Friday, January 29, 2010

Becoming a seamstress

I did it.

I broke out the sewing machine and just started stitching. I was quite literally holding the instruction manual up right next to the machine while trying to place the thread here and around here and under this and through the needle.

But I did it!

I remembered to fold the fabric twice so it looks nicer (I forgot that on my very first project... the curtain in our kitchen is rough around the hem ;~)

I ran the thread straight to the end on this project. Then I talked a friend and she told me the right way to end a stitch. Thanks Rose!

But I kept plugging away... just making mistakes and fixing them until finally I ended up with this:

My very own nursing cover! No, I am not pregnant... but I plan to be and after that, I plan to have a newborn to nurse... and then I will need a nursing cover. Truthfully the reason I attempted this was because when Chase was first born I bought a cover from Target. Then, before I even tried using it, I took it back. I just couldn't afford to spend the money... but, I really wanted one.

So once I got it in my head to start sewing... I thought it would be the perfect project!

I got to choose the fabric that I love and I even managed to get the boning in at the top (so it stays propped slightly open and you can see your little one ;~)

I am so happy and can't wait to use it!

Another sewing project I had in mind was a cover for our filing cabinet. It doubles as a table in our back room so we were looking for ways to make it more of a table and less of a filing cabinet.

This was really easy... just hem each side! Although it did provide good practice at sewing a straight line!

My next project was a baby blanket for Gabriel (similar to the one I made Rose). I definitely learned a lot from one baby blanket to the next and this one went much quicker! Sorry ladies... I am practicing my sewing skills on you and your kids ;~)

After I finished the blanket I had a good bit of leftover fabric. So what better way to use it...

then make a nursing cover for Christine/Gabriel! She, unlike me, could use one right now... which if you remember in THIS post I called attention to the polka dot fabric... yep, she used it that very day ;~)

I worked on my stitching a little more... noticeably not going to the end. Instead learning how to double back and end the stitch there ;~)

I had such fun with these projects that I was actually disappointed when I was finished... I wanted to think of something else to make!

If anyone is interested in buying a nursing cover or a baby blanket... I think I might try my hand at selling some creations to bring in a little extra income. Let me know if you are interested!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Road Tripping in Daddy's Car!

The Jeep would have been more comfortable but it was in the shop being repaired to the tune of a ridiculous amount of dollars. *sigh*

On to happier topics... today Chase and I headed down the road to meet up with my BFF Christine (have I mentioned her here once or four thousand times?), Andrew and the newest addition baby Gabriel!

Brand new baby... sign me up! Oh and BFF and godson... definitely wanted to see them too.

We decided to meet at a halfway point... the Ellicott City Station of the B&O Railroad. Both our boys are wildly into trains and they have a great winter time train garden.

Since Chase has been less than stellar on road trips recently, I wanted to try out a portable DVD player (thankfully we were able to borrow from a friend). It definitely did the trick... he was mesmerized for most of the trip.

However, I am on the fence about whether that was a good or bad thing. It was nice not to have screaming or whining but I really missed our interaction in the car.... pointing out trucks, finding grain elevators and just general chatting. I think I'll wait on purchasing one... at least for now.

Thankfully one of us (us being Christine and I) was paying attention to the hours of operation for the train museum. Christine realized the last night that the museum didn't open until 11. Yep... the one with a 22 month old and a 5 week old was more on top of it then the one with a 2 year old. She is impressive folks.

So we met at the public library and enjoyed a little free (and fun) entertainment.

So many bins and so little time!

I hope this is always the case.

Working on a puzzle together.

Christine with her boys... her boys... plural... she has 2 of them. I just can't get over it. It seems like just yesterday we were preteens running around GBAofG, fighting over Dave and listening to Teen Spirit. Man how time flies.

I digress.

Leaving the library and heading to see trains elicited this response:

The boy loves trains ;~)

My boy and I in front of the granddaddy of the train gardens. He's tired and hungry here... definitely no smiling allowed.

I had to get at least one picture of us all together... and Gabriel couldn't go without making his presence known.

The bell you ring for good luck... the boys weren't too sure about it. Just a little too loud for their taste.

Of course I had to get my snuggle time in with Gabriel...

so we started at the train garden...

where he was in a 'no pictures, please' kind of mood.

So then we went to lunch at Friendly's...

where he was in a 'now I am full and happy, ready to snuggle' kind of mood.

I was more than happy to oblige.

I am in love.

Also, take notice of the brown blanket with green polka dots... that may be part of an upcoming blog post. (one that I know Rose wants to see ;~)

After lunch we all hit the road.


quickly turned into this:

To say he was tired is a gross understatement... but as always he did awesome. I love this kid so much!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Taking a dip

When your child does this:

and this:

and this:

and finally starts doing this:

it might be a good idea to demand he stay away from the fountain.

Lest this happen:

Yep. Chase fell... or rather rolled into the fountain at the mall.


You just can't make this stuff up.

Ironically enough Mandy and I were just talking about what the pictures would look like if he fell in... and literally seconds before he fell in Mandy was asking if I would take pictures or go after him.

As it turns out, I would go after him.

Maybe the Mother of the Year award isn't quite out of my reach?

I don't know if I can convey the level of extreme embarrassment that sets in once you know that your child is fine. I'm holding a sopping wet screaming toddler... trying to comfort him without soaking myself in the process. Also I am attempting to remove as many clothes as possible while I wait for a custodian to bring towels.

I start to say something along the lines of "this is what happens when you play..." and then I stopped myself. No way I am blaming this on him. I am the 31 year old parent and he is the unsuspecting 2 year old. I told him I was sorry (a few zillion times).

I do the standing diaper change because anyone who knows anything about diapers knows how much they balloon up the moment water touches them.

I am alternating between crying and laughing at the insanity that is this situation.

There seemed to be an inordinate amount of water on the floor... I had no idea how much water a toddler and his clothes could soak up.

All the while I am attempting not to drench the floor with even more water... lest I create more work for the custodian who is now mopping up our mess.

Meanwhile Katy is getting a plastic bag from a nearby store so I have somewhere to put Chase's previously dry and adorable jeans, tshirt, sweater, socks and chucks.

And as this is going on the mall security comes over to ensure that Chase isn't actually injured (you know, more than emotional pride). I assure him that he is fine.

Mandy is alternating between taking pictures (which she knew I would want) and digging out her spare set of clothes so Chase has something to change into...

Yep. This might be the pinnacle (hopefully) of Chase's cross dressing.


He's so pretty.

I love this kid.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

How do you celebrate a 30th birthday?

Pizza Hut, a magician and laser tag of course!

Seriously, this might go down as the best 30th birthday ever.

The birthday girl (Danielle) and her hubby (Rob)!

We put our names in for laser tag and since there was a 2 hour wait (did you know laser tag is popular with the kiddos?)... we decided to head to the Hut. I have to say that it wouldn't have been Danielle's first (or 80th) choice for dinner but it was close and it could handle a large group... so we went.

Well... after dismantling several unsuspecting booths it could handle a large group.

And here's everyone... actually, I think we had 2 more arrive after this picture was taken. Apparently people like Danielle.

Our waiter looked an awful lot like Danielle's husband... wait, no that is Rob. Let's just say that if Rob sees a problem, it won't be a problem for long. The guy gets stuff done.

BTW - Russ... I see you texting while ordering... is that a little like texting while walking?

The next part... the magician... only Danielle would have a friend who is not only a great magician but is willing to come to her birthday party and preform in the middle of the Hut. You cannot make this stuff up.

Meet Damian. He just finished wow'ing us with the first trick. Clearly we were impressed ;~)

I mean can you see the charisma in this guy? He was hysterically entertaining!

Victoria and I actually participated in the last trick.

I counted out 20 cards then cut the pile. I kept one pile and the other pile was given to Victoria... who was then instructed to place it under her posterior.

Then I counted my cards... exactly 10. Then I was instructed to place them under my posterior. Damian then decided that he was going to move 3 of Victoria's cards to my pile (both still under our tushies).

Just before this picture was taken Victoria's husband Seth muttered "If you count 7 cards, I am going to lose my s***"

His s*** was lost. Sure enough, V counted 7 cards. Then Damian had me take out my cards and count... yep, 13.

Then he had V put her 7 cards back under her tush and then took my pile and 'gave' 2 cards to her.

She pulls them out from under her chair and sure enough... 9 cards.

Unfreakin real.

Damian quite possibly could have been the highlight of the whole evening. He was entertaining and had all of us laughing and clapping right there in the Hut.

Team Red's game face.

Team blue's game face.

I'm not biased or anything but I think blue's game face came out a little better.

Happy husband and game face wife. This reminds me, I should smile more. Yikes!

Another highlight - Adam stepping outside to cool off and watching the steam rise from his head. We are an impressive bunch.

So thanks Danielle and Rob for coordinating an awesome 30th birthday party. No one does entertainment like you guys!

And Happy Birthday Danielle - welcome to 30! Your care package of Metamucil, peppermint candies, and tennis balls for your walker is on it's way.

Oh and I found this and thought of you...
Sung to the tune of "My Favorite Things"

Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting,
Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings,
Bundles of magazines tied up in string,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Cadillacs and cataracts and hearing aids and glasses,
Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses,
Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

When the pipes leak,
When the bones creak,
When the knees go bad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don't feel so bad.

Hot tea and crumpets, and corn pads for bunions,
No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions,
Bathrobes and heat pads and hot meals they bring,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Back pains, confused brains, and no fear of sin,
Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thin,
And we won't mention our short shrunken frames,
When we remember our favorite things.

When the joints ache, when the hips break,
When the eyes grow dim,
Then I remember the great life I've had,
And then I don't feel so bad.

Author: Jeanie
Love ya!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ready for potty training!

Well he is... me, not so much.

Yes I am looking forward to not having to change diapers... that part thrills me to no end. But the part where he is growing up and really becoming a big boy... yeah, that part makes me sad.

But we're armed and ready now thanks to Kare Kare! She sent a special belated Christmas Kare package to Chase (via daddy ;~) yesterday.

Awesome Elmo underwear... check! (and yes, it's kinda of like a frat part 24/7 over here)

Elmo teaching how to use the potty - complete with sound... check!

Brand new throne all for Chase - complete with an Elmo who says encouraging things when you high-5 him... check!!!

Oh yeah... I think he's ready!

He's in for a rude awakening if he thinks I am 1. leaving the potty here or 2. moving the TV into the bathroom.

Kare Kare also included this Build a Bear at home set which is going to be perfect for those potty training days when we are tied to the house!

Since we couldn't get down to see you Kare Kare, we made sure to video tape him opening his presents ;~)

Oh... when he calls the bears Hershey, he's talking about the bear I won for him at whack a mole at Hershey Park... who ever since then has a coveted spot in the crib next to Elmo.

Thanks again Kare Kare! We'll be starting potty training real soon!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Blah Blah Blah

I really want to write something but I am having a hard time getting it all out in any kind of coherent fashion.

I am at this 'who am I' crisis. Well let me clarify... I feel like I should be at this crisis but I don't really feel like I am there. I feel like people think I should be one thing but really I am this other thing... and the other thing is totally fine with me... so I am not sure why they feel that way. Unless they know something I don't.

See. Totally incoherent.

I am also in the middle of medical insurance hell. Hate hate hate anything related to medical insurance... except, you know, the coverage. But the rules and the tiny print... the if this, than that... the 4 calls with 3 separate differing answers. The sheer amount of money it takes to have coverage. Pay an exorbitant amount just in case you get sick and need it. Pay a smaller amount and if you get sick and need it, pay through the nose. Thinking about another kid... just set up your tent because you'll never have the money to own your own house. And yes of course we are thinking about more kids... but the next one will probably be named Could Have Been A House G.

Baby #2 - I didn't mean that. I of course love you very much and would have done anything to have you.

No I am not pregnant... just covering my bases for when little CHBAHG reads this.

Which can I just say that Thank God almighty we didn't get pregnant by accident. If we had we would have paid the entire prenatal and delivery out of pocket. No if ands or buts about it.

See. See how insane I am? I am seriously crawling out of my skin with frustration and sadness. Luckily my bestie (you know, the one with the 22 month old AND 3 week old newborn) has listened to me vent, cry and make sarcastic comments no fewer than 8 different times this week. I love her. She should really move to Hagerstown... I'm just putting that out there.

I digress.

So I spit this into the universe because typically I feel better when I put my feelings to paper plastic keys. Although I am betting this won't be last you hear about these topics... I smell a follow up... more ranting and venting. Consider it my gift to you.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I heart Thomas

It's true Chase is a huge fan of Thomas so that does endear me to the little blue engine... but my love for him goes way beyond that now.

You may remember THIS post where I bought a Thomas train set for Chase at a yard sale. It was marked $30 and I offered $20 and got it. Because it was a little too advanced at the time, the train set went into storage. At the same yard sale, I also bought 5 wooden magnetic Thomas trains which Chase received immediately.

Over time we saw how enthralled Chase was with the wooden trains... collecting a few more along the way. We decided that instead of giving him the train set (which was not compatible with his wooden trains) we would sell it and get him the big train table.

So we started checking the interwebs to see what a reasonable price would be. Amazon gave us prices around $250.

Surely that had to be a mistake.

We checked every picture, every description, every nuance and it was the exact same. Our box was slightly worn but the pieces had never been taken out of the box... twisty ties securely in place and all.

Clearly people were selling it for $250 but what could we really expect someone to pay for it?

Turns out I ebay.

Someone bought Thomas the Tidmouth Sheds from us for $92 (plus the s&h).

Massive Win.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Christmas Extended

We were lucky enough to receive 2 Apple TV's for Christmas but seeing as how we only have 1 TV (and I want to keep it that way), we decided to sell one.

You know, the one that wasn't set up within hours upon receipt.

1 post on twitter/facebook that we wanted to sell it and it was gone... I love the interwebs.

So now Adam and I had Christmas money to play with... which we split it even stevens... down to the penny because that's how we roll ;~)

Now I have to interject that I have been drooling over a particular diaper bag for a few months... and drooling is putting it mildly. The moment I saw it I wanted it... no, coveted it. Unfortunately the tight grip on my wallet wouldn't allow for it's purchase. You see not only am I cheap but I already have several diaper bags in what can only be described as a diaper bag graveyard (aka the floor of my closet). So... the thought of shelling out good money for yet another one gave me pause. I decided I had to make myself really want it... to ensure it's allure was real and to ensure I treasured it once I got it.

So now I have Christmas money... and I keep saying 'Christmas money' because in my mind Christmas money is money for fun and desire... not for paying the bills. You pay the bills with regular old everyday money. I digress. Immediately my thoughts go to the diaper bag... but it's a lot of money... but it's Christmas money... but it's something that is fun and I really want it... but it's a lot of money... but I really love it... but it's a lot of money. Get the drift?

Then I involve the poor unsuspecting husband.

Jessi: *sigh* "I really want this diaper bag"

Adam: "You should get it... you've waited a long time and it's Christmas money"

Jessi: "But it's so much"

Adam: "You wouldn't say that if someone bought it for you"

Jessi: "But I could get clothes"

Adam: *silence as he tries to figure out how to get out of this conversation and back to his computer* "I think you should get it"

Now do that approximately 4 days in a row. I kid you not.

So finally I do some promo code googling. If I am ever going to get it, I am most certainly not going to pay for shipping.

BTW - if you don't promo code google when you are buying online, you are cheating yourself out of good dollars. Always google "{name of store} promo code"... you'll be amazed at what you find.

It worked... I find free shipping! Score.

But I am not satisfied... I google more and find a 10% off code! Sweet!

So you think I would be sold... pull out the credit card and hit submit right? Wrong.

I sit on it for a day... maybe 2, I can't remember.

So I finally come back ready and willing to buy and low and behold my 10% code isn't working. Fudge. I try over and over again... and I google to see if I can find it again... nothing.

I tap on the poor unsuspecting husband's shoulder (side note: I love this man and I am so glad he loves me)... my code doesn't work, help me... tap tap tap... try this... tap tap tap... how about this... tap tap tap... try this one....

And it worked! I got my free shipping and the 10% off!!! Thankfully I learned my lesson... I pulled out the credit card and hit submit.

I am now the proud new owner of this diaper bag.

She looks black but she's really more of a deep deep navy blue.

And she has so many pockets and holds so much... and has a sweet little wallet attachment.

And best of all, she has sippy cup pockets! Truly the only thing that stood between me and every gorgeous purse out there was the lack of sippy cup pockets. There is nothing like looking down and seeing milk pooling at the bottom of your purse to really bum you out.

I finally feel like I have an attractive bag on my shoulder! Is it a purse? Is it a diaper bag? Who knows!!!

I'm thinking of naming her.