Friday, March 26, 2010

St. Joseph's Day

yes, i realize my posting is a week late but, better late than never right? so anyway, we celebrated St. Joseph's feast day last friday in grand array over here. my in-laws were in town for their yearly visit so that made it even better to have a couple of more people to celebrate. it made it even more festive considering my the italian heritage of my husband's family and that his father's name is joseph. we had always wanted to celebrate the feast of St. Joseph with a grand altar and such ever since we spent the first year of our marriage living close to new orleans. our parish while we were there had the most magnificent St. Joseph's altar decked out with breads shaped like turtles, lobsters, crabs and all other sorts of creatures. they also liberally covered it with fava beans painted with various catholic symbols or italian flags. the entire parish joined in praying the novena to St. Joseph for the nine days leading up to his feast and then on the feast everyone joined for a beautiful mass which was followed by a feast of grand proportion featuring all kinds of pasta, seafood and treats. i still remember that this was the first time i had tried crawfish pizza. and the funny thing came from dominos. they certainly don't offer that as a topping here in the northeast. :) so anyway, my husband whipped up a pretty nice altar if i do say so myself and we feasted. we had pasta with a tomato cream sauce that was loaded with sauteed mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and grilled chicken, a big ol' salad, whole wheat bread with melted cheese and some mock vino (sparkling grape juice). the kids also made shapes to represent St. Joseph out of crescent dough. then for dessert we had homemade cream puffs and homemade chocolate pizzeles. mmmm, yummy. i hope you had a most blessed feast day.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Big As A House And Exhausted

yep, that's me these days. of course, my oh so lovely husband tells me that i'm not huge...i just look like i'm having a baby. but, despite this being the fourth time i've been to this point in a pregnancy, i still can't get over the unwelcome and unsolicited comments from complete strangers. one woman just simply pronounced, "you're huge! that must be a gigantic baby in there." and another told me that i looked as if i could 'go' at any minute. when i calmly (i tried, i swear i tried to smile) informed her that actually i had about eight weeks or so to go, she then said, "well, is it just one then? not twins?" i assured her that it was indeed just one and before i had to get out of that aisle of the store with her (before i let out an audible scream or moan) she told me then for certain it must be "one huge baby for me to be that big." gee, thanks. you think i don't know what i look like? trust me. i shower with this body. i put clothing on this body. heck, i even try to sleep with this watermelon located somewhere close to where my waist and hips used to be located. so, the, me has been coming up with things to say to people when they feel the need to comment. the first was that i should start to sob without abandon and tell them that actually i'm not pregnant and that this is some undiagnosed mystery mass that is growing inside my abdomen that doctors can't figure out what it is or how to stop it and that actually they do believe i will physically burst soon as i seem to be filling with helium that is coming from some unknown origin. as a result of it's chemical properties i also have to wear weights in my shoes to keep from floating up into the atmosphere and that i must implement a voice changing device because it has changed my voice to resemble something that registers about 5 octaves above alvin and his rodent friends. for the second option i just thought about retorting with, "so when are you due?" and quickly walking away. not that i would really say either of these things to a complete stranger..ok, i don't think i would. but i have been rather surprised and dumbfounded by what has been coming out of my mouth since these hormones have taken hold. take for example a few weeks ago when i was in the burger king drive thru. things were going rather slowly and there was this lady behind me, also with a mini van full of kids. so, i pull up to the little box that magically produces a voice to take my order and let them know what we would like. when i was finished, i pulled up a tad but there was not enough room for the lady behind me to completely get up to the magical order taking box. in a few seconds the kids wanted to know why the car was moving. um, yeah. i'd like to know the same thing. so i looked in the rear view mirror and the lady behind me was physically attached to my bumper and her van was pushing mine forward. so i figured it must have been a mistake and edged forward slightly. just a few seconds later it happened again. so, i edged forward once again but was nearing within inches the bumper of the car in front of me. and sure enough, it happened a third time. and then...little old me...that would usually sit back and just fume to myself about this (are you ready for this?)...opened my door and stepped out of my van. without a second thought. i then proceeded to ask the lady behind me if she would please stop bumping me from behind because she had now done it three times. and then she informed me that it was 'ok' because she hadn't done it three had only been twice. she said that she was trying to put in her order and her foot slipped off the brake pedal and that it wouldn't happen again. i then retorted, "well just put it in park would ya!" and got back in my van. when my husband came home from work later i told him about it and he said, "you got out of the van and you said that to her?" i responded, "well, yeah, she bumped me," just as calm as you please. to which he was just a little astounded and said that i would never do something like that if i wasn't pregnant. i hadn't thought about that before then but he was right. i'm pregnant and i'm tired and attitude is swelling with my abdomen. i am trying to watch it and keep my mouth shut, but it's not coming easily. when someone as sarcastic as i am normally anyway loses much of their inhibitions about shooting off their can be dangerous. and well, it is lent after all. :) so i'm trying to look before i leap so to speak and keep my random outbursts and sudden crying jags in check. and well, i wouldn't be able to do any of this without alot of help from alot of very good friends. not to mention all of their prayers but they have been so good to the angry, tired pregnant lady in other ways too. one friend called up out of the blue the other week and told me that within the hour she would be dropping off a big pot of chicken noodle soup for us. another friend sewed up a whole slew of blue knights outfits for me and she doesn't even have a son in the program. and then yesterday another wonderful friend let me cry on her shoulder for a bit and then let me...and my three kids...hang out at her house for hours in between activities so that i didn't have to drive the half hour home again (i had already forgotten my purse and been back there once) or entertain all of my kids in the car for three hours. these lovely ladies...and of course my wonderful, delightful, awesome husband (is that enough adjectives honey?)...are what are keeping me sane right now. so, here's to keeping my mouth shut...and a good nap. have a great day everybody. it's sunny and about sixty degrees here. who needs schoolwork? the kids can just play outside all day right?

Monday, March 08, 2010

The Sweetest Gift

on saturday morning i was blessed to be able to attend a homeschool support type meeting with two of my good friends. i can't tell you whether i was more excited to have the morning out, to spend it with two really good friends or to get a free breakfast that was cooked for me. :) all together, i think it made a great morning. but in addition to this, i received the sweetest gift. one of these great friends, beth, over at simply sewn is a quilter extraordinaire. her quilts are absolutely beautiful and i just love the style of them. before i saw her quilts, i never thought of myself as someone who liked quilts. i always thought of them as something boring and sort of old lady like with all of their pastel colors, flowers and lace that only belonged on your grandma's bed. ok. i guess i was biased. but, beth's quilts changed my mind. they are truly beautiful and vibrant. the colors she picks are wonderful and the patterns are so unique. i just love them. in addition to her finished products, i have long admired the amount of time it takes her to get them completed. when she starts actually gets a timely manner. for me, i think about something...wait (procrastinate) awhile...purchase any needed supplies...wait (misplace the supplies) awhile...start on it...and then never finish. i still have spring dresses that i intended to sew for our oldest daughter (who will shortly be ten) that were cut out of the fabric...never sewn together...and are now even too small for our second daughter who is four. yep, that's the kind of progress i make. but anyway, i had joked with beth about a year ago that i thought i was going to have to have a another baby in order to own one of her marvelous quilts. well, on saturday morning she gifted me with this beautiful quilt.i just love it! :) i am so excited to finally own one of her quilts. it has the cutest little birdie fabric all through itand it is backed with an oh so soft light green and white polka dotted flannel.i can't wait to wrap our new little one in it and snuggle him or her. only about eight weeks left to go. :)

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Creativity...Mine and That of Others

well, first i must apologize for what the banner at the top of my blog has looked like for about the past month. i was changing and fiddling with some things a few weeks ago and i changed something that i didn't mean to and it ended up looking like it does. i have wanted my husband...a graphic help me do more designing for the site for awhile, but i have never gotten around to asking and planning. so, when i messed this up, i just didn't have the energy to poke back in there to see where i messed it up. i'm sure i could find it pretty quickly, but in the grand scheme of hasn't made it to the top of my 'to-do' list. :)

in other news, i have actually been getting some sewing and other crafty type things done around the house, which i find sort of strange for a heftily pregnant woman that still has two months to go and is frankly starting to wonder how much more time she has before she ceases to be able to walk. seriously folks. this one is lying low and interfering with the ol' hip joints. i guess i'll just rent a hoover-round. i'm sure the kids and i could have a jolly old time with it. but anywho. my first project...actually first two projects...was to make two diaper bags for friends of mine who were having their little boys baptized a few weeks ago. here is the first one...and after searching through my pictures, i obviously must not have taken a picture of the second one. it was the same style, but with one pattern of darker purple, yellow and green plaid and a contrasting pattern of these squished oval sort of shapes in the same colors. how do you like that for a description? they were both made from this pattern by sew baby. i love their patterns. they are quick, practical and easy to use. this bag is "technically" a diaper bag but i have made tons of them and given them for all sorts of occasions. it uses two complementary fabrics (well, i guess you could use whatever you want...if you're into ugly bags) and is completely reversible. one side is solid fabric and the other has six deep pockets on the sides. the fabric is a home dec type so it is strong enough to withstand use yet still not too stiff. i particularly like the extra long straps on it as i am one to throw any bag i have over my shoulder. trying to wrangle three children just doesn't seem to lend itself well to a clutch purse. i am told these bags also make a great gardening organizer when stretched (pocket side out) over the outside of a bucket. i was remarking to my husband the other day that i have made about eight of these now for other people but have not kept even one for myself. i am now on the mission to find the perfect fabric and make a new diaper bag for me before this little one makes his or her appearance.

my second project was to make myself a new maternity skirt (ok, actually a couple, but only one is done as of yet). i have a maternity skirt i purchased a few years back with pregnancy number three that i really like. my plan was to fashion one off of that one without a pattern. i actually like not using a pattern if i can pull it off. patterns anger me. i think it's all the cutting and measuring and cutting again. much to precise for me. i'm just sewing for functionality here people, not to win some prize for the straightest seems. anyway, i'm not sure how but try number one came out a bit too narrow at the hips for my taste. so, since i had plenty of fabric left over, we went for try number two. here is what i ended up with...i was rather pleased. it fits and looks nice. that's all i needed. the bottom is a sort of pumkiny-brown with flowers embroidered in shades of rose and light green. i used a dark brown stretch knit for the stomach and top back area. i cut the stomach section a little deeper down than the back and it seemed to work well to keep the skirt in place and be very comfortable. i am hoping to get a denim one in the same style completed in the next few days. the lovely michele also lent me some great maternity patterns (the big pattern companies just don't sell many of them these days). i have a great fabric i picked up for a skirt for easter for myself that i am really excited about and i need to figure out if i would like to try one of the patterns on it or go with this 'model' i made. we shall see.

i have also been at work on my etsy shop again. i had left it completely empty for quite some time and thought maybe it was time to get it back up and running. it is mostly filled with jewelry and rosaries i have completed but there are also t-shirts and bags in there that my husband designed and we had printed awhile back. i don't sell much but i keep praying for that day i open it up and i've sold out. ha ha.

and last, but definitely not least, i received my first block for my quilt the other day. i am part of an online quilting bee and november was my month to send out my fabric. i don't think i actually got my fabric sent out until january though, truth be told. here is my lovely quilt block from the sweet and talented meredith...isn't it just too cute! i sent out the two different types of brown fabric on the block and i just love the green fabric she paired up with it. my plan for this quilt is for it to be something we can use outside to lay on when we go out in the yard and to the park. this springy first block sets the tone wonderfully!

and i need to think about spring with all the snow we have been getting. but, i can finally see some of the grass out there, which is quite the change from just a week or so ago when it looked like this outside.

over the period of less than a week we received about four feet of snow. it pretty much close everything around here for quite awhile but the kids loved it. we especially thought it was cool when the township had to bring in this big equipment to make our streets passable.sure, it was sort of interesting since they weren't plowed at all for about three days but you would be amazed at the large sections of roads a development can get cleaned off without the help of plows attached to trucks when each homeowner decides to shovel the street in front of their house. but, alot of it is gone now and it doesn't look like we will be getting the gigantic beginning of march storm that has been rumored for quite a few weeks. i can't say that i'm sad about that. i really didn't want to hide easter eggs in the snow and i'm afraid snow boots wouldn't look that great with the girl's dresses.