Friday, May 28, 2010

Sniff Cough Cough

Well, the boys are sick...again. Last night they both had fevers in the 101 degree range, and they're battling runny noses and coughs. Fun! So please keep both them and us in your prayers, especially since Nathan and I are suppose to escape to Lincoln City on Sunday night to celebrate our 4th anniversary! We have some great plans, a room at an amazing hotel on the beach with a hot tub on our balcony, and we REALLY don't want to miss out on that. Plus it just breaks our hearts to see the boys so miserable.

On the plus side, I have a new combo of clutch and key fob that I absolutely love! Here's a photo of the clutch I made a few weeks ago, with the matching key fob I finished last night.

The fob makes it super easy to find your keys in your purse...or, if you're not carrying a purse or are wearing a skirt with no pockets, you can loop it around your wrist so you don't continually drop your keys! Plus it's cute!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Burnt Flower Bobby Pin

Yesterday, while at a wine tasting at Arbor Brook winery with Nathan and my parents, I saw a gal with an adorable fabric flower on a bobby pin in her hair. I woke up this morning wanting to wear something similar to church, but knew I wouldn't have enough time to perfect the kind of folding that her version required.

So I found this tutorial for a burnt edges flower. Rather than stitching the layers together, I used a dab of hot glue between each layer of fabric, to attach the button (which is oyster shell, it just didn't show up very well in the photo), and to attach the bobby pin to the back. The entire process, including cutting out the circles free-hand, only took about 5 minutes, with the following result.

And no, I didn't wear this hoodie to church. I took this photo after a much-needed nap.

I have so much fun doing these simple, sometimes practical, sometimes just for fun projects. I was actually thinking this morning at church, after a friend asked me how to make my dry-erase frame calendar, that it would be a ton of fun to regularly have a girl's project day. We could choose a few projects to do, I would tell everyone what supplies they would need (because let's face it, I'm too poor to buy everyones' supplies), and then we could gather at my place to make said projects. Sounds like fun to m! Especially if we choose practical projects, like the dry-erase calendar. 'Cause who doesn't need more adorable organization in their lives?!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

An Angel In Our Midst?

I'm not sure what reminded me of her today, but when the boys were in the NICU in Boise they had an amazing respiratory therapist named Shandi. She was quite literally a breath of fresh air, and there were several times that her kindness helped Nathan, myself, and even my parents keep our sanity in what otherwise would have been an overwhelming time in our lives.

All the nurses at St. Luke's in Boise had these weird intercom things that they wore on their scrub shirts. At the press of the button, you could say someones name and it would let you talk to that one person instantly. Well, one of my maternity floor nurses showed my dad that if you pressed the button and said, "Beam me up, Scotty", it would make the Star Wars beaming noise. It would also say, "Live long and prosper.", although I don't remember what the code word for that one was. Anyway, Shandi had a big enough heart to play along when my dad told her to try it (anyone else would have probably laughed it off and ignored him), and that kind of sealed the deal for all of us. We always looked forward to seeing her, and before we were discharged from the hospital, she gave me her email address so I could send her photos and updates of the boys as they grew.

About two months after we had brought the boys home, I came across Shandi's email address and decided to email her the link to our blog. We had become close with a lot of nurses in the NICU and I would have loved for Shandi to share this with all of them. Much to my disappointment, when I sent the email I got an error message back saying that her email address did not exist.

Another month later, we travelled back to Boise for the boys' preemie follow-up appointment. After getting the all-clear from the doc and the occupational therapist, we decided to take a quick trip over to the NICU to see if any of our favorite nurses were on. Unfortunately, most of the ones we had formed friendships with were on night shift (it's a whole lot quieter in the NICU at night, much more conducive to conversation).

Here's the strange that quite literally gives me goose bumps. We specifically asked for Shandi, knowing she usually worked days. The girl at the front desk had never heard of her. She asked around. None of the nurses had ever heard of a Shandi. Not even the other respiratory therapists had ever heard of her. This was a mere three months after being discharged from the same NICU. Not nearly enough time to have enough turn over that no one in the entire department would recognize her name.

I believe in angels. Shandi, if you're out there and even if you're fully 100% flesh and blood human, you were an angel to us during a very difficult time. And if not...

God sends you exactly what you need, exactly when you need it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Two In One Day?!

I really wanted to post a couple of photos of a project I did tonight after the boys went to bed, and after Nathan and I watched Stephen Hawking's show on OPB about time travel. But I figured I should probably satisfy those of you who really only come on here to see the adorable photos of the boys. Because really, they are pretty stinkin' cute.

Asher at Grammy and Grandpa's.

Levi couch cushion surfing, their new fave thing to do.

Asher couch cushion surfing.

Asher playing in the backyard.

Asher (left) and Levi (right) playing in the backyard.

Levi playing in the backyard.

We've pretty much lived outside for the past few days, enjoying the b-e-a-u-tiful weather before it starts raining again, which will supposedly happen tomorrow. Sad day. Ok, hope that tides you over for a couple of days. :) These boys are getting harder and harder to capture on camera without the blur effect!

Btw, McMinnville is a pretty great place for crazy summer-time events that take over downtown. In Baker, there was Miner's Jubilee. Here, there's Turkey Rama. Also the same weekend, there's Who's On Third. But to kick it all off is the ever-entertaining UFO Festival. I kid you not. Evidently this UFO/alien shindig is second only to Roswell, NM in size. Pretty impressive, no? And the thing most of the locals turn out for?

..............................the parade.

(Sigh) I love this town.

And now I'll allow myself the luxury of sharing my evening project - because posting photos of my awesome boys is such a hardship, right? I have this great window of opportunity on most evenings. It happens after the boys go to bed, but before I go to bed. Usually, we put the boys down for the night (they don't fight it very often, it's great), spend some time together, and then allow ourselves some "quiet time", during which Nathan plays video games and I work on a project.

This weekend, Mom gave me this dress, knowing I'd be able to refashion it. Cute dress, but I'm sure you can easily see the problem.

I think the Ringling Bros left one of their tents behind.

Rip the top half from the bottom half, run a couple of seams up each side to trim off some of the bulk, add a band of thick black elastic to the top, and you have a skirt!

And now, as you can probably tell from the circles under my eyes in this photo, it's time for bed. Night!

A Domestic Day

It's been a day of puttering around the house. Nathan spent the day brewing beer in the garage, so the boys and I did projects. Or, more accurately, the boys got into everything while I split my time between keeping their paws off the hot glue gun cord and getting projects done. AAAAH! Have you ever tried to unload and reload a dishwasher with twin 19 month olds in the same room? Try it some time. I dare ya!

Anyway, with how ridiculous my schedule is, I've been in the habit of printing out a paper monthly calendar and putting it on our fridge. Thing is, we're out of printer paper. And I'm tired of printing out a schedule only to have it change two days later. So I found this tutorial online, and then tweaked it a bit. I also found this one, but hated the idea of using chalk in the kitchen, so I modified it to look like the calendar. One trip to Good Will and a trip to Joann's, a couple of hours with the hot glue gun and stickers (and twins) later, and voila!

I'm pretty darn happy with how they turned out! Love the black and yellow! And if I ever need to change it in order to match a different decor, all I have to do is cut the yellow fabric off the backing and hot glue a new fabric to it.

On a different note, on Saturday I applied for a VERY part time job as a receptionist for Weight Watchers. It's only a couple of hours a week, greeting and weighing in WW members at the weekly meetings. While it's nothing major, it will still be a little extra moolah on the side, plus I can't think of a better way to give back to the organization that has helped me, my mom, and my dad to lose weight. I have a phone interview type thingy with a recruiting assistant on Wednesday morning, so we'll see what happens! I'm pretty excited!

And now it's time to go hang out with the family.

PS. Nathan made a comment that all of my posts on here are about my sewing and craft projects. I'm thinking maybe I should start another blog to just put my projects on, and leave this one for just family stuff. Any thoughts?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

How was your Mother's Day? Mine was great. I loved pretty much every moment of it, up until my energy failed right around dinner time. Then again, that could have something to do with sitting for hours in the hot sun and having drank nothing but coffee and wine all day. Not smart. But it was SUCH a beautiful day here and my parents were pouring SUCH good wine...

Anyway, the first half of yesterday was spent being lazy. Essentially, I went back to bed after giving the boys breakfast (they kept me up most of the night coughing) and took a blissful nap until around 1 pm. Then as soon as I got up, I was struck with motivation. This doesn't happen very often, let me tell you, so I take full advantage of the situation when it strikes. I started cleaning the downstairs, did three loads of laundry, folded and put away FIVE loads of laundry (I had been procrastinating on the folding/putting away aspect for about a week), vacuumed, swept, washed windows, and ended with finally organizing and putting away the huge amount of Christmas decorations which had been cluttering up the garage and making it very difficult to do laundry. I even swept the whole garage.

All of this was finally completed somewhere around 9 pm, at which point Nathan asked if I would like my Mother's Day presents early. Seriously, who is going to say no to that? He first handed over The Jerk with Steve Martin...if you haven't seen it, hunt it down. Now. Go do it. It's a classic, and they just don't make movies like that anymore.

And then...pretty much the best present ever...a wooden sewing table to replace the saw horses and particle board I was using!!!! So ridiculously excited!!!! It's absolutely the prefect size for the space we have, and it's even a folding table despite being nice wood. Love love love! Needless to say, I spent the rest of the evening watching The Jerk and sewing...after enjoying some wine and popcorn, of course!

This morning Nathan informed me that he should probably stay home from church with the boys since they both have runny noses (wait, when DON'T they?!), so he would drop me off after getting some coffee for us. First, let me say that I love my boys. Dearly. But as I've expressed on here before, they've become pills about holding still and being quiet. Which means we've started showing up late to church so that we don't have wrestle with them through worship. So this morning I got to relax, thoroughly enjoy the worship music, and just soak in Pastor Steve's message. Afterwards, my parents and I met up with my dad's parents at Dobb's Winery in Dundee (about 7 miles out of Mac), where we sat on the patio and - what else? - drank wine! Then it was off to my parent's house to sit on the porch and - what else? - drink wine!

Nathan showed up with the boys after they woke up from their nap and had lunch. It's so much fun watching the boys with my parents, and it was wonderful to be able to let them just run around the yard to their hearts content.

On a different yet related note, both Mom and I were asked by our Weight Watchers leader to be part of the group to share weight loss success stories at a meet & greet event they're having on the 22nd. Wow, how flattering! Along with telling our stories, she asked that we bring before and after photos; so Mom and I searched through photos dating back to just before we started WW in August. Here's mine.


To celebrate how far we've come, we had a mini mini photo shoot for our 'after' photos. Here's those photos, along with a few others from the rest of the afternoon. But before I leave you with those, I have one more thing to say.

If you haven't seen it, watch the latest Saturday Night Live with Betty White (short gal from Golden Girls) on I've been cracking up pretty much non-stop.

And now, photos! (For a point of reference, Asher is in the blue shorts, Levi in the orange.)