Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Two days before Allie's birthday, Emma and Noah cooked up a plan to make her some type of present. They came to me to tell me about it, and started with, "Well, first we need you to sew her a dress...". I had to inform them that, while it was certainly a lovely idea, I was probably not going to sew her a dress in the next day, and that their plan should maybe involve more effort on their part, instead of all the effort on my part. Emma asked if they could give Allie a shirt instead, and if she could sew it herself.

My initial feeling was that I didn't trust Emma to use my sewing machine and that it would probably be better if they designed the shirt and I just sewed it myself. I then started to remember when I was a kid, probably just slightly older than Emma, and my grandma let me use her sewing machine all on my own to make whatever I wanted. For a long time, my little brother proudly wore a satin-y, red, sleeveless shirt with no hems that I had sewed for him, and I'm pretty sure the handle of my grandma's garage broom is still sporting a couple "broom covers" that I sewed. One time, my friend Nicki and I spent the night at my grandma's house and stayed up most of the night, sewing "pajamas" for ourselves. I use the term pajamas very loosely, considering that our "patterns" were made by laying on the fabric and tracing around our bodies with a marker. Still, I remember having a lot of fun sewing at my grandma's house, and I think it was awesome that she let me use her sewing machine when no one else trusted me enough to use theirs.Keeping all that in mind, I decided to let Emma sew the shirt herself (albeit with plenty of supervision). I helped her trace one of Allie's other shirts to make a pattern, and then once she had cut out all the pieces, I showed her how to use the sewing machine. With the exception of a small amount of sewing around the arm holes and ironing on the applique, she made the entire shirt by herself.
Allie was so excited when she opened it, and has worn it several times already. One time in particular, she wore it three days in a row, only finally taking it off when she managed to somehow drop a huge glob of guacamole down the inside of it. In the end, I'm glad that I let Emma sew the shirt because it's a cute present regardless, but definitely much more meaningful because she made it herself.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Our computer broke last week, and even though I don't actually sit down at the computer on a daily basis, after about a week, sending emails or browsing the internet exclusively on my phone was starting to get on my nerves. We bought another computer on Friday and set it up last night, but at this point it's mostly worthless to me because it's completely empty of all my bookmarks, songs, pictures, etc. I was backing everything up on an external hard drive semi-regularly, so while most of those things are not lost for good, I don't really know how to get them from the external hard drive into useable form on this new computer.

Last Sunday Allie turned three years old. We had kind of a busy weekend with my parents in town and Steve and I having our first overnight alone together in seven and a half years. Suddenly it was Sunday afternoon and my parents had left and I realized I had no plans for a birthday cake for Allie. We asked her what kind of cake she wanted and she said a Dora cake. Since I'm really not a huge fan of my kids being into "characters", I kind of tried to talk her into something else, but she insisted. And, of course, since it was Allie's birthday, if she wanted a Dora cake, then a Dora cake it would be.

Steve acted like he thought I blew it, like how was I going to come up with a Dora cake at this late hour? Not to worry. During Allie's nap, Emma and I went to Michael's and bought a Dora cake pan. We came home and baked it together, ate dinner while it cooled, and then I decorated it right after we ate. It came together pretty quickly, and even though it is certainly no masterpiece, Allie seemed to love it, which is the most important thing.All week she has been telling random strangers that she is three, and even though I keep hearing it over and over, it's still hard for me to believe. It seems like she was just born. We were so surprised when we found out we were having another baby when Noah was only seven months old, but she has been such a wonderful surprise. Our family really is so much better because she is in it.
Happy birthday, big girl.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Now that we are nearing the end of summer, I thought I'd post an update before it's over for good. Our summer this year has been really delightful. With the kiddos all getting older - Allie will be three next week! - we've settled into a wonderful groove that doesn't involve the things that troubled me during their babyhoods, such as getting them to just take a nap already or toddlers demanding to nurse 24 hours a day. I feel like we have entered a new stage of our lives, and it happens to be pretty awesome.

This is the first summer I've felt comfortable taking the kids to the pool by myself, and we've been going three or four days a week. Emma and Noah have both learned to swim, and Emma has recently perfected the art of jumping off the diving board. I thought I might be tired of the pool by the end of the summer, but nope. I think we are all going to miss it when it closes for the year.

We also joined the YMCA this summer, which has been great. I've attempted to join various community centers in the past, but always had to give up the idea, due to somebody or other crying for me in the childcare. This time around they all like it and often ask to go there even more, even though we already go at least three days a week.

This summer I have also decided to train for the Kansas City marathon, which is in October. I signed up with a running group that does their long runs on various routes around the city every Saturday. Long runs by themselves do not seem that great, but running with this group is a lot of fun. This morning the run was in Lawrence and I was not too keen on getting up and driving an hour to get to Lawrence by 6:00 a.m., but I was also supposed to be running seventeen miles and I didn't want to do that all by myself. The kids and Steve and I all ended up going to Lawrence last night and staying in a cool old hotel for a mini-vacation, and the really great thing was that this morning I only had to walk out of the hotel and down the street to meet up with everybody and run my seventeen miles.

Steve and I had our eighth anniversary last week. We went out to dinner with the kids, but the real celebration is going to come next weekend, when my parents are going to take the kids to a hotel overnight while Steve and I stay at a bed and breakfast on the Plaza. It will be our first night together without the kids since Emma was born. We attempted it once when I was pregnant with Noah, but my parents ended up driving an inconsolable Emma to us at 2:00 in the morning. I hope this time ends up a little better than that!

That's about it for now, because we are off the the Royals game for the night. Go Royals!