Thursday, April 28, 2011

Little Purses for Little Girls

I have two sweet nieces who we were planning to see for Easter. I knew they would be getting a lot of candy, so I wanted to give them something else. I planned to make hair clips, but didn't get them finished. Instead, I sewed each of them a little drawstring purse.

I chose fabric that was girly, but not too little girly. No Dora, no butterflies, no bunnies and chicks. I wanted these to be something that they could use now and later. They're perfect for a little girl to carry to church with some Sunday school offering, a hankie (as if anyone still carries those), and a pencil and paper. But they'll also be really handy for jewelry or make-up or whatever when the girls get older. I also made them reversible just for fun. The drawstring is harder to pull when they are inside out, but it's still an option.

First I gathered my material and ribbon.

I drew a pattern on some printer paper and cut out all my pieces. Then I just stitched them up! The whole project took about an hour...maybe less than that...and it was kind of a trial and error project, but I love how they turned out and hopefully the girls like them. 

The lining is pink in both of them.

I didn't get a picture of the girls with their purses, but we did try to get one of all the kiddos. Not the best picture we've ever taken, but getting three little ones to look and smile at the same time is nearly impossible. They're still cute and this captures the day perfectly. A and K both being silly and G looking a little overwhelmed.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I always want to remember this face:

I love my boy.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

We Like Mike

A couple years ago there was a group of high school boys who Adam and I liked to hang out with.

Well, Adam hung out with them the most, but they let me join them every now and then. We all had lunch periodically at Lot-A-Burger. It was fun. They were fun. But they all graduated and headed off to college.

We were sad. And then...they came back to visit. Quite a bit actually. Yay!

We've had lots of visits from Michael. He showed up to hold G in the hospital.

He came back the next day, but didn't want to hold G that time. He just wanted to hang out in my hospital bed. Gee thanks.

A few weeks later he showed up again. This time he brought his friend, Clint. And his tie-dye tank top. G wasn't a fan of the tank top. He peed on it. 
G gave Michael a second chance a little later. In fact, G thought Mike was super fun. They spent some quality time bonding. It was sweet.

Michael dropped by this weekend. He wanted to show us his new set of wheels. Two wheels, that is. Yep, Michael got a motorcycle. It rhymes. So does Mike got a bike. 

I like motorcycles. They're dangerous. The last bike I rode was this one in Vietnam:

We wrecked it. Talk about dangerous. 

And now Michael was here to take me for a ride. I donned his helmet and my dorky sunglasses. You have to have some kind of head protection, although the helmet was way too big. It kept slipping down over my eyes.

We hopped on his sweet ride and off we went. 

No wrecks this time. And I felt cool, which is really what matters most. 

We like Mike.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Don't Be A Baby

Sometimes I think being a baby would be great. There is no responsibility. People do stuff for you. You get carried around and cuddled all the time. Everyone says you're cute. You get to take naps every day. What could be better?

But then I remember that babies have it rough. Just think about it, they can never shake the "freshman feeling" because things are always new. They are in an almost constant state of frustration because they can't walk, and even worse, can't talk. Their parents find themselves in a guessing game as to what they need half the time because communication between them is so limited. This results in regular poking and prodding while the poor baby just lay there frustrated that their caretakers can't get it right. There are always strangers in their faces trying to make them smile or laugh. They are expected to perform ALL the time.

"Show grandma how you can stick out your tongue."

"Aunt Susan wants to see you roll over."

Their food options are very limited. And very mushy. They are required to be buckled into EVERYTHING--carseat, stroller, high chair, shopping cart. There are so many rules about what is ok to touch and what is off limits. "Dad can touch the remote, why can't I?"

And maybe worst of all, they have to wear a diaper. Disgusting. But it's not just the diaper. It's the changing part too. No one seems worried about making the baby bare all in front of others. Seriously, show some class.

But there are other parts of being a baby that are yucky too. Babies can't blow their noses. You know what that means? The little blue sucker. Horrible. You know what else that means? Ear infections. Double horrible. Babies can't really control their bodies. They drop stuff all the time. They miss what they're trying to grab. They stumble, they fall down, they bonk their heads. And the part we're dealing with at our house:


Oh man! Poor babies! I had braces as a teenager. I can remember coming home from the orthodontist after getting everything tightened, or worse, getting those awful coils, and feeling terrible. My jaw ached and my teeth hurt. I could only eat soft foods and look ahead to a straight set of pearly whites. It was not fun. And that's how my baby feels. Granted, he always eats soft food, but he doesn't get to take two ibuprofen and have some ice cream. He can't tell me where it hurts the most so I can put Orajel on that spot.

We took G to the doctor yesterday thinking he had an ear infection, but nope, just teething. Apparently the symptoms are the same--runny nose, not sleeping, lots of crying. How are parents to know what to do?

Being a baby is hard.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Over the River and Through the Woods

A month later I'm finally putting up the pictures of our trip to Papa and Grandma's house. Less pictures than I wanted (much less, I'm so terrible at taking pics), but here they are.

Just playing in the hallway.
"Man, I wish I could crawl."
Doesn't Adam look great in leopard print? 
March Madness Brackets--a friendly competition
Papa and G get excited about basketball.

"Whee! Uncle Brycie is so fun!"

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Safety First

It's a good thing we put the bumper pad on G's crib so he wouldn't get his arms or legs stuck in the slats. Oh wait...

Just to clarify, he wasn't actually stuck, just playing when he was supposed to be napping.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

An Ottoman Cover

When we moved into our house a generous family gave us a sofa, chair and ottoman that they were replacing. They were in great condition, so we gratefully hauled them into our living room. The sofa was a dark sage green with khaki piping. Maybe not my first choice, but it was neutral. The chair and ottoman, on the other hand, were not neutral. They coordinated, but the pattern was definitely not my taste. Eeek!

I found a slipcover for the chair that, while it's kind of country, actually ties the green couch to the rest of the room. But what to do with the ottoman? I happened upon a yellow sheet that was the same color as a stripe in the chair's slipcover, so I decided to make a slipcover for the ottoman. Initially, it looked great, but as time went on it began to look pretty shabby. The sheet I used had really low thread count, so the fibers began to separate, especially at the seams, and the bottom began to fray. Plus, since it was covering an ottoman where people's feet are regularly propped, it became quite dingy and pilly even after being washed. When I dropped a slice of pizza sauce side down on the side, I knew it was time to find a replacement.

I didn't want to spend very much on fabric since this was more about getting rid of what was there than finding something perfect. I loved the yellow color of the last ottoman, but finding that color proved to be difficult, mainly because I wanted to spend as little as possible. I finally settled on off-white. And I used a sheet again because it's the easiest way to get one large piece of fabric.

A few hours later, I have a new cover for my ottoman. I still like yellow better, this doesn't match as well as I had hoped, but it's so nice to have something clean and fresh.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The New Old Highchair

While we were in St. Francis, I asked my mom to dig out my brother and my old highchair. It's a sweet specimen from the 70's, and I love it. Officially it's a vintage Cosco Peterson highchair and pretty hard to find. My google search has landed on one that sold in November on etsy. Lucky me for having a mom who saves stuff! It's made of stainless steel and has a shiny, metal tray. The seat is covered in orange vinyl with flowers and animals scattered across it.

Let's pause for a moment and list the animals represented on this highchair:
Koala Bear
Duckbilled Platypus

Seriously, who decided those animals went together? What a random, random group.

Despite the strange assortment from the animal kingdom, G loved it!

My purpose for asking my mom to dig out this relic from my past was not just so G would have somewhere to sit while he ate his veggies. I was planning to take it home with me. Our house isn't very big and we just don't have a good place to fit a huge, plastic highchair. This little chrome beauty takes up much less space and folds flat-ish if it needs to be stashed away somewhere. Plus, it's super cool.

My plan was to recover the seat with some fun fabric. I had seen someone do it once on a blog years ago, so I knew it could work. Adam and I chose some crazy fabric I had in my stash of African cloth. The other crucial element was some clear plastic because, let's be honest, babies are messy eaters. I found clear plastic on rolls at Walmart and surprisingly it was ridiculously cheap.

I was totally insecure in my sewing abilities for this project, so I was glad my mom was there to help. Of course I can't find the blog where I originally saw this project, so we were just making it up as we went. We basically sewed a "pillowcase" for the back and the seat. Then I hot glued (don't look closely) the opening closed and screwed both pieces back onto the frame. Oh, and we found some new webbing for the "seatbelt" part. Adam had the great idea to add a strap between G's legs and I'm so glad we did. This was definitely a trial and error kind of project, but I really like how it turned out.

new webbing, old buckles

And G likes it too!

Monday, April 4, 2011


St. Francis, Kansas doesn't have a lot of exciting shopping. There used to be a women's clothing store, but it closed a few years ago. There was a drug store that had a surprisingly good fabric section, but it closed a few years ago too. The extent of shopping in Sainty (what the locals call it) is Sainty Super Foods, Hill Top Market, Ace Hardware (which has quite the selection of toys and men's jeans), the pharmacy, the furniture store, and a jam-packed gift store (we're talking jam-packed with lots of knick-knacks). So when the Methodist church opened a thrift store, people were pumped. Ok, I'm assuming people were pumped. With such limited options, I would be pumped.

It's become a regular stop for me when I'm visiting my parents and I've scored some really awesome stuff. This trip was no exception. I spent less than $20 and got quite the haul.

salad spinner--$1  I've been searching high and low for a good salad spinner since I basically only buy leaf lettuce. This one far exceeds my old one and for a buck, I couldn't pass it up! (I recently saw this in a store for $30...score for me!)
compact umbrella--$1  I've also been searching for a cute little umbrella to keep in my car. This may not have been my first choice of fun prints, but it was only a dollar.
two scarves and red, fringy dress, hat for Graham--clothing bag sale $3  The dress is for a costume. Now that it's spring, G needed something to keep the sun out of his eyes.
fabric--$3.50 My stash keeps growing. I HAVE to start making things!
yellow Samsonite bag--$2  This bag is awesome! It's roomy, has pockets, is in great condition and will be the perfect diaper bag/carry on.
lamp--$3  I know this lamp is quirky, but I have plans for it. Stay tuned.
smock apron--$0.75  I went back later and found this, so they gave it to me for half price since the $3 clothing bag sale didn't help me out. I know it's weird, but I love it!

In addition to the thrift store, there is a little antique shop that I always visit. The woman who runs the place has everything marked 50% off, so I had to buy something. For less than $15 I came home with:

embroidered pillowcase-- I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this. I may use it as a pillowcase, or I may use it for something else. I just liked it.
shade for my quirky lamp-- Lamp shades are expensive and this one was only a buck, I couldn't pass it up.
turquoise Pyrex bowl-- The bowl is square and matches a red one I already have.

Not bad for St. Francis.