Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Shark Boy's First T-Ball Practice

Wow, what a day. Last night, Shark Boy and I were up together with sore throats. His made him scream in pain, and mine was bad enough that I understood his feelings. This morning I called for Dr's appts for us. We finally go in and get told it doesn't look like strep, just some random virus...oh wait, you've had this coming for a week, oh, then yes, Mom, you get antibiotics, but 4 y/o, no, no drugs for you. Ear Infections clear up on their own in 4 y/o's. Ok, I agree that antibiotics are probably over prescribed in the US. I'm with you there, but if we most likely have the same germs (we do live together day in and day out), how can I, the healthy adult with a fully formed immune system need drugs and he doesn't? I don't get it....  I pushed my "Trust the Docs" button and went to buy our drugs. Purple Triaminic for the boy.

Oh wait, before I get distracted by the Triaminic story, this post is supposedly about T-Ball. So, we go from the pharmacy to a restaurant for dinner, then from the restaurant, we drive down the road and find a dog skittering in traffic on the town's main street. Always the softie, and having some time to kill, I pull over, open the door, and the pup come barreling over to say hi. It appears to be a Pitbull mix. But he's friendly and all pup, and soft, and clean, and cute, and fuzzy, and ooh, so wiggly, but calm. Wiggly and calm? yes. that combo exists.

Hmm, what to do now? T-Ball 45 minutes off, don't know non-emergency 911 number/dog catcher, phone internet not working, phone won't dial anyway it turns out, so can't call a friend to get the number.

Ok, fine, Dog, jump in the car. Yes, sure  you can ride in the front seat. It looks like you're used to it.  My own dog never has, but sure, you're fuzzy. Go right ahead, I don't really trust you with my kids anyway, after all, we JUST MET!

Driving to police station (Town dog pound isn't manned, and I don't have time to deal with this dog, after all, there's T-BALL tonight--but I didn't want him to get squished in the steady traffic on that street) 

I park across the street from the police station door, consider unloading 3 kids to walk the dog 20 feet to the door, decide to leave kids, take dog. put dog inside outer door, but not INSIDE the station. wait patiently for dispatcher to notice me. point to dog. say stray, traffic, blah blah blah, she gets my info (why?) and goes to get "one of the guys." He comes out. It's the 1 cop in town that I know (his wifeand kids are awesome, but I've never really gotten to actually know him). He meets the dog, says "wait here, I'll get my car and bring it around front. ...he walks out side door.

now, if you know the layout of this town's police station, he went out a door that might have saved him about 25 steps (he's a tall guy) from walking out the door I was at. and the cop cars aren't in some high-security fenced-in lot. It's just an open lot. Why couldn't I follow him to his car, out one of the doors and around the corner? no idea. no idea. So, it's a beautiful day. I take dog back outside, to keep a better eye on the still-running minivan full of kids. We sit. We wait. Time is ticking.  Hmm, maybe he got called out on a real police matter. Maybe the one-way streets are complicating him driving to the front of the building from the side. Give it time. nothing. Hmm, what to do now. Well, Shark Baby is crying, and hungry. Lets take dog to van, get baby, sit in open van door feeding baby. Uh oh, NIP in Nebraska, outside a police station. ugh. good thing the cops were too busy to take a dog, so they definitely were too busy to notice or harass a nursing mother. (right to Nurse In Public is not protected in 3 states, NE is one of them). Finally a Sherriff's car drives up (they share a building), and I try to get him to take the dog. He says the cop is out on a call. Ok, what are you doing? going inside to do paperwork? Wouldn't you rather play with a puppy?  Ok, then I'll go home, get a leash, and take him to T-ball. Thanks for letting the dispatcher lady know. And off I go.

Practice was supposed to be starting at 6. We got there about 5:45.  Shark Boy fell asleep on the way there of course. I go unbuckle him and he slithers onto the floor of the van, still 3/4 asleep, mumbling something about how we are at the soccer fields so there's no T-Ball here.

He's right. They play soccer here. But then soccer ends and baseball starts...  He's not getting it. He's sick. He's got a fever, and ear infection, and what looks like an eye infection. But remember, he's not on antibiotics, so I'm not totally crazy to take him out to play, but OK, how about you come up here and watch them play T-Ball in the front seat with me (and Lava Girl and the Dog). He takes the drivers' seat and proceeds to rearrange all buttons, play with steering wheel, not watch a lick of practice. Hey, what? Why are they even practicing? It's only 10-till!  Stay here (kids and stray dog) in the van, I'll go tell coaches you aren't coming. Coach doesn't seem to care, but after all, practice has started (10 minutes early). *note to self, be 20 minutes early to practices.*

I give up. We go home. We pull in the drive way, and the 4 y/o says that he wants to go to T-ball. Ok, lets go. He seems awake now. We drive back. Thank GOD this is a small town, so it's only like, a 2-minute drive each way). By now it's about 6:10, they are now actually hitting the ball and sort of playing a game of T-ball, people in the outfield and all. We go over. Shark Boy sees his favorite friend in the whole wide world and runs onto the field to see him. Then runs a big circle around the pitcher's mound, then back to his friend. I tell him to stick to his friend, and Lava Girl and Shark Baby and I go join Favorite Friend's family in the bleachers. Oh, Man, my kid is wearing CROCS!! To T-Ball practice. Awesome, this B.S. degree in Parks and Recreation is really paying off.

He does a great job of sticking to Favorite Friend, even when Favorite Friend is batting. Hello, safety violation? There was so much funny stuff going on. Tyler was definitely the most distracted, and probably the youngest. He's been 4 for four days. We haven't even had Birthday Cake yet. He still thinks he's 3.

I know this is all to be expected.

He spent some time off the field, playing with 2 y/o's in the rocks and dirt, went back out and stuck to Favorite Friend some more, batted some, made it to 3rd base and was batted to home, but never made it to home, since he ran from 3rd to Pitcher's mound. and around and around and zig zag. He was last batter of the night, so everyone cheered extra loud after he hit. It was really cool. I think he needed that. He was expecting it to be really hard, and was hesitant to even go, but wound up enjoying it.

Thank you T-Ball coaches, assistants, and fellow parents on the bleachers for helping me laugh and enjoy this experience. The patience and love flowing out of each volunteer coach was so real you could almost see it.

I couldn't find my phone when I was getting out of the car, so no pics of this milestone in my son's life, Crocs and all. So, this blog post will have to get scrapbooked eventually. After practice, another family on the team took the dog. They could tell I really didn't have time to deal with it.

Later, after practice, we came home, and I still couldn't find my phone. I looked everywhere, called it, nothing. Finally, I ask Shark Boy if he's seen it, and he says "It went to a secret  hiding place. It didn't want to see you."   I get very serious, and tell him to go get it out of the hiding place. He goes to the van and gets it out of his armrest. 

I love my poor, sick, phone hiding, barely-4-year-old, and tonight tucking him into bed, after I said "I love you" he said "I love you too Mom."  He sounded like such a big boy. He doesn't always reply, he's more of a hugger than a verbal love giver, so my heart is still just jellified over hearing "I love you Mom."  I love that kid. He's way too cute. And Smart. And Amazing, and a Great Friend, Super Big Brother, and just an all around Sweetheart, and I don't tell him that often enough.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Square Foot Garden 2010

This may not look like much, but check out my first SFG post if you want to see what it was 2 years ago!!

Since we didn't eat a bunch of what I grew last year, I decided to only plant my two "real" 4x4 boxes plus some giant flower pots.

Ugh, Nebraska. It's almost June and my tomatoes aren't even in the ground. I planted seeds for everything else today, but my tomato plants ar rin the ground today, before a hail/thunder storm complete with tornado sirens, but thankfully no tornadoes.

Here's how it turned out yesterday, and the trellis withstood the 67 mph wind gusts yesterdat afternoon, so I'd say it's secure.

I try to do things on the cheap.  Have you noticed that about this blog?  So last year I attempted a wimpy, ghetto, string trellis, and it supported some peas and beans but basically sucked. We didn't have nearly enough peas or beans either. Just 1 square of each if I remember right. My kids ate them as fast as they ripened. For a trellis this year I bought the string grid that is recommended in the SFG book. However, it still wasn't going to look very good. and putting up poles to support it was going to be a LOT of work. Then I saw my lattice panels that had a use in Hawaii but hadn't found a use since we moved here. They are 2.5' x8' panels of plastic lattice, with one rigid side each. I wound up experimenting with them until I decided to make the garden extra fun for the kids. I made the tunnel they can crawl under while the vines of cukes, zukes, beans, peas, and ornamental gourds grow over it. It's going to be a mess of vines, but it should be fun! I have 1 more panel of lattice that I haven't decided how to use. I might make some kind of cage for the beans that are on the far side of the box away from the tunnel. With 2 squares each of zukes and cukes, and 4 squares each of peas and beans, plus 1 square of ornamental gourds, we are in for a LOT of vines.

The giant pumpkin isn't going to be trellised. I haven't actually figured out what I'm going to do with it. or where it's going to be planted. It's a whole other post waiting to happen.

 This Flower BED below is also going to be another post.

Square Foot Gardening

When I say this is my 2.5th  year of SFG, I mean that the first year, we moved into this house in July, but were living in a hotel in town in June, so I prepped my soil in June (before we actually closed on the house), and then planted some broccoli, pumpkin and tomato plants in July. I didn't use a grid, or box, just amended existing soil, and hoped for the best.I used info I found online to know how many plants/square.

Here's a picture from that year, 2008:

I know, you're thinking WOW, that's one SEXY garden. Well you see, I planted and then went out of town for a couple months. We came home to that. So, with no watering for 2 months, I still would have  had good broccoli, tomatoes and pumpkins--if we had been here to eat them. That works for me!!  I based what I did on the info I found online about the SFG technique.

The next year, last year, 2009, I bought the SFG book, built  2 boxes, spent a fortune buying the ingredients for Mel's Mix, and planted a mixture of seeds and store bought plants. I planted the 2 4x4 boxes plus the 4x4 patch of ground from 2008. Everything did really well, except my pepper plants were complete failures and the tomatoes had blossom end rot. I grew but didn't eat many of the onions, radishes, beets, lettuce...but they were fun to grow. The broccoli flowered too fast and I missed eating them at the  yummy point. They were so yucky that I fed them to the dogs. The flower pots had potatoes, pansies and nasturtiums. One was supposed to have carrots but that was a big mess.

Here's a pic from a main harvest day, before a big frost/hail was expected:

My next  post will be on my 2010 SFG!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Freebies are coming!! Tell your friends!!

Once I have 30 fans I am going to start giving weekly freebies. Some of it will be Creative Memories scrapbooking products, and some of it will be sewn or otherwise made by me. So, recruit your friends so that the freebie giving can begin!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ribbon Revelation

I have been collecting ribbon for over 3 years now, for making the DreamSlings as well as for other projects, like hair bows, which I have yet to really get into. This means I am constantly looking for a better way to store it.

I was looking at storage solutions online, but nothing was big enough. As I looked at this one, I thought there had to be a way to make one on a larger scale.

See the HOLES?   They made me think of pegboard, and I just happened to have one on the wall in my craft room. It wasn't being used to its best potential, so I ripped it off the wall and started poking ribbons through it.  It would work, but I needed a way to contain the mess of ribbons hanging behind it. I considered a pillow case type idea on the back of it, but that would take work. Then, as I looked around my craft room, I saw a cheap hamper which had become a landing place for unorganized (waiting to be put away) pieces of fabric, ribbon, etc. It was even ripped and waiting to be repaired. The rip actually made it perfect. I used ribbon to attach the plastic pegboard to the side of the hamper and had a way to contain the oodles of ribbon behind the board. 

As I worked on this I thought of another solution, had I not had these supplies on hand. I could have drilled holes in the lid of an under bed storage box and done the same thing. 

I'm hoping to eventually have my sewing room organized enough that I can show you all the whole thing, but for now, here's the fabric and ribbon section.  I have tons more ribbon to poke through the ribbon dispenser but for now, at least a solution has been found!

Evolution of a Dress

So I went to the thrift store looking for shirts to "upcycle" into dresses for Kaila. I found a bunch, and especially liked this one:
I had bought this pattern when Kaila was a baby and have made hats from it but hadn't made the dress yet. 
Here's how it turned out, BORING!!

Yes, I had the rick-rack that the pattern asked for, and could have done the pattern ruffles but didn't particularly like that. So I cut out some awesome paisley butterflies to applique on. Then didn't like them. So the dress sat around for a couple weeks. It looked like a sack. It wasn't just boring, it was boring and sloppy looking. Then it hit me. I could add some tie-backs to it to make it fit my skinny little Lava Girl better.  I could coordinate the tie-backs with an applique and it would decorate the front AND the back. I grabbed some scraps of Michael Miller's Carnival Bloom and made Lava Girl's favorite shape, a star, for the front, and tie-backs for the sides, and then opened up the side seams, stuck the tie-backs in, and used my serger to close it back up, while at the same time tidying the rest of the inside seams with the serger. 

I finally am happy with my serger. 
Thanks again Mom and Dad!

It still needed a bit more pizazz, so I added a ruffle with my handy dandy ruffler out of some more Michael Miller scraps. You can't go wrong with Michael Miller fabrics!

Here's the end result, with some bonus shots of SharkBoy, the photo shoot crasher.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!!!!

I've forgotten to do anything for my own mom for about as many years as I've been alive. Somehow, now that I am a mom myself, and I sit around wondering/hoping/expecting something from the hubby for the hallmark holiday, I manage to remember my own mom, and MIL too.

I was inspired by a craft I saw on Grace Violet. Here are the results:

And on the backs, Tyler wrote these and they glued them:

I got the dotted words from here. There are a few different sites that you can make your own handwriting sheets. This site wouldn't make them very big, so I printed them and then magnified them on our copy machine, since Tyler prefers to write BIG. 

Each grandma got one of these, and some other random artwork from recent weeks.


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