Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

I'm so proud to have made Madison's costume, in time for trick trunk-or-treating tonight!  I'm excited to share it with you, but first I've got to give a big shout out to Mrs. Dusek, my high school chemistry/physics teacher, without whom I would not know how to thread a needle.  Mrs. Dusek, I cannot for the life of me remember why we sewed moles for your class, but it sure saved me a lot of money this Halloween, so thanks!

Madison is going as Pebbles Flintstone this year.  Just imagine her sweet red ponytail.  I love it! 

Anyhoo, I decided on Pebbles about a month ago.  The original plan was to purchase her costume on Etsy.  Sure, thirty bucks (plus shipping) sounded like a lot of dough, but I figured, "Can you really put a price on that much cuteness?"  Well apparently you can, and that price must be a bit lower than $40, because I just couldn't make myself pull the trigger.

I kept putting it off, until Monday (t minus two days until Halloween!!!) rolled around and Madison STILL didn't have a costume.  So that night I did what any typical mom penny-pinching tightwad would do and went to Walmart for some material.  About ten dollars later, I left with a yard of green fleece, a thimble, a gallon of milk, and a lot of anxiety about my ability to make this thing happen.

Not one to be deterred, I got to work as soon as I put the milk in the fridge.  First, I used a yellow sharpie (because that's the first writing implement I found) to trace a slightly bigger version of this shirt onto the fleece.  I made it bigger because I knew that I would need extra room for my seam.  Turns out that people in the know call that a seam allowance. 
 After holding the first cut up to Madison, I realized it wasn't big enough.  Rather than starting over, I dubbed the first cut "the front" and just made the next one about two inches wider.
 At this point, Madison (aka my mannequin) had to go to bed, so I was flying blind.  I probably should have tabled the project until she woke up so I could double check the measurements guesstimations, but (spoiler alert) it worked out okay.  I hand stitched the sides and shoulders, pretty much making it up as I went along.  I have no idea if I threaded the needle correctly, tied the right knots, or used the appropriate stitch, but the shirt hasn't fallen apart yet, so I'm gonna go with yes.
 Patrick went to bed when I had finished three of the four seams.  I hadn't talked with him at all about how I was going to construct the costume, so he was surprised the next day when I "hid the seams".  That crazy guy didn't know that it was inside out!

As soon as Madison woke up Tuesday morning, I threw it on over her pajamas.  It fit!
 During her nap and a few snippets of time I stole while she played independently, I worked on cutting all the edges to look jagged and sewing black triangle flecks to the costume.  There are twenty flecks in all.  Phew!  Glad that's done! 

This is the most current picture I've got, it's about 80% complete here.  I'll share the final reveal tomorrow!  I don't want to risk ripping my amateur seams by putting it on her again unnecessarily.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 22, 2012

What's On My Mind Monday

Linking up over here:
miscellany monday at lowercase letters

I.  We just had the best four day weekend EVER.  We kept it super low key, so the main event was hitting up the Houston Zoo for Madison's first time.  She loved it!

I LOVE this picture of her.

 In this next one, she's looking/pointing at a pair of antelope being very natural, if ya know what I mean.  That should help explain Pat's expression.

II.  Pat's birthday was Friday, so I baked him a cake, from scratch (minus the icing).  It wasn't very good, darn it.  Nothing like working so long on something, in eager anticipation of your first bite, and then realizing that you overbaked the dang thing.  It was pretty, though!
Funny side story: I was going for the whole candy corn gradient look, because as a kid Pat loved when his mom would decorate his birthday cake with candy corn.  Sweet, right?  Yeah, except that she never decorated his cake with candy corn; it was candy pumpkins.  This is the third year in a row that I have made him a candy corn cake by mistake.  Every year, he's very sweetly corrected me.  I'm sure it'll be the same thing next year.  Early onset Alzheimer's?

III.  We took Madison to a pumpkin patch on Saturday and got zero pictures of her looking at the camera.  Humph. 
And the snug shirt she's wearing?  Last year's Halloween dress.  At this rate, next year it'll be a sock.
IV.  The Texans.  Oh, my goodness, how I loved watching yesterday's game.  I had so many favorite parts! 

Happy Monday!

Monday, October 15, 2012

What's On My Mind Monday

Linking up over here.

I. Patrick's dad, Bill Philpot, passed away Tuesday night.  The last week and a half has been a whirlwind.  Today, our routine goes back to normal; I think we're both thankful, but also fearful, for that.  We're also thankful for our amazing support system.  We've got the best friends and family, period.

II.  I'm so glad that Patrick will be off Thursday and Friday.  He asked those days off about a month ago for his birthday (Friday), and having a three day week is a huge blessing.  We're planning to go to the zoo and possibly a pumpkin patch, but leave it otherwise very low key.

III.  Madison is a very good helper.  Here she is helping me to unload the groceries:

 Happy Monday!

Monday, October 8, 2012

What's On My Mind Monday

Linking up over here.  Fair warning: this one's kind of heavy, so feel free to skip this post if you're not ready for all that jazz.  If you don't already know what's going on with our family, Patrick's dad Bill was placed in hospice care on Friday.  Thanks for your prayers.

I.  Thankfulness.  I'm so thankful to have married into a family so full of love.  This weekend was one of the most difficult times Pat and I have ever been through, but it was made so much more bearable by the way everyone held each other up.  Sometimes literally.  For the worst reason in the world, we've all been seeing a lot of each other this past few days.  The way these (grown) kids have come together says a lot about the people who raised them. 

II.  Fear.  Pat and I have never lost anyone this close before.  We don't really know how to do it.  I think we were mostly in the denial phase until pretty late last night.  Now our grief is kind of like the tide.  I love Bill, and I am definitely struggling to deal with what he's going through, but the hardest part for me is seeing Patrick hurting and not being able to do anything to help him.

III.  Gratitude.  I don't ask for help lightly.  Usually, I would say I don't ask for help EVER, but in the last three weeks I've had to ask my mom for emergency babysitting four (or is it five?  I'm losing count.) times.  By emergency, I mean less than twelve hours notice.  Sometimes even less than an hour's notice.  Just this weekend, she kept Madison all day Saturday, then also Sunday evening including bed time.  And there's probably more of that in our very near future.

IV.  Surprise.  I know you're supposed to put your spouse before your child/children (no I'm not pregnant, hence the Monster), but I kind of figured that I had messed that up.  I really thought that Madison was first in my mind until last night.  Since she was a newborn, I've never missed bedtime.  Not even once.  So last night, when I brought her to my mom's so I could be with Pat while he was with his dad, I figured I'd spend all evening worrying about bedtime.  To the contrary, I didn't think about it at all until we were on our way home, hours after Madison went down.  And I feel zero guilt about that, only thankfulness that I was able to be with Patrick. 

V.  Distraction.  God has blessed us with a few things that distract us for a while from everything going on with Bill.  For starters, Patrick got a promotion at work that comes with an exciting raise.  His boss, whom I've never met but pretty much love, pulled him aside just before he left and said that he wanted to give him something nice to think about.  Then he told him the job's a done deal and his new pay rate.  After they fill Patrick's current position, possibly as soon as a month from now, he will be a specialty gas analyst/blender/chemist.  The title changes depending on who you talk to.  Whatever he'll be called, he's excited to get back into the production side of the business, even though he enjoyed his desk job (for the less than six months he had it) and was kind of okay with driving.  This little girl has also been a pretty wonderful distraction:

Sorry it's sideways.  No time to fix it!
VI.  Friends.  We've got some great ones.  This is all from a friend who lost his mom and knows what Patrick's going through:
Again, sorry it's sideways.

Have a happy Monday!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

House Tour: The Kitchen (Update 10/4/12)

First, just let me say that Patrick and I so appreciate all of your prayers/wishes/advice about coping with grief.  Knowing that we have a community of family and friends that cares about and is praying for us has already been a huge blessing to us.  Please keep those prayers coming.

So much has changed since our last kitchen tour.  And thank goodness for that; this place was a hot MESS!
To recap, here was my list of goals for the room (in bold), along with their current status:
-Replace flooring-Check!
-Replace countertops/backsplash- Not so much.  I have painted the backsplash (again) to make it blend in more, but the ugly countertops unfortunately haven't changed a bit.
-Repaint the stovetop- Nope.
-Paint (or replace?) vent hood- Not even a little bit.
-Paint refrigerator-Never mind.  The fridge is sadly going to die soon, so we're waiting it out.  Once it dies, we'll just buy a black one.  Because we're conventional cheap like that.
-Install island-Patrick is trying to talk me out of this one.  The realtor is on his side, but I still haven't admitted defeat. 
-Buy/make barstools-Not necessary unless (who are we kidding, UNTIL) I get my island.
-Paint base of table-Done!
-Build window seat- Nope.
-Install recessed light over sink-Nope.
-Find shallow drawer pulls-Nope.
-Finish painting trim (including column)-Close, but no cigar.
-Touch up paint-Pretty much done.
-Upgrade electrical switches and outlets to GFCI-Nope.
-Find/DIY art for wall behind table-I changed my mind.  Now I want open shelving there, a la YHL House 1.
-Stencil or otherwise decorate the soffit.-Eh, changed my mind.  Now I'm okay with the soffit.  I will, however, be stenciling the backsplash.

And now for a current picture, as of Tuesday morning:
But wait, there's more!  After enjoying my first Lo-Carb Monster (it's an energy drink) in TWO LOOONNNG YEARS, I managed to paint our backsplash to match the rest of the kitchen walls in about an hour and a half during Madison's nap.
 After finishing the backsplash, I had ample time in her nap to make and eat lunch, list my mom's car on Craigslist, and write half this post.  You've gotta love artificial energy.  Sure, if I drank one every day I'd probably shorten my lifespan by about half, but just think how much more I could get done in that time!  Just kidding.  Kind of.
Mmm, good.
Sorry about the lack of pictures of the other side of the room.  It's pretty much the same as the first picture, except we got rid of the kennel (yay for fully house trained dogs!), cleaned off the top of the fridge, then let more junk accumulate on top of the fridge.  We (I) really need to clean out some closet space.

I can't believe how long it took me to get around to painting the backsplash.  It offered instant gratification, changed the whole feel of the kitchen, and was FREE (we had leftover paint/supplies).  Now I'm racking my brain for what other projects might have the same work:reward ratio!

Have you indulged in any guilty pleasures (like my Monster) lately?  What about finally getting around to something that's been on your list for a long time?  Am I the only one who only notices things like Madison's toy bowls on the floor once they're on film (er, in digital form)?

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Few Verses About Grief

Please be in prayer for Patrick's family.  Bill, Pat's dad, will be placed in hospice care late this weekend or early next week.  We expect him to pass away quickly.  This decision was very difficult for all of them, but thankfully they found a medical directive from a few years ago that very clearly explained Bill's wishes in this situation.   

Patrick and I have never really mourned the loss of anyone this close to us before; we've lost grandparents and uncles, but never a parent.  Patrick doesn't know how to feel or act, and I don't know how to help.  So per Patrick's request, I looked for some verses about grief.  This is what I found.  The actual verses are copied from . 

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, gthat you may not grieve as others do hwho have no hope. 14 For isince we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him jthose who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you kby a word from the Lord,4 that lwe who are alive, who are left until mthe coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For nthe Lord himself will descend ofrom heaven pwith a cry of command, with the voice of qan archangel, and rwith the sound of the trumpet of God. And sthe dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be tcaught up together with them uin the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so vwe will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Romans 8:8
 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time nare not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

2 Corinthians 1:3,4
fBlessed be the gGod and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and hGod of all comfort, iwho comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 

Psalm 147:3
He heals othe brokenhearted
and pbinds up their wounds.

Matthew 5:4
“Blessed are vthose who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Psalm 73:26
26 iMy flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is jthe strength1 of my heart and my kportion lforever.

What verses do you know that help with grief?  Have you helped someone through this before, or been there yourself?  If so, please tell me what I can do to help him, and tell me what not to do/say!

Above all, please be praying for the Philpot family (all of us).  It's going to be a rough weekend.


Monday, October 1, 2012

What's On My Mind Monday

Linking up over here, even though I'm posting super late.

I.  We had such a nice weekend!  It felt almost like a vacation after Pat had been gone for so long.  Patrick stayed home for both of Madison's naps while I went to a baby shower Saturday and to my parents' house to watch the Texans win on Sunday.  Just being alone (not really alone, just not in charge of anyone but myself) for those few hours was amazing, but of course I was excited to see Madison when I got back both days.  It really is luxurious to have the chance to miss her every now and again.

II.  Madison is getting more independent every day.  She will play by herself for up to thirty minutes now, usually with either a book or bowl and spoon.  She LOVES to pretend to eat, and makes a cute "smack" noise when she pretends to take bites.

III.  She seems to have had a vocabulary explosion over the last few weeks.  She wasn't really saying much of anything before, but now she says these words pretty frequently:
DA or yeh (yes)
mo-mo (more) 
da-da (for paw-paw.  ?)
phblblth (elephant sound)
bah-pa (backpack)

And she says these on occasion:
peace (please)
ste-puh-nee(a neighbor friend)
Beh-ah (Bella)
ow-die (outside)
doh (door)
swee (swing)
gooh guh (Good girl, usually said to Bella)
kah (quack)
*and more below

I know I'm forgetting big ones, but I guess these are my faves.  : )

IV.  Please pray for Patrick's dad.  I haven't really written here yet about what's going on with him, and I don't feel comfortable sharing everything, because I don't want to get it all wrong.  Just pray that Pat and his family have the wisdom they need to make some very difficult decisions, and that we all have peace about whatever comes.  Praying for miraculous healing couldn't hurt, either!

Happy Monday,

I'm only going to allow myself one update, but I can't believe I left out up, down, baby, and cup!