Monday, October 31, 2011

My angel

I shed some tears today which has finally become and exception to my life rather than the rule.  Not so many months ago I celebrated if a day went by where I didn't cry.  Now that it's a rarity I was caught off guard when I noticed the wet streaks on my face.  Andrea crawled over to me and pulled to a standing position.  She looked at me-- studied me-- and reached her delicate fingers out and tried to pinch a tear off my cheek.

There's a quote from the book Silas Marner, by George Eliot, that says: “In old days there were angels who came and took men by the hand and led them away from the city of destruction. We see no white-winged angels now. But yet men are led away from threatening destruction: a hand is put into theirs, which leads them forth gently towards a calm and bright land, so that they look no more backward; and the hand may be a little child's.”

I read that book in high school and loved it then, but I understand it now.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

They said life would never be the same. . .

And I didn't believe them, but they were right.  Andrea has started crawling.  Last week she took her first crawls at my parents house while Paul and I were at the temple.  Because I believe my parents to be honest people I had to trust they were telling the truth, but I was sad I didn't get to witness the first for myself.  This inspired an official Andrea watch and carrying the camera with us everywhere.  If she were to repeat this crawling feat, I was going to capture it.  After a little bating I did.

She's turned into my little shadow.  I'll quietly slip out of the room to use the facilities and soon I hear little giggles closing in on me.

For the first nine months of her life Andrea was so stationary.  If you laid her on her stomach she could flip over, but she never rolled back.  She didn't roll 360 degrees, she didn't scoot, she didn't sit up on her own.  I had to place her in a position and she would stay there until she either fell over or cried to be moved.  A month ago she finally began rolling with gusto.  Two weeks later she started army crawling and within a week of that she learned to really crawl, pull herself into sitting position, and pull up and cruise on furniture.

Although I worried a little what this phase of life would entail, I'm enjoying it immensely.  Andrea is much happier.

Sewing update: I decided to use the extra fabric I bought for purse making to make a bib for Andrea.  She loves to stare at the contrasting black and white.  Well worth the two dollars I paid.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lightning bugs

I'm having writers block.  It's a serious medical condition that can only be treated with chocolate.

I wish.

Because I have no chocolate at my house I sifted through old blog posts, high school short stories, and junior high poetry.  My life use to be filled with adventure.  Whether it was mustard colored dryers, door-to-door sales men, or neighbors showing up whilst I sat around in my undies (this actually still happens. . .) I always found experiences to write about and analogies in the simplest of circumstances.  All this sifting dropped the cold, hard truth on my sinus-infected noggin: My life just isn't exciting anymore.

Then again, it wasn't that exciting before, was it?  I merely allowed myself to be excited over mundane and mediocre.  Like opening a jar of bouillon.  And I learned about myself and the world from the simplicity of a speed bump or lasagna.  I miss this.

Today I set out to find something ordinary that could be molded into extraordinary from which I could learn a life lesson.  Surely I have not lost this ability and I was determined to prove it to myself.

At 7:45 Andrea woke up.  After retrieving her from her crib I laid her down on the floor for a diaper change.  Her eyes squinted at the lights as she pulled her nightgown over her face.  I opened her diaper and found a little nugget surprise.  Usually she's just wet in the mornings.  Poop analogy?  Probably not a good idea. . .  We finished up the diaper change and cuddled up on the couch for Andrea's breakfast.  Her little hand patted my arm for a while before her fingers pinched into my skin and her sharp nails almost drew blood. Time to cut them.  Nail clipping analogy?  Nah.

After nursing, Andrea was buckled up in her highchair for her morning oatmeal.  Her new little tooth scraped the spoon after every bite and she smiled and clapped at my load-the-dishwasher song.  The reaction inspired me to add some dance moves to the morning routine, but as I stumbled around the kitchen like a wounded bovine my uncoordinated feet seemed to find every baby puff that Andrea had banished to the floor.  Cereal crunching analogy?  Hmm.  I retrieved the vacuum and gave my kitchen floor a little t.l.c. while Andrea played peek-a-boo with the counter top and my rocking chair.  Peek-a-boo analogy?

Once the floor was clean I sat my daughter on the rug in the living room.  Sitting analogy?  She reached for her toy bucket and pulled out a book.  Reading analogy?  She flopped on to her tummy.  Flopping analogy?  She smiled at her rubber duck and drooled.  Drooling analogy?  I sniffed.  Sniffing analogy? Toenail polish removing analogy?  Phone charging analogy?  Where's-my-chapstick analogy? Andrea!-Don't-chew-on-Daddy's-shoe analogy?

My analogy search wasn't going well until I had an epiphany.  My other analogies weren't something I sought after.  They sort of fell on me like a house on a witch.  Like anvils on Wile E. Coyote.  Like flower pots on Donald Duck.  Despite how painful that list of similes may sound, I enjoy the possess.  So, now I'm just waiting and occasionally looking up hoping at any moment a new understanding of the simple everyday will lead to another lesson learned.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Zebra and a dress

Remember these pillows I sewed for my in-laws using old curtains and 50% off fabric?

I had some extra that I thought I'd put to good use.  I found this pattern at Wal-Mart for two dollars and I had to snatch it up.  It contains four sizes (newborn to large) and since Andrea is a small I thought I could use this pattern to make dresses for her in the future as she grows.

This was the finished product.  (I should have ironed it before I took this picture!)

She wore it to church yesterday.  It's still a little big, but she'll grow into it.

All this sewing has got me in the mood to sew more.  Then I saw this bag that came with a free pattern:
I've been looking for a small purse like this ever since my mom insisted I retire my six year old ratty bag.  Not only have I not been able to find anything as perfect as my old bag, but I needed something. . . cheap.

Fat quarters are $.99 at Wal-Mart and although the pattern called for two fat quarters I couldn't decided between the green fabric and the blue flowers.  So I bought both.  I eventually decided to use the blue and pink flowers but I may make a second purse or some bibs for Andrea with the green.

You may be wondering about those zebra stripes, but I wanted something really fun for the inside of the purse. . . I have such a monotonous life right now that I decided to take a risk and choose a fabric that I normally wouldn't.

Even this flower print was a little different for me, but the longer I looked at it the more I liked it.

I love how it turned out.  It's the perfect size.  The pattern strap was shorter than I like, and I didn't want deodorant rubbing on my beautiful flowers, so I measured the strap on my old bag and cut the new strap to the same length.  The strap cost me  $1.60.  Sweet. I could have used leftover fabric from the purse to make a strap but wanted something sturdier.  $1.60 was worth it.
The most expensive part of the bag was the magnetic snap which was $2.50.

 So the grand total: $6.10!