Monthly Archives: November 2007

my two geminis

My birthday is coming up.  It is my favorite holiday of the year.  I know that’s a bit narcissistic, but my birth month flower is the narcissus, after all.  It’s not the gifts, it’s the all-about-me-ness of the day. 

Now that we’re clear on that, the point of this post is the geminis in my life. My mother and my husband. (and of course, regarding my birthday.  I am not a gemini.)

For the record, I don’t even know if I believe in astrology, but I do know that I see trends in the personality types of the people I know aligning with their astrological sign.

I sew.  I was the lucky recipient of a beautiful Husqvarna Viking Platinum 755Q for my birthday last year.  I LOVE my sewing machine as much as I love sewing.  Which is a lot.  Since I have been sewing at least weekly, if not daily, I have noticed that my skills have improved greatly.  I have made almost all of Ella’s clothing, and some things for Peter, and for myself as well.  I am ready to take my garments to the next level of professionaism.  I am ready for a serger.

Peter and I were watching Sewing with Nancy last week (trying to get Ella to sleep…she likes Nancy Zieman’s voice and the hum of the machines on tv while I bounce on the exercise ball and hold her in the baby carrier) and when this episode called Sew and Go Knits explained the usefulness of a serger, Peter’s eyes got wide and he said to me “Mommy, I see now why you want one.”  After Ella was sleeping, Peter told me he had decided what I should get for my birthday:  he was offering to give me $100 from his savings account to put towards a serger for myself.  What a *sweet* boy!  I declined, but it motivated me to sell my first TabletPC to put towards the purchase of a serger for myself.

Saturday I went to my mother’s.  Before Ella and I left, I was reading craft magazines in bed, and J started asking all sorts of questions about different kinds of sewing machines.  I took with me to mom’s house a little outfit I made for my neice, Sophia, explaining to my mom how much nicer the finish would have been with a serger.  Then I told her J was asking me questions about machines in the morning.  She said, “Great, he’s probably going to get you one and I’ll have to think of something else to get you for your birthday and Christmas.”  What?  wow!!  Yippee!  I still get butterflies in my stomach dreaming of the day (Wednesday) when mom will be taking me to choose my very own serger!!

 Many hours later, Ella and I arrived home.  I bounced in the door, exploding in a “Guess what??” way when I saw J.  I told him of my mother’s gift and he looked oddly at me.  He was trying to be happy for me, but something was wrong.  He finally interrupted my giddy babbling and said, “Great, now I’ll have to think of something else to get you for your birthday.” 

Eventually he got over the fact that his birthday surprise was ruined.  He told me he was mostly disappointed that my mother took the “easy” gift, since clearly, I am obsessed with sewing.  However, like the man he is, he said I should tell mom that he’s grateful she’s buying me the serger, because he still gets partial credit for thinking of the same gift, without having to pay a dime!

Now, to organize the sewing room once and for all, to make room for my new machine!  It’s a good thing I have inspiration like the sewing room organization challenge at the domestic diva’s disasters that I stumbled upon at Burda Style (which I read as fed to my yahoo page every morning 🙂

Goodnight for now, planning to do!

Thank you in advance to my two geminis. 

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black friday

We had a lovely thanksgiving with the in-laws (I’m so lucky to have a pair I love!) Ella played, we perused old photographs (including J’s gigantic afro from his high school graduation picture) and listened to the time capsule he and his sister made in 1977, but today ellabella has really finally caught the cold I’ve had for 2 weeks.  We did go to breakfast (she wasn’t interested) and then to return a book I found for 10 dollars chaper on amazon, then finally to REI, so we could replace the One Jacket  (black of course, like mine) J had stolen off him at LHR (one more reason to hate that airport).  We are not going Holiday Shopping today, however.  Besides the fact that I will be making most everyone’s gift that isn’t an electronic one (or luggage), we also don’t subscribe to the belief that the pain of shopping today is worth the few extra dollars saved.  Give us amazon prime any day over standing in line, or worse, fighting over something, in a store.  Our sanity is priceless.  I hope all of you who are shopping today get all of the best bargains and enjoy your time!  I’ll stay out of your way.

That said, we did make some purchases.  I bought the premiere issue of Make it Mine, and was so overwhelmed with ideas that I had to close the book for now.  Also, I am trying to brush up on my sewing techniques, so an issue of Sew Beautiful Magazine was in order.  No, I never have done (nor plan to do) any heirloom sewing, per se, but I love learning the techniques for other applications.  At REI we were a bit less restrained.  Ella needed a snowsuit, and my skills are not quite up to par for creating outerwear yet.  Besides, look how cute she’ll be once the snow falls!

Also, since I cannot knit, I allow myself to purchase knit items (smartwools for everyone!)
smartwools
and I debated over which wool cap to purchase, when J stated the obvious: black goes with everything.  Black especially goes with me.

As much as this sounds like a list of excuses for purchasing things instead of making them, I am knocking out what I hope will be a fantastic brochure so that I have time to start on the sew, mama, sew month of handmade tutorials!  I’m so inspied, daily, that I plan to make at least one thing from each day, even if it is for myself.

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Buy Handmade

I Took The Handmade Pledge! BuyHandmade.org

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Peter is TEN

I cannot believe I have a ten-year-old son.

I have a beautiful, compassionate, funny, slightly obnoxious, intelligent individual for a son.

I can see what happens when you put love and understanding, rules and discipline, respect, creativity, and fun into a family…it produces beautiful individuals.  Since we have begun our journey as a family, Peter has developed from a slightly anxious, very intense, mostly internally focused person into an outgoing, creative person with a fantastic sense of humor, and a lot of joy.  He still struggles with social situations, and anger, but we’re working on that.

When we were interviewing for preschool at the Detroit Waldorf School I remember being asked what Peter was like.  I remember responding that he was intelligent, gentle and intense.  I distinctly remember not describing him as “happy” and feeling defeated because I had a 3 year old, who could not be described as “happy.”  I wondered how I could give this little person everything he’d need to live a normal life.  We discovered later that year (and were confirmed with a diagnosis several years later) that he has Asperger’s Syndrome.  All of his idiosynchrocies and needs began to make sense.  His Sensory Intergration Dysfunction was named and could be addressed…but I had no idea where to start.  I never expected that we could eventually be so happy.

Peter’s teacher that year told me that she truly believed Peter was born to me because I am the only person in the world who could be his mother.    I think about that quite often, mostly when things are hard for us, but I feel so fortunate that he was given to me.  He is so dear to me, my sidekick, my beautiful boy.  He has blossomed into such a wonderful son, and brother, and person.  I know I am the only person who could be his mother, but I am the lucky one.

I cannot wait to see what the next ten years bring.
Peter's new Zune

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baby is not a four-letter word

…even if she did say one…

 J says I need to confess.  Partially because he actually believes I need to confess, and partially because this happened over 2 weeks ago and he is still laughing about it.

We were in Amsterdam, in the beautiful apartment and I walked into the bedroom while Ella was playing too close to a night table.  I was surprised.  Frm the angle I saw it appeared she was going to fall and crack ehr head open.  J was on the bed and could see more clearly…nevertheless, as soon as I saw her I said “sh*t!”

 She looked at her dad, grinned, and said “sh*t”.

I looked at her dad, who was already laughing, and said “f#&k” I then gasped and we both held our breath…but Ella had moved on….

I wish J would.  I’ll never live it down!

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finishing AMS

We went to the zoo while in Amsterdam,  ARTIS. it was pricey – almost $50 for the three of us. (well, two, bcause Ella was free) and not as thrilling as the Detroit Zoo (which I admit, we’ve not taken Ella to yet) but Ella loved it, and J and I loved showing her the animals.

She’s wearing her coat we purchased at the Waterlooplein market.  It bled green all over her face (from chewing on the collar like her brother) but still was (and is) cute on her.

AMS10_07 182

Fabric shopping was a complete bust.  We went to the Albert Cuyp street and searched the entire maret.  I went to the recommended fabric stores and found nothing I like better than what I find here or online.  I did see some nice looking solid knits, but there were some very rude people speaking English who WOULD NOT MOVE OUT OF MY WAY so that I could look at the rolls behind them.  I was very obvious about wanting to get to the fabrics and they (maybe 6 of them) were just standing there gabbing.  J was out in the street with Ella on his back, so I wasn’t going to wait there any longer.  We left and walked the long walk back to the apartment.  Of course it started raining!  4 miles in the rain back to the apartment meant a nice warm bath was in order for E and Me.

On our last day there, Ella figured out first that the refrigerator light turns off and on when the door closes and opens, and then she figured out HOW.  J and I sat, staring in amazement watching her do it.

ON
AMS10_07 199

OFF (she’s pushing the switch with her finger!!)
AMS10_07 200

I wonder if the music we listened to while there sent her brain development into overdrive?  A little Plaid Rest Proof Clockwork, and a lot of Sufjan Stevens C’mon Feel the Illinoise.  (Aside – I had NO IDEA SS was from here in Detroit, and even had only heard of, but not sought out to listen to him until I heard him mentioned in the Snow Patrol song Eyes Open.  And I thought I knew music!

We took a taxi back to the airport and sat in a row alone with Ella on a packed plane.  She was wild all the way back.  We were exhausted!

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we’re back…and i’m behind

Peter’s 10th birthday party is tomorrow, and Ella is WALKING, plus updates on the rest of our trip to come. 

A nasty stomach virus (or food poisning, who can ever tell??) has had me sidelined for a few days.  All I can eat is pretzel goldfish and all I can drink is alka seltzer 😦  Fortunately that didn’t start until Friday, so the flight back wasn’t harder than it needed to be.

I LOVE my new camera.  J also got a zune from his employer.  we think we like it.

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