Monday, December 18, 2006

The 6 year old spirit of Christmas

I wish I could post the photo of the kids with Santa that we took today. If there was ever anything cuter in the world I'm sure I've never seen it. At six years old Patrick is still a total believer. They loved going to visit Santa today. Patrick has been so charming about the whole Christmas/Santa thing this year. Every morning he comes in to my bed with a new question about how does Santa do it. Yesterday he asked if Santa needs to practice his magic. Today he asked if Santa does have magic why can't he use it to make a Nintendo DS. I've tried my best to keep up with the whole fantasy reality of Santa for his enjoyment, but it has been tricky because it goes against my more practical straight forward approach I take during the rest of the year. Jim has been out of town for the past two weeks and It has been tough not to have him here to share the excitement with.

After Santa, we went to Ed Debevics for dinner. It was very funny, but possibly not in the way the restaurant intends it to be funny. The servers try to be all flip/rude and funny. They get up on the counters and do dances. I don't know, it is fun for the kids, but also way too contrived to be wacky. I waited tables. I know those servers hate getting up there and doing that dance, as much as we hated singing "Happy Birthday" to a table of guests.

What those servers didn't realize was that there were three totally wacky people right there in their restaurant. Betsy was feeding her fries to our imaginary chicken under the table. Maria spent a long time explaining how we were in outerspace because of the disco ball on the ceiling. Patrick was mostly still going on in awe about Santa. If there are multiple dimensions in this world, we definitely visited some of them during dinner.

I love seeing how their minds can explore like that, and I'm trying to be there more with them. In a different mood I might have been totally irritated that Betsy was throwing her fries on the floor. I'm glad for tonight that I enjoyed it.

Patrick has been saying lately that the spirit of Christmas is not what you find under the tree, but what you find under your heart. Now I'm not sure which Cartoon Network show taught him this sentiment, but it is suitable. As a mom, what I love seeing is the spirit of my kids filled with imagination and joy. They are so much more a blessing than anything that could ever fit under a tree.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Totally, totally lazy

As I feared, I have blown off my major Christmas project for another year. I have so little energy that nothing gets done after the kids go to bed. I just don't really have the time during the day to complete a big secret project for the kids. I think I might just do it and not make it a gift, that way they can see it while it is made. The other thing is that I really want to knit a blanket for the new baby and I'm not so much in the mood for sewing. Sewing involves to much getting up off the couch for me right now. Of course before I can't do any of my crafty projects because I need to get a grip on sending gifts all over the country and ordering Christmas cards.

I need to focus my spacey mind. This time of the year is so much fun, but also so demanding. I did a lot of baking for Thanksgiving (ginger pumpkin pie, rum cake, cherry chocolate-chip cookies, lamingtons and more!) so I think it is time for me to leave the kitchen for awhile. The weather has been frigid so any outside fun will have to wait. We tried sledding the other morning and Betsy's hands were frost-bit in less than a half and hour even with gloves. She was really screaming, I felt so bad. This brings me back inside and thinking of all the gifts that need to be sent. I get so hung up up on picking gifts for some of my nieces and nephew's. They truly have any and everything they could ever possibly want. I'm not saying it like they are spoiled or ungrateful, they are all charming and nice. It is just that age old question of what do you get for the person who has everything? A charitable donation? Is that too weird for young kids? I would not win any points for being the "fun Auntie" in Chicago with that. Hmmm. It is at this point that I wish I would endeavor in some more speedy craft projects throughout the year. Something thoughtful and homemade might be well appreciated (or maybe not), I just don't know. I will get it all done and if I am good I will sit down and blaze thru it all today!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Halloween fun!

I finally finished the two costumes for the girls. Princess was done from a pattern that was supposed to be "easy". It was not too hard. For someone who has done a lot of sewing it probably would be easy. I found the 8 layers of tulle a little tricky and putting in the zipper I just wanted to make it work, following the instruction was beyond me.
The maple leaf was a lot more fun in the initial stages. I liked picking the fabrics. I liked drawing the leaf shapes and cutting them out. I liked arranging and fusing all the stems and colors down. I loved stitching everything into place with gold shiny thread. All that was left was to bind all the layers together. What I now know is that there is a very good reason why almost all quilts have straight sides. It is frustratingly, swear inducing impossible to neatly bind around points and curves! It took so long and is more sloppy than I would like. "Kids costume, kids costume", is what I chanted to myself over and over. I was so worked up about it being neat and I have no idea why. Was somebody going to be judging this , or care, or even know that I made it in the first place? The girls had a lot of fun in them for the couple of days that they wore them and I got a lot of nice remarks about the maple leaf.

Trick-or-treating was fun in the new neighborhood. The sidewalks were crowded with kids and all the moms and dads were partying. Space in wagons was reserved for coolers of beer, not for children tired of walking. I think we picked the right town when we moved.

My pregnancy is going along well. I'm about 11 weeks now and feel really sick all the time, as to be expected. My second ultrasound revealed a little surprise. The Dr. thought there might have been what they call a "vanishing twin". This blew me away. I felt relieved that I wasn't carrying twins. Jim and my mom both thought it would have been fun.

Next week is Chris and Angela's wedding in Virginia. It will be a whole family affair and I'm looking forward to seeing everybody. It should be a ton of fun.

I have a big Christmas project planned and want to get started on it soon. I have so many ideas for it I just don't want to get lazy and blow it off. I will need all the time I can get to finish it on time and the way I want.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Really thinking of spring

I spent a couple of days trying to think up a name for this blog. I finally decided on Spring thinking because of reasons completely unrelated to the actual season of Spring. I had no idea at the time that I would soon be spending so much time thinking about spring of 2007. I have just found out I am pregnant and will be having a baby sometime around the end of May. My first feelings about this were total fear. Jim was out of town and I walked around crying my eyes out for days. I'm really, really scared. I have had three c-sections already and my last baby came 6 weeks pre-mature. I am scared of the whole pregnancy thing beyond words. Jim got out of his trip for a couple of days and came home so we could visit an OB. She was very reassuring about a lot of things, mostly the safety of the baby, but I am very concerned about myself. I have three young children to raise and all this makes me scared. In the end, though, I am very excited about the thought of a new baby in the house in nine months. I just wish we could skip whole the pregnancy part.
I had really intended to use this blog as an outlet to share thoughts on my crafting. Right now I am sewing up a storm for Halloween. I went to Joannes and bought patterns for vampire and princess costumes. My son promptly changed his mind when he realized that I was going to try and make his costume. He was so cute breaking the news to me saying, "Mom, I mean, I don't want to hurt your feelings, but can we just look at the party store to see what they have?" Of course I agreed and bit my tongue at all the yucky, cheap costumes. The princess costume is coming along very nicely. I have such a hard time following patterns and instructions it has been a good lesson in patience. My youngest wants to be a maple leaf. Now I LOVE this idea. I can't wait to get started. I will make the whole thing up myself and I think it is going to come out great. I hope to start on it by the end of this week.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Kitchen window

We recently moved from New Jersey to a suburb of Chicago. The new house is great. We spent a good part of the spring/summer getting projects done and making the house "our own". We have just finished my favorite project. We had a carpenter put this old window in a blank wall in our kitchen. The actual window is original to the house, but had been removed and saved in the garage to make room for a familyroom addition. The kitchen felt a little closed off from the other rooms, but I did not think taking the whole wall down would look right in our house. I am so happy with how this has come out. On the other side of the window is where the kids computer is so it is easy to keep an eye on them. The bench comes from our old house in New Jersey. We totally remodeled that kitchen and the bench was from a little breakfast nook. It was way too cute, so we kept it. I also love the lamp. My folks sent it thinking it might work for us because they didn't use it anymore. It was a lamp that hung over our breakfast table for my entire childhood. We hung it a little high because my mother must have said "watch out for the lamp" a least once a day while raising her four kids. I wish I had an interesting story about the table, but it was just a find at the Kane county flea market. There are many things going on over here so I will try to be more regular about posting.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Baby quilt is done!

I have completed one of my major unfinished projects!! Yay! This is a quilted portrait of my daughter when she was about 18 months. It took probably about 300 hours in all to complete. It is all pieced, not applique, in 234 little 2" squares. It was a lot of fun to work on because it had so many different stages. I wasn't sure for awhile how to quilt it, but in the end I was afraid to stick under my machine because it was bulky in some areas. So I hand quilted it which was really fun and not a hard as I thought It was going to be. This is the third quilt I have made and I will definitly do more quilting. It is such a wonderful creative medium. My husband and I have had a lot of laughs over how this quilt looks. I have always thought it makes her look a little like an alien. He just couldn't understand why I choose a portrait. I have no idea why, it just seemed like fun. I also have no idea what to do with it now. It is certainly too strange to hang on a wall like in the livingroom or familyroom. It is too scary to hang over my daughters' bed! I can only imagine the horror of seeing this in the dark at night! After all the hours I put into it I don't really want to look at it anymore. I felt like sending the girls out to the yard to have a mudpie picnic on it! Please note: the image is best appreciated if your eyes are blurred a little bit and from a distance. Then it is awesome!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I have only recently discovered the many worlds of blogging. Until now I always thought it was for people who really have something important to say that everybody should know about. Like about politics or maybe sports, because my husband reads some sports blog. What I have discovered is that it's not all about saying something really important to everyone, but sharing things that some people might find interesting and maybe on occasion important. I came across a lot of blogs by people making crafty things. These really connected with me because I love lots of crafty things. So, I could sit and browse these blogs and be so impressed with their creativity all day long. Meanwhile, I have couple of unfinished projects that I have invested a lot of time into, but can't wrangle the moto to get them done. Really I just need like 5 hours more on each of these and they will be done and I can move on to a new project. I will begin my blog as an incentive to finish them and show them off.