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Monday, January 30, 2012

DIY How to Baby Legs

So I'm nesting a bit.  I steam cleaned all the rugs in the house this weekend.  It felt good.  All the while dreaming of WanWen in China.
Not to mention the retail therapy.
I keep looking at Baby Legs for my sweet baby-to-be.  I'm thinking China in the winter, and it couldn't hurt to have another layer of warmth to slip on over leggings.  And how adorable would they be under dresses?!
But one thing kept popping into my parsimonious head.
NO WAY am I spending $12 on those things!
Enter DIY Baby Legs my way.  If you've been reading a while you know that I'm cheap and actually quite lazy.  So these fit the bill... cheap and easy!

I ran into these!
Target knee socks for $1.99 (adult sized) and a huge variety of super fun colors and patterns!
$4 later I had myself two pairs and a project.

It took several online tutorials till I figured it out, but I really whipped out 4 of these, 2 pair, in about 30 minutes while Tess and Jude were eating lunch.

I only pass on the stuff that's worth while, y'all!  If you can sew even a little bit, these are totally do-able!

So here are my instructions step by step.

Cut the heel out of the sock.

Continue the cut across the sock to cut it into 2 separate pieces.  
(You may have to trim up your cut to make it straight across both sections.)

 Cut off the toe.   Again you may have to trim it up to make the cut straight across.  

First, we're going to make the cuff for the bottom of the Baby Leg.
Take smaller, bottom section that had the toe on it, and cut the length...

 ...and it should look like this.

Fold in half (hamburger style) and pin right side together across longest edge.

Sew 1/4"-ish from the edge.

Looks like this when you have it sewn.

 Turn inside out.

Fold cuff on top of itself, wrong sides together.

Slide cuff on outside of raw/cut edge of sock.  
At this point you'll have 3 raw edges (two from the cuff and 1 for the long sock portion) all together...

...and pin in place all the way around.

Sew 1/4"-ish away from edge.  Then turn cuff to bottom.

Tess was more than happy to model the finished product.  
Goodness, I love those skinny little chicken legs of hers.
Pretty cute, hu?  
I mean how stinkin' adorable is that for Valentine's day?
And only $1.99 apiece and 30 minutes of my time!

If anyone makes them, you gotta let me know how they turn out.
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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Visa's in hand!

Well what do we have here?
Liv you open it up so I can take your picture, ok?
Well that makes it official!
We can go now!
All we need is our TA!

There will be 4 of us going.
Papa and I are going of course!  And this time we will also be taking Liv who is now 15 years old, (she also went with us to VietNam) and Patch who is 13 year old.

Oh yea, and one additional extra special person is going too meet us there!  My knight in shining armor still after all these years.
I wonder how a handlebar mustache is going to go over in China?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Progress on WanWen's wishes

My mom and dad came down to visit this weekend.  Mostly so we could hash out some details of our China trip.

We went to our favorite "hot pot" restaurant (anyone in love with "hot pot" as much as me?  Goodness that is yummy food!) and talked about the logistics of the care of our kiddos at home, flights, hotels, and what we hope to see and do while we are there.  And most importantly how WanWen and her transition is our first objective.   Quite appropriate seeing how Chinese New Year is upon us.   We did all this simultaneously while scarfing down an entire platter of baby bok chok, black pork, and dumplings.  Did I mention how yummy hot pot is?

No, no TA yet.  Still waiting.  And the consensus is that it's going to be a long wait.  {insert sigh of regret here}  Over there on the little timeline chart, I'm sadly going to have to change "gotcha" back to March.  The average time to TA 2-3 weeks, and we are currently on day#13 of our wait, but with Chinese New Year thrown in, it will surely will be longer than average.  I'm trying hard not to think about it.  We are hoping it will come mid February, but honestly that seems like forever away.  My arms started to ache for her a few weeks ago, and the emptiness is starting to overwhelm me at times.   In the mean time, I'm filling my freezer will lots of easy meals for our return, packing, and making a lovely assortment of hair bows and headbands for our girl.  Gotta teach her the fundamentals of accessorizing early on!  Important stuff, I know!
My mom and I had an opportunity to get out all the squishes for Mimi's 100 good wishes quilt and sort through them.  Oh my!  A wave of emotion came over me to see them all spread out like that.  Each with such wonderful heartfelt wishes.  Thank you to every single person that contributed!  I actually still have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that not only were there enough people that cared about our little Mimi to make it to my goal of 100, but I even counted up over 120 wishes!  124 to be exact!  Never did I actually think I'd be able to collect that many.  I just assumed that I'd go to the fabric store in the end and pick out the majority of the fabrics myself and make up the wishes too, assigning them to people I knew.  Nope, I didn't have to make up a single one.  I am moved to tears of what y'all did, my family, and my friends, any my bloggie friends.  Thank you so so so very much for welcoming this little girl into our family with such love and joy.  We are blessed!
I'll keep posting the progress on the quilt as we work on it.  We were able to pick out a pattern for it.  I think it'll be so pretty in the end, and know that someday soon, I'll be able to wrap my little WanWen up in her very own 100 good wishes quilt and read her the wishes of how we all loved her so much even before she came.
Thank you all.

ps-I know there are 4 of you that I still owe squishes to.  I need to do something first before I can send them. I didn't forget.

Monday, January 23, 2012

So what's the plan?

I've started this post in my head far too many times, and one thing keeps coming back to me again...
and again...
and again...
I am so so proud.  It's a twitter patted kind of proud.  The big kind of proud.  The proud you dream about the very first time hold your child in your arms and dream all the little dreams of what will come and what they be like.  I'm THAT kind of proud.
You see, my girl chose something that goes contrary to the norm.  Contrary to everything that people, our community says to do and says is right, because she believes the opposite is right... and good... and best... for her.  She talked to people, she gathered information, she weighed her options.   Then she thought about it long and hard.   She thought about who she is, and what she wants to become and where she wants to go... and then she decided.  And it's so not what is "approved of" in our little neck of the woods.

And for this, I'm proud to tears.  Proud she is our daughter.
Our Sunny has chosen to stay at home next year and start her post-high-school education at a community college.  {insert gasp here}  Yep, that's right, she could go most anywhere and she chose the local community college.  And we're so flippin' proud that no university, Stanford and Harvard or any ivy league acceptance letter, no honor's program, no test score, or award certificate couldn't top it!  And I really mean it!
The chromed bumper-Hummer and Escalade driving community we live in, expects its young people to not only reach for secondary education, but to reach as far as they can and for as much as they (their parents) can afford.  It's drilled into them to be better and go higher.  And I'm ashamed to admit, that I did my fair share of drilling.  Don't get me wrong, I want my kiddos to Always. Do. Their. Best.  But it's that definition of what's "best" that has changed in my mind.  It doesn't involve that honor roll anymore.  Or state champion anything.  There's nothing wrong with wanting the best for our children, but over the years I've come to a realization that there are things that are FAR more important.  Like character.  And helping others. And having a heart for God.  And knowing when to step out of the boxes prescribed to us by our society and do what's right and best for us and the world we live in.
It's the time of year when every high-school senior is asked, Where are you going to school next year? and So, what's your plan?  And for one of the most confident children {now turn 18-year-old adult} that I've ever known, she's having difficulty looking folks in the eye and telling them her well-thought-out plan. She's feeling the sting of judgement about her decision.   And I just want to say for the record how absolutely thrilled we are with her plan and the young woman she is.  How proud we are with how strong and fiercely independent she is.  It may not be what everyone else is doing, and what others may have planned, but it's her plan and it's a pretty good one too!  A good plan, the best plan, doesn't require that you're better anyone else.  It doesn't require that you spend a lot of money and it doesn't require that you impress anyone.
I heard a friend say, she thought a community college probably is just as good as a university.  I'll go one better than that.  I think it's a better education.
I overheard Sunny having an conversation with someone about it.  She explained that she has always done better with smaller class sizes, (haven't we parents of grade schoolers been fighting for this forever?  Why would it change now?) and she just didn't think it was necessary to spend so much money on foundation classes like Eng 101/102 and Alg I.  I'm not fond of the new policy that most universities now have of making all incoming freshman declare a major.  She explained that she will easily be able to transfer to the U of A in a year or two and that would give her time to consider what major she'd like to declare before committing.  Community college instructors have less demands on them for research and grant-writing and thus are usually more committed to their students and their learning.
I'm telling you, I could not be more proud of my daughter.  It's not easy to go against the flow and against expectations.  She is simply amazing... amazing to watch the young woman, that we may have had even a tiny part of who she is becoming, grow up into a woman.  A woman I really like.  And admire.  And want to be more like.
And not that it's here or there... but my baby is staying home!  She's not going to leave me and our nest just yet.  I get to have her company at least for another year.   Allowing me to live in my Mama-bliss bubble a little while longer.  exhale.
ps-She also says she wants some time to get get to know her new baby sister before she leaves.
And then it got just a little bit better.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Livy's wisdom

My baby girl isn't feeling well today.
By baby, I mean 15 years old and getting her driver's permit in a couple weeks, and pretty sure she can do my job better than I can do it myself.
But still my baby none the less.  You mamas understand.
She's a tad bit swollen up.  And don't let that smile fool you.  At that point, the pain killers hadn't worn off yet.  About an hour later, the pain returned.

In hind site, she may disown me for taking these pictures.
She had her wisdom teeth removed this afternoon and 2 more molars "excised" what ever that means.  I know it involves a band and a chain.  Ouch.
This is actually phase 1 of 2.  The second surgery, coming up this summer, will be bigger and recovery will be longer, a couple weeks longer... thus the reason we're doing it in the summer.
But it does provide me with an opportunity to baby her a bit.  Grocery shopping done just on her account.  Checking on her.  Tucked her in.  Papa even went out and got her rainbow sherbet.  I gave her a bell to ring if she needs anything... anything at all... like her mama.
I can't help but think that my opportunities to baby her are now few.  So I'll gladly seize the opportunity while I can.  
Hope you feel better, Liv.
If you need anything, just ring!
And please do ring!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Updated picture

An updated picture of our darling, and I'm getting nothing done today.  
Just staring at her for far too long.  
And not long enough.

Monday, January 16, 2012

I Have A Dream for my children

"I have a dream that {my children} will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

"I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together."

This is just a short excerpt.  
It's worth 1 minute and 27 seconds of your time.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Snapshot {Pick a season, any season}

Abrupt departure from previous sledding images to follow
{insert sound of needle scratching across record player here}

This is what we do in the desert...
We blow by September and even October in bathing suits without even a thought...
We wait through winter, November, December...
Then in January, for a VERY brief period of time, say 4 days-ish, we don our very unnecessary winter coats and Ugg boots, huddle beneath one of only a very few trees in our neighborhood that loses its leaves, and play in the leaves.
We pretend it's fall!
I'm not kidding when I say it only lasts a few days.
We gotta hurry because it'll be gone tomorrow.  Because, after all, we waited all winter for fall!
We ignore the fact that there's green grass under those leaves and we get out our rakes and toss the leaves on one another.
We even ignore younger children who insist on being barefoot and wearing shorts, while we pretend it's cold, when it's actually 75 degrees outside.
It's all we got, folks!  It's autumn and winter with a bit of spring and summer all rolled into one!

Sunday Snapshot

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