Monday, October 12, 2009

what keeps me busy

I have recently fallen in love with sewing. I tried a few times in the past, but never got into it. But I have discovered that I just don't think it's fun to cut into a pattern and turn it into a garment. What I DO think is fun is to look at fabric and create something from it. And so, after wading through several tutorials online, I have found bits and pieces of inspiration all over my house.

My first recycle project was a t-shirt reconstruction. Rachel and I participated with some friends in the Walk4Hearing a couple of weeks ago. My friend Carla had special t-shirts made for our team: Team Turtles. Rachel's adult small was, needless to say, too big. So I turned it into a!

I used one of Rachel's existing dresses as a guide, cut the original shirt down to that size/shape, and sewed the side seams. I then took one of my discarded ribbed tanks and cut out sleeves and a ruffle for the bottom of the dress. I made the ruffle by pulling the fabric as I ran the edge through my serger. I used the bottom hem of the ribbed shirt for the sleeves so that the edges were already finished, and I ran one straight stitch with elastic bobbin thread to give the sleeves some poof. I also ended up having to put darts in the back because the dress needed more shape and still looked really big on her.

I had so much fun doing that, that I decided to recon some others of my discarded clothes. I had this striped long sleeve tee that I LOVED the colors, but never loved the shirt itself. So, per tutorials I found online, I cut the sleeves and made them into a little pair of pants for Rachel. It was SO easy that I couldn't resist trying to use the rest of the shirt, too. However, not wanting the outfit to be overwhelmed by stripes, I dug through our giveaway pile and found this plain brown shirt that I used to love. Armed with scissors and a newfound interest in gathering and shirring, I cut a bodice from the top of the striped shirt and sewed it to the gathered bottom of the brown shirt...

Clearly needing sleeves, I employed the sleeve portion of the brown shirt, also adding a line of elastic for fluff. The sleeves landed perfectly at her elbows! The biggest mistake I made was forgetting to add seam allowances in the sleeves, so I had to kind of finagle the armholes to match, which rendered the top a bit lop-sided. Live and learn! Finally, I used the bottom hem of the striped shirt to make a simple beanie(Rachel ultimately complained the hat was too tight...oops.) All told, it was the most fun I've had sewing, hands down.

And now...the finished product!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

oh, dear

I don't know how to fix it, but Rachel has been very demanding lately. I don't mean demanding like "I need lots of things from my mommy, which makes her tired" demanding; I mean more like "I'm unhappy with what I have and want anything else, please" demanding. All day long, it's "I want" and "Can I have" and "gimme gimme gimme!" How do you teach a kid to be content?

To add insult to injury, she is becoming a bit shall I say?...conniving? That sounds extreme, but it's actually quite accurate. Here's a prime example:

  • Mommy (seeing Rachel jumping on her bed): Rachel! You are not to jump on your bed!
  • Rachel plops down on her bottom, laughing.
  • Mommy: Rachel, I do not think this is funny.
  • Rachel (still laughing): I'm just laughing at something else.
  • Mommy: Excuse me??
  • Rachel: I was just laughing at sissy. She's a funny baby.

I was flabbergasted. I can't believe how sophisticated her thinking is becoming, and it's disheartening to see her trying to deceive and manipulate. That girl definitely keeps me guessing!

She tried to pull the same lie on me a couple of days later, but I was more prepared and handled it better. I couldn't help but feel like my heart was breaking a little, though. I guess it's natural that we want to think our children perfect. But at a time like that, it is undeniable that they are human--imperfect--like the rest of us. As I looked her in the eye and explained to her that she lied, and that it is never okay to say something that is not true, it struck me how alike we are. It struck me that God's heart breaks a little every time I disobey Him. It struck me that, in spite of my imperfection--in spite of my wretchedness--He loves me still. I had the opportunity to share with Rachel that God is HOLY, and that disobeying even one time is unacceptable. He cannot bear to look at us when we have even one sin. His perfect justice simply cannot ignore my wrongs. But, because He loves me--because He loves Rachel--He took what should have been my punishment for my sins, and dealt it out to His only Son. And Christ, in all of His Godly perfection, willingly sacrificed Himself so that I CAN be in the presence of a Holy God. Thank you, Jesus! If I can communicate this Truth to my children, I have done my job. I try to remember that God law has one function: to show me that I cannot fulfill it--to show me that I NEED Him. I pray that the rules our family holds, and the discipline we impart, will have that same function.

In the meantime, Rachel's hair is, after waiting almost 3.5 years, finally in a style. The sides and front of her hair have grown long enough to cut it all to that length (seriously...three and a half years of growing!). Jarrad wants her hair to be long, so the goal is for it to all grow out together, now. I'll have to admit that I like the little bob cut. She looks like such a big girl!

Monday, October 5, 2009

first pajama party

My mom had a birthday last week, so my sister-in-law and I loaded up our kids (four, total--Tyler, almost 4 yrs / Rachel, 3.5 / Carly, 10 mos / Emma, 7 months) and took them all to visit MiMi. The big kids got to sleep in the same room for the first time ever (MiMi also slept in the room to make sure there was not too much silliness going on). It seemed to happen all of a sudden, but Tyler and Rachel have really begun to enjoy playing together. Here are just a few of the priceless moments the children experienced together... And, can I just add that I think my nephew is HILARIOUS?? And that he is just like my brother...