Thursday, June 26, 2008

Twenty-Nine Weeks and New Shirts

So here is the profile at 29 weeks. Will someone tell me how I only have 11 weeks left? And we haven't painted the nursery yet, and we're not even sure if it's a boy or girl?!?! I think I'm carrying a lot differently this time. Of course, it helps that I'm not carrying 30 extra pounds of water.

This is a front view of the shirt I promised to tell you about. I currently have another rendition cut out and waiting to be sewn together- pale green with white daisies. It's a weird polyester fabric though- very thin, with lots of sheen. Seems more temperamental than cotton. I think on this next version, I won't put the elastic into the sleeves. I made them an inch longer too. They fit fine, but ride up and wrinkle. Not pretty! I love the shirt- it's easy to wear and roomy, without looking like a tent. If I made it longer, the pattern doubles as a dress! Simplicity pattern 5756, view C, except I put the elastic in a sewn casing at the edges of the neck and sleeves, rather than sewing in bias tape casing an in into the fabric, to make an edge ruffle. Another plus for the pattern: I was able to use all one size when I cut it out, and it fits just fine. That's hard to do when you're pregnant and no body part seems to match the size of another!

This is another piece of fabric I picked up the last Jo-Ann's sale. I think it's adorable, and would make a nice jumper for Ernie. OR...could I possibly pull it off as a shirt for me? Should I leave it to the three-year-old? Thoughts?

Really Easy Purse

I've done a lot of cheap and quick crafting in the past year, but I think this is one of my favorites. Ernie and I found these two place mats at the thrift store yesterday, and I turned them into a purse in about 15 minutes during her nap. It only took so long because a) I move slow and b) I might possibly be a little AR about my strap placement, making sure they line up and are all sewn the same distance into the bag. But we already knew that!

You could probably make this cheaper by using fabric (I paid $1 each for the placemats) but I like how thick they are. Also, you could make a lining to sew pockets to- I would dearly love some pockets in here, but can't figure out a feasible way to sew them on without the stitching showing on the outside. Hand-stitching and just catching the inside layer is not feasible, no. Not in my book!

Large Purse Tutorial

2 placemats
Ribbon, or other handle material (could be store-bought handles)

1. Put placemats right-sides-together, and pin.
2. Mark diagonal lines across the lower two corners- the farther out the lines from the corner, the shorter and wider your bag will be.
3. Sew around the side edges and bottom, following corner markings at the bottom.
4. Sew handles on- I used a wide ribbon, cut long enough for the bag to fall between my bust and hips. I sewed them on by stitching a square. Oh, if you use ribbon be sure and "bind" the bottom edge somehow so it doesn't unravel. I use polyester ribbon, so I burn the edge.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thrifting and Crafties

I finally made it out to the thrift store this morning- we only have one very small (but very clean) 2nd hand shop in our new town. I had to travel back to our old neighborhood, land of the discount stores, tiendas, asian groceries, dollar shops, and bars-in-windows nail salons. We had a lot of fun! I found two placemats (the green with stripes) to make into a larger summer purse for me, embroidery floss for a few projects I hope to start soon, a basket for picnics and to hold Ernie's new doll house people and furniture, and two sets of sheets to make into clothes. I'm hoping the green one becomes a new shirt like the one I made (pictures to come) and the other becomes an A-Line skirt. I can't quite work that out in my head- I want it to hit below the knees, and have enough room and length where it won't ride up when I sit. I haven't seen a pattern like that yet, but there are lots of A-Line skirts in the maternity catalogues. Maybe I should just trace one of my pre-preggo skirts, add seam allowances, and replace the top with an over-the-belly panel?

In other crafty news, I finished the dolls in time for Ernie's birthday! As I sat at the computer yesterday during her nap, I noticed the sad little un-stuffed dolls peeking around my sewing machine. Oops- I forgot. She's still working out their names. For now, my parents are Bobby and Mom-Mom. J's parents are (definitely) Nana and....? It was Bobby, but now she's having a problem having TWO Bobbies. And Grandpa used to be Dadda (just like J), and now she understands that's not quite right either. Sorry guys! Oh, and I thought you'd rather see a picture than not...even though no matter what I try, it imports on its side! Aunt LoLo calls these French dolls (we presented a "baby" doll to BBJ on our trip last week.) I never thought that just making heads would be creepy...they're really easy to trace and paint! They're also really easy to hold, too.

I zipped up a little carrying bag this morning, from fabric leftover from a kitchen apron I made at Christmas time as a gift for Uncle K's brand new, adorable (and now pregnant and feeling sick) wife.

Just for reference: My family consists of Bobby, Mom-Mom, A, R and Boy. BBJ is "Baby", and she doesn't call Aunt and Uncle LoLo anything.

J's family is Nana, B, and possibly Boy (Uncle Fireball). We don't have a name for Aunt J, Grandpa J, Uncle K, the other Aunt J.... I'm sorry she can't say more letters and words, guys! (More on that later- her pediatrician told me to take her to a speech and hearing specialist at this morning's 3-year-check up.)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Happy Birthday, Ernie

Picture 001, originally uploaded by Mary and Ernie.

"One year older and wiser too...Happy Birthday to You!"

We love you, munchkin.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I Stand Accused

My twin sister, Aunt LoLo, has accused me of being "not fair" in regards to posting maternity shots of the two of us side by side.

All I have to say is this: Anyone who can take the following picture with her 8.5-months-pregnant sister deserves ANYTHING I can dish out!


The twins weeks before delivery

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Rain on my parade

It's 2:30 a.m., you're 6 months pregnant, and you discover that your mattress is SOAKING.

First thought: "Oh...did I do that?"
Second though: "Did vindictive ghosts pour water all over my bed?" (Remember, it's 2:30 and you just woke up.)

Nope- the dome light fixture over the bed is FULL of water, and each new drop that comes in pushes another drop over the edge and onto your bed!

Blessings: Father-in-law put a light fixture just where it would need to be to hold a gallon or so of water, so it didn't spread all over the ceiling and gush out at the weakest point. No one was electrocuted from the bathing light bulbs. The light fixture held tight to the ceiling, and didn't crash onto us. Ceiling is bowed about an inch away from ceiling studs, but still held tight.

Now we just need to find where the water is coming in, and get someone out here to fix it! My dad and J spent some time on the roof and in the attic looking for leaks, but everything looks snug as a bug.

Wish us luck!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Thank You!

A huge thank you to everyone who came out last night for our "housewarming" BBQ. I'm sorry I didn't take pictures- we had so many of our friends here!

Thanks Dad and Mom for help with last minute cleaning.

Thanks Carrie for listening to my 11:00 pm e-mail ravings about "do we have enough food?" and gamely offering to bring a yummy meat and cheese tray AND a plate of snickerdoodles. Did you notice they were the only thing that was GONE at the end of the night? Yummy :o)

Thanks J for staying up till 2:30 the night before to paint the walls yellow, and for all your help getting ready...and for not saying "I told you so" too many times when, after the party, we realized we had enough food left over for three MORE parties. Again. What can I say- it's a talent of mine. And thanks for letting me throw these crazy parties.

Thanks to the mothers who left the play room looking FABULOUS- you couldn't even tell that it had been played in!

Thanks to everyone who came out here to see the new house and wish us well. I was touched that so many of you came!

Thanks to Ernie who was an angel all day long, helping me with the grocery shopping, playing quietly, and taking a super long nap so she was ready for all the party food and friends she'd been talking about for days.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

And She's Still Going!

Another week, a few more projects. The Great Doll escapade that started last week with this has continued. Now she wants Bobby (Grandpa), Nana, Grandma, Baby, Mommy, and Daddy dolls. Should I just go ahead and start on the 8 aunt and uncle dolls we're going to need? Oh sorry, 9 (hi Jamie! :) Haha...guess what Ernie is getting for her birthday! The new generation looks a little like potatoes right now, don't they? We're going for a more generic (and easy-to-trace) look here.

We made another skirt- this one just needs a little elastic to help it stay up, but fits great! Cute pattern too, and very easy. Google "twirly skirt" to find a tutorial- I didn't ask for permission to link. Pictures will come once she unwraps her birthday presents in a few weeks :) I didn't have enough of any fabric that would match her skirt to make the contrasting waist and hem. At least this way I can keep adding strips at the bottom as she continues to grow like a balloon animal- always taller and skinnier! I wonder if I could wear a skirt from a similar pattern? Would just take a few minutes to find out... :)

We made tortillas tonight with "Homesick Texan's" fantastic recipe. Seriously, if I subjected you to last summer's tortillas I'm sorry. THESE are good! I never asked her for permission to post her recipe, but e-mail me if you want the web address. They're amazing. J's family- if I can figure out a way to make a huge stack of these without making a huge stack right before dinner you are going to eat these in July! I would have tried freezing a few tonight as a test, but J ate the last 4 (and the batch makes 8.) I would have taken pictures, but...see the previous sentence. Head over to Chow Review for a bean chili recipe we ate with the tortillas- it will go down in my books as The One That Got Ernie to Eat Beans. (Honestly, she had a big bowl with rice last night, and another two helpings for lunch today. She only ate her rice to get more beans- now THAT is saying something!)

The PAINTING has commenced in our home. The front room, that was such a dreary grey-green shade, is now Behr PESTO. Go ahead- find a paint chip. It's amazing- feels like you're sitting inside a pickle. Attached dining room will be yellow, opposite wall (on west side) will be a paler yellow, back family room will be cornflower blue...oh yes, we're living life in color now! J has almost come to terms with what we've done to the front room. Almost. (But I LOVE it!)

Another week half gone, and boy are we having fun!

Oh yes, and J wants to start preparing for next year's local mini-marathon (is that what they're called?) Always been on his wish list of things to do...hasn't it been on yours? (*snort* says the girl who can't even run in a straight line) Good thing I have J here to teach the kids to run and throw and catch and... :) I can always teach them the proper way to knead bread. Of course, I might be able to run better if I wasn't 27 weeks pregnant...

Just for kicks, compare these two photos. One is me at 27 weeks, one is my twin sister at 12 weeks. I'm 40 inches, she's 38. I knew that having a genetic clone can be weird, but I think the poor thing is either channeling the size of my baby, or having multiples! (We were pretty close to the same size before either of us got pregnant.)