Monday, May 31, 2010

Adam's first cycling outift

I have completed Adam's first cycling outfit. He's pretty happy with the result. It's a little looser than he wants and not hemmed yet, so I need to work with that. But we had a fun-filled day today in New Jersey and the heat sucked all of the energy out of me, so it will have to wait until tomorrow.
The fabric was really tricky to work with. I got so angry at my machine because it was skipping stitches, and sewing in the chamois pad in the crotch was super stressful. But everything worked out.
I also sewed in the collar upside down and ended up using an invisible zipper when I needed a normal zipper, but it all worked.

Three pockets in the back.

This was a stressful project for me but having Adam be happy with the results makes it worth it. I still need to make another jersey out of red and black fabric and some long tights, and I think I have enough extra fabric to make another blue jersey.
Today Adam got me to ride a bike! The last time I rode a bike was when I was eleven I think. I used to ride my bicycle all the time in California but when we moved to Colorado and there were hills I lost my interest. :[ So this was pretty stressful for me. But it turned out all right and I even enjoyed myself at the end. Hand brakes are definitely tricky! Maybe we'll get me a bike and we'll actually make cycling into a family activity.
This week I'm finishing my nephew's quilt. I also need to make Daniel more diapers. Don't worry, the "cute" diapers I made still fit, but my original All-in-one diapers are too small because I did a few things differently with the elastic and inner fabrics. I do have the Large-sized diapers that I made for Katrina but they are so bulky. So I'm going to buy half a yard of a few different fabrics and make maybe four more diapers. I want to try a different inner fabric because the suedecloth I used irritates Daniel when he gets too hot. I'm going to try bamboo velour, I think. I also am going to try a different pattern because the current one I have just doesn't seem to last Daniel very long in each size.
Anyway, even though I'm getting so much sewing done I need to go to bed earlier. I've been wiped out lately. Last night and the night before I went to bed at 12:30 because I was sewing. That's just not enough sleep for me! So my goal this week is to go to sleep earlier and try to sew more during naptimes.
I'm sharing at Sew N Tell at AmyLouWho.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Brag Post

Time for an update on my kids; i.e. lots of bragging!

Daniel seems to have cut his night wakings from 3-4 times a night to 1-2. The past three nights have all been so much better! The only downside I will mention I will just describe in two words: clogged ducts. Enough said.

He is also getting so much better about sitting up by himself! He's sitting next to me right now. I keep the boppy behind him because he regularly tips over, but he can go several minutes at a time. He's still not much of a roller, but the sitting up is great. He gets a few spoonfuls of solid food almost every day, but he really doesn't like food, so it's slow going. He loooves water though, which is why I keep trying the food. He even can hold the sippy cup by both handles and tip it up into his own mouth.

Katrina is Katrina. Crazy and cute and fun. I fell asleep on the couch two days ago and she sat on my back and bounced for 30-40 minutes. I must have been tired to be able to fall asleep with her bouncing! I think mostly I was dozing, but I think that she stopped bouncing for a few minutes and I drifted off to sleep.

We got back the evaluation numbers and they made me happy, so here they are:

Age: 25 months
Cognitive Development Age: 26 months+
Communication Development: Expressive: 20 months, Receptive: 24 months
Social/Emotional Development: 24 months (though later it says 24-30 months, so I'm just assuming 'normal' for this one)
Physical Development: Gross Motor: 26 months, Fine motor: 25+ months
Adaptive Development: 28+ months

Whoo-hoo! We've always been a little worried about Katrina's developement, since, well, she's our first kid and we don't really know what kids her age are supposed to be doing. She was such a later walker and crawler and it was nice to hear the therapist be so impressed by Katrina's running and jumping. You can tell yourself "she'll catch up, she just needs to go at her own pace" all you want, but I prefer it now that she's caught up! :] Hopefully in a year I'll be listening to her talk and thinking, "Phew, she's caught up!"

One thing that Katrina likes to do lately is use weird voices. It completely through me off guard the first time I heard her do it. I looked at Adam and said, "Does she have something in her mouth?" But no, she was just experimenting with a silly voice. We talk to each other in funny voices occasionally and it makes us both laugh. She has started to sing the ends of song lines along with us. Thank goodness for Primary songs. She loves the songs with actions, and is thrilled when I teach her a new one. It's fun because I can now sing a song like "Do as I'm Doing" or "If You're Happy and You Know It" and I play around with different actions now without that throwing her off.

Adam has decided that I need to love cycling too so we can go on family bike rides. He regularly sends me pictures like this:
I think he's roping me into trying it out on Monday, so here's hoping I can get over my fear of being on a real bike (where your feet don't touch the ground) and maybe we'll become a crazy biking family.

But I'd much rather just drive to Joanns and pick up stuff to sew cycling clothes for Adam! :] Tonight I'll be pinning and cutting the first jersey and I'm hoping to get it all put together tomorrow.

This entry will abruptly end because somehow I just stuck my finger in a diaper and then I discovered it was covered in poo.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Early Intervention evaluation

This morning two therapists from the county came to evaluate Katrina. They brought a bunch of toys and laptops and played with her for maybe an hour while asking me questions. They were very nice ladies and thought Katrina was just the cutest thing. Katrina gets really excited when people come to visit, so after her initial shyness where she needed to hug me, she started running around like crazy and jumping and apparently doing all sorts of things that the therapists wanted to see! Her motor movements, both gross and fine, are just fine, and they were satisfied with her imaginative play and other skills. They were very impressed at her potty training skills, which she was able to demonstrate near the end.

But her speaking skills are definitely delayed, like we thought. However, she's not delayed enough to qualify for the program. She needs to be 25% delayed, so at the level of an 18 month old or so, and they estimate that she's about the level of a 20 month old. So--that's good and bad at the same time. They said to have them come back at the end of the summer and then they'll be able to evaluate her on some more concrete criteria than they can currently use.

It was an enjoyable morning and Katrina thrived on the attention. She's playing happily in her room now, and Daniel woke up and fell back asleep, so I'm free to do anything! I think I might work on my nephew's quilt. I finally came up with a design and can start putting it together. Adam is so excited for his fabric to arrive so I need to work on the quilt while I can, because once the fabric is here he'll be hounding me to work on that! :] (Edited to add: guess what arrived two days early while writing this post? Yep, the fabric.)

Oh, I wanted to mention something cute. On Sunday our home teacher came over with his daughter who is almost exactly two years older than Katrina. She used to be in Nursery with Katrina but is in Sunbeams now. Well, as soon as she saw her friend, Katrina walked over to her and gave her a big hug, and then grabbed her hand, said "Go!" and led the little girl to her bedroom. They had lots of fun and kept erupting in fits of giggles. It was pretty much the cutest thing ever. Her friend came out and said to me once, "Katrina is climbing up on the top of her dresser." I responded, "That's all right, she's allowed, because, well, we can't stop her." Adam later laughed at me and asked what kind of lesson is that going to teach? Oops!

I kind of want to take a nap or read but I'm going to cut out fabric instead. I hope this quilt turns out cute. I had the darnededest time figuring out a design. I hope it works out and that my sister-in-law likes it!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

My new bag

I don't know if you've seen these bags before, but the brand is Ameribag and these bags are supposed to be ergonomic and better for your back. My mother-in-law has one and showed it to me a couple of weeks ago. I didn't think about it much then, until one Sunday Adam and I were both getting frustrated with my current diaper bag and how difficult it is to find things in it. I switched to an older, smaller bag, and started thinking about my mother-in-law's bag. The cool thing about these is the sheer number of pockets they have. So I borrowed hers for a week, bought some fabric, and drafted up a pattern (though I made it larger and customized the pockets for my needs).
I stayed up late sewing two nights in a row because I was so excited. This is the result!
I'm pretty pleased. It looks really nice and fits all of my stuff well. It's definitely not perfect. I used a really stiff interfacing that was super difficult to work with when I was sewing everything together. If I make more bags like this I will use cotton canvas or twill like my mother-in-law's bag and dispense with the interfacing.

The inside is really fun. I made use of my extra foldover elastic from diaper making to make stretchy pockets for holding diapers, snacks, changes of clothes, and a sippy cup.

Plus there is a zipper pocket and two flat pockets for the wipes case and changing pad.

The outside has a flat pocket, a zipper pocket (see Katrina's hand? She was jumping on the bed and trying to hold the camera during this whole thing),

a flap pocket, and a pocket with velcro on the side for phone, a sippy cup, glasses, or whatever I want to put there. This bag can hold a sippy cup on the inside and one on the outside too which is good for when Daniel and Katrina both need sippies.
This bag is far from perfect. I bought feet to go on the bottom to keep it off the ground and since I didn't really know where to put them they ended up in the complete wrong spot and are pretty worthless! Here's two shots of some major issues I had to deal with--sewing bias tape around two layers of outside, two layers of inside, and two layers of thick interfacing, plus several layers of pockets. Around a curve.

Occasionally missing some layers. I fixed up most of these places last night but then Daniel woke up to eat and I had to stop. I'll fix the rest later today.
And now for some action shots.
I'm in pajamas. :] The camera kept turning off because it needs to be charged, so these photos are a little rushed.

Yes, Katrina was standing on the toilet in that picture.
And here is it over just one shoulder, which is how I will most likely carry it all of the time since I don't like slinging bags across my body--it just feels awkward. Though this bag, because of it's ergonomic shape, is definitely less awkward than most.

Bonus shot: Daniel being cute.
So hooray for a new diaper bag! I like this one. Even if the downsides of the bag (mostly the weird interfacing) start to bug me, I can make a new one easily out of better fabric and it won't be that expensive. But I'm going to stick with this one for awhile. It's really cute, practical, and I think it will get a little less stiff with use.
Since I finished this bag last night I'm going to share it on Sew N Tell Fridays at Amy Lou Who!
I'm also sharing at Show and Tell at Blue Cricket Design and Strut Your Stuff at Somewhat Simple.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Two Pretty Yoga Bags

Look how big my children are getting! They really make every day so much fun, frustrating as they both can be at times. In fact, Daniel is currently crying and I have to take a break to go feed him back to sleep.
Done. This next picture is from earlier today. Daniel and I were snuggling on the couch and I made Adam take a picture because I'm never in pictures.
K, so if you remember from my previous post, this was the photograph I received from my friend with the request to replicate it for her and her sister-in-law.

I googled around and found the site that sells it, which gave me a couple more views and dimensions. From that I proceeded and made these two totes!
I wish I had a yoga mat to slip into the side and show you what it looks like.

Here they are side by side. I think the red and black one is more striking in person but the red and brown one photographs better.
Here's a peek inside at the open pockets and a glimpse of the zipper pocket. I realize my photography skills are lacking; I tried to take pictures of my process of sewing in order to make a tutorial and they all stunk.
And one last picture of each for good measure.

Can you tell that I'm really proud of this project? I'm really happy that I was able to come up with this from just the picture. I want to see the actual bag in person and compare! :] Up next I am making cycling clothes for Adam (from a pattern, thank goodness!) and then I have another bag that I'm modeling after a bag of my mother-in-law's.
I'm showing off at Show and Tell at Blue Cricket Design, Strut Your Stuff at Somewhat Simple, and Sew N Tell at AmyLouWho.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Date Night

I'm still here, still sewing. I have one more yoga bag close to completion. Adam has asked me to sew him some cycling clothes! That's a big deal to me because it shows how much better I've gotten at sewing in the last year and a half, that now Adam is asking me to sew him something. We ordered a pattern and last night picked out fabric. Altogether I'm going to sew him two jersies, some shorts, and some pants for the same price as his current jersey and shorts. Awesome, right?

Today we are going to the zoo. It's during Katrina's naptime but she slept in this morning and on days she sleeps in it's impossible to get her to nap anyway. And then tonight Adam and I are going on a date! It's been awhile since we've had time together without the kids that was out of the house. We're going out to dinner and seeing the movie Date Night, incidentally. It should be fun! I'm really hoping Daniel goes to sleep easily and early tonight. His bedtime is anywhere between 6:30 to 7:30.

So I'll finish the other yoga bag tomorrow and post pictures. I was planning on making a photo tutorial on how to make it but only took pictures of the cutting out and ironing stages, and then forgot to take pictures once I started sewing.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Craft Fail

I'm sure many of you have heard of Fail Blog. Well, one of the blogs that I read is of the same ilk but is called Craft Fail. To a crafter like me, it's hilarious to see other people's sad attempts at crafting. What you are about to see is something I should probably submit to Craft Fail. The even sadder thing is that I really did know this would turn out horribly but tried it anyway and then kept trying to fix it. Oh well.

Let me tell you where this idea came from. 1. I had a bunch of pretty thread that I saved when I was making fringe for the scarf I sewed last week. 2. Katrina has taken over my jewelry box and my little mannequin jewelry holder is overwhelmed by carrying all of my jewelry, plus I don't have anywhere out of Katrina's reach to put it so she is always getting into my things. I decided to just do a simple jewelry holder where I put hooks on a frame. I bought some hooks and fabric to cover the cardboard. Then I decided that it would be cool if I covered the frame with Mod Podge and sprinkled the thread all over it and then put more Mod Podge on it. Yeah, maybe it would have worked if I had actually sprinkled the thread over it. Instead, I globbed all of it on.
Yeah, it looked disgusting. So I painted it white in a last-ditch effort to make it look better, thinking maybe the texture of the thread underneath would look cool.

This is the new frame, complete with fabric. Unfortunately, I can't screw the hooks in by hand like I thought I could, and I don't own a drill, so this is what I'm stuck with for now--a pretty piece of art and lots of hooks. And no jewelry holder!
P.S. Katrina can count to 10 now! She's in her room counting right now. She sometimes skips numbers or says some of them twice, and whenever she sees a number she points at it and says, "nine!" but we're very proud of and impressed with her.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day to me

Adam did a very nice job with celebrating Mother's Day for me. His gift is to take me out for dinner and a movie next weekend. It will be our first date in...a year? The last time we went out for a date was for the movie Star Trek. It's ironic that the best Mother's Day gift is time away from the kids, isn't it? :]

I also requested something from the kids, and so I was happy to receive this beautiful bouquet hand-colored by Katrina. Ignore my just-rolled-out-of-bed charm!
I found a couple of scarf tutorials this week that I decided to try out. Here is a ruffled scarf tutorial and here is a crinkle scarf tutorial. I picked up a couple of beautiful fabrics at Joanns and had fun. I made small changes in length and width to the original patterns in order to be able to make two scarves from each length of fabric, and I liked the changes. I made one for myself with two layers and it ended up kind of bubbly and cool. I wore it on Sunday and really enjoyed it. I've never been one for decorative scarves but maybe I'll change my habits!
Oh, and that fringe took for-ev-er. You have to pull out all of the horizontal fibers. I have tons of thread that I saved because it's pretty. I'll show you what I end up doing with it if it turns out all right.

These are the cards we brought to our Mother's Day celebration in New Jersey. I told Adam I would take care of the cards, and then right before we left I remembered I hadn't done them yet. Luckily these cards were as easy as the tutorial said they were. I quickly sewed them up while Daniel chilled in the swing and watched and Katrina tried to steal my fabric and thread, then flung each one across the room for Adam to write up nice notes. It worked out well!

I don't have any pictures from our fun day in Jersey, but here's Katrina trying out watercolors for the first time yesterday. She liked them, but it was shortlived because every time I tried to take a paintbrush and add some water to the paint, she would try to take the paintbrush from me and get mad. Oh well! She'll learn.

Friday, May 7, 2010

No Doy

Katrina likes to yell, "Mom! MOOOOM!" to get my attention. The other day Adam was imitating her and yelling, "Tori! TORI!" Now Katrina likes to call me Tori. Actually, it comes out "Doy." So this morning she was saying, "Doy doy doy. Hi Doy."
This picture shows what a good sport Daniel is. Sometimes Katrina says she needs to use the bathroom and I have to put him down suddenly. Luckily he doesn't seem to care.
He just snacked from the sippy cup while waiting.
Here's some pottytraining updates if you want to skip. Katrina has been doing awesome. She's not without accidents, which are of course frustrating, but she is still doing so well. Yesterday she made a huge forward step that I honestly wasn't expecting to happen for months. She took herself to the bathroom twice without telling me she needed to go! The only problem is that she didn't pull down her underwear. But still, that's awesome.
She's decided in the last two days that she wants to be naked. Even though she can never manage to pull down her pants to use the bathroom she is fully capable of taking her clothes off any other time she decides that she wants to be naked!
Last night Katrina started crying at about 11. We went in and she was just crying and crying and signing "hurt." We couldn't get her to point at what hurt but I was very glad she knew how to say she was in pain (it's a fairly new sign for her). We eventually deduced that her stomach hurt and let her come out and watch Sprout with us for a few minutes while sipping juice. It was very sad and pathetic but still so cute and rewarding. Kids are so fun! Yesterday I was coaching Daniel on sitting up and rolling over and just relishing the time I got to spend with him doing that.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dentist visit

I was so nervous to take Katrina into the dentist today. At her visit six months ago she hated having them poke in her mouth just to look at her teeth, and today she was going to get her chipped tooth from yesterday filed down. Plus Daniel is such a fussy baby most of the time. I ended up keeping him up really long so that he would fall asleep in the car. The dentist is about three minutes from our apartment, so even though he was asleep by the time we got there I drove around for about five more minutes just to make sure. :]

The place was empty and there was a huge play area, so Katrina was happy while I filled out paperwork. A nicely dressed young guy came out and even though he looked like he would be at home in a business office, I figured he must be the doctor. He took a look at her teeth real quick and said they would just file it down a little, and while she played he discussed my concerns. It was so low-key and strange compared to most dentist visits! This is a different pediatric dentist than last time, so I didn't know what to expect.

Inside the room they had me sit her on my lap then lay back onto his lap so he could see her mouth. Katrina hates getting her teeth brushed, so I was very apprehensive. However she has always done really well at her pediatrician, probably because she's curious or something, and today was no different. She submitted meekly to her teeth being examined, poked, prodded, filed down, and even a quick sealant job since she was cooperating so well. It was awesome! I really like the dentist and it's too bad he doesn't do adult teeth too!

We were all ready to go (and it went quickly enough that Daniel was still asleep) when Katrina spotted two Woody and Buzz dolls. I immediately knew we weren't leaving without a scene. Sure enough, when I told her it was time to go she started walking out the door with Buzz in one hand, Woody in the other, and Woody's hat in her mouth. When I took them away she began one of her serious meltdowns. I just held her tightly as she thrashed and screamed. The doctor picked up Daniel's infant carrier and held the door open for us. I was a little embarrassed but mostly just grateful, plus I was so relieved that the exam had gone well that I couldn't spare much energy to be embarrassed. He carried Daniel all the way out to the car and conversed with me calmly about the bike rack while I muscled Katrina into the car and she threw herself around the entire back seat of the car (no exaggeration). After Daniel was clicked in I tried to calm her down and he went in and came back with a sucker for her. Even though I was trying not to be too embarrassed over the whole thing (since he obviously sees stuff like this all the time) I was very relieved that he went over to converse with a worker at the next-door pizza place and was able to witness me calming Katrina from her tantrum fairly quickly. What can I say, I've got practice. :]

So it all went well, Katrina's tooth is no longer in danger of slicing things, and she enjoyed her first lollipop. I let her go down for a nap with it and when she woke up I found it stuck to her pillow with a oval-shaped sticky mark on the side of her face. :]

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tuesday pictures

While writing this post I discovered that Katrina has a chipped tooth! She fell off her chair at the table today and her mouth was bleeding, so I comforted her and gave her a wet paper towel to suck on. I don't remember it being chipped then but since that was the only time today she's had blunt trauma to the face (leaving rug burns on her nose!), that must be the culprit. We found a pediatric dentist online and I'm going to try to get her seen this week. It's really sharp.

This is probably a blackmail picture, but I thought I would show off Katrina's excellent style choices. You can't see, but she's wearing Buzz Lightyear underwear.
Daniel in his Star Trek diaper.

This is often what we do for playtime. Daniel sits on her bed and Katrina plays.
Katrina likes to climb on things.
More fun style choices. She lost her shorts between these photos because she found some Toy Story alien underwear that she wanted to wear instead. Do you like the jacket when the weather is in the eighties?
Quick picture of me and Daniel.
And as a reminder of what to look forward to tonight:

Another episode of LOST!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Evening Post

Katrina always wants to get in the crib. She likes to pretend she's a baby. Today I actually gave in and put her in there right before putting Daniel to bed. I tucked them in next to each other and had to take a couple of pictures because they were so dang cute!
Daniel was so tired that he just sucked his thumb and stared at her.

Daniel really likes Katrina too. He likes to stare at her and often grins at her. We like to pile on the bed and the three of us all share the same pillow and read books.
I actually got a lot of sewing done today on the yoga bag. I probably would have finished it, but I miscalculated zipper size and I need to go to Joanns tomorrow and get shorter zippers. Then I can finish the top zipper, topstitching, and then do the straps.

I'm pretty happy with it. I definitely made mistakes, but none too bad or noticeable. The one thing that bothers me is that it is smaller than I planned and it might be a little smaller than my friend wanted. It's hard to know without a yoga mat of my own.
A place for the yoga mat to slip inside.

Snaps to make it a little larger/smaller. Putting those in was a workout.

Inside zipper pocket and an extra two pockets from the brocade fabric.
Here is the picture I was working on. I'm really proud of how I was able to come up with a pattern after looking at this picture and a couple of other views of it online, as well as seeing the measurements. That's not much to go by. I hope my friend is happy with it!

A comparison. Just imagine straps!