Friday, June 27, 2014

Sleepless in Alabama...

This past Saturday Mayhem and I went antique/junk/handmade shopping at the Trade Days with my mama for a few hours.  It was terrifically hot, but we had a good time walking and looking at everything (twice, even!), eating boiled peanuts, funnel cakes, and roasted corn.  Besides two wooden painted cars for Mayhem I think food was all we bought, although we did have nonbuyers remorse over a stand globe ($20) and a beautiful (but pricey!) world map made of handcut gemstones.

Late that afternoon, just like the nurse said he might, Mayhem developed a fever from his shots.  And even though he was just uncomfortable and not contagious, it meant we'd have to miss church on Sunday. 

All the poor little thing wanted was to be held, day and night.  He's so cuddlely when he's puny!  Lots of time to just sit and watch tv while he laid on my shoulder because there was no convincing him to get down and play.  Sleeping in his own bed became a problem.  Since I weigh too much to sleep in his bed that meant he'd have to sleep in mine so Boots and I slept with a 25 pound space heater between us for two nights.  

After his fever broke and he was back to normal we tried to go back to sleeping like we had been.  Mayhem was most resistant.  It seems I'd become quite spoiled to getting to sleep 4 hours at a stretch instead of the 45-90 minutes I'd been used to for the past several months.  Back to the same old not sleeping.  Boots and I even packed up and went to Target one afternoon and bought him a brand new mattress, thinking maybe his was uncomfortable since he was so much heavier now.

This past week was torturous for me.  Four nights of very little sleep and too much coffee during the day to allow for a nap, I swear I cracked up yesterday morning.  I was so desperate for sleep I fantasized about claiming to be crazy and locked up just so I could sleep!  It was something serious.  And the only thing worse than having a baby laugh at you while you cry over your eggs is having him tell you to dry it up, I swear he said it!

This exhaustive funk was getting serious and not something to be cured by writing and preserving the evidence so I did all I could otherwise yesterday to pull myself out of it.  I tried to pray and remind myself of how very very thankful I am that I don't have to get up and work a real job after staying up all night.  The weather was overcast and cooler than it had been so I pushed Mayhem in his stroller for a long walk down to the river.  But it wasn't long or fast enough to work off all that pity pie I ate!  After lunch I thought some paint fumes would do me some good (that sounds really bad!) so while Mayhem took his little 45 minute nap I painted two doors and touched up some trim and things around the house.  Later in the afternoon I was organizing a board on Pinterest while rocking Mayhem and had a little bit of creative inspiration.  I posted a tease photo of what I was working on and here's what eventually came out of it.

It was supposed to be a dream catcher/mobile for Mayhem's room, but I liked it so much on the office wall where I took this photo it's still hanging there.

Without me saying anything about how bad a day I'd had, Boots took it upon himself to get up with Mayhem last night and I was able to sleep almost 8 hours!  This morning is definitely looking up.  Rest sure puts a better perspective on things.

And here it is the weekend again!  Perhaps a more exciting update on Monday, okay?



Vacuum cleaner crevice tools double as kazoos, right?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

15 Months

I thought I would get him all dressed up in clean jeans and a nice shirt, pose him in the yard, and take some artsy-fartsy pictures for this post, but that's not really what things look like around here unless it's Sunday.

Our days look much more like this...

I think 15 months is the funnest yet.  (I think I said that about 14 months and I'll probably say it each month from now until he's about seven years old I guess.)

He's 15 months old and I finally cut his nails.  I've been tearing them since he was born because I am absolutely terrified of cutting him and making him bleed.  And scream.  It only took Boots and the tv to distract him enough to give me confidence to do it.  And lots of, "Please be still!"

I love dirt freckles!

One day I was resting on the couch playing on my phone when suddenly a previously slobbered on birthday party horn was thrust between my lips and I was silently commanded to blow it.  Take note, when such things happen to you you are obliged to oblige.  Thankfully, he figured out how to do it himself about two days later.

Harmonica playing is another one.  We're getting real musical up in here.

One afternoon after Boots left for work and we'd all done our goodbye kisses I was trying to rock him for a nap.  He looked up at me and put his little hand on my cheek and pulled my face down to his and gave me a kiss on the lips.  My heart just broke into a million pieces right there in that rocking chair!  Boy loves his mama!

And I just can't take it when he raises his hands for his daddy to pick him up and then throws his little arms around Boots' neck!  I'm done for!

He knows what birds are and when he sees them flying he points and says, "burrr!"

He's playing with some of his toys differently.  Almost the way they're meant to be played with instead of just throwing them around.  Is this from being with older babies in his new class at church and watching how they play?

He still throws things around.

And four of my biggest pots have been converted into a kitchen drumset.

He tries to help me dress him.  He'll stick his feet out for socks and shoes and hold onto my shirt while trying to poke his feet through his pant legs.  He gets a little squirrelly trying to put shirts on though.

We spent four days at my aunt's farm last week and there was lots of chicken time with feeding them and gathering the eggs each day.  If you ask him what the rooster says he'll give you a pretty calm interpretation, just a simple, expressionless "er er."

We also did a fair amount of gardening while we were at my aunt's and to keep him from getting too bored I taught him to pick strawberries.  Or rather, I picked the strawberries and handed them to him and he took great delight in dropping them in the bucket.  Worked like a charm!

We also had a 15 month doctor appointment.  He weighed 24 pounds, 5 ounces (76 percentile) and is 32" tall (71 percentile) with a big ol' gourd head of 49 centimeters!  His little dot on the percentage charts keeps moving up which makes me very happy since he was less than 5% when he was born.

His nasty eye issue from last week turned out to be caused from an ear infection I didn't know he was having.  "Has that been affecting his sleep?" the doctor asked.  Yeah, right.  This kid has never slept well.

Perhaps the best thing to come out of the doctor visit was the suggestion that maybe he needs a special nighttime lovey to help him sleep.  I was skeptical, but my aunt thought it might be worth a try so we bought him two brand new stuffed animals (a tiger I named Calvin and a dog I named Hank) only to be used for sleeping and kept in his bed.  

Maybe he didn't like being rocked as much as I thought he did or maybe there's some magic in those critters, but every night since then we read our books, pray, and I put him in his bed.  He flops around trying to get his nest made and jabbers while I sit on the poof and play on my phone until he goes to sleep.  He's been sleeping long stretches of several hours and only waking up once or twice a night.  It's like a dream I tell you!  

I still wake up several times because my body is apparently stuck on these tiny hour and half catnaps he's been giving me the past several months, but I'm definitely feeling more rested and haven't been needing any naps!

He's also at the wonderful age where he can do simple jobs if you show him, which comes in real handy when I'm trying to cook and can give him bits of things to throw in the trash.  I nearly fell over backwards the first time he put something back where it came from when I said to.

I downloaded a "learn a new language" app to my phone called Duolingo and when I play the little games and say the Spanish words he starts talking back to me like maybe English isn't his first language or something.

Scribbling with crayons is getting better too.  I'm not brave enough to try paint yet, but his teachers at VBS a few weeks ago were.  It won't be long now before we're doing all sorts of crafty things!

He still loves to read books and has started laying in the floor on his stomach pushing cars around.  Bouncing balls will always get you a laugh.

He knows nose, eye, ear, and belly button, but not mouth.

He's pretty good with a spoon and fork.

He's learning so much and we are having the best time loving him!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Saturday + Sunday

This Father's Day weekend was appropriately (and rarely!) filled with lots of Daddy time.

Saturday the three of us went to a morning birthday party on a little farm and one of us had lots of fun mocking the rooster.  That one also got the biggest kick out of tiny baby piglets running around and the other two laughed because he laughed.  Pigs are interesting even to me because they're one of the few animals I didn't grow up around.  Daddy always said no because "they'll eat you out of house and home."  The highlight of the afternoon was a nap before Boots went to work.

Sunday we all went to church and I forgot to take a picture of Mayhem and his daddy before.  I said I'd take one after, forgot again.  We ate lunch at Chipotle (my pick!) but we were too busy shoveling our burrito bowls into our faces to knock the rice off Mayhem's lips and think about smiling.  Then Boots decided to turn Mayhem's car seat around and that was a twenty minute ordeal in the parking lot.  After he was all hot and sweaty I gave up on the idea of a photo op.  Once we finally made it back home we all took a short nap and went for a long walk.

Pretty good weekend!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Kantha(ish) for Mayhem

Remember the flag banner I made for Mayhem's birthday party?  You can see part of it behind our heads.

I made it out of one of his ripped bed sheets that I couldn't bear to throw away and some fabric from Meme's supply.  Several different fabrics of different shades and tones of orange, white, and green.  You know, to match our fox theme.

I didn't post about it because I was too busy making it to even think about taking pictures.  

I started with a cardboard triangle cut out the size I wanted my flags (some people call them pennants) to be and used it to trace out triangles on all the fabrics with a marker.  I cut approximately a bajillion and still had to cut more before I was done to get the colors to alternate properly.  I cut the long sides with pinking shears and ironed (I hate to iron!) every last one before folding the top down and stitching a pocket for a string hole, kinda like a curtain.  This part wasn't too brain-intensive so I had a lot of time to catch up on listening to podcasts.

I dug through my supply of crap I can't get rid of because I might need it one day and found the perfect ball of jute-y, hemp-y twine that in its former life was probably used to make bracelets.  Then I just set to stringin'.  I got about ten feet before things started getting tangled up and Boots felt sorry for me and jumped in to help.  He tied a small loop in one end of my mile long string and hung it on a nail in the living room that we'd used to hold a blanket over a window three years ago.  (Not long after this project was complete did I rectify the nail situation.  There wound up being seven in various places they shouldn't have been.)

It was a fairly simple project that just took a little time so after the birthday party I was sad to pack it away in a drawer since I hadn't thought of another good way to still enjoy it without the inside of my house looking like a circus tent.

Until I discovered kantha!  Ya'll, look that stuff up because I became mildly obsessed with it.  Basically it's just bits of old, worn-out fabric (usually old saris) sewn together and then stitched in very simple lines across the top. I knew that a kantha quilt would be the perfect way to use Mayhem's flags and so I set about (two months ago!) to make it.

Lemme tell you, it was intense.  

After I finally got them unstrung, it took an hour (at least!) of me futzing with the flags to get them in a pattern I was fairly happy with, because the pattern I'd had them in before apparently wasn't good enough.  Then I figured out how many rows I wanted and was excited to get busy sewing them together.  

The sewing part hummed along fine until I got almost two rows finished and I pretty much killed my sewing machine.  Lots of wailing, gnashing of teeth, hair pulling, and frantic texts/phone calls to my mother, my not really in-house, in-house crafting expert consultant.  

Several days and attempts later I had to admit defeat and give up.  Even my mama couldn't fix it and must have felt so bad about my whining she lent me her machine to kill, I mean, use and I was finally able to get my flag strips sewn.  My broken sewing machine is still waiting for me to put it in the shop, btw.

Then came the agony of arranging my strips because in all the angry chaos I got them all out of order and couldn't get my pattern just so.  After that drama was resolved sewing the strips together to make a top was a piece of cake.  Finished!

The top sat and waited for a week or two while I figured out what to do about the back and bought different colors of embroidery floss for the quilt stitching.

I finally settled on a piece of white, diamond-backed batting and bought a can of spray glue.  That stuff is an aerosol fit!  I'm pretty sure I cussed more inside my head spraying that crap and trying to get the top stuck to the batting straight than I did in the four days I fooled with my broken machine trying to unsuccessfully bring it back to life.

Seriously, I won't be using it again and I've got nearly a full can left.  Anybody want it?  

It just made me feel so out of control!  Spray, smooth, wait there's a wrinkle!, pull up, stick again, my hand stuck to the table, spray another section and repeat!  >:[

I finally decided enough is enough and good enough will have to do.  (I seem to be repeating "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful," to myself a lot these days.)  A wrinkly top is better than an unfinished quilt, right?

When that was over I was finally ready for the fun part.  I just cut a length of embroidery floss and tied a knot in the end and set out "quilting" the top to the batting in groups of three different colored lines with plenty of space in between then knotted again when I reached the end.

My lines are straight in the way that ants' lines are straight.  In fact, I may patent my "Ants on Picnic" stitch!  ;)

Three solid days of stitching later and I was practically finished, I just had to bind the edges.  I knew I wanted the back to have a colored edge rather than the front have a white edge (you might have done it differently) so I folded and pinned the top over a few times (foreshadowing!) to get it fairly straight and sewed myself a binding of some sorts.

I had finished two sides and was just about to finish the third side when I broke a needle! ...  Not.  Happy.  At.  All.

I was three feet from being completely done, thisclose!, and I couldn't finish because I had broken the only needle I had on this borrowed machine with my seriously too thick binding!  Ay yi yi!

When my fit was over, I drove to the store and bought a pack of replacement needles, thought about my project all night, and finally FINALLY finished this sucker at 5:30 the next morning!

So it's not exactly square...

And my lines aren't straight.

Ants on Picnic, anyone?

But I am in love, love, love with it!

It ain't fancy...

You won't find this in a store...

Or magazine...

Maybe it could be used as an example of what not to do...

But I made it...

Crazy stitching that runs off the edge and all...

(Sidenote: my favorite polka dotted bed sheet fabric was the toughest of the bunch to stitch through!  Bed sheets don't play!)

I hope Mayhem loves it as much as I do.  I want to see this thing raggedy and worn out!

Look!  The white piece on the left is even wrong side out!

"It really doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful." -- Myquillyn Smith of