Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sleepless night, Happy Momma


Seriously, that title isn't a typo.  As I lay on my daughter's floor this morning snuggling my sweet, sweet 2 year old, I realized that I am a very happy Momma.

It's probably safe to say that none of us have been getting the sleep we need lately.  T is exploring her freedom and independence now that she's in her toddler bed.  K likes to stay up late at night and sleep all morning.  I'm back to work and have to get up before dawn to get out the door at a reasonable time, and B needs to get up earlier now to help me.  We're all exhausted.

But, when K wakes up in the middle of the night, it's an extra half hour that I get to snuggle and love on her now that I don't get to do it all day long.  And, when T creeps in (like a ninja!) an hour later asking where her baby doll's hat is (at 3:55am), I get to spend some quality time with my little girl who is growing up way too fast.

As I slowly peeled myself off T's floor this morning, groaning, I wasn't frustrated about the sleepless night.  I was thankful for the little moments that I get to be a mom to my girls and show them how much I love them.



Did T and K somehow read this entry before I even posted it?  OK, girls.  Yes, I love you.  Yes, I love snuggling you.  However, multiple times a night, each?!  And somehow, you two coordinated wake ups so that K was up every half hour until 12:30am and then T woke up twice in the early morning hours?  Is this just the beginning of the two of you ganging up on your poor Daddy and I?  I love you, but right now, I love the sight of a sleeping you even more.  
Sigh, where's the coffee...???

A weary, but still happy Momma

p.s. I'm still thankful for those extra snuggles. :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

ISTJ reform

If you've worked in the corporate world at all, you're probably familiar with Meyers-Briggs. Companies love to give these personality tests so their employees can understand how to work together better. I've taken it a few times now and the results are always the same - ISTJ.
Now, these traits are on a sliding scale but the two that were strongest for me were introvert and thinker. Well, I probably didn't need a fancy shmancy test to tell you that. In 6th, starting at a new school, I put my head down on my desk and cried because I was so nervous about meeting new people!

Shy as a kid, I've learned to push myself in new situations but it is exhausting. I still don't enjoy meeting new people. However, having been a stay at home mom for 6 months might have adjusted my scale from pegged to a more moderate introvert.  Having only one-sided conversations all day long, mostly consisting of "say Mama, ssssaaayyy Mmmaaammmaaa!", I've found myself making acquaintances with people at the grocery store.  I know the "regular" cashier by name (its Alexis), and we will have a 10 minute conversation each time I'm there.  On my "last-hurrah", I found myself blabbing to the saleswoman ringing up my purchase at Loft about how I'm ~6-months post-baby and have no idea what size clothing I wear.Who is this person?  I have even been chatting up the other owners at the dog park.

Apparently, I've been starved for conversation and adult interaction.  And, while I miss my snuggle bunny tremendously, being back at work now for over a week, I'm loving that I get to see and talk to people everyday.  Although, it's still hard for me to get over my shyness and make new friends.  So, I guess I'm not a reformed introvert afterall.  Perhaps, even introverts need their small circle of people they let in.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

First Day

I may not be normal, but when I was a kid, I looked forward to the first day of school.  I know, total nerd.  I always had at least one new outfit that I couldn't wait to wear and planned it out weeks in advance.  I looked forward to meeting my teacher, and usually a new group of kids since we always seemed to move mid-summer.  I love the excitement and anticipation of the school year with all the promises of new experiences and lessons to be learned.

Turns out, as an adult, I'm still that same little girl.  I've had my outfit for today planned for weeks, as well as the girls.  Yep, we all coordinated, with pillowcase dresses for the girls make by moi.  I've been packing bags for K and making lists all week.  When the carbon monoxide detector started beeping at 11:00 pm last night, it didn't matter because I was wide awake.  The alarm was set for 6:00am, but I was up at 5:15am.

The morning didn't go as smoothly as I would have liked.  I didn't get the group picture of us girls that I was hoping for and we got out the door late.  I think I pulled an eye muscle trying not to cry as I left T and K at daycare (did you know you could even do that??!!).  But, I was determined not to let that dictate the rest of my day.

Hey, at least I'm smiling...
My day was filled with paperwork and running from one office to another.  The academic world is not quite as efficient as the corporate world!  I had blisters on my feet and tired legs by the time I left to go get the girls, but it felt great to be working again.  I've got a lot to learn, a lot of literature to catch up on, and so many people and places to see.  I'm a bit overwhelmed by the atmosphere and the reputation of this institution, but I'm determined to show that I belong here and I'm going to make it a better place by having been here!  And, if nothing else, I get to come home everyday to the best husband and two amazing little girls that I love and cherish!

I got to snuggle this little girl at the end of a very long first day!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Ribbon edged tutu tutorial

This year, T decided she wanted to be a "Princess Ballerina" for Halloween.  Who knew 2-year olds could be so opinionated!?  I've made the no-sew tutus before, but I thought the ribbon edged ones looked just a bit more "princessy". I purchased yellow, pink, and purple tulle, but in the end, just made a purple tutu. 

Materials needed:
1-2 yards of tulle (depending on size and how many layers you want)
1-2 spools of coordinating 1/2 inch satin ribbon
3/4 inch elastic for waistband
scissors/rotary cutting materials
sewing machine (serger not necessary)

First, I took her measurements and figured out what size to cut the tulle. 
Length (waist to knee) 8".
Waist 20"

I planned to fold over the tulle to create a casing for the elastic, with this in mind, I doubled the length measurement and added 2 inches for the casing.

To get a full skirt, you generally double the waist measurement.  I wanted to get the most out of my tulle, and since I bought a yard, I used the 36" as my width.

So, I cut three layers at 18" x 36". Then, cut the ribbon to the width measurement, here 36".

You will be attaching ribbon to both long edges of the tulle such that, when folded in half, the right sides are facing the same way.  Placing the ribbon down first, I sewed the tulle using a straight stitch down the middle of the ribbon.
 Then, making sure when folded in half, the right sides face the same way, attach ribbon to the other long side of the tulle.
With right sides of the ribbon facing in, fold the tulle into a tube (with ribbon at the top and bottom edge) and sew up the side.  I used a serger here (mostly because I love using it and try to find ways to incorporate it any way I can, but don't be like me, use a coordinating thread if you do this), but a straight stitch is perfectly fine since tulle won't unravel.
 (I just love when the trimmed edges collect from my serger.  See, I'm obsessed with it!)
Repeat with all your layers, whether of the same or different colors.  Take all your tubes and insert one into another.  From here, find the middle of the tube and mark the center.  I used pins here, feel free to use those fancy fading markers.  However, tulle loves to shift on you and I found I had to pin like crazy (I hate pinning!), so I definitely recommend pinning the tulle.
 I found that if I rolled up the edges in toward that center, the tulle shifted less and was easier to manage.
 Sew through all layers along that center line, being careful to keep the tube of tulle open.
 Use that sewn center line as a guide and fold the tube into itself so that the right sides of the ribbon are now facing out.  Create a casing by sewing 3/8" from the center sew line all around, and then 1" from that stitched line, leaving a one inch opening to insert your waistband.  This makes a little ruffle around the top of the waistband as an additional detail, very cute over a leotard.
Cut your elastic waistband 2 inches smaller than the waist measurement.  Using a safety pin, feed it through the casing, and using a boxed-X pattern, sew the two ends together.
And you're done!  The proof that my daughter loves it?  She wore it all night (even to sleep), and then the next day!  I'd love to show it to you on her, but that is another post in our Halloween costume wrap-up!

Wet Bags

I've been checking projects and errands off of my "To-Do-Before-Going-Back-to-Work" list like crazy.  One of those things was to make wet bags for K's dirty diapers at daycare.  These bags are made from polyurethane laminate, or PUL, and are great for anything that gets wet or dirty, gym clothes, bathing suits, diapers, etc.  When I saw this on a recent shopping trip, I knew I had to make some wet bags for the girls!  From one yard (at 14.99/yd), I made 5 wet bags bags:

Cut fabric to 36"x 12"

Sew over 1/4 inch along each of the long sides

Fold over the top 1/4 inch, then 3/4 inches and sew with a 1/8" seam allowance to create casing

Sew sides together using 1/8" seam allowance, leaving casing open

Thread 30" of ribbon through the casing and tie knot

That's it!  Really quick and easy for some really useful and versatile bags.  I have to admit, I've never been so excited to put a dirty diaper in something I just made!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Mummy's Last Hurrah

If you've been following along, you know that I go back to work next week and have been nesting like crazy getting ready for this major transition: two working parents and two kids.  Oy!  I've been plugging away at the new projects on my desk and I actually have it all cleared off again!  I've had some other non-sewing related things to take care of as well.  We are upgrading to a family miniv- Ha!  Ya right!  We are actually getting an SUV and to make sure we are getting the best possible trade in value, I recently took our car to get detailed.  The process takes 4 hours and, as a courtesy, you are given a two-seater Smart Car.  Carseats don't work well in two-seaters, though, so K spent a morning at daycare with T. This caused two things to happen.  1. Some of my anxiety about K starting daycare was relieved, and 2. I got to spend several hours A-L-O-N-E!!!!!  I kept a little photo diary about my day...

 Driving this guy took some getting used to!  It felt like it was going to explode right before it would shift!  I'll probably never own one, but I felt very European driving it!

First stop, breakfast - ALONE!  Have I mentioned the gloriousness of being alone yet?  Breakfast didn't last very long though.  Since becoming a parent, I've learned to eat very quickly, regardless of whether or not my food it so hot that it is scalding my tongue!

 Second stop, the mall!  I don't even remember the last time I was in a mall by myself, perhaps greater than two years ago?  I needed to find a dress for a wedding this weekend.  Unfortunately, since breakfast was so quick, I got here before the stores opened.  It was okay, it gave me some time to walk around and window shop.  However, instead of window shopping for me, I kept gravitating towards Carter's, Gymboree, Baby Gap.  Cue the tears.  I actually had to sit down for a moment to collect myself.  I think I'm going to miss being home with K more than I thought I would...

First store, Ann Taylor Loft and total SCORE!  I ended up buying the second dress I tried on.  And, I got to go down a size, double bonus!
Before I knew it, our car was ready.  I enjoyed a few more moments of freedom right here before real life settled in again and I headed to the grocery store.  The best part of my day?  Picking up K and getting a good report.  She actually ate (a little), slept fine, and was smiling and laughing.  She had a great morning too!  I was so relieved and a lot of my anxieties about her eating were eased.  The transition next week may be rough, but we can do it and we will all survive.

Monday, September 10, 2012


I have one week left until K starts daycare and I go back to work.  There's so much that needs to be done, and yet, I can't start doing any of it yet!  In desperation, I made coordinating dresses for the girls for K's first day at daycare, just so I could be doing something in preparation.  I know, I have a problem.  That's when I realized that nesting isn't just for pregnant women about to bust.  No, no.  Nesting can take over your life any time there is about to be a big change or transition phase.  Right now, me going back to work is going to be a huge transition for the entire family.  Hence, nesting.

For example, I went to Joann Fabrics the other day. I've been meaning to make more "mimis" or "lovies" for T since hers is starting to get a little love worn and I needed material.  Here's what I came home with:

Yeah, a lot more than I planned on getting originally.  Here's my new nesting project breakdown.

 Yellow minky and multicolored dot super soft fleece with satin blanket binding for T's new mimis.

 Enough PUL to make 5 wet/dirty diaper bags for K at daycare, one for each day.

 Tulle for T's Halloween costume (of course I forgot the ribbon!).

And, I just decided that I had to make T a traveling sleeping mat with sleepy owl jersey knit and hot pink fleece.

What's hilarious is that I just recently finished and cleared every project off my sewing desk and now I have a whole pile again!  Oh well, the good news is I have plenty of projects for more posts and at least I'll feel like I'm doing something to get ready for going back to work.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Halloween 2012

I love Halloween.  It's my favorite holiday, as evidenced by last year's posts here and here.  While the only thing scary in my life right now are car and student loan payments, I like the idea of being spooked by something that I know is just pretend.  I also love an excuse as an adult to dress up.  I figured, T being 2, I had one last year to decide what we would be and I had a great one planned, a whole family group costume.  We were going to be the Mario Bros.!  Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach (T) and Toad (K).

Sigh.  Unfortunately, T is 2 going on 12 and she definitely has an opinion of her own.  She told me last week that she wanted to be a ballerina princess.  While I could squeeze this into my orginal plan, I had promised a long time ago that once she could choose for herself, she would decide her Halloween costume. And, side note, she wants her costume to be yellow, pink, and purple.  Ok, darling, whatever you want.

So, I searched the web, looking for inspiration, from none other than my favorite idea website, Pinterest.  (p.s. Are you following me there yet? It's

Here's some ideas I found:

Source: via Melissa on Pinterest

Source: via Anna on Pinterest

Source: via Christie on Pinterest

Source: via Carolyn on Pinterest

I really like the ribbon edged tutu look, but I didn't find any "how-to's", so I think I should get to work and make my own, don't you?  Well, I've got less than two months so I best get to work!