Monday, February 27, 2012

The shoe problem.

CJ needs shoes. He's not walking or even cruising yet, but I need something to keep his blankety-blank socks on or else I swear he will actually accidentally swallow one one of these days.

Like I always do when I need or "need" something, I turned to Etsy. I love me some handmade, American-made merchandise.
(Click on the pictures to view the listings.)

Oh my gosh.


I had a bunch picked out and was fully intending to buy them when I was stricken with sticker shock. Now, I love every single pair of baby shoes I see on Etsy, but CJ is growing so fast I really can't afford a new $20 pair of shoes every couple of months.

So I buckled down and decided that I was going to learn to make baby shoes.

I used a couple of tutorials for guidance, mainly this one and this one. Even with directions, it was pretty hard to figure it out. CJ has very wide feet, so getting the pattern piece sized right was extra-extra hard.

First draft: Reversible, but much too small.

Second Draft: Reversible, much too big and the proportions are off.
At this point I decided that I didn't really care for the mechanics of the reversible shoe, so I'm back to the drawing board.

Third Draft: I like how the shoe works, but don't like that there are exposed seams on the inside of the shoe. Sounds uncomfortable.
Fourth Draft: I try to come up with a way to conceal the seams within the lining of the shoe and fail epically.

Fifth Draft: Success! I fiddled around, combining the elements that I liked from both patterns and came up with something that worked. Finally!

Not as cute as the shoes on Etsy, but as I made them all from old receiving blankets they were free! And they don't have to be cute to keep CJ's blankety-blank socks on.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Why I Married Him

Nemo has many excellent qualities. He cooks! He lets me drive! He tiles the bathroom!

But my favorite quality of all is that he makes cake on demand.

Check it. Chocolate cake, blackberry and cream cheese frosting. Delicious goodness. Alas, it is gone now. I miss it so much.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Kitchen Renovation Dilemma

So here's the deal:

A previous owner stole some space from the kitchen to put a bathtub in the 1st floor bathroom, turning it into full bathroom and the turning the kitchen into a Most Ridiculous Layout of the Year contender.

So, do we steal the space back for the kitchen, making our house only 1.5 baths? I am opposed to reducing the number of baths in a house on principle, but the kitchen is sooooo silly.

Plus, it is in our 10-year plan to turn the third floor into a master suite with its own bath.

I just...I can't decide.

This is my current favorite design, leaving the bathroom intact. The big empty space at the top is the bathtub portion of the bathroom and the empty space on the right is the basement stairs.

But if we take out the bathtub we get this! An island! With a breakfast bar! Space in which to turn cartwheels!

And this is Nemo's favorite design, bathtub intact. I am putting it in the bath because I think it's awful.

So that's the question. Kitchen island or spare bathtub? What would you do?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

An excuse and a hoodie

When I said I wanted more time together as a family, a family sick day was not exactly what I had in mind.

We recently caught a stomach bug; all of us within a few hours of each other. CJ bore it all very well and was as happy as a clam. A barfing clam, but a happy one nonetheless. Nemo and I were huge babies about it. I spent a whole weekend lying on the floor while watching Pride and Prejudice (it's a sick day tradition) and trying to keep everyone adequately hydrated.

Now it's over, thank God, and I am trying to get back on track.

Hmmm what to talk about...
I've been doing a lot of crafting lately.

A while ago Older Sister posted about the Peekaru Hoodie on fac.ebook.

Now, I'm not a babywearer, I just happen to wear my baby a lot. It's convenient and it makes CJ happy.

Now that it's cold outside it is kind of hard to go for walks with CJ in the Moby Wrap. It's just not conducive to coats. So this Peekaru just about knocked me off my feet with its ingenuity. Too bad it costs a small fortune. So I said to myself, "I'm just going to cut a hole in the front of an old hoodie and stuff CJ in it". And that's just what I did:
(Excuse CJ's zombie impersonation. He has been fighting naps lately.)
I started with one of Nemo's hoodies (with his permission, of course), size XL. I cut a large dart out of the back so it wouldn't be so baggy back there. Then I cut a hole in the front of the sweatshirt, folded the excess fabric from the dart in half and sewed it around the opening to make a turtleneck collar. Voila!

Sure, it's ugly. Sure, we look like some sort of two-headed beast. Sure, it drew some stares when we went out for its inaugural walk today. But it worked. We were both warm and toasty. And it didn't cost a small fortune. So I repeat, voila!

Friday, February 3, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday Vol. 8

1. I discovered a puddle of water in the basement last weekend, which after some investigation by a professional turned out to come from a cracked pipe. The part that was cracked was in the wall and ceiling of the downstairs bathroom, so part of said wall and ceiling had to be ripped out. Luckily our homeowners insurance covered the damage, and we were going to redo the bathroom anyway...but it used to be wayyy at the bottom of our priorities list, and the gaping hole in the wall has moved it straight to the top.

2. I've joined a gym. I've never belonged to a gym before (at least not on my own dime; I used the gym on and off when I went to University) and it is a new experience. Twice a week I drop CJ off at the childcare room and work out for an hour. I love the alone time. CJ hates it. I feel terrible that he has such a miserable time, but it's good for him, right?

3. Years and years ago I used to play the fiddle. When I moved away from home there wasn't much opportunity to play so it fell by the wayside. It turns out that one of Nemo's coworkers plays with an Irish music group that practices in the house directly behind ours on Monday nights at 7pm (after bedtime! yesss!) and they invited me to come jam with them. I didn't have a lot of advance warning so I was woefully out of practice, but it was tons of fun and I can't wait to go back! I've been practicing every day. I am still re-developing my callouses. Ow.

4. I love the library here; they have tons of Catholic materials just sitting on the shelf like its the most normal thing in the world (at my old library I would have been lucky just to find a copy of City of God). I just got out this movie about St. Phillip Neri. Score!

5. My superhero in-laws are coming over tomorrow to help insulate or attic. I am a sucker for low energy bills.

6. We got another offer on our old house. Unlike the previous two, it is a reasonable offer and just needs a little tweaking. I am praying hard that this works out.

7. I wish CJ would cut this darn tooth already!