Sunday, July 31, 2011

Super short new hair

Last night we did haircuts. Daniel's hair was pretty long and unmanageable, and cutting his hair requires that I sit on the floor in the bathroom with him on my lap while Adam reads him books and entertains him as best as possible. It ended up pretty choppy in the back, so next time we might try clippers. I think that will freak Daniel out though, so for now we're using just scissors.
Daniel is cute with his new 'do!

Katrina always insists on getting her hair cut too when Daniel does. Usually I just trim off a lock or so, but I decided last night to go short, as in a little bob. As haircuts typically do, it ended up shorter than I planned once it was all trimmed. I'm still not sure how I feel about it, but Katrina is thrilled. With her hair so straight and thin, it needed something to spruce it up, so after the haircut we went on a mommy/daughter trip to the store for hairclips and headbands, since our supply is fairly sparse. Katrina happily wore several items to bed and also to church.
(Caught by the flash)
She told me on the way home last night, "Daddy is going to love this!" And again in the car this morning, "My friends are going to love this." We kept telling her that her hair is short like Sophia (another girl at church). First thing in nursery Katrina went up to Sophia and said, "You like my hair?" Sophia kept on playing and doing her thing and Katrina said, "You like my dress?" It's really funny to see her interact.

I like experimenting with new things like this but I'll be relieved in a month or so when it's a little longer.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

CFA Level 1

The obsession of my life before June was taking the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Level  1 (of 3) Exam. Well, I finally got the results today, and I passed! I can't tell you what a relief it is to have Level 1 behind me. This year, worldwide, only 39% of Level 1 Candidates passed.

Is this a bragging post? Yes. Am I ashamed of that? No.

Below is the breakdown of my results.

Multiple Choice
Q#TopicMax Pts<=50%51%-70%>70%
-Alternative Investments8--*
-Corporate Finance20-*-
-Derivatives12--*
-Economics24*--
-Equity Investments24--*
-Ethical & Professional Standards36--*
-Financial Reporting & Analysis48--*
-Fixed Income Investments28-*-
-Portfolio Management12--*
-Quantitative Methods28--*


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Baby shower gifts

I have two friends having baby showers next week. At first I thought about buying some cute wooden rattles I found on Etsy, but then my frugality and creativity took over and decided to make the gifts. :] I decided to make more small color books. Unfortunately I couldn't find wooden rings at the store, so I bought some acrylic purse rings.
I decided to make some little blanket lovies attached to rings as well. The boy one is a faux chenille style blanket. There are lots of tutorials for this online. It's time intensive, so I've never wanted to make a large one, but for a little lovey like this it's great.
As it's washed, it will get more and more soft and chenille-like. This one has only been washed once.
Just two kinds of minky for the girl one. Other than the purse rings, I had the fabric and supplies for these gifts in my fabric stash already. Makes me happy I've built up that much of a stash!
And some color books. I decided to go a little a little simpler than I have in the past by using just squares. Unlike the past, I had absolutely no problem coming up with enough fabric for each page. My stash is pretty good now for each color, especially because I save all scraps of fabric larger than a couple of inches.


They are almost exactly the same, just a few variations and the boy one has brown and black while the girl one has white and pink.
So there you go! I actually put these together super quickly. Last night and this morning I was working super hard on a bridal order that's going to Canada, because I wanted to get them in the mail today. Finally I had to give up when I realized I had to undo several things because of using the wrong color thread, and so I gave up and will finish them tonight. They're pretty cute.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bathing suit post

Earlier this summer, we were invited to a pool party. I groaned, not because I can't swim, but because I have the same bathing suit I've had since I was 16. Yes, I can technically still wear it, but it's not comfortable because of the weight I've gained since then and the shape changes my body has gone through with two kids. So I started researching to see if I could make myself a swimsuit, since I hate bathing suit shopping pretty much more than anything else!
My research was saddening. There aren't very many companies who make swimsuit patterns. And I didn't have faith that the swimsuits from those patterns would be modest or flattering on my larger body. Then I found this website. It's a website by a swimsuit designer in Australia, catered to other fashion designers who want to learn more about designing swimsuits and working with stretchy fabric. It's not technically for the home sewer with few clothing skills (ahem, like me), but if nothing else in life I've definitely got supreme overconfidence in my ability to figure things out and make it work.
(Apparently I can no longer insert more than one link per post without blogger flipping out, so I can't link the the specific pages, grrr.)
I started with the One Piece Block that he recommends you make for your body. On my first attempt I drafted everything by hand. That took forever. That bathing suit also had other issues because I messed up with some basic arithmetic, and forget to use stitches suitable for stretchy fabric. So this second time I downloaded a free program on the computer called Inkscape and drafted the pattern on the computer. This took probably just as long, but now I have a permanent copy and can manipulate it easier.
I couldn't get it to print out on my home printer, but Fedex came to the rescue!
With my one piece block created, I then had to decide what I wanted. I decided I wanted ruching to hide my tummy. I also thought that a halter would be nice, but I wanted to give my bust more support, so I decided to have an empire waist. I ended up combining the Halter Pattern and the Empire Waist One Piece pattern, and I took tips from the Tweaking for Larger Sizes page. Oh, and I decided to try to gather the front of the bust, though that part didn't quite end up the way I envisioned, but oh well.
I also had to deal with the bra area. I bought some of those bra cups at Joanns, but in the future I think I would rather buy a bra that I know fits and take it apart to use in the swimsuit.
I bought swimsuit fabric at Fabric.com and I bought lining fabric at Joanns. I also bought a swimsuit hook for fastening, and I bought swimsuit elastic. In the future I will just use normal knit elastic, because the swim elastic was wider than I liked. One thing that I had to figure out on my own was how to assemble and finish the swimsuit, since that website only has patterns. Basically I looked at my old swimsuit and winged it. :] It's not perfect but hopefully nobody is looking close enough to see the trouble spots!
I took some self portraits before I had finished the edges, and then after I finished I had Adam take some pictures, but he had the camera pointing upward at me and so my face looks a lot fatter than it is. But I'm posting them anyway because I'm too impatient! Please know that it is a huge thing for me to be posting pictures of myself in a bathing suit on the internet, especially because I am at the heaviest I've ever been except while pregnant!
Dirty mirror, oops.
So there you go! A very fun project. Now I will be making one for Katrina too, but hers will be easy in comparison. No curves!
I am including this post at Sew & Tell at AmyLouWho--for some reason blogger won't let me link to i!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Whoops, time flies

I just realized I've completely let this blog go! I've been pretty bad lately at taking pictures and I like to have pictures for each blog entry, but this one will have to go without.

We're just having a regular Sunday, lots of naps and denied requests for tv that finally relent into Disney movies so we can have a rest from the tv requests! Daniel has a fever today. A few Sundays ago Katrina woke up from her nap with the same sort of thing, a fever and lethargy, and was fine within 24 hours. I'm assuming this is the same sort of thing for Daniel.

Church today was awesome, mostly because we didn't have to leave Sacrament meeting with Daniel even once, and he wasn't as clingy during nursery. The other kids were a bit whiny, but things can't help but be crazy with 8 toddlers and a one year old. Adam is enjoying being able to go to Sunday School and Elder's Quorum (he's not Scoutmaster anymore because he couldn't keep it up with CFA, book, and a full-time job), and he just was called last week to be an Elder's Quorum instructor on fourth Sundays each month.

Adam and I have been trying to lose weight. I've been pretty successful with improving my diet and eating lots of fruits and veggies. If I can competely lose the habit of eating after the kids' bedtime that will help. My goal is to lose one pound a week and over two weeks I've lost two pounds, so I guess it's working? I was doing better a few weeks ago with waking up before the kids and exercising, but then Daniel started waking earlier, and then I started downloading lots of free and 99 cent books onto my Kindle, and I've been staying up way late finishing books! It's bad, I know, but I seem to have lost all self-control when it comes to finishing books. Have I mentioned before that I have a Kindle? My father-in-law won it in a raffle at a work conference a month or so ago, and since he has an ipad and his wife and daughter have Kindles already, I was the lucky recipient! I've really been enjoying it.

The kids are enjoying the summer time and going outside more. My goal is to get them outside and moving everyday, but sometimes it's hard to do that when it's really hot. Luckily our neighborhood park is in the shade, and if I get them there before noon the heat isn't too bad. Our weather is usually in the 80s, maybe higher in the afternoons but that's usually when we retreat inside. Adam isn't cycling at all because he's working hard on his book each morning and evening, but once he's done in a month he'll be happy to get back in the saddle.

We're kind of in this weird perpetually worn out place right now, because of Adam's book, but once it's over we'll definitely get to breathe again. Plus it will be our fifth wedding anniversary next month, and Adam hasn't taken a vacation from work in awhile, so it would be really nice to get away.

So that's what's up with us. We live a very non-exciting life these days. Especially in this next month, Adam will be really working hard and probably all day on Saturdays. Once that's over, we'll try to go on some day trips to the beach and other fun places.

Oh, and I'm working on Bathing Suit 2.0. I have it all cut out and will work on it this evening. I also got fabric for another suit for Katrina, so I'll be making her one too. I will definitely show pictures, but whether there are models in them or not is up in the air. :] I really hope mine turns out because I have a Relief Society swim party on Wednesday and don't want to wear my swimsuit that I've had since I was sixteen!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fourth of July

We had an interesting Fourth of July. Adam and I were determined that we would give the kids a fun and memorable day, since we've traditionally been lame at celebrating holidays with the kids. We first went to the town parade, which we've never attended. The super fun thing about this parade was that anyone who wants to could be in the parade, as long as you showed up early and registered. We decided that next year we will definitely do that so the kids can be in the parade. This year we just watched. There were tons of fire engines and some fun bands, and a bunch of classic cars. Katrina got to meet a policeman and give him a high five. Daniel sat in the backpack carrier for the most part and just people-watched.

Then we headed to Adam's parents so we could see his sister one more time before she flew home. However, Daniel decided to turn into a little banshee, and we only lasted a couple hours before we just had to take them both home. Something is really off about him. He's been excessively cranky this whole weekend. Teething, maybe? I don't think it's another ear infection, because those usually disrupt his sleep pattern at night. We went grocery shopping last night and bought the apples and oranges he's been begging for all weekend, so hopefully his mood will improve with easy access to fruit.

Our plan was to see the fireworks last night but Daniel, even with a late-in-the-day nap, was driving us all batty, so we stuck him in bed and I stayed home while Adam took Katrina. I was pretty sure she would freak out and be too scared to watch, but she absolutely loved them. I think it was a great Daddy/Daughter date and hope that next year the whole family can go!

This week I am just sewing lots and keeping up with the household stuff. Plus trying to not scratch or irritate my many mosquito bites from yesterday. I need to go now and start dinner while the kids are still sleeping. Also need to clean the kitchen first. No time to rest!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Blueberry Picking

A couple of summers ago we discovered the community gem that is Linvilla Orchards and Farm just 20 minutes or so away from us. They have fruit picking all summer long, and last year we decided to pick blueberries. This year we did blueberries too, but the strawberries people were picking looked so yummy we'll have to definitely go back.
Daniel started out just grazing off of the ground.
Which made him filthy!
Katrina did an excellent job picking and filled almost an entire pound box. A few green ones sneaked in, but mostly she picked the purples.
Adam and I picked the higher parts.
Daniel did a really good job picking the green blueberries, and occasionally eating sticks when his dad pointed the camera at him.
We finished off the morning with a trip to see the farm animals, which include deer, strangely enough! Then we got some lollipops and muffin mix to make blueberry muffins. We also have plans for blueberry cheesecake ice cream, yum!
I took Daniel around in the back carrier, which is always so much easier but pretty hot, and definitely rough going uphill!


We just love going to Linvilla, and this year we didn't even spend any time in their huge playground. We'll be back soon, we hope!