June 14, 2014

Whirlwind to Tornado

I don't like leaving my blog silent for over a month, but this time it was inevitable. In my last post I talked about living in a whirlwind, and if April was a whirlwind, then May was a tornado. Somewhat out of the blue, Husband and I decided to move. In one week's time, we found a house, went under contract with it, listed out current house, and went under contract. [pausing to catch breath] Husband and I have moved once before in our married life, and I hate moving. As organized a person as I am, I would rather throw everything into a truck without rhyme or reason instead of painstakingly wrapping and boxing up every item in our house. Fortunately, our new house is only five minutes away from where we currently live, so an unorganized jumble of household goods falling out of the back of a truck might not be so unrealistic.

A few days ago I packed up all my sewing supplies. I almost cried, which is silly, considering I'm going to see them again in a couple of weeks. But it's like when someone you love goes on a trip, and you're sad when they leave even though you know they're coming back soon. But before I fastened the cover on my sewing machine, I made one last project so I could do a patriotic giveaway on my Facebook page before July 4th rolls around. Here's what I made:

Two adorable little bags! And you can win one! I've been meaning to post all my giveaways here as well as on my Facebook page, but I haven't made the effort. Sorry, all you non-Facebookers out there. These bags are 10x7x2 and are made out of soft quilter's cotton. They are lined with the same fabric the handles are made out of. So if you'd like to win one, leave a comment saying if you want the cream one or the blue one (or either). Winners announced tomorrow, June 15. Giveaway sponsored by me and open to U.S. residents.

If you don't know about my Facebook page, visit here and make sure to "like" it to find out about future giveaways: https://www.facebook.com/catchsomesunshine. (Sorry, no extra entries if you post here and on Facebook.)

See you on the other side of the Big Five-Minute Move of 2014.

May 6, 2014

Solace in a Whirlwind

April was full of stressful, emotional highs and lows. I'm glad that month is over. The only times I had a calm mind were the precious few moments I was able to sew, those moments that were wedged in between everything else that was going on. Remember the diaper bag I made? (You can read that story here.) I wanted to make something for my friend's twins, and since they will be enjoying their first July in a couple of months, I wanted to do something sweetly patriotic.

Can I get an "awww," ladies and gentlemen? These onesies are newborn size, so they are teeny tiny. The girl's star has rounded corners and sweet red flowers, and the boy's star is more pointy with a more masculine (yet still cute) plaid. I'm sure the tots will love them and thank me profusely by spitting up all over them multiple times.

March 20, 2014

Three Dreaded Words of Mommyhood: “Enjoy every moment.” Why I don’t, and why I’m totally okay with that

I live in an area with lots of young families. We have almost 40 kids on my little street alone. With so many 20 and 30 somethings, there are always pregnant women in the neighborhood and at church on Sundays. I go to baby showers and see lots of Facebook posts about pregnancies and births. So, inevitably, I often hear and read those three loaded, dreadful words of mommyhood: “Enjoy every moment.”

I hate those three words. I cringe every time I hear them. I feel for the new mother, who, on top of everything else she has to think about, now has to think about enjoying every moment and subsequently feeling guilty when she doesn’t. Doesn’t a new mom have enough to worry about? I think that most of the people who sweetly say, “Enjoy every moment,” fall into three categories: 1) They are old and have selective memory about raising their own children; 2) They don’t have kids; and 3) They feel guilty that they aren’t enjoying every moment with their own children, and desperately think if they say it enough it will come true.

Let’s try an experiment. If there are any fathers reading this, you go home from work and ask your wife if she enjoyed every moment of her day with your four rambunctious children, and then see if she doesn’t haul off and sock you. Men do not say those three words. Men are wise.

Do I enjoy every moment of being a mother? HECK, NO. The first six months of Little Guy’s life were horrendous. He wasn’t a good sleeper, I didn’t know what to do with him, and I had minimal movement and maximum pain from a slow C-section recovery. I wasn’t about to laugh heartily and enjoy the moment when my baby cried in hunger because I couldn’t produce enough milk. I didn’t feel like grinning when he had five colds in four months. I wasn’t celebrating when, on my birthday, all I did was lie on the floor in the baby’s room and cry.

“But that was a bad situation,” you might say. “Surely you enjoy every moment now that he’s older.” And again I say, HECK, NO. Little Guy is two. He clears out every item in his dresser and declares, “Mommy clean it up!” He throws things. He screams. His favorite word is “no.” Don’t get me wrong; he is generally a sweet and good boy. But he has his moments. And I’m expected to enjoy them? Well, I don’t. And that’s okay. Let me repeat: THAT’S OKAY.

God didn’t put us on this earth to live a perfect life of rainbows and butterflies. We’re here to have challenges and trials, to have successes and learn from our failures. Having children does not make us exempt from trials; in fact, it increases them. And you know what? Having bad moments I don’t enjoy helps me enjoy the good moments even more. I don’t enjoy it when Little Guy is sick, but I am extra happy when I hear his infectious laugh when he feels better. I don’t enjoy his tantrums, but I really enjoy his excitement about playing ball with his dad post-tantrum. I admit I don’t enjoy kissing Little Guy’s 574th “owie” of the day (Mother of the Year Award right here, people), but my heart goes pitter-pat when he shyly looks at Husband and me and says, “Family.”

Without the bad, I wouldn’t enjoy the good as much. I don’t necessarily like the bad times, but I appreciate that they make the good times better. So to everyone out there with bad moments—married or single, old or young, with children or without, in school or not, working or not—don’t be like me and get mad when someone tells you to enjoy every moment of your current situation. Just smile and say no thanks. It’s okay. We all have some awesome moments coming our way.

March 13, 2014

Making a Diaper Bag

Recently, my friend Lindsay (who's expecting twins, bless her), asked me if I could make her a diaper bag. I was flattered and somewhat terrified, but I was excited for a new challenge. I was unsure about where to start, but after some discussion about what my friend wanted, we decided on a tote-type bag with a PUL (polyurethane laminate) lining, complete with fun pockets outside and in. I didn't have any kind of pattern, so basically I was flying by the seat of my pants. (Incidentally, what the heck does that mean?) I ended up taking four different patterns and meshing them all together, hoping it would come out the way I wanted. And I think it did. 

The front of the bag has two pockets, one for a pink binky and one for a blue binky.

The inside is made with PUL, a laminated fabric that is often used for cloth diapers. Other than that, I'm not sure what it's used for besides making sewers learn new swear words. This stuff is a beast to work with. Here we have a large zipper pocket and three open pockets.

And the surprise on the back? Detachable (and adjustable and padded) backpack straps.

My friend requested these for those times when she's got a baby carrier in each hand. I don't blame her. I don't want her to throw out a hip or something. I thought these would be the hardest part of the project, but they were pretty simple to make. I know they are very popular these days on those inexplicably overpriced Petunia Picklebottom bags (or, as I like to call them, Pansy Cucumberbutt), so I studied those and made them the same way.

Overall, I'm happy with how the bag turned out. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to know that something I made will help out a little with two sweet babies.

February 18, 2014

My Addiction

I admit it. I have a problem. I am addicted to bags. I don’t really go for those overpriced leather bags that are plastered all over with a brand name. I’ve always been drawn to colorful fabrics and relaxed looks. I like Vera Bradley bags, but I have to be careful with those because some of them look like bags that old ladies keep their knitting in. You walk a very fine line, Vera.

I don’t anticipate getting over this addiction anytime soon. Case in point: a few days after finishing my purse from hell, I decided to make another one. I couldn’t help myself; I had the fabric and a new pattern, and I wanted to have a non-stressful purse-making experience.

This little number was a dream to make compared to last week’s. And I love love love it. 

Inside it has a pleated pocket,

and a zipper pocket. And a shiny snap.

The final size is a little smaller than I anticipated, so I’ll use it when I don’t have to carry along a sippy cup, three toy cars, and a bag of fishy crackers. (When I figure out when that is, I’ll let you know.)

Speaking of which, today I made this drawstring bag for Little Guy’s cars. (Two ends of the sewing spectrum right here, people.)

 He is an obsessed little boy, and for his birthday he got a number of additions to his already large fleet. I don’t mind the amount; I just don’t want them parked all over our floor. Little Guy even helped pick out the fabric. He wanted the one with the “fancy cars.”

It was great to have a few days of non-stressed-out sewing!

February 14, 2014

Heart Cookies and a Rant

Valentine's Day is pretty low-key at our house. We don't like crowded, overpriced restaurants, and I don't like how so many women think they can treat their significant other however they want and then expect gifts in return since that's what Hallmark dictates. I don't need to be told when to tell my loved ones I love them, and all the public declarations of love and humble-brags about gifts on Facebook is enough to make me gag as much as they did when I was single.

That being said (or complained, or ranted), I do like to whip up something heart-themed just so I can use a cute cookie cutter or two.

I never used to like making cutout cookies until I found some great recipes from Our Best Bites. The cookies hold their shape, which was always a problem for ones I made in the past. My snowmen and Christmas trees always looked like they were on steroids. 

A heart for each of my boys. Baby, by the way, turned two a few days ago. Two! It still baffles me that I have a small person running around my house, speaking in sentences, and laughing hysterically at funny parts in his favorite movies. With him no longer a baby, I guess I can't really call him "Baby" on my blog anymore. So he has been rechristened "Little Guy." I will probably call him that when he's 16 too. And now I'm thinking of him being 16. Wah. So I'm going to go tell him I love him, without Facebook, without flowers, and without a card. I don't think he'll care that he doesn't get those things. But he'll definitely be demanding some of those cookies.