Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Latest Project

 The front
The back

My new favorite project. Several years ago I started cutting the fabric for this quilt trying to use up my scraps. Other projects soon became more interesting and this quilt was shelved. Finally a few months ago I pulled it back out, cut even more scraps (since my stash had since grown) and put it together. My goal was to not buy any new fabric for it (didn't happen, but close), I even used an old white sheet instead of buying more white material. It's a little disturbing to me that I had that much blue material to make the back but I love this quilt. I love that the old sheet makes it soft. I love all the colors that don't naturally go together but work when taken as a whole. I love that something I started years ago is now complete (it took a TON of time and energy and obsession - I even brought my sewing into the living room and hunched over on a stool while quilting at the coffee table just so I could sew while the kids were awake). I love the rows and rows of stars. I love that I quilted it with waves to bring the heavens down to earth. And I love that most of my points match beautifully. I LOVE sewing.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Boy Howdy "Sleeps"

Remember a few months ago I posted about how Cheeks was sleeping in the most random of places? I guess it's Boy Howdy's turn to be uncomfortable. What's funny about these is that he asked to be tucked into his bed before he evidently changed his mind and decided to make his own bed. Seriously how can that be comfy?? It's a good thing I check on them before I go to bed myself. I don't think this would have ended happily for the boy.

And then a few days later I saw this bed.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Great Rain Escape - Part 3 (of 3)

Thursday, the day we left we TRIED our very best to be out of the door as early as possible. All with matching shirts that the kids and I made the week before the escape. We actually made decent time but poor cousin E struggles with car sickness and threw up in the car half way up to Disneyland. We had to stop to clean up what we could and then had to hang out by the car while Bre cleaned up the rest before heading over to the park. Then there was the fiasco that was, Boy Howdy desperate for the bathroom and no working escalator forcing all strollers to wait in a line to use the elevator. So Bre took the kids to use the bathroom while Cheeks and I waited in the elevator line. I assumed Bre and kids went ahead to the park after the bathroom so Cheeks and I did too. Once we made it threw security and still didn't see them I called Bre only to find out they were still waiting at the elevator for us. Ah. I kept thinking, we don't have our tickets yet, we can just turn around and go do something else right??? By the time we made it into the park it was close to 11, not the 9 we were hoping for. Curses. We had to be to the airport by 5 for a 6:40 flight and things were not looking good for a fun day.
My children were desperate to go play and ride the rides they'd been promised for the last month and cousin E was desperate to meet Cinderella. Oh how she ate up her time amongst royalty. Our first ride only a short line and the kids did mostly well, but Boy Howdy was just not prepared for further delay to his day.

After the ride I thought they would do better in toon town where there are no rides just places to play, but even that was just not helping this poor boy's sad mood. We saw Donald Duck (Cheeks was absolutely mesmerized by him but didn't want to actually get her picture taken with him) and Mickey Mouse but still no love from Boy Howdy. What's funny is that since then, Boy Howdy will tell anyone that he met Mickey Mouse with pure excitement in his voice, but at the time he wanted nothing to do with him (see above picture).

After the Peter Pan ride, which he only did because I promised him juice afterward we made our way to the Pineapple Dole Whip. With that our day completely turned around for my children. It was seriously like I had a different child. He was happy and excited and eager to enjoy more rides. See our It's a Small World ride? Isn't that a happy boy? But the pinnacle of joy was the Buzz Lightyear ride. He got to see Buzz Lightyear and shoot green aliens. and fight Zurg. He was sooooo excited. Thankfully there was very little line so when he wanted to do it again, immediately, it was easy to say YES! We had to leave shortly thereafter and I was so happy to hear Boy Howdy tell his cousin E when she wanted to do the ride for the 3rd time, "Sorry E, we have to go now."

We couldn't leave though before we had a picture taken in front of Disney castle. Our sweet photographer was worried about my children not looking at the camera but I figured it was more representative of the moment at the end of the day than if we were all looking cute. What was cute though was right after the first picture was taken, the kids climbed on bench next to the castle and started playing in the dirt. 

On the tram back to our car. Cheeks is looking like a bedraggled street urchin pulling on her neck and Boy Howdy is wanting desperately to open the door to the tram. I think Bre captured the moment beautifully!

After that, we had one more trip to Chick fil-A for dinner before heading to the airport for our flight. Bre generously watched the kids (including a very wild Cheeks) while I got us and the kids' super heavy car seats booked into our flight. The kids kissed and hugged and hugged and kissed (Cheeks was ready and willing, Boy Howdy not as much) their cousins and we said goodbye for a few months until we see each other at family reunion. Thank you darling Bre for your kind hospitality and your sweet children! I loved it all!!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Great Rain Escape - Part 2

On Wednesday, we ventured out to the beach. These pictures actually come from the second one we went to because the first had zero sand and was really just for surfers. Poor kids were not excited about getting back into the car after our first failed attempt. We found a spot with rocks, a little rivulet, seaweed, sand and ocean waves. It was blissful.


Another aspect of the trip was helping Bre with painting her kitchen cabinets. I had no idea when I went down that we would be embarking on this project, but Bre said it was her next renovation and I didn't see any reason why we shouldn't do it while I could be there to help. I have no idea how it turned out since we only got them cleaned, shellac'ed and painted the backs. But hopefully Bre and Paul will be happy with the result.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Great Rain Escape - Part 1

I realize that I am often the first to complain about the weather. Last summer was going to kill me with it's heat. The winter before that was going to kill me with it's snow and never-ending cold. I humbly apologize for my constant critique about Mother Nature's offering, but . . . the rain of this Oregon winter is threatening to kill my spirit. The temperatures have actually been extremely mild, but the rain, every day with only a paltry number of sunny days, has become more than tiresome.

As such, when Matthew traveled for work this March for a week, the kids and I escaped the rain and visited my brother Paul and his family. They only recently moved to San Diego and have two children about Cheeks and Boy Howdy's ages. I was excited to get our children together for a few days, excited for Southern California's famous sun, excited to see Paul and Bre, and excited to do something other than go to the Gilbert House or OMSI to get out of the house.

The trip did not disappoint. We got cheap tickets and headed down Monday morning. Cheeks threw up 3 times on the flight. It was only a 2-hour flight but she managed to throw up THREE times. The third time happened as we were landing and Boy Howdy started throwing up shortly after she did. Thankfully we had two very kind people sitting around us (a policewoman right across the aisle and a fireman right behind her) that flew into action to help Boy Howdy as I was helping Cheeks. Love those first responders. Boy Howdy just kept crying that the plane wouldn't stop bumping. Poor babies. We were beyond ready to exit the plane and while I had done what I could to clean up our row, after the third time, I just did what I could and made sure the flight crew knew that 26 A,B and C needed a thorough cleaning before they seated new passengers.

After that things improved. The kids played so beautifully with each other. Cousin E and Boy Howdy were instant friends. They are only a few weeks different in age and they are both oldest children with silly, strong personalities. Cousin P and Cheeks were also fast friends. Cousin P is 9 months younger than Cheeks and doesn't talk much but that didn't stop them from digging in the dirt or pushing each other on a little tricycle. These four children played outside more often than not (Paul and Bre have an AWESOME backyard) and got Bre and I so excited for more cousin time this summer at family reunion.

A few pictures from the week.

The kids eating dinner outside. Bre barbecued some sausages, so the kids wanted to get in on the action and have their own barbecue. Boy Howdy grilled a rock and a pine cone for the girls and they all feasted heartily on their dirt puddings. They pulled over the pots and the seats to have their own al fresco dinner. I love everything about these pictures!

We put Cousin E and Boy Howdy in the back and Cheeks and Cousin P in the front. The two "big kids" were so funny in the back playing silly games with each other and giggling at their funny jokes. So so so cute!!