Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Moratorium on Spending - and some new projects

Last week, after a rash of spending - some necessary and some completely frivolous (Dan's motorcycle, and Eye-Fi card which none of my cameras are compatable with, kids clothes, Old Navy clothes for me, etc etc etc) I suddenly realized I am in serious need of some spending control. I was about two minutes from blogging it and putting in place an "official" morotorium on spending for some amount of time, when the kids woke up, I got distracted, and another week of spending went by... New walking/running shoes from New Balance, New Crocs (I needed the arch support!), another new pair of Crocs (see below), a Motorcycle Helmet, a Motorcycle class, a new camera (which ended up not being compatable with my Eye-Fi card even though it is supposed to be), a ton of fabric for some new projects (see below) and 14 patterns (for 99 cents each can you blame me??), and about 8 (more) tank tops from Old Navy (they were $5 a piece and they come in tall sizes...again, can you blame me??), and a QuickCam for my laptop so that we can talk to the family in Colorado using Skype. This is why I have decided the spending must end. We are in need of nothing. I resolve not to buy anything but groceries until after we get back from our trip next week. And once we get back, I'm putting myself on a serious budget!


Now for sewing news! I have been asked to make a couple purses for my cousin-in-law's mother...phew! I was pretty stuck for a bit on what style/colors etc to go with, but today at Hobby Lobby inspiration took over. These may not end up being the ones she likes, but at least I'll have something to go on. Nancy - if you are reading this let me know if the color schemes below look at all appealing!



Also! While scouring the 99 cent patterns I found this pattern which will make a perfect little button up shirt for Gabriel using the Cars fabric pictured behind the pattern! I was thrilled to find a good pattern that I can use for the boys as well as a neat print. The best part was that all of the fabric I bought ended up being $1 off per yard as well!! So now I have my work cut out for me, but that's OK! I like it that way!


Tomorrow I start my motorcycle class, and then next week I hope to start some Aikido classes! I'm going to be a busy girl, but I just might start feeling a little bit like myself again! Sometimes motherhood (now matter how much we love our children and enjoy being mothers) can really take away your sense of self if you aren't careful. I had a particularly rough patch the last couple weeks, mostly I think because I'm also starting over in a new state with new friends. The friends in CA that we enjoyed hanging out with, and that helped us have some identity as adults (and who also could relate to us as parents in some instances) are gone. Still friends for sure, but so very far away. The more time I invest in mothers groups out here, in hobbies that are outside the home, and in church the better I will feel and the more "I" will return to myself!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I Learned Some Important Lessons In Church Today

Along with a very valuable and applicable lesson on doing to others as you would have them do to you - including but not limited to avoiding judgement which I really should work on more - I also learned some "Life in Texas" lessons.

Lesson #1: When in Texas on a Sunday morning, it is very important to think very carefully about what you are going to wear to church. No, the people are not as old fashioned as I had envisioned (I didn't see a single pair of white gloves, and no large hats!). Neither did I see anyone else struggling to keep their lightweight wrap-around skirt from blowing all the way up and into their face as they carried their 7 month old and held the hand of their 2 year old through a busy parking lot. Turns out, everyone else already knew about the wind, and had taken into consideration the need for clothes that could be much more easily managed with one or fewer hands. I on the other hand am fairly sure I sent a few Texans home with some new information as well - hopefully not too many though, as I like to keep the color of my underwear mostly among close friends...I must have been feeling generous today.

In some slightly less exhibitionistic news, I am now completely finished with the purse (even Scotch-guarded it!) and the baby blanket - I'll spare you additional pictures since they really won't show anything that new and exciting. I have started on the baby blanket for co-working #2 in dark and pastel purples with some fun sparkly/starry fabric which I hope to finish tonight during some much needed and, I believe earned, free time! Once that has finished I think I'll do the second Kimono PJ's - or I may use that fabric to make a little jumper instead...I haven't totally decided...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter (A day late since I forgot to actually publish this!)

It was a pretty quiet Easter at the Casebolt household. We are still adjusting to not having Nana around and apparently, as we discovered today, holidays will be bittersweet for awhile.

It was not all sadness and loss though - we truly did have a good Easter with fun video messages from the family in Colorado, Easter baskets for the kids with a few goodies, well, for Gabriel that is, an Easter Egg hunt with Mama and Gabriel while Daddy and "Mad" snoozed for a bit. The best part was smashing the confetti eggs on the back patio with Gabriel at the end of the big hunt. He was so upset when we ran out of eggs! Then the day was ended with a delicious Glazed ham that Dan picked up along with baked sweet potatoes and some Pinot Noir. We were planning on having some Key Lime Pie for dessert, but there just wasn't any room in our bellies!

I finally did get some sewing done, although none of it is for Flutterby la vie! I'll get there some day! I finished the bag I was working on for a gift, although I do still need to add the magnetic clasp, and I am about 3/4 through with the baby blanket that I'm making for one of Dan's co-workers. Pictures are below:


DSC01366 DSC01365

Also, I have included pictures of my workspace...mostly because it is so pathetic!



When we moved I had just gotten things organized just right - everything had a place (and everything was put away!), so its going to take awhile. For now I just keep shuffling fabric around, sewing on a jiggly folding table, and ironing on a little mini ironing board on the floor. All of this is due to some very good news though... I am not allowed to buy the furniture Dan and I were planning on getting for my sewing/crafting room ... because... we have prequalified for a loan to buy a house!! We haven't picked out a realtor yet, but we've been looking at the houses in our price range and just can't believe what we are going to be able to get!! It is so amazing what the prices are here compared to California!

In the area we were living, the smallest Condos - about 800-1000 square feet and 1 to 2 bedrooms were selling for $350,000!! Here that would buy a mansion!! We couldn't afford that much out there, and we can't afford it here either, but we can certainly afford to get a pretty decent house -big enough to allow for a sewing room, office, and guest room!! So we are saving all our pennies for now so that we can furnish the new place when we get it!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mommy Confession #2

While I don't have much else to say today - and certainly won't have any sewing updates even tonight since the babysitter (yes, I said BABYSITTER!! YAY!!!) ahem, since she babysitter is coming in two hours and I will not be home until fairly late, I won't be doing any sewing tonight... I'll do a quick bit of confessing as I said I would try to regularly do:

I have terrible habits when it comes to feeding my children. I can't stand being stuck in my own house, so I often invent errands to run just to get the kids and I out of the house to the park or whatever. But as a result, we usually eat on the go. I would say I probably get fast food for Gabriel (often as a bribe) more than three times a week. Maybe even four!

AND... I have been known to feed Maddox his bottle while driving - one arm reaching back with the bottle while the other holds the wheel.

And now I will go hide myself in shame for my terrible parenting skills!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

It's amazing to me what a long walk/run can do to clear up my head -and my attitude. Let's be honest, yesterday my attitude sucked. It seemed that anything that could go wrong did, and I let it make my day miserable. To top it off, I completely fell of the diet wagon and gorged on comfort food. So after tucking the boys into bed - and yes, after a large glass of wine - I headed out to make up for some of my calorie excess. For those that I haven't explained this to, I wear a Body Bugg that tracks the calories I burn, steps I take, etc etc.

About an hour into the walk I began to recount the day - looking for the humorous side of it all so that I could blog it all without looking too pathetic. But here's the thing - it really didn't seem like my big long list of complaints from the day was that long anymore, especially considering everything turned out just fine. I did not get a ticket even though I got pulled over, and all of the other storms had passed without a trace except for the sour feeling I was holding on to. Heck, I was burning a crazy amount of calories at the time, so I didn't even need to stress about over-eating. It was nearly 10PM at that point, and as I looked around me it seemed almost as if I was glowing despite the fact that the moon was hidden by a thick layer of clouds. I decided then to blog (and focus) instead on the fact that we cannot rely on objects outside of ourselves to reflect or shine on us and make us happy and fulfilled. Sometimes it will, but many times it won't. To be happy, we have to find something within ourselves and focus on keeping it shining. It may just be a positive attitude, it may be our faith, but whatever it is, it has got to be more even-keeled than the ball of fire in the sky and the many variables between us and it that can keep its light from reaching us.

Enough preaching. Tonight I plan to finish the purse that I will be giving away, and then start on a snuggy for one of Dan's co-workers (yes, I got shanghi'd into more gifts, but I'm OK with that at the moment).

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Little Too Much Like An IV (alternate title: The Cord Lady)

This morning I had the chance to watch an episode of Oprah with baby Maddox since Gabriel had a bit of a rough night and slept in almost until 8! The show was entitled "The Secret Lives of Mothers" or something like that... my only complaint about the show was that no one acknowledged that one of the biggest secrets we mothers keeps is that we watch Oprah at all!! I know I don't admit it to my husband - if I did I'd never hear the end of it!

But seriously, it was a pretty funny and interesting show, and made me feel a little bit better about my imperfections as a mother. So I think its time to start a little (semi-) daily confession excercise of my own...and yes, I'm going to blog it even though I realize that people I actually know will be reading it! Some will probably make you roll your eyes, most will bore you, but I guarantee a few will either make you laugh out loud, pee your pants,or maybe even lose a little respect for me. Just promise you won't call child protective services!!

Today I confess that I literally appear to have my laptop attached to me via IV at times and that I am truly that dependant on it... I am severely addicted to my computer, and unfortunately to several other devices - all which attach to said laptop in various different ways (and to some that have no cords at all -ahem, Facebook). At times I am heading up the stairs following Gabriel with Maddox in one arm and my laptop under the other trailing not only the powercord, but the USB cable for my BodyBugg, my camera, and my Ipod, and squeezing a bottle of Maddox's formula to my leg to try to keep the rest of the load from falling. I have to remind myself - just to be sure - that should things start to fall, its Maddox that I'm supposed to catch first - not my pink Dell!

Yes, I said pink. Don't worry, Dan has given me plenty of grief about that, but I don't care! I love my pink laptop with its pink mouse and pink case! There is at least a little bit of girly girl in me somewhere!

As for sewing, well I haven't done any! I did however clean our bathroom today!! Wohoo! That's a whole other confession that I'll save for another day!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

An FO and a WIP before BED

I don't have much to say because I'm totally pooped, but here are a few pictures of my work from the weekend. I didn't get done as much as I hoped, but I don't mind because I was thoroughly enjoying myself!

First the Kimono PJ's:


And the Manhattan Handbag. Not thrilled with how the colors turned out but we'll see - its not done yet. The lining will be made of the striped fabric second from the right with a double pocket on the inside:


And that's all for now! Off to bed!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Yay For Saturday!

Saturday morning always brings a breath of fresh air for me. Yes, I still have to get up and take care of the kids just like any other day, but I don't feel the pressure to go anywhere and do anything. The kids and I often stay in our PJ's well into the morning and just relax together. Plus I know that in a few short hours Haji will be up and usually takes over kid duty for awhile, especially with Gabriel - they have so much fun.


My FAVORITE part of Saturday (and sometimes Sunday) is an accidental tradition that I hope we continue as long as possible...its our weekend-morning-hang-out-in-bed-as-a-family time. Some time around 9 or 9:30 when either Gabriel or I get anxious for daddy to get up one or the other of us climbs into bed with him...followed by the other (and Maddox of course) and we just hang out together in bed! We laugh, talk, tickle, giggle, pretend to snore, snuggle up and wiggle out. Those are moments that I know I will cherish forever...I wish I had a picture of us all like that (maybe with some touchups :) ). It is in those moments that I know I have everything I need right here and now and the day just can't help but start out in happiness.

Anyway, enough of all that mushy gushy stuff!

This weekend I do hope to get some crafting in... I finished the top of the baby Kimono PJ's and the bottoms shouldn't take long at all! I was a little skeptical about using such a heavy looking black trim to go with the lady bugs for a little girls PJ's, but overall I'm pretty happy with it. I'm sure it won't be a favorite, but its a good start. I also learned how to make and attach a binding which was fun. That said, there are some definite imperfections, but I'm choosing not to worry about that.

While getting a few last supplies at Joann's though I spied some super pretty brown and pink floral fabric with some complementary patterns and just HAD to buy it! Funny how that happens! I'll take pics later - hopefully this afternoon. I had no idea what I'd do with it, so I bought 2 yards each of three prints!! Now I think I've found the perfect pattern to start with!! Its the Buttercup Bag shown here and with some fun color/pattern ideas here. I think this fabric will be perfect for this purse! And I should have enough leftover to make the baby jumper/bloomers by Amy Butler (or another set of Kimono PJs)... yay!! That may be ambitious for the weekend, but I'm going to give it a shot! First things first though, I've got to finish the purse I started last week and the ladybug PJs!