Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I figured this day would come...I just hoped it wouldn't

(Conversation while driving in the car today)

Chick: I'm hungry, Mama. Can I have something to eat, please?
Me: I don't have any food with me, honey, you'll have to wait until we get home.
Chick: I'm hungry, Mama. I want something to eat.
Me: I don't have any food with me. You can have lunch when we get home.
Chick: Don't be a pill.
Me: Who's being a pill? (honestly, this wasn't false ignorance, I thought she might be talking to Monkey)
Chick: You are.
Me: I'm being a pill?
Chick: Yes. Don't be a pill, Mama.

I wish I could say that I don't know where she gets such things.

Seasonal Delights

Driving in the car yesterday, my Mom commented on what a lovely autumn it has been. And indeed it has been. Some of the trees look positively on fire, they are so brightly colored. I love it. And I love that Chick is old enough to appreciate it with me.

Some other seasonal delights: HH & Chick spent a few hours this week picking all of the apples from our tree. We have 4 boxes of apples for me to play with now. I'm going to dehydrate some for snacking, do sugarless applesauce (as soon as I find a recipe for such), and a few apple pie fillings for HH. I'm so grateful for that apple tree. The apples are very "organic" looking & sometimes need a lot of extra paring, but it's nice to have a break from buying apples.

I got my haircut. I suppose this is normally a spring thing, but whatever. Anyhow, here is my rant, though, about 7 salon. You can skip it if you want, it's kinda long.

2 years ago I got my haircut at 7 salon. Their ads said that they analyze face shape & features & hair type & will give a haircut that is perfect for you. It was a free cut, too, because I went from long to
short & donated to Locks of Love, which they do free of charge. I loved it. I got scads of compliments, felt cute, & had a great experience.

Lately I've needed my hair cut, and waited for it to get long enough for L of L again. On Saturday I went back to 7 for a consultation specifically to find out what they would recommend for a cut & if my "perfect cut" would be possible while doing Locks of Love, or did I need to wait longer or go ahead
and pay for the cut (starting at $50). The salon is in Bellevue, so it's a 30-40 minute drive each way. The stylist was nice--also a young mom & knew the demands that having little ones makes on hairstyle. Yes, my hair was just long enough for L of L and to still get the style that she
suggested. Great. I made an appointment for 2 days later & arranged for my Mom to walk the girls around the mall while I was in the salon (my sister M also went along for the fun too). The appointment was with Grace, who didn't do the consultation because consultations are with more
advanced stylists, and Locks of Love cuts are done by the junior stylists.

So I arrive on Monday, they give me my cup of hot chocolate from the bar, get me in my robe, and Grace comes to meet me. She sets me down at her station and the first thing she says is "You know your hair needs to be cut 10" for Locks of Love" (my hair was pulled up in a ponytail). I take it down,
and said that yes, I knew that. "Your hair isn't long enough." I explained that I had been in on Saturday for a consultation and was told that it was long enough. "Well, it's not." She called her supervisor over, measured it out for the supervisor, explained that it would have to be cut above
my hairline to get 10 inches, and that the bottom 2" were layered and "scraggly" so they wouldn't be donated. They said that they could cut my hair shorter, but that it wouldn't look that good (Oh, well please lets do that because I don't care what I look like as long as the cut is free...). The stylist suggested that I wait a month (because my hair is going to grow 2 inches in a month?!), or I could pay for a cut.

I must admit that at this point I started crying. It was very embarrassing. I can't remember the last time I cried in public. I had just gotten myself so psyched up for a new haircut, I'd been hating my hair for so long and had waited to cut it so that I could donate it, and had the consultation & it was all set & then I was rejected. I said that I'd have to consult with my childcare about whether to reschedule (My Mom drove 45 minutes just to get to my house, and then I drove the 30-40 minutes
to Bellevue--quite a long trip to have to do again), or whether to just pay and get it done that day. She said that was fine, I could go out and decide and then come back.

So I did. I met my Mom and sister just outside of the salon (still a weepy mess, honestly), explained to them, and they said to just get the cut because I had been totally looking forward to it. I no longer wanted that stylist (AT ALL) so a few minutes later I went back in and said that I'd like to go ahead with the cut, but was there another stylist available? Yes, in 40 minutes, and by the way, it's too late for you to meet with Grace now anyhow (seriously, I was outside for about 5 minutes). "Would you like to schedule with the other stylist?" No. As I walked my weepy self away, I tossed the hot chocolate in the rubbish bin--who wants to get fat on their empty calories anyhow?!

My sister suggested heading to her salon, but we called and they didn't have any openings that day. As we were leaving the mall we passed Mia & Maxx, and stopped in there--yes they had an immediate opening and the cuts cost $30. Great. So the rest of my entourage continued their walk
around the mall & got my haircut (the M & M stylist also suggested the same haircut as had been suggested on Saturday). She was friendly & did a good job. My Mom paid for the cut, which was so sweet & in my vulnerable state I really appreciated being spoiled. My sister also gave me some good hugs, which were also appreciated.

So the moral of the story: if you go to 7 just be prepared because they don't honor their word. Or the moral could be: don't bother making a long drive twice to make sure that you'll be getting a locks of love cut, since they might tell you that you can do it & then after you drive out a second time they'll say they were just kidding.

Ok, enough of the rant. I'm thrilled with the haircut & here are before and afters.

(gotta love self-portraits)

And my last seasonal delight is sewing Chick's Halloween costume. I don't have any pictures yet, but it's turning out cute & coming together pretty easily thus far.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Well, now that I've mentioned it...

I'm obsessed with the idea of a new quilt for Chick. I won't get to start it until after the new year, but I guess I'll show you the possibilities & have a poll in my sidebar.

Chick's room is going to be spring colors. She'll probably have oversized flowers & garden-y items as well. I want her quilt to be orderly, so nothing too crazy for now. When she gets her own room (which isn't anytime soon, so honestly I don't know why I'm even thinking about it) she'll have these lockers instead of a dresser (the lockers are a salmon color, which should go ok with spring colors if I am careful about the color shades that I use). The quilt will be hand-quilted.

Below are the most likely quilt options. Please vote in the sidebar. Leave a comment after voting, and I'll enter you in a drawing for a goody. I have no idea what the goody will be...it may not be that good of a goody, but it'll be something. It's always nice just to win, right?

(You can also comment if you know something like "that quilt design is terribly hard and time consuming" or "you could do that edge with that center and it would look awesome" keeping in mind that I've really only made one quilt--a machine quilted log cabin. You can also tell me what kind of colors you'd use where, etc)

(click on the links to see the quilts)

Mock Cathedral window. Of all the quilt designs, this is the one that I'm most itchy to try, but not sure if this is the best time to try it. I have never seen one in person. Is it still warm without batting? great tutorials here and here.

Strip quilt. I'd keep the same color (different fabrics, same color family) all the way across the width.

Zigzag. I've loved seeing MamaLia & Sarah's beautiful zigzag quilts, and this tutorial makes it so easy!

Pinwheel #1. This has such a fun, airy feel to it

Pinwheel #2. This is such a really gorgeous quilt. I love everything about it.

Cheaper by the Dozen. I love the scallop edging!! Here's her interesting tutorial/intro to quilting

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Movie review & other sundry items

I rewatched "Dan in Real Life" yesterday, and thought I'd blog about it. I watched it twice a while ago (last summer?) and liked it then, and liked it just as much on the 3rd viewing. I really really like this one. I like Steve Carrel. I felt that he and Juliette Binoche had great chemistry in this film & it seemed really believable to me. Anyhow, I don't think this is a movie that everyone would love, but I really do.

Anyhow, on a more personal note:

Monkey is walking 80% of the time, and I love to hear her stomping down the hallway to come get me.

Chick is working on advancing her English skills. I am glad that she hasn't perfected them yet, because I probably wouldn't have noticed her advances if she'd just said "What have you been doing?" but since she says it "What you have doing ben?" (or something to that effect) it's more noticeable. Once I figured out that she wasn't trying to tell me something about her cousin Ben, I noticed that she's working on making her sentences more complex. Kids are amazing.

Hmmm, what else. I'm still trying to stay active. It doesn't look like I'll get down to my weight goal for the cruise (I'll blog more about it later), but I'm trying to tone up some at least.

I have Chick's bee costume all sewn up in my head...now I just need to get started in real life. At least I have the logistics under control (I think). After that I guess I need to do Monkey's first year scrapbook & get Christmas all taken care of. Then I think I'll be doing a twin size quilt for Chick (I'll blog more about that later, too).

Huh. Yeah, not much news here, I guess. Ok, that settles it: Tomorrow I'll get going on the Halloween costume, just to give me something to blog about.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Little Happy Things (rather a long posting)

This is layout week, and yesterday was really busy & stressful & my eyes were wiggin' out from staring at the computer ALL DAY LONG...but right now I have no work to do & the girls are playing happily together, so I get to take a minute to update you all on the little happy things of this week.

On Wednesday I bought lighting. Recessed lighting for the living room (YAY!), a new chandelier for the dining room, and a chandelier with a dimmer switch for the bedroom. And, even better than buying it, HH INSTALLED the bedroom chandelier & dimmer switch THAT DAY! It'll be a while, I think, for the rest of the lighting, because he is dreading having to work through the insulation & mess with wiring. But in the meantime, I love my new chandelier. And we tested out the dimmer switch & liked it, but that's all I'll say because a lady never tells ; )

(Please ignore the maternity clothes that weren't put away properly under the bed...and the lack of crown moulding...Rome wasn't built in a day, you know.)

I won a giveaway! I won a book, and a coupon for free Yoplait yogurt (Now that all four of us are eating yogurt, we go through it like nobody's business), and a Yoplait yoga mat (which I TOTALLY need & am excited about, even if it does say Yoplait on it)! The giveaway was on the Super Healthy Kids blog. Amy has lots of good ideas & I find it helpful & inspiring to be reminded that some people are trying to actually nourish their children still. So refreshing.

I never got around to posting about Muffin Tin Monday on Monday, but we did it, and I wanted to share it because it was the "all about me" theme.

So for Chick:

  • blueberries because she has blue eyes,
  • a fruit cup because she's sweet,
  • a cheese "2" because she's 2 yrs old,
  • chocolate milk because at our house that is a special thing & she's special,
  • fettucine because it looked like her white-blond hair (spaghetti would have been a better shape, but I only had wheat),
  • and lastly, peanuts because she's a little nutty sometimes. : )

And for Monkey (She didn't get a muffin tin, but she did get "all about me" foods):

  • blueberries because she has blue eyes,
  • banana because she is a Monkey & that's her favorite food,
  • fettucine because she has an Italian name,
  • and 10 pieces of cheese because she's 10 months old.

I have some simplified Bee costume plans tumbling around in my head...thanks to all who have offered suggestions. I hope to get to start work on it next week, so stay tuned.

The last little happy thing is actually a collection of happys. I just KNEW that people kept having kids for a reason. That reason, of course, is that eventually they get old enough to work. Well, finally, I now get to sit back & live off the sweat of my children's brows.

Specifically, Chick washed dishes the other day, and is ALL ABOUT setting the table (though clearly we need to work on the technical details some more). She also tells me sometimes that my hair looks pretty, and she looks after her sister ("Monkey! No, honey! Don't climb up on that!").

And Monkey has learned to share her sippy cup with me, as well as to put things away (yesterday she got into the box with the spice packets & was strewing them around on the floor...but then she put them all back in! Plus she helps put blocks in the block basket when we're cleaning up). And she gives great sloppy open mouth kisses, and you can never get enough of those.

And, if all of that wasn't wonderful enough--Chick has been sleeping in until 8:30! Monkey wakes up to nurse at around 6, but then we both fall asleep in my bed & even though she wakes up before me she just looks around, lays on my neck, scratches my teeth, etc...but she does it quietly so that I can "keep sleeping."

So, despite being congested & sniffly during layout, and having a teething baby & a messy house, there have been some lovely little happy things this week to get me through.

Friday, October 2, 2009

More than I can chew, of course

So I think I've mentioned that I am making Chick a Bee costume for Halloween. I was thinking that I should get busy with that so that it doesn't end up half done like last year. I looked through my patterns & here's what I have:

View D.
Not only is this more involved than what I really should be doing (honestly? boning & a zipper?) but 1) it's the wrong size & I'd have to cut it down (not so much in the length, but in the width) and 2) the skirt is too high for the look that I want & I'd have to adjust it to put the skirt lower (just a yellow tulle skirt with black bias tape along the bottom edge, no petals).

I'd add yellow horizontal ruffles, either made with 3/4" ribbon or with narrow strips of tulle (somewhat like this, but more bee-like).

It's really insane, I think, because it shouldn't be that big of a deal--she'd be happy with anything...but isn't it the sweetest pattern? And it'll be fun to use it--though I could wait until she's the right size and talk her into being a ballerina then.

It seems like I could just alter a black shirt & add the ruffles and skirt, though I don't know how to add horizontal ruffles & still have the stretch that a t-shirt requires.... (I know many of you sew better than I do--how would I do that?). These are my favorite pics from the internet...

No matter what, she'll have antennae & wings, black tights with black leg warmers & black shoes, and a long sleeve black leotard underneith (to keep from freezing). Probably no stinger, unless some of you have great suggestions on how to add one to a tutu style skirted outfit?!

K, so obviously I need suggestions!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Little Pim Links

OK, some of you have expressed interest in Little Pim. Here is the official site. They have language dvds in several languages, Italian being one. I also have the Little Pim blog in my blogroll to the right. They have some interesting articles about learning languages & such sometimes.

I actually bought our set on Amazon.com, because that was the least expensive option. They are also available at Barnes&Noble.

They are total immersion, so no English translation (which is why Chick misunderstood that they were showing FEET not BABIES). The creators of Little Pim do recommend parental involvement to make it more interactive, which greatly improves the effectiveness.

Chick likes them. Now that she's more familiar with them she is repeating things back, so at least it's good for pronunciation. I don't know how much she gets from them--I'm afraid I haven't been very involved. Someday soon now [sigh] I'd like to start watching a 5 minute segment with her each day & then using those specific words during the day...how lame am I that a 5 minute learning activity sounds like too much work?!!