About Me

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I'm a hand-holding, swing-pushing, story-telling Mama with a creative streak and a nurturing spirit. I like growing food and flowers (and people, hehe), sewing clothes and quilts, cooking and eating and running, a long, tight hug and the color yellow. I love date nights at home, spontaneous trips to the bookstore and hearing my babies laugh. I am indecisive, exaggerrative and I overuse parentheses. I am reflective and sentimental and quick to laugh. I think I still picture myself as a 22-year old, yet every year my life gets more fulfilling. I am still figuring out exactly who I am. :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I made two emergency trips to the grocery store yesterday...

...once at 5:30pm for eggs for our cornbread,
and one at 9:30pm for red food coloring
for the play-dough I volunteered to make for Claire's class, which was a day late. :(

I really need to get my twin tendencies of procrastination and scatterbrainedness under control!

Now I'm off to wrap presents for a certain birthday on Friday.
Oh look, three days early!
Go me!!

picking up big sister from school :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

three little mintons

Always making me smile. :)


Saturday, August 27, 2011

new too-big tutu that looks a lot less pink than it is...

Eating breakfast together

Happy weekend!

Friday, August 26, 2011

sewing for school: outfit #3 a.k.a. "The outfit that made me cry"

Friends, I finished another fall/winter outfit for Claire.

Honestly, I am not pleased.

For one thing, I made a size 6 thinking she could grow into it, but when I put it on her, it was huge! It looked shapeless and just too long. :(

So I hemmed it higher so the length is a little better.

But still. I was disappointed.

I think because I am mostly self-taught there are little fundamentals that I don't do properly, and it affects the whole product.
Like imperfect buttonholes, a collar that isn't totally straight and mismatched fabric (meaning the design at the side seams doesn't match up).

I had such grand visions for this dress, mostly because the fabric is a really special heavier weight linen-cotton blend that happened to be fairly expensive.
I thought this dress would do it justice to show off the cute Sleeping Beauty drawings, and I guess it sort of does that, but Claire doesn't like the way it feels (too scratchy).
We'll fix that by adding a tee and tights underneath (good thing it is for cooler weather!) and I think some pink boots will make it adorable.

I'm bummed though.

I want to keep sewing because I love it.
But I want to love what I sew too, and I usually end up slightly disappointed with the final project compared to the vision I had.

Like I always tell Claire (who gets easily frustrated), I have to keep trying- it is the only way my skills will improve, right?

I said in my title that this dress made me cry.
It totally did.
Noah and Alex (the girls were sleeping) came to see what was wrong, and both laughed when I cried "I ruined the dress!"
They don't get it... :)
You see, this dress has been worked on little by little for about three weeks- and I'm not kidding- on the very last step, the VERY LAST STEP, I made what might be an unfixable mistake.
I was carefully opening the last buttonhole and having some trouble due to the thickness of the fabric, and RIIIIIIIIIIIP! Right through the fabric in a slash!!!

see that huge rip? :(


This is where formal training would have come in handy, because I'm pretty sure there is a better way to open a buttonhole than using a seam ripper!
Live and learn! 
Next time I will use tiny scissors...
sleeve cuff (my favorite part!) and close-up of the design
ta-da! Rip and all. Maybe I can cover it up with buttons??

Also for Claire, some jammies.
Her birthday is next week and she both loves/needs new jammies, so I got to work in my little sweat shop (literally, my sewing area is the hottest place in the house!)
We've got some lightweight flannel pants and a matching tee which I embellished with some leftover pants fabric 

And another pair, with super-nice, super-soft flannel that is soooo luxurious. :)
Now I'm finishing up a birthday tutu and headband, soon to be followed by a dress for me!!
Super excited about that. :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

kindergarten girl

I'll spare you the gushy emotional stuff (a little bit anyway!!), and just share with you a few short words and pictures of her first day of kindergarten!

setting out the all-important outfit

so cute with the shoes and socks!

she wanted to pick some flowers for her teacher
The full outfit and hair in all its glory! She wanted two braids "just like your Mom used to do in your hair."

She rode her scooter while I pushed Alex and Lucy in the jogger. She was so excited, the girl was scooting (scootering?) so fast I had to run to keep up!

Poor thing, I had to get this picture, but of course the sun was right in her eyes. We'll redo this another time...

She's been talking about school nonstop since I first picked her up yesterday, and it's neat for me to hear it all multiple times as she tells the same stories to me, Daddy, Oma, Nana...

She was on my mind the whole time she was in school, pride and excitement slightly tinged with heartache.

The construction equipment we passed on our way to the grocery store made me think how normally she would be pointing it out to Alex, knowing he would want to crane his neck to see it.

The granola bars at the store made me think of her and how she would have asked for the blueberry ones.

Eating lunch of course made me think of her and her absence, especially when I set the table. I thought how normally, she would be putting the napkins out, and writing little place cards for everyone. And of course she would sit me next to her.

It is definitely going to take some getting used to.

And it will be good for her, even when it isn't perfect.

But the best part?

Was when Noah asked her what her favorite part of the day was and she answered,

"When Mama picked me up."

Because even though she told me her favorite part was playing on the playground,
even though she told me she didn't miss me,
even though I know she had so much fun,

she still comes happily home to me.

Friday, August 19, 2011

a card for her teacher

Claire wanted to make a card to bring to her new teacher who we met last night.

In case you are not fluent in kindergarten, that says "What's your name" :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

sewing for school: outfit #2

It isn't 100% complete, but I'm a little excited (and Claire is a LOT excited, so excited she wanted to wear it today. In 100 degrees. I said no.) about the newest addition to her fall wardrobe.

It is missing it's sash, which (once I figure out how to turn the darn thing right side out) is of the pink check fabric and will tie either in the middle or off to the side in the front. It will also conceal the gathering stitches from the skirt and cinch the fullness of the waist which will give it more shape and polish up the dress a little bit more.
This is the placket, all buttoned-up.
I didn't have any buttons that would work, so I covered my own using the contrast fabric of the placket and sash!

I like it like this for a bit of breathing room, plus the top button is less than perfect and this styling hides that!

Cuffed sleeves and pocket

Can't wait to see what it looks like with the sash!

almost here

It is almost here.


I am a little nervous-

     what if she doesn't want to go?
     what if she cries?
     what if I cry?

I am a little scared-

     what if she gets hurt and I'm not there to hug her?
     what if she has a seizure and I'm not there to hold her?
     what if she gets her feelings hurt and I am not there to reassure her?
     what if she hurts someone else's feelings and I am not there to counsel her about her actions?
     what if I get used to her not being home with me?
I am a little excited-

     so far she has shown little trepidation and much happy anticipation, and I do think she will have fun with school, like her daddy and mama before her.
But it is hard, this business of giving your child to the world.

I wonder if we made the right decision-

     my mind still comes back to homeschooling every so often

But mostly I trust.

     That no matter how much I will miss her, wonder what/how she is doing, count the minutes until I pick her up, she will come back to me my sweet, precocious, sensitive, bright Angel Girl.
Who holds my face in her hands and tells me I'm the sweetest one in the world, and that she loves me even more than I love her-

     how to show her that that is utterly impossible.

Please be kind to my girl.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Vacation Recap: Days One and Two

When we found out Noah was to coach a junior olympic water polo team this summer, we were a bit bummed at the time commitment, especially the four-day tournament at the end of the summer.

We quickly decided to turn that negative into the plus of a vacation and take the kids to Disneyland!

That is what we did last week. :)

The first day was traveling, which meant almost six hours in the car.
Enjoyable for me (I get to read while Noah drives! Plus we have awesome conversations) but awful for our littlest Lucy Girl who has never ever ever enjoyed the car.
But we made it safely to our hotel, and we watched "Wall-E" and we all really liked it. 
It is mostly word-free, relying on the actions and emotions of the characters to convey the story and I have to say, it was really well done. 

The second day was Disneyland!
Noah coached three games, which happened to be at they very inopportune times of 8am, 12:50pm and 5:50pm.
So unfortunately, he was not able to come with us, which sort of breaks my heart that he wasn't able to be there for the kids first time, but he was so cute listening to the kids tell him all about it, and they were so cute telling him! We're definitely planning on going next year (not on a water polo weekend)!

I have to pat myself on the back a little bit.
I don't mind driving, I even enjoy it, if I feel safe and familiar.
I felt neither as I drove the littles and I across over-crowded, unfamiliar freeways, all the while gripping the steering wheel and taking it one step at a time.
Usually I rely on Noah to get us places, and I focus on other things, like whether we have enough water and granola bars.
This time it was all me.
And let me  tell you, when I got to Sleeping Beauty's castle, three kids in tow, knowing I had done it all myself, I felt like I do after just giving birth- I felt invincible!! 
I was irrationally proud of myself.
And even though it sounds so silly as I read it back to myself, it is true.:)

I was very happy and relieved when Noah's parents met me at the teacups.
Then we were cruising with one adult per child! :)

this was just after a Japanese tourist asked if she could take a picture of my "cute daughter." The girl was so  fun though, she knelt down next to Claire and took a picture with her, while I had my hands secretly at the ready in case she was going to take off with her. That sounds so paranoid, but hey, better safe than sorry!

We went on the carousel before Noah's parents got there- just a little taste of the magic to come!

meeting Sleeping Beauty and telling her "I'm four years old. Almost FIVE!"

Eating messy, melty treats while riding the train

Small world! The best! 

I was so dizzy after the teacups! This picture is so going right next to the one I have of me, my big sister and our mom on the teacups when I'm five!

There were definitely some tantrums...


Claire and Oma on one of Claire's favorite rides- the other was apparently the circus train 

Alex and Opa

We stayed in Fantasyland the whole time, and with the exception of the absence of Noah, some of the best times I've ever had.
It was truly just as much fun to be in Disneyland as an adult, with the added bonus of seeing it all through my kids' eyes. :)