same_sky: (under the same sky)
I am not sure where time goes. I remember being young, and thinking that the days went by so slowly, but now, it's just... wasn't it only last week that we were doing the Christmas thing? Mid-February. Crazy. And speaking of time, next week will mark a decade of LJ for me, which is also crazy.

Being a serial hobbyist, I am back into sewing at the moment and specifically, quilting. I made a table runner for M's parents for Christmas, and then M fell in love with it so that he wanted a wall hanging for the end of the hallway. I didn't get started on it before Christmas, like I had planned, but I had it done for Valentine's Day. I've also started a quilt for Evie, which is.. hmm. The top is somewhere shy of half done, but not dreadfully so. I have been dreading the actual quilting of a twin-sized quilt, though, and Evie and I discussed the possibility of just making it as a snuggle-sized quilt. She thought that was a better idea than for her bed, without me even directing her into it. I don't know. I would prefer it to bed bed-sized but I would also prefer it to be done sooner and require less work.

Here's the first one, the table runner for M's parents for Christmas.

They are big on the whole handmade thing, so I knew they would be happy and they were. :)

Then there's M's Valentine's Day thing, which he picked out most of the fabrics for. I added the yellow, which I am pretty happy about. I even remembered to add little folded triangles to two of the back corners for a dowel rod to slide into and hang it with. I have now ended three sentences in one paragraph with a preposition, which is bad even for me. Anyway, it's hanging up at the end of the hallway just as planned and, if I do say so myself, it looks great there. I have tried to hang nearly every piece of artwork in this house down there and M has always been against it for one reason or another. Now I'm glad that spot was open because it looks like it was made for it...which....actually....well... it was. ;)

Here it is, hanging at the end of the hallway. This may surprise you but there is zero natural light down there, so this wasn't the best photo session we've ever had. Sending Evie to do it may not have contributed, though.

M was helping her, though, and he turned it over to get the back in a picture, too, hence the wonky hanging thing at the top. I wish the lint had gotten brushed off, though! There's a bookcase (made for my by my grandfather <3) below it that used to be my "books to read next" bookcase. Now it is my "books I will probably never read" bookcase, since I fell in love with my book reader, and most of what's left there are rejects from various used book sales that never looked appealing enough to choose next. I think I shall make it one of my next organizational projects. ANYWAY. On top of the bookcase, there's a large picture of Zinkensdamm in Stockholm, and a picture of us taken there (it's where he proposed) just after we got engaged. :)

And speaking of quilting, I don't have a picture of it, but I have about thirty blocks done on the quilt-as-you-go quilt that I started. Of course, I had twenty when I posted that in April of last year so that is actually some truly terrible progress. Oh, well. The problem is that every time I lay them out and start working on them, I decide to make it bigger. ;) The truly horrible thing is that I still haven't tested the process of joining them together, though I do have the fabric for it, at least. I also think that my new sewing machine seems to have a harder time with a bunch of layers than my old cheapo did. We'll have to see how it goes, but I am just hoping that if my new machine won't sew it, my old one will, at least. It is actually not an abandoned project, though. I cut out strips for it just this week and intend to start making blocks again. I was planning on making it 5x7, which would mean I was almost done, but I think I decided on 6x7. Still, that wouldn't take too long if I would just focus. I seem to have gotten derailed on a great many things last year. Not sure why. It truly feels like that post from April was no more than three or four months ago.

I don't have the pictures transferred from Evie's quilt yet, and this post is long enough anyway so we'll have to save that for later. :) I have to field the "I want candy" complaints department for a while, and maybe make a little dinner. :)
same_sky: (under the same sky)
I'm supposed to be headed to the library for storytime, but the kiddo is sick. And speaking of sick, am I completely crazy for being annoyed that certain family members bring their sick kids down to visit at my grandfather's house? EVEN THOUGH we all decided years ago, after he had open-heart surgery, that we shouldn't come if we were sick since he is really not in the best of health? I mean, I always followed that rule, but now that I have a kid, it really pisses me off that they continue to do it because what do you know, I am the one that ends up dealing with the sick kid. Usually they'll say something like, "Oh, it's just a sinus/ear infection, it's not contagious!" (which, okay. except, you are a) self-diagnosing, so how do you know it's a sinus infection? and b) stretching the boundaries of believability by saying that someone throwing up all night long is because of an ear infection. Just an example of the kind of nonsense that they come up with, not a specific incident. Or, "you can't protect them from everything!" Or, "she just won't get around Papaw." Or, "let's just do it and not tell them that she's sick." It's really me, my mom, one aunt and one cousin who are pro-staying-home, and the other aunt and two cousins who are pro-INSANITY, so it's kind of an even mix. You know what always really boggles my mind? The other aunt is a relapsed nurse. Surely SHE knows a little something about basic disease prevention? There was a mini Facebook drama going on yesterday over it. Sometimes, though I love them dearly, my family is exhausting. :)

Let's see, how about something that is not directly child-related? We are making really good progress on the bathroom again! The walls are nearly ready for painting (lots of painful sanding/spackling/priming involved on M's part. I am lucky that he is one of those rare folks who can do drywall work. Long family joke about that being the one thing that my very handy dad can't do... with the evidence being clearly visible in my parents house! But even better... we are nearly halfway done with the floor! We went with laminate in a very light maple color and it's looking fantastic. It was driving me crazy last night because M was working on it and I had to stay away most of the time to keep E out of trouble. My parents are supposed to come over tomorrow and spend the night, and then on Saturday, M and my dad will work on getting the tub in and installed, and after that... it should all be downhill. There'll be plenty of work left to do in the painting and replacing the toilet and vanity (and I have to put a clear coat on the painted vanity before that happens, too) and installation of the light, etc, but those tasks are not going to be as hard as the work that was done so far and the work that will hopefully be taken care of this weekend. IF it happens, due to sickness. M woke up sick this morning and I'm not so sure that he'll be well enough on Saturday to get much done, and I'm not sure that my parents should come down and get sick, if they aren't already.

And, best news yet! I finally finished painting the dollhouse bookcase that we've been working since like January. It was done except for the finishing, and apparently we hate that so it just sat and languished. Until now! It's been sitting in the middle of my kitchen floor for over an entire month because I decided that it WAS getting done. The painting took so much longer than I planned, though, when I decided to do all of the rooms in different colors. Each one needed at least two coats, and two rooms had to be redone because the paint I used didn't work out as well as I had hoped, and one room had to be resanded due to an incident with gunky primer. I spent five hours on it the very first night that I started painting, and countless hours since then. (And even more countless hours ignoring the project as best as I could while skirting around the thing taking up the entire kitchen floor, propped up on three Capri-Sun boxes because I am so classy like that.) Seriously, it took SO much longer to paint than it did to build. Isn't that crazy?

You may have seen this on Facebook already, too, and you may see it elsewhere before I'm done because I AM SO HAPPY IT'S DONE!

My PLAN was to use this bookcase as a...well, bookcase. Evie's plan is to use the dollhouse as a dollhouse. This is the first day that she's had it in her room. Guess who won? :) Maybe when she gets bored with it, I can steal a few rooms for books and pretties.

A few notes on the Barbie action in the house. I tried to subtly point out that horses do not usually go IN the house, but Evie not-so-subtly pointed out that PIPPI'S horse is in the house, so that blonde Barbie therefore became Pippi.

I put the couple in the yellow room, but to get them to stand up, I fear that girl is touching her friend inappropriately. I'm sorry for ruining what should be a G-rated photo.

I gave Evie all of my Barbies from when I was little, and therefore, she has a huge collection of them... but unfortunately, most of them look as if they just stepped out of 1985. The Rockers were having a little reunion there in the pink room..

The reindeer? It is apparently a kitchen table. Oh, to be three again!
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I finished my quilt! I was all speedy on getting it done until I got to the quilting, and I procrastinated a while on that, and then I put it away for at least a month after I got that done. I finally started on the binding last Tuesday and I finished hand-sewing the binding to the back on Saturday while M took Evie off to the store and I watched The Netflix. (That's what E calls it. I <3 the streaming.) I actually quite like doing the hand-sewing part, except for the amount of time it takes. It's satisfying and sort of relaxing otherwise. Anyway, not that you care about my crafting preferences enough to warrant any additional posting space devoted to the topic.

The baby was born on Thursday but we have no clue what her name is, or in fact, if she has a name yet. I'm looking forward to seeing her when we go visit in a few weeks. I have always really liked M's best friend but have never met his girlfriend, so I'm looking forward to that too. From what I know about him and what I am guessing about her, though, I don't think they're very cutesy people, so I didn't want to do a girly girl princess pink sort of quilt. These colors would probably have been more common for a boy's quilt. I remember [ profile] carrieb writing about the fabric ladies at her quilting store when she was choosing the colors for Evie's quilt being shocked that she was using like, GREEN, in a girl's quilt. They would probably be APPALLED at this.. haha. But, there are flowers and butterflies and swirly things so I'm still satisfied.. especially since I chose a very girly backing (though again, not so much on the cutesy pastels.) I will add that M was totally on board for the color scheme so it was not just me being crazy. :)

baby quilt
more quilty pics )

We had a great long weekend, full of lots of fun for the girl. We went to a children's museum on Sunday and had lunch with friends (including their one and a half year old girl) and then to the mall, where she got to play at the playland AND go to the Disney store. There are pictures posted at Facebook, too lazy to repost them here, so: clicky for more on that if you haven't seen them already. Today, we got all the wood cut up for Evie's new big girl bed.

Now if only tomorrow wasn't back to work for M we'd be doing okay. :)
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I did not leave my address this week until six o'clock tonight. We did go outside and poke around in the yard a little for the last three days but I didn't go anywhere. I think Evie was getting tired of me by yesterday, and admittedly, my patience was getting kind of short with her, too. I am not someone that needs to be out of the house all the time, certainly, but this was more than should have been necessary. I'm not entirely sure what the deal was, either, because there was absolutely nothing keeping me at home except my fierce desire to NOT GO ANYWHERE. It's even a pretty good shopping week and I couldn't bear going. Crazy! Anyway, by this afternoon, I had turned into a grump and finally decided that it would be good for my sanity to get out of the house. We had a nice dinner and now I feel a little more human than I did.

Well, also, I was going to be out of town on Thursday for a funeral, but I finally decided at the last minute that I just couldn't take Evie to a funeral. I mean, I had the car packed, the night before, with boxes that needed taken to my parents already. I was about to broach the subject with her while we were getting ready for bed, just to prepare her for the day, and then realized that to take her to this funeral, I didn't need to worry as much about how she would behave, as far as everyone else was concerned. I would also have to explain the concept of death, which just seemed a little too hard to contemplate. It was a friend of the famiily--my parents' neighbor/tenant. E has seen her before but wouldn't remember her. I took her to my grandmother's funeral but she was just three months old--a, no choice and b, it was a close family member and c, she had no clue where she was anyway. Not so much now. Added to my previous fear of her being squirmy during the service anyway, and I just gave up. What do you think, would you have taken an almost-three-year-old to a funeral, if it was the only way you could go? Or not?

You may have seen this on Facebook already but I did have a little bit of craftiness today. It hardly counts because it was such a simple little project, but it made me happy. I sewed a new ironing board cover. The old one was beyond useless, because there was no longer anything, anywhere on it, that held it in place on the board. What made me happy, though, was that I sewed it using my Granny's fabric. It's a nice yellow with a tiny floral print.. nothing that exciting in itself, but it will make me think of her every time I iron something and that is worth more than anything else.

ironing board cover

And.. that's about all I've got. We've been making plans for our trip to Sweden and trying to figure out what we're going to do with a 15-year-old AND a 3-year-old. It's us; half the fun of doing stuff like this is the planning and preparation. My grandfather is home from the hospital, which I am so thankful for. And, it's Easter! Which means that the Easter Bunny will be here. I just tried to convince M that Easter was a gift-giving holiday but he didn't fall for it, or rather, he told me that he had given me a European vacation for Easter. I do not think so, mister. And also, I am up two hours past my bedtime and I am going to regret that grievously in the morning, I fear.
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I haven't had time to post much at night lately so am trying this afternoon posting thing out. I discovered this blog, Knock Off Wood, and it made me think that surely I could build my own furniture. She makes it look so easy! And I'm not completely dim. I know it's not as easy as it looks... but it suddenly looked attainably easy. So I thought about it a while and then decided that I was obviously going to try it out. I started with something that I thought looked cute AND easy, which was a Pottery Barn inspired magnetic chalkboard tree. I'm working on redecorating Evie's big girl bedroom, so it would be a good addition.

This is a bad picture, but here's what I came up with.

tree art

It is not, however, magnetic or chalkboardy. It was going to be, but for a few problems. First, they were out of magnetic paint. Second, they only had black chalkboard paint, not green. Third, they were about twenty bucks each--way out of budget for such a little project. We had already talked about the uselessness of both of those features. The tree, as planned, would stand taller than me. Evie wouldn't be able to reach the green part at all. So it wasn't much of a stretch to just make it a cute, non-functional tree. It's also 20% smaller than the original... it was just more lumber-efficient to do it that way. It's still plenty tall, obviously. Anyway, we finally hung it up last night and I took this picture just before bedtime. It would have probably been wiser to wait until I had enough time to clean up her room enough to take a photo with context instead of just clearing the space directly in front of it. ;)

So, emboldened by my tree success, we purchased the wood to make a Pottery Barn inspired dollhouse bookcase. I'm still in the cutting stage--I've just got three more pieces to cut (not counting the back, which I will do last), and then I'll be able to start assembly. I'm pretty excited and you wouldn't believe how excited Evelyn is. I showed her the littlest pieces of wood last night. They were for the trim for the doors and windows, so they were small enough to stack up and knock over repeatedly.. not that that is what I personally would have chosen to do with them but kids are weird. The first thing she said when she woke up this morning was, "I can't see my dollhouse!" Maybe she thought it would be finished and waiting for her in her room when she woke up this morning. I don't know. It'll be a while, kid, especially if you fall asleep as badly as you've been doing lately.

Anyway. M and I have been spending our time after Evie is asleep working in the garage. He is assisting me in the way that he tells me how to use the machinery and helps with specific things as they crop up, but it is my project and I am doing the work. He's just working on some of his own projects. It's really nice to be out there puttering together. :)

(Will it stick, as a hobby? Dunno. It's a bit messy and time consuming and expensive. I'm pretty sure it'll stick long enough to get the dollhouse bookcase done and then we'll see. Next project planned is a big girl bed.)

I have a lot of plans for her room.. this is just the first step. I'm super-excited about it though.

Other than that, nothing much is going on. I have another online offer in progress, for a $500 gift card. I have everything approved and just need to assemble some documentation and mail it in. I'm going to try to get that done tonight. (Woodworking has also cut into our sleeping time, so I'm planning on finishing my last cuts and calling it a night.) My mom has been talking about coming down to visit one day this week but has also hinted that she wants to take Evie with her when she leaves. That'll give us some time to do our own thing but it will require us to go to my parents and pick her up, when we weren't planning on leaving town this weekend. Evie loves to go spend the night with my parents so much that it almost hurts my feelings. I want her to have fun with them but geez, can't she enjoy being with us too???

Apparently not.

Anyway, that's about all I've got. Better go check the mail and also feed my kid. She eats all day long. You'd kind of expect her to have a roly poly little belly but she's pretty skinny. She must get that from her daddy and not her mommy. I wish you could pick up traits like that from your kids so I could be that way too. ;)
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I fear that I let my kid watch far too much television. I mean, she generally watches stuff that's pseudo-educational or at least not violent or anti-establishment, but the internets say that I should keep the TV remote under lock and key and so I feel a wee bit guilty and then I vow to do more STUFF with her. Today, she was watching an episode of Little Einsteins in which they were all wearing pirate hats, and I was Inspired. I grabbed a piece of posterboard, some crayons and a pair of scissors, and we turned out a passable pirate hat while lunch was in the oven.

Pirate Evie prefers a heart to a skull and crossbones. She was also a little annoyed with me for coloring in all of the background. I don't care much for unintentional white spaces. See, here is the reason I am bad at kids crafts. I can't seem to get a grip on it being a project that will be enjoyed by a small child and then tossed in the trash after a few days of abuse. This isn't a great picture of the hat itself but she is really REALLY hard to take pictures of right now. All she will do is squint at the camera. I think she believes she's being helpful in some way by doing this. She isn't.

After she had the hat, it was time for lunch and she spent the whole time talking about needing a ship. This made sense to me. She's a pirate! What kind of pirate is she without a ship? (Captain Jack Sparrow, actually, but I think that he might not ought to be her primary role model.)

So, I printed out a few coloring pages from the internet and set her to coloring the first one while I did some ocean construction. She was bored by the time I started glueing colored boats to posterboard (for sturdiness) and she ran off, saying, "YOU play crafts. I play something else."

I am completely unable to let something like this go, so I ended up doing the rest of this (including the coloring of three more ships--I fancy that you'll be able to tell which I did and which Evie did, but please don't hold my poor coloring skills against me) and I must also admit that I turned freaking Dora on for the last fifteen minutes just so I could keep her in the room. Parenting Fail.

She did think it was mildly cool once it was done, at least. She played with it for at least 45 seconds.

I thought it was kind of neat to have slots for the boats to go into so they could actually be moved around and played with. They were going to be pockets at first, but I ended up just adding a strip of waves to the top, and then cutting a slit all the way across so there'd be two levels of boat slots. That's when I realized that I should have saved myself a lot of trouble and just cut a few slits directly into the ocean, without bothering with the pocket thing at all, so I did some of those too. I also had planned to get a second piece of posterboard to attach everything to, and then cut out some accessory pieces--a sun, maybe an island, some birds, fish, etc. I thought Evie would dig that. By the time I had finished this part, though, and had lost her interest so thoroughly, I figured that any additional crafting would have been a waste of time. I guess I might add to it another day. She really does get excited about crafts at first, but they don't keep her engaged as long as it takes to finish something.
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My daughter ran around chanting her name ("Ebie! Ebie! Ebie!") for twenty minutes today. It was so cute that I probably died from it. We do call her Evie sometimes but usually, she's Evelyn. We weren't sure what she was saying at first because it was completely out of the blue. I don't know what made her start doing it but she will do it on command too, so I guess that's what she prefers to be called? Ha. Now that I think about it, I don't think anyone calls her Evie when they're trying to get her to mind. hehe. Maybe that's why...

On Friday we met M for lunch at a Chinese restaurant in the town he works in and we were attended to by the owner of the establishment. She is SO sweet. Young and pretty and peppy and she has a daughter about the same age as Evelyn. She loves our baby. She obviously likes all the babies in there but from our limited experience, she seems to really like E. She pats her and plays with her and hides behind her high chair and holds her little hands. The time before this, she actually reached for her and held her for a few minutes. (Which was actually kind of an amusing sight because she is a tiny little Asian lady and Evelyn is a blond giant.) As a parent, it is fantastic when someone fusses over your child. Having said that, it is also kind of nice to.. you know, talk to your husband, the one you get to eat weekday lunch with only once a month. And also, I try to relax but I am still not totally thrilled with strangers touching my baby. (The owner of a restaurant seems to be a low risk for things like kidnapping, but the germs!) Ahh, well. She is sweet and the food is great. We have still not found a Chinese restaurant in this town that we like so we'll keep going. Well, if we quit it won't be because of her. We think it hurts Evelyn's stomach so we might have to give it up and grab a burger instead. There is a very limited selection of places to eat in M's work town.

By the way, I'd just like to announce, if you hadn't noticed, that I cannot spell restaurant. I have a real block against it. I can spell quite well but this one word just kills me. I always, always, always type restaraunt. Then I stop and wait for the red squiggles to show up, then right-click and pick the right one. I know I spell it wrong but every time I think, THIS time I'm doing it right. But I don't. It's so stupid. On another note, every single time I write the word "together" on paper (I don't think I always do it while typing) I think to-get-her, which is the little trick my brother taught me when I first had the word on a spelling list in first grade. I kind of know how to spell that word without tricks now, you know, but I doubt that to-get-her will ever leave my head. Besides, it's a nice memory and I like remembering nice things about my brother so it's a win-win, I guess.

Also on Friday, I stopped in at Save-A-Lot while out on my marathon shopping event. I had never been in there, and only in a different one once or twice. I was extremely unimpressed, and left before walking through the whole store. I would just like to say that there is nothing wrong with being poor but there is there is no excuse for being dirty. Soap is cheap. As a matter of fact, on that very day, I walked into a store and they paid me a dollar to take home a bottle of body wash. I am not much of a store snob but I could not believe how bad many of the patrons smelled. It was funny though because when I walked in, the song on the speakers was "Walking in Memphis", and something about the sound quality while I was putting E in the buggy made it sound like it was a cover of that song instead of the actual song, which I had never really heard anyone do. My first thought was that even the MUSIC in this stupid store was a generic. ;) Or, maybe that was only funny in my head. It was not actually a cover anyway, I just have bad hearing. In any case, I will not be returning any time soon. I shouldn't be surprised because there is a dollar store in that little shopping center that I am kinda afraid to go into because it is dirty and cramped and the employees are always yelling. (Always. Ha. I think we have been in there twice. Which actually reminds me of another experience I had recently in a store.. strangely--or not--another dollar store, where a customer was loudly talking to someone about a dog that had scratched her car, and how she was going to shoot it if she saw it again, and she was cursing like mad. She was actually even scarier than the employees of that other store because for a brief moment I was contemplating calling the cops, before I realized that she was talking about a dog. I am not into people shooting dogs either, but I pick my battles. p.s. I wrote this story out because I meant to tell M about it and I forgot, and I know he will read this. Sorry to have gotten you all involved.) Of course, the reason I go back is because in between these two fine establishments is a JoAnn's. Which, that was a waste of time on Friday because I went for two very specific and exact purposes and they FOILED me on both of them. Their Alova suedecloth (ie: diaper inners, stay-dry) was on sale for $2.99 a yard! I have been waiting all year for this because it's just on sale in the fall. I needed white.... only to find that they had split the Alova up and the white? Was $7.50/yard and still "on sale" (meaning not even the possibility of using a 40% coupon.) Those bitches. I gave up on that and went off to look for Elmo fabric, preferably in flannel, and found not one single red furry monster anywhere. My baby NEEDS an Elmo diaper, people! They have one at Walmart but it is really cheap cotton that would not look good on a diaper. Bah, humbug. The Walmart lady (who would like a granddaughter because as much as she loves her two grandsons, she would love to sew for a little girl! And she must really think that because she has told me this on at least two different occasions.) said that Elmo comes and goes in fashion. ELMO DOES NOT GO OUT OF FASHION IN THIS HOUSE. :) Just give up the Elmo fabric, woman, and no one will get hurt. Except the poor dog who scratched Psycho's car.

I think I should be in bed instead of writing this, what do you think?

The baby shower on Saturday went well. I ended up sewing a small pocket diaper to go with the baby quilt and other random things. It was terribly frustrating to end up in a conversation before the gifts were open about modern cloth diapers, only to realize that I didn't have any with me and couldn't just say, "hey, there's one in that bag over there!" ;) Evelyn was... pretty good, but busy. Oh so busy. I ran after her like crazy. M got to have a few hours alone to do some manly shopping, which he enjoyed but he ended up missing his baby. Apparently, the manly man store was full of daddies carrying around their babies. I think my friend liked the stuff, or she faked it well, which is good enough, I guess. ;) The quilty post was locked until just now, by the way, because she reads this journal upon occasion.

After that, we headed up to my parents for the weekend. We were just up last weekend but we went to visit my cousin, which I think I wrote already. Anyway, that was nice. Her little boy is a little boy now, not a baby! I haven't seen them in almost a year. It was fun but fairly stressful because there was a full house yesterday. All but two of the grandkids/great-grandkids were there, plus an extra kid there with a cousin. So we had kids of the following ages: 14, 13, 11, 11, 9, 4, 3, 18 months and 15 months. My kid? Does not nap well, will not nap if there's anything going on, and does not enjoy heat. She will usually skip her nap on Sundays and fall asleep in the car on the way home, which isn't optimal. Anyway, she was completely exhausted yesterday, but it was too hot in the bedroom (and still too noisy) for her to succumb to sleep. So I took her outside, we moved a baby swing up onto the porch in the shade, and she sat in the swing for about three minutes before her eyelids began drooping. She was out like a light in no time. After a few minutes, I picked her up and held her on the (adult) porch swing for a while before handing her to M, who held her for a long time before my dad came out to relieve him. She woke up and snuggled on her Grandpa for a while and then actually fell asleep again. It sounds crazy to be going into this much detail about one little nap, but it has seriously been nearly a year since she has slept on anyone but me, and on M very rarely if she wakes up from a bad dream after being put to bed but before we go to bed, and he walks with her before putting her back down. But it was so freaking hot yesterday that everyone wanted to stay inside--the rest of the house was cooler than the closed bedroom--and so it was quiet and the swinging created a cool breeze. Poor little baby.

She sure is pretty though.

And being Mama sure is wonderful.

baby quilt

Aug. 28th, 2008 10:53 pm
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I finished the quilt!!

baby quilt

baby quilt

It's not really as wobbly as it looks in the picture. :) All in all, I am REALLY happy with it. Of everything there is to do with a quilt, the binding is what I was dreading the most. I was surprised (after I figured it out) to find that I kind of enjoyed it the most, and I loved the way it turned out. The last part, doing it by hand, was even sort of/kind of fun except for the looming deadline thing. I know it's super simple but I like it. I was worried after I first bought my fabrics (without a real plan for what the finished quilt would look like) that it would end up too dark, but it worked out well. Oh, and the backing is the same as the frame. None of the pictures that showed it too were really worth posting.

M says I have to make one for Evelyn too. And for him. And for my mom. And my dad. And... I really can't tell you exactly why he wants me to get into quilting. It's an expensive, fussy hobby, as far as I can tell. Having said that, the payoff is grand. It's a real item! That people tend to be interested in! No one usually cares about my pretty diapers except other diaper sewing mamas. I do have a plan for another one, so we'll see.

I am not entirely sure I want to give this one away though. :)
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I don't wanna get into quilting. I don't wanna get into quilting. I don't wanna get into quilting. Maybe if I say it enough times I will stop the illness from spreading. I am working on my first quilt right now, sans pattern and it is fun! It's like working a jigsaw pattern with fabric and thread! It is fascinating to me how little wasted fabric there is. I'm sure quilty people probably don't think of it that way but I am a diaper sewer! Diapers do not fit on fabric very easily and you end up with lots of weird looking scraps. I am also enjoying all these straight lines, and how easy it is to cut plain old cotton woven fabrics. But... I am not enjoying all this perfection stuff. Something that catches poop? I am perfectly fine with a few wonky stitches here and there. ;)

I have only sewn two diapers in the last two or three months, and those were baby shower diapers for newborns on a forum I hang out on. E has even been in stinky trashies for a few weeks (until this past week) because of a diaper rash I can't entirely beat. I thought it might be yeast living in the diapers but guess what? I am pretty sure it isn't. It raged unchecked in the trashies as well, so we're back in comfy dipes and it's looking better than before. (I am thinking it might just be teething related.. she's been working on molars for two months now.) I missed those fluffy diapers so much. In the two or three weeks of sposies, though, two things happened. One: she started walking, and then suddenly started eating solid foods more than just a nibble here and there, and she finally moved into nice solid poop instead of the really nasty sticky poo. (Sorry. I know. But sometimes it is difficult to be a mom and not talk about poop.) Yay! Two: she has officially really outgrown the twelve medium FuzziBunz that she really outgrew six months ago. They didn't fit her well, but they fit her enough that she could still wear them. That means that suddenly, I am going to have to remove a dozen diapers from my rotation, which means that I have to sew! A lot! Fast! YAY!!!! I really love sewing diapers. I was so sad when her stash was large enough that I couldn't justify making more. They're ridiculously fun. Quickish, impressive-looking, useful, and every one you make saves you fifteen bucks. If you don't inspect that statement too closely anyway.

I have found, though, that I can either keep my household clean and nice and functional, and have dinner on the table when M gets home and all that jazz, or I can be crafty and do things that I enjoy, but not both. I alternate those things, usually, and I am so due for a crafty spell, but I don't see it happening for another couple of weeks at least. Oh, but speaking of crafty, I made another mei tai for M for his birthday last week. Let me find a picture in the gallery. Here. I wish you could see the reverse fabric too... you can see a tiny piece of it in this picture where the hood is flipped up. In honor of it being a carrier for M (though yes, I'm the one wearing it there!) it is (of course) in Hawaiian prints! The yellow one is pretty awesome... it has blue flowers and ukuleles! A ukulele is almost like a mandolin, right? Ukelele and mandolin players all over the world just cried a little right then and they don't know why. I think M should make a quilt using the rest of those fabrics. That would be awesome.

Anyway, I think maybe he is waiting for me in the living room so we can spend a few minutes together before bedtime. We all slept late this morning though so I bet he will be up past his bedtime tonight. I would also like to let everyone know that my husband is so, so wonderful because he stayed up way late with Ev last night and let me go to bed. I was beyond exhausted for some reason and dorko baby took a nap that started at 5:30 (on the way home from my parents.) Ugh. So, yay boyo! I feel so much better today than I did last night, that's for sure.

Edited to add: it is now midnight and I am heading to bed. M? He is totally cutting up fabric squares for his quilt. He is teh awesome. He made me show him which thread he should use "just in case" before I went to bed. I fear he will be up much later than he should...
same_sky: (Default)
M, Evie and I went to church this morning! We walked across the road to that church and we really liked it! Evelyn was pretty good--she made a few noises and I did take her outside once, but she wasn't bad otherwise. (She did not seem to like one particular song.Silly baby!) The service was nice, the pastor was young and fun, and the sermon was extremely well tied together. And there were bells! We felt a little like celebrities as we left because, well, I guess that people always like new people at church, but also, we had a pretty baby with us, and then some of them knew (or we told) that we lived across the street, which (again) used to belong to them. We also met a new neighbor and saw (but didn't get a chance to speak to) another set.

Later this afternoon, the weather was lovely so I spread a blanket out in the yard and sat in the grass with my sweet, sweet baby while we watched M working on the roof. He has a fixation with replacing spinny things up there. E was fascinated by Da-da on the roof. I guess she figured that even she knew enough not to go up there! I am well-known for my dislike of being outdoors much so it was a little shocking that I did that. I wasn't out very long because I was afraid of a certain someone, who has really never been out in the sun, ever, getting sunburnt. We were planning on going to the game farm and walking around, but the website said they were closed. Shucks. I was really looking forward to that.

I have been sewing a mei tai (baby carrier) for the past few days and I finally finished that up tonight. I was sewing frantically and making illicit bargains with M so that he would watch the baby while I finished up. (I still have two loops left to sew on, do you think I could get out of my illicit bargains by pointing out that I didn't actually FINISH it tonight? Hmm.) It's super cute and I will take pictures of it probably tomorrow. Right now my model is in bed, and I must say that baby carrier pictures are pretty boring if there's no baby in them. It is also reversible, which is nice. I love being able to make something like that but it is kind of a pain in the ass in terms of tediousness. There are approximately six miles of straps in a mei tai. stitchstitchistitchstitchstitch and then you go completely insane from watching the fabric fly by for so long. My next project should be one with a little more structure because that's what M likes, but I am thinking that maybe forking out a fortune for an Ergo would be worth it to not have to do it myself. I paid $90 for a ring sling (still can't believe I did that, but we were supporting a local crunchy business and I was clearly stark raving mad just after I gave birth.) so why the heck not? The completion of said mei tai was really wearing on me, for some reason. I was desperate to finish it. I have a long list of things I need to be sewing, though, so that might be part of the problem. One biggie down!

Speaking of babywearing... that has been working out better for us lately than it used to. I used to want it to work but it rarely did much for us. I've been using the mei tai quite a bit lately and she seems to sit in it much better than she used to. I think it's because she has gotten much better at being carried, period--she's grasped the idea of sitting on my hip in the last couple of months too, instead of just sort of dangling when I put here there. There are many, many good things about it but you know what the best one is? No one touches her when she's strapped to me! No, wait. I mean, the best part is how she fusses so much less. I am not supposed to admit how much of a germophobe I am because then Kirsty laughs at me. Anyway, I can't wait to really try out the new one I just made.

Oh, I tried out [ profile] e11en's idea of finding a dressing room to nurse the baby in when I'm out shopping. It worked beautifully! I grabbed a skirt to "try on" so I didn't even have to talk to the lady about what I was actually going to do. Changed a diaper, too. Did I write about how Evelyn is terrified of public bathrooms? It's so cute. It's the toilets flushing in there, and how they echo. I think it's the only thing that really scares her. In any case, I always tried to avoid using those changing stations (a. sanitary reasons, b. don't like strangers looking at my baby's bits, c. inconvenient--couldn't we at least get a handle to hang the diaper bag on??) but now I really stay away from them because she cries so when we're in there. Mostly I change her in the car, but that's got a heap of problems too. Traveling with a baby ain't easy no matter what, I guess.

Anyway. It has really been a great weekend and I am so sad to see it end. Weekends are the best.
same_sky: (Default)
My sweet, sweet baby went to sleep at 1:30 today and didn't wake up until 5:00. !! I got so much done. It was lovely. I cut out seven diapers--four pockets and three fitteds for a total of seventeen pieces, and then I cut, sewed and then attached the soaker layers to the hidden pieces for the soakers. I am not a huge fan of working in assembly-line style but it's going to be fantastic to get these done all at once... though adding snaps won't be fun. Snapping is kind of time-consuming. I had some sore belly muscles recently and couldn't figure out what I had done to make myself sore. Then I started snapping again and realized that it was the pressure I was putting on the drill press handle. Seven diapers = 140 snaps.

PSA: Change your rotary blade! It makes things so much nicer.

My husband brought me flowers (living) for Valentine's Day tonight, and donuts. ;) He is so sweet. I hate cheap boxed candy and pretty much everything that they sell for Valentine's Day. If I am going to consume a bunch of calories, I want it to be on something that tastes good. I don't eat much candy anyway--I ate the candy bar Evelyn got for Halloween at the governor's mansion two days ago. It's been on my desk this entire time... and that was something I actually LIKE. However, I sometimes like to have a fried donut. It's completely terrible but yummy--as if donuts are not bad enough for you, re-frying them in a bit of butter turns it all crunchy and gooey and delicious. I can justify it because I do it maybe once a year at most. (Except this year, I think I've done it three times, but I can justify a whole heck of a lot since I'm breastfeeding.) Anyway! I would much rather have a surprise donut than chocolate I will never eat. He also bought the baby a banana for her Valentine's Day present. She doesn't need chocolate either but she should get a treat of some sort! ;) Though we know how she feels about bananas...

I... didn't buy him anything. :( I did take him to Hardee's, though! Boyo loves Hardee's. I don't like it so it's a special treat I give him when he's been particularly good. *grin* I have also agreed to buy him a box fan. It's mandolin/workshop/dust related.. very romantic. He suggested that I buy him an AK47. I declined. Box fan it is!

So, I will leave you with a question. You are at a fast food restaurant. You have eaten your meal and are about to leave when you notice the receipt on the table, and see that they have charged you $5.49 for your fish sandwich combo. The hanging sign under the menu (the only mention of a fish sandwich being available, strangely) clearly states that the meal should cost $4.99. Do you a) do nothing besides maybe complain to your spouse about being overcharged b) demand your fifty cents back or c) other, because there's always an other. ? Does the knowledge that on a previous visit, they overcharged you by $1 factor into your decision? If you decide that $0.50 is not worth going back for, what amount would make you change your mind?
same_sky: (Default)
Evelyn has a thing for books. Specifically, she has a thing for eating books. I am pretending this means that she will have a voracious appetite for reading, but I fear that it means that she just needs more fiber in her diet. Santa brought her a fabric book for Christmas so she could chew on a book without eating the paper off, but while looking at the construction of it, I decided... hey, I could do that!

Someone please make those voices in my head STOP SAYING THINGS LIKE THAT.

Anyway, I've been working on this little book for a week, off and on, and I think it turned out pretty cute. I did not bother with things like ironing or pinning or reading instructions before diving into things like applique, so I have a feeling this poor little book is not going to be that sturdy in the long run, but... as I told M several, several times over the course of this project--it was stitched with love and that's the important thing, right?

Everything is flannel unless otherwise mentioned. I tried to throw in a few other fabrics for texture.

Fabric book
From the front--both covers are from this pink ducky flannel--I can't imagine why I have so much duck-themed fabric!

Read more... )
same_sky: (Default)
You know how you become more comfortable with something the longer you're exposed to it, until one day you can't remember what it's like to be apprehensive in the first place? When I was pregnant, you may remember that I wrote several times about deciding to use cloth diapers. There are lots of reasons to do it and yet, most people don't--is it because it really IS as hard and as awful as everyone is telling me? Maybe they just don't know about all the reasons it would be worth it?

Evelyn is nearly eight months old now and so I think it's time to follow up on those tentative cloth posts. We LOVE IT. There is just something wonderful about pulling a load of fresh-smelling cloth out of the dryer and putting soft squishy fabrics on my baby's bum. They smell MUCH less horrible than disposable diapers do--really! I didn't understand this until I smelled it for myself--I thought that was just how baby poo smelled. No, it isn't. They contain poo better than disposables. We're never out of diapers, and if we are, we can throw them in the wash without leaving the house. Trips to the store do not involve forking over insane amounts of money every single time. (We do occasionally buy disposables for when we're away--we wouldn't have to, but we usually do because they take up less space in the diaper bag and she can wear some of her smaller pants when wearing a trashy.) I can change her as often as I want (she has a real problem with being wet--in a disposable or in cloth, doesn't matter) without mentally throwing a quarter into the garbage every time.

I guess I worried, in the beginning, that I would be getting too involved with my baby's bodily wastes because of the cloth diapers. It doesn't matter what kind of diaper you're using, though, you are not going to escape babyhood unscathed.. especially with disposable wipes, but that is another rant/rave altogether. ;) It will get on your hands, and you learn to live with it pretty easily because it's YOUR baby. It comes off! No big deal! The diapers just get thrown in the pail and then dumped without touching again into the washer, so that really has never been a concern for me. Our pocket diapers need unstuffed after use, but even when there's poop right there where you have to stick your hand... it isn't that big of a deal. Really, it isn't. It is about as much of a big deal as getting your hands dirty changing the diaper in the first place. Of course, things change as they begin solids, which she's doing now. I think every stage of diapering involves a different set of techniques, but it's not like you have to start out knowing everything. You learn as you go, so it's not nearly as intimidating as it looks when you first start out.

I don't write about diapers nearly as much as I think about them. I spend most of my non-LJ forum time on a forum for sewing cloth diapers these days. It's kind of my baby-related internet activity, so to speak. Her next diaper stash will be almost exclusively Mama-made. She's outgrowing her medium FuzziBunz and her first batch of homemade fitted pockets by now. I stopped taking pictures of every one that I made, but I did post a couple of new pictures this week to use at that forum because I think they turned out to be pretty cute. M bought me dies to use for his drill press for Christmas so that I can do snaps now! I am really excited by that. ;)

diaper pic

diaper pic diaper pic

You know what the best proof is, though? My husband will still sometimes randomly look over at me and rave about how much he loves these diapers. When is the last time you have raved about a diaper? When's the last time your husband raved about a diaper? :)
same_sky: (Default)
I am up past my bedtime! Again! We were up late last night for obvious reasons (11:56 - "uh.. should we go watch the ball drop or something?") Then I was able to sleep in until 9:30! That was great. Evie gets in phases where she will wake up in the middle of the night to eat for a few nights in a row. Last night was the second night that she hadn't done that, and it was so, so great to get some real sleep. I can't complain anyway because so many others have it so much worse.

My mom bought us reddish maroon sheets for Christmas. They were on sale after Thanksgiving, but all they had left was that color, and I had specifically mentioned wanting sheets. We have been having a sheet crisis. First, I left my pillow (in its case) at the hospital, so we were missing one pillowcase. Easily solved. Then the fitted sheet started developing holes all of a sudden. Then the top sheet started separating at the top seam. This all happened within a couple of weeks, and we were using an emergency mismatched set. We thought about taking them back to exchange them for a different color, because red so does not match our room, but we decided against it. When company isn't expected, we usually just have a bright blue quilt with large yellow and white flowers on the bed. I can't even begin to express how badly it clashes. It is jarring every time you walk into the room. They're great sheets, though, and at least they match themselves... unlike our old sheets... and if not anything else. You know, this story made a lot more sense in my head.

I spent a good portion of today sewing. Evelyn was greatly enjoying herself with her toys in the floor, so I had a few minutes to play too. First, I made a tremendously cute bib--which was kind of neat because I really was just playing around and then suddenly I had the thing done. I was only planning to draw out the pattern. Then I was able to start on some diapers that I've been excited about trying out. Unfortunately, I had two serious things go wrong with those today, and yet somehow, I did not get all that upset about it. The first problem is a fatal problem, total loss, but the second one is hopefully just a time-consuming seam to rip. Details not interesting, so I'll spare you. Normally, this is the sort of thing that would frustrate me to no end and I would sulk about it for days, but I just felt patient and zen about the whole thing. I hope that's something that continues through the new year--I could use a little more patience.

I would like to post about new years resolutions, but I haven't actually made any. I never stick with them any better because it's the beginning of a new year than any other time so I suppose that's okay. Wait, I have one. I am not going to talk about losing weight or anything like that, but I resolve this year to Eat More Vegetables, And Not Just Potatoes. I mean, like tonight, for instance! I sauteed an ONION to go with our bacon cheeseburgers! Onions are vegetables! ;) Clearly, I have a long way to go on this one. Did you know that bacon is really really good? I never particularly cared for bacon until I got pregnant, and then it was delicious, and I still love bacon. I am terrible at frying it, though. I am impatient and then I lose interest because it takes too long and then it burns. Every time! Bacon is not a vegetable, though, as much as I would like to believe that it is, and so I should not focus on perfecting my bacon technique. Actually, usually, I have a great technique for frying bacon. I can teach it to you. It goes like this: "M, would you please fry the bacon?" He gets to eat bacon that isn't burnt, I don't have to fry it--we all win. Except maybe for the pig, but at the point that it is bacon, the battle was already lost, I think.
same_sky: (Default)
First, I have been remiss in not saying that we fed Evelyn her very first solid food this week! Tuesday night, I mashed up a banana and gave it to her. I think in this case, a picture is worth a thousand words.

solid yuck

It was... not a success.

More stuff! With Pictures!) )
same_sky: (Default)
First order on the agenda: the mei tai I made yesterday. I had M take a picture of me wearing it tonight. Forgive the clothes; I had already changed into my comfy clothes. I do not wear real clothes at home if I can help it at all. These particular shorts got a giant bleach stain on them the first time I wore them. M was instructed to keep my pants out of it for that reason and then I went right ahead and told you about it. Smart! Anyway. This also means that you don't get a good glance at how ridiculously much too long the straps are. I haven't fixed those yet.

mei tai

Second order on the agenda is: perhaps writing the agenda. I'm not entirely sure what else I thought would be worth putting in an agenda.

M's boss is being sent to Iraq, and he had a little cookout this afternoon at his house, so we went over for that. We only stayed about three hours but that was more than enough for me to baby-wrangle in 90 degree weather. I took her in to cool off and eat a little in the middle, and we stayed in the shade, so it wasn't too bad, I guess. I made a complete dork out of myself, though. When I went inside, his wife was in the kitchen. I said something about needing to feed the baby, and she told me to go ahead and make myself at home, and did I need to use the microwave to heat up a bottle or anything? And I, smooth operator that I am, had no idea what to say. M and another guy he works with were standing there in the kitchen, and I just blurted out, "No, I need somewhere where I can take my shirt off." DOH. While that is (almost) technically TRUE, I spent the time feeding the baby thinking of a thousand different ways that I could have phrased that without making myself sound like a giant perv who goes around other people's houses stripping. I KNOW that she knew what I meant but still. I felt like a dork.

Anyway, the baby is ready for her bath and bedtime and I am all for her bedtime. :)

date night

Oct. 6th, 2007 12:09 am
same_sky: (tatted heart)
Once upon a time, when we were newly married, M and I went to Walmart on a Friday evening. M was perplexed at the sheer number of people at Walmart at eight pm on a Friday night. Young people! At about that time, a teenage couple walked by holding hands, and I explained--date night. Life in a small town means that you may have to take your date to Walmart in lieu of anything else to do*. It was kind of a tongue-in-cheek sort of comment but it stuck, and we now often talk about date night at Wally World. We were not motivated enough to go to Walmart on our date tonight, but we did go to a yummy Mexican restaraunt and my taste buds are still zinging with joy. M and I, we have stopped with the eating out, mostly. We went out a few times while his parents were here, and there have been a few special circumstances that have required us to eat out, but I've been cooking almost every day lately. We eliminated eating out from our budget, and created a rule that any money spent from that category would have to be covered by spending less in the "fun" category. (It's sad to say, but we almost never spend everything in the fun category anyway so it works out.) Anyway, this particular dining out experience was in order to celebrate me quitting my job. We've been putting that off for a long time now, and we finally made it out. Of course, by now, it felt not so much like current events, that whole not working thing. But still. It was good and it felt special again, to go out just for fun. Isn't that what it's supposed to be about anyway?

Guess what I did today! I sewed a baby carrier! It's a Ball Baby Mei Tai knock-off, created using the instructions here. I don't have any pictures of it yet, but I LOVE it, so far at least. It's so comfortable! And she feels so secure in it! I made the straps much too long, though, and I'll need to cut them down.. they're ridiculously long. Evelyn seems to like it. I walked around with her for half an hour or so after I finished it, and she seemed content. I spent a total of eight bucks on the fabric, and still have a little over a yard left, so it was certainly cost-effective--compare to eighty dollars. :) It's even kind of cute--I bought it because it was the only thing on the sale table that seemed sturdy enough, but I wasn't in love with the print. It looks better now, though. :) I do love the crafty.

*Or, probably, to be a bit more realistic--date night starts at Walmart for those who put things off til the last minute.. ie, buying some friendly accessories for the evening's activities. Better to get prepared late than never to get prepared at all...
same_sky: (Default)
Much as housewives of yesteryear, I have begun to develop a schedule for certain days. Monday is Housework Day. We are slobs over the weekend, and things build up and drive me batty. Yesterday, I cleaned all day long, and was worn out by evening. After we ate dinner, M took care of the baby for an hour and I spent that blissful time cutting out a diaper pattern I hadn't tried yet, and I did it all by myself! With no inquisitive little fingers trying to see what I am doing! I do get some time away from the baby during the day because she takes good naps, but I don't often get the luxury of not being completely and utterly responsible for her, so it felt nice. Even when she's asleep, I lug the monitor around and listen for her and go check on her and worry that she will wake up at any inopportune moment, like when my hands are in the dish water. This morning I sewed the diaper from that pattern I cut last night and it turned out fairly well, I think--it fit her nicely. Y'all have no idea what instant gratification this diaper hobby is.

I have up to ten minutes to finish this post, because it's bath time and then it will be bedtime for everyone under three feet tall. Shut up, M, I am NOT under three feet tall. Evelyn has been incredibly whiny today. I think she has had a bellyache, and consequently a bit of diaper rashy irritation... but mainly I think she was just bitching to hear her own voice. She's taken to sucking on her bottom lip and she wouldn't let go of it long enough to talk, so we got hours full of "mgraah. mgraahh. mgraah!" It was lovely, truly. I only stabbed myself in the eardrum six or seven times, that's all. She has had a few moments of utter cuteness, though, so I forgive her. I was pretty happy to see her father when he came home, though. ;) I think the human race would have died out by now if the little brats weren't so darned cute.


I transferred some pictures tonight and there were some remarkably good ones. Baby is beginning to whine (again) so I must go attend to her needs (again) and so this post is shorter than I meant for it to be (again). See the cover on the changing pad? I made that today! Yay me! Except it's a bit too big. Stupid internet instructions! I improvised by throwing more elastic at it. Again, elastic is my hero. :) Anyway, must run. Unless I get lazy, I'll do a picture post soon because I don't know if I mentioned it, but my baby is really cute!
same_sky: (Default)
Are you tired of my crafty posts yet? I wouldn't have posted this except that I thought it was pretty cool and I thought of [ profile] carrieb while I was doing it so I wanted to show it off. I figure she'll like it even if no one else does.

tag toy

I whipped this up for Evelyn this afternoon. It's really cute and fun, and is also the first quilt block I've ever made all on my own... though I suppose it's not exactly a quilt block since it is not a quilt. My seams lined up pretty well for a newbie, I think, but there are a couple that are off. Oh well! They're just bits of flannel from my scrap pile--I think I should probably have made the middle blue instead of yellow but oh well. Evelyn will be getting yet another pony (M promises her ponies all the time) because she lunged at it while I was showing it off to M this evening, and attacked it with vigorous joy. I think she likes all the colors. :)

Maybe I'm a closet quilter after all.. maybe one day. :) I just dread all the fiddlyness and all the mess and all the expensive fabric purchases.
same_sky: (Default)
My husband has this thing for Hawaiian shirts. It's especially funny because when he lived in Sweden, he wore all black, all the time, but now he has a fetish for very loud apparel. I have been looking for a Hawaiian shirt for Evelyn because I thought it'd be funny to see her in one, but I haven't had much luck so far. So, I improvised and refashioned one of M's old shirts this afternoon. The seams had started fraying, and so he threw it out.

It used to look like this:

But now it looks like this:

So what if it makes her look like a boy baby (especially with her new bald head)? It has the cute all over it! And my darling husband is beside himself with pride that she is wearing his shirt. (The fact that she is pooping in his old shirt doesn't seem to matter!)

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