Getting Creative

July 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

Dante’s got it going on. He can sit by his lonesome with dinosaurs lined up for battle or cars lined up bumper to bumper – apparently stuck in some serious traffic and just go on and on to himself with some hard-to-follow story about what’s going on. It cracks me up listening to the dialogues between his toys and the names he gives them… instead of “stegosaurus” or “Spike” he will dub his dino friend “Inger” …. ? Whatever floats your boat, kid.

Stefano is starting to mimic his brother’s creativeness, which is adorable. He’s not in that create-a-dialogue-between-toys place yet, but he does love to roll a train along the train tracks and fill and dump his dump trucks… and I often catch him flipping through a board book pointing out various animals and making their noises… all quietly to himself. So I know he’s on his way to being a great independent player, too.

MY creative juices have been flowing, too! My hubby knew I have been considering buy a sewing machine for some time, now, so he surprised me with the money to buy one!  Ta-da!

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So  I got right to work….

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And made this!

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It’s a sewing machine cover! Not super exciting for you, probably, but it was for me. This was the first time I’ve wielded a sewing machine since sixth grade Home Economics… which I did very poorly in, mind you. Took me quite a while to figure out the instructions for preparing the bobbin and threading the machine.. I was super nervous about breaking it before I even got a chance to use it! But I did figure it out and spent a late night finishing up my project. Check out those mad skillz!

My second project – a toddler-sized floor cushion – came out pretty well… for my second project that is.

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It has a few very obvious flaws… The most noticeable is my blind stitch attempt. Stitching by hand is harder than using the sewing machine! The seam I stitched to close everything up looks like the work of Dr. Frankenstein.

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My favorite thing about this project was working with the piping. It’s something I imagined would be very difficult and it was actually quite easy. I just need to have more control and patience for more crisp results.

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I love the idea of being able to make our house a home by making my own pillows and curtains and things… an would like to be able to make gifts and eventually some clothes as well. But first thing’s first. I’ve got to figure out how to hand stitch.

Well that’s all. Just wanted to drop in a share what I’ve been working on to stay busy. Yes! I actually do enjoy down time!

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Me + Three: The Beach!

July 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

So I woke up this morning – the sun was shining after a very rainy week – and I got the sudden urge to tote my 3 young children off to the beach! During my entire pregnancy with Leonardo I would think about how I might effectively do this and that with three kids.. for example: I would consider the best way to get our grocery shopping done… should I put the two little ones in a cart and drag a second cart along while Dante walks? No, why would I do that when I can just carry the baby in a wrap, push Stefano, and Dante can walk. Or, how will I go places that might require me to cross a busy parking lot or street if I need to bring the car seat along?… the answer to that one is to be sure that Dante looks me in the eye while I remind him that cars on the road can be dangerous, have him GENTLY hold onto his brother’s hand or sleeve and stick with our group while we cross! I would also think about how painful it might potentially be to drag them all to the beach by my lonesome.. More than once during one of my silent monologues I would just decide to not go by myself. I’ve got enough friends to spread out beach dates over the summer…And then other times when I was feeling more optimistic I’d figure that there would always be someone willing to help me carry something or someone if I went alone… which was totally true – quite a few women offered me a hand when they saw me pushing my stroller loaded with a large beach umbrella, blanket, thermal bag, sand toys, and a baby seat perched on top, a large tote full of clothes, sunscreen, towels, and diapers slung over my shoulder, and two little people following along with their buckets. But everything actually went very smoothly.

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I never took D and S to the beach by myself…. I never took just D to the beach. It seemed like such a stressful thing to do. But really……………….

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It was fine. Not the most relaxing beach visit I’ve ever spent… but far from the worst. The kids loved the water and found some hermit crabs. They dug in the sand and ate sandy watermelon. And for the most part they stayed right with me. The hardest part was having to not only hold Leonardo the entire time but shade him from the sun, too. And I neglected putting sunscreen on myself so I’m pretty sure the back of my arms and neck are going to be lobster-red tonight.. Dante is already asking to go back tomorrow. Not sure if we’ll go tomorrow but I do want to spend more time at the beach. Now to perfect my strategy…. Change number 1: buy a beach chair!

Enjoying Each Season!

July 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

So we’re two months in with baby number three! Leonardo is doing great. He doesn’t sleep as poorly as Dante did, but not as fantastic as Stefano did. He’s right in the middle. Someone asked how he was sleeping, as many usually do when inquiring about the general well-being of new parents and their babies, upon meeting us for the first time and I answered that he, “sleeps like a baby”. So true. I’m just thankful that my two older babies seem to have found their sleep-routine-happy-place. Our nights have been much quieter the last three-ish weeks. Thank you, Jesus!

L is surprisingly content to lay on his back and stare at/swat at his baby gym. D and S were never so compliant at this age to lay there for very long. Just this morning (our day starts around 6AM, generally) I was loving sitting on the rug watching all three boys play quietly – D at his train table, S with his cars, and L at his baby gym smiling at the black and white polka-dotted feet of a dangle bug toy. I sat and enjoyed my iced coffee and pumpkin bread in peace and it was glorious. Okay, I had to share the pumpkin bread because it was delicious and I was sitting at the boys’ eye level… there was no hiding it.

It’s not always so relaxed around here, of course. Stefano is in this grumpy phase where he seems perpetually mad at everybody. He’s so adorable that usually I think it’s cute and laugh to myself before correcting him. It’s just… this continual scowl. For no reason. Cracks us up. But it’s NOT adorable when he’s all smiles then remembers that he’s “supposed” to be grouchy and claws at Leonardo’s face. True story. He’s also not in a very obedient place yet – haha. I distinctly recall really cracking down on Dante when he was about 18 months…. not going to lie… I’ve been lackluster in the consistency department with Stefano thus far. He’ll be 18 months on the 20th… I guess it’s time to put on my game face.

And then there’s my Dante. He is definitely craving attention…. not because he is lacking attention…. but because mommy and daddy are giving not ONE but TWO other little boys some, too. So while he absolutely loves L and always wants to be right there touching him and kissing and hugging him, and jingling his toys for him, he is definitely looking for ways to get our attention that aren’t always very nice…. We’ve had to many instances of not making it to the bathroom to believe they’re all “accidents”. But we’re working on it. Sometimes I get so frustrated and take it out on my husband or kids – Dante especially since he’s the one HAVING the “accidents” and is the most frequent offender of my short temper. I’ve been trying to read Proverbs daily for encouragement and reminders of how I need to carry myself and in this case how I need to respond to my children….

 Proverbs 15:9 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.


But every day is a new beginning. Some days I feel so weighted down with being a parent. I completely fail to open my eyes and see how blessed I am and don’t thank the Lord once for my beautiful babies. Those days usually coincide with not taking time to read the Word. If I start my days off being lazy – not taking even a little time for myself with God, letting my cleaning pile up, not showering first thing – then the rest of my day is usually not very good.  I want Proverbs 31 in big text hanging on my wall so that I can always be reminded of what it means to be a godly wife, mother, and homemaker. A few verses that stick out to me today… Verse 17: She sets about her work vigorously, her arms are strong for her tasks. Verse 23: Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. Verses 26, 27: She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Verse 28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her…

So here’s to enjoying the quiet, peaceful moments during the day, and staying strong and steady through the many difficult moments, and enjoying each season!

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