Sunday, July 31, 2011

A lazy summer Sunday...

I have thoroughly enjoyed the last three days, and am taking today to get stuff done here around home. This weekend has been the Summer's Last Blast Yarn Crawl over in St. Louis and here in IL, and I went to all 12 yarn shops in the past three days. I spent a bit of money, although not as much as I could have, and am well satisfied with my purchases:

I got 7 skeins of yarn; the yellow is 1600 yds of laceweight for a big shawl; some pattern books and patterns; some door prizes; and a few accessories I needed. 

I was very proud of myself for driving to 5 of the 12 shops all by myself on Friday, in the 100+ degree heat, with no air conditioning, and using only my gps on my phone for back up directions.  I had a lot of fun and met some lovely people.  The other 7 shops I did with Eric in the air conditioned Pilot, and we had a lovely time together, including a nice dinner and bottle of wine at a winery in St. Charles, MO after our 4th stop. I have found a couple more places I would love to return to as needed (although they are a bit of a hike to get to), and one shop I adore is closing in October and moving to Colorado.  I also got an invitation to join the Gateway Knitters Group, which meets in Kirkwood, a western/southwestern suburb of St. Louis, and I may try to get there once in a while as time and family obligations permit.  It was lovely to be asked!

Stitch markers I made myself

I have been very productive in my crafts this summer, and have really enjoyed not having studying to compete with it. Skye likes being by me, so there are things I can easily accomplish while she plays happily by me, and others that I do using the playpen as a safety zone for her (we put on music and dance while I move between the cutting table, sewing machine, and ironing board). As long as she is by me she is content, and I don't leave her there for extended periods of time. I try to alternate activities so her attention span and muscles get appropriate levels of stimulation.

At left is a picture of some of the stitch markers I made for myself out of wire, o-rings, and beads. I didn't do a great job of tightening the wire down on itself (it was a first attempt after all), but they came out pretty and they don't snag the fibers, which is what matters most.  There is also a picture of the rest of them in use, on a Mmystery Shawl I am knitting (a play on the designer's name: MMario). I love the way it is coming out so far! Oh, and I also bought one tool NOT pictured: strip magnets glued to ribbon to form self-sticking placement holders on graphic patterns!  I paid $15 for the set of them, then realized as I studying them here at home how easy they would be to make myself...  sometimes the simplest things are the most useful! 
Stitch markers in use.

Summery sundress I made recently.

Completed peacock, Misty Morning Vineyard.

Homemade stitch markers in use.

Summery outfit I made.

I am getting really frustrated with blogger!  Grrrrr!  I am trying to put my photos into the order I want them and they are not cooperating and moving to where I want them to be!  Oh well, they are on here and I guess that is what is important.  I just wanted to show that I have been sewing garments for myself, cross stitching, and knitting, along with taking care of Skye and the rest of the family.

Skye is walking now; she started taking steps just before she turned 11 months old, and she walks subconsciously quite well until she realizes she is walking and seats herself back down.  It makes us laugh. She is such fun these days, trying hard to talk and making a wide range of facial expressions.  I do wish she would nap better at times, but I liked her going down at 7:30 to 8 pm for the night.  Now that her momma is home things are a little less predictable with regard to bedtime especially.

There are things to get done, and I am still fuming over blogger not cooperating, so I guess I will go for now.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

It's a hot and sticky thursday!

But things are fairly cool here in the house, and babycakes is down for a nap, so I am free to blog for a few minutes.  I have been working on sewing the past few days, as well as finishing up some things. I got a summer dress all sewn that I have been wanting to make for close to 2 years now, and was amazed that even at the size suggested by the pattern it was too big, so I had to cut the pieces down and resew. It turned out amazing and I am so pleased with it!  I have cut the patterns apart for 2 more outfits, a dress, and an skirt/jacket combo in nice summery fabrics, and I have reviewed the fall/winter fabrics too to see what else I want to be working on.  I put together my dressmaker's dummy, in my measurements, and it has been a god-send for working on clothes for me. I actually need to take the measurements in just a bit (ribs/bust) as the dress I just finished fits the dummy perfectly but is still a teensy bit loose on me, even after the revamp. I am so pleased with my weight watcher's plan.  I haven't been as honest with it this past week, despite my good intentions, as I had wanted to be, but it is working none-the-less and I am content.

I have been plugging away at some cross stitching too, and am quite pleased with my progress on those projects as well.  It has been nice to have things to work on when the baby is sleeping because I have very little time without her during the day--she has decided napping is for sissys, and she has taken only the briefest of naps the past few days.  I am hoping today will be a good nap as her eyes were really heavy after lunch. Skye has taken her first independent steps--took them on Monday accidently/unintentionally; then on Tuesday she actually walked to me from the couch, about 4 steps.  Each day since then she has been practicing and getting better and steadier on her little feet.  It's such a joy to watch her figure things out!  Today she cracked me up because she found the tv remote on the floor next to Rei, who was sleeping.  She started pushing buttons, then looking expectantly at the tv (it was off); she'd push more buttons and look at it again; still nothing.  Finally she got frustrated and threw it down in disgust cuz it wasn't doing anything!  She sure knew what it was for though!

Eric has this weekend off but it's already jam-packed.  Aurora has a gateway tournament this weekend over in St. Louis, and that takes up much of each day Saturday and Sunday; Brie is supposed to be home sometime Sunday too. Eric wanted to focus on our room (moving some things around/decluttering) but I just don't see that being got to too easily between Skye and the bowling alley, and he has part 2 of a major project due Monday that will need some focusing on also...  Aurora got her books in the mail today for her classes, and she is happy about that. I think she is looking forward to college starting, even if it does start before the high school does.

I had Rei and Aurora at the orthodontist on Wednesday.  They both need braces for similar issues, but Aurora is going to need 6 teeth removed (4 wisdom teeth and 2 on the top due to crowding), while Rei's wisdom teeth can wait til after he is done with his braces. Both treatment plans will take about 2 years to complete, and insurance is supposed to cover part of the cost. We will need to figure out how we are going to cover the rest of it.  Aurora's oral surgery consult is not scheduled until Sept. 13th (the first available appt), so we will be scheduling the surgery after than; early October will be when she gets her braces (I think), while Rei's we can set up anytime.  Eric has to look through the budget, as will I, and then we will make the appointments.  Always something!

I am waiting on edge to hear back from Liisa. She had a horrid sore throat (on just one side) that started Tuesday evening/Wed. morning.  She went to urgent care for it this morning after being in such terrible pain last night that she called me at 1 am, and they said she needed to go to the emergency room: her tonsil, tongue, and jaw were all inflammed and it looked like she may have an abcess on her tonsil that is in rough shape and may need lancing.  She called me in tears because it hurt and she was scared. Her dad has gone with her to the emergency room and I know one of them will call me when she is done.  My poor girl!  Especially since she is concerned she may not have health insurance right now (given she was fired the end of June she doesn't know if July was covered or not--I believe it is). Anyway, I am praying for her.

We haven't heard much from Patrick of late, nor from Brianne, so the assumption is things must be going fine in their respective activities.  I will be glad to have Brie home so I can have some "me" time again.  Little one is fussing off and on in her bed; I am not sure if she has actually slept or not (haven't peeked in there) but she's been down for an hour, so I guess I should get her up.  The only real blessing to her not napping much is she has been going down for the night between 7 and 8 each night this week so far!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Vacation is over... Back to reality!

Skye in her 4th of July bloomers and bows!
 And what a hot day it is--102-106 degrees depending on where you are living!  I put Skye down for another nap (she only napped a half hour this morning) and then we are gonna go to the pool for awhile. It really makes me miss the lakes near my mother's house, although the pool is sounding awfully good after she wakes up.  Here are a few pictures from our Vacation in MN:
Liisa and Skye in Lake Calhoun, Thomas beach.

My mother, Sylvia, and us 4 kids: Me, Neal, Erik, and Kristi.

The Heikkila-Soulak-Mazes, minus Tony and Brie.

This is Skye meeting her daddy, Dalton,and her paternal grandmother, Regina, for the first time.

Minneaha Falls, July 2011, taken by Liisa on her cell phone.  Love this photo!

Today is getting back to normal, whatever that is. Eric went back to work this morning and will be going to class tonight after work. I am looking at the list of chores to do, phone calls to make for appointments, and everyday stuff that needs to be dealt with. Brie is in Indiana at AT for 2 weeks, so I have Skye full time; Aurora is enjoying her summer, as is Rei, and Patrick stopped home this afternoon for a bit--was nice to see him!

I was thrilled to get a wedding invitation to a former day care child's wedding, but man does it make me feel old!  In my minds eye she is still a little tiny tow-headed peanut who snuggled on my lap and cuddled dish towels!  I would love to surprise her and her mother by going out for the wedding, but we'll have to see.  Life has a way of getting complicated when one least wants it to be so!

Enjoy the photos and try to stay cool!  I sure am!