  The humans yelled and quickly took Laptop away to be dried.  He came out okay, thankfully.  To my shame, I was replaced with Plastic Bottle.  She has a cap and won’t spill, though, i heard she was cheap and started leaking, so I don’t feel too bad.  Someday, i will return to my prided place in the living room.  Until then, I am content to live among my brothers and sisters and be glad when i am chosen to be used by the humans.

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tutu dress 101

October 29, 2008

For Princess’ Halloween costume, I decided to make a tutu dress for her to be a little woodlands fairy.  First stop, lots of web sties to see if I could figure out how the heck to make one.  I found some really pretty ones on Etsy.com, but I figured I could make one for cheaper than the $60 they were charging.

Next, I went to the fabric store.  The good news: netting is really cheap.  SO I picked up 1 yard each of the colors I wanted to use.  I also picked up a yard of tulle as an overskirt and some cute green fabric with iridescent dots on it for whatever else I might want it for.  I ended up using it on the wings.  I also got some elastic.  After experimenting, I fount that the thing elastic is easier to tie the netting around, so if you’re going to use the no-sew method, get thinner elastic.  I also picked up ribbon for the neck tie.  

Fabric

Fabric

So, in list form, that’s:

1 yd. each, various colored netting (I used three, you can use however many you want)
1 yd tulle
elastic (measure your child’s waist, cut elastic an inch or 2 shorter, depending on how much it stretches)
ribbon

Other supplies I had at home:

wide sheer metallic ribbon
bias tape (Its used for hems, goes around the edge of the fabric to seal it – looks like ribbon)
various trims
felt and fur for the wings
iron-ons
thread
sequins and small seed beads to match
18 gauge wire

To make a basic no-sew tutu:
cut elastic to desired length.  If you’re making a tutu dress, the band will fit around the waist in the back and go up to the chest in the front, so measure accordingly.

Cut your netting into strips.  You can make these however thick you want, depending on the look you want.  I used approximately 3 inch wide strips.  THe length will depend on how long the tutu or tutu dress will be, but each piece will be doubled over, so keep that in mind when cutting.  The length of each piece will be twice as long as you want the finished length to be, plus an inch for the know.

Next, fold over a piece of netting and slip the loop under the elastic.  Then pull the loose ends over the elastic and through the loop and pull tight.  Warning, I found it difficult to work with the materials because the netting kept getting caught in the elastic, but be patient and you’ll work it out. Continue this for all the strips.  If you just want a simple tutu, you can finish it at this point by simply sewing together the ends of the elastic.  I also put on a few strands of a wide sheer metallic ribbon I had.  Ta Da, a tutu is born.

Net tied around waistband

Net tied around waistband

Princess modeling a basic tutu

Princess modeling a basic tutu

Shit.  I just wrote a whole post and somehow deleted half of it.  Sigh.  Here goes again…

I don’t do simple, so, of course, I had to do a more complicated thing.  I took the tulle and made it into an overskirt by folding it in half lengthwise, then cutting a petal pattern.

Tulle overskirt cut out and hemmed

Tulle overskirt cut out and hemmed

I ended up folding it over the waistband of the dress, so one folded side went below the net (to keep it from being scratchy) and the other went on top of the net for decoration.  THe below side, I just folded over the edges twice and sewed for a hem (There’s a technical term for this, but I have no clue what it is – blind hem, maybe?). The top side I used bias tape along the edges.  THen I folded it over the waistband and, stretching the elastic as I went, sewed it to the dress.  Difficult to do with all that tulle and netting, let me tell you. Then I sewed a ribbon to the waistband to finish it off.  I lost a little elasticity by doing this, since I used such a small elastic, but, I figured it would be okay, since it’s a dress and will be held up by ties around the neck anyway.  I folded a piece of ribbon in half lengthwise (the length depends on your child) and sewed it to the middle to make the tie (like a halter-top).  

halter-top tie sewn onto waistband

halter-top tie sewn onto waistband

THe last major step is to sew together the ends of the elastic and tulle.  For extra decoration, I sewed a flower to the front (it also hides where the tie is sewn on) and put some iron-on flowers and a butterfly on the “petals” of the overskirt.

 

sewn together seams

sewn together seams

Side note: Princess is trying to help mommy type. lmao.  She’s got a hold of my hands as I type this.  I have a feeling we’re going to have to teach her pretty early to leave mommy and daddy’s computers alone (yes, plural.  We have my iMac (Mac’s rule) and  PC, which we don’t really use much, plus Hubby has a laptop and I have a Mac laptop up in the nursery.

Back to the costume:

Wings:
I used some sheer fabric and leftover tulle for the wings.  First, bend and cut the wire into whatever shape you want the wings to be. THen, I glued the fabric  to the wire.  THis was kind of difficult, since the glue didn’t want to stick to the sheer stuff, but I was persistent.  Then I glued on some ribbon and trim.  I took a piece of the tulle I used in the dress and used it as a backing.  I glued this on, then sewed around the edges of each wing to hold everything securely in place.  THen I cut out a diamond/oval shape out of some fur and some felt.  I glued the fur to the front of the wings, in the center, to hold the wings together. I cut four horizontal slits into the felt, two on each side, for the arm bands to go through. I measured on princess the length for each armband, then cut some elastic a little shorter than the measurement, and some wide ribbon twice as long.  I sewed together the long edges of each piece of ribbon (one per armband) and turned it inside out to form a tube.  THen I pulled the elastic through and pinned it.  THen, I slipped each end through a slit and sewed them together and to the felt to help secure the band.  Repeat for the second band.  THen I glued the felt onto the inside of the wings.  As a final touch, I sewed on some sequins. Pull the thread through the fabric, then through the sequin.  String on a bead, pull the thread back through the sequin and back into the thread.  This also helped to hold it all together.

back of wings

back of wings

costume front

costume front

back of custume

back of custume

 

Fairy Princess in mommy-knitted sweater

Fairy Princess in mommy-knitted sweater

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catch-up

October 28, 2008

Sorry I haven’t been posting much.  Life with mom visiting is hectic.  She’s home now.  My dad is in the hospital.  They found colon cancer at his colonoscopy a few weeks ago and had to bring him in for an operation to remove a small section of his colon.  My mom said he did fine in the operation and everything is looking good for now.  He’ll have to be in the hospital all week, though.  Hospital stays are not fun.  I remember my stay when Princess was born.  It was a few days longer than normal because of the emergency c-section and my preeclampsia. So, please say a prayer or thought or whatever to whomever that my dad heals quickly and well.

Now for some good news.  It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Princess.  While my mom was here, she started turning over from her back to her tummy.  I’d been practicing with her, rolling her over on her mat, but she started doing it on her own, and a lot.  Of course, she’s not always quite sure what to do once she gets on her belly, but she’s figuring out how to get her arms up under her.  I guess I’m going to have to really be careful where I leave her now when I put her down.  Now she just needs to learn to flip the other way and she can roll around to her little heart’s content.  I’m still waiting for the day she can sit up on her own and I can put her on a blanket with some toys to play.

Today’s big breakthrough was Princess has learned to self-sooth!  Yea!!!!!  This is doing wonders for my productivity.  Previously, she was only doing 45 minute stretches per nap.  So, basically, by the time I got her sleeping (plus the 10 or so minutes staying in the room to make sure she STAYS asleep), I had about 30 minutes to eat, nap, do laundry, work, etc. etc.  She naps about 4 times a day.  It doesn’t add up to much.  So, today, I was in the basement and I heard her wake up, so I went upstairs to the nursery to get her.  By the time I got there, to my great astonishment and joy, she was happily sucking away at her thumb (the pacifier had long since fallen out of her mouth), sleeping away.  I couldn’t believe it.  She did this at all of her naptimes today.  now, the real test will be how she sleeps tonight.  Of course, I am also re-starting the unswaddling process.  I tried when my mom was here, but stopped because she kept waking herself up around 1, 1:30 am.  But now that she’s turning over, she really needs to be unswaddled.  So, I’m hoping if she does wake herself up, she’ll self-sooth and go right back to sleep.  Cross your fingers.

Oh, and since she had such great naps today, I managed to finally finish her Halloween costume.  Tomorrow I’ll try and post pics and instructions of how I made it.  Till then, good night to all.

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What I did on Saturday

October 25, 2008

Ok, first, I apologize for no foto Friday this week.  It’s been a hectic couple of days.  My plans Friday were to take it easy and take advantage of having my mother here to watch the baby while I went out and got a massage.  I’ve been wanting one since I was pregnant (I had one scheduled, and a few days before, I was put in bedrest – talk about unfair), so I was really looking forward to the massage.  I came downstairs in the morning to find Hubby still home and found out that his piece-of-shit car had finally bit the dust.  The transmission started going a while ago and he decided he just wanted to drive it until it died. Well, he got his wish.  So, instead of a massage, we spent Friday test driving cars.  Now, to be fair, we had already started looking at cars and drove a few last weekend, but we were hoping to trade in Hubby’s car and were going to really look for a good price.  Well, out time table was moved up a bit.  On Saturday, after deciding on the car make and model we wanted, we hunted down the used ones we liked on the internet and went to buy a car.

The car we ended up with is a mazda5. I really liked the volvo V70, but the gas mileage is pretty crappy on it and it’s waaaaay too expensive for us.  Sigh.  Someday I’ll have luxury.  We also looked at the Suburu Outback.  A decent car with a nice amount of space.  We decided on the mazda because it’s bigger than it looks, has an extra row of seating if you need it (kinda nice when a seat’s taken up with a car seat), and a good amount of cargo space.  It also drives more like a regular car. And it was cheaper than the others.

So, we found one online with a nav system for really cheap.  We called the dealership and they said they’d transfered it to a sister-dealership that was actually closer to us.  We saw that dealership had it listed for a hight price and called them and they said they’d honor the other price.  The car wasn’t too bad, but when we went to negotiate, they refused to go to the lower price we’d seen, saying it was from another dealership, so they wouldn’t honor it.  They wouldn’t go down low enough, so we said screw it and walked away.  We had a list of other cars to look at.  The nav system was nice, but not that nice. I’d rather spend the money on a really good after-market one. And since I disliked them so much, It was Brown’s Mazda of Fairfax.

So we went to our second choice.  The people at this place (Brown’s mazda, Alexandria – same name, very different service) were great and the car was in good condition.  It’s a 2007 Touring model (in between basic and “the works”) and the price we got was perfect.  So, we have a new car.  We called my mom to let her know and she said the other dealership had called and said they were willing to come down on the price.  She said she enjoyed telling them off. lol.  So, as Hubby says, we are now middle-aged with a (mini) minivan/ family car.  Now i get to have fun researching a nav system.  Yea!

And mom went home so no more babysitter and back to life as it was.

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Writers Workshop

October 22, 2008

Today’s Prompts:

1.) Complete the sentence “I’d walk a mile for a ________.” and continue writing about it.

2.) Describe in detail a person who leaves no stone unturned.

3.) When out to lunch with co-workers, you bump into a close friend who refers to you by a nickname. Because of its unusualness, the nickname catches the interest of one of your co-workers who asks for the story behind it. Start your story with, “This may come as a surprise, but … ” and end it with, “And that’s how I got the nickname (fill in the blank).”

4.) Write about an intense game of Scrabble that takes an ugly turn for the worse.

This week’s a hard group.  Not really sure what to write. I can’t think of anything I’d walk a mile for.  Maybe a piano.  I really want a piano.  Besides, a mile isn’t really that far, but it would depend how lazy I felt that day. The Scrabble game might make an interesting work of fiction.  I’m too tired tonight to write it, but maybe if I get a chance tomorrow I’ll play with the story.  I play scrabble online on Facebook all the time, mostly with Hubby who’s a big Scrabble fan.

I’ll write about number three, but I’m changing it a bit. I don’t really have any nicknames.  My name’s pretty simple, so it doesn’t really require a nickname.  Hubby calls me a few romantic ones, but that’s neither here nor there.  So, instead, I’m going to tell the story of how I got my name.  My name is Kelly Dawn.  my mother had me later in life and my two brothers are much older than me.  They were 11 and 13 years old when I was born.  THey were very excited about me and they really wanted a baby sister.  This was before the days of ultrasounds, so my parents didn’t know what gender I’d be, but my mother figured she’d already had two boys, so she’d probably have another.  My brothers made a deal with her. They said that if I turned out to be a girl, they wanted to name me.  My mom agreed (silly woman). Lo and behold, I’m a girl! So my brothers named me.  The names they chose were two characters from their favorite TV show, Charlie’s Angels.

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Wednesday’s Word

October 22, 2008

The Word of the Day for October 22, 2008 is:

lacuna • \luh-KOO-nuh\  • noun

*1 : a blank space or a missing part : gap
2 : a small cavity, pit, or discontinuity in an anatomical structure

As in: I have a lacuna in my memory of the day after Princess’ birth. I remember the birth.  I had to have an emergency c-section because I had severe pre-eclampsia.  It was over very quickly, but I remember every detail.  The funniest thing was when I asked the nurse what I was touching and she told me it was my leg.  I couldn’t tell because everything was numb from my waist down.  That’s a very strange feeling, by the way.  After that, I was put on a Magnesium drip to help my body fight the effects of the pre-eclampsia (it had started effecting my liver, which was why they decided I had to do the c-section right away).  Magnesium makes you very drowsy.  I wasn’t allowed to be alone with Princess while I was on it.  I was on it for about a day and a half, I guess.  I don’t remember much of anything from that time. We have pictures.  I know someone came in to help me breastfeed for the first time and they kept coming in to take my blood pressure and check up on me, but I honestly don’t remember it.  It’s such a strange feeling to completely not remember being with your child for the first day of their life.   I was very angry with my body for a while after the birth.  i was expecting to do a natural childbirth, and, since I have a pretty high pain tolerance, I was going to try as long as possible without meds, but all that planning went down the tubes.   I resented the pain I felt at first (couldn’t even sneeze and cough – not fun after a c-section) and the oh-so-lovely scar across my belly, but I’ve started to accept what happened.  I still don’t see why someone would voluntarily have a c-section if they didn’t have to, though.  And I don’t even want to think about having another child at the moment, though, I suspect that will change when Princess gets a little older.  2 years seems to be the max for most people I know to go without wanting another child.  Apparently there’s something in our DNA that makes us forget the whole pregnancy, birth, and first few months so we want to do it again. lol.  I’m all for adopting.  🙂

Nowadays, I have many small lacunae in my memory.  I’ve never had the best memory, anyway (I loved my dorm room door in college because it was metal so i could put all kinds of notes up on it with magnets and remind myself of what I needed to do before I walked out the door). Now it’s even worse because of lack of sleep and frustration.  Can memory atrophy like muscles if you don’t use it?  Thank God I had a little book where I write Princess’ feeds down or I’d never remember when I fed her or on what side.  Princess gets lots of gifts from family and I can’t remember who got her what and if I sent a card tot hem or anything.

Anyway, I should probably stop writing before I forget to take a shower while I have a chance (It’s so nice having my mom here).  So, later!  Let me know about major lacunae in your memory.