August 22nd, 2010 | No Comments »

Stupid stupid stupidy server that keeps choking, how am I supposed to blog with you being so fickle?

Gadget’s MO is to play his passive aggressive games and not give me the courtesy of any advance notice with regard to when he will take the boys. While it appears there may be a light at the end of this tunnel, since he’s expressed interest in synchronizing the visitation with his new woman’s visitation schedule such that all children can be together for the same weekend, there is no guarantee that he will follow through with any level of consistency.

Anyhow. He called at 8 a.m. Saturday morning and said he’d take the kids, and to meet him at 9 a.m. Nice. Does this give me time to make any sort of weekend plans?

I prefer to be able to make plans. I still sort of fall apart when the boys aren’t here. As much as I yearn for some down time or me time, I still haven’t learned how not to fall apart when they’re not here. A cloud of anguish descends — the grief that we aren’t a family, and I so, so, so want to be a family. Not with Gadget. That ship has sailed. It’s just grief that we aren’t a family, or rather, I’m not a family when my boys are gone. So I fall apart. Because, truly, that’s all I want. Family. Sigh. Therefore, knowing this is how things tend to go, I like to be able to book up my alone time so that I don’t have much time to fall under the spell of that cloud that so deftly and swiftly descends upon me.

Luckily, I’ve been able to schedule very short notice massage appointments each time I’ve come upon a free weekend. If nothing else, this indulgence does much to improve my overall well being. Man hands on me, this time for two full hours, working deep, deep, deep into the bound up muscles of my body. Wow, that almost sounds saucy. I could put a little more effort into that prose and come up with something racy! Massage doesn’t have to be man-hands. I’ve been trying different practitioners, but lately am pleased with this particular therapist. He’s got a little familiarity now with what I need, and because we went for two hours yesterday, he really made some progress and was able to loosen up the upper back and shoulders. I’ve been having chronic headaches, so this is a step in the right direction. And besides, I’ll take two hours of man hands on me any day, even if I have to pay for it!

So this free time can become very expensive. Shopping is one thing that gets me out of the house and that can be done on the spur of the moment. And what struck my fancy this weekend? I stumbled upon this iPod speaker contraption called an iHome, that claims to produce excellent sound. It’s kind of odd looking, and more expensive than the other options, but I figured, what the heck. I can return it if I don’t like it. Oh, I love Costco. Love. Costco is my crack. There, I said it.

Of course I can rationalize any mad spending. See, a speaker solution for the iPod allows me to listen to music without having to wear headphones and carry the iPod around. I seldom have pockets, so have to stuff the thing in my bra. And if I’m dancing around, well, it gets sweaty. Gross! Not to mention potentially limiting the lifespan of my iPod. Electronics and moisture don’t play well together. That’s just plain irresponsible, and we can’t have that!  And singing and dancing to music, reliving memories and experiences that the music evokes, is very therapeutic. Therefore it’s good for my soul. Good for my well being. And something that is good for my well being is worth spending mad money on. Yes? Yes!

I’m good. What can I say.

I tried to wrangle together a date or two within my minuscule window, but it’s just as well that I wasn’t successful. I could get myself into trouble if I acted on spontaneity like that! Instead, I stayed in, drank some wine, bombarded everyone’s FaceBook walls, and cyber flirted. So entertaining. This week I’ve had a sugar daddy offer, a few boy toy prospects, a heap of not-at-all-my-type-please-leave-me-alone pursuers, messages from a small handful of actually nice sounding men, including one or two I might agree to actually meet in person. Maybe. Or maybe not.

It’s fun, but wearying. I don’t really want to look around, troll about, or anything like that. I just want Mister Right-For-Me to show up in front of me, and I want to recognize him, say, “Hello there cutie pie, how are you, where have you been all my life?”, to which he says, “Looking for you, Sweetheart”, and that’s that. We live happily ever after. We don’t have to figure out if we’re ready to meet or even be with someone. We don’t have to figure out if we’re compatible. We don’t have to figure out if we’ll get along until we’re a hundred and one. We don’t have to wonder if the love and honor and respect and compassion and communication and understanding and interest and attraction and affection and everything or anything else will ever fade. We don’t have to wonder if the other will help raise our kids the way we want them to be raised. We don’t have to wonder if they’ll be true and honest. We don’t have to wonder if they’ll always have our back.  We don’t have to wonder if they’ll be responsible and trustworthy. We just jump into forever together.

I know. I’m bat crazy.

hello cutie pie, it's me, bat-girl

I don’t want that sugar daddy, though. That much I do know.

Oh, and that iHome thingy?  Sounds pretty darn good.  Whodathunkit?

October 10th, 2008 | 2 Comments »

Because I’ve recently mentioned that I’ve spent a small fortune on baby bottles, all in the quest for that which my oh-so-particular child will tolerate, I thought I would provide a review, as a public service and all.  Because  I need to stop spending my pumping time and loads of money online shopping and do something less expensive and more constructive I’m kind and generous that way.

First.  We begin with what I use, and why.

(LOOK!  More than a full day’s worth of stockpiled liquid gold! Unbelievable!!)

I don’t know if my baby has colic, GER, GERD, or some other unspecified gastro-intestinal issue, but he tends to be fussy at times, and barely tolerates a bottle, let alone a breast.  There are a number of bottles on the market that claim to reduce or prevent colic, and there are camps of people who strongly favor one or another.  We seem to have the most success with the Dr. Brown’s line, but I’m not emotionally attached to it.  We used the wide neck version with BB nearly four years ago, and liked them well enough then.  They had a nice shape with a comfortable hold, and the wide mouth made them easy to clean.  We also used the Avent bottles, and liked them as well.  However, with the crisis du jour regarding BPA, I traded in my BPA Dr. Brown’s and Avent bottles for BPA-free Dr. Brown’s and Born Free bottles.

I started with the Dr. Brown’s preemie bottles, and really liked them for the preemie slowest of slow flow nipples and also the tiny two-ounce size, which was just right for my newborn.  However, they were still BPA bottles, so I decided to exchange them for non-BPA.  The options are 3.5 oz glass, 4 oz polypropylene, or 8 oz polypropylene.  I ended up with some of each.  Unfortunately, the valve reservoir stem is a different length for each different bottle size, and I could only find the long 8oz version reservoir stem available in the replacement parts section.

I don’t care for the actual bottle part of the Dr. Brown’s polypro line.  It’s a hard plastic, and it’s completely cylindrical.  It doesn’t feel particularly good to hold, and because of the special valve system, the bottles tend to be taller to accommodate the valve.  This makes them a bit bulky and unwieldy.  Especially the 8 oz size.  That bottle seems to be about as big as my baby, so I put the 8 oz bottles away for when he’s older and bigger, but harvested the valves and nipples for use with other bottles now.

The glass bottles are nice, but they’re heavy, and as soon as my baby can hold his own bottle, I’ll probably give them up, because the last thing I need is a heavy glass projectile in the hands of a wee one just getting used to his motor skills.

I decided to find other bottles that could be used with the Dr. Brown’s valve system, but because each size bottle has a different length stem, and because replacement stems are only available for the long 8oz size, I had to cut the valve stems to fit the appropriate bottle.  This makes for a tangled and confusing mess of parts, which is best not left to the spouse, who will, without fail, grumble exceedingly if asked or expected to warm up a bottle of stored milk and find the appropriate nipple/collar/valve/reservoir stem, and who will, inevitably, select any stem without consideration, jam it onto any bottle, then curse and sputter when the bottle leaks or hand it to me to feed the by then screaming child, in which case I will mutter something unkind about general laziness and lack of attention to detail.  Not conducive to marital bliss.

The collars actually fit the Medela bottles that I use for pumping, however, the Medela bottles don’t have many threads and they sometimes leak.  They’re not all that comfortable to hold, either, so I just stick to them for collecting the milk, and transfer the expressed milk to the bottles that I like — the old fashioned inexpensive Evenflo hexagonal bottles.  If only they made them in a 5 or 6 oz size.  I buy the 4 oz size for now, and store the milk in 3 oz lots.

And now for the rejects.  Although I like the Born Free, the nipples tend to collapse a bit, and the baby doesn’t seem to like them as well, so they’re set aside for a few months, until he’s a bit more coordinated.

He struggled with most of the nipples pictured above.  The breast flow version is good in concept but the outer nipple completely collapses in use and seems nothing like a breast at all.  He chokes on the Soothie nipple and gets tangled up with the Nuk nipple.   The cheap Gerber style with the lime green collar leaks like a sieve, but the threads work with the Dr. Brown’s parts, so they’re the last resort storage bottles, used only when I run out of everything else (because I don’t care for the odd trapezoidal shape, which isn’t particularly comfortable to grasp).  The bottle on the far left is a different Gerber variety, and it actually is the best tolerated of the lot above.  It’s not BPA free though, so just in case, we’re letting it be.  I did try to do a BPA exchange at Babies -R- Us with the four outer bottles, but they weren’t on the list, like the Dr. Brown’s and Avent varieties, for whatever reason.

I was planning to be more comprehensive with the rejects, but I’ve grown weary of this post.  At least it kept me from and eBay for this particular expression session, and that was the point, in part.

December 15th, 2007 | 1 Comment »

There are ups and downs, pros and cons, and hazards to being sick.

Last Friday, Harry had a sorrowful cough. The little guy’s eyes would fill with tears when one forced its way from his little lungs. It breaks a mother’s heart. On the up side, I called in sick so that I could care for him. I had a full day with absolutely no thoughts spent on the work that butters my bread. Instead, I got to be a stay-at-home-mom. (My dream job.) And that was divine.


He was still sick come Monday. I worked from home, and he slept most of the day.


Tuesday I reveled and marveled that I made it through the past three weeks of family sniffles with nary a nose wipe. Then I ate my words, or thoughts, rather, came home early, curled up on the sofa, and napped. And then I watched Oprah. Where I learned that tomorrow’s episode is My Favorite Things.


Wednesday I called in sick, dragged my child to daycare, dragged myself back home and slept most of the day. Of course I watched Oprah. I could very easily become one of the masses of addicts, tuning in every day to listen to the heart warming or wrenching topic du jour. But the favorite things episode is fun. It’s like everyone in the audience wins the lottery, as they are bestowed with every whizzbang thing she unveils. It must feel so good to give so much stuff to so many people, to literally shock them with the outpouring of gifts.


Back to work Thursday and Friday. Too many deadlines to allow myself any further time off.


CPAP with a cold BLOWS. I know, I know. It’s an excruciating pun. Or is that not a pun? Too stuffed up to care. I had to switch to the full face mask, because I haven’t been able to breathe through my left nostril for the last three days. Two hours into it and my mouth is a wasteland from all that forced air. And my ears itch. All my megadosing of vitamin C is for naught, it appears. I put peroxide in my ears to try and kill anything that’s trying to colonize.


What does one do at 2 a.m. while trying to relieve a parched mouth, itching ears, and stuffed nose, one might ask? Well. First, yank off the offending mask (but don’t hurl it across the room for fear of disturbing the sleeping family). Next, stumble to the bathroom in an oxygen and sleep deprived stupor. Rustle through the cupboards looking for the waterpik thingy with the nasal irrigation tip. Rustle through more cupboards looking for the home-made saline solution. Mix up a batch and irrigate the sinuses in the hopes that air might actually be able to pass through that left nostril when all is said and done. Stumble downstairs, consider rustling through more cupboards in search of brandy or whiskey to enhance the medicinal effects of the tea I so desperately desire, but decide to settle for plain jasmine. In the interest of time. Liberally apply Vicks VapoRub to the nose, throat, and chest. Apply peroxide to one ear canal. Delete spam email with head tilted. Apply peroxide to the other ear canal. Discover a $20 off coupon from REI among the spam. Spend $102 on in order to use the coupon. Drain the ears. Drink the tea. Catch up on blogs.


If I could have just slept through the night, I’d be $89.15 richer (post-coupon and tax). But now I will soon have a new pair of shoes, a headlamp, and a flashlight. My favorite red shoes have worn out in the sole, much to my dismay. And my replacement shoes are ultra comfortable, but alas, they squeak. Which drives me nuts. So a new pair of shoes is reasonable.

And the headlamp? Although I doubt I will be doing much night-time hiking, it looks like it will do nicely for reading in bed.

And the flashlight. Is a lizard. How cute is that. As though my child needs more stuff. Note to self. STOP buying things for the boy.

But I had to exceed $100 to meet the coupon requirements. And tomorrow? We shop for a kitchen sink.

Posted in health, motherhood, shopping
November 5th, 2007 | 2 Comments »

If you were, oh, say, a two and three fourths year old boy who has had some scary nights now and again, and you came home to find this in your room, what would you think?

You might think that your mother was a magical genie who could, in the span of a lunch break, and with the help of Craig’s List, a fortuitous recent trip to the ATM, and a gallon of gas in the minivan, manage to find, buy, load, unload, sanitize, and assemble THIS!

Yes, it’s plastic. Which means it’s easy to clean. I know, I know. Carbon footprint, and all that. But it’s recycled. There’s no telling how many parents have encouraged their little ones to make it through the night in their own room with this particular bait. When the novelty fades or he outgrows it, whichever comes first, this item will find its way to another home, to hopefully make another child’s life just a wee bit more magical.

And my precious little boy child will have to manage some impressive somnolent contortions to fall out of this contraption. I’m only a bit concerned that he’s already too big for it. Nevertheless, I think he will be delighted, if only for a moment.

April 11th, 2007 | 2 Comments »

(as Austin Powers would say)

I spent a s t a g g e r i n g amount of money this week, but I feel very good about it.  (Most of it, anyway.)

The state has a fantastic guaranteed tuition program so I can now proudly say that my son’s univeristy tuition is paid in full, guaranteed for when he’s ready to go (as long as he goes to a public university).  I bought the maximum, which translates to five years.  I had previously let it be known that I would expect my children to pay for their own education, like I had to (the reasoning behind that stance being that the education might be more fully appreciated and taken seriously).  I don’t know whether I will let him know I’ve done this, when he’s older.  I’d rather encourage him to do his best and seek scholarships, grants, internships and such.  I don’t want him to grow up assuming that life is a free ride.  I want him to learn a good work ethic.  I want him to be responsible.  I want him to be able to go confidently out into the world, when it’s his time.  I don’t want him to be lazy.

I also paid the property taxes for the year.  That’s not such a happy outward flow of cash, but there’s no getting around it, and at least a little of it does go towards good things like the public schools.

Recent family crises added to the net (and I’m so thankful that I am able to help out a bit).

…and…   ….shhhhh….   …don’t tell Mr. Gadget, but I ordered the Nikon D40.  What the heck, say I…  It’s a barely discernible drop in the bucket of freeflowing cash this week.  Barely discernible!  What better time than now

Actually, so far I’ve only told him about the tuition and the tax.  Not the family crises and the camera.  He won’t mind, though.  He might be a wee bit jealous, but he did get a new camera himself this week (which he got to get from the community fund).  And I’ve forked out quite a LOT of money to help out his side of the family when in crisis, so he has no room to grumble, should he decide to comment. 

I don’t know how other families keep financial peace.  I know that financial matters are the root of many a marital woe.  And we have had more woe than I care to express or continue.  So.  We have come to an understanding.  Our accounts are separate, like single people.  I manage the family budget.  We contribute to the common fund by percentage of earnings rather than dollar amount so we feel equal relative pain, and if we have anything left over after our family commitments, then it’s ours to do with as we please.  It’s an average budget, though.  It doesn’t include expenses out of the ordinary routine.  And really, we should establish a savings plan, for future and for retirement.  It’s one step at a time for my dear MG though.   He balks at anything that will reduce his current potential spending money.

Mr. Gadget’s wants seem to exceed his means, and mine generally don’t. (Means being what’s left over after family commitments.)  Somehow I end up feeling guilty if I ever covet something expensive.  (I attribute it to my upbringing, which has both pros and cons.)  The tuition, family donations, and camera came from my personal funds, and somehow I feel a bit guilty about the camera, even though I shouldn’t.  I guess a part of me worries that MG will think that if I got to spend X then he should get to spend X.  Math is not his strongsuit.

I wonder if we’d view things differently had we married younger, or had he not been married previously.  If I had married younger, I probably would be gung ho for a fully joint account, in which we would have to agree to certain expenses as a team, and we’d have to be responsibly accountable to each other for all of our expenditures.

Having been single and established, way into my thirties, it’s been quite difficult to fully adjust to the sharedness of marriage.  Having been previously married, MG’s child support payments come from his personal account, which substantially diminishes his available mad-money.  This is why he feels strained and why it’s easy for his wants to exceed his means.  Maybe I’m a bit hard-nosed, but support for his other child is his responsibility, not mine.  And support for our child is our responsibility together.  That’s how I see it, anyway.  If his daughter were to come live with us, of course we’d both support her, but he has no custody, and none forseeable.

I need to find a way not to end up feeling guilty.  I’ve worked very hard (I’ve worked for one company for almost 21 years) and made many financial sacrfices along the way so that I would be better set in the future.  The future is now, and it should be okay for me to have a Nikon camera, guilt-free!

April 9th, 2007 | No Comments »

They say a picture tells a thousand words…


Oh, the clarity of the play chips in stark contrast to the lack therof in the intended subject. My beloved, joyful boy, swinging merrily away. By the time I can get a focus locked, the moment is gone and by the time the picture actually takes, there’s no telling what I’ll get. I have a Canon Powershot G1, which I love, but the other day I made the mistake of picking up a Canon xTi and playing with it, just for kicks. It felt so good to hold, and made such a satisfying click during the shot. Since then, I have been pining for a digital SLR, and even more so after reviewing my latest batch of action shots.

Fueled by my desire and newly magnified sense of dissatisfaction with my present equipment, I’ve googled extensively and pored through gazillions of reviews, comparisons, recommendations, and forums. The contenders are the Canon xTi and the Nikon D40. I’m leaning toward the Nikon D40. It costs quite a bit less, to be certain. I have been very happy with my Canon, though. Perhaps the sound of Paul Simon singing Kodachrome non-stop in my mind has something to do with the Nikon decision. Not that it’s a decision. I still have to get my hands on one and see if I like how it feels. Then I’ll have to decide if I’m willing to make a mad money splurge and dive in. Suffice it to say, it’s consuming far too much of my mind. Coveting, it is not such a good thing. One of the big commandments, is it not And for good reason, I’m sure.

They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, Oh yeah
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So mama don’t take my Kodachrome away

Posted in shopping, technology
February 28th, 2007 | 3 Comments »

When each morning for the past couple of weeks I am greeted with a not-so-friendly message that my computer has recovered from a serious error, and would I like to read the details in the error log, I wonder to myself whether my trusty desktop might be nearing the end of its useful life and the thought briefly passes through my mind that it might behoove me to back up my data.  However, I have not yet backed up my data.  I should.  I know.  I did back it up in December.  Mostly.  Sigh.  One more of the things in my life I want to organize, sort, scour, or purge.

Maybe tomorrow.  Or the next day.  Or the weekend.  Or next weekend. 

I did, however, do something wild and out of the ordinary.  I bought a brand spanking new laptop.  I’ve been looking at them for some time, but have always talked myself out of it.  All those ominous error messages of impending doom sort of scared me into action, though.  Plus, the bonus I received at work last week helped as well.  Woohoo!  Bonuses are always good.  Few and far between, to be sure, but very welcome when they happen. 

So, here I am, with my fancy new machine, sitting on the couch blogging, while Mr. Gadget watches American Idol and Mr. Busy Body stands on a step stool surveying his domain, considering what toys he will play with next.  The child loves to climb on things, and thankfully, a step stool satisfies his climbing tendencies while maintaining a fairly close proximity to the floor and relative safety (apart from the obstacle course of toys scattered at his feet).

I am sitting on the couch blogging.  Imagine it!   Although, I still feel guilty, but at least my body is in the same room as the rest of my family.

The computer is kind of odd-looking.  It’s a Dell E1705, which has a giant screen (with incredible definition and resolution – yay!) and a tiny keyboard.  I don’t know why they didn’t put a larger keyboard in it, since it has the real estate.  I was going to wait for them to improve upon that before jumping in and buying one, but there was the writing on the wall….  ….so I didn’t wait.  It’s got Windows Vista, which I also wasn’t too enthused about.  At least not for a few months, in case they need to work out the kinks.  And surely there will be kinks.  I’m okay with it, though.  All of it.  Because it’s new!  I have a new computer!  Woohoo!

January 9th, 2007 | 5 Comments »

Poor little Boo. The sniffles started on Thursday or Friday and there was a little bit of fever here and there, accompanied by some tearing eyes with swollen eyelids, but he seemed to be feeling better on Saturday.


There was a bit of a croupy sounding cough which alarmed me, though, and then he started drooling. At that point it was Saturday night and I called the doctor, after having read that with that laundry list of symptoms, one should call the doctor immediately. She recommended Ibuprofen over Acetaminaphen, and plenty of fluids. Sometimes I think those books on children’s health, although trying to be helpful, introduce too much stress on the parents’ part. They seem to put forth the worst case scenario. I don’t want to be the one to freak out over every little thing and thus turn my child into a quivering quaking neurotic mess with little to no self-confidence. On the other hand, I don’t want to ignore or overlook things for which I ought to seek assistance. Sunday he had much more energy and the cough was less croupy. Monday he seemed energetic and boisterous. I gave him some Ibuprofen when we got home that night, just for good measure and not long after he got whiny and drowsy. I took his temperature and it was around 100. I held him and he fell asleep, but he felt very warm, so half an hour later I took his temp and it was 103.5 in one ear and 105.5 in the other. This freaked me out, so I stripped him down immediately and got in the bathtub with him, in lukewarm water. He screamed while I dabbed cool water on him. I held him close but kept gently wetting him, trying to cool him down. When his temp dropped to around 101 I put him on my lap out of the water but his temp rose immediately again, so back in the water we went. Meanwhile, we tried to reach the doctor. Finally, she called back and recommended alternating the Tylenol with the Motrin, every 2 hours, and also giving him some Sudafed. She asked that we bring him to the office in the morning, but if his fever spiked again so high before then, to take him to the ER. The Tylenol brought his fever down nicely, and we made it through an uneventful night. I’ve had the humidifier running with eucalyptus oil since Thursday, which has been somewhat of a help. Meanwhile, the full frontal onslaught of toddler coughs and sneezes has finally taken it’s toll, and today I find myself battling the bug as well.

The doctor confirmed that my 37 lb almost 2 year old has an ear infection, and possibly a throat infection as well, so prescribed antibiotics. His 2 year well child physical is next week. It’s uncanny how he manages to get sick enough to require a doctor visit one week before his regularly scheduled checkup. This has happened for the last four checkups (12, 15, 18, and 24 months). Weird. The nice part is that means he hasn’t been sick for six months.


We went to fill his prescription, but Costco wasn’t yet open, so we went to Target to kill 45 minutes. My poor little guy was whining and crying the whole time. I felt so bad for him, but look what I found! I’ve been hoping to find dishes like these for several years now. They’re never quite right, the dishes I encounter, but these plates! Oh, these plates I adore! They remind me of the Hubble nebulae photographs, which I LOVE! The bowls and cups are a bit off. I love the glaze, but not the shape. I ought to be a designer. It’s perfectly fine to mix round with square. Just because one has square plates does not mean the bowls must also be square. Sigh. Alas, Target didn’t ask me. I bought the set anyway, on the plate merit alone. What a find. They are stunning.


Back at Costco, we arrived 15 minutes after opening time, and it was completely packed. It’s insane. It must be senior citizen prescription filling day, because the wait at the pharmacy was two hours. TWO HOURS!! My sweet little boy fell asleep and I made a nest for him in the cart. Being the prepared mother that I am, I keep a comforter, pillow, and blanket in the car, so I can make a nest for him when he falls asleep shopping. This leaves only the space under the basket for items, which one might think would allow somebody to make it out of Costco without spending a small fortune, but somehow I managed to spend a fortune anyway. I had to kill two hours, after all. No, I didn’t need any more Method soap, but I like it, and it comes in nicely shaped bottles. I also didn’t need the 52 pack of disposable razors that I bought, even though Mr. Gadget assured me that he was getting low. Apparently he didn’t look in his cabinet where I put the 52 pack I got him the last time they had a coupon special. No more razors for at least a year. Diapers cost a fortune, but we consider them a necessity. Wipes as well, and those new Huggies wipes with aloe vera and cucumber smell so nice. Then there were the hand made thank you note cards. 30 for $10. I couldn’t pass that up. It’s easy to spend a fortune in that store, and because I’m one of those brainwashed tried and true dedicated Costco shoppers, I don’t mind. It’s Costco.

Posted in children, health, shopping
December 10th, 2006 | 6 Comments »

The things one does to keep one’s mind occupied, so as not to think too much about things that are beyond one’s control…

apron1.jpgI’m generally a wash and wear kind of person, as the things I wear are often covered in toddler goo of some sort or another, but I had some pretty fabric that I’ve had stashed in a closet for years, and decided it would make a nice apron. I wanted a specific style, and after a little googling, found that the style I like is often referred to as a 1940’s apron. I found a few cover shots of vintage patterns to get a general idea of construction, then made my own pattern.  I love one of the vintage pattern descriptions. It said something like “crisp as celery, neat as a pin.” Of course the models have 18 inch waistlines. That would be one of my arms, maybe, or a calf, perhaps, but not a waist. Not since I was maybe 4 yrs old or so. The end result isn’t neat as a pin, or crisp as celery, but I guess I like how it turned out. It’s fully lined and I even hid some pockets among the front seams.

In other news, we shopped until we dropped this weekend, and it’s been a very long time since we’ve done anything like that.  It all started with a quest for a coat.  Not just any coat.  I decided I wanted a black hooded peacoat.  Either that or a duffle coat.  It’s been several years since I’ve bought a coat.  A little online browsing revealed that the average duffle coat costs way more than I’d ever be interested in spending, and most of the available hooded pea coats did as well, and of course, they generally aren’t available in extended sizes.  After an exhausting and fruitless journey through the mall, and I loathe shopping malls, by the way, I happened into a Lane Bryant outlet store that actually had black wool peacoats (sans hood, though) for 50% off.  Add to that some gimick they were running whereby you get to take 25% off of one item if you buy their magazine for $3.95, and then if you open a credit account, you get an extra 15% off.  It would have been sweet if one could have added all those percentages together.  That would have been 90% off.  But instead it’s 50% off, then 25% off the remainder, then 15% off the next remainder.  Even so, I walked out of that store with my black peacoat for $41.  Now I have to cancel that credit card after I pay the bill.  I’m very much against having a menagerie of credit cards.

In our shopping fervor, Mr. Gadget got the notion that he needed a suit.  We found a couple possibilities while at the mall, but decided to check out another store today.  He’s had his heart set on one of those swanky tuxedo vests.  He’s probably secretly thinking 007 or something!  We put together the full sh’bang — a suit, shirt, and vest/tie/hanky combo, for under $150.  Suits generally cost a fortune, so we did well.  No more new clothes for MG for quite some time, though.  He’ll be very dapper in his own special and very color coordinated way if ever we have an occasion that calls for a suit.  Either that, or perhaps one of these days we’ll dress up for dinner at home, just for fun.  I would actually quite enjoy that.

Posted in projects, shopping
November 23rd, 2006 | 1 Comment »

For the second day in a row, I’ve awakened at 3:30 a.m., and haven’t been able to return to the land of slumber. Sigh. There is a piper, and he must be paid. But not right now.
The Black Friday ads are tantalizing, almost to the point of hyperventilation. Should I go stand in line amidst the mob of other hopeful shoppers and try to score some early bird specials I don’t need anything. But there are 1000 thread count sheet sets out there for $79.99. One. THOUSAND. Thread. Count. !!! Yes, I hyperventilate over linens. No, I probably won’t buy them. They’re sateen, and Mr. Gadget has already expressed his dislike of slippery sheets. (The luscious 500 thread count dark chocolate brown sheets I treated myself to a few months ago are sateen –and GORGEOUS! –alas, not to MG’s liking.)

I could just go and wander, to see if I encounter any hot deals that would make appropriate holiday gifts for MG’s family. I used to shop for my family, but sort of stopped in the last few years. It occurred to me that I’ve spent a lifetime trying to hold my family together, and making sure they all had gifts was one of my feeble attempts. Only, it’s just stuff. They don’t need stuff. I don’t need stuff. I’m so tired of stuff. We’re all grown up now. It’s no longer us as a unit trying to survive, to get through childhood and early life. We’re there. We’re on our own. We’re making our way. Whatever ways they may be, they are our own. We don’t have gift-giving obligations. Who wants it if it’s an obligation anyway Obligation completely ruins the spirit of giving. So. I don’t send things out to my family. And they don’t send things to me.

Most importantly, I have my own family now, and I can turn my focus to making life magical for the child(ren) I’m raising. That is where my joy is now. This is where my strength goes now. I don’t want them (speaking with the assumption that Little One, the size of a pea inside me, will survive and fluorish and join us soon) to grow up in survival mode, us against them, like I did. I want to give them a beautiful life.

Posted in family, shopping