Say What? Sew what?











{June 5, 2011}   Uses for Baking Soda

What do you use baking soda for?  Other than a tsp for baking.  I was at a friend’s house Friday and she was pulling towels out the washing machine to put in the dryer; however, they still stank and she had the “ick” look on her face and said she hated stinky towels and had to wash them over and over again to get the stench out.  They own a pool, so towels pile up every where thanks to the kids.  I told her to sprinkle some baking soda into the machine when she washes and it will take the smell out.  45 minutes later she was amazed–she didn’t know that.  I learned that from my Grandmother and also because I cloth diaper Mr. L and it gets the ammonia and baby poop smell out.  I then told her that you can use baking soda for:

– getting stinky smells out of wash;

– cleaning stuck on food on your stainless steel sink;

– sprinkle it on the couch if your kid pees or pukes, wait for it to dry and then vacuum up.  Same for mattresses;  and

– carpet freshing.

I also told her that white vinegar is useful for:

– fabric softner, put some in a downy ball and it will soften your laundry;

– a green disinfectant;

– window cleaner; and,

– boil a boil of water with vinegar in it in the microwave to remove the stuck on grease, the salad dressing smell will go away as the vinegar evaporates.

So, what do you use baking soda and white vinegar for?  And what other unconventional items to you use for cleaning?  I use a can of coke for stubborn toilet bowl rings and then clean with white vinegar to disinfect the toilet. =)

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{April 3, 2011}   Lazy Sundays…

It’s almost 60 outside, the windows are opened, I hear the sound of yard work, birds chirping, kids playing outside and all the lovely sounds of spring.  Unfortunately, it’s supposed to storm like a mother tomorrow. Blech…welcome to Spring Break, kiddos.  Diva S has an ear infection and possible strep, but her pedi didn’t call to confirm either way.  So, she’s on amoxicillin.  She’s like her biggest sister, doesn’t present with a fever with ear infections.

Little Dude has gotten his second tooth, and I’m trying to figure out if his issues are seasonal allergies or a cold.  Either way, there’s not much I can do about it since they do not make cold, cough or allergy meds for the youngest crowd.  However, if they don’t clear up by his 9 month check up in May I will be asking what I can give him.  He’s miserable.

I did sew this week, but nothing exciting–I just hemmed up some curtain panels for a friend and then sewed some patches onto another friend’s leather biker vest.  The girls’ Easter dresses are taunting me, but I hate the silky, fraying fabric.  I may tackle them later on tonight should all kids go to bed.

Well, I think I’m going to clean up Little Dude, get the kids dressed, go get a Sunday paper and then come home and we shall play outside.

Have a good’er Sunday, happy sewing and lots of love.

Jenn



Yup, that’s the title I earned today when I finished the kids’ table tent.  It started yesterday with the kids huffing and puffing because it was too cold to go play outside and me realizing that next month will more than likely be spent indoors thanks to April’s showers.  I’ve seen them done for card tables, but I have no room for a card table.  So, kitchen table it is then.  The hub of our house, where homework is finished, meals eaten, thinking caps put on, coloring done, creativity and imagination takes place (and where I do most of my sewing these days).  I rummaged through our linen shelf and found a twin sheet set that doesn’t get used and down to the black hole of my laundry room to look through my stash and away we went.  24 hours and several hiccups later, the kids were able to eat their pb&j’s UNDER the table in their own house.  I took inspiration for their house drawings for how I did the trees, bush and flowers.  It still needs a mailbox and I want to do one where we can put mail in it, but the kids spent all afternoon playing house, grilling out, playing barbies and driving around their house on their pillow cars.  I call it sweet success and I earned the coveted “Best Mommy in the Whole-Wide World” award.  Life is grand. =)



{March 21, 2011}   Spring is in the air

but not for long, but it has made its presence known!  (Thursday it’s going to drop back down below 50, but I’ll take this gorgeous weather!)  The kids and I had a wonderful weekend.  They were off school on Friday, so we made an impromptu visit to the zoo.  It was perfect weather, t-shirts and jeans, overcast and since it wasn’t a weekend day it wasn’t packed–it was perfect.  I think that was the longest we’ve ever spent at the zoo, almost four hours.

Saturday we went for walks around the neighborhood and played outdoors for hours.  Bubbles, sidewalk chalk and paint and imagination.  And yesterday was lazy.  We didn’t get dressed until 3–it was overcast and spitting out rain here and there with the sun trying to peek through.  We ended up having an indoor picnic for dinner and watched Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakel.

I did cut Diva S’s and Diva M’s Easter Dresses from the skirts, so now I have to go pick up some needles so I can sew them together.  I don’t have any fine, ball point needles and I sure in hell am not taking a chance using the wrong needle for the job and having the girls get upset their dresses were ruined!  I’m also trying to decide if the backs are going to be closed with zippers or buttons.  I can sew a zipper in, but to be honest I want to conquer buttons!  So I will ponder this.  Or maybe I’ll try invisible zippers.

We had an absolutely beautiful weekend and I can’t wait for Spring to be out in full force so we can start exploring the outdoors again.

Happy Spring, lots of love and happy sewing.

Jenn



{February 27, 2011}   Been Busy!

Well, it’s been 2 weeks since I last posted.  But it’s been a whirlwind of birthday parties, another round of illness and life in general.  I’ve sewn my niece’s baby blanket (6 months late, oops sorry!), a skirt with matching doll for a friend’s daughter and today was a dress for SIL’s daughter upcycled from a onesie and some matching material.  Pictures of the blanket, skirt and doll; however, I am in the process of whipping up a quick tutorial for the onesie dress.

Simple square quilt top, 6″ squares, 5X6 squares.  The skirt is a take on Dana’s Market Skirt and the doll is something I made for Diva S last year and brought out the pattern for another birthday girl.

This weekend has been a treasure hunt.  Went to thrift stores and consignment shops on the hunt.  Somethings that stand out in my head are $2 for “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” $4 for 3 Lemon Snickett books for Diva A, $2 for a sky blue formal skirt that I can see being a Cinderella dress in the near future, $1 for a gold chain belt for me, and then today was a bag sale at a children’s consignment shop–Liam scored big for next year and I found 5 or 6 leotards for Diva M and Diva S’s dress up bucket.  Oh and I found a brand new pair of Sketcher pull on tennis shoes for Little Man for $6 for next school year and Diva A a like new pair of slip on ballet flats.

I’ve been in the process of purging out unnecessary junk from the house and it’s been wonderful!  I have several bags of junk out in the garage ready to get donated and several other bags of kids’ clothes ready to be set out for a garage sale when the weather breaks.

A close friend of mine brought me a beautiful orange sherbert skirt to use for material for the girls’ Easter dress and since then I’ve been plotting Easter dresses and outfits for the kiddos.  I think Little Man and Little Dude need matching t-shirts this year.  Well, not matchy matchy, maybe a bowtie for Little Dude, since Little Man requested a pointy tie.

I had a job interview on Friday for a legal secretary position.  I think I did fabulous, so we shall see.  If anything it gave me the confidence to go back out there and get a job.  I can do this!  I can’t just sit on my buttinski for the rest of my life.

Little Man, Little Dude and Diva S had their physicals in the last two weeks.  Little Dude was 6 months exactly on his physical and was 24lbs, 11 oz and 28.75″ long (off the charts for a normal 6 mo old); Little Man, 5 yr old, is 43.5″ and 39.5lbs–50-75% for height and 25-50% for his weight; and, Diva S, 4 yr old, is 42.5″ and 41lbs–90-95% for both.  So all are doing well and the pedi exclaimed over how well behaved my children are and to keep up the good work.  I told her they knew they had lollipops in the van waiting for them based on their behavior–my trick to make it through shots and dr’s visits.  Bribery works in some situations, dr’s visits being one of them.

Diva A got sick…man sick.  But she did actually have an ear infection and was quite dramatic when they flushed her ear out.  She also had waxy build up in her middle ear.  So, yes the tears were abundant at that appointment.  She is still milking the “my ear hurts” statement, but I ask her if it really does and do we need to go back and it magically seems to feel better.  I wouldn’t ask her if it really does, but she brings it up when I ask her to clean her room.  I didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday, child.

Diva M has been doing smashingly in school–I’m so proud of her, I was getting worried about her progress.  We, uh, had a break through during a homework session a couple weeks ago.  I was told by her teacher that if she gets frustrated not to push the homework session past ten minutes.  Well, well, my diva figured out that if she cries, pouts and acts discouraged long enough I will tell her enough’s enough, go play.  Hmmmmm, fast forward to progress reports–“I am concerned about her progress.” writes her teacher.  Well, no shit Sherlock–you told me not to push it at home!!!!  Diva M would “shut down” whenever something remotely educational would get started.  Hmmmmm…listened to her playing school, she knew her shit and knew it well.  Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit–the little imp didn’t want to do her work, she just wanted to play!!!  So, the following Monday at homework time she starts getting jittery and I tell her that as soon as she is finished with her homework assignment, she can go play.  She pouted, she cried, she gave dirty looks, I walked away several times.  But she did not leave the table till her homework was done–two and half hours later.  When she finally did it, it took her 5 minutes to do it.  FIVE MINUTES!!!!  She told me she didn’t want to do her homework several times during the ordeal and that she just wanted to play.  But I didn’t back down.  Guess how long it takes for her to do her homework now??  Guess!!!  Five to ten minutes!  And that is by herself with minimal guidance from me.  So, yeah…shouldn’t be a problem for now.  Her school work she’s bringing home is actually better than before and she seems to be doing much better overall.  I’ve also set up a homework/arts and craft station near the dining table.  everyone has their own box with crayons, scissors, glue sticks and stickers, so it has made it more fun to do homework.

Well, the volume level is getting out of control with Diva A and Diva M–I think there’s an alpha fight going on, so I must show them who top dog really is before it gets out of hand.

Lots of love and happy crafting!

J

 



{January 20, 2011}   How

“How do you do it?” I was asked today by a friend.  Good question, I ask myself this question every day.  Their father is unavailable for the next 50 days, but even when he was in town I had a hard time asking him for help.  We don’t have a visitation schedule set up, and as a matter of fact the kids haven’t stayed with him since Little Dude was born.  Diva A has spent a night here and there, but it’s only been once or twice.

I do it because who else will?  If I don’t pick myself up every morning, who would take care of the kids.?  I don’t lose my sanity because I tell myself that while yes my kids may all have some sort of virus, but it’s just a virus and things along those lines.  I basically tell me my life isn’t as bad as it could be.  My life isn’t ideal, far from it–I’m a single mom to five kids, struggling in this sea of life.  But it is MY life, every day is a new day and a new opportunity for me to guide the kids down a better path and to better myself.  I try to greet every morning as a new chance, a new day–I try not to let the trials and tribulations of the day(s) before upset the beauty of a new day.  Some days I am successful at that and some days I’m not.

Four years…

Tomorrow my baby girl turns FOUR.  FOUR!!!  Dear God, four.  She is over the moon at turning four.  I held her today and it was so weird holding her in my arms as a baby playing around with her, but she was so big.  It made my heart hurt with how big she’s getting, but it also made me swell with pride over her.  Diva S is spunky, head strong, stands her ground, loves princesses but also loves frogs and pigs, plays barbie with her sisters and cars with Little Man.  She gives fabulous hugs and is funny.  I asked her today how she got so big and she told me, “You, Mommy!  You feed me lots of good healthy food and it helps me grow!!”  Love her.  Four, wow…four.

Had to take Little Man to pedi’s office today, he’s on day 3 of fever and tomorrow it’s supposed to dump snow.  He’s got an upper respiratory infection.  So I have to keep an eye on his breathing and make sure he doesn’t start rasping and railing.  I also had to pick Diva M up today from school for…you guessed it…a fever and headache.  Third child sick since Sunday morning.  Watching Diva A and hoping Little Dude doesn’t catch it.  I was concerned about him since I’ve been icky and I breastfeed, but I read it’s better and my antibodies pass on to him.  So he may not get the virus or he may get it but not as badly as the rest of us.  Fingers crossed.

Well, on the sewing table I have to t=shirt pants cut out from thrifted tees for Little Dude, he’s growing so quickly.  I just need to get the gumption to sew stretchy t-shirt material.  And the time and motivation.

Lots of love,

Jenn



{January 18, 2011}   The sickies…

Ugh…I’m sick.  Diva S was sick Sunday, Little Man was sick yesterday and now I am running a low grade and have that icky, watery feeling in my mouth.  Do you know how hard it is not to nuzzle and kiss Little Dude??  I honestly don’t want him to get a fever, I don’t want anyone in this house to get it.  Blech…

Little Man is home from school today though since he did have a fever last night when he went to bed. Rule of thumb is fever free for 24 hours before sending to school.  Boy does he talk a lot without his sisters around!!!  Our conversation this morning went:

LM:  I’m 4

Me:  Yup, almost 5!

LM:  Almost 5, almost EIGHTEEN!!!!

Me:  *blink, blink* Yeahhhh, sure, Little Man.  Eighteen is an adult.

LM:  I’m going to be a GIANT when I’m eighteen! and ride in cop cars.

Me: Are you going to ride in cop cars or drive the cop car?? *crossing fingers, toes*

LM:  DRIVE them, silly!!!!

Me: *phew!!!* You can be whatever you want to when you’re eighteen!

LM:  I’m almost 5, almost 18, but closer to 8 like Diva A!!  What am I going to be when I’m 8??  I won’t have an attitude, Mommy.

Me:  Thank you, sweetie!  Please don’t grow up to fast, hun.

LM:  Love you, Mom!!! *walk away mumbling about almost 5*

Kids are funny, love the things they come up with. ❤

Lots of love,

J



{December 19, 2010}   Lazy Sundays…

I woke up this morning with Mr. L cooing in my ear and his gorgeous toothless grin. =) What a fabulous start to the day!  So in the spirit of being in a good mood I made cinnamon rolls for the kids as they were all kind enough to let me sleep in till 8.  Which was wonderful considering I thought it’d be a great idea to go to Wal (hell) Mart at 10pm last night.  The Saturday before Christmas…yeah, what was I thinking?  After being overwhelmed in toys AND electronics (though I did snag the last copy of The Princess and the Frog), I sat in shoes composing myself.  Trying not to hyperventilate over the chaos and crowds.

Now I’m trying not to hyperventilate after adding up my totals for spending for this Christmas…over 1500.  Yup, over 1500.  However, it supplied 5 kids their total Christmas, 8 gifts for family kids, 3-$50 Gamestop cards for my stepsons + misc gifts for them, 2 inlaws names I drew, my parents, my sister and BIL, a Secret Santa gift, 4 pre-k teachers, 2 teachers, a pre-k bus driver and the bus monitor.  So, I guess it’s not too bad.  Now that I think about it, I spent around that much last year and didn’t get half as much.  And that total does include Liam’s carseat.  Plus I have probably around $50-$75 of stuff to return.  Last night I got $30 in Kohl’s cash, so I will use that towards Diva S’s and/or Prince S’s birthday gifts.

I also just found out about swag bucks, so I am going to be trying to earn as much as I can so I can get Amazon gift cards for next Christmas.  I also found out that if you use Coinstar for your change and select Amazon gift card, there is no fee.  So I will be saving my change for the next 10-11 months for next year’s Christmas too.  Pretty sad that I’m already thinking about next Christmas, but I have 5 kids to think about with ever changing needs!!!

Well, Mr. L is fussing and heaven forbid if the chunker butt (19lbs 11 oz at 4 months old!!!) misses a meal. =)

Oh yeah!  Yesterday I finished a project that’s been sitting since the end of May, installed L’s carseat correctly AND one an awesome giveaway!!!  Happy days!!!

Lotsa love, happy crafting and MERRY CHRISTMAS!



{December 8, 2010}   Lord…

My goodness, I suck.  Obviously I haven’t kept up on my blog. Or my sewing.  This crazy thing called “Life” keeps popping up and taking up all my time.  So I may just start blogging about whatever the heck I want to, not just sewing or crafting or whatever…

Like tonight’s conversation with the oldest diva

A:  Mom?  Do you think 3rd grade is too young for dating? as she’s calmly brushing her hair.

Me:  Uhhhhhhh *think, Jenn, think…where tf is this conversation going* Yeah, you’re only 8. (for Pete’s sake!!!)

A:  Well, J and P are dating.  I heard from so and so, who heard from this one, who…*pay attention, Jenn, this is important to her, don’t zone out…just nod and purse your lips*…who heard from her, so I asked J and he said yes and then I asked P and she said yes.  So J & P are dating!

Me: *oh crap, oh crap.  This must be why she’s moping around the house…she’s liked J since 1st grade.  OH CRAP!* So, honey, is this why you’ve been in a bad mood since you’ve been home?

A:  Ummmm, no, or I don’t think so.  Do you remember G from last year?

Me:  *racking my mind, I don’t but hell I’ll play along* I believe so, why?

A:  He’s really, really cute?

Me:  *Well, f### me, that backfired*  Do you, uh, um, like him?

A:  Yeah, He’s cute and nice…Good night, Mom. Love you…

*Me setting Baby L down to chase her down, she’s 8 for Christ’s Sake!!!  EIGHT!!!!*

She turns around, smiles and says, “Mom, I’m going to wait till I’m in 6th grade to get a boyfriend.”*gee, thanks, kid…that gives me 2.5 years to get my shit together* “How old were you when you started dating, Mom?”

Me:  Uhhhhh, I don’t remember, it’s been so long ago.  *FU### ME I AM SCREWED!!!!!!* Good night, baby and I love you too.

My sweet baby girl, thinks boys. are. cute.  Not gross or full of cooties, but CUTE.  Sigh.  She was excited this morning that the Tooth Fairy came and now boys are cute.  By the way I had my first “boyfriend” in fifth grade, didn’t date till I was 15, etc.  But I was a wild child when I hit 15.  I hope your kids are just like you. Curse, that’s a curse I swear it is.  I’ve heard of her father’s escapades and I know how I was, so I am going to be up shit creek without a paddle.  And I have 3 girls to make it through, along with 2 boys.  I will never have a restful and peaceful night of sleep again.

Dating…I think not.  Wasn’t it, “Will you go with me?” and “Bobby Joe is sooooo fine.”

Sigh…

Lots of love and lock up your kids tight!!  They grow up too fast.



{November 6, 2010}   Christmas…

Christmas is sneaking up on me.  I want to make some homemade gifts this year for  the kids.  I also would like to make it through Thanksgiving without being bombarded by Christmas advertisements and stuff.  It’s rather annoying–Thanksgiving is an important holiday too, but it seems like the money hungry buttheads are trying to overshadow the holiday and get everyone to spend their money on the newest crap.  Crap that will break or be forgotten about within two weeks, or you’ll find on clearance for 1/4 of the price you spent a month later.  I’m starting to ramble, because I find it annoying that I saw Christmas decorations out with the Halloween costumes at the end of August in a store that has a bullseye.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Christmas–the decorations, the smells, the warmth, the amazed looks on the kids’ faces, but I think it shouldn’t be in advertisements at least until Thanksgiving afternoon.  Don’t get me started on Black Friday–made me cry last year over the sheer madness of it all, and most of the toys crap that I bought was forgotten about or broken.

So, the kids will all get at least two sewn gifts from me, along with all our Christmas presents for family/friends shall be homemade with love.  I hope.  I think each kid is going to get a rag doll (even the little dude).  The two youngest divas, I’m going to make fairy/butterfly wings for and the Little Man will get a reversible cape and/or bat wings.  The oldest diva, not sure…she’s getting a tad bit harder to shop for…maybe a purse/case to hold her beloved DSi and games.

As for family, the older nieces shall get a homemade purse/tote bag/back pack thingamajig.  If we get the 5 year old cousin, he’ll get a homemade monster, as with if we draw his 1 yr old brother too.  Not sure though–I have so many ideas reeling around in my head as to what I want to make.  If we get the 2 baby girls, not sure–maybe a rag doll for them too.  Not a damn clue…I’m going to need to make a list.

And my pet project for next year is going to be to take at least one random picture a day–could be the kids, something outside, something inside, but it will be something that sums up the mood for the day or the moment.  I need to make some changes to my blog design, set a siggy for the end of my posts–I sign everything “<3 J” and I’m also thinking about getting some clothing tags made that have that on it too, since I make things with love.

Anywho, I’m rambling now and should be cleaning, doing laundry, dishes, carrying stuff to its proper place.  We started moving bedrooms around a week ago.  Master bedroom went down stairs to the lower level–plenty of room for me, Little Dude and my sewing/craft place (and this will clear all my clutter crap out of the dining room).  Biggest Diva is moving into the actual master suite (8 years old and her own bathroom, my goodness, she’s spoiled) and Little Man is moving into her old room.  The only room that is almost complete is his and according to him it is “AWESOME!”  Diva A’s room is getting there, slowly.  And my room, well it’s just like my life–chaotic mess.

Well, Little Man, Diva M and Diva S are going crazy (i.e., bickering), so I suppose I need to get up and take care of this before it escalates.

Lotsa love and happy sewing (or crafting).

J



et cetera