Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My Personal Pirate

What do we know about pirates?

They are grumpy.

They have a limited vocabulary.

They are from the Caribbean.

                      They wear an eye patch.

They drink Rum

......but the truth?

The truth is that they are just regular guys that woke up one day with bell's palsey. They are grumpy because half their face does not work. They say Arrrrr because they are hungry and can't make their mouth work or taste anything that ends up shoved in there. The eye patch becomes a necessity since they can no longer close their eye. And finally, the rum...well doesn't that make everything better?

Oh, did I forget about the Caribbean? Yeah, I think after this experience he deserves a trip to the Caribbean!

Here's to my personal Pirate. I love you and I hope it goes away quickly.
My Personal Pirate.

Monday, April 13, 2015

A "Library" Easter Dress

Sadly, I never got around to making my Valentine's Day pumpkins. I promise I will procrastinate Halloween again so I can carve some hearts in February! Since I'm touching on other major holidays in this post, how about I cover Easter too!

I had to settle for making a dress for the girl child since I procrastinated on those pumpkins so long they ended up in the trash....a shame really. I didn't get fun or food out of them this year. I totally didn't slack on the Easter dress though. I dug through my stash of patterns a whole week before Easter! Woooo! Go me! I was deciding between the Oliver + S Garden Party dress or the Library dress. I even put it to a vote on FB but came up with a draw. So, I asked the 2 year old in the house. She grabbed the pattern and said "This one mommy." There was no way to refuse that. So, the Library Dress it is!

The next day the little miss and I hit up the store and got our material. I have tons of fabric in my stash but not enough of a main fabric for the pattern and who doesn't love buying new fabric. I didn't think to write down the good info on the fabric though.

 The pattern has a view with a collar and without, and short or long sleeves. I went with no collar and I decided to omit sleeves completely since it was a week before Easter and it was already in the 90's here. I didn't want to add extra bulk by lining the entire bodice so I opted for double fold bias tape to finish the sleeves.

I went to town transferring the pattern and cutting everything out. I prefer to make clothing a bit longer for kids who are growing so quickly so I made the size 2T pattern but went with 3T in length. Except for a few small errors in the directions when it came to piecing the waistband to the bodice, it was easy peasy. Pleats are not my favorite thing in the world to sew, but there were not that many and I do love the look.

 Then, I got to the part where I had to pin the sides of the skirt together and finish the sleeves....something was off. I don't know if it was a mistake I made or something to do with leaving the sleeves off, but the skirt was not lining up by a half inch. I even hit up the forums on the Oliver + S site to see if anyone else had that particular issue. I didn't really get much response (not that I expected it though). In the mean time, the dress just sat like this while I tried to figure out what to do.

In the end I just decided to cut off the offending half inch from the arm hole and call it a day. Everything lined up beautifully after that and my little miss kept begging to put the dress on.

I love the buttons down the back too. On the forums, some of the others out there kept talking about putting a zipper in. I don't think I would like the dress as much. As they say....it's the details that make the dress. I still have not figured out who "they" are but since they are backing me up on this, I'm going with it!

And a shot of all the kids and while I did do Easter baskets before the egg hunt, I totally forgot to bring them to their grandparent's house.

Here are some close up shots of the details and the fabric as well.

Dress Front

No Collar and I used the contrasting fabric for the facing.

 The piping to edge the waistband matches the arm hole bias tape.

Dress Back


I loved making this dress and can't wait to make it again. Going with a different view to get a different look. I have some great corduroy sitting in my stash that would make a great winter dress with the long sleeves....

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Valentine's Day .... Pumpkins?

I have a confession.

I don't always have it together.

Sometimes I even let my children down.

This past Halloween I just never got around to the carving of the pumpkins. Here they sit...on the floor of my garage, like a tossed aside and forgotten child's hopes and dreams, project. Yet this project will rot if I let it sit there much longer.

So, since Valentines day is coming up..... well, I need to find some great ideas for these Valentine's Day Pumpkins! Off to search Pinterest. There are others who completely let their children down, right?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Little Boys and Bow Ties

Time to revive the blog! I have been away for a few months. Major life changes going on here. We moved cross country and now live in Arizona. We have been here since the end of July. All I can say is that it is HOT in August in Arizona, but this winter has been beautiful! It is the end of January and I have my windows and doors open and it is hitting around 73 -75.

After much inner turmoil I put the boys in public school. I'm a firm believer in the Montessori method of learning and very much against common core and testing and every single thing about public schools really, but we just couldn't swing the funding here in AZ for Montessori. I gave homeschooling a go from the fall through Christmas time. It worked in the sense that I could use Montessori on them at home, and that they were learning TONS, but I was drowning. And my super social boys were having trouble not interacting with more people on a daily basis. I have them in soccer, and swimming, and we go to the gym 3 times a week, but it was not enough. I will keep our home classroom up and running to supplement school...and I will bite my tongue and clench my teeth while dealing with their terrible common core crap homework because this ended up being the best choice for our family.

Now, after that crazy long intro and background info, my middle child came home from school yesterday and said that he had to dress like he was 100 years old for the 100th day of school. Really?!?! I need more notice! Anyway, I pulled out a short sleeved button down top for him and I remembered this blog post with a free bow tie pattern. I got the okay from the middle child for a bow tie with a request that it be red. So, I dug through my piles and piles of scraps and I whipped up an awesome bow tie! Now that I see how easy that was, I will be making a bunch more! I made the ones with the clip in the back so that once it is tied, it is tied.

Some gel and baby powder in his hair turned it that lovely grey/white color and I popped the lenses out of an old pair of sunglasses.

If I do say so myself, my 100 year old kindergartener turned out pretty cute with his "red" bow tie.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Miss Faye's Birth Story

(I'm pulling over old posts from my old blog so don't mind the current date)
Birth Story

Faye’s birth story begins way before her actual birth. Faye has two older brothers, both of whom were born via c-section. My oldest son’s c-section was a failed induction (induced because of low amniotic fluid). I was on pitocen for 19 hours and had no dilation. Hugh Richard was born at 38w2d and weighed in at 8lbs. 2oz. and was 18 inches long. My second son was also a c-section, because I had had the first c-section. I also had gestational diabetes with him which was not controlled well with insulin. Because of that I had to have an amniocentesis to check lung development followed by a c-section at 37w3d. Owen Graham weighed in at 7lbs. 6oz. and was also 18 inches long.

On to Faye’s story. I found out I was pregnant in January of 2012. I knew right away that I wanted to try for a vaginal birth after two c-sections or a VBA2C. I was still with the practice that delivered both of my boys but they had merged with another practice and grown considerably. There were plusses to staying with them. The top of the line equipment that was “in house”, I never needed to go to the hospital for ultra sounds or labs or even to see a high risk OB if it was needed. The down side to all of that was the lack of personal care. I had to see a different OB every time I went in (there are 9 OB’s in that practice). No one ever remembered me even though I had been with them for over 8 years. I was just a number to them. There was not even a single visit that they bothered to read my chart before walking into the room. Every visit with them was like a trip on a conveyor belt…literally. They had a huge row of bathrooms for you to go in to leave your urine sample…all the bathrooms were connected to the lab. They had 6 ladies sitting at the check in desk. I had to answer the same questions each and every time I was there. They never looked at ME and how I was doing as a patient, I just fell into some crazy “if/then” procedure downward spiral.  When asked outright if they would work with me on having the VBA2C I was told no.

I stayed with them through my 22nd week of pregnancy. All the while I was researching my VBA2C and trying to find a provider that would work with me. There are very few OB’s out there that will work with you on this due to the risk and there are even fewer hospitals that will even let an OB. I stumbled on the ICAN website early in my pregnancy but there is so much info there that I didn’t find what I was looking for until around 18 weeks. I was looking for a local group that could refer me to an OB/hospital in my area that would work with me. University of Illinois Chicago would do VBA2C but they were just too far to get to to make them a reasonable choice.

I sent an e-mail off to the chapter leader for the closest ICAN group to me, explaining my history and what I was looking for. I didn’t hear back right away. I almost forgot I attempted contact with anyone. Then one day out of the blue I received an e-mail. There was an OB that was about 20 minutes from me that would do a VBA2C. Not only that but the hospital that he practices out of, has a top of the line NICU that accepts transfers from all the other local hospitals. This hospital also houses a branch of the Chicago Children’s Hospital. Finally, the icing on the cake….he was a solo practitioner, so I would get the individualized experience that I was looking for.

I scheduled an appointment to meet Dr. C when I was just shy of 24 weeks pregnant. He was everything I wanted in an OB. He told me my risks (which I already knew from all my research) and then he told me that yes he would work with me to have my VBA2C. I also mentioned to him that I had gestational diabetes with my first two pregnancies (knowing that that sometimes changes the game a bit…if a baby is perceived to be too big then they won’t let you deliver on your own. Dr. C was not worried about it since the boys were not huge. He had a let’s take it as it comes attitude, which I loved. He also told me that he would let me go as far as 41 weeks before he would have to intervene and since VBAC’s can’t be induced that would mean a c-section. That was fine with me though. 41 weeks is a fighting chance. VBA2C aside, most OB’s won’t let you go past 39 weeks with gestational diabetes.

Here is my last belly picture that we took before all the drama started!

Now that I had everything set up the best I possibly could let’s fast forward to September 4, 2012….I was 36w3d pregnant….I had gestational diabetes that was well controlled with diet (paleo/primal)….it was the day after Labor Day and my mom was watching the boys for the evening. Greg and I had plans to go to the store to get the baby a car seat. They were having their trade in event (bring in an old item off the list and get 25% off a new item) and our old car seat was due to expire in about 3 months.

I had not been feeling well since the night before. I had splurged on what I ate for dinner (pizza) and I thought my body was angry at me. I was having lots of cramping . After my mom came and got the boys around 5 pm I told Greg that I was going to get in the tub to see if that would make me feel better. I got in the tub and just tried to relax for a bit. The more I relaxed the more my back hurt…and not low like back labor…up high and on the left side. I had felt this pain before I knew what it was; kidney stones. Greg got home from work shortly after I realized what was going on and I had him help me out of the tub. I was still insistent on going to the store for the car seat first. I was in so much pain at this point that Greg had to push me through the store in a wheelchair because I couldn’t even walk. After all that they didn’t even have the seat I wanted but a store an hour in another direction did, so they put it on hold for us and away we went in the direction of the hospital. I called the OB’s office on the way to the hospital and they let the hospital know I was coming. After all was said and done I was admitted to the hospital for hydronephrosis (enlarged kidneys from a back up of urine) and kidney stones that evening.  I was also checked upon admission and I was only fingertip dilated and not effaced at all. I received lots of pain meds and IV fluids and straining of urine to catch stones. I started to lose my mucous plug on Thursday while in the hospital but the nurse said not to worry about it since there was no blood in it. I was discharged late in the day on Friday.

I went home and had a nice evening with Greg and my boys. We didn’t do anything special, we just were. Then I went to bed. Sometime in the middle of the night during one of my many bathroom runs I started to notice some cramping, nothing crazy, maybe like once an hour. My system also started to clean itself out during every one of these cramping/bathroom visits. Sometime around 7:00 am on Saturday I had to get up to go pee again, and as I sat up I thought I had waited too long and had peed myself because as I stood up from bed, my legs were wet all the way down. Then as I woke up a bit more I realized that 1) I had not suddenly lost the ability to hold my pee and 2) that my water just broke. I made it to the bathroom to clean up. I noticed that everything was nice and clear and there really was not that much. That meant that Faye’s head was “plugging the leak” so to speak. I woke Greg up at that point. All I said was Greg, my water just broke….I have never seen him jump out of bed so fast! It was kind of fun.

I did not call the OB at this point. I knew that with the news of my water breaking I would be put “on the clock” and was not interested in spending hours upon hours in the hospital.  My contractions picked up enough for me to start timing them around 9:00 am. They were very sporadic at first, some coming 5 minutes apart and some 15 minutes apart. I was exactly 37w0d pregnant.

We had nothing done at this point. The nursery was not done, we didn’t have bags packed, and I had numerous projects in various stages of completion around the house. We spent the day getting ready between contractions (thankfully Greg had made it up to the store for the car seat a couple of day prior). One of the projects that was on my list to do was to make the boys “big brother” shirts and to make a “little sister” onesie so my mom came over and helped me pick out fabric scraps and we printed out letter templates….she was going to work on the shirts for me while I was in the hospital.

The entire time my contractions are getting more regular and closer together. I would say I was about every 5 minutes or so at this point and having to breath though them. Once I was done messing around with fabric I sat down to relax a bit and concentrate on timing the contractions. They slowed down in frequency but got more intense. I was back to about 7 – 9 minutes apart. I decided now was a good time to shower and shave my legs. I had been timing contractions on contraction master and didn’t want to stop while I was in the shower so I set the computer up in the bathroom and had Hugh sit in there with me. All he had to do was hit the spacebar when a contraction started and ended.

So, the shower kicked my contractions into high gear. Some of them were only 1 – 2 minutes apart and hard core. I had to lean on the wall to get through them. I did have nice shaved legs when I was done though! My mom had left the house to get her things together and she got back just as I was getting out of the shower. This was very good because I had started throwing up with the contractions and decided it was time to go. This was about 4ish. We finished tossing stuff into a bag and I got dressed and we left for the hospital…which was still a 30 minute drive away. I called the OB on the way and told the answering service that I was on my way to the hospital.

I got to the hospital and we bypassed triage all together and they put me right in a delivery room. She said I looked like I was going to deliver in the wheelchair. Clothes came back off and I got on the bed to be monitored and checked and admitted. They had a nurse in there to do each thing because they thought I was so close. The baby looked great on the monitor, they were having trouble picking up the contractions on the monitor (not sure why) and I was only 3 cm and 100% +2 so, in reality not very far along. This was at 5:18 pm. My body had the shakes already though so I should have known I was going to go fast. The OB got there about 6:30 and checked me again and I was at a 5. I was not handling the contractions well at all. There was no down time between for me to center myself. I did have an amazing nurse though, that kept telling me how great I was doing and she said that I was handling the contractions well.  I was just shaking so bad and they were coming so hard and fast that I asked for an epidural. They paged the anesthesiologist and I got that right away. 

After the epidural was in they checked me again and I was an 8. They left the room to let me labor for a bit, soon I started to feel crazy pressure so when the nurse came back in I told her what I was feeling and the OB came in to check me. I was at a 10 with a lip of cervix left. They rolled me to the other side so that Faye’s head would put pressure on the lip to help it go away. About 5 minutes later I was ready to start pushing. I did some practice pushing with just the nurse…she helped me out by doing some perineal massage while I was pushing. I was making lots of progress though and once she started crowning they had the OB come in the room. I only pushed 2 times after he was there and she was out! I pushed for a total of 20 minutes (including all the practice pushing).

Faye was born at 9:10 pm on Saturday September 8, 2012.  She was put on my chest for some skin to skin time as well as to let her cord stop pulsing so it could be cut.

 She started nursing at 9:20 pm and was a huge pro. She knew just what to do and pretty much has not let up since.

 After about an hour she peed on me and passed her second round of meconium so they took her to clean her up and put a diaper on (and to clean me up). She weighed in at 6lbs. 12oz. and was 19 inches long. She is my longest and smallest baby.

I did have some tearing so once the placenta was delivered my OB stitched me up. Then they moved us to a mother/baby room and the rest is history. She is the calmest and sweetest baby and we are all entranced.
Here is Owen meeting Faye for the first time...
....and Hugh.
Here she is the day she came home from the hospital
And all snuggled up on me....she was so tiny that this newborn sleeper was much too big on her.

Faye Violet
September 8, 2012 – 9:10 pm
6 lbs. 12 oz. - 19 inches long

Sunday, March 2, 2014

A dandelion skirt set

We are getting together with Mr Cassie's family. The first time that all of us and his siblings and their families will be together in almost 5 years. We had a family picture taken that last time and we are planning on it again. We are all from the Chicago area and the Chicago sports teams seem to be important to everyone (everyone except me, I hate all sports) so the Bears colors/theme was chosen for our picture.