Tuesday, October 27, 2009

need to make a plan

I really need a plan to make Christmas happen. Really.

I'm lacking motivation lately and it's horrible. I know I have projects I have to get done, but I just can't make myself get going.

My biggest problem, I keep hoping that I'll get a job and then we can have a "normal" Christmas and I won't need to make so many gifts.

What I need to tackle:
Sew James' cape
Sew James' blanket
Sew the quilt for my niece
Sew the quilt for my nephew
Knit Nikki's sweater
Knit scarf for Brian
Knit hat for Brian
Have kids do paintings for grandparents and great-grandparents
Build Nikki's dollhouse.

None of these projects by themselves is all that overwhelming (maybe I should except the dollhouse from that statement lol). It's just a matter of making sure I make time to tackle them all.

hmm -- if I make and finish the projects than maybe I'll have some pretty art to post.

Anyone want to make me a schedule?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The old lightbulb joke

Or why living in an old house keeps things interesting.

My house was built in 1820. We've come to expect that any renovation project will likely be interesting, require more than one trip to Home Depot or Lowes and will likely cost us more than the average home owner. In fact, when we start a project my husband and I generally place a bet as to how many Home Depot runs we'll have to do.

Today's project takes the cake.

Our porch has two lights, each with 3 lightbulbs -- the little 40W kind with the tiny bases.  In each of the lights two of the lightbulbs were out so Brian decided to change the lightbulbs before it started to get bitter cold. He went to Home Depot yesterday and came home with the wrong sized lightbulbs - the ones he bought had regular sized bases.

He went back today to exchange them. When he went to put them in he couldn't get the old bulbs out. They just kept spinning in the sockets. So it was out to Lowes we went. We picked out two new porch lights. Sadly the one Lowes had on clearance for $4.99 was sold out.

The first light took Brian about an hour to change out -- the screws didn't quite line-up. The second took 15 minutes.

So at our house it take 3 hours and $75 to change a lightbulb.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

31 for 21

I just wanted to explain that little button over to the right. 31 for 21 is an effort (that I've already failed at) for bloggers who love someone with Down syndrome to write a blog post every day during the month of October. The post doesn't have to be about Down syndrome, just about life.

And life these days with Nikki is good. I had to take her into the pediatrician last night (I thought she might have strep or pneumonia again) and we saw one of the doctors in the practice whom we haven't seen in years. I joked that I thought the last time she saw him she was still a newborn with a feeding tube.

It brought back some memories of those days. It doesn't seem possible that it was really six years ago. She was so tiny and it was so scary to be her mother. At 6 weeks Nikki has a NG feeding tube inserted because she was declared failure to thrive. Four weeks later she had open-heart surgery to repair her complete AV canal defect.

She was one very sick little baby -- but the changes after her surgery were almost immediate. She became rosy-cheeked rather than grey, active and feisty instead of lethergic - it was amazing.

Today, she gets sick a little bit quicker than other children and it lingers a bit longer but she has more in common with her peers than she has that differentiates her from them. Nikki can read on a first grade level, she actually enjoys doing her homework and schoolwork, she's trying to teacher James his colors, shapes and ABCs.

So who is the person you love with Down syndrome?

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Day 2 of being alone

My husband is keeping the kids at his parents until after dinner -- which means he's leaving at around bedtime and won't be home until 9:30 or 10 p.m.

I've gotten to the point where I miss the kids -- even the fighting and whining, the two reasons that my husband took them a state away.

Now I know many families would never dream of waiting until bedtime to drive home, but our kids (almost always) sleep in the car, so if he left immediately after dinner they'd both sleep for roughly an hour and then they'd be up until midnight.

So with everyone gone again today I did even more laundry -- all of the bedding, folded the mountain that was on the couch, pulled out the last of the shorts from the kids' dressers and worked on more Christmas projects.

I cut all the pieces for quilts for my niece and my nephew and did a huge amount of pinning for both. I should set up the sewing machine and tackle a couple of these gifts. James' blanket and cape shouldn't take long to knock out. What I really want to do is pop a big bowl of popcorn and watch TV.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

da plane, da plane

So I spent my day to myself working on several projects for Christmas and finished one.

James has taken to pointing to the walls in his room and identifies them by the pictures hanging on them. So we have firetruck wall and train wall, and the wall with nothing he has named plane wall. He tells me he wants an airplane to hang on it.

So an airplane he will have.  And before anyone is too impressed I cheated -- I have trouble drawing a straight line with a ruler so I found on image online on a coloring page Web site and printed it off.

I had to make some changes to it as the original image had an elf flying the plane. I used carbon paper to transfer the image to the canvas. Some acrylic paints and now all I need is a frame.

Fine art it's not, but perfect for a two year old.

Two other presents for James were started -- a fleece blanket for his bed and his cape. The cape is to replace the one that came with a pair of Superman  PJs he received for his birthday. He loves running around the house yelling Superbaby while wearing them, but they are summer PJs and well it's far to cold for summer PJs now.

I just need to set up the sewing machine to finish them off. The binding is pinned to the blanket and the two sides of the cape are pinned to each other. A few quick seams and two more presents will be done.

Off to pour myself a glass of wine, watch some tv and knit a bit.

Friday, October 02, 2009

What to do, what to do

So it looks as if I'm going to have some free time this weekend (free time being defined as child-free time). My husband has decided to take both kids and go visit his parents for the weekend.

I'm not quite sure what to do with myself.

The quiet time will be nice -- and I appreciate the fact that my husband understands that the kids' bickering is beginning to get to me.

So now do I clean (and enjoy the fact that it will stay clean), read, knit, sew or just relax and do nothing.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Change of plans

So I started the cashmere scarf for dh and ran into a couple of problems. Cashmere on metal needles, for me, was a bad match. I was having trouble keeping the yarn on the needles - it just kept slipping. The pattern and the yarn was a bad match -- you couldn't see the stitches well enough to notice the pattern and it was looking to light and lacy for a scarf that's actually intended to keep the cold out.

It was frogged when I was about an inch in. I went and bought wooden needles in the right size and cast on again holding two strands. I'm just doing a simple garter stitch over 46 stitches. Much better for my husband.

The second change of plans comes with the dollhouse -- I might renovate the one I had as a child rather than build a new one. The decision will come down to how easily I think I can do a few things. First, place some stairs in the house -- it's always bothered me that it never had stairs -- and second take off the very 1970s wallpaper that's in there. I think it even has avocado green appliances. So all the furniture needs to be replaced as well.

My dollhouse was built and given to me by my aunt and uncle, who are also my godparents. It would be nice to pass down, if I can pull it off.