Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Time for an Upgrade

It's time for an upgrade...

Go to www.hopeandabreath.com/blog to see my new blog. Or just click here

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

First Try!!

Remember on The Lego Movie where Batman is trying to get into Lord Buiness's office and he takes out the security guard, then he throws his little bat things at the button to open the gate? He misses a million times, but as soon as he hits it, he says "First Try!!" If not, you can see it here.

That's me. Remember when I said I was learning a lot and sewing was just getting better? Well -- I don't think that applies to dress designing at the moment. It's going to take me a lot of tries to get this right, but as soon as I do, you can bet I'll say "First Try!" 

I am 99% finished with this dress, and it's a flop. Super sad! I know how I want it to look, and it's not there. 

I wanted a really full skirt but I got crazy baggy. 

So I'm deciding between tweaking it and seeing what I can do, or just moving on. I think I will try tweaking. It can't really get worse! Maybe I will even post before and after pictures if it improves... 

And this experience has taught me I probably just need more tries in sewing little girls dresses before I start designing them myself! 

I remembered a couple years ago my mom was going through her pattern stash and had me take some patterns. I should have taken more! But at least I got this gem... 

This dress has the fullness that I wanted in my design, but it doesn't look baggy here. 

Liv says she's excited one of these is in her future! I hope this one turns out -- I've already ordered some great fabric-- Easter dresses here we come! 

I keep reminding myself: 

"If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate!" 

Friday, March 13, 2015

C Sections aren't THAT bad!

For numerous reasons, Timothy was born via c section. I was pretty nervous because I have never had surgery, and I am grossed out easily. My nickname for c sections is "stab and grab!" 

But my recoveries from having Sam and Olivia were pretty rough, so I hoped the c section was either equally as hard, or maybe even better! 

And I was right-- mostly. 

First, I'm here being prepped. They are shooting me full of fluids, monitoring everything, and best of all, making me laugh! 

This story is too good not to share... My nurse in charge of prep and in with me during surgery was telling us about delivering her last child. He was significantly larger than her two older sons and it was just a really difficult labor and delivery. Her husband was recording what was going on, and when he finally came out, the Drs put him on her belly and she was so upset she said "I'm going to kick your a$$ you little sh*t!" 

And that comment was the last thing her husband recorded! She prefaced the story by saying that she really doesn't curse, so she couldn't believe her first words to her son were so -- colorful! 

We laughed and laughed and totally wondered if we were in good hands... And we were. She was a great nurse! 

When it came time to go into the operating room, I was really nervous. Luckily, the Dr, nurses, and anesthesiologist were all able to joke around and keep things light. I even got a shoulder massage from my Dr while I was getting the spinal. Btw, I wish I could get one of those more often-- that was even better than an epidural! 

After the checked to see if I was numb, they got right to work-- Timothy was out soon after, and They showed him to me and took him away. I just focused on not freaking out while they sewed me up -- which wasn't too difficult because of the amount of narcotics I had. 

So besides avoiding the emotional trauma I experience during child birth, I noticed one more emotion I wasn't expecting. I didn't feel that instant bond when I saw Timothy. I guess I have to almost kill myself during chilbirth to feel like I actually deserve this baby. It was like the c section was too easy. (Ha!) 

Luckily, the whole breastfeeding thing established the bond pretty quickly. He's such a beautiful baby! But there was more than once that I asked whether he was really out and MY baby -- it was just too easy. (Of course I didn't feel that way about the recovery!) 

And the first 24 hrs after the c section were BETTER than my pervious deliveries. I was feeling great. I could stand and walk and get out of bed by myself. I could not do that after having Sam and Olivia. Sweet! 

But the 48 hrs after that were rough. The narcotics had worn off (😭😭) and it didn't ever feel like I could get enough medication to make the pain go away. I have a very small pain tolerance though... 
And I would say those 48 hours were worse than my regular deliveries. 

Then after that, recovery was equal or better, although it was different. I was used to one area of my body having traumatic injuries, so it was so weird having a different area hurt! The thing that caught me the most off guard is this -- I am a side sleeper and I couldn't sleep on my side anymore. It sounds crazy, but you are actually working out your abdominal muscles when you sleep on your side... ((So forget 5 min and, do 7 hr abs and just sleep on your side! Ha!) And if I tried I just felt much burning along my incision. Ouch! 

I'm about 7.5 weeks after the c section and I have been jogging twice (slow slow very slow pace!) and I'm feeling great! C sections are the way to go! For me at least! 

And one more picture of that beautiful boy! 

((This is what he thought of the dolphin show at Sea World)) 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

One Day -- Chronicles of life with a 2 year old

There was this one day...

that the high was 88 degrees. And I thought I would be an awesome mom and take my kids swimming... So I stuffed my post preggo belly into a swim suit, and we went out the door.

I remembered that Liv had not gone to the bathroom recently, so I suggested that we go. She said, "I'll go when we get there"because there is a bathroom at the pool.

So we make it to the pool and we head to the bathrooms. They have a code on them you have to punch in to open the door and my kids LOVE to punch in random buttons. I punched in the code to let Liv in the bathroom and she decided screaming at me would be a good idea to let me know she needed button punching time before she peed.

I had her cool off on a chair before trying to get in the bathroom...and once she was inside, she started freaking out because she hates the loud noises of public restrooms... (but rest assured, she was the only person in the bathroom and there were NO loud noises!)  So after much convincing, she won and decided she would rather sit and watch Sam swim than use the bathroom.

So she sat for a minute... Then she decided she wanted to swim and she was going to use the bathroom. She convinced Sam to get out of the pool so I could leave and take her to the bathroom.

And I did. When we got there she decided not to use the bathroom. Awesome.

So we sat down. Sam jumped in for about .5 seconds and declared the pool water too "weird" to swim in.

So we got up to leave. Sam decided he wanted to paint a rock by the pool. I said we weren't painting when we got home. He starts crying.

I walk two steps and see a 3 ft black snake slither across the pool area.

Sam cries most of the way home...

I declare the afternoon should be used for sewing. And maybe a jog.

I change into something less "sausage like" on my stomach and head into the sewing room.

I grab the dress to start sewing and a spider crawls all over the fabric! (I hate spiders!)

Then Liv decided to wash her hands with the filtered water out of the fridge (yes... there was a huge puddle).

So she cleaned up the mess and got sent to her room for a bit.

Which is where this happened.

Count your blessings, huh?

And that was today.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Foxes and Phases

I'm finally diving into this beautiful fabric! I'm loving how it's turning out so far -- I have some sort of fetish with herringbone patterns. I need to branch out on next dress. Maybe circles? Squares would be nice and easy!

Even as I was cutting out this dress, I was noticing how my sewing has changed throughout the years.
I learned to sew with my mom. She sewed clothes when I was little, but her true love was quilting. She was a fantastic quilter. I sewed a little in high school in my home economics class, but I stopped completely afterwards. I was too busy in college and afterwards. But about a week after having Sam, I realized I was going to need a hobby if I was going to be a stay at home mom.

My mom was visiting and helping with Sam at the time, and we decided I was going to make a quilt for my sister in law for a present for her upcoming wedding. Years before, my mom had given me her old sewing machine she received when she was 18 years old. This sewing machine is HEAVY and ancient. It's a beast. The machine and I were on the outs when my mom got there, and she fixed it up nicely. I planned on making friends with her while my mom was there to supervise. She could intervene if anything became an issue. We went to Hobby Lobby and my mom treated me to fabric, batting, a rotary cutter, a self healing mat, rulers, scissors, pins, etc. She was always generous. So we began cutting and sewing this beautiful quilt. And I knew I had caught the bug for reals.

I also knew that I had to sew differently than my mom. My mom's quilts are perfect and immaculate, even if they are some funky colors at times. Perfectionism ran deep in her blood when it came to quilting, and she would rip out a seam and redo the quilt until it reached her standards of quality. And I KNEW I could not do that. It was too overwhelming to think about sewing a perfect project. I was just lucky to be sewing at all. I was happy her machine and I could be friends again, and I tried to ignore all the (many) mistakes I made at the beginning. For years, I ignored my sewing mistakes and was so proud I created something. Even if it wasn't particularly useful. It was great.

My mom thought I was crazy - if I were going through all that work to create something, I should take just a bit of extra effort to make sure it was perfect. But I disagreed. I was just happy it came together. I was comfortable with my quirks.

Then came phase two - where I realized maybe I should pay more attention to the quality of my work. About the time we moved from Lincoln to Hastings Nebraska, a long lost roommate of mine also moved there with her husband and little girl. I hadn't seen this roommate since we went our separate ways after moving out, and I was surprised and excited. Hastings Nebraska is really the middle of nowhere surrounded by acres of cornfields.

So my friend Liz and I would stay sane in this little town where we didn't know a soul by sewing. ((Later, I gained friends who will remain close to my heart forever!)) We worked on project after project. Quickly I realized I needed a way to fund my growing hobby. Jake was nice about it, but I like to be self sufficient. So I came up with the idea of selling our awesome creations in a Christmas Craft Fair. For months, we worked and worked to have a variety of items to sell. It was so exciting and I loved throwhing energy into something new. It was during this time that I realized that people may not want to pay for my quirky mistakes. People who pay for items actually demand that they look nice. And are functional! (Imagine that!)

So I began to pay more attention to my quality of work. Liz was similar to my mom, in that all her projects looked perfect. Liz may as well be a clone of Martha Stewart. She's amazing. Sadly, the craft fair was not as lucrative for me as I had hoped, but I had a large stash of baby shower gifts, which I have used for years!

Now after years of slowly upping my quality of my sewing projects, I feel like I have learned so much. So when I started cutting this fabric for this dress, I quickly realized I had a problem. The foxes on the fabric face on direction. So if I wanted all the foxes on the dress to face one direction (right side up) then I either had to get more fabric, or be very creative. I'm lazy, so getting more of the same fabric wasn't really a thought. I figured out a way to make the dress work, while still keeping all my foxes facing the right way.

It's good to feel like I'm learning. I have not regretted one stage of this learning process. I loved that in the beginning, I was more interested in getting experience and getting things done than having it be perfect. There's so many people I talk to that want to learn to sew. They are just afraid. I say: It doesn't matter at the beginning what anything looks like. Just do it! Get behind the machine and sew something ugly. Next time it will look better. It will fit better, and you will curse less each time you sew. It takes years (mostly when your sewing time is limited by little muchkins) but it is so fun.

Disclaimer: the items that I sew today that I am not intending to sell, are not at all perfect. I still have the mentality from the beginning. I'm just lucky to have sewn. It helps my mental state immensely. WHAT I have sewn isn't as important. It's just good to accomplish something.

Disclaimer 2: and just because I pay more attention to quality now does not mean my items look anywhere near as perfect as my mom's. Or Liz's. They don't. But they aren't as crazy ugly as they used to be!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Sometimes.... I start to wonder who I really am....

So - There's a list of things I said I would "NEVER DO." Right? I'm sure you have a list like that.

Things like....

     1.  never marry someone who wanted a ton of kids. DONE! ((Though Jake is fine with not a ton of    
          kids also...)

     2.  never bribe my kid. DONE (millions of times, the most recently, being THIS -- I like to call it a      
          "potty training incentive" but it's more like "Hey Liv, I'm going to spend $$ this month on
           something, do you want it to be diapers, so something awesome?? Let's go with something
           awesome you don't pee on. Great!"

                      ** Update: I returned Doc McStuffins and got diapers. This potty training thing is NOT
                      for the weary and pregnant. Can someone just take care of this for us? I can't be a nice      
                      mom and potty train at the same time.... Tips?? **

                      ** Update #2: We are potty training AGAIN! But I feel like we are over the hump. We        
                      still have lots of work to do, but things are looking up! **

     3.  Never be a mom that doesn't get ready every day. DONE! Now I tell Jake he gets ONE thing
          (out of 3. I can a) shower, b) do my makeup, or c) do my hair. I will do ONE thing within a 24
          hour period, but it won't likely ALL happen together (( unless I'm headed to church or
          something like that )). BUT --- Today I showered, did my makeup, and my hair. ALL after
          exercising. I am superwoman I tell you.

                   ** I am doing better at this! I'm up to 2 a day more regularly now! **

     4. And I would NEVER homeschool my kid. Because those homeschooled kids are just weird.
         And their mom's too. ;)

So... I bet you can tell what I'm going to do. It's not showering and getting pretty every day. ((Though that would be GREAT, I'm sure!)). I think I'm going to homeschool Sam. WHAT???

It's hard to even type that. Like Really? I feel like I'm throwing my sanity out the door.

Now Sam doesn't drive me nuts (Liv does that).... But as most mom's know, there's this expectation that our kids will grow older and then they will start school. And THEN we can have some alone time. YES!!!! ALONE TIME!!! We can go grocery shopping, and shower, and all sorts of things I can't even imagine....

And I'm thinking of not doing that? Am I nuts? Please take my temperature SOMEONE!

I always thought that when all those little munchkins got to be old enough for school, I was going to study like a crazy woman and pass the bar (yes - I did graduate law school. no - I have never taken the bar). So am I suddenly giving up that dream?

Oh - I have NO idea. But.....

Here's what I do know. ((a.k.a. list of pros to home schooling))

1. We have been doing homeschool for preschool and it's going GREAT. We ALL love it. I love it.
     Sam loves it. Olivia loves it. Sam is doing really well and learning a lot. Olivia is also doing great.

2. I'm not a huge fan of schools in Florida. I didn't feel this way in Nebraska. I was comfortable with
    the school we were zoned for in Hastings, and I looked forward to Sam starting Kindergarten there.
    Here... it's another story. I don't want him to go to the school we are currently zoned for, but we
    could try to waive into another school. Which brings me to my next point:

3. Even if I could get him into a higher rated school where we live, I'm kind of weary about public
     schools in general. I mean, let's get all political now, but from what I understand of common core
     and the school system in general, I'm not a fan. I could go into more detail, but I'm not going to
     just yet.

4. I just feel good about it - even though I am super scared. How am I supposed to manage 3 kids, try
    to have a quilting business, and teach them all types of school stuff? Not sure, not sure.

         ** Update: Maybe Peyton (kiddos babysitter/playmate) is my answer here. She's wonderful! **

Either way, wish me luck! I'm going to need it!

And if you have homeschool tips, please share!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

So Many Good Things

So many good things have happened since last time I wrote......

First of which is this little boy!

Timothy was born January 20th. We love him, LOVE him! And suddenly he is just over 5 weeks old! I am somewhat coming out of the fog that settles after you have a baby, and now all the visitors have left. (cue sad sad face!)

And even though I have these three beautiful kids to take care of, I have a plan to "work" (aka -- sew!) This wonderful girl from my church is looking to earn money to buy a parrot. And my kids happen to be in love with her (she is 9 years old). And she is homeschooled.

Homeschool schedule

So today she started playing with Sam and Olivia while I am here sewing and blogging. It's AMAZING. I texted Jake (and her mom) and said "Heaven just began!" They play and play and I sew and get things done.

Slowly, my sanity is being restored through sewing and accomplishing things that I have been itching to do for MONTHS! I was mostly too sick and tired to do much sewing or blogging during pregnancy. So I'm really ready to start a new chapter of life. A chapter where my kids get a great playmate, and I get to spend some dedicated time to sewing and blogging. Perfection!

Lucky for me, I have this great friend, Susan Milmont (check out Milmont Photography on Facebook) that came to help me a week after I had Timothy. My wonderful aunt came for a week while I was in the hospital and recovering. Susan came and helped and took some great newborn shots and family pictures at Clearwater Beach. We were also lucky enough to have Jake's parents and my dad come to stay. I miss every one of them. And they loved and cared for my kids as much as I do. It has been a beautiful 5 weeks!

So I have lots to tell....

Lots of new decisions, lots of (substandard) pictures to share, and great hopes for the future!

Keep checking back for updates, and I will post at least once a week because of sweet Peyton, the in-house babysitter!