Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Clean Comforter

So, When we first moved into our house, I bought a new down comforter for our bed.  After about 2 years (gross I know) I decided it needed to be washed.  Oh did I mention there was a darkish stain on my side only, right about where my face is.  I figured it was from my face wash and lotion and that it was just discolored.  The Benzyl Peroxide does that to everything.  I knew it was too big for our washer, so I took it to a laundry mat so I could use their "Extra" big washer.   I pre-treated the discoloration and put it in the biggest washer they had.  It didn't look so big to me, but the lady assured me it was.  She also told me after I put in my $6.50 that this washer is a little funny and can't  take much soap or it foams out and over.   So I put in the amount  she told me (a quarter of my cup)  I use more than that at home for a load smaller than that, and we have soft water.  I'll tell you what, it looked squished in there.  After it came out of the washer, the discoloration was still there and the thing didn't even smell clean.  I put it in the dryer because I only had $4 left to my name.(and I wasn't coming home in the middle of January with a soaking wet 50 pound comforter.)   It dried the comforter about 70% of the way.   So I left more than a little perturbed, with a dirty looking and not so clean smelling comforter to boot.   Did I mention I had a rowdy 4 year old and a hungry still nursing 1 year old with me?
Fast forward another 2 years.   The discoloration is now worse and the whole thing does not look like it's been cleaned in 4 years.  I knew I definitely was not taking it to a laundry mat and risking another $10 to have it not cleaned.  As well as the hassle of going there and waiting.  So I soaked the discolored corner in Oxy Clean (just to see if it would come clean) and it immediately turned the water a disgusting yellowish brown color.  I put the whole comforter in our (newly cleaned I might add) bathtub with oxy clean and laundry soap.  The water again turned disgusting.   I pushed it around in the water for about 5 minutes to simulate a washing machine and then with the help of my husband we rang out the 50 pound king sized down comforter and and then filled the tub with water and a small amount of soap again.  I agitated the comforter as best I could and eventually stepped into the tub and stepped around on it.  Like I was squishing grapes.  We then wrung it out again and then filled the tub one more time with clean water and then wrung it out one final time and took it outside and hung it on our newly made make shift clothes lines.
Guess what!  It smells great and is completely clean.  No discoloration anywhere on it.  I have only one word.  Gross!  I've been sleeping needlessly with a dirty comforter.  But let me tell you what, washing that thing was a workout!  Jeesh!  Here's to another 4 years!  Im kidding.  Probably only 2.

Summer Goal

Ever since my grandmother told me that one summer while she was in Idaho visiting her mother,she made all 5 of her kids, all of their clothes for the coming school year, I've wanted to give it a try.  So that's my goal.  For the next year, I'm going to try and make all of my clothes, and the kids' clothes before turning to the store.  Some things I might not be able to pull off for myself.  Like  jeans.  Not sure how I feel about making myself some of those.  Actually now that I've thought I can't..... I want to try.  I'm not going to guarantee that they will ever see the light of day, but I will try and make some.   I'm also not sure how my husband will feel about me making him some clothes?  When I told him he could still get his clothes from the store he said "okay." Ha HA!  What? You don't want to wear clothes like this?

Monday, May 30, 2011

First Loose tooth

Lilly found out last night that one of her lower centrals (#25 for those who know teeth) was loose.  At 11pm she was still awake and came out to the living room and said she couldn't sleep.  She was afraid she would swallow her tooth.
As we speak she going into her second hour of trying to eat breakfast.  She has to hold a mirror while she's eating, because she's afraid of swallowing it.  Ha Ha! She's so cute.  Tooth Fairy better get ready.  What did, or does the tooth fairy bring to your house?  She's never been here before.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pretty in Pink Chevron Skirt

I've been seeing these Chevron stripes everywhere.  But I've  not seen any skirts made like this.   (I apologize to anyone if you have made one.  I just haven't seen any.  I was inspired by this WRISTLET.  When I saw it, I immediately thought of the striped material (pictured below) and this SKIRT I had made with it and my mind put the two together and the idea was born.  Here's how to make one.

First take some striped fabric:

Then I cut out 2 pattern pieces, each 5 inches wide by about 24inches.  (Or however long you want your skirt.  I used a thin, see through paper that is used for covering charcoal and pencil drawings.  Tracing paper would also work.  Also make sure you add enough to the length of your pattern to allow for a hem and casing for elastic.
I laid the cut out pattern, diagonally on the fabric and and traced the lines of the stripes.  I made one pattern piece for the diagonals slanting right and one for the diagonals slanting left.  Line up the lines each time.

Then I started cutting.  After I cut the first piece, I just laid the piece I had just cut out, on top of the fabric, lining up all the stripes and then cut out my next piece.  Or you could continue using the pattern.
I cut 5 of each pattern piece.  So 10 in all.  For a fuller skirt you could cut out 6 of each.  That was my plan originally, until I realized that the striped material (that was originally a buttoned, fitted ,queen sized bed sheet).  That was a lot of description.  Anyways it was pieced together down the center of the fabric and so the stripes were slightly off so I couldn't use the center of the fabric.  And I only had enough for 5 of each pattern piece.

My fabric was too thin to be able to wear without a slip or something underneath, so I made mine reversible.
If you don't want yours reversible, you could just finish the skirt like I did in this tutorial :Easy Spring Skirt.
For a reversible skirt I laid my chevron stripes on top of the fabric to be used for the reversible side.  (The opposing side to to the fitted sheet.)

Then I cut it out and sewed the two together on one of the lengthwise edges This is how it will look after sewing:

Next, fold your fabric in half, right side together (lengthwise) like the picture below:
Sew along the open end, making sure to align your stripes.

Then turn your fabric right side out and then in half so that the two different fabrics meet on the ends.   (The chevron stripes will be on one side and the other fabric on the inside.  Or visa versa. The end that is  already sewn  (Where it is folded) will be the bottom (hem), and the open end, will be the top.  Serge or zig zag the edges, then fold under a 1/4 inch and sew.
Now we'll sew the elastic casing.  
This is a little different than the regular way.  It allows for the elastic to be in between the two layers of fabric.
 Pin together the two fabrics and sew all the way around.  You'll start sewing down about an inch Or however wide your elastic is.  This will be the bottom of the casing for the elastic.

You can see a little better in this picture.  After you've sewn the line around the skirt that is down a inch, you'll sew another line right at the top.  About an 1/8 of a inch from the top or so.  Make sure you leave an opening for the elastic.
Put a safety pin on one end of the elastic and thread it through the casing.  Once it's all the way through safety pin the two ends together and try it on.  Make any adjustments you need and then sew the elastic together.  I usually make 3 or 4 passes.  Make sure the elastic isn't twisted before you sew.  It's no fun to un-pick 3 or 4 passes of stitches.  I've learned my lesson!
The last step is to sew the casing closed.  You'll probably have to pull the elastic tight to do this.

I look really angry in this picture.  My daughter took some pictures of me and this was the only one that wasn't blurry.

Here's the reverse side:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Halloween Skull Jacket

Remember this fabric:
I finally made something with it!  It only took me 2 months to figure out what.  But once I decided, things went pretty quick.  I used a pattern I got from my MIL for a boys baseball style T-shirt, added a hood and some ribbing (actually a tank top purchased at D.I.) to the sleeves and waistband, and was going to add a zipper, when I realized that the zipper foot I had purchased didn't work on my machine.  So I took these pictures thinking I wasn't going to put in the zipper.  It's a bit big on him, but I figured if I was going to  use this awesome fabric, I wanted Max to be able to wear it for a long time.  (Yes Mom, it comes to his knees.)

Then as I was examining things I thought, "I could probably still put in the zipper and just use my regular presser foot.  So I did.  I'm sure all you REAL sewers out there are shaking your heads, but it was too late to go to the store so I just did what I normally do.   Make do with what I have.

Then after I got done taking those pictures I decided it needed pockets.  So I made some, and sewed them on.

Dear Lilly,

You are most definitely growing up too fast.  It seems like yesterday that I brought you home from the hospital.
 Two weeks before you were due, I had a regular check up with the midwives.  Surprise!  You have Preeclampsia!  Head straight to the hospital they are waiting for you.  Yikes!  Very scary for a first time Mom!  16 hours later you were here!  I had a C- section that they had to put me to sleep to do.  So when I woke your Daddy was there and asked me if I wanted to see my beautiful baby girl.  He said "She has curly hair and hairy triceps"  I didn't say a word when he put you in my arms I just stared in awe.  I was told that when they brought you out to your Daddy, Grandma Andrews was waiting out there with him and that they both sat there and cried.  (Tears of joy not sadness).
You walked at 8 months and had a pretty good vocabulary by the time you were a year old.   When you were 18 months old I was out in the foyer  at church and you pointed to picture on the wall and said "That's Jesus."  I got daily comments about how well you could speak and how little you were.  You had a lot to say and couldn't wait to get saying it.  You are still our little social butterfly.  You love to be right in the action.  You waste no time making friends.  I think you got it from your Grandma Begay.  She was a popular social lady too.
You are definitely not a home body.  You always loved to be out and about.  I could take you to any store and you'd be happy for hours.
You never liked dolls.  Ever.  I finally got rid of them because you wouldn't play with them.  You liked balls and cars, superheros and playing outside.  You liked princess stuff for about 4 months and then you were over it and you haven't looked back since.
You like my kind of music and haven't been persuaded by other kids to like Hannah Montana or ICarly or any of the other stuff.   You came home one day and told me that you had heard some bad new that day.  Your best friend likes Hannah Montana but you proudly announced that you like The Ramones.  I was so proud that you stood up for what you liked.  That was something I always struggled with.  You've said to me before "I'm the only one in the whole school who doesn't like I Carly."  I just try and reassure you that you don't have to like that just because everyone else does.  It's hard to be different.  I know, because I was too.
You've always had your own style.  By the time you were 3 you no longer wanted me to pick out clothes and if I bought something you didn't like, you wouldn't wear it.  A little young for that don't you think?

You love to play with your brother although it wasn't always that way.  You were terrified of him when we first brought him home from the hospital.  You would cry every time we got in the car because you had to sit by him.  If he cried (which was all the time) you did too.
You love to make books and cards.  You like fantasy and superhero movies.   You love cats.  You love, love, love, hearts!   You've told me that you don't know what to be when you grow up because, "there are too many things to be."  It changes from day to day between: A rock star, a card maker, a dress maker,a book maker, an astronaut, an explorer, a pirate, a teacher, a mom, an acrobat, a doctor, a tooth maker, and an artist.
You've always loved acting out story's too.  I used spend hours with you acting out the Peter Rabbit story and The Three Little Pigs.  The Wind in the Willows was also a favorite.  You've always loved books and loved being read to.  I made it a point to read to you every night.

You are a sweet little girl and also very sensitive.  Every day before you walk into the school you kiss my hand and make me kiss yours.  "So that when we get sad we can put our hands to our faces and have a kiss."
Your also very considerate of others.  At the beginning of the school year, at your "Meet Your Teacher" night, your teacher let you choose (as you were leaving) either one big (Blow Pop, your favorite) sucker or 2 dum dums.  I thought for sure you'd choose the Blow Pop.    You chose the two dum dums so Max could have one too.  You always do things like that to melt my heart.
I'm so glad you came into our lives and I love you lots and lots.  You came at just the right time I believe.  You made me a mother and have taught me lots over the past 6 and half years.  I'll love you forever.
Love, Mom

Dear Max,

You are growing up too fast.  I wish I could stop time,  I wish I could remember you just the way you are right now.  Of course I've said that at every stage of your life, but it's true.  I was very nervous about having a boy because I grew up will all girls and had only had a girl child.  I was very sick when I was pregnant with you and I would lay in bed ALL day with Lilly.  We would watch PBS Kids, because we didn't have any other channels.   Dragon Tales was one of Lilly's favorites and the kids on that show are named Max and Emmy.  The name grew on me and that's how you got your name.
I went into labor on the morning of the 26th of September around 5 or 6 am.  I was in labor all day and finally called Daddy home from work to take me to the hospital at 6 pm.  I finally gave in and decided to get an epidural at around 7pm.  Your heart rate kept dropping drastically every time I had a contraction and everyone thought the umbilical cord was wrapped around you neck.  So they preformed an emergency C-Section, found out the cord was NOT wrapped around your neck at all, and whisked you away for tests and IV's.   The Doctor told me there was no medical reason for your heart rate to have been dropping the way it was.  The only reason I can think of was that they found a cyst somewhere inside of me (that they removed), while doing the c-section.
When you were very little, you would just lay on a blanket or in your bouncy chair, with your hands above your head and just stare at your hands.  You would wiggle your fingers and turn your hands  to every angle.   You were so amazed by your hands.   Your sister did this too, but not like you did.  You did this for months.
This was another of your favorite ways to sit.  You always put your feet up on the bar above your bouncy chair.

You were a very good eater.  From the time you were born until I stopped nursing you (I'm a little embarrassed to admit this) when you were 2 years old you ate morning and night every 2 hours.    I used to think that you weren't getting enough milk but looking back at pictures, you definitely were.  I think you were maybe 3 months here.

  Very exhausting for me but I will always cherish the those times.  I loved looking down and staring at your beautiful face, proud that we had accomplished something together.

You have always looked up to Lilly even when you were little.  I also love how you instinctively look out for her and me.  When ever we walk to or from the school you always point out things we should avoid and then you look back until we've passed them, to make sure we didn't get hurt (or wet).  You'll make a great husband and father someday.

I just want to eat you up in this picture.  Drool and all.

You loved going swimming and taking a bath.  When you were getting your first bath in the hospital, Daddy said that you were screaming  when they were getting you ready but as soon as they poured that warm water on your head you stopped.  For a long time after that when you would cry inconsolably I would wrap you in a blanket and put your head (just the top) under the faucet in the kitchen and you would always stop crying.
You have always loved anything with wheels.  Especially Monster trucks.  When you were about 6 months old, you would play with the monster trucks that Lilly got in a kids meal 2 years before and make the motor boat sound, trying to imitate a truck.  Not sure where you picked that up, just ingrained in your DNA I guess.  Look at how amazed you are by that truck.

You didn't roll over until you were about 6 months old and then you went straight from laying on your back one day to rolling over and getting your knees under you and crawling the next.  Well, maybe 3 days.  Then the only reason you ever crawled was to get to the couch or table to stand.  Although by the time you were about 7 months old you could go from crouching in the middle of a room (or our yard) to standing all on your own.  Everyone would comment on it and no one had ever seen a baby who could that.  You were walking (unassisted) at 8 months and running at 9.

 You are a silly boy, a sensitive boy, a sweetheart.  You love ninja's and Batman.  Kung Fu Soccer is one of your favorite movies.  You point and do a come here motion with your finger that a character on the movie does.  You love to watch Monster Trucks on You tube and sing Bad to Bone  while driving your own little monster trucks around.  "Breakin' around da... honey, Bad to the Bone"

You called your sister "he-ya" for the longest time.  Here are some other fun words you've said:
Kitty-cat -Kit Kat
Friar Tuck - Fire truck
You didn't talk until after you were 2 and a half.  At your 2 year check up you still weren't talking and so we were referred to a place called Kids on the Move.  As part of the sign up for that place, you had to get a hearing test and you kept failing them.  (Very little sleep for me during this period).  After about 5 hearing tests I finally decided to take you to an Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor who found out through a surprise Nasal Scope that you had Chronic Fluid in your ears.  So we had tubes placed in your ears and your speech took off after you could hear.  (Surprise!)  You are very smart!  Even though your speech was so far behind, all that reading and talking to you must have helped because your comprehension was off the charts for your age!  You surprise me everyday with the things you know.
  You love your hair long (you cried when we cut it)  and like me, you like playing alone.    Your an observer  (like me) rather than a participator.  You don't ever get mad or jealous when your sister gets something you don't.
You get really shy when I brag or tell anyone about you and when I catch you doing something cute and call you on it, you give a little half smile while looking at me out of the corner of your eye while bowing your head down.
You love rocks and sticks and you love the alphabet.  You can at 3 years of age recognize all upper and lower case letters and you know all the sounds they make.  You can also recognize numbers up to 10.
I love you Max!  I hope you know that.  You should, I tell about a thousand times a day!    I love watching you grow and experience new things!  Here's to an eternity together!!!
Love, Mom

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A B C Rocks

Max loves rocks.  Max loves the Alphabet.  It just made sense to put the two together.
I had the kids find some rocks and then gave them a bucket of soap to wash them in.

clean rocks.

Then they painted away.  Yellow, black, white and blue were the only colors we had.

Although I did find a small amount red that we mixed with white to make pink.  One rock for Lilly.

 Capital letters on one side....

Lower case on the other.