Friday, May 30, 2008

Oh my!

I've been married 6 years and have only had the privilege of having my house cleaned by another human being after we moved out of each house we've ever lived in.

Thankfully that was not the case today!
My mother-in-law very graciously offered (& paid) her cleaning lady to spend her time here this morning rather than her house! (Seriously, how nice is that!? Especially if you're VERY pregnant!)

My house is clean & I didn't have to do it!

I firmly believe if my children knew how difficult it is for mommy to get to the ground to pick up toys they would put them all away when they were done playing.

In addition to having a clean house... we've had a great day and had the pleasure of entertaining our dear friend's daughter and her friends for a "Swim Party" for her 12th Birthday! I had such fun watching them and painfully cannot remember my 12th birthday... or where I even lived! Erika?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Broken Links... fixed

There are very few places to find good smocking and children's fabrics... one of which is Apparently their site is set up for "shopping" and all the links I posted previously led you nowhere. So, now they lead you to their site and I've given directions once you get there. If anyone is looking for any of the patterns I used, thankfully, they can ALL be found there! :) I hope they stick around... my 2 other online sources have vanished off the face of the earth.

A Few Finished Projects

There are several more "to do's" on my list of sewing projects, but I have completed 6 dresses (2 of which I started months ago). My friend Tami, over the last 4 years, has taught me most of what I know about sewing (& embroidery). We enjoyed sewing together this past weekend when the kids were napping and now we're convinced we need a "sewing retreat" to start and FINISH our remaining projects. Tami has a little boy and is pregnant with a little girl. She is the most talented seamstress I know. She does beautiful hand sewing and smocking and can crank out an entire outfit in no time flat!


I finally completed these sundresses I started months ago: { it didn't take me long to realize that making 2 of everything takes TWICE as long!}

These are Carol by Children's Corner.
view "C" (w/an inverted center pleat)
I omitted the puffed sleeves and used bias strips to complete the armholes
I also used a round collar (package #4) by Collar's Etc instead of a Peter Pan collar
I self-piped the collar in the same fabric {fabrics: stripes: Candy Cord blue} as the dress


These next dresses were inspired by Beki's precious creation over @ Artsy-Crafty Babe

Believe it or not these are Simplicity 5118 (I honestly have a hard time envisioning a pattern like this actually turning out cute... but I think it certainly did!)

I cut out 2 "backs" and rounded the tops to the " dress front" pattern.
I also made the dress wider than the pattern called for & banded the dress in the same material I used on the angel sleeves.
This fabric came from none other than the local Hancock's


I bought this fabric {fabric: novelty: Pink Giraffe} over a year ago and it's been screaming "please use me" so I did...

The dress/top is by McCall's (Sew Easy M5353)

It takes twice as long to complete the dress if you use piping or rick-rack but I think it's worth the extra effort!
I also prefer for the straps to button behind the front-- the pattern shows the straps buttoning over the front.

For Morgan (age 3) I made the dress "top" length (XL size but cut to M length) and used my favorite shorts pattern
{patterns: Creations by Michie: "Diaper Shirt & Shorts"} to make her shorts to match the piping & covered buttons.
For Paige (age 22 mos) I followed the pattern and used the Frannie Baby panties {patterns: Children's Corner: "Frannie Baby"}.

In the last picture you'll see I used grosgrain ribbon folded in half to mark the back of the panties. Both panties & shorts are often hard to differentiate between the front & back (especially if you're 2 or 3 years old or a man) but I've found it's really easy just to fold a piece of ribbon in 1/2 and tuck it in before you close up the casing for the elastic. I did the same in the girls floral dresses pictured above.

That's all for now! I've got to do some things for the little boy before he gets here. Which by the way, several of y'all have asked about his name, we don't keep it a secret... we just don't have one for him... YET!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mornin' "Reader" Readers!

I've had my coffee but apparently it hasn't reached my fingertips yet.

You "google reader" readers will probably get 2 of these! :) Oops!

Hope you all have a splendid Wednesday.

These little bright-colored gems are what I've been up to this morning... can you smell them? I promise you they smell delightful.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Recap in Pictures!

Let's just say the weekend didn't exactly start the way I wanted it to. Justin left Saturday morning for the farm to water the garden while I packed for the weekend. I started with the food & cooler and then moved to the bedrooms to pack for myself & the girls. Whom I thought were being sweet children and watching Mickey's Clubhouse. Well, low and behold look what I found when I walked out of their bedroom from packing...
That's Paige, upset because I yelled at her for breaking a dozen eggs she found in the cooler on my Pottery Barn rug.

In all honesty, I'm surprised our neighbors didn't call the police because I was screaming so loud at my children. I was mad at Morgan for watching her do this and not telling me. With pumping adrenaline I moved all the furniture and drug the 8 x 10 rug to that new fence, hung it up and sprayed it off... and the rug pad too. Justin came home "mid-freak-out session" and rescued me... or maybe it was the children he rescued from me! :)

Once we got on the road and made our way to the lake we were all friends again. The weather was perfect and so was the water {except for the fact that there is something in it that I am allergic to and for the 5th time have broken out in a rash after swimming in it!}. Our friends Neal & Tami (& Judson) joined us for a laid back weekend full of a whole lot of nothing.

Morgan swimming like a big girl in the water.

Me & Paige {friends again!}

Morgan & Judson swimming like fish!

We took a boat ride & left Eufaby at the house. She wouldn't take any part of being alone so she swam out to the boat and joined us.

When I tell you the water is clear... I mean really, really clear! What on earth could be in it that makes me breakout all over!?

This was a cute dog on a cute boat with a man.

He said her name was Angel. Very fitting for a white dog.

Morgan in action.

Lucky Charms anyone? Theses 3 kids ate all the marshmallows and none of the cereal.

We had a great weekend and I even found time to do some sewing {more about that later!}. I think it may take me 3 or 4 days to recover from a quick getaway that was intended to be a "vacation".

The girls are up...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Call me crazy...

but we've decided to go here tomorrow for the weekend:

& I'm planning on taking this:
and this:

and this (minus the embroidery arm--- I'm not that crazy):

BUT, we're also planning on taking these two, so we'll see what happens! Stay tuned!

By the way, Morgan not only wore her "new" dress yesterday, but she slept in it, and wore it again today (& it's about 95 degrees outside)! I'd say she likes it!

Happy Memorial Day to all! Thank you to all the men in uniform who have and are sacrificing their lives for our freedom!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Benefits of Blogging {take 1}

I've titled this blog post "Benefits of Blogging {take 1}" because I'm certain there are more (maybe not quite in this same shape & form) benefits to blogging that I can blog about later but first I'll start with this one.

The Lord continues to remind me of the benefits of sharing myself with "who knows who" and being real, despite hesitations and fears related to not knowing who's reading. Last week at my niece's preschool program I heard someone say, "Darby?" which lead to a fun conversation with a very sweet girl who reads the blog. Ironically, the same afternoon Justin was at the bank when the teller told him that she also enjoys the blog. Thankfully, both of these stalkers are "safe" stalkers. Anyway, the sweet girl I met at the preschool is Alyssa (I hope you don't mind me using your name, I won't give anyone your address I promise). During our conversation I learned that Alyssa has 2 girls and a little boy (just like us we will). Several days after we officially met, Alyssa called me and with slight hesitation informed me that she had some things that we might could use (ie. baby BOY clothes and some girl things too!). Of course, she knew I'd say "yes" to that... and if you've been reading for any length of time you know me and I'd never turn anything away! :)

This morning upon returning from swim lessons she called and said she was on her way and that she'd just leave it on the back step. Can I tell y'all what she brought? No, let me show you what she brought. The two bags were so heavy and chocked full of all kinds of goodies. I didn't get a chance to look through them until I returned home from my OB appointment this afternoon. (Note to self: unless your husband has his "new" black diesel truck stuck in a field, don't take 2 toddlers to the OB with you. When it was time to give a urine specimen the girls had to accompany me. Morgan couldn't understand why they wouldn't allow me to put my tee-tee in the potty. Some things are just too hard to explain to a 3 year old...) Anyway, you really would have thought it was Christmas here. The girls were napping and I was digging and digging and smiling!

So, Alyssa, thanks for being a bold blog-stalker and introducing yourself. But more than that, thank you from the bottom of my heart! What a blessing these very NICE and NAME BRAND clothes (and changing pad w/covers, diapers, blankets, johnny jump-up, etc.) are!

When the little guy has a name I can't wait to put it on this!However, there was one outfit he won't be able to be seen in... :)

The girls just woke up (mid-post) and have had a ball in there. Morgan said this was her favorite...

Paiger went for the pink clogs (& posed with her hands on her hips)... she has a little bit of growing before she can wear them though!

Thanks again, Alyssa! We love all our new loot! I want to treat you to lunch!!

One Day...

a genius will invent a washer & dryer that not only cleans and dries the clothes but also...

how come this is so hard for me!?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The {Swimming} Graduates & more

Morgan (in white) and her classmates!

Couldn't you eat these little fish up!? Wait 'til you see Paige's class... they're just as cute!

Some of y'all have asked about these classes that the girls are taking and last week I dubbed them "survival" and really they're not technically "survival" perhaps the word "intense" would be more appropriate. There is no blowing bubbles, hopping like rabbits, etc... she cuts to the chase and puts them under over and over again while pushing them to the wall. She tells them to kick their feet and shows them how to do "big arms" while under water. The girls classes have lasted a week each for 1 hour each day. We are paying $100 per child per week.

A friend of mine from Louisville, KY just completed a round of "real deal" Survival Swim classes. Valerie has a two year old named Landry (3 older children & a POOL & a POND) and I am quite impressed with her new skills. Please read and watch what Valerie posted on her blog here. What you can't see clearly in the video is that Landry is wearing a full set of clothes and before turning her over upside-down in the water, the instructor straps Landry's feet together. I'm not even sure if I were to have Justin tie my feet together I'd be able to float. I was so proud of Landry when I watched this video that it almost made me cry! I want my Paige to learn how to do this too. I pray that she would never need to know how to use it but the child is fearless of the water and I think she would benefit greatly from knowing this. Today she continually jumped in and would say over and over (like toddlers do) " again mama, again mama!"! So a great big high 5 to Landry and for all you moms out there... look into this! It could save your child's life!!

Here's what Valerie has to say about the courses Landry took:

The classes last anywhere from 4-6 weeks. Sometimes they finish sooner than others, depending on the child. You go to the lessons Monday through Friday, every day, but only for 10 minutes, so it's really not as bad as it sounds. They build on their skills each time they go back to class. They offer the classes all over the United States, so you just have to check if there is one in your area. My oldest two children took the classes at the same time when they were 10 months old and 18 1/2 months old . The cost is $70 a week. It's a lot of money, but completely worth it. And, when you think about it, they are getting lessons every single day for a long period of time. So, I hope that answers some questions.

**Atlanta moms, I've been informed that Sara School of Fish offers something similar!! Check it out! **

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Too tired for words... how 'bout some pictures!

It's 7:2o pm.
My children are in bed.
This never happens.
I think I'll go to bed too.
My stomach (abs) feel like they're tearing in 1/2... oh wait, they are!
I think my bed will make me feel much better! :)
Now, if the two munchers will just stay in their beds!

TODAY we did THIS (+ swim lessons) while Justin took Morgan to the farm to go fishing!

"Little Debbie" Lips