Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010...What a Year

And what a year has taught me. Is it possible that in just a year you can gain so much insight into life and the way things work? I think so, or at least...in my case - that is the explanation. Before I sat down to blog this, I looked over my year in review from last year (you can read that here) and was a bit humbled that in the last 2 years I have learned a lot of "grown-up" things. I don't really consider myself a grown-up. I guess I probably need to since I have passed the 30-mark and have a child with another on the way and a mortgage and things such as that. This past year, although I did learn a lot, I can honestly narrow it all down to one theme (Mrs. Best, my high-school English teacher would be proud...I finally get the whole concept of a theme) and I will summarize (haha, we all know how I ramble) here.

WARNING - I got a bit mushy. Not something typical of me, but it happens time to time. :)

The year started off with a sort-of bang for me. I had just finished up some house projects (ie. painting, curtains, pillows, etc) and dove into what was busiest year for my business brownie-goose. Orders were out-of-control, there was fabric everywhere, I was trying to learn how to balance it all and then there was the swine flu. That was awful. I don't remember hallucinating with a fever that bad EVER. I don't recommended coming down with the piggie flu. Then, a pregnancy. I was over-joyed and over the moon...until it ended. This was a huge mountain in my life to climb. The one simple act of losing a child that I had never met or held or known the sex of (I now am positive it was a girl, I just know by the way I felt and then how I felt with this boy that is still thriving in my uterus) taught me a life-time of lessons. Mostly though, how precious life is. How sometimes, I just might need to slow down to appreciate that preciousness. I asked myself one day, have I ever taken the time to appreciate all that I had. And as bad as this sounds and as much as I wanted to come up with excuses, I don't really think that I had before. I felt ashamed and felt selfish and made a mental note to take more time out of the day to be thankful for the blessings that I had in my life. This is much easier said than done, especially when things seem to go "wrong" all at once, such as I talked about in this post. But I realized that you have to overlook the bad. I think that there will always be good and bad in your life at the same time. It is a matter of trying to focus more on the good than the bad in which you will make it all through. Once again, easier said than done - but a good thought to base it all by. But, on to that theme I was talking about before I once again lose focus. The theme for this last year for me is

the beauty of timing.

Now, for one Type A personality, this was a very, very hard lesson to learn, and I am still learning. It is so hard for me to let go of the reins and realize that while certain things may not be penciled in on my to-do list for the day, it doesn't mean that they cannot happen. I like to have control over things. But do I enjoy that control? Not really, because at the end of it all...I learned that the few times I let go of the reins and just took a seat in the back and enjoyed the scenery along the way - I had the most fun. Now, I am still working on this on a daily basis. I am who I am, and while I have been this way for 30 years - I would like to say that the next 30 years would be different. I don't have to have the control. In fact, joke is on me. I DON'T have the control, I just think that I do. I will not go all religious on you here, for I really like to keep my thoughts on spirituality private - but I know who has control and I know that He probably has the best time laughing at me. I know He thinks, "When is this girl going to ever learn?" And instead of punishing me for not learning, he keeps teaching me. And - I will continue on the path of giving up that control and learning to like enjoying the scenery and all that it has to offer. A good friend gave me a key chain for my birthday that has a saying on it that I try to remember.

Let it be. For reals. Just let it go, Amy.

Back to the beauty of timing - I can summarize just a few ways in which I have learned that my timing isn't always the right timing.
  • First and foremost, my miscarriage. At the time, I didn't understand. I didn't understand why in the world I was given the gift of life to only have it taken away 2 months later. And to be honest - it wasn't until this fall, actually November 15th, her due date that I realized why. Timing was not right. I laid in bed awake in the middle of the night and thought, oh my goodness - a newborn right now could not have worked where we were as a family. And at that time, I got it. And I took back all the bad thoughts that I had about it in the first place. The sorrow will never be gone, and that sweet baby will never be forgotten - but the timing was NOT right and I just couldn't see that at the time. But, in a way...I almost breathed a sigh of relief that things worked out the way they did. This is not coming out the way that I mean it, I never am happy that I lost a baby - but I learned so much about me, my body, timing and my family in the process that I had to be thankful for the opportunity. I think up until last spring, I may have taken too much for granted - including time.
  • Friends. Oh my goodness, the beauty of a friend. I have been blessed throughout life with the most amazing friends there are. My girlfriends are the best ever and they are all different. And I love that. But it is funny to me how different friends come into your life at different times. Some take a break, but then come back - and you never think twice about the time that was gone. I don't think there is a better remedy in life like laughing with a friend. Well, snuggling with my labradors comes VERY close but good friends are just the best thing out there. But, first and foremost...my labradors still remain to be my besties.
  • A growing child. I honestly think my Louisa Kate grows faster than a weed. Not in actual physical size, for we all know who she gets her height from (guilty), but overall. You always have older mothers tell you when you have younger kids that they grow so fast and take this time to enjoy every moment. It seems like someone always says this to you at a time when you have your hands locked in your hair about to rip it all out and you think to yourself, "Oh my gosh...is she kidding?" But no, she isn't. My child turned 3 this year. I just made an appointment in March for her kindergarten shots. Oh my goshers. When did this even happen? It makes me want to cry. But then again, that could be the hormones. :) Yesterday she did something that I can honestly count on ONE hand the number of times she has done it. She fell asleep on my chest while I was sitting in a chair. Even as a baby she didn't do this. I think this was the 4th time in her life that it has happened. And although my iron was on as I was trying to finish up the crib skirt, the dishes needed to be done and there was laundry finished up in the dryer - I didn't move. I stayed in that chair with my back killing me, about to tinkle in my pants and burping up fire as my 3 year old and 33 week old where having it out for space on the front side of me. While I sat there listening to Lou breathe, rubbing her back and feeling my sweet little boy move around underneath her I teared up. This is what being a Mom is about. This is why I stay at home. It is not about how many outfits I can get sewn and out the door for some extra cash, it isn't about keeping a clean house or having things done "on time"...it is about these simple moments in life. The TIMING. This moment will probably never happen again, and hot damn...I enjoyed every moment of it. I wish I could have bottled it up and saved some to enjoy on one of those days when my hair is about to be pulled out. But that is the beauty of timing my dears, living in the moment. Taking that time out of your day to enjoy the blessings that are handed to you. For those that had a spot in the cathedral at St. Andrew's on Christmas Eve, Dean O'Connor spoke about just that. It is about giving up your spot in the balcony of the ballroom and getting out on the dance-floor without a care. Let it go, enjoy life while it is in front of you...don't merely be an observer. Embrace it.
So while I sense the mushiness is at an all-time high in this blog and that makes me twitch uncomfortably, I will only say a bit more. But in retrospect, thank you 2010 for teaching me the beautiful lesson of time, and timing and how precious it all is - whether on my schedule or not. For, in 2011 I plan on taking this "new-found-knowledge" and making some great use out of it. The Norris Family is going to slow down. For reals. I know it sounds super ironic since come February 16th it will probably spin out of control, but I am not the first mom to do this. I can do this. And I think if I can keep it slow, and focused on family - things will work. Not perfectly, but maybe now and then a good speed bump along the way will remind me to slow down. brownie-goose will be taking a back seat to my family, the way it should have been from the beginning...it will be on a basis of supply when I can not supply by demand. Money will be tight - but money cannot buy happiness, or most importantly...it cannot buy me back the time with my children while they are young. So, this year it is all about letting it be. Taking time to smell the roses, the poopy diapers, the pretend dinner that my toddler makes me, etc. I owe a lot to my sweet friend Anna, one of which came into my life at a perfect time and gave me this key chain and helps to remind me daily to let it go. Another goes to my friend Tori who on a whim sent me a forwarded email one day and I don't know if she ever realized how much of an impact it had on me. It was a talk by Rick Warren who authored "Purpose Driven Life" and one of the things he said in his talk was, "God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do. That is why we are called human beings not human doings." So, basically at the end of the day...it is about who I was - not what I did. Was I a great Mom today? Did I take the time to enjoy what I have been given? Or, did I worry about what needed to be done and fore-go the beauty of life before me? Did I dance on the floor without a care in the world, or did I sit in the balcony and watch it happen for others? In this busy age, the latter is the more popular...but maybe just letting it be will be okay. So, onward into 2011 when things will be slower, simpler and basic. Anyone care to join me?

Now just to lighten things up a bit as I like to do with a heavy post, I saw this recipe in a magazine I was reading last night and laughed and said to Byron, "Look...this looks like a recipe I would make." Haha, frizzled eggs. Frizzle my shizzle. :)

Until next time and Happy New Years!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Preparing my Nest

First of all....confession. I am fighting with all of my might today to not go to my fave salvage place. I don't know why - but I woke up with the urge that I needed to go, as in right now. However, I am trying to exhibit some self control and stay far, far away from the place for a few reasons. Mainly - I don't have any money in which to spend there. Story of my life - and I can't ever seem to leave there empty-handed. That place sings to me. Kinda like Target. Not having money puts a damper on things, but honestly - I think most importantly...the LAST thing I need right now is another project. For reals. I mean, I have got to get to work on some of the things that are on my to-do list for now. But, I am having a hard time staying focused. Maybe if I stay in my j's for the day I wont feel tempted to go.......

On to nesting. Goodness. Let me just say that pretty soon you might find me sprouting some tail feathers and wings and taking off. I have been nesting like it is my business lately. The rule in my house right now is that if you stay stationery for a certain amount of time, you have two fates. One, you will be thrown away. The other, you will be put into a plastic bin that has things of your like in it and labeled neatly. Geeze. It all started with the need to clean out and organize Louisa's room before Santa came and "blessed" her with more crizzity. Well, once I got going...I built up steam and was full-force. By the time I stopped for a lunch break I had like 5 trash bags full of crap. Gag. How in the world did I get so junky? So, I made a decision. NO MORE CRAP IN THIS HOUSE. For reals. Notice this is not a reason as to why I haven't ventured to the salvage store today. Much to everyone's surprise...I do not bring home crap from there. :) It is all relative people. I also decided that when we move back to Georgia in a few I may look for a house with no closet storage space or built-ins to avoid the levels of crap that acquire. Modern, stream lined...here I come. Nothing to dust, nothing to clean out and nothing to accumulate. I also think that when we start packing to move we will do two things. One, get a POD. Park in right smack in the driveway so that I can take my time packing. Next, right next to the POD, park a dumpster. I am almost positive the dumpster would drive a certain neighbor to croak, but methinks that the POD would have her close enough anyways, so what is the additional croak-ness factor? Rules would be, if it isn't in a box and put in the POD, it goes in the dumpster. NO ONE from the house is allowed to dumpster dive, but neighbors and others may feel free. I might even charge a cover to "dive" to cover the expense of the dumpster. Man, this is sounding even better the more I think about it. Or, is the oxygen failing to reach the brain again? Also, when packing...if I come upon a box that has yet to be opened from the last move - STRAIGHT to the dumpster without collecting $200 when passing GO. Unless of course, it is items from childhood that are all sentimental and stay up in the attic. You know those boxes, they never get unpacked, but you just cannot throw them out. Who knows. I also plan on carrying on the tradition of leaving a bunch of crap in the attic for the next owner of this house. Unless, of course...you come bearing a full-price offer with no strings attached. The more strings attached, the more treasures you will find in the attic. :) For, 'tis far better to give than to receive. :)

Back to nesting. I don't really remember nesting when I was pregnant with Louisa. However, our house was on the market then so it had to stay clean at all times. And back then, it always was...neither of us was ever home to dirty it. But slowly, we are getting ready for baby boy. Goodness he needs a name. Don't you agree? I mean, I think we might have a first name, but no middle and honestly - I am over it. Just done thinking about it. I have this book that is titled 50,001 Baby Names and one would think that by that I would have come up with something. But, no. I had another dream the other night that baby came early, and when it was time for me to be discharged home the nurse said, "Amy, you cannot leave with this baby until he has a name - but you have to go home now because we are about to be on diversion and we need the room." Well, I was panicked because Byron had already had the big ONE day off that he is allowed for the baby and he was currently in the OR and I couldn't consult him for help. The nurse then chided me and said, "Well, this is something that you should have discussed prior to having the baby." UGGGHHHH, I know. But why can't we come up with anything???? Gag. But, we are on the look-out for 2-syllable names for a middle. Can be 3-syllable. Help is much appreciated.

How about this guy?

Well, he has 2 friends that live with him. Imagine the joys of getting 3 goldfish to smile pretty for the camera. Byron and Lou got them on Christmas Eve because all houses must have some goldfish hanging out in the kitchen. It is like tradition at ours. :) They came home with 4. One of which scared the phooeys out of me because he was white with red eyes (Byron said Lou was giving the "fish-getting-guy" a hard time saying, "OOOh, I want that one, wait no....that one" etc and Byron told the guy just to give him whatever wound up in the net and instead of 3, 4 were in there so the guy threw one in for free) and is just spooky looking. Well, he is all of a sudden MIA. Seriously. Like, he was there one night, and the next morning, vanished. There is no evidence of him hopping ship on the counters and Murray slept at my feet all night (I know this because I am up literally every 30 minutes going potty, the joys of 3rd trimester...and when not going potty, trying to get comfortable and dealing with charlie-horses in my legs and toes) so she didn't have anything to do with it. Crazy, right? Byron thinks the one pictured had something to do with it, but really....$0.21 goldfish cannibals? I have never heard of such. Oh well, learn something new everyday.

Although I think I could ramble all day to avoid getting up and getting dressed to talk myself out of afore-mentioned salvage store, I am now listening to Louisa and Mallard fight about something in the front room. Usually this doesn't concern me, but Murray just ran in here with ears down and tail poofed and Lucy just went the other way too. Drama. Saving it for her Momma. Gotta love her.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

And...Published


Okay, let me first start off by bragging on my super-awesome husband. He is by-far the best gift-giver. He always surprises me (even though he knows how much I CANNOT stand a surprise) and comes up with the best ideas. He might just be the method to some of my madness as well as he was the giver behind my sewing machine 4 years ago, my camera 3 years ago and then my fabulous new lens last year. So, what did he do this year?

Published. Can you even believe it? I have said from the get-go that this blog is my way of remembering things since I don't scrap-book, haven't printed pictures since Louisa was born, her baby book is still shrink-wrapped, etc. I am just not that kind of person. But, I have no qualms getting on here and pouring it all out for my memory and for the entertainment of some of you. :) Well, Mr. Awesomeness himself took it and made it into a book. Who knew that I had written a 430 page novel? Oh geeze. It was quite funny as we were sitting at the table for Thanksgiving my Aunt Penny said, "You should really write a book." Well, I guess I did.

But seriously, how amazing is this gift? I fought the urge to cry buckets. I wanted to, I really could have - but I held them back. By-far the best coffee table book ever in my opinion. :) Made me look real stoopid for giving him cash to buy new tires for his truck. I am such the romantic.

But Christmas wasn't just about me, of course...Louisa was the star. I don't think I ever realized how fun the holiday was until I had Louisa. Just watching her excitement and reactions make it all worth it. I mean, have you ever seen a 3-year old as excited as this to get the soundtrack to the musical Wicked?

There is also someone else in the house that loves Christmas. My brown dog. Mallard LOVES Christmas. He is all up on Louisa when she is opening present sniffing out what she has and looking over her shoulders. This is not taken well by Lou as she screams, "No Mawward, weave me alones!" the entire time.

But it is too cute. But this Christmas was scarred by a seizure of his. He has seizures randomly, and honestly hasn't had one in quite some time but as soon as we finished gifts, I noticed him walking stiffly to me with his head down and drooling and it started. These BREAK my heart in two. I love this dog more than I should and watching him seize is something that just doesn't sit well with me. Thankfully he came to fairly quickly and wasn't as out of it after like he usually is, but still - makes me so sad for him. Lucy, on the other hand - was steady guarding the popcorn box that I used to wrap one of Byron's presents in. This black dog loves her popcorn. She isn't kidding.

Murray, in the meantime could care LESS about what is going on. Imagine that. Typical cat, but she is quite excited that Santa brought her some "clean pipers"

(they are NOT to be called pipe cleaners in our house as you will be quickly corrected by a blond toddler). She loves to play with these in the middle of the night. Cheap date.

I am not much for writing today, maybe because I have the house to myself today. It is weird how quiet it is, I can actually process thoughts...but somehow am having a very difficult time in doing so. Ha, figures, kinda like when I go to the grocery store all by self and realize that I have no clue what I am doing there. Does that happen to any other moms out there? It is almost like my mind is sharper when I have someone screaming in my ear. Random, I know. Byron and Louisa ventured to Louisiana for the day to visit with family and the fat, pregnant girl turned down the opportunity to ride in the car for 7 hours. My back just didn't want to have anything to do with it. Since I had a dream last night that baby boy (still no name) came early, and I still really don't have anything done - I am thinking it might be wise to take this quiet time and get some things started in the nursery. When you have a panic attack in a dream, it just might be a sign for something. Right?? But, seeing as though it is 3 pm and I am still in my pajamas and enjoying every minute of it...I might just sit down in a comfy chair with my brown doggie and grab my new coffee table book and catch up on what I have been doing the last few years.

I hope that everyone had a Merry Christmas and until next time, here is my cute little Monet in the making.


Friday, December 17, 2010

There Once Was a Belly-Button

There once was a belly-button...

but according to my lovely, honest 3 year old - it is no longer on my stomach. What do you think?

Anyways. Gotta love the honesty from the mouth of a toddler. Louisa has had so many interesting things to say about the growing belly. In all honesty, it must be really strange for her to grasp such an odd concept. I mean, I get it...and as do most adults. But for her, it has to just be odd to be told that there is her baby brother in my belly and he is moving and kicking and growing and one day he will just be out in the world and be in her house sharing her parents and such. Oh well, I will try not to look too much into it since she is still on board and seems to be handling it all so well. Her biggest concern is that he is going to "tee-tee all over her stuff." And I keep telling her, "Lou, it is fine. I am going to have a diaper on him and he won't just be tee-teeing all over the house." And then I remember the piece of anatomy that I am very not comfortable with and begin to question this statement...yikes. I mean, he might just tee-tee all over, who knows how boys work. Guess who will find out soon enough. And I am sure I will share it with all of you.

Back to the belly & Lou's thoughts. Just to share a few.
  • This morning when I was getting into the shower, the sweet little thing looks at me and says, "Oh Mommy. You look jes like Santa Claus wif that big-ole belly." Thanks Lou, now I am feeling confident for the day. What a perfect time of year for me to have a large belly. Hehe.
  • One day as I was getting dressed in my OWN room with the door shut (all you Moms out there know better than to try and shut your door, it is like a flashing light that says, all toddlers...please come on in - no need for privacy here) she sashays in all cute-like, gets a sour look on her face and says (with hands on hips mind you), "MOMMY! Put that thing away!" Trust me dear, I am trying very, very hard to stuff it in my pants and my belly band so that no one else has to endure it. Geeze.
  • The firecracker is lucky to be at just the right height where her head touches the belly. So, when I am trying to move around the house (mostly when cooking or fixing meals) she is right there under my feet and my belly always knocks her head around and makes her lose her balance. Confession: I find this hilarious. It makes me smile. Louisa...not so much. I usually get, "Ugh Mommy. Your belly is in my ways."
  • And in reference to the belly-button...one day we were snuggling on the couch and she decided to pull up my shirt and touch my belly and kiss it. Something that I don't think I will ever tire of, I think it is so sweet since she will talk to that sweet little boy in there when she does this, melts my heart. Anyways, she pulled up my shirt, looked at my stomach, proceeded to poke my belly-button over and again, got that sour look and the hands went to her hips and she said it. "Mommy, your bewwy-button is broken. What happened to it? Where did it go?" Exactly. :)
I mean...it isn't that big, right? Hehe, methinks I know why my back hurts so bad at night.

Now on to the nursery...everyone has been asking for pics of the room. So, I decided to indulge you. Here we go.

Hehe, shame on me - but that is what it looks like right now. It is still the office and there is still random stuff all over the place in there and no where near finished. I promise to post pics when it is all done and functioning JUST as a nursery - but who knows when that will be. I have lost steam in the whole decorating department as I have been consumed with my new-found obsession in the sewing room...plush things. Many crafters refer to them as "softies." I refer to them as my crack-cocaine for right now. Obsessed much. I will give you more pics later when I get them all done. Right now my sewing room is covered in various animals in different stages of finished and patterns that I am cutting trying to get just right for things that I am making that I need to give away as gifts but am having a very, very hard time departing with.

Speaking of departing. RIP Sambo Norris.

My blackberry. He has been my best friend for almost 3 years now. I remember the day I got him. He has been very sick lately and finally conked out on my today when I was in Wal-Mart. I cannot really say I blame him, I feel the same way about that store. I never realized how much I depended on a cell phone until I was without one for like 2 hours. Crazy, right? Sambo's replacement will be here tomorrow. I hope he will work similarly to Sambo in the whole process of trying to figure things out because as I remember the day I got my phone, I also remember the weeks of trying to figure out how to navigate life on a BB. Don't really want to go there again. The new guy is going to be named Nash. I would have loved to name baby boy Nash, but it almost sounds like a speech impediment....Nash Norris. Too smoozy for a child, perfect for my phone.

On to the name, he still has none. My friend Summer calls him "Baby Huffington" from Max & Ruby and that cracks me up. She is threatening to monogram some things with that name unless I come up with another soon. :)

While I am rambling I am slowly hearing how "quiet time" in Louisa's room is starting to sound more like destruction of a room I spent this morning cleaning. This makes my OCD panic. So, let me wrap things up with some sass, shenanigans and some eye candy. Literally.



Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Worth Every Penny

I may not have inherited the gene to feel the need to decorate for holidays from my Mom, but I definitely inherited the gene that makes me feel obligated to be cheap. It doesn't help that we work on a resident's salary either...but sometimes I look at prices and think (you will never guess this), "I can do that for that price." Oh lawd, here we go again.

Crib bedding...word to the wise - it is expensive. Whether you are looking in Pottery Barn or looking to have it done custom, it is pricey. With Louisa's nursery - I found some bedding I loved on clearance (dirt cheap) at Pottery Barn when I first found out I was preggo. I had no clue if it was a boy or girl, but I knew at the price I couldn't resist. And you know, I actually did the same thing this time - only I found cute bedding at Target (had been returned from online sale) at a S-T-E-A-L that was pink and green and I bought it...NOT even pregnant, but figuring I would never have anything other than a girl. Well, here we are with me incubating some testosterone.

Anyways, I never felt the urge to make crib bedding since I had always heard people cuss about it. But, when I went looking for boy nursery stuff I was grossed out. I refused to buy anything that was out there and somehow found myself looking at fabrics and talking myself into making it all myself. You know, one of those good-ole lack of O2 to the brain moments. Well, I ran across one of my ALL time fave discontinued Joel Dewberry (I heart him by the way for those that have yet to pick up on that) prints at a steal and grabbed it. When it came in the mail I drooled over it and then it sat in a bag hidden under lots of crizzity in my sewing room until recently. Well, today...I undertook it all. And, I must say - I won.

Now, just for an idea - on etsy custom bedding ranges from $150 to about $300. Something I thought was crazar until now. Well, after today I have realized you would have to pay me around $500-$1,000 to do it. Not my cup of tea. It wasn't awful, but just not the sewing I enjoy. And just since I think you care, I will walk you through it all.

First of all, I decided that I would just slip-cover Louisa's old bumper pad. I figured I already had it, so that way I wouldn't have to buy the stuffing and I could use it as a measuring guide. Genius and cheap. Are you proud Mom?

Then to the measuring. Since I had only 2 yards of a very, very out of print and hard to find for a reasonable price fabric - I really did have to employ the whole "measure twice cut once" way of working which is never really fun for me. The math hurt my head. So, I got more coffee and worked my way through it all. However, I cringed every time I cut through the Joel Dewberry fabulousness.

And this is the part in which I thought for sure the bad words would come. I do not like, repeat, do not like cording, piping whatever the heck you want to call it. For some reason, it makes me sweat. And swear, imagine that.

Now for the ties - which I ALMOST forgot. Yikes. 16 biased pieces later and a thumb I could no longer feel from being steam-singed I remembered where my bias-tape-maker thingy was. Murphy.

And for the ends of these 16 ties (which in all actuality is 32, but who is counting right?) I pulled out the big guns.

My ginghers. Oh how I am scared to pooey of these things. I mean, they cut my fingers just looking at them wrong. I honestly cringe just looking at them, but I knew that 4 layers of decorator-weight fabric would go south really quick if not for some uber-sharp shears. I know that their original owners (my Grandmother Morgan) was helping me hold my mouth just right as I chomped through all 32 ends scared to death of losing a digit. I made it, with all 10 fingers accounted for and then started to put it all together and get really nervous that I was either forgetting something or doing something wrong as I decided to fore-go a pattern or reading a tutorial, and instead went with the words of my friend Phoebe, "I've got this."

So, once it was all sewn together and I flipped it right-side out and everything was where it was supposed to be and I had YET to say a bad word, I was some kind of proud of myself. I mean, I wasn't having fun by any means...but there were no temper tantrums or swearing or throwing of any sort of sewing utensil. I was very impressed. Go me.

Now for the stuffing...this was not fun. At all. I had to put one arm all the way in one side to grab the bumper padding on the other and pull. This is when I was asking for go-go-Gadget arms to no avail. And I was sweating and had just eaten lunch so any exertion quickly brought on some reflux of my lunch and I was starting to get over it all. But, I got it. It wasn't until sewing up the ends that the first bad word came. Hand-sewing has never been a strength of mine. Ever. I practice and practice and I have even read books and tutorials - but I just sort of wing it and do it my own way no matter what anyone else says. I think that is half the problem...but then again, methinks that might be the whole control-freak in me?? But, as I was sewing up the ends it happened, that darned needle went straight into my finger and I swear it almost came out the other side. I swore like it was my job. And then my finger bled like it was it's job. Of course now you cannot even tell where the puncture occurred - but it hurt like the dickens to say the least. So, bad word numero uno...but I think I did very well up until that point.

So, once I got the ends all sewn up I decided to over-achieve and to look into "quilting" it all so that it would be easier for me to wash and not worry about the innards bunching up all over the place. I got out the manual for ole Myrtle and read up on the quilting foot and skipped over the whole part about my feed dogs

(who knew that is what they were called anyways?) and thankfully, OH SO thankfully talked myself out of the intricate pattern I wanted to go with and opted instead for straight lines. GOOD THING because this is where it all went south. And I mean, like South Pole.

First of all, I never realized how stinking heavy this thing was until I was trying to support it all and make it work in the small amount of room in my machine that will quilt but should not. Or, maybe I was over-estimating Myrtle's ability to sew through about 10 layers of batting. Let us just say that one broken needle, one bad, bad, bad cuss word, 50 lbs of bumper pad and buckets of sweat later.....it was quilted. I will refrain from details on this, but will show you a picture of a size 16 (yes, a heavy duty) needle and maybe that will give you more of an idea of how the "quilting" went.

But, it is done. And I love it.

Now, I still have to do the bed-skirt which worries me none since I have done a few before, and then a bolster pillow across the back since it is a solid wood-backed crib with no place for ties...I found with Lou the bumper in the back always fell over. So, this time I will make a big-fat bolster pillow with ties to tie in on the sides to stay in place. Maybe...we shall see. Just a small sneaker - since the nursery is in no way, shape or form in order. In fact, it is a home office with a crib in it right now. :)

But, for what this post was about in the first place - to all of you out there that sew custom bedding for people...props to you. I cannot imagine doing this day-in and day-out. You are my heroes. And for those of you that pay for custom bedding - rock on, I may have to join you if I ever decide on chirren numero tres. Of course, I am almost positive that by then - there will be NO oxygen flowing to my brain so I will probably find myself uttering those words that are beginning to haunt me...

"I can do that."

Now off to make some shrimp and grits for dinner. Please, please feel free to drink a glass of vino for me tonight. It would be much appreciated.

Until next time...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Decking The Halls

Fa-La-La-La-La and all that jazz. I don't mean to sound like a Scrooge, but I am just not a holiday decorator. I think I have made mention to this before, but for some reason...I never got that bug from my family. Which some of you may find hard to believe as my Mother and both sisters have boo-koos of decorations for each and every holiday. That gene some how passed me over. Poor middle child...

PS - long blog and I didn't proof-read because I am rebellious like that.

Anyway, what does however happen to me during the holidays is that I get fixated on one certain thing and then I will not be okay unless I do it. Then, this motivation usually gives me the gumption to get up and get on with my business of decking the halls. This year, it was the palm fronds. I blogged about those damned (excuse my language, but I will try and refrain from what I really want to call them) things about two posts ago or so, but I am going to do something that I don't often do. Admit defeat. Screw you palm fronds. I never liked you anyways. Stupid crackers. See, that is about as PG as it comes. The less PG version was texted to my husband the night of the incident.

Anyways, my original palm frond idea quickly became evident that it wouldn't work. But, sometimes (ahem, always) I tend to be stubborn. I was bound and determined to incorporate the fronds into my decor. So, I went googling and found a perfect photo. I thought (of course) "I can SO do that" (I am seriously thinking of renaming the blog after my motto, haha) and as I read on the magazine article said that they used a glue gun to make it all happen. I mean, I can so do that. So, off Byron went to an ENT interview dinner and here I was happy as a clam about to start a new project. Here is the inspiration photo. Courtesy of Coastal Living.

So, I quickly learn that the glue gun (which can honestly be a whole other post in itself...that dern thing is sneaky like a rotary cutter, why does it feel the need to burn the shiz out of my poor, innocent fingers and then leave a string of glue that gets everywhere) will not hold together my fronds. At all. So, I begin to cuss Coastal Living. I mean, who do they think they are anyways?? Can you tell how quickly this all went south? Then my sweet husband suggests drilling all the fronds and then securing them with a bolt. Ahaaa. He is brilliant. So, I take all my fronds into the garage (mind you I am getting sliced and diced by the stupid things the entire time) and get out the drill and find a bolt and a nut and am ready to go. Then, the smallest drill bit starts to split all the fronds that are way too strong to be tied together or even glue gunned. So, the cussing continues. But, I continue as well and am uber-determined at this point. I finally get all the fronds drilled with NO splits and get them all lined up to get a bolt through them all and then wouldn't you know - Murphy stops by. The blasted bolt isn't long enough. Super shizzles. No worries - I go and find a deck screw that is about as long as my arm and stick it through all the fronds and thankfully, oh so thankfully the nut fits on the other end so I secure them all together nice and tight. Mind you, the entire time....you cannot step on the fronds or else they get all broken and un-pretty-like AND I have a belly the size of Santa Claus and the diameter of the fronds is like 4 feet. So, my back is killing me, but when I get it all done I get so excited and I bring it into the living room to hang on the mantle and Murphy stops in again and all the fronds with all of their weight fall all caddy-whompass again - COMPLETELY DEFEATING the hour or so I have just spent with the drill, bleeding fingers and a hurting back. At this moment...I turn from sweet, innocent, sailor-mouth Amy to Clark Griswold and throw the biggest temper tantrum there is. Things are thrown, garland is kicked, fronds are yelled at, I begin to cry, the dogs run with tails tucked the other way, random invisible things are being swatted at in the air, you get the idea...right? At that moment, sweet little Louisa walks in the living room and says, "Mommy, are you habing a meltdown?" To say the least my dear. Well, the fronds are up on the mantle and they are drooping more and more each day and they should as they are seriously in trouble with me but I refuse to let them win and put them back outside where they want to be. So, here they sit...in all their pitiful glory. Shame on them. UPDATE: I cannot look at this picture without dying laughing now, they are AWFUL!!

Anyways, I decide to decorate anyways and I get up the tree and sweet hubby puts the lights on so that we can avoid another visit by Mr. Griswold himself. And as I unwrap the ornaments, I find the ones that mean so much that I have seen year after year after year, and I slowly get the spirit. This one is my fave...followed by some other faves up there.

I mean, you just cannot beat the angel made out of a seashell with some random splatters of glitter. Well, maybe you can. My Mom has one that I made back in the day...it is an angel made out of a toilet paper roll and some pipe cleaners, I laugh just thinking about it. :) Katie...you know you are too. And how about the one where my sweet brown doggie is sitting with Santa? And you know, at the end of it when that sweet little towhead comes down the hall and you see the look on her face as she looks at each and every ornament and the excitement in her eyes - well, it made it all worth it. My heart melted and my hormonal self even teared up. Seeing Christmas through a kid's eyes is probably one of the most amazing things. It even made me almost forget about the palm-frond-incident. Almost.


Yes, do you spy it too? The fronds on the top of the tree? Those were the only cooperative ones. Those shouldn't even be in the same species as the other cantankerous ones. And do you know that this is the first year that my child has had a stocking? Hope she loves it as much as I do. I have been loving some feed sack sewing crafts lately, the photo didn't cooperate as much but since I was so close to the schnizzle-fronds (haha, get it? I crack myself up) I figured it was just bad vibes coming off of them.

I even let Louisa start a project this year. She wanted to make the little beaded candy cane ornaments, and after I scared the phooey out of her about eating the beads, she sat for like an hour making these things. It was precious.

Now the the house is semi-decorated and there are still boxes of decorations laying all over the place and they will probably stay that way until it all needs to come back down and be put away again, I am ready for some new projects. Ooooohhh, which reminds me. I closed shop for brownie-goose Sunday night after finally getting done with all of the fall orders and have been LOVING the free time. Cracker jacks, I never realized how much time I actually spent on BG until I didn't have to, and since I don't have a spring line debuting this year...I really am without a BG care in the world. It is great. Don't take it personally BG, I love you - but it is nice to have some time away. Getting to play with my own crafts and sewing ideas is just about the most fun! Oh, and on my own schedule. Fantabulous. Anyways...these are my next projects.

Isn't that chicken crate just the most wonderful thing you have ever seen? Much to the dismay of my Facebook friends who apparently thing ill of me (hehe) it is not baby's crib. I will show a finished product when that so happens. Oh, and the fabrics...don't you just want to swim in the Joel Dewberry fabulousness that are of course out of print? I sure do - but in the meantime, those are my nursery fabrics mixed in with some of my second fave designer, Amy Butler. Wahoo, baby boy might actually have a nursery in the next week or two. Now, to work on a name.

And just to satisfy you....

Oh, and I know you are all jealous of the psychodelic-kid sheets on the master bed. Lovely right...we may need to ask Santa for some grown-up sheets. Ha.

Until next time...