Friday, October 28, 2011

Thrifty Crafting

My sewing club creations have been few and far between lately. And lately all crafting time has been dedicated to Halloween. But here are a few of my latest projects.

I wanted to make some things for Asher before he was born but since I didn't know gender and wasn't willing to go neutral a lot of baby projects were put on hold. I did make one thing though that got its first use in the hospital, my very own baby swaddler.

His love for his swaddler didn't last long but it was loved. And he just looked so darn cozy.

After he made his appearance, I made him a baby blanket.

It has been a good one. Warm and cozy but not too warm for a Vegas baby.

And after having to wait through two sewing projects that were not for her (a rare occurrence) I turned my attention back to my deprived daughter. I have been looking for a nightgown for her off and on for a long time and couldn't find anything between crazy expensive and cheap and full of characters, if I could find any at all. Then I saw this tutorial on how to turn a pillowcase into a nightgown.

The lace on the bottom was from the original pillowcase and I added the lace on the sleeves. She loves it. It is worn almost every evening until I make her stick it in the wash. I have two more pillowcases that will soon meet a similar fate.

And last but not least, I was a little late on the "your daughter is starting school and will need a backpack" boat. So late in fact that all of the decent (and decently priced) ones were gone.

I wasn't sure this project would turn out but I absolutely love it. Luckily, so does she!

I made the shoulder bag out of some fabric I picked up at Savers and an old pair of my jeans. The arm strap is the waistband of the jeans. And the back pockets made for handy pencil pockets.

I tried my hand at applique and failed miserably. Luckily my friend Mindy is a pro. She added the gorgeous butterfly.

Now back to making these Halloween costumes... can I get a deadline extension on those?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Earl Girl Family Reunion

For all of you out there that are not an Earl Girl cousin, I feel sympathy in my heart for you. Luckily, most of you will go your entire lives not realizing how much you have missed by not being related to us. For those of you who feel that gaping hole, grab yourself one of the Earl boy cousins left and join the party! The boys are decent and the party... well the party is priceless.

Asher and I headed up to Utah all by ourselves to enjoy the upcoming festivities. Infants are so not fun to drive with. They are either crying or sleeping. Both do not make the drive go by any faster. I have got to get this reunion on another schedule so I can ditch the babies...

The plan was to pick up Kristy at the airport and then get some work done that evening (Wednesday). Then Utah decided to dump rain on me through the entire drive. My windshield wipers (which hadn't been fired up in months) were absolutely useless so we crawled our way up to SLC to find Kristy sitting in the rain waiting for us. Seriously it was like a poor drowned kitten. That girl does not have enough mass to keep herself warm in normal conditions! We hurried her in and cranked up the seat heaters.

After a sketchy trip back to my sister in law's house, we decided to just call it a night. I got up first thing in the morning and purchased myself some new windshield wipers while getting snowed on. Yes snowed on. Crazy Utah.

Kristy is already on the short list of my favorite people in the universe (she earned the title many times over as my little servant girl during our youth) but she is now deserving of the aunt of the year title. She spent six hours in the car driving up and down and all around Utah entertaining my baby. I seriously owe her big time.

We got to meet up with Brad, Courtney and Kylie that evening to enjoy a little Noodles and Co. and dessert at The Chocolate. How do you resist a place called The Chocolate?

Friday evening we headed up to the reunion. The fun began immediately and did not end. We talked and talked and talked and ate and talked and talked and talked. It was late in the evening, hitting hours I haven't purposely stayed up until for years. I think I finally rolled into bed just a bit before 3 a.m. Asher decided to eat three different times in my remaining hours until promptly waking up at 7 a.m. We watched some silent TV to waste a little time before joining Angie and Kim in our solitary awakeness. (Side note - at the first Earl Girl reunion where Rhode joined me, I was also up long before the crowd and got to hang out with Kim, the only other one awake. Good memories)

Saturday was full of shopping and incredibly fun games. "What's Yours Like?" was exceptionally fun, especially when I insulted my cousin's husband and my sister's employment in one turn. Pretty sure they still love me...

Though by far my favorite game of the trip was backwards charades. Any game that inspires these moments... a definite winner.

Can you tell what we are acting out here?

Mistletoe! Get it? Our guesser did!

Asher was the smallest baby in attendance but luckily not the only one. Myles (9 months) and Qiana (3 years) also crashed the party. Sadly, Asher did win the "Most Demanding Party Crasher" award. I discovered he is not a fan of eating in loud situations. And, well our whole weekend was one big loud situation.

And here is the crew. Looking at these ladies always just bring a very big grin to my face.

Also love how stoked Asher is about the ceiling fan he spotted in the above picture.

The obligatory "model" shot. That's just how we roll.

Funny story. As you can see, Asher is mysteriously absent after the first picture. I had been holding him so much that weekend I didn't even think to set him down. Britney, in the most polite way, asked if he could hang elsewhere so our picture could actually just be me and not baby encumbered me.

Thank you Britney, sleep deprived Kacey was not there enough to come up with that very sound wisdom on her own!

And then we all had to go home, promising to do it again in a few years. Two years has never felt so long... I love these ladies!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Funny Baby

Oh Asher. My little guy is three months old today. Three months into this thing and I still have not really figured out this guy. Some days I think he is the easiest baby of all time. Other days I am convinced there is not a more demanding child on the planet. But other than his most difficult moments, he is really the perfect third child. Chill enough to put up with our crazy schedules and kids messing with him all day long but demanding enough to make sure the two of us get some good one on one time every day.

He is starting to chub up a little, but is still lithe compared to his siblings. It doesn't help that his best baby friend, who is a month younger, is quickly kicking his butt in the baby rolls department.

Isn't this picture going to be priceless when they grow up, fall in love and get married? Mostly kidding...

He is not a spit up baby and he only poops every three days. He smiles and giggles regularly, which is so much fun. For some reason none of my babies can laugh without getting the hiccups. Every time without fail. Is that a Nielsen baby trait only?

Scarlet has not lost any of her initial enthusiasm for her little brother. At least a few times a week, Scarlet and Asher have a little alone time. He hangs out on his big sister's bed and they bond while mom gets some work done. A few weeks ago, Scarlet decided Asher was old enough to appreciate a little fancy time.
How can you not love a baby willing to put up with this much sister attention?

One of my favorite baby stages is when you can hand them something and they can entertain themselves for a few precious minutes. Asher is already that baby. His distraction of choice, towels or blankets. I throw one on top of him and he double fist grabs it and shoves it straight in between those gums. This rare blogging moment is brought to you now by a bed sheet which is getting a good drooling.

Well, one day in the car, Scarlet tied her former fabric bracelet leash (remember the St. George marathon kid strapping) to Asher's car set. He. Loves. It.

Having three kids is pretty entertaining. I can't make it through the store without at least one person (usually more like five people) saying, "Wow, looks like you've got your hands full!" I try to vary my generic comebacks just to keep from going crazy with the repetition. My favorite one I save for the older gentlemen.

"Oh, these aren't mine. I just picked them up on aisle 10. It's buy two get one free today!" I always get the best old man chuckle.

Dang, the blanket has reached its entertaining limit. Gotta go!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Picture This...

This week has been full of adventures. Sadly our camera did not accompany us on even a single outing so I will do my best to paint very vivid mental pictures as to make it all much more exciting for you.

The scene for your first mental picture, Phoenix, Arizona. I think this might have been the first time in my entire history of living in Las Vegas that I have road tripped to somewhere hotter than Vegas. We left our high 90's to melt in their 106. Pretty pathetic escape on our part.

We hung out with our good friends the Whitmores and their fantastic new house. Their house, while nice from the outside, hides its true fantasticness in the backyard. It is enormous. It extends about twice the length of their house and includes a pool, a kids playhouse, a basketball half court, a garden, an underground trampoline and sidewalk patio while still being mainly dominated by lots of grass to run around on. My kids had the time of their lives and I was able to get all of my errands run. Jon even kept Asher for 3 1/2 hours without me there thanks to one pumped bottle and a significantly long nap. It. Was. Awesome. And a little bit lonely... but mostly awesome.

On Thursday, we headed out to the Phoenix Zoo. You would think someone who has lived in the heat as long as I have would know better than to plan an outing at 11 a.m. but obviously I am a tad slow witted. It was hot. The poor animals looked hot. Most of them had found a bit of shade in their enclosure, making them a tad bit harder to spot. But zoos are still really awesome. Favorites of the day included giraffes, rhinos, and the new orangutan exhibit.

Whenever I go to the zoo, I tend to ponder on one of my mom's "The Gospel According to Peggy" ideas. One of her theories is that the animals of the world may have easily come from the nursery of the pre moral world. "Look! Mine has a really long neck!" "Mine has spikes all over its body!" "Mine squirts really stinky spray out of its bum!" "Ewww!"

You can picture it can't ya? That always comes to mind at the zoo as you see some of God's most magnificent and crazy creations.

We would have loved to just spend the weekend with our fun friends but instead had to jet out that evening and pull into our home right before midnight. We had Friday to catch up on life a little bit before Jon and his friend A. J. hopped in the car at about 3 pm. to head up to St. George. It was MARATHON DAY!

Here was the plan for MARATHON DAY. Jon and his racing buddy were going to drive up that afternoon, enjoy a little pre-race festivities, and then catch a few zzz's in the truck before the run. (This whole plan would have been much different had we thought to get a hotel room much earlier. When we finally went to book one, there was one room left in town for a price we were not willing to pay.)

Since there was no hotel room, the kids and I didn't leave for the race until that morning. So instead, we hopped out of bed at about 5:30 a.m., loaded the three kids in the back of the car and made our way up to St. George. We parked right next to the temple where the kids got dressed for the day and we got into race mode. Here is your mental picture for this section. I had Rhode in a backpack leash that was hooked to my backpack. Scarlet had a more homemade velcro bracelet on that also attached to my backpack, the backpack was then hoisted on my back opposite of Asher who was riding in the sling in front. With all three children strapped to me leaving no room for losing anyone, we headed to find a race spot.

We pulled up a piece of driveway right on the last corner of the race and settled in to wait for day. We had a blanket, snacks, and signs ready to cheer him on. I kept an eye on the clock, knowing when he had finished last time and we cheered on the front runners while we waited.

I figured I still had about 20 minutes at least when Asher got hungry. I sat down to feed him and he was just about asleep when I see someone in the distance that just might be Jon. He was looking a little bald though so I didn't panic too much. But as he got closer, I remembered he had given himself a racer buzz cut just the day before and yes that was definitely him. Poor Asher got quite the jolt as I jumped up, threw the signs in the kids hands and started screaming like the crazy person I truly am. He gave us a big smile, ran over and gave us high 5's and finished the race.

He did a fantastic job. The guy didn't even look tired when he ran by us. He finished at 3:21:30, beating his last time by over 15 minutes. He was really proud of himself, as were we. He now has proof that in fact he is better than 90% of people out there. Well at least 91% of marathoners at that race on that day.

The next part involved fighting the crowds to meet up with him after the race. Scarlet chose that moment along with all moments to follow until we got to the car to be as ornery and whiny as is humanly possible. Rhode on the other hand was Mr. Pleasant and Agreeable all day long... explain that one to me.

I was very grateful for our leashes as we made it through thousands of people intact. The kids scored a popsicle and snow cone which improved their lives dramatically and we helped Jon ice down a little before hitting the road again. And one last time I strapped the children to the various parts of me and we made the final hike back to the car.

It was quite the day. By the time I threw the kids down for nap time and turned on Conference, I was done. No, I was overcooked. Can you guess what was the first talk I heard? Neil L. Anderson's talk on children. Oh the timing of life...

Anyway, we have had a lovely Sunday thus far with a few more catch up days before Asher and I head off on yet another adventure.

Now picture me napping... I am not but hopefully if everyone imagines it so the power of thought will turn it into a reality!