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

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  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 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 fitness, Parenting

Losing the Pre-Baby Weight

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One thing I’ve noticed since starting to blog some 4.5 years ago (and this is probably because I read a fair amount of blogs written by mothers) is that there seems to be this desire to lose the baby weight and try to regain as much as one’s pre-baby body as possible.  That’s great, really (and no, I am not being sarcastic)!

In my case, I’m super happy with my post-baby body.  Ah, but now I hear you thinking: “But why is she talking about losing weight, then?”

Let me explain.

I am well aware that three pregnancies and deliveries have wreaked havoc on my body.  Let’s talk, for instance about:

  • my droopy breasts (nope, cannot even think of going out of the house without a bra anymore – as for strapless bras…useless!);
  • the road map of stretch marks on my belly;
  • my plumbing problems (oh hello unexpected flow of urine accompanying laughter!);
  • the scar(s?) along my perineum.

Need I say more?

Anyways, like I said, I’m totally cool with those.  I’m happy with all of the changes that have occurred in my body in the last 5 years.  They are the reason I have three beautiful children.  I would go through it again.  Heck, I want to go through it again!  But I digress.

The simple fact is that I don’t want to go back to my pre-baby body because, for me, that would mean regressing.  To be honest, even though my pregnancies took a toll on my body, it’s is my years of sedentarism before pregnancy that have caused the most damage.

For years, I convinced myself:

  • that I didn’t need physical activity to lead a balanced life;
  • that I just didn’t have time to work out;
  • that I was more of a bookworm and gamer;
  • that it was absolutely fine to spend so many hours sitting each day, every day.

If I could go back in time and talk some sense into myself, I would.  Of course, if I could do that, I probably wouldn’t listen to myself.  I’m, hum – how can I describe it…pridefully independent?  I don’t like receiving unsolicited advice.  I don’t like asking for advice.  I suppose I take it as a challenge to my self-reliance (“what, you think I can’t figure that out on my own?!”).  I like to be in control.

The good news is that I’ve taken control now.  I’m already fitter than I was five years ago.  And though it’s tough sometimes, I’m determined to get my body in decent shape.  In the past, after an injury (as has happened to me recently because of running), I would have just stopped.  Now, I found an alternate activity while I wait to get back on my feet.  In the past, I never would have even considered working out in the evening.  Now, I’ll take the time I have to exercise, even if it is in the evenings.

It’s no secret that to make any change three things are needed: a catalyst, a plan and a great deal of perseverance (at least, in the beginning).  I’ve always been super organized, so making a plan isn’t super difficult for me.  I’m also very stubborn, so perseverance works pretty well for me.  What I was lacking, was a catalyst.

As it turns out, my kids are that kick-in-the butt I needed.  I realized one day that I want to be able to run alongside them with ease as they learned to ride a bike.  I want to be able to play and run around with them without becoming out of breath within 30 seconds.  I want them to know that if you put your mind to something, you can achieve it.  Most of all, I want to do everything in my power to be here, in this world, with them for as many years as possible.  That requires a healthy body.

I’m still a gamer.  I still read.  I find time to crochet and play the flute.  But it’s not all I do now.  Now, I don’t only try to eat a balanced diet (which is something I’ve been pretty good with overall), but I am also working to have a healthy body.

Have you made any major changes to you life recently?  What has been your catalyst?

Posted in Parenting

The Time I Peed My Pants

No, I’m not talking about when I was a kid.  Though I’m sure I must have had some potty training accidents way back when, I don’t remember them.  I do, however, remember the incident that occurred about a month ago.

You see, I was getting ready to make some granola bars.  Since we had some salted caramel on hand, I was savouring a spoonful of the stuff (please tell me I’m not the only one who does this!) and reading the ingredients out loud to my brother, who happened to be in the kitchen at the time.

But then, as I was nearing the end of my description, something horrible happened: a glob of caramel detached itself from the spoon that I was holding and plummeted towards the ground.  Now, because it was the only reasonable thing to do, I tried to scream, but since I was reading, I ended up singing in an Opera-like fashion the words “sunflower seeds” (because that’s the ingredient that I was reading at the time).  At the same time, I raised my left leg to save the caramel from falling onto the kitchen floor.

I don’t know what I was thinking at the time, perhaps I had myself convinced that I would lick the caramel from my pants (in my defense, it is absolutely delicious!).  Anyways, my reaction elicited mockery on my brother’s part who had particular fun imitating me.  Needless to say, we both burst in uncontrollable laughter in a matter of seconds.

I was down on my right knee with the damp washcloth my brother had tossed me to clean my pants when it happened: I was laughing so hard that I literally peed myself a little.  Now, I could have just gotten back up, changed and moved on to other things leaving my brother in the dark about the accidental trinkle, but I didn’t.  The whole situation was so ridiculous that I couldn’t not announce matter-of-factly: “well, I’m going to go change my pants now because I just peed myself”.

As you can imagine, the uncontrollable laughter started up again.  Even now, as I think about it, I can feel some giggles bubbling up.

Do you have a funny anecdote you’re brave enough to share?

Posted in Parenting

Sleep Walking

What do you do when the baby wakes up 45 minutes into his nap and can’t fall back asleep because he’s stuffy from yet another cold (gotta love how thoughtful Amélie and Charles are when it comes to sharing germs)?

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You make the most of a beautiful day, stick him in the woven wrap, secure a hat onto his head and go out for a nice long walk.  Win-win!

Posted in fitness, Parenting

Sunday Runday: Week 10

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Hello again!

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.

How last week went

  • Runs:  I’m continuing to progress well on runs.  I’m very happy that I’m following a (very) progressive transition from heal strike to forefoot strike.  I can understand how some might get injured by not allowing themselves enough time to adjust.
  • Crossfit: Considering I only slept 2h  during the night between Thursday and Friday, I decided it would be better to stay away from crossfit.  I had enough trouble functioning as it was.

Week 10 plan

Sunday: Run

  • Forefoot drills (5 minutes)
  • 20 minute run (3 min. run /1 min. walk) x 5
  • 5 minute cool down walk + stretches

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: Run

  • See Sunday run

Wednesday: Rest day

Thursday: Run

  • See Sunday run

Friday: Crossfit!

  • Strength: Cleans 10-10-10-10-10 (5 for each arm with a 15lb kettlebell)
  • WOD: 8 rounds
    • 10 mountain climbers
    • 10 jumping jacks
    • 5 knee push ups

Saturday: Rest day

What are you doing to keep in shape this week?

Happy Sunday!

Posted in Parenting

Stupid Cold

So yeah, remember how I mentioned that Elliot wasn’t feeling well yesterday?  Well, I ended up bringing to see his doctor today because he was getting worse.  He was hardly eating, or drinking (or nursing, for that matter).  His breathing became a little laboured yesterday evening and by this morning, it hadn’t gotten better.  He’s been crying uncharistically often and he is having so much trouble getting a good rest. Poor thing.

As it turns out,  he has a gnarly infection in one ear and was starting one in the other.  Add to that the beginning of a bronchitis and you’ve got a pretty miserable baby.

Usually, we can get over colds pretty easily with saline drops, a snot-sucker and upping the humidity in his room, but oh boy did this thing progress quickly!

He’s currently on advil every 8 hours for the next 24-48h until the antibiotics kick in.  Plus we’ve got two days worth of cortisone to help out his lungs.

Tonight, he keeps waking every 30 minutes or so crying in pain.  I gave up on trying to sleep.  He is currently sleeping on me on the downstairs couch. His breathing seems to be better because he’s elevated.

Here’s to hoping he gets better soon.  I’m also crossing my fingers for this to be his last cold in a while.  It’s already his fourth and he’s only 9 months old (I guess that’s what he gets for having a loving brother and sister ha!).