Monday, December 15, 2014

'Tis the Season

Following religious pages on Facebook is a good thing & a bad thing. Good thing because it's easy access to inspiration through out the day/week. Bad thing because it's also easy access to negativity & hypocrisy in the comments sections.

Today a page that I follow posted the link to the beautiful Pentatonix version of "Mary Did You Know?"  I made a mistake. I read the comments. Because I forgot. 'Tis the Season that all the sanctimonious ultra-conservative people come out of the woodwork and in subtle (or not so subtle ways) tell you that you are going to go to hell if you celebrate Christmas because *gasp* it has PAGAN ROOTS! There were also the commenters saying, basically, that you can't listen to Pentatonix & be a good Christian because Pentatonix covers secular music.

I read a really good post last week about Christmas. The author posed very good point. All the anti-Christmas people seem to think that celebrating Christmas makes you an "accidental pagan", thus ascribing WAY more power to Satan than to the God they profess to worship. However, the God I believe in is bigger and kinder than that.

If you are a Christian and really want to live by not only the letter, but the spirit of God's word, then how about trying to follow the example of Jesus and look out for the poor, the downtrodden, the "least of these." Instead of standing on your holier-than-thou soapbox, get out and do some GOOD! There are so many charitable organizations that need help, through donations of time, money or items. Harshing on other peoples' holiday cheer from behind a computer screen is easy, sure, but it is absolutely not right, nor Christian. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Not Fair!

This afternoon did not go according to plan. After 3 hours of fighting to get Serenity down for a nap, she won. I was a frazzled, frustrated mess when hubby got home. And after HE rocked her for 5 minutes, she was asleep. So, naturally, the first words out of my mouth after he was done putting in her crib were "Not fair!"

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Don't Tell Me How To Fan

I have lived my entire life within a 1 hour radius of the Kansas City Metro area. This is an area that LOVE, LOVE, LOVES it's sports. Pro sports, semi-pro sports, college sports, high school sports; people eat it all up. Sports rivalries are a way of life.

And this October, one Kansas City team brought national attention, in a good way, to our love of sports. If someone had told me in April that the Royals would be in the World Series, I would have thought they were off their rocker. Sure, the Royals were doing better than they had for, well, most of my life, but a World Series seemed out of reach. I was just happy we weren't battling for last place in all of Major League Baseball, like a few years prior.

My dad raised me to love the Royals. Through thick & thin, good & bad years. (Although, he was never successful in getting me to love the Chiefs, because football...meh.)

Every year, like every other Royals fan I know, started out with the hope that maybe, just maybe, this year would be OUR year. The year that the Royals would break the drought and get into the playoffs.

2014 was finally that year. A season of cautious optimism growing into full-fledged OMG.I.can't' This year's team rekindled our love of baseball.

Don't misunderstand me. Our love of baseball never died. Not even some of the worst seasons of baseball ever could completely extinguish that. No, what this season did was take that fitfully burning love and turn it into a wildfire of passion. We loved that they made baseball FUN again.

It's been an incredibly, fantastically fun season, and especially so in the post-season. Seeing Cain make seemingly impossible plays, watching Butler stealing bases or chugging from 1st to home, or the pure and absolute joy of having not just a good bullpen, but possibly the best in the MLB this season is just incredible.

So today, me, hubby & baby, and 10,000 other true blue loyal Royals fans gathered to say "Thank You!" to the team that has been so much fun to root for. It was great. And hopefully it somewhat lessened the sting for the team of having come sooooooooo close to taking the crown.

And then I made the mistake of reading comments on the news articles that covered the event this morning. Out of town/state people commenting telling us that we shouldn't celebrate the team that lost the World Series. Telling us that apparently we don't know how to celebrate properly.

So for you anonymous denizens of the internet that so clearly just don't get it, I have this to say. DON'T TELL ME HOW TO FAN!* Don't tell me how I should or should not support and thank these phenomenal athletes and men who gave it their all this post season. I believe that love should weather the good and the bad. Believe me, us true blue Royals fans have seen the bad, and a 1 run loss in game 7 of the World Series was not it. We went to games in the worst seasons in franchise history, watched as good players came and went, hoping, praying to have a good, complete team. We got that, and win or lose, we celebrated that today. So take your nay-saying, fair-weather fan malarky somewhere else. It doesn't fly here. GO ROYALS!

*I refuse to use the term fangirl due to its use in belittling and delegitimizing the fan experience of females, hence the potentially odd sounding phrasing.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. 2 weeks ago Thursday, I got a call from hubby's aunt. The company she works for was looking for a part time office manager assistant, and she was wondering if I'd be interested.

I had worked there as a temp shortly after I got laid off a couple years ago, and really liked it, so I said I'd be thrilled if she put my name into the running for the position.

The following Monday I got the word that I got the job. So the next day I put in my notice at Taco Bell. Made my boss and all my favorite co-workers sad.

This last Tuesday was my last day at Taco Bell, and I started my new job on Wednesday. All this after having a booth for my photography at a consignment sale the 5 days before. So I've been going non-stop for a week & a half.

So now I have a new job, but it's in the opposite direction from home as my babysitter, so now I have to find a new sitter.

I do not handle changes well, and the rapid pace of change the last two weeks has my head spinning. I am so exhausted just thinking about finding a sitter. It's times like this that being an introvert who can count close trusted friends on one hand really stinks. :(

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Serenity vs. the bully

This week, at just under 16 months old, Serenity had her first encounter with a bully.

She was at the sitter's on Monday when it happened. She was given a toy, and a little boy there wanted it. When she didn't give it to him, he bit her! However, she held on to the toy, and pushed him away.

She may have a mouth shaped bruise on her arm, but I am happy that she's able to stand up for herself. My baby girl is too tough & stubborn to let a bully get the best of her. :)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Goodwill Goodies

It's official. I'm smitten. I went to the Goodwill Outlet, and I'm hooked. I got 4 bags of stuff for just under $19.00.

Counting the 7 roughly 1 yard pieces of sheer, metallic fabric I nabbed, I got 50 items. 11 of the items had tags, whose totals added up to $46.

2 curtains that I plan to use as fabric for dresses for Serenity.
2 vintage flat sheets with fabulous floral patterns, also to utilize as a fabric source.
1 silk shirt.
1 silk skirt. (It's a size 0, but it's got a gorgeous pattern. I think I see a silk dress in Serenity's future)
1 very 80's silk formal cocktail dress.
1 kimono with beautiful chrysanthemums printed on it.
1 pair of pajama pants that look like they're brand new.
1 vintage kurti. It's missing some bells & bangles, but I know can make something spectacular out of it.
1 pair capris.
3 sweaters.
5 shirts for me.
1 green satin sash.
3 shirts that might fit my mom.
2 skirts.
2 pairs of pants for Serenity.
1 pair of PJs for Serenity.
1 pair PJ for the neighbor's new baby.
5 tops for Serenity to wear next spring.
6 dresses for Serenity to grow into.

And the best piece of all. A vintage wool coat with a fabulous fur collar.

It's missing whatever it used to have to keep it closed, but I think a couple frog closures will fix it up just fine.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Project Roundup

Now that I have a beautiful, new, fully functional sewing machine, I figured it's time to think about tackling the projects that have been sitting in my sewing room. But which to tackle first...

Turn random fabric into a dress for Serenity?

Shorten a too long wool skirt?

Hem too long dress pants?

Refashion a too small silk skirt?

Refashion a too big sheath dress?

Turn receiving blankets and other flannel scraps into diapers?
*Sigh* Decisions, decisions... And this is just the tip of the project iceberg, that is preventing me from getting to the other projects buried in the black hole I call a sewing room!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Monday came to visit, and won't leave

This week has not had the most auspicious start. My "case of the Mondays" extended into Tuesday.

Started out with Serenity waking up crying at 5:30 Monday morning. Usually, if she wakes up before 7 am, some noms and snuggles get her right back to sleep. Not so this time. Once I was coherent enough to get up and get her dressed, I was horrified to see what I thought were bug bites, all along the back of her neck.

I turned on some more lights for a better look, and soon discovered they weren't bites, and they weren't just on her neck. They were hives, and they were on her arms, in her arm pits, on an ear, on her back, her thighs. No wonder she had woken up crying!
Poor baby!
As soon as urgent care was open, I called & described the situation to the nurse. A few minutes later, the doctor called back and advised me that it was very likely that Serenity was having a reaction to the amoxicillin she was prescribed the week before and to immediately stop using it.

So all I could do was give her some Benadryl and put allergy cream on it and hope it got better. After giving her the Benadryl, I put her in the high chair with some Cheerios for breakfast. An early wake up paired with Benadryl made her fall asleep in her high chair!

The hives weren't any better by bedtime, so she slept in the pack-n-play next to our bed last night. And I couldn't sleep. I was terrified that the reaction might worsen and she would have trouble breathing. Of course, the storm that rolled through around 11 pm wasn't any help in the sleep department either. Lots of lightning, thunder, howling wind and driving rain helped keep me awake til past midnight.

I woke up this morning and was thrilled to discover that overnight the hives had subsided greatly. No early morning trip to urgent care! It was going to be a good day! 

And then, it wasn't. Turns out, that fun little storm knocked out power in lots of places around town. This included a partial power outage at my place of employment. Roughly 1/3 of the lights and equipment necessary to be open were working, everything else, not so much. After 2 hours of being at work, but not being able to clock in, due to the computers being part of the equipment without power, I was finally told to go home. So that's more missed hours at work. :(

And now, it's 10 pm, and I feel like I've been hit by a truck. I was prescribed amoxicillin for my bronchitis, and I stopped taking it when I stopped giving Serenity hers. And 48 hours since my last dose, I'm starting to think that I probably needed to stay on it. But I don't want it to get into Serenity's system and possibly cause a worse reaction than hives. 

Hopefully I'll wake up feeling better tomorrow. Because, I swear, if Monday tries to show up again...

Saturday, July 5, 2014

4th of July

Our Independence Day was very close to being as miserable as this year's Valentine's Day. Last Sunday Serenity & I went to urgent care. I almost didn't make an appointment for myself, because I thought I was just a little under the weather. I knew Serenity was coming down with an ear infection, so I wanted to take care of it ASAP. Turns out, I was worse off than I thought. I had bronchitis bad enough that the doctor gave me a nebulizer treatment right there in the office.

Fortunately, the medicine we were both put on did the trick and we were well enough to enjoy the 4th of July with family.

Waiting for the Rich Hill 4th of July Parade to start.
Beginning of parade

End of Parade

Serenity enjoyed the parade, except for some fire truck sirens and the tow trucks honking. The fireworks later weren't really her cup of tea. Even the quiet ones made her cry, so she went to bed, and slept through all the rest.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Red Dress

Can it be saved?

After the initial post about my 50¢ thrift store dresses, my brother commented on Facebook saying that when they sold me the red dress they basically robbed me of my 50¢. 

Now, taken as a whole, it's pretty much, well, terrible. The top was boxy, bulky and had shoulder pads (ick!), and as a whole looked more like something one of the piano players at church would wear than something I'd don in public. 

But I liked the color and the pleated skirt. So choppage commenced.

Shoulder pads...GONE!

Stiff plastic mesh stuff that added to the boxiness of the shoulders.

This was a weird pleat on the front of the dress that I removed.
Flaps to give the illusion of pockets. They were awkwardly placed in the chest area, so they went bye-bye too.
After all the seam ripping and odd part removing, I was left with a dress that needed a LOT of fabric removed in the top to turn it into something that didn't resemble a big red sack on my mid-section.

I was at a loss as to how to rectify it without it looking stupid, so it sat with my sewing stuff for almost 2 months.

I am happy to say, inspiration finally struck.  Also, I can honestly say, the thrift store did not rob me of my 50¢. In fact, I kind of think it was a steal on my part. Because that one sad, ugly dress turned into 2 skirts!

Matching skirts!
Smelling the pretty flowers

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Green Dress

Remember this little number from around St. Patrick's day?

Well, I finally got around to updating it.  I was very lazy and neglected to document the process of transforming it. Sorry.

But I can tell you what I did before I reveal the finished product. :)

I removed the collar, the sleeves and the buttons. I took in the sides about 1 inch, took up the bottom hem about 6 inches, sewed closed the part that had been buttoned, and put darts in the front. I also turned the former bottom hem of the dress into a sash.

I like to think that the finished product is an improvement!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

One Year

One year ago today the most amazing little person came into my life.

She's grown so much the last year. She's sooo close to walking on her own, and she's starting to say words like "mama", "dada", "kitty", & "nom".

Happy 1st Birthday, Serenity Faye!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Babies & Cats

I've come to the conclusion that babies are just cats in disguise. Or maybe it's vise versa? Anyway, I've got a list of evidence for my conclusion. ;)

1) Both cats & babies sleep a LOT.

2) Cats & babies eat. A LOT.

3) If you don't train them properly, cats & babies will go to the bathroom willy-nilly all over the place, instead of in designated areas.

4) Cats & babies can get comfortable in the most ridiculous positions.

5) Cats & babies want attention, or to be held at precisely the most inconvenient time possible. (Like when you have an overwhelming urge to go to the restroom)

6) Cats & babies are two of the most adorable & cuddly creatures in the universe!

7) Some people, once they have one cat, or baby, just can't stop with one, and next thing you know. BAM! Crazy cat lady and/or hoard of children.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Trash or Treasure?

I found these two "gems" for 50¢ each at the thrift store on Friday. I'm fairly positive that I can save them and turn them into something befitting 2014. I'm not crazy am I?? Anyone?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Word of the Day - Part 5

This is one of my favorite new words. There is a two-fold reason. #1, I first heard it in one of my favorite TV shows. #2, it describes one of my favorite things.


pe trī kôr [noun]

The fresh, pleasant smell just after rainfall that breaks a dry spell. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Things I've learned...

Valentine's Day this year was a total bust. Baby, hubby and I all succumbed to a nasty stomach bug the night before, that lingered in the hubby and me until the day after. During that very miserable 48 hours I learned a few things.

#1 - The capacity of a 10 month old's stomach seems MUCH larger when it's spread all over your chest.

#2 - A sports bra will hold a remarkable amount of liquid.

#3 - My baby bounces back from illness WAY faster than I do. She was back to almost 100% in less than 24 hours.

#4 - The amount of energy my recovering baby had was inversely proportional to the energy that was being sapped from my body by the virus.

#5 - I have the most awesome friends ever, who were willing to drop off things like Pedialyte and Gatorade since me and the hubby were to sick to even think about driving to the store.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Scared out of my Mind

I have had a few frightening experiences in my life that have left indelible marks on my psyche. Moments in my life that scared me out of my mind and remain forever etched in my memory.

The first happened on the family vacation when I was 15. My family went camping at Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park. Now, for this story to make any sense, I guess I should explain what a “shut-in” is. It's a hillbilly term for where a river becomes unnavigable due to rock that doesn't erode well, leaving the water running through many small rapids, usually in a small gorge. Kind of like a small, very rocky canyon. While it makes for difficult travel on the river that is “shut-in”, it turns that part of the river into almost a natural water park.

My dad, sister, brother and I were all playing in the water in the Shut-ins, having a great time sliding down natural water slides from one calm pool to another in the river. I managed to get a ways ahead of the rest of my family. I slid down another natural water slide, and the current was stronger than I expected and I got pulled down, down, down into the water. The downward pull of the current was incredibly strong, and despite being a decent swimmer, I was having difficulty struggling to the surface to breathe. Since I had gotten so far ahead, and there weren't really any other people near where I was, I was positive that I was going to drown, because I was getting worn out from fighting the downward pull of the current.

Suddenly, a hand grasped mine as I was fighting to the surface and helped pull me out. I have no idea who my rescuer was. He was just a kid, looked to be about the same age as me, and he wandered off with his friend shortly after pulling me out of the water. I don't even remember if I was able to mumble a thank you to him or not.

The second incident occurred when on Christmas Break when I was a Sophomore in college. I was driving to work, going around a fairly tight curve when one of my rear tires blew out.

You know how in the movies sometimes car wrecks are portrayed in slow motion? I understand why now. Everything went so fast, but it seemed to be happening soooo slowly. My car did a 180 as it slid into the ditch. As it slid I glanced out my side window and saw the pole for one of the highway signs coming right for my head. I had just enough time to think “I'm going to die!” before I hit the pole. Fortunately, it sheared off at the ground and went flying instead of going through the window.

The momentum of my car was only stopped by the fact that the ditch I slid into was fairly deep. If not for that ditch, my car would've rolled. A nice lady happened on to the scene shortly after I managed to crawl out of my car and drove me to work where I called my parents and they called the tow truck. It wasn't until a while later that the adrenaline wore off and I started to HURT! It's been nearly 10 years since that accident, and I still have problems with my back where it got thrown out by that wreck.

The last incident happened more recently; when my baby was 4 ½ months old. I had my first head cold in around a year, and was not sleeping well. It's become a habit whenever I wake up in the night for me to reach over and check on my daughter as she sleeps.

On this particular night I reached over, felt her, and her head was cool. I slid my hand down her back and in my half-asleep state, couldn't feel her breathing. So I shook her lightly. Usually, if I do this when she's asleep, she'll just adjust her sleeping position and continue sleeping. This night, I shook her lightly, then harder, and she didn't move. I flew out of bed, convinced that my baby was dead or dying. I scooped her out of her cradle so swiftly the edge of the cradle flew into the wall and the noise woke up the hubby.

Barely daring to breathe myself I held my baby girl and she suddenly yawned hugely, stretched, dropped her head on my shoulder and continued to sleep soundly, completely unaware of how badly she scared me. It took a full week before I could bring myself to let her sleep all night by herself in her cradle again, and I kept waking up every hour and a half or so checking on her! I think it's going to be a while before I even think about letting her sleep in her own room thanks to this incident...

Friday, January 10, 2014


Society puts an inordinate amount of emphasis on physical appearance. We're told that we have to look a certain way in order to find love, happiness, success and fulfillment. And we buy into it, and perpetuate it with every anti-aging serum purchased, every fad diet followed, every “God, I'm so fat and disgusting” uttered.

I freely admit that I've fallen for the same lies, and still struggle with negative body image from time to time. Negative body images that have been drilled into my head my entire life. Nearly every woman of influence in my life has expressed disgust with her physical form more than once. Women whose intelligence, inner beauty, and spunk far outshone any physical flaws they may or may not have had.

It's wrong. So very, very few women fit the “ideal” that is pushed on us. The average model who is used to tell us how we should look is over 5'9” and weighs less than 130 lbs. However, the average woman in the U.S.A. is just under 5'4” and weighs 166 lbs. It's no wonder that clothes that look good in the ads, on mannequins and on the hangers just don't look right when the average woman puts them on.

If you've had a child, it just gets worse. Mothers are told that having a baby will “ruin” our bodies. We're given unrealistic ideas of how a woman is supposed to look before, during and after childbirth. There are “remedies” for stretch marks, diet and exercise plans for losing the “baby weight.” And heaven help the woman who isn't back into her pre-baby shape in a matter of months. Because we all have access to personal trainers and chefs like the Hollywood starlets who shed baby weight in a matter of weeks...

It took having a baby and “ruining” my body for me to begin to accept my body the way it is. During the months of my pregnancy I learned something. This body of mine, though it's definitely too short and round to be the body of a model, is capable of the miraculous. This body is capable of growing and sustaining another human life. For a short time another human being lived inside my body. And now my body produces the only nourishment that she needs for the first year of her life.

I cherish every stripe on my stomach, because those are the marks that show that I grew a person that is dearer to me than life itself. I embrace my body type, because that is my inheritance from my mother, my father, my grandparents. I hope that I can be an example that will help my daughter to always know that she is beautiful, inside and out, no how tall or short or round or skinny she grows up to be.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Anatomy of a Breast Feeding Mother

It's often said that the best ideas come to you while you're in the shower. This post is no exception.

The other night I was sitting with the baby in a steamy shower, trying to loosen up our collective chest congestion. Baby was nice, warm and relaxed. Next thing I know, she's peeing down my leg. :P

And that was it. That was the moment that gave me an idea. I would map out the anatomy of a breast feeding mother based on my experiences with my daughter.

So now, without further ado, here it is!