Archive | September, 2013

It’s so easy to worry about every little thing

21 Sep

I was reading other mommy blogs yesterday about developmental milestones and autism spectrum disorders and of course immediately noted all the symptoms Walt was displaying — good thing I will never be a medical student cause I’d just turn into a hypochondriac.

The biggest thing I realized Walt wasn’t doing yet is pointing at things. He reaches for the stuff he wants and goes to get things himself, but he won’t point out mommy, etc. when you ask him to. When I talked to Dave about this, we realized we just aren’t the pointing kind of people. So we decided to make it our job to point out everything we can to Walter.

David, at lunch, pointing: “Are those your peas? Are those your fish sticks? Is that your water? Do you want your water? Point to your water if you want it, or you’ll never get water again.”

On the other hand, Walt knows exactly how we feel about the cat because earlier this morning I distinctly heard him say “bad kitty!” but gave her a few good pats on the back anyway.

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Memories of a little girl

20 Sep

me at 3

My memories go as far back as age 3, but I started remembering my thoughts at age 6. My first distinct thought memory is walking into our country club with my dad, talking about how the Olympics would come to Atlanta when I was 12, and just knowing that it would never happen because that was double my life lived so far. And here we are, 18 years after that, and I’m not sure the person inside my head has changed very much. Since then my perception of things has changed  (I’m taller), as has my knowledge (I’ve read more), but I am generally the same girl with the same thoughts. I’m just supposed to act now like I’m 29, not 6. It gets easier to do as time goes by.

Just like it’s hard to tell an almost-mother what it’s going to really be like when her baby gets here, you can’t go around telling people and expecting them to listen: “Hey, years will pass and you will live your life regardless but you might come to a day when you realize you made a mistake 15 years ago and there is nothing you can do about it now, because this is it. This is life. You only get this one chance (supposedly).” I think this is how mid-life crises happen. Or those pesky quarter-life crises. Or depression any time.

I’m finally finishing up a book on the Civil War I’m supposed to be reading with a friend but it’s taking me so long to get through it that I’m afraid he’s given up on me (I read whole other books in between sentences of the battle strategy chapters). The penultimate chapter on Lincoln is fascinating. At the age of 31 he contemplated suicide (he had always been prone to melancholia) but he didn’t do it because he thought hadn’t done anything yet that would make anyone in the world remember that he had lived. And oh what a life he had after that moment! A life that only came about because of all the moments he spent reading and making mistakes and growing up and living.

So far my greatest accomplishment is Walter, a person who will surely remember me after I am gone. We were practicing walking outside, as the weather in Atlanta is beautiful in these early autumn days, and I was thinking about how I will remember these times to share with him when he gets older and asks about what he was like as a baby, but he has another two years probably before he starts remembering anything himself. We can do the most fun and beautiful things, and it matters because it will help shape him into who he becomes, regardless of his memory.

Walt could end up with a memory more like his father’s than my faulty one. At times I can remember only the bad in my past; other times only the good. It is never a clean mix. So most of the time I try to live in the present, write down the past worth remembering, and let the rest of the energy return to the world to be used elsewhere. And when I start getting panicky that I’m not doing enough in my life, I try to remember that I still have time to become president, free a nation’s worth of enslaved people, and change the world. Or at least something similar. Maybe I’ll sew the world into a better, happier place.

How to make crib rail covers

18 Sep

Since I don’t really have a desire to make and sell many of these (except for friends if they want them), here’s how I did it, for all you crafty mamas out there.

I used two yards each of cotton duck and cotton muslin fabric. I wanted something durable but also lightweight for easy washing. Always pre-wash your fabric before sewing.

I measured how wide and long I needed each of these covers. Since I don’t have seamstress tape, I used scrap fabric, marked how long I needed it, and held it against my straight ruler. I only wanted it an inch or so past the railing so it wouldn’t cover up much of the open space of the crib. For the front I needed it to be 50″ x 18″ finished. Because the front piece was larger than my cut of fabric, I put a seam down the middle and needed two pieces of 26″ to sew together. For the two sides I needed 27″ x 10″ finished.

I put the muslin on top of the duck fabric, used a disappearing marker to measure my pieces, then cut them out together. Because of the seam allowance, I added an extra inch to each side (so I cut out 4 cuts of 26″ x 19″ for the front piece and 4 cuts of 28″ x 11″ for the side pieces). I pinned the right sides of the fabric together (first sewing together the fabric for the longer front piece) and sewed them together using a 1/2″ seam allowance. On the shorter ends of each rectangle I left a 3 inch hole so I could flip them inside out so the right sides faced outward once sewn together. I also cut the corners off (make sure not to cut the thread) before I turned them inside out so the corners will lay more flat. I then ironed them (how you iron them will be how they look when they’re top sewn). Top sew them as close to the edge as you want (I am usually a couple millimeters from the edge) with reinforcement stitches at the beginning and end. Cut off all your thread ends.

Then I took them to the crib and figured out where I wanted the snap pieces to go. I used the fabric marker to mark one side of the fabric – 4 each for the shorter pieces and 6 for the long piece. I used no-sew snaps, size 15, and put all the front ones on, making sure they faced the correct way (inside). One by one I did the matching back snaps, leaving them snapped as I finished them so the fabric would be flush when all snapped together.

Voila! Awesome handmade product! Feel free to ask any questions if something is not clear!

Homemade Crib Rail Covers

16 Sep

Yesterday was a very creative day. I spent the morning taking head shots at my church (we’re putting together a new directory), and the rest of the day I made crib protectors. Walt has done a good job so far gnawing at the railings, and when I went to Amazon to buy something to protect the easily scratched wood, a reviewer gave me the idea to make my own. I think they turned out pretty well. Simple design, fun fabric, and snap closures. Walt has already tested them out!

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I love using cotton duck fabric; so durable!

Here’s how I made them!

Walt meets his newest cousin

12 Sep

The night after my sister-in-law’s baby shower, she went into labor… not a day too soon and now we have another teeny tiny cute little cuddle bug in our family!

DSC_0722ALaura, Edward (1 day old), Walter (1 year old), and David.
They’re already best friends.

Dave, Walt, and I drove up the day after Ward was born just to get in a quick hello with the new parents and their newborn. Dave left work a little early, and we got there before the baby was even 24 hours old. It’s always neat to visit Chattanooga as Dave went to high school there. After our visit we ate dinner at Lupi’s, a very delicious pizza place, where he used to go to all the time. The people there were very nice, bringing us pineapple for Walter and coming up to the table to talk about having children. One of the employees thought Walt was a girl; I blame his stunningly long eyelashes.

Dave said he had forgotten that people were so friendly like that in Chattanooga. You get so used to the hostility and fear of all the strangers in Atlanta (especially on the road and also downtown) that it was fun to meet new people that turn into instant friends. That’s one reason I’d love to move to a small town someday. Maybe the suburbs of Atlanta will be more like that. That’s one reason I like my church. So many friends available if you want them; a nestled community amid the hubbub of a busy city. Just like family: people to grow up with no matter how far or wide you may go.

So much fun there was no time for rest!

9 Sep

It is hard not to be happy after a weekend like this past one. Sushi with grandparents Friday night followed by a game night with our friends. We played Apples to Apples, an easy, fun game to facilitate group time. And I love identifying with the green cards I win. This time I was “odd, overwhelming, confused, spiritual, and dramatic”… sounds about right! Jen$ convinced me it was a good idea to stay up until 3am talking after everyone else went home and to bed; it was a crazy decision, but when you need to stay up and talk, you just do it.

Saturday I saw a high school friend for the first time in a couple years and her new baby. It was a wonderful time with her and her family, who basically used to be my family in high school. My friend has the memory of a video camera, and it’s nice to be reminded sometimes of what I was like when I was young. Not many people can do that for you. It was also really fun to hold a 2 month old again; it’s so easy to forget how tiny and sleepy those little babes are!

David went skydiving while I was at brunch! I can’t believe he walked out the door of a perfectly good airplane! I loved hearing about it. He said his tandem jumper did a back flip with him when they went out, so he was falling through the sky watching the plane fly away… it is so cool that he had the guts to do that. And Saturday was a beautiful day for that kind of view.

After a long afternoon nap (for all of us), we went to a 30th birthday party of one of Dave’s former coworkers. I couldn’t believe we were leaving the house at 8pm with the baby, but he did OK as long as he could walk around. That’s all he wants to do these days!

I went to church Sunday followed by a deacon meeting. I have a lot of responsibilities on my plate, but I’m looking forward to it all. Yesterday afternoon was my sister-in-law’s baby shower, two weeks before her due date! I had been putting together a gift box for her for weeks, and it was fun to watch her open it. Everyone seemed to enjoy the stuff I had handmade, and it is getting me even more excited to start selling my home goods. I have a lot of ideas and just need to find the time to sew it all. Walter is fluctuating between one nap and two right now, and most days when he takes only one his nap isn’t any longer.  And he’s going to bed so late at night, it’s really making it hard to get anything done!

I managed to go to bed by 8:45 last night, utterly exhausted. Lots of chores and work this week too; busy, busy, busy!

Walt’s first picnic

5 Sep

Being a first-time parent as well as a scrapbooker I love keeping track of all of Walt’s “firsts.” I am running out of room in his baby book to list all these fun and amazing things he’s doing! The first time he turned over, the first time he said “mama,” his first time on an airplane, the first time he ate pizza… so many indications of him growing into this active little boy with a mind of his own. I am still amazed that I get to experience this with two of the most amazing people I know on this planet.

Yesterday was a great day of firsts. I hurried around all morning getting Walt breakfast (man is he a slow eater!) and prepping a picnic lunch for David’s birthday. A good friend of mine met us at Piedmont Park for some exercise and chatting. It was wonderful since I hadn’t seen her in almost a year. I am always wanting to hang out with more friends yet somehow I am so busy all the time I don’t see people for a year. The fact that we live 30 minutes apart shouldn’t be such a barrier to play dates. I like getting together with this particular friend because she is a stay at home mom like myself, involved in her church, and fun to talk to. It’s hard when you are either the first of your friends to have kids or most of the other young moms you know work all week to really connect with others.

Walt had never been to Piedmont Park and we enjoyed walking around. The two months of rain have really made me appreciate sunny summer days. After our walk Dave met us for a quick picnic. Chicken salad sandwiches, homegrown watermelon, and a happy little boy made it a great first picnic for all of us. I usually don’t like eating outside, but we sat in the shade and they must spray for bugs at the Park, so it was really pleasant. Walt enjoyed putting the lid back on the watermelon container, taking it off, eating one piece, then starting the whole process again. It’s funny how watching something so simple can bring such joy to me and Dave.  All too soon Dave had to go back to work — when are they going to make a law that no one should have to work on their birthday? — and W. and I headed home for the land of nap time and mommy-can-now-get-stuff-done time.

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Birthdays Galore

4 Sep

Today is my sweet husband’s birthday. I won’t tell y’all how old he is, cause even though he’s 32 years young, he thinks he’s getting old already. We’ve been celebrating some good birthdays lately. Walter turned one (it’s still fun saying that I have a ONE year old), and then a week later his great-grandma turned 90. We ended up celebrating both the same weekend. The weekend broke out of the stormy Atlanta clouds to shine sun and perfect temperatures on us while we partied our cares away.

2One of the great things about being born in the summer is having a pool party to celebrate your birth. Here we are singing Happy Birthday to the little man. I refused to serve him cake or cupcakes, because although I know he would have enjoyed it, I want to delay the onslaught of sugar, sugar, sugar we think acceptable in which to drown our children.  So he had organic whipped cream with some berries on top. But he preferred his pizza and watermelon!

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Walt definitely exercised his right to cry at his party if he wanted to. All the other children enjoyed the day in the sun but our little birthday boy woke up on the wrong side of the bed that morning. Even though his awesome Pop built a swing just for him! Walt did manage to have some fun in between the whining.

Grandma’s birthday party the next day was our Summer Thanksgiving. My aunt — and mother — prepared delicious barbeque chicken, black eyed peas, pole beans, squash casserole, broccoli casserole, and biscuits (I think there was more but my mouth is watering too much to remember). A great Southern meal. We played corn hole, bingo, and scratch cards and talked with our feet in the pool.

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I look like such a mama in this picture. Walt’s growing up and so am I!

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Talk about 90 years young! Grandma says the time has just flown by.

4 Generations
Four generations.