Parades, Sparklers, and Marshmallows Roasted on an Open Fire

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A good blogger would’ve posted this a few days ago, but this particular blogger has had a nasty summer cold, which started Saturday, and is still hanging on for dear life. It has been a week. It’s time for this funk to LEAVE. Out, ye demons! I vanquish thee!

…Ugh, didn’t work.

It’s Friday, which means, blog now or I miss this week. (I don’t know if you guys have noticed, but I’ve been pretty consistent the last few weeks, blogging at least once per week. Yes, I’m patting myself on the back. Good job, Christina.)

So, here is my week in review:

Last weekend we marked “make homemade slime” off our summer list. It’s a stupidly easy project, takes just a few short minutes, and results in hours of fun. We followed the directions found here.

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What you do is mix a 4 oz container (1/2 a cup) of white Elmers glue with a half cup of water in one bowl. Add food coloring to this bowl–if using–and mix well. (We used a few drops of yellow and red to make this orange creamsicle color.) In another, larger bowl, dissolve 1 tsp of borax (you can buy this in your grocer’s cleaning aisle, near the laundry products) in a cup a water. Slowly stir the glue mixture into the borax mixture, and it will start coming together right away. Mix until it comes together enough that you can knead with your hands. Pour off extra water, and, voila! Homemade Gak. *Caution:  make sure your kids don’t eat this, and they wash their hands after playing with it.*

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On Monday, AKA The Fourth of July, AKA Independence Day, Maggie participated in our town’s 4th of July Steam Engine Parade.

Funny story about that…I thought I was getting over my cold that started to come on Saturday (silly me) so I felt bad, but not terrible that morning, and thought, I’ll just power through. We packed the kids into the car. Dropped Maggie at the loading site, then parked further down the parade route.

We showed up to this parade COMPLETELY unprepared to sit for two hours in the sun on a hot and cloudless day. Around us, responsible adults brought things like, folding chairs, umbrellas for shade, and, oh, what else?–WATER. We just brought ourselves and our snazzy patriotic colored clothing.

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And, we were situated near the end of the parade. (Or, is it the beginning? Whatever you call the place furthest from where it starts. The end, right? No, the end is the end…Ugh. I don’t know.)

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We didn’t even bring the flag. It was provided. 

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You know what else would’ve been nice during a steam engine parade? Noise canceling headphones. Steam engines are LOUD.

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She looks like she’s having a blast, right?

About a half hour to forty minutes into the parade, I felt like I was going to pass out. And not in a “I’m so exhausted, I’m going to pass out” way, but a “I’m sick, I’m starting to get dehydrated, the sun is too hot and I’m going to faint right here in this spot and the paramedics are going to come and I’m going to interrupt this parade with my drama because I’m here and sick and unprepared, and, oh, are those stars floating around my head” passing out. You know the feeling I’m talking about. It’s when you start chanting to yourself “don’t-pass-out-don’t-pass-out-don’t-pass-out” while sitting with your head between your knees.  (I DID sit, but I didn’t put my head between my knees because that would’ve called attention to me. And I didn’t want to look silly.) John looked over and noticed I wasn’t looking so good, so he suggested we pack up the ABSOLUTELY NOTHING we brought with us to the parade, and go find some water. I was reluctant. And grouchy.

“I don’t want to miss Maggie,” I said.

“She’s so far back at the end of the parade, we’ll be back before she’s here.”

“Okay.”

So, we got in our car (AIR CONDITIONER!!!) and left the parking garage, and headed to a gas station. (WATER!!!) When we tried to go back to the parking garage–OOPS–the traffic was being directed ONLY out and not back in.

Sigh.

The ONLY thing I really wanted was a photo of Maggie on her parade float.  So, we drove to the end (beginning?) of the parade and, luckily, her float had just gotten onto the parade route. John parked on a side street, I got out of the car (at this point, hydrated again and no longer about to swoon) and walked quickly to her float. I took her picture, shouted, “havefunseeyoulater” and walked back to the car. John then took the kids and me home and drove back to meet Maggie after the parade was over.

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And that was all before lunch time.

The day didn’t stop after the parade. I had two goals for The Fourth: 1.) s’mores and 2.) fireworks. That’s TWO things I wanted to cross off my silly “Summer Fun List 2016,” which has been taunting me from our bulletin board all summer. (Note to self: Put LESS things on next year’s list.)

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“Make S’mores,” check!

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“Fireworks,” check!

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The next day, my cold was definitely back, and it called for reinforcements. Unfortunately, I couldn’t rest. Marcy had an early dentist appointment, and, you know, I still had to do mom things like feed the kids and not let them destroy the house.  To make things interesting, I took Marcy’s pacifier away (at the insistence of her dentist) so she didn’t nap once during the week. What can I say? I enjoy a challenge. (Three pacifier-free nights later I’m calling it–we’ve kicked this habit.)

I have nothing knitted, crocheted, or sewn to share.😦 Since this cold is leaving (please!!!!), I hope to get back to my projects and have something to share next week.

I hope you guys had a wonderful 4th of July!

Little Morsels is Finished!

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I finally finished the little morsels quilted table runner–and before The Fourth! Woo hoo! I might just go ahead and finish the Autumn Pinwheel table runner I started last year. And, maybe start a NEW sewing project! (I’ve been thinking of making a new apron….)

So, without further ado, the finished, slightly (okay, more than slightly) imperfect Little Morsels Table Runner:

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I finished it yesterday, threw it in the washer around dinner time, and pulled it out of the dryer right before bed. Placed it lovingly on my dining room table. This morning when I grabbed my camera to take pictures I noticed it already has cat hair on it. A lot of cat hair. As if one (or all) of the cats slept on it last night.

I somehow made a cat bed for the dining room table.:/ An open invitation for the animals to sleep on the surface I eat on. How kind of me…

I will have to make it a little less inviting, I guess, if I’m going to keep it out on the table.

The other thing I’ve been working on is my granny square blanket. It’s coming along nicely.:) The last row I did took an hour, or, in Netflix time, two “Fuller House” episodes. (Yes, it’s a cheesy show, but, heaven help me, it makes me laugh out loud.) I can’t wait until the blanket it done because THIS ONE IS MINE. I’ve made quite a few blankets over the years, and they are always for someone’s (or my) baby. I love making baby blankets, but it feels good to make something for myself. This blanket will be used for happy things, like, watching tv, or knitting, or reading, or, my favorite, napping on the couch.😀

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I see lots of snuggling in our future….

I haven’t picked up the cowl I’m working on in a few weeks, so, with Little Morsels finished, that will be the next thing I work on.

I also need to finish the socks I started…when was it? Last year?

The kids had kind of a boring week here, but that’s okay. After the craziness of June, I think everyone needed a break.

Maggie has belt testing tonight. I’m sure she’ll be leaving with that brand new yellow belt.:)

Tomorrow is July first! Summer is just whizzing by! My “Not a Bucket List” has only five of the forty activities checked off…I don’t think we’re going to finish it before August 4th….

Amelia Island, Florida

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So, no project progress to share. My family took a short trip down to Amelia Island at the beginning of this week. We took a ton of pictures.:)

These are just a few of the photos I took. I’ll update my flickr account later. If I don’t forget. Which happens.

We had a lot of fun and the water was niiiiice. We spent lots of time at the beach, as well as did some sightseeing at Fort Clinch and walked some of Egan’s Greenway.

Summer is just flying by!

New Projects and Progress (and Caught Red-handed)

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I pretty much spent this week indoors and avoiding “the outside.” After Sean’s health scare last week (he’s completely back to normal, by the way) and all the terrible news online this week, “inside” felt much more comfortable–and safer. Living is exhausting, sometimes. I find this is especially true in summer, where there seems to be zero quiet time.  I needed a break, so I took one this week. My house is an absolute wreck. Marcy looks like she just crawled out of a the forest after being raised by a pack of wolves–no, not wolves, garbage-loving labradoodles. Aaron has been sleeping late and playing video games every day, and Sean has been stretching the limits of our internet data plan, watching hours of the same cartoons over and over and over again. Maggie is the only one who has really done anything all week, and that’s because she’s been hitching a ride with the neighbors to VBS every morning.  I should feel bad, but I don’t. I was tired, and I know things will get back to normal soon–maybe even today. Sometimes we need a breather.

So, one thing I HAVE been doing this week is working on my table runner (it’s almost done!!!) and I started a new crochet project because, why the heck not?

So, here’s a basic granny square blanket. I’m trying to get rid of some (most) of my stash. It’s made up of a lot of scratchy, cheap yarn, but, that’s okay. It’s pretty, and that’s all that matters, right? (And, I plan on doing anything I can to soften it up once I’m done with it. There are plenty of tricks on Pinterest.)

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Marcy tried to sneak into this one, but I was, like, “child, you are way too filthy for my photo.”

As for Little Morsels, I am almost done! The back still looks like a crazy mess, but the binding is going on nicely. I’m hoping it is done today or tomorrow.

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Also, just because I like to do things very spur of the moment, I grabbed some of my leftover squares from Little Morsels and sewed them together. I’m thinking it’ll be a place mat for my cats’ food bowls. They are messy eaters.

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No rhyme or reason to the pattern. And, yes, it’s a little off in places. I really don’t know how that keeps happening, and it’s starting to frustrate me!!!

Maggie made a beautiful painting the other day. Really nice. A pretty fuchsia colored flower on a blue background. Marcy, the helpful child she is, thought it needed a bit of red…

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I call it, “Murder of a Painting.”

It was a collaborative effort.

We discovered Marcy “improving” the painting after she had already put her mark on (all of) it. Maggie’s really the one who caught her, and as Maggie was flipping out, Marcy ran out to me, hands and arms completely covered in red, up to her elbows.

“I paint! I paint!”

Of course you do, honey. We are all creative in this house.

Oh, and I almost forgot, I won an Advanced Reader Copy of Glennon Doyle Melton‘s latest book, Love Warrior, which is coming out in a few months. I never win anything! I was so happy I finally did!

I’m reading the book now. I’ll give a full review when I’m done with it.

True story, the book arrived as brand-spanking-new books do–in pristine condition. It spent two hours in my house before it got sullied by the two year old. She left one of those tube ice pops on the end table and it melted right next to my book. Such is life! It’s still readable, just, “improved.” Like Maggie’s painting. And, of course, it’s red. Marcy’s messes always involve red.

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Before…(the picture I posted to Facebook to brag  share my good luck.)
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After….(sad trombone: whomp whomp waaaaaaaah)

That’s all I have for today. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend filled with happy news and some relaxation!

 

 

It’s NOT a Bucket List! (And Baby Blanket Reveal)

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So, summer, so far, is not going as planned. For one, I promised all four kids would be here at the end of the summer, and I already almost lost one!

Okay. That’s a bit dramatic.

Sean’s appendix ruptured last week. Apparently, those things just happen. Like, out of the blue, a part of you just decides to explode.

More dramatic!!

So, last Wednesday, we’re at the pool and everything is cool. Thursday, he’s feeling a little sick. I’m guessing. He really doesn’t communicate these things to me, and I have to relying on body language, appetite, and whatever words he decides to speak. (He has autism.) Friday, has trouble walking. Can’t get up from a sitting position without help. Tells me his “back hurts” while pointing to his stomach. I call his pediatrician’s office and they tell me to get that kid to an emergency room. We head to CHOA (Children’s Hospital of Atlanta), and after twelve or thirteen long hours in the ER (and several attempts at getting urine samples and CT scans), the doctor comes in and tells me his appendix is “perforated.” Oh. Well, that doesn’t sound that bad. She leaves the room and I quickly pull out my phone to Google what a perforation means. (At this point, I’m thinking of perforated paper. Probably because I’ve spent twelve hours in a tiny room with my sick kid and my brain has turned to pudding.)

Perforated appendix means…..Ruptured?!?!

So, emergency surgery, of course. Hospital stay, of course. IV antibiotics, of course.

We spent about three days in the hospital. It would’ve been longer, but that Sunday night Sean’s IV wiggled out just enough that it had to be completely taken out. The IV nurse tried TWICE to get a new line in Sean, and even with several of us holding him down, fat chance. At one point Sean, who loves to use colorful language when he’s really, really angry, exclaimed, “what the f*ck?” My thoughts, too, Sean. My thoughts, too.

Since the IV was a no-go, he had to be switched to oral antibiotics, and since the only reason to keep him in the hospital was the IV antibiotics, we were released the next day. I was so happy to be out of there, but going home didn’t mean he was magically better. Recovery has been slow. He’s still not eating in earnest, and yesterday was the first day since last Thursday that he played with his toys.

This whole time, I’m thinking about the clever thing I said to a few people, including you fine folks on this blog:

Some people call them summer bucket lists. I don’t because I don’t plan on us kicking the bucket at the end of the summer. (I’m starting the summer with four kids, and I’m going to end the summer with four kids. I hope.) So, I just call it the “Summer Fun!” list.

Even as I said it, the superstitious part of me (I try to deny exists) nagged, don’t say that! You just jinxed us! You are totally going to lose a kid!  That same voice chided me in the ER. I told you so.

BUT! (*knock on wood*) I did NOT lose a kid. Still four of them here. Hopefully, that’s the most of that type of excitement we see this summer!

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Everything is fine and lovely, now, and I learned I have some really great neighbors and friends who fed my family while I “vacationed” at CHOA. (One of my friends even helped hold Sean down during the whole IV F-Bomb fiasco.)

You would think spending three days at the hospital would give me plenty of time to knit, right?

(Segue into crafty stuff…)

It did give me plenty of time to knit, but I didn’t. I just didn’t feel like it.

But, luckily, I’ve been withholding the pictures of the blanket I finished for my new nephew, so I DO have something to crafty to share!

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The blanket turned out very cuddly.

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ANNNND, I DID get that bias tape cut and ironed last week!!

It's ready to go on the table runner!
It’s ready to go on the table runner!

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That’s all I have, for now. Hopefully, I’ll have a COMPLETED table runner to share next week.😉 Gotta get this Summer Table Runner done before Summer is over!

Have a great weekend!

 

No Bias (tape)…Yet

 

The goal was to cut my bias tape to finish my patriotic “Little Morsels” table runner, but I didn’t get to it yesterday.  Instead, I got sucked into the black hole that is Shutterfly. Frustration is spending hours working on a photo book, then accidentally hitting “back” (easy to do on with a finger swipe on a laptop) and suddenly realize you never saved anything. Then, making that same mistake again a few hours later. I spent the entire day on one book.

Well, not the entire day. I did take the kids back to the pool. The mom I mentioned the other day was there again. This time I took a good look at her situation.

Now, almost immediately after writing my last blog post, I felt bad for making fun. I was trying to be clever, and, really, I came off a little mean, I think. Not my intention. I think I sometimes make fun of things that make me feel bad. I feel bad I can’t give my kids more than an hour at the pool. I’m not that fun mom that shows up with a cooler full of cokes, several inner tubes, and a bag full of snacks. I’m the mom who’s anxiously waiting for my one hour timer to go off so I can corral the kids back into the car and get back to the comfort of my home.

I have issues.

Anyhow, the mom I mentioned was back at the pool, yesterday, and I watched her. She had all the “cool mom” things I mentioned above (the cooler, the snacks, the floaties), and she had four boys, ages 10 or 11, with her. Her son and his friends, probably. She brought so many things into the pool area, it looked like she was going to spend the night.

At one point, she did walk over and dip her feet into the pool. Sat on the steps right next to Marcy and me. It would’ve been a great opportunity to make small talk. I suck at small talk, though, so I just gave a smile and said “hi,” then spent the rest of the time pretending she wasn’t sitting there.

I really wish I were more outgoing.

So, yeah, I feel bad for assuming she was an uninvolved mom, ignoring her kids at the pool.  I don’t why I jump to such conclusions. I’m sure it has to do with my own insecurities.

Although, I maintain, four hours is way too long to spend at the pool. (But, apparently, not too long to spend making a photo book on Shutterfly.)

Anyhow, I wanted to retract my former observations (and judgy opinions). I’m not a jerk. Well, at least, not most of the time.

Let Marcy’s cuteness cleanse this blog of any mean things I may have implied or said:

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New Knitting Project and a Mailbox Surprise

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Alright, not really a mailbox “surprise.” More like a mailbox “something you signed up for a month ago and forgot about it.”

One of my favorite blogs, Posie Gets Cozy, posted about being featured in this new magazine, Making. So, I followed the website to the magazine, thought, “sure, why not” and subscribed. Well, the first issue came yesterday and it it GORGEOUS. It’s more of a book than a magazine, in my opinion.

I guess what makes it a magazine is the few advertisements inside, but other than that, it is patterns patterns patterns. I’ve already decided I’m going to make most of the things in the magazine. I especially like this sweater:

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Hmm…can I do it? Maybe. Will I try? Absolutely!

Speaking of knitting, I started a new project. The other day I felt like knitting. It’s summer, so I thought, maybe I should knit a light shawl for when we go to the beach. A light shawl. I’ll use some of that fancy pima cotton fingering weight I bought back before Marcy was born. Crap. I only have 260 yards of it. That won’t make a shawl…[heads to Ravelry to find something–ANYTHING–that will use 260 yards of fingering weight yarn]…a cowl? Okay. A cowl. I’ll knit a cowl and, knowing how flakey I can be about finishing things, it might be done by Fall. Maybe.

So, I went from “nice summer shawl” to a cowl for Fall. I blame The Stash. (And the compulsive yarn collecting that led to The Stash.) Look, if I’m going to just buy yarn willy-nilly, I should expect when I want to use it, it won’t be enough for anything. (Okay, I could’ve made socks, too, but socks? With this strong cotton? No thank you.) But, truthfully, I bought this yarn to make something for Marcy before she was born, and, I had bought four hanks in two different colors. I already used two hanks on a dress  shirt I made her waaaaaaay back when. So, I’m just left with the cream hanks. And they are much too nice to sit in a box with all the crappy yarn I used to impulse buy in my beginner years. And, I had an urge to knit. So, without further ado (or more words), Gris de Lin:

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As you can see, I just started. I put a few more rows in since taking the picture. This is actually a very quick project.

Knitting wasn’t the only thing I did last week. Despite being the last week of school for the kids, and despite having lots to do, I found time to make some new stitch markers. Back in the day (2007-2010) I had an Etsy shop and sold things like stitch markers and art quilts. If you have the time and patience, you could probably swim back through this blog’s archives and find a mention or two of it. I enjoyed making and selling things of Etsy, but I had a hard time focusing on one thing, and my shop looked more like a rummage sale than a store with a clear vision. (You can check out my sold page and it’ll tell you everything you need to know about how random my “wares” were.) I loved making the stitch markers, though. And, the art quilts. And the paintings. And the. And the. And the….

I haven’t touched “Little Morsels” since last week. It’s on my to do list for today to cut and iron some bias to finish it. I WILL get to it. I hope. The kids want to go back to the pool today. I have somehow convinced them an hour at the pool is pretty standard. They don’t realize other people usually spend more time there. HA! I over heard a boy at the pool yesterday say to his friend’s mom (who the heck brings EXTRA kids to the pool???), “Miss [forgot her name], we have 3 hours and 23 minutes left until it’s time to go!” Holy shitzu! They were already there a half hour, so, (math math math, carry the one), she promised them FOUR HOURS??? FOUR HOURS AT THE POOL? THAT’S INSANITY! Luckily, my kids didn’t hear that. Maybe my problem is I actually have to spend that time at the pool IN the pool, having a two year old who doesn’t know how to swim, but wants to be in the water (but, only on the steps), and a 14 year old autistic son who loves the water, but has some boundary issues. Then, I have the other two, who don’t seem to need my full attention, but get it, anyway, because you never know. The pool is frickin’ exhausting!! I’ve noticed the moms who live at the pool never get wet. They’re like, “yeah, little Johnny, we have three hours left. Now, leave mommy alone. I’m reading Gone Girl.” I think some people might actually think the pool is relaxing. How crazy is that?? The only time I spend more than an hour at the pool is if I’m there with my friend moms. Because, misery loves company. Just kidding–it’s because I have someone to talk to. Do you know how lonely the pool is when your two fancy talking kids are on the other side of it, and you just have your autistic son and two year old to talk to? Yeah, they can say some pretty interesting things, but for an hour straight? Conversing with Sean is 99% reassuring him about something he’s looking forward to. (“Yes, Sean, we’ll go to the beach in a few weeks. No, Sean, you don’t have school tomorrow. No, Sean, school is out for the summer. Yes, Sean, we are going to go to the beach. No, Sean, not today.”)

Whoa. I digress.

Anyhow, maybe the pool today.  For an hour. Then, working on Little Morsels.

One last thing:

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The gardenia bushes we planted two years ago finally have their first blooms! (It’s aliiiive!!!!) I thought these would never bloom. Okay, technically, just one of the two has flowers, but the other has buds! Lots of them! So, flowers should be opening any day now. Yay! Good things come to those who wait (two years)!