Friday, September 28, 2012

New classroom pets

They're not teens, they're not mutants, and (as far as I know) they aren't ninjas!
But...they are turtles!
The newest pet members of our family were gifted to the girls this week.
We weren't expecting them, so they had to spend a couple of days under a desk lamp until we could get to the pet store for a proper basking lamp and bulb.
This is Shiloh's turtle. She's more green colored and her name is "Katie".
Shiloh named her after the kids book "Katie did it"...where everything gets blamed on the little girl named Katie.
I don't think there's much she can blame a turtle for though..?
This is Vivian's turtle. She's more darker colored.
Vivian named her turtle after her favorite Lalaloopsy.
Introducing...."Pillow Featherbed"!!!
Both turtles just started eating today. It took them a few days to adjust.
Pillow Featherbed must have been quite hungry as she's been eating a lot!
And she loves the basking light...
Now that's a happy turtle.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Singing the praises of....

Vivian slept through the night!!
I know that laugh was a bit maniacal, but I got sleep, she got sleep, and most importantly she's not itchy and scratching herself raw.
The medicine lasts 24 hours and I notice she's not scratching herself nearly as much today as she has been, and really she hadn't slept through the night since her eczema started up this Fall.
I'm hoping it keeps working! :)
On the crafting front.
I had a coupon for Michael's so the girls and I stopped over there and were browsing their aisles.
Michael's is pretty new to us, we're more familiar with Joann's Fabrics.
I am interested in trying my hand in a lot of different crafts and hobbies, but I don't want to end up with a room full of craft supplies so I really have to reign myself in and stick to what I think is useful, and crafts that I'll truly invest in and enjoy doing.
So I went for supplies for crafts that I already dabble in. Michael's had a good supply of yarns, but a lot of small skeins of the fancy stuff (super fluffy, fake fur yarn, silky pom pom strands etc.) which I don't really use much.
So I opted to use my coupon on a new rotary cutter for fabrics (and other stuff).
I was cutting some slippery fabric with scissors the other day and it was nearly impossible so hopefully this cutter will help with that.
Plus my scissors always end up with stuff like Elmer's glue on it, which makes them even less usable for fabrics so I'm kind of excited to see how the cutter works.
Unlike Joann's, which carries a wide variety, Michael's doesn't carry any fabrics at all nor all sewing supplies like buttons, machines and notions. I'm actually surprised they even had the cutter there!
They've invested more in frames, beading, and scrapbooking supplies. They had a nice selection of Wilton and baking supplies too.
But overall Joann's caters more to my sewing and knitting hobbies.
I have a couple of crochet items that I want to make.
I started out one project and realized the color of the yarn I was using, was not what I wanted so I bought the right color and I just need to start again.
The nice thing though is that my pattern was coming out right!
Crochet is pretty new to me so I was really happy that I was following this correctly on my first try.
I need to have the basic instructions right next to the pattern to help me through...and I have to stay motivated.
I can see how simple this pattern and stitches are, but still I have to concentrate and focus on each stitch since it's new to me and that is a bit frustrating.
It's tempting to just convert it to knitting and be be done with it, I could do it quickly while watching a show instead of stitch by stitch.
But I like the look the crochet lends to this project and it's good for my brain to try out new things, right?
Probably good for my patience level too. ;-)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

New Eczema routine

Dealing with Vivian's eczema-plagued skin is an on-going, day-by-day thing. :(
I did not give her Benadryl before bed last night.
Going to sleep is not a problem for her but she wakes in the middle of the night scratching and that's when she's most itchy (well that and after a bath).
She was still waking when she was on Benadryl anyway so it really wasn't helping with that issue.
So she woke up about 3 1/2 hours after she went to bed, that's pretty much on cue.
She's scratching and complaining about being itchy, but when I feel her belly in the dark it's really bumpy feeling.
I bring her downstairs and her belly is covered in hives! A few on her legs and other places as well.
Vivi does tend to break out in random hives, but seriously at this time she could use a break!
(She still has the stuffy nose going on too...)
I gave her Benadryl...and she ate a little and fell back asleep.
I went out today and found two different 24-hr. allergy medicines for her age group.
They both had different active ingredients, one Claritin and one Zyrtec and I didn't have a clue which one to choose.
Thankfully they had pharmacists working on a Sunday!
The pharmacist was very helpful and explained either one might help her. We just don't know which one her body would react best to.
So he advised trying the Zyrtec first as he sees that working more often.
So then I went to get her the Cetaphil bar/soap and I thought about what the pharmacist said, and really the Cetaphil hasn't "helped" just doesn't make her skin worse.
So I found this Basis sensitive skin bar and decided to try that instead.
I'm also trying to wash her mostly with just water and using the soap just for parts that need more cleaning, then our usual routine of baby oil and vaseline on the itchy places.
Hopefully this is a eczema-kicking...or at least eczema-controlling routine!
I guess I'll see what the night brings!
Driving home from shopping, I mentioned to the girls how nice it is to have all these stores just a short drive from home.
I told them when I was a kid we had to drive pretty far to go shopping and we didn't even a Wal-Mart for a long time (I'm so old! lol).
Shiloh looked at me seriously "You couldn't even get liverwurst?!?!"
That was the worst thing that came to her mind, being far from liverwurst.
That's my daughter. :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Hello Fall!

What better way to ring in the Autumn Season than by visiting a Cider Mill and Craft show? :)
The weather was cooperating, it really didn't look like it was going to but it turned out to be a lovely morning.
I wish I had brought my camera because there were more photo ops than I expected, but then again I had my hands full with pushing the stroller on sand and gravel, keeping my eyes on the girls, and balloon animals that kept blowing away.
It was crowded but fun.
I should have made the girls wear sneakers though, they kept getting sand and pebbles in their sandals and they hate that.
I hadn't been there before so I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was quite nice.
They didn't have a petting zoo though, and I was looking forward to that.
I finally asked a staff member and he said they used to have a few goats, but not anymore.
Shiloh's eyes lit up at the sight of the candy apple stand, so we had to grab a couple!
The girls very first ones!
They licked them a bit and then we put them in the fridge, I think they'll last awhile and Mommy and Daddy will probably end up eating most of the apple! :)
The only downside was that Vivian wasn't feeling too great.
She's sneezy and stuffy.
I'm not sure if it's an allergy or she's coming down with a cold.
I gave her Benadryl last night for her skin and it seemed to work because she woke up itching & scratching 5 1/2 hours after I gave it to her.
It's supposed to last 4-6 hours.
I gave her another dose then and she slept through until morning.
I may have to look and see if I can find a longer-lasting allergy medicine for her age so she can actually sleep through the night though.
There was also a sluice, water mill, and covered bridge and those were really neat to see.
Then we saw a board showing different precious stones so I was having Shiloh try to read the names to me.
When she got to Pyrite and I asked her if she knew another name for it.
She thought for a moment and said "Yes, I do! It's Fool's Gold!"
I was agape "How did you know that?"
"I read it in a book!"

Friday, September 21, 2012

Last day of Summer

It was a beautiful day! :)
The girls and I spent a good couple hours outside today playing and doing yardwork.
I washed a load of rugs and hung them out to dry.
I had three bushes that needed trimming. One bush is supposed to be pruned this time of year, one in the spring, and the other I didn't bother looking up.
I had the time now so I did them all. I find that works best.
The garden is mostly empty now so the girls had a lot of fun digging there.
Shiloh was very busy "planting stones" while Vivian "gave the plants some dirt." :)
We also briefly tried Shi's bike without the training wheels, but that didn't last too long.
She's not that great at balancing on her feet so it might be a stretch to try it now. lol.
She was also eating an apple the other day and loosened up another one of her teeth pretty good...Stop growing little girl! :)
The girls have been a bit chilled sometimes with the changing temperatures so I grabbed a couple of little crib quilts for them and put them in the living room so they can grab those instead of the big crocheted afghans.
 They have loved it so much and now they're constantly camping out somewhere with pillows and the quilts, reading or watching a movie, or tucking in their dolls and so on. :)
It's those simple little things!
Unfortunately the changing temps and humidity affects Vivian badly.
I always think/hope that she'll outgrow it but every spring and fall we go through a flare up of her eczema.
She's so itchy after her bath that I'm really thinking of switching her to showers this time of year....even though she really doesn't like those.
But worse is her waking up in the middle of the night just inconsolably itchy.
She scratches herself so bad and it's just awful.
I gave her Benadryl before bed tonight and I'm hoping that does the trick because she's been so tired and a bit irritable from the lack of sleep.
She really needs to get a good night's sleep...and it wouldn't her Mama either!
(I just realized I've been using her snake soap for her baths, so I need to switch her to Cetaphil now that her skin is acting up.)
Poor kiddo.
It's easier to be sympathetic now, it's much harder at 2am.
We took the girls to the playground the other day and I thought to bring my camera.
This playground even has a porta-potty.
I've got to say, all playgrounds should have some type of potty available. ;-)

Some little boys were on the playground, they were smaller than Shiloh but boy were they daring.
I guess that's the difference with boys.
Anyways they were blocking Shiloh's way with their play, so she politely backed up so they could pass. But they didn't.
So then Vivian came up and the two of them started to go forward together like a little plow. lol.
Just reminded me of myself and my sister. :)
Then the boys' Dad noticed and told the boys to get out of the way, but DH was coming right behind the girls so I knew they were going to move either way.

My own Dreamworks

I have been having a lot of active dreams lately.
I mean really active, like movies really.
DH says it's because I've been thinking too much.
Who, Me?!
The bad thing is that these dreams keep my brain so active at night, that I'm really tired during the day. :(
In one dream, (I'm not sure why I was there or involved at all) a couple was trying to adopt twin boys who were about 8-9yrs old.
Then one boy became very sick but they weren't allowed to get him out so they set up this huge movie-esque rescue of him, but decided to leave his twin there because they still wanted to adopt him legally.
There are a bunch of people involved in the rescue and they all cram into the cab of a pick-up truck to escape....then I refuse to get in because now I suddenly have the girls with me and it's not safe and there is no room for their car seats.
But I guess I am able to find alternate transportation, because next there is a detective at the couple's home searching for the boy.
He's a detective from a TV show. ;-)
He keeps coming and searching nearly every day...and then I wake up.
Then last night I dreamt that the President was assassinated by poisonous snakes in his car, while he was visiting Syria.
(I know, what in the world??)
His car went off a bridge, so it took them awhile to find out about the snakes.
Then I was worried about war with Syria, Biden being President, how it would affect the Election, and I felt bad for the President's daughters.
I've definitely not been having restful nights!
Calm down brain!
Or maybe I should blame the Doritos I ate before bed?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Panda toaster cover

Happy Birthday to my sweet six year old Princess today! :)
She had fun playing with her new toys and helping me with my newest project.
I decided that I wanted a cover for my toaster.
I was thinking about the dust and stuff that gets into the toaster and I really wanted to cover mine.
So I started looking for toaster covers online...
But most everything looks like these appliance covers from
It didn't matter if they were homemade or from a store, they were all rather dull and looked like lumps of fabric on the counter.
Not what I was looking for at all...
So I knew I'd have to make what I wanted totally from scratch. Eek!
My kitchen colors are black and white so I started to think of what would go with those colors, and also how to make it not seem like this blob of fabric on my counter.
So I sketched out this panda pattern last night with my kiddos' crayons. :)
The idea of it was just too adorable, I just had to try to make it! :)
I finally bought a measuring mat!!! Yay!!
It is much easier to measure fabric with it...and will save scratches on my tables and counters.
This was my view this afternoon, watching "Project Runway" while I sewed. :)
It's my motivation, "If they can make an evening gown in this episode then I certainly can make a little panda!". 
Ta da! Introducing the newest Panda to hit the U.S.
Shi helped me choose buttons for the eyes and she wanted a flower by the ear, so it could be a girl.
I used white felt for the face which worked great for adding fuzziness and also firmness so the face would stay up and not flop over, but the rest is just scraps that I had on hand.
The black fabric was a bear to work with! (bad pun!)
And of course, I had to add a little panda tail.
Oh, the cuteness!
Definitely not just a lump of fabric on my counter and my toaster is covered nicely!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Growing, growing

My girl is growing too fast!
Her hair is growing too fast...
This photo was taken just before I trimmed a few inches off the bottom this week.
And...she turns six tomorrow!
We had a little family party today.
Shi was pretty set on what she wanted, a "smooth" blue cake with Tinkerbell on the top and...
Rainbow inside! :)
Rainbow cakes are fun!
We ended the day with a nice family walk around the neighborhood and letting the girls play at a new playground that we hadn't been to before.
I have a new project in mind that I hope to get to tomorrow or this weekend.
It shouldn't take long at all to complete and I'm excited! :)

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Homeschool jumpers

I have been busy Fall cleaning...even though it's not Autumn just yet.
Also Fall decorating, it just feels like Fall to me.
(See my new tablecloth below? :)
This is has been my view the past few days.
Sitting at my sewing machine or hand-sewing while watching a show on my laptop or Homeschooling.
These sewing projects were just another idea I had...without any pattern.
I like the look of school uniform jumpers and I had this plaid material with dalmatians on it that the girls liked.
I wanted to try to avoid any buttons up the back because Shiloh recently had an incident where her hair wrapped so badly around a button at the back of her neck, that I had to cut off the button to free her! :(
I barely had enough material for my designs which added another stress factor to my sewing but seriously I impressed myself with the results. :)
They came out so cute.

Shiloh's jumper.

Vivian's jumper
I kept thinking I would love the jumpers in a blue plaid better, but the dalmatians are growing on me. ;-)
My models
Back to Homeschool in style. :)