Posted in Parenting, Projects

So…..Sewing

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First thing’s first, as is the case with many things in my life, I never would have bet on ever wanting to sew.  Given that sewing for me has always been synonymous with trying to repair a ripped pant hem by hand and ending up with a wobbly line of very uneven stitches, it’s not very surprising that I found it unpleasant.  However, ever since taking out the old sewing machine, I’ve fallen in love with it.

Now, if you remember, I mentioned a few weeks ago that the machine stopped working mid-project.  The needle wasn’t picking up the thread from the bobbin anymore.  Well, I got it serviced and it turns out that the problem was this:

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It turns out that a broken gear isn’t very conductive to a  working sewing machine…

Now that everything’s working again, I’ve been going a little crazy with projects.  I first made a Mei Tai (I used this pattern.  It was super easy to follow and perfect for a beginner). for Amélie and then one for Charles.  I mostly used some flat sheets because I had them on hand and we don’t use them in our beds.  Also, given that I had no idea how the projects would actually turn out, I didn’t really want to go out and buy any fabric.  This project allowed me to learn about backstitching and thread tension.  I also got better at sewing in a straight line as the project progressed.  The Mei Tai’s are by no means perfect, but I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out and the kids love them so that’s a plus.

Then, I decided it was time to try to create something simple.  I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but here, in Québec, we have vaccination booklets in which, well, the given vaccines are registered and where the doctors write in the height and weight of the kids during each visit.  We also each have a medicare card that we have to bring with us when we go to the hospital or doctor’s office.  Plus, if you’ve ever been to a hospital, you’re issued a hospital card that you must bring the next time you visit.  That’s a lot of stuff to carry around!  I decided to make a case for each kid to hold their booklets and cards.  Through this project, I learned a lot about planning and taking into consideration an appropriate seam allowance while deciding the dimensions.

The first one I made is the one with the foxes.  I changed the pattern slightly for the second one and prefer it.  I only need to sew a strap on the fox case and it’ll be finished.

After that, I decided to tackle our washable diapers.  You see, I’ve had some of them for years (we bought our first ones when Charles was a baby) so they’ve seen a LOT of use.  Unfortunately, there were quite a few that I had put into storage because the elastics were completely shot.  I had considered getting them repaired, but just kept procrastinating.  Instead, I decided to just bite the bullet, find an online tutorial for elastics replacements in the brand of diapers I use and just went for it.  And you know what?  It worked!  By the time I had gotten to the diapers, I was getting pretty good at sewing in straight-ish lines.  It was still a challenge though and I learned a lot about using elastics and a seam ripper (as well as how to be very careful with PUL).

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(Left: diaper with shot elastics, right: diaper with newly replaced elastics).

Last but not least, I decided to try to find a way to use up the rest of the fabric from the cases.  I found a really simple bow tie tutorial.  So far, I’ve made one for Charles, I’m then going to work on one for Elliot and then I want to make a headband with a bow for Amélie.

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Lookin’ good!

So, what’s next?  I have some nice sheer pink fabric that I’d like to use in place of tulle using this pattern to make a cute skirt for Amélie.  I would also love to make a dress with this super cute pattern once my skill have improved a little.

What projects have you been working on lately?  Feel free to link up in the comments!

Posted in Parenting, Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: June 13th

TenThoughtTuesday

  1. Aaaaand I’m back…again.  Sorry for the hiatus, but there was some stuff going on in my life including not sleeping and having two thirds of my kids on antibiotics.  Yay.  The good news is that things have finally gotten back to crazy normal.  I’m going to try to play catch-up on the posts I’ve missed, but I don’t think I’ll be able to read all of them :(.
  2. In other news, my sewing machine is now repaired (which, to be totally honest, is another reason I’ve been away).  I’m working on a post for tomorrow about what was wrong with it, my completed works and my WIPs.
  3. I’m starting to bring Elliot to daycare for short periods of time.  He already knows everyone because he’s always with me when I drop off and pick up the kids, but this morning, I left him there for an hour and went for some one-on-one mommy Charles time at the nearby park.  Charles was happy and Elliot was too.  Next time, I’m planning on leaving him for the whole morning (up until lunchtime).FullSizeRender 8
  4. Elliot is going to be a year old in a week (what!?!).  I’m planning on making a mirror cake for his birthday because they look so pretty!
  5. I went for a run this morning and for the first time in months I felt no pain, not even the slightest little hint of it.  The progressive program, PT exercises I do at home and treatments I’ve been getting are finally yielding some very real results!
  6. I had a bout of nostalgia yesterday and decided to check if two of the shows I watched when I was younger were on Netflix.  They are!  I’ll be watching Goosebumps and Are You Afraid of the Dark in the coming weeks.  Please tell me I’m not the only 80s child who has fond memories of watching those.
  7. We’re finally going to be getting our windows replaced. I got a call from the company and they’re coming on Monday.
  8. I started learning Japanese with Duolingo last week.  I’ve developed an interest in the language over the years from watching anime.  It.  Is.  Hard!  But, it’s so fun and interesting.
  9. Our plants are growing.  The chives, thym and cilantro are doing great.  The spinach that Charles sowed has taken nicely.  Our string beans, lettuce and carrots have poked through the soil and our blueberry and raspberry bushes as well as our apple tree are showing signs of fruit production!
  10. Speaking of gardening, I found a really interesting book on Amazon.  It’s titled: The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener and it it written by a Canadian who has managed to have fresh veggies all year-round at low cost.  This is great as we’re slowly working our way to being more self-reliant.

What’s on your mind this Tuesday?

 

Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: (I Know, It’s Actually Thursday…)

TenThoughtTuesday

  1. Hey!  I feel like I should apologize.  I’ve been a very crappy blogger lately.  I haven’t really been on WordPress for over a week so I haven’t read many posts, have commented on even fewer and have barely replied to comments.  I can’t say I’ve been super busy or haven’t had any inspiration or anything, I think I’m just overwhelmed by all the posts that pile up in my reader every day and am sad that I can’t give each one of them the attention it deserves.  *Sigh*, I need a pause button.
  2. After trying many methods (too many to count), I have finally mastered the art of poaching eggs and can even poach more than one at a time.  This is what Elliot and I ate for lunch on Tuesday (or was it Monday?) and it was delicious!

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    This was all sorts of yummy!
  3. I’ve gotten so many things done today.  I managed to find a place that can repair my sewing machine, I finally have a date for the window installation, I went to see my physical therapist and booked my next appointment, I also called the arborist that came last week to give him my email address (he wrote a letter for me to give to the electricity company after coming close to being electrocuted when branches from my huge maple tree came into contact with the power lines and created sparks).  My father-in-law also showed me how to connect the wires to our pool ozonator (at my request).  It’s super easy to do.
  4. I’m finally starting to see some real progress with regards to running and after a couple of weeks of discouragement, I think I’ve regained my motivation.  I’m also planning on restarting my Sunday Runday posts because they were really helping keep me on track with regards to fitness.
  5. The apple tree that my husband bought me for Mother’s Day last year is in bloom!  It will produce (in a couple of years, hopefully) five varieties of apples: Winesap (have never heard of these), Cortland, Red McIntosh, Yellow Delicious and Summerred (which is also new to me).
  6. Spring is definitely here.  Besides the apple blossoms, our little lilac is in bloom and there are some cute little flowers speckling my grass among the party of dandelions (does anyone else here NOT hate dandelions?  I think they’re pretty and their bright yellow color always puts me in a good mood).
  7. After wanting one for over two years, I’ve finally bought and received a SSC so that I can back carry more easily and so that my husband can do some babywearing.  I already have stretchy wrap, a ring sling and a woven but my husband has never been keen on the learning curve that comes with wraps, so this is a fantastic option for him.  I’m planning on doing a review soon, but right now, all I have is praise for the carrier.

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    Isn’t it beautiful?
  8. Lately, I’ve been watching three series.  My husband and I have gotten a Crunchyroll subscription so that we can finish the Naruto Shippuden (I know, I know, we’re total geeks).  I also started watching The Office, which…just wow.  My brother aptly describes it as “cringe humour”.  I describe it as a mix of morbid curiosity and a train wreck waiting to happen.  Finally, I’m three episodes in to The Crown.  I’m finding myself surprisingly interested in the series even though I generally don’t care for things that revolve around politics.
  9. Elliot is becoming more confident on his feet.  He’s usually standing with only one hand for support and has started letting go once in a while.  It usually results in him falling promptly on his bum and crying out of frustration, but hey, that’s all part of the game.
  10. Speaking of milestones, besides an approximation of “maman” and “papa”, I’ve recently realized that Elliot has been saying his name for a couple of months!  Plus, I think he’s teething again (first molars *dun-Dun-DUN!*) because we’ve been getting some pretty crappy nights recently.

What’s on your mind this Thursday?

Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: May 16th 2017

TenThoughtTuesday

  1. I decided it was time to change my TTT image.  What do you think?
  2. Today is a beautiful day so I decided to make myself an iced matcha this morning in the mug I made a couple of weekends ago when I went to a ceramic cafe with my friends.  #awesome IMG_3417
  3. You might have noticed that I haven’t posted a Sunday Runday post in two weeks.  I’m not sure what happened, but I need to get a grip.  I know that if I start running again, the rest will follow.  Send me some good vibes, ok?
  4. Yesterday was Elliot’s second appointment with our osteopath.  She’s working on helping him deal with colds better so that they don’t drag on or turn into ear infections anymore.  His third and last treatment is in a few weeks.

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    Just chillin’ in the waiting room.
  5. I recently discovered the @vibrantandpure Instagram account and I’ve been finding myself drooling uncontrollably ever since.  I decided to try her technique out and perk up the cream cheese for the kids’ bagels this morning.  Here’s how things came out.  Needless to say, the kids were very impressed when they saw their breakfast.

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    From top to bottom: matcha, maqui powder, acai powder, paprika & curry powder
  6. Because I like to try new things, I decided to set up my late grandmother’s old (according to the instruction manual 1971) sewing machine and learn how to sew.  I figured I would try to make a doll mei tai for my daughter.  I was surprised by how much I liked sewing and by the fact that the things I was making were relatively decent.  I made oodles of mistakes, but they have allowed me to learn a great deal, so all in all, it’s a good thing.  The problem is that once I was halfway through the headrest, the machine stopped working.  Namely, the needle isn’t picking up the thread from the bobbin anymore.  Urgh!  At first, I thought the bobbin had emptied itself, but it hadn’t.  I re-threaded the whole thing, but it didn’t work.  Any tips before I bring it to get serviced?
  7. Did everyone have a good Mother’s Day?  I was spoiled with a massage, a lovely bouquet of tulips (my favourite flower) and we had a really lovely raclette supper.
  8. This morning, I brought Elliot out in the front yard.  He’s not a fan of the grass, but at least, he doesn’t cry when he’s sitting in it (he just doesn’t move haha!). IMG_3430
  9. Elliot has pretty much dropped his morning nap.  He can generally stay awake for the full hour it takes me to drop the kids at daycare and get back home in the morning.  If he sleeps, it’s generally a mere 5-10 minutes, then he’s happy as a clam once we get out of the minivan.  Amélie and Charles had dropped their morning nap at about the same age.
  10. Amélie is officially out of training pants for nights.  As for Charles, he wakes up dry about one day per week.  I noticed that when he ends up going to bed around 8 rather than 7:30, he almost always wakes up dry.  I don’t want to make a habit of getting him to bed that late, so I might have to move up supper instead.

What’s on your mind this Tuesday?

Posted in Parenting

Ups & Downs

Ups and Downs

Charles is a very sweet little boy.  He is just full of love.  He runs on hugs, kisses and cuddles; these are what fuel his days.  However, like most (if not all) 4 year-olds, he lacks the abilities to express exactly how he feels and the strategies to deal with his emotions when they bubble up.

Charles is also very intense and his emotions are always very close to the surface.  He’s not happy, he’s elated.  He’s not hurt, he’s near-death.  He’s not sad, he’s heartbroken.  He’s not irritated or angry, he’s (and please forgive the language) fucking pissed.

A couple of days ago, for instance, he completely lost it when I told asked him to get ready for bed.  Because of the busy weekend, Charles missed out on naps and ended up going to bed later than usual, so I decided to have him go to bed a little earlier than usual.  He was more than annoyed.  He decided to show his displeasure by shutting the washroom door on his little sister’s fingers because she happened to look at him while he was pouting.  Then, when I asked him to apologize, he completely lost it.  He started screaming at me, kicking, hitting me and throwing things at me.  I told him that I was going to let him calm down.  He stayed in his room a good five minutes, letting loose primal scream after primal scream.  After that, we were able to talk.

This time of the year is always very difficult.  Income-tax season is difficult on everyone around here, but it is especially difficult for Charles.  Every year, the weeks following the end of the month of April are difficult.  Charles struggles with the the fact the he missed his dad during his 60 hour weeks.  He struggles with the joy that he felt when his dad takes the first week of May off to spend with his siblings and himself and with the sadness brought about by his return to work afterwards.

I feel poorly equipped to handle his outbursts.  We are always able to have a good talk afterwards.  He is always able to tell me how he could have worked out his anger or frustration differently.  I always repeat to him that I love him no matter what.  That I love him as much when he is kind and happy than I do when he is angry, yelling and throwing things at me.  I know better than to try to talk to him when he’s out of control, but I lack the tools to help him manage his emotions in the short lapse of time that occurs between frustration and utter meltdown.

How do you go about helping your little ones manage overwhelming emotions?

Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: May 9th 2017

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  1. I am so behind in my blog reading!  I really need to find some time to catch up.
  2. We’ve been dealing with the consequences of floods caused by the unrelenting rain around here.  At our house, we’re fine, but a few blocks away, roads are closed because of flooding.  One of the two bridges that lead to the island of Montreal is closed so traffic is horrendous.  Luckily, the road I take to drive the kids to daycare isn’t affected.
  3. Today is supposed to be the worst day and water levels are supposed to start receding starting tomorrow.  It’s hard to believe, though as this is what is forecasted for the next week.
  4. Despite the crappy weather, we managed to get some time outside when it was nice out (meaning just super cloudy).  The kids went to the park and had some fun.
  5. We had a really busy but super fun weekend.  On Friday, my husband and I managed to go to the restaurant just the two of us.  Then, on Saturday, we went to see our friends to celebrate their son’s birthday party.  Charles, Amélie and Elliot had a blast.    Finally, on Sunday, after going to the pool (Charles and Elliot) and gymnastics (Amélie) classes, we went to my parents’ house for a lovely family brunch.  Afterwards, I went to a ceramic cafe with my two friends for some girls-only time together and they all stayed for supper.
  6. The neon noodles I made last week turned out wonderfully!  My kids gobbled them up.  Well, except Elliot.  He wasn’t impressed and just threw them on the floor.  I just tossed them in garlic butter and served them with sweet and sour chicken and steamed broccoli.IMG_3278
  7. I’ve recently discovered a love for matcha tea.  I went to David’s tea about a week ago and bought some peach matcha.  It is so delicious!  It’s great as a hot latte, just plain hot and is amazing as iced tea (not that I’m drinking much iced tea these days).  I’ve yet to try it as an iced latte, but I’m certain it will be awesome.
  8. I recently read an article on the Dirty Dozen on the David Suzuki website.  I checked through my makeup and realized that everything I own (not that I own much) contains at least one ingredient from the dirty dozen.  Since I’ve been wanting to wear makeup more often, I started researching brands that don’t contain any of the offending ingredients, but I keep coming up short.  I think I’ll just give up and go back to my au naturel look.
  9. I haven’t gone out for a run, or a swim, or done any type of physical activity since last Thursday when I played some squash with my husband.  I am going totally nuts, but I’ve been feeling under the weather recently (thank you dear children and husband for kindly sharing your colds with me) and have been faced with rain and cold temps outside (did I mention that yesterday, it snowed!).
  10. Tonight, I’m planning on making some oven-baked crispy skinned chicken thighs with steamed green beans, pearled barley and an acorn squash puree.  It’s going to be yummy!  What are you eating tonight?

What’s on your mind this Tuesday?

 

Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: May 2nd 2017

TTT

  1. We have been having absolutely horrible weather (complete with flooding and the like) around here.  It’s cold and windy and rainy and grey.  Bleh… On the bright side, the grass is green.
  2. On Saturday, we made the most of the beautiful day (despite the 50km/h winds) and went to the park in the afternoon.  Then kids then decided that they wanted to take a walk and so Amélie and Charles took turns pulling the wagon while Elliot tried desperately to touch the turning wheel despite being securely strapped in.
  3. I decided to take a play from Elizabeth’s book and make some neon spaghetti noodles.  The plan was to eat them yesterday evening, but we ended up stuck in some horrible traffic because a streetlight was out of commission, so I ordered some pizza instead.  We are going to have it tonight instead.  Look at how awesome the noodles look though!

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    The kids are going to go nuts once I plate this tonight.
  4. Sunday we had our movie night.  I made some brown sugar & sriracha chicken wings, homemade oven-baked fries and some popcorn shrimp.  We decided to watch Brave.  I found it entertaining, but it’s not the best (animation) movie I’ve seen.  The music was absolutely amazing though.
  5. Charles is getting really good at MarioKart Wii.  He races at 50cc, but he’s almost always placing top 5 now.
  6. I’m really happy because I’ve started playing the flute again.  I hadn’t realized how much I was missing it.  Oh boy, though, my mouth gets sore really quickly, I have to relearn to loosen up my lips and right hand a bit.
  7. I went swimming on Sunday and it went really well…except my butterfly lap.  It’s hard to believe that when I was a teen it was my favourite stroke!  Oh well, I definitely have something to work towards!
  8. I’ve finally finished the mesh for my crocheted scarf.  Now, I have to get working on the chains to weave through the mesh.  I’m planning on doing that while I watch my daily tv show with my husband as it’s not something that requires a lot of concentration.
  9. I recently discovered the joys of audiobooks!  I listened to The Chemist last month and it was pretty good.  I started listening to The Fifth Season recently and was wowed by the imagery.  The description and vocabulary used are really wonderful.  However, this book is definitely more complex that The Chemist and I’m having a lot of trouble following what is happening.  I might have to read it instead.
  10. INCOME TAX SEASON IS FINALLY OVER!!!!!  And I finally get my husband back *woot*woot*!

What’s on your mind this Tuesday?

Posted in fitness

Sunday Runday: Week 13

sunday-runday

Hello again!

I know, I know, I skipped a week.  Elliot’s been nursing a pretty bad cold, I ended up with an ear infection and I was in full blown income-tax-widow mode.  But I did do most of the things I had planned for week 12.

(By the way, if you’re new to this series of posts, I recommend you start here to get a sense of what I’ve been up to).

I’m super excited because I’m allowed to start running again.  It’s going to be a long process, but I’m fully invested in it, so it’s going to be alright.  Because of the extremely progressive reintroduction of running, it’s going to seem like I’m doing way too many things in a week for the next few weeks (months?), but it’s not as bad as it might appear.

How last week went

  • Crossfit: I’m rocking these workouts now and have been consistently seeing improvements.  Since they are only 20 minutes long, I’ve decided to add a second session to my weeks (and I’ve semi convinced my husband to join me for one of them).
  • Squash: I had a really off day with regards to squash.  I realized about halfway through that it was because I was afraid of injuring myself.  The fact that I elected to not take any Motrin, was wearing shorts instead of leggings andhad to stop after 30 minutes due to a sharp pain in my leg the previous week didn’t help.  We still had fun though.  Oh!  I successfully hit the ball off the back wall and got it to hit the front wall twice too (woot!).  I was so surprised the first time that I actually lost the exchange because I was too busy celebrating LOL!.
  • Swimming:  I ended up going to the pool only once, but it was great.  I ended up swimming 6 additional lengths after completing my routine to get my distance up to 1km.  I’m looking forward to doing it again in the coming weeks.

This week’s plan

Sunday: Swim, 850m (34 laps)

  • 150m warm up, free
  • 4 x 50m, kick  – 1 slow lap, 1 fast lap, 15 sec. rest between laps
  • 4 x 100m free, 3rd lap of every set in IM order, 20 sec. rest between laps
  • 100m cool down, free

Monday:

  • Run
    • 5 min. walk (warm-up)
    • 1 min. run / 1 min. walk x3
    • 5 min. walk (cool down)

Tuesday:

  • Run (see Monday run)
  • Crossfit
    • Strength: Weighted squats 5-5-5-5-5-5 (weights next to hips)
    • WOD: 4 rounds
      • 40 jumping jacks
      • 80 singles
      • 40 crunches

Wednesday: Swim (see Sunday swim)

Thursday:

  • Run (see Monday run)
  • Squash

Friday: Crossfit

  • Strength: Australian pull-ups (8-8-8-8)
  • WOD:
    • Run (see Monday run)
    • 4 min. kettlebell circuit

Saturday: Rest day

What are you doing to keep in shape this week?

Happy Sunday!