Monday, April 26, 2010


On Friday I set out to make ties for my boys. Have you ever looked for ties for little boys when it's not Easter or Christmas? They are quite difficult to find. I decided to make them myself.
Here is the finished product. I haven't made the second tie yet because some changes need to be made to the pattern I used. It called for light weight, one sided, fusible interfacing. This tie is super thick. When my 6 year old wore it to church yesterday the points of his collar stuck up. The knot was super thick. So my question is this.... if I leave out the interfacing will it make the tie wrinkle super easy? Will it be way too thin? What would you do?

National Infertility Awareness Week!

Do you know someone who is dealing with infertility? Well.... if you are reading this blog you sure do! I thought I'd post one of my favorite articles dealing with infertility for National Infertility Awareness week. Here's the link:

If you don't have time to read the whole thing it is a list of etiquette rules for the fertile. If you read it you'll laugh and wonder why anyone would say such awful things. These things aren't way out there or over exaggerated. Jeff and I have almost every single one of these things said to us at one time or another. If we haven't had them said to us we know someone who has. There are several versions of this out there, but here are the highlights:

1- nfertility is, indeed, a very painful struggle. The pain is similar to the grief over losing a loved one, but it is unique because it is a recurring grief. When a loved one dies, he isn't coming back. There is no hope that he will come back from the dead. You must work through the stages of grief, accept that you will never see this person again, and move on with your life.

The grief of infertility is not so cut and dry. Infertile people grieve the loss of the baby that they may never know. They grieve the loss of that baby who would have had mommy's nose and daddy's eyes. But, each month, there is the hope that maybe that baby will be conceived after all. No matter how hard they try to prepare themselves for bad news, they still hope that this month will be different. Then, the bad news comes again, and the grief washes over the infertile couple anew. This process happens month after month, year after year. It is like having a deep cut that keeps getting opened right when it starts to heal.

Don't Tell Them to Relax

Everyone knows someone who had trouble conceiving but then finally became pregnant once she "relaxed." Couples who are able to conceive after a few months of "relaxing" are not infertile

Don't Minimize the Problem

Comments like, "Just enjoy being able to sleep late . . . .travel . . etc.," do not offer comfort. Instead, these comments make infertile people feel like you are minimizing their pain. You wouldn't tell somebody whose parent just died to be thankful that he no longer has to buy Father's Day or Mother's Day cards. Losing that one obligation doesn't even begin to compensate for the incredible loss of losing a parent. In the same vein, being able to sleep late or travel does not provide comfort to somebody who desperately wants a child.

I would also add don't be quick to jump on the infertility band wagon. Just because you have been trying for 3 months, 6 months or even a year does not make you infertile. It makes you normal. It takes an average person about a year to get pregnant.

Sometimes people are seem to want to join in the "infertility misery club." If you complain about your "infertility" and you haven't been trying for a few years it will make your infertile friends want to run the other way. It's being insensitive to their struggle and minimizing what they are going through.

Don't Say There Are Worse Things That Could Happen

Along the same lines, don't tell your friend that there are worse things that she could be going through. Who is the final authority on what is the "worst" thing that could happen to someone? Is it going through a divorce? Watching a loved one die? Getting raped? Losing a job? Different people react to different life experiences in different ways.

Don't Say They Aren't Meant to Be Parents

One of the cruelest things anyone ever said to me is, "Maybe God doesn't intend for you to be a mother." How incredibly insensitive to imply that I would be such a bad mother that God felt the need to divinely sterilize me

Don't Complain About Your Pregnancy

This message is for pregnant women-Just being around you is painful for your infertile friends. Seeing your belly grow is a constant reminder of what your infertile friend cannot have. Unless an infertile women plans to spend her life in a cave, she has to find a way to interact with pregnant women. However, there are things you can do as her friend to make it easier.

The number one rule is DON'T COMPLAIN ABOUT YOUR PREGNANCY. I understand from my friends that, when you are pregnant, your hormones are going crazy and you experience a lot of discomfort, such as queasiness, stretch marks, and fatigue. You have every right to vent about the discomforts to any one else in your life, but don't put your infertile friend in the position of comforting you. Seriously, if ugly maternity clothes is the worst thing in your life, you are in good shape.

Your infertile friend would give anything to experience the discomforts you are enduring because those discomforts come from a baby growing inside of you. When I heard a pregnant woman complain about morning sickness, I would think, "I'd gladly throw up for nine straight months if it meant I could have a baby." When a pregnant woman would complain about her weight gain, I would think, "I would cut off my arm if I could be in your shoes."

I managed to go to baby showers and hospitals to welcome my friends' new babies, but it was hard. Without exception, it was hard. Stay sensitive to your infertile friend's emotions, and give her the leeway that she needs to be happy for you while she cries for herself. If she can't bring herself to hold your new baby, give her time. She isn't rejecting you or your new baby; she is just trying to work her way through her pain to show sincere joy for you. The fact that she is willing to endure such pain in order to celebrate your new baby with you speaks volumes about how much your friendship means to her.

Don't Treat Them Like They Are Ignorant

For some reason, some people seem to think that infertility causes a person to become unrealistic about the responsibilities of parenthood. I don't follow the logic, but several people told me that I wouldn't ache for a baby so much if I appreciated how much responsibility was involved in parenting.

Don't Gossip About Your Friend's Condition

Infertility treatments are very private and embarrassing, which is why many couples choose to undergo these treatments in secret. Men especially are very sensitive to letting people know about infertility testing, such as sperm counts. Gossiping about infertility is not usually done in a malicious manner. The gossipers are usually well-meaning people who are only trying to find out more about infertility so they can help their loved ones.

Regardless of why you are sharing this information with someone else, it hurts and embarrasses your friend to find out that Madge the bank teller knows what your husband's sperm count is and when your next period is expected. Infertility is something that should be kept as private as your friend wants to keep it. Respect your friend's privacy, and don't share any information that your friend hasn't authorized.

Support Their Decision to Stop Treatments

No couple can endure infertility treatments forever. At some point, they will stop. This is an agonizing decision to make, and it involves even more grief. Even if the couple chooses to adopt a baby, they must still first grieve the loss of that baby who would have had mommy's nose and daddy's eyes.

Once the couple has made the decision to stop treatments, support their decision. Don't encourage them to try again, and don't discourage them from adopting, if that is their choice. Once the couple has reached resolution (whether to live without children, adopt a child, or become foster parents), they can finally put that chapter of their lives behind them. Don't try to open that chapter again.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Power of Paint

I haven't been sewing much lately. I can't seem to get into it lately. Not sure why. Hope it comes back. I have been working on my house though.

The following took place two weeks ago, but I wasn't ready to talk about it until now. We ordered new carpet in the bedrooms and before it was installed I had to paint. The boys room was a pale yellow color. I've come to terms with the fact that I don't really like yellow. It's fine as an accent color, but I don't love yellow clothes or to decorate my house in yellow. This room was yellow and it had to be stopped.
I didn't take the before pictures until I had taped and moved furniture to the middle. The picture is kind of dark and shadowy, but you can kind of see it.

I wasn't super sure about the color. The boys picked it out and really, really wanted blue. I'm fine with blue, but this blue was pretty intense. It is their room... right?

The old carpet in this room was a light blue. It wasn't hideous, but it wasn't good either.
Here is the prime reason we were replacing carpet. This old, ugly cheap stained carpet (please excuse the abandoned, dead dinosaur). This carpet is the "brown room." As you see the following pictures of the room you will feel the life and happiness being sucked out of you. It was a dull, boring, plain room. The baby has been sleeping in a tiny room until we could get this room done. Nobody should have to sleep in the brown room.
To match the ugly brown carpet was the ugly brown walls. I am a fan of beige walls with white trim, which is what this picture looks like, but this was off-white of some sort. The beige was dirty everywhere too. I also think it was wall paper that was painted over because it had a different texture.
Another dismal picture of a dismal room.

I dreaded painting the brown room because I knew the doors and trim all had to be done. It was a big job. I wanted to wait until the carpet was out to do it because I didn't want to get carpet fibers in the baseboard. As we thought it through though we also didn't want to live carpetless for a week while the paint dried so they could install the carpet. One day while Jeff was at work and the baby was taking a nap I decided to pull up the carpet around the edges on a suggestion from my dad. It worked! I got all the trim done in about an hour. It was wonderful not to have to tape!
I didn't even cry when I had a huge paint spill on that awful carpet. The white paint totally brightened up the room, even with the gross carpet and dirty walls.

I let it dry for two days before I began on the color. For some unknown reason I decided I could get both rooms done during the baby's morning and afternoon naps. That's a total of about 4 hours. Shouldn't be too hard..... right? After all... I used to practically be a professional wall painter!

I taped the boys room the night before. It wasn't too bad since I only had to tape the ceiling and the top of the chair rail. Then I painted during nap time and turned on a show for my 3 year old.

My dad came over in the afternoon to watch the kids so I could paint. Two hours later I finished taping.... but that's all. I hate taping. I had big plans to do molding on the bottom of the wall under the chair rail. With all the taping I decided it wasn't worth it. When I went to repaint later I would have tons more taping. I'll wait until I do a more neutral, non fad color.

I spent the afternoon painting the room a bright green. It was amazing to see the difference from dull and depressing to bright and happy. I spent the rest of the afternoon painting the first coat in Olivia's room. I ended up calling Jeff and telling him he would be doing the second coat in the boy's room that night. He also brought home a pizza.

12 hours from start to finish (not including the time it took Jeff to do the second coat) I was done. It was worth it. No more yellow.

I still don't have anything on the walls. I'm working on that. And yes, this is my three year old's bed and yes he did make it all by his three year old self. And yes, the dog he told his primary teachers about is sitting on the bed. They thought he was telling about a real dog. Harry. Who is about twice the size of him.
Here is the baby's room with a glimpse of the new carpet. The green is brighter in real life.

Overall it was worth the effort, but I won't be painting for a long, long time... except the dining room and the kid's bathroom and possibly the family room. I still have 2 coupons for free paint.

I'll post the decorations as I add them.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Lots of TV but still didn't get much done.

I had a lot of time this weekend to do hand work. I had hoped to get the baby quilt I'm working on bound, but I didn't get it quilted ahead of time. This was all I got done. Only the purple part. Better than nothing... right? I like making the flowers for the Grandma's Flower Garden quilt, but I'm not sure that I like doing the white path. We'll see what happens.....