Wednesday, December 27, 2006


It was a good Christmas for me. This year I pretty much shopped for myself and gave Sean the presents to wrap and put under the tree with my name on them. The stitching stuff I wanted was too specific to trust him to get on his own, and he probably would have bought the wrong size pjs I wanted. He did surprise me by buying me a new crockpot - one I had admired in the store when he was with me a few weeks back. The one I had was really old and didn't have a lift out container, so it was nice to have it replaced. :) I also had to laugh when DH gave me the gift in my stocking - I always say it isn't Christmas without a little chocolate and he bought me a box of assorted chocolates in WHITE chocolate. Now, I like white chocolate okay, but it isn't REALLY chocolate, ya know? But with everything else being so nice - I couldn't complain. :) My grandmother gave us a box of assorted caramels in milk and dark chocolates, so I got my chocolate anyway.

I also got new silverware from my mom - I've never had a new matching set all my own before - just have always used an old mismatched set that Sean and I had put together from cast offs from both our families.

My dad just gave us cash - which was nice cause we'll just use the money to offset our Christmas spending - hey who can't use less bills!

My sister went above and beyond - she had DH's name in our family exchange and went to his favorite restaurant - which is local to where she lives, but not to where we do - and bought him an entire pie (14 pieces!) of his favorite dessert from that restaurant. Her BF has connections with the owner, cause they don't usually sell desserts except to sit down dinners and certainly don't ever sell an entire pie. She also gave him some tickets to a ball game. WOW! If I didn't know better (don't worry I DO know better!) I would think sis is trying to steal my man. ;) It was really nice cause Sean really felt part of the family having someone know him well enought to give a personal gift like that. Even though we have been married almost 12 years, he has always been sort of shy with my family and although I think they are welcoming enough, it hasn't been until recently that he's felt more "a part of the family". I'm probably not explaining that right - but I just got the feeling it really meant something to him - and not just oodles of calories!

We were able to give the kids a really nice Christmas this year too. And we didn't spend that much more than we have other years. The last two years before this were kinda skimpy cause I wasn't working and DH was trying to work a job that basically only paid a skimpy commission. This year we are both gainfully employed and there was enough to buy much more than we did, but we didn't want to spoil them too much, while still providing a bit of a WOW factor.

Katie got lots of gifts, but her favorite thing was a $15 Playdoh table from Walmart. She played at that thing most of Christmas day and has been harrassing me every spare moment since to play with her playdoh. I set it up in the kitchen corner so that any stray playdoh lands on the linoleum and not on carpeting. It came with some markers that she used to mark up all 10 pages of paper that came with the table in addition to marking up her clothes! Luckily the markers seem to be washable, or at least running the stains under hot water and using a bit of detergent removed the marks. She also got a singing Dora from Grandpa, a Barbie and clothes from Grandma, and a plastic play cellphone from Aunt Karen. She is always talking into that phone too!

Alex got an Air Hockey table for the basement, several transformers, an RC airplane that I found on clearance back in October for $20!, and an mp3 player. He was most excited about the mp3 player. It is a cheap starter version and not anything fancy, but he is excited to be able to put his CD collection onto it and be cool listening to his player.

The only thing we got I didn't want is a nasty cold! Katie brought it home from daycare and was sick all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - she was slightly better yesterday, but still tired and congested and as usual she doesn't eat much when she is sick. I came down with it yesterday, and am pretty wiped out today. I only came to work because no one else is here for me to give it too, and I don't have the vacation day to take it off (all our vacation and sick days come out of the same pool). Alex is home today, and when I called him for lunch he is coming down with it too. Sean was complaining of a scratchy throat when I left this morning, so I suspect we'll all have taken our round by the time it is through. *sigh*

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Katie Asleep

Recently I've had trouble getting Katie to go to sleep at her assigned bedtime of 8pm. Rather than pull my hair out in frustration I've allowed her to play in her room with only the nightlight on and a gate up so that she has to stay in bed for awhile before she falls asleep. She still goes to bed at 8pm, but I usually hear her playing in there for at least 30 min., sometimes an hour before it goes quiet.

Often I find a toy or two in her bed with her when I check on her before I head to bed around 10:30p, but this is what I found last night. :)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Some Finished Ornies

These are the ornies I've finished so far. I have two maybe three more to do, we'll see whether I run out of steam on that one. I'm really pleased with how they all came out. All the ornies are from issues of JCS Ornaments. From the top we have a hardanger ornament by Nordic Needle, the two tree ornaments are from Elizabeth Foster, the mittens are from Calico Crossroads, the NOEL design is by Sue Hillis, and the Nutcracker is by Just Nan.

The mittens are my favorite - I've put off doing them for years because the finishing looked hard. If you've been intimidated by the finishing for these - don't be - it was much easier than it looked and seemed to just fall together just fine. However, the stitching itself was very time consuming. Seemed that those four mittens I stitched to make the front and back of each mitten took a lifetime to complete! I'm keeping that ornie for myself - the rest will be given away as teacher gifts or to family members with their bigger gifts.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Katie - Silly Girl

Conversation #1
Katie: “Mama, I play boys and girls today.”
Me: “You did, that sounds like fun. What did you do?”
Katie: “We play boys and girls!”
Me: “Katie is a girl, and Alex is a boy.”
Katie: “No mama, I’m a Princess!”

Conversation #2
Katie is pretending to talk on the phone holding her hand to her ear – meanwhile I’m trying to get her to go potty and change into her pajamas for bed.
Katie (into the “phone”): “Yeah, put my jammies on, take my shirt off.”
Me: “Sit on the potty and try to go pee pee.”
Katie: “Shhh, Mama! I’m on the phone.” Exasperated sigh
Me: “You are? Who are you talking to?”
Katie (sounding even more exasperated): “Mama, its my hand!”

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


They aren't finished and I'm hoping to do some more before Christmas, but here is what I have so far. Thanks to the snow day I was able to finish one of the little Christmas trees and the Hardanger ornament. :) The Little Christmas trees are by Elizabeth Foster, and the Hardanger ornament is Nordic Needle, The mitten is Calico Crossroads and I cannot remember who designed the NOEL offhand. Will have to look that up and post later when I finish the ornaments. I have been wanting to do the mitten ornament for 5 years now since it came out in the 2001 JCS ornament issue, but have always been intimidated by the finishing. Decided to just do it this year finally. I really like how it is coming out so far - only I have to stitch 3 more of those mittens to make front and back of a matching pair to hang on the tree! It is time consuming, but I really like this ornament, so I'll plug on. Hope to show some more pics when these and any others I get to are all done and finished! :) The little trees are for Katie's teachers at daycare, the mitten is for me (with all that work!) and I haven't decided what to do with the others yet. Likely one will go to my SIL in VA and one to my sister whose name I drew in our family exchange. I like to include a hand stitched ornament on the package for our Christmas exchange.

Friday, December 01, 2006


These are the views out my front window and back patio door this morning. All the area schools have been cancelled and there is a blizzard warning in effect until 3pm. So all four of us are staying home. Since I have the vacation day to take - I'm not risking it on the highways. I plan to spend the whole day watching movies and stitching Christmas ornaments!! :)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Band Sampler RR is home :) and Christmas pondering

My Any Designer Band Sampler came home in today's mail. :) I chose a Peaches and Cream theme for it and I'm really pleased with how it came out. Everyone stitched really beautiful bands. The last bit was done by Rose - but she was in an accident that hurt her wrist and wasn't able to sign it. I'll put in her name for her, plus an ending band or two and finish it off. :) Now to figure out where to hang it. I'm going to finish it into a bellpull, but not sure what to do with it after that.

With Christmas approaching I'm trying to get all my ducks in row for all my shopping. I hate the crowds, but love trying to find the elusive perfect gift for each person. I've already purchased some stuff for Alex, and I'm hoping to score a Wii for him before the big day - but we'll see. I'm not going to any extreme measures to get one. If I can aquire one by going to the store and walking up to buy it - he'll get it - if not he'll have to wait until the demand subsides. I hope it works out though - cause he will be so surprised! He talks about how much he'd like to have one, but has expressed (without me having to say anything) that he knows its a lot of money and that he'll probably have to wait a while for the price to go down or to save up his money. He's such a good kid and never gives us any trouble really - I'd love to give him a great Christmas. Especially when you consider that the last two years were kinda skimpy cause I wasn't working.

Katie's big gift this year is probably going to be a play plastic kitchen for her room. She loves to play like she is doing what mom is doing. She also loves playing with her little people castle she got for her birthday, so we might get her a few more accessories for that - or some more toys along that vein. She loves playing pretend. She'll be easy to buy for - they always are when they are little.

Sean is the hard one to buy for - he wants the Luther Vandros CD - "Dance with my Father" which will be easy to get, but other than that he doesn't really want anything. I suggest each year that we get something "big" for the family and then just get one small meaningful gift for each other. He never wants to do that though - he always wants to set a $$ limit and buy a bunch of stuff that we would have gotten anyway cause we needed it (like a new pair of dress pants), or useless junk we are just buying to fill a quota (like the neck massager I desparately bought him one year-ugh). ARGH!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

New hat and Halloween pics

A friend at work was kind enough to knit this new hat for Katie. :) She really liked it and wore it around the house for the rest of the evening! Silly girl.

I meant to post this Halloween pic earlier in the week, but blogger was giving me issues. Here is a pic of Katie as Dorothy and Alex as a pirate.

Not much else going on right now. I spent last weekend really trying hard on the potty training with Katie, but I'm starting to think that is just going nowhere and despite the fact that she has been peeing on the potty since she was 16 months - she will never, ever be fully trained. She will generally cooperate and go if I can get her to sit on the potty, but she just never tells me when she has to go. I had her in underwear all weekend and we didn't have too many accidents, but it was mostly cause I was the one trained. I was taking her often enough to keep her dry, but if I slacked a bit she wouldn't tell me and then she'd wet herself. *sigh*

I guess I'm just going to keep at it, trying to encourage her to tell me when she has to go - I'm hoping that getting wet will start to be a bit unpleasant for her and motivate her to tell me when she has to go. If anyone has any tips - I'm all ears!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Treasure Island

On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, Alex's school was out for a teacher's convention. We decided to take the kids to Treasure Island in the Wisconsin Dells for a few days for a small vacation. :) Alex finally conquered his fear of the big water tube slides and rode several having a great time! (Yes, it is October in WI, It is an indoor waterpark.) You cannot really tell, but this is a pic of Alex as he lands in the pool of water beneath one of the larger slides.

Katie on the other hand was much harder to persuade. I didn't expect her to go on any of the larger slides, and she is too short to go on them anyway, but there were several "kiddie" slides no larger than the ones at any 2-5year old playground that she wouldn't go anywhere near either. She spent much of her time at the water park like this. :) On the last day she did spend a bit of time without holding onto Dad's hand, and did splash about a bit in the wading pool, but that was the best we were gonna get from her.

We all had fun in our room though and out at restaurants.

All in all it was a nice family get away even if it was only a few days long. :) And Katie was plain tuckered out by the time we left the last restaurant after a late lunch on the last day before returning home. I swear this last pic was taken just as she tried to put another mini corn dog from her child meal into her mouth and instead she slumped against mama fast asleep. She slept the whole 2 hour car ride home, which was wonderful because she often does not travel well!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Just Nan RR

Just finished up stitching on Allie's piece for the Just Nan RR. Her Round Robin has outlines for several "smalls" - little pieces she intends to put on a special table in remembrance of her grandmother. I decided to do the small card holder. I orignially thought of doing "Girls Night Out" which is Halloween themed, because of the time of year, but decided against it because I just didn't think it would dispay as nicely with the other pieces when they were finished. All the motifs in this piece are from "Common Ground". I think it turned out better than I expected it would. :)

In other news, Katie was actually pretty good in church today. Alleluia! She wasn't perfect, but for the most part she was quiet and didn't try to run into the aisle or slide into the family next to us, or generally cause any ruckus. I'll take it! Don't know what I did differently, just seemed her temperament was a little more calm this morning.

My mom was just recently diagnosed with viral spinal meningitis, and she was in the hospital for a few days. She was released yesterday, and it looks like she is going to recover just fine, but it was a little scary thinking of her having such a serious disease. I'm not really close with my mom, but I was still pretty shaken up over her being that sick. It surprised me how stressed and worried that made me feel. Not really that I was surprised that I care about her - I've always known that I do - just that I was that worked up when all the signs were clear that she was going to be just fine.

On Wednesday Sean and I are taking the kids to Wisconsin Dells for a few days (Alex's school is out for a teacher conference). The hotel we are staying at has an indoor water park with big slides and we are all really looking foward to a few days of fun. :)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Look Mom! I'm pretty!

That's what Katie said when she came out of her bedroom wearing this little ensemble. I was cooking dinner and not really paying much attention to what she might be getting into. Turns out she was digging in her closet and dragging out all the summer floats and clothes I had just put away! Silly girl. Pretty cute bag lady look she's got going on there though.

Here are some other pics I've taken of the kids recently. Not much to really write about lately, so thought I'd share a slice of my life this way instead. :) I discovered last week that I can do braids in Katie's hair and it is really cute. She is going to be Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz this year, mostly cause she has the right look for it and I got the costume from my sister whose daughter has outgrown it. (My neice was a cute Dorothy too!) Anyway, I discovered the braids work well when I was dressing her in the costume for the family Halloween ball at Alex's school last week. It is now one of my favorite ways to do her hair.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sweetheart Tree RR

The pic is a little blury because of the large beads in the center holding the fabric away from the scanner, but you get the idea. :) I really liked stitching this one as it was on Joblean - my favorite type of fabric.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Foldable Book RR Happy Dance!

ARGH! Blogger isn't letting me upload any photos right now so here is a link to my latest RR finish.

This is my last finish for this Round Robin. :) I'm pretty happy with how this Round Robin went. It was my second time moderating a RR, and it went much better than the Mirabilia RR I moderated. That one is actually still not done - and I'll likely never see my piece again. Oh well, live and learn, I guess.

I have two new RRs starting and I just started working on Ruth's piece for the Sweetheart Tree RR. I really love her fabric - it is my favorite - Joblean. The design I picked is coming out really pretty, I think. I should be getting the Just Nan RR in the mail shortly. Looking forward to picking out something for that one too. :)

Friday, October 06, 2006

New Luggage!

Okay, I know to most this is incredibly boring - but I have never owned a suitcase that wasn't a cast off from some family member two generations ago! Look - I even have two pieces that MATCH! I've been watching sales on luggage for the last few months knowing I wanted to get new bags (I didn't really have any because the last cast off fell apart some time ago) before our Disney trip next spring. We are also going on a short two day trip to the Wisconsin Dells later this month when Alex has off from school - so I'll get to use them for a trial run. These aren't top of the line or anything - they are from Nine & Company and I got them from Kohl's. Some rude woman in line when I paid for them commented about how I won't have any trouble finding THOSE bags at the airport carousel - but I don't think they are very outrageous looking and I wanted something that wasnt' your classic black, but didn't have an old lady floral pattern either. I really liked this print - so sppppttt to her! And purple is a great color - don't ya think? :)

I still have to buy bags for DH and both kids before the big trip as DH has one beat up suitcase he got in high school 15 years ago that wasn't that high quality to begin with. The kids have no bags at all. I think though we'll be set for the short trip.

In other trip news I bought our airfare for the Disney trip today. Just a tip for anyone needing to buy airline tickets for the whole family: Price tickets as though you were going to buy only one when pricing online. Sometime a flight only has a certain number of "discounted" fares available. If there are only 3 left and you need 4 tickets, the system will quote you the higher price for all 4. Someone clued me in to this today and I was able to book 3 of our tickets at the discounted fare, and then go back and book 1 more ticket at the higher fare. Saved me $96, and made me feel a little better about paying a little more for the more convenient times and the nonstop flights.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Headless No More!

I've been stitching on my mermaid. :) She is on 40ct Tropical Breeze from Silkweaver, and I like how she is coming out so much more now that she has a head. I have such trouble liking a piece before it has a "face" or focal point sometimes.

The next few days I'll probably spend stitching on Wendy's Foldable Book for one of my Round Robins, and then soon after that the Sweetheart Tree and Just Nan RRs will be arriving and I'll do those. Then I have to do another square on the blanket I'm doing for Katie. I hate working on that project, by the way, but it is one of those things I HAVE to do since I did one for every other baby in our family. *sigh* Ah well, if I keep pounding out a square every now and then I have to finish sometime right?

At the risk of being flamed, I'm going to share how my morning went. Katie behaved just terribly in church. Which is to say that she was only slightly more ill-behaved than usual. :( I see all these mothers and kids about her age around me that seem to sit quietly and politely without a peep, and I wonder what I must be doing wrong... Katie has no concept of talking quietly, she wants to run in the aisle or slide down the pew into the family next to us, neither of which has she EVER been allowed to do even once. I always thought children who behaved like this had no discipline at home or their parents didn't do anything the first time, or second time, or third time, so the kid kept pushing the limit. I usually end up taking her out of mass 2 and 3 times for a stern talking to after which she agrees to be good and then procedes to act as before. Rinse and Repeat. Today when I took her out I was so fed up that I spanked her. I'm not against spanking when it is really warrented and I felt it was. She slapped and bit me in church because I pulled her back before she could run into the aisle. I took her right outside and gave her one quick swat on the backside. Once she calmed down from the swatting, I took her back in where she was better, but still not really what I'd call good. Maybe I should be swatting more and talking less, which is what my instinct is telling me to do. Course it doesn't help that I'm worried if I talk too sternly to her someone will think I'm a terrible mother or worse - report me to social services. Sometimes talking works, and I always try that first, but sometimes it just doesn't. All I know right now is that no matter what I do, I feel terrible. I cannot take that child anywhere without leaving in disgrace.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sweetheart Tree RR

My Sweetheart Tree RR is now ready to go. :) I'm doing it in book format (like the Designing Ladies patterns). I stitched the thread curtain, the pin cushion, and got the widest binding piece ready for everyone to sign. I'm really happy with it so far. I'm pretty excited to see what everyone else stitches, I think it has great potential to turn out beautiful! :)

Monday, September 04, 2006

I really have been stitching!

Here is what I've been working on lately. Another square for Katie's blanket. It is a freebie from Passione Ricamo - Fairys Dwell Here. I have just nine more blocks to stitch on this blanket before it is done, so here's hoping I can dig deep and stick to it so that it will be done!

I've also managed to finish getting my Just Nan round robin piece ready to go. I've decided to make it into another book (like the Designing Ladies designs) and I did the two narrow bands to start off. I'm going to have everyone sign the middle wide band. Here are some pics of the two narrow bands I finished. Yes, the end pieces are supposed to be upside down in comparison to the mid-section. They will be folded over when the book is finished to form the inside of the connecting piece of the book. :) Now I just need to work on my getting my Sweetheart Tree RR ready to go!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Weight Loss

Sorry everybody, I know I have been letting the blog slide lately. Not sure why really, maybe cause I haven’t been stitching as much. DH has really started to complain lately about how much time I spend stitching, saying that it cuts into our “together time”. I feel like I can spend time with him while I’m stitching, but he doesn’t see it that way. Considering how much this guy has done and changed for me over the years I’m inclined to cut him a little slack. Don’t worry, I’m not giving it up completely, just trying to reprioritize a bit. I still try to get in at least an hour each night or so, more on the weekends. I’ve been stitching another square on Katie’s blanket (ugh!) so it is going really slowly.

I don’t want to jinx myself, but I think I’m beginning to lose weight again finally. I lost approximately 20lbs. while I was a SAHM, and since returning to work I gained about 3 lbs back and have managed to keep the rest off. The last week or so I’ve finally started to see the scale move back down and I’ve re-lost those 3 lbs. It was winter (Feb) when I returned to work and getting out to exercise wasn’t really happening. Also factor in all the bagels, cake, donuts, brownies, cookies, etc. people bring into the office that I didn’t have to be tempted with at home. I’ve been walking all summer, but I think it just took this long to build any momentum with my metabolism, when I lost the 20lbs before, it also took several months before I saw results too.

I would really like to lose 10–15 lbs more before our trip, but I know I lose weight really slowly, so we’ll see. My normal rate when I’m doing well is only about 1-2lbs a month. Doable, but again we’ll see. I went and bought a cute swimsuit at Kohl’s that was on clearance that is one size too small for me right now. I wouldn’t normally do that – they didn’t have the size I need now and it was such a bargain that I let myself talk me into buying it hoping I’d lose those 10-15lbs. Twice before I’ve bought clothes in a size too small that I was hoping to lose weight to fit into. The good news is that I did eventually do it (when I lost those 20lbs.) but I had one item for more than 3 yrs and one more than 5 yrs before I actually lost the weight. Hope that doesn’t happen this time!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Our trip has been scheduled!

And no Erin, this is NOT a hint. :) I think I've pretty much answered my own questions anyway - so no worries. :) Although I reserve the right to come up with new ones and bug you some more later. okay?

I booked us on the May 6 - 13 Land & Sea vacation and I am so excited. Honestly, I've been thinking and planning for this vacation almost obsessively for about a month already! I don't know how I'm going to make it all the way til May of 2007! We are going to be staying 4 (maybe 5) nights at the Polynesian and then taking a 3 night cruise on the Disney Wonder. We have never been on more than a weekend camping trip or hotel stay for a vacation, so this is really going to be our trip of a lifetime.

We just paid off in full the Home Equity Line of Credit that we ran up while I was a SAHM and DH had a crumby paying job. Since we were paying a lot towards that every month, we are just now going to funnel that "extra" money toward paying for the vacation and it should be paid well before we leave. We are just so excited that we are finally in a position financially to do something like this. :) Alex is beyond excited, and of course Katie is clueless, but I'm sure she'll have a good time. Just getting on a plane is going to be a big deal to them. :)

Anyway, I'm probably boring you all to death - I just need to get one of those tickers to count down to it and shut about it already! (ha!)

Stitching has been going well, I'm caught up on all my RRs and even ahead a bit as Autumn sent me Jo's book RR early and I've been working on that. I also stitched in some pretty motifs on my Hardanger Table runner. Still need to do my Sweetheart Tree RR layout, but it doesn't begin until October, so I have some time yet.

Work is actually going pretty well too. I'm on an assignment, which is always a good thing, and the client seems happy with my work and my boss at my firm is obviously happy that I'm making the client happy. So all is right with the world - for now!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Whew! I'm back.

Don't know what the issue was with my blog being blank for a few days there, but posting the testing message seemed to bring me back. Thank goodness!

Stitching wise I've managed to get my Just Nan RR ready to send out in October - still have to do the Sweetheart Tree prep work though for that RR. I also put in a few days on my Angel of Summer and now I'm doing a bit on my Hardanger Table runner. I'll try to post pics of some or all of these soon.

Work has been busy lately, and I've been using some of my free time to continue planning for our Disney trip. I've pretty much decided we will be going April 28 - May 06, 2007. Yes, I know, lots of time, so why am I stressing now? I plan, its what I do. It's also lots of fun to think about and plan for all those fun things we're going to do - much more fun than say working! This has also put a big dent in my stitching time, so I'll have to remedy that part!

Now, to go catch up on some of your blogs!

Thursday, August 10, 2006


my blog has not been showing up for me at work or at home lately.... just testing...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

And Here's the Fob I Received! :)

Isn't it just gorgeous! I'm a very lucky girl. Chris from New York (pointydog on the Rotation BB) sent this fob and the goodies in the picture to me! I am so pleased with it! :)

Scissor Fob Exchange

Melanie, who was my exchange receipent for the Scissor Fob Exchange has received the fob I did for her and posted pics here. The design is Rhodes Butterfly Fob by the Sweetheart Tree. I stitched it on 32ct Angel Blush linen, the darker purple that the butterflies are stitched in is from a Dinky Dyes Oopps! pack and the lighter shade the eyelets are done in is DD 05 (forget the color name just now). The green is just plain ole DMC 503. I made the cording out of some DMC perle cotton and Kreinik braids. I'm pretty pleased with how it came out. :)

Monday, July 31, 2006

Silkwood Manor

I finally started this one! It is on forget-me-not blue 28ct Joblean, and so far I really like how it is coming out. I bought the silks for the satin roses so that I could get the crinkly look for them, but the rest I'm doing in DMC. Although I did substitute a Silk Mori shade for the lettering at the top and probably will use the same color for the lettering on the bottom. :) This is my progress for the weekend, I would have gotten more done except that I also did the outlining of my layout for the Just Nan RR that is coming up in October, so that is ready. I think I will do the stitching for that next so that it is ready to go. Next weekend, I'll have to do the same for the Sweethear Tree RR. :)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Fair!

Yesterday was the judging for the Wisconsin State Fair. :) Always a wonderful, relaxing, me day, and this year was no exception. The weather was beautiful, but not too hot, which was important because they don't run the A/C in the expo center on judging day (for some dumb reason!).

The only thing that was a little annoying was that they made an announcement at the start of the day saying there would be no lunch break this year - the judges would stagger their lunches in order to keep going and get done with all the categories as soon as possible. So I left at about 11:15 to go eat lunch at the McDonalds across the street from the fair grounds. I rushed the whole time because even though I was confident they were going to do all the categories I entered at the end of the day, I like seeing all the other stuff people enter in the Home Furnishings categories that are judged in the same area earlier in the day. I got back just as they were beginning the cross stitch "original design" categories. I'm so glad I rushed, cause I really wanted to see that category. Then at 12:30p, they broke for lunch just like they have every other year. So there was no need for me to leave and miss anything. That was really annoying - but I don't think I missed any of my favorites, so whatever.

Oh, and another rant - the woman who won the 35sq. in. or smaller category in "original design" did not really complete an original design! The design was Lanarte's Day Butterfly Fairy. She did it OVER ONE on MUSLIN! Very impressive and tiny - but not an original design. She could have easily won the blue ribbon in the 50 sq. in. or less from a pattern category - and that is where it should have been entered. I suspect she entered it where she did because the original design categories usually have far fewer entries - but as I said it was very good and she very likely would have won the pattern category. The judge explained that the state fair allows you to enter in the original design category if you change at least 3 design elements in the piece. Because she changed the size so dramatically and changed a color or two and added some blending filament, technially she was within the rules to enter it in that category. I just don't agree with that - but whatever. The local EGA chapter awards a best of show every year chosen from all the first place winners in the needlework categories and she would have been a contender for that - but I suspect several of the judging members were sour on her entering it in the original design category and picked something else without really considering her piece. Had it been entered in the pattern category, there wouldn't have been ruffled feathers about it and they might have given it more consideration.

So how did I do? The best I've done so far, and I'm so tickled! Emma's Garden took 3rd place in the 50sq. in. or less category. First place went to someone who did an exquisite job on Indigo Rose's "Catherine Agnes". There were a lot more specialty stitches and they were all done to perfection - so it was a clear winner for the category. 2nd place was a well executed bouquet of flowers that used a few metalic threads in the pot the flowers were sitting in. In my mind it wasn't anything special and I liked mine better and thought it was more difficult - but what do I know! I was very pleased to come in 3rd anyway! :)

Some of you will remember that I completed a box top using a portion of Just Nan's Common Ground awhile back. I entered this in the "counted cross stitch, anything other than a framed picture category" and took 2nd place. 1st went to the same woman who stitched "Catherine Agnes" and hers was also a boxtop, but I didn't catch the design - it was a sampler type, might have been another Indigo Rose.

AND Drumroll please!!!! Chatelaine's Sampler Mystery II took 1st place in the 150sq. in. or greater category. I have never won the large category before and only placed one other year (3rd), so I was just thrilled. 2nd place went to someone who did Lavender & Lace's Angel of Mercy without the child. I was too excited and happy to remember who won 3rd and 4th. :)
I was beat out of the EGA Best of Show by the winner of the Counted Canvas category. I don't know the name of her design but it was all creams and whites with lots of different stitching techniques and was quite beautiful.

I just love going to the judging each year. The judge tries to comment on as many pieces entered as time allows and she always has good constructive criticism as well as nice praise when warrented. I've learned a lot by going and it gives me a chance to meet others in the area that stitch and see what they are working on and what they like. Of course I get to do that on the internet with all of you too - but it is even more fun to do it in person - albeit for only one day a year. :)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Disney Trip

My latest obsession has been planning for a Disney trip for the family to take place spring or summer 2007. We still have a bit of debt to repay from when I was a SAHM - but the plan is to completely repay that before we book the trip, and provided nothing unforseen comes up that shouldn't be a problem.

So far we've decided to take a 7-day land/sea vacation which will consist of 4 days on land visiting the parks at WDW and then get on a short 3-day cruise to Nassau and Castaway Cay. We are so excited! This is going to be the biggest/best vacation we have ever taken, and likely will ever take. We are splurging, but trying to be economical where we can - so if you have any tips about where to eat or how to save a bit on the little stuff that seems to add up on vacations - please share! :) Also DH has trouble with anxiety in stressful situations, so any tips on convenience about Disney in particular or vacations in general are also welcome. Of course I've already consulted the stitching community's WDW expert, Erin - and she was very helpful!

The package we are purchasing includes the cruise, the hotel during the land portion, and our tickets to the four major theme parks, so you'd think there would be little else to plan. You would be sooo wrong! The devil is in the details and we are still trying to decide when to go, whether to fly or drive, whether to rent a car, etc.

When to go is the biggest sticking point right now since we cannot officially book the trip until we decide that part. Of course rates are higher when the kids are out of school, so although I'd rather not take Alex out of school for a vacation - we probably will because the price difference is huge and with the crowds being a bit smaller and the weather a bit cooler that will help DH cope better. On the other hand, if we wait until summer, Katie will have turned 3 and will be old enough to participate in a lot of activities on the ship she cannot participate in while she is under 3. That will have the added benefit of allowing DH and I to do things on our own while she (and Alex) are busy with the kids activities. We wouldn't ship her off to the "kids club" for the entire trip anyway - but it would be nice to have an hour or two of alone time 2 or 3 times during the trip. :) Decisions, decisions!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

It Just Ain't Gonna Happen

That's the conclusion I've come to on getting "Waiting for Ships" done in time for the fair. I spent all of my stitching time the last two days working on this and only accomplished the bodice and the flesh above her bikini. I just wasn't enjoying her anymore either - too much of one color I think. I will finish her for next year and will enjoy stitching her much more if I don't have to do it all in one large chunck.

Sooo after making that decision I spent the rest of the afternoon happily stitching on my scissor fob for an exhange. I can't show any pics til the recipient gets it in several weeks, but I'm really liking how it is turning out so far. :) Once I finish that I'm going to try to get a few days in on Alhambra Garden and by that time I'll probably have gotten the next Foldable Book RR in the mail and I'll stitch on that. Gosh that sounds so much more appealing than WFS right now!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Mirabilia RR finished

I finished my last section for the Mirablia RR. This is obviously part of the Summer Maiden from Maidens of the Seasons. :)

Now I'm going to attempt to finish "Waiting for Ships" for the fair judging on 7/25. I'm probably totally dumb for even trying, but I'm going to stitch only on this in the hopes that it will be done in time to enter it. Anyone have any blazing needle vibes to send my way??

Friday, July 07, 2006

For Terri

Terri wanted a close-up of just the lace - if you click on this picture it'll bring up a full-size, more detailed version. :)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Emma's Garden

Here she is .. Finally! That last bit seemed to take forever. She is on Twilght Blue Linen from Wichelet and I changed the blues in the dress to yellow shades. Otherwise she is as charted - well I wouldn't guarentee the lace is exactly as charted - but as best as I could tell it is as charted. ;)

She just needs a wash and press and then framing. I will enter her in the fair this year and then she will be a gift for my niece's 1st birthday in Sept. :)

Monday, July 03, 2006

Getting ready for another HD. :)

I have to just say I'm so tickled to have so many comments on my last post. I didn't think 12 people ever read this blog, so that is really nice to have so many people comment on my SM2.

I'm almost done with Emma's Garden now. I got in some good power stitching over the weekend, so a happy dance is looming in my near future. I was a bit intimidated about the lace on the bottom, which I'm about half way through and is all I have left. I think it is turning out pretty good though. :) I had intended to just stitch in the flowers on the right and then leave the lace for the next time I work on her - but with the fair coming up soon I wanted to be sure to have her done in time, so I'm plowing through.

Look for another happy dance in the next few days. Then it will be onto the last installment for the Mira RR!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Happy Dance with Me! :)

Chatelaine's Sampler Mystery II, stitched on 36ct flax Edinburgh linen from Silkweaver. I used all the recommended silks except for the Silk n Colors Chartruese. I subbed GAST corn husk for that and I think it came out beautiful. :) I left off the beads in the outer border as I didn't think the coppery beads really complimented the pink and blue/purpler flowers much. I also inadvertently left off some backstitch on the leaves in the center planter, but after discovering it decided I liked it the way it was and didn't go back and add the backstitch. Otherwise the piece is done as charted, and I'm very happy with how it came out. This will be my entry for the large category at the fair this year, so I'm happy it is finished. Now to finish Emma's Garden, which will be entered in one of the smaller categories. :)

Monday, June 26, 2006

Random Happenings

  • Finished the cross stitching on Chatalaine's Sampler Mystery II last night - now to do the beading, which isn't much, and frame. Picture within the next few days. :)
  • Katie has an ear infection - most likely the same ear infection she had a few weeks ago when we were all so sick. She had an antibiotic to clear it up then, but apparently it just got better for a bit and now it is back and so are the antibiotics. Hrmph.
  • Alex had his first orthodontist appt last week. Luckily, the dentist thinks we should wait another 6 months or a year for his mouth to grow a bit on its own before intervening with braces. Will definitely need braces in some form though in the future. There just will not be enough room in his upper jaw for all those teeth. At least our finances have a bit more time to prepare for the expense of braces as we are still paying back debt from when I wasn't working. (Only a little bit left now though - yay!)
  • Speaking of Alex, he is now as tall as my nose! This is very disconcerting, it reminds me that in just over two years he will be a teenager! I am way too young to have a teenager for a son! And besides, didn't he just learn to cross the street and ride a bike? Oh yeah, that was like 5 - 6 years ago. I feel really good about him though and how he is turning out so far - such a great kid. Crossing my fingers that the teenage years don't change that!
  • Katie has learned her last name at school. I was pushing her in the stroller the other day and said something like "That's my Katie" to her and she shouted, "Katie (last name), mama." A day or two later she heard me refer to her brother as "Alex (last name)" and she got all indignant. "No mama, my (last name), Katie (last name)." Sean thinks this is hilarious and eggs her on, saying Daddy (last name) and she'll get all mad and yell that it is "My (last name)". Pretty funny
  • A large limb of our tree just fell off about a week ago. It was raining a bit, and I discovered it when I came home from work so I wondered if it had stormed more at home than it did where I work during the day. Turned out when I had a tree trimming service come to cut up the branches and take them away that the tree is rotting on the inside. :( It is a beautiful tree too, but will eventually have to come down.
  • I think I'm going to start actively looking for a new job. I'm worried that my lack of placement at this one is eventually going to bite me, so better to start looking for prospects on my own instead of waiting for an ax to fall. I'm a bit anxious about it, but at least I still have a paycheck coming in for now.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Foldable Books RR

This is what I stitched for Autumn's Foldable book Round Robin. The large design on the left will be made into one of the four "faces" of the book, and the two smaller designs on the right will become the scissor fob. Autumn included Silk n Threads varigated thread to do the main color in and then we got to pick the coordinating colors for the rest of the design. On the book face I chose Minnimura MT 220 a hand-dyed Australian thread for the stems of the flowers and then used a pretty pink silk thread from a Dinky Dyes Oops pack. For the scissor fobs I used all Silk Mori thread from Kreinit, except of course for the thread that Autumn provided. I think they came out well.

In other news Katie is sick AGAIN. I know the first year at daycare/school is bad for all kids with getting illnesses and building up their immune system and such but Geesh! I'm ready for a break. I'm home with her today since she has a fever (under control thanks to children's Advil) and she didn't really sleep much last night. She is napping now though, so hopefully she'll be better soon. Of course this means I'll probably spend my weekend and maybe Monday and Tuesday getting over it myself - cause I always catch whatever the kids bring home.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Mira RR Finish

Just finished stitching my section for Debbi's RR. Of course this is part of Mirabilia's Sleeping Beauty. I was really hoping I'd get a chance to stitch her for the round robin. She is just so pretty and she has been in my stash forever, but she is so big and there is always something else calling more loudly. She is also kind of tricky space wise to do for a round robin as most of the sections people put on their RRs were vertical rectangles, so I was really pleased to have this chance to do her in a horizontal rectangle.

Out of all the Round Robins I've participated in so far, I'm really enjoying this one the most - although the stitching for this one usually takes far longer than the other RRs I've participated in. I'm hoping we'll have enough interest to do another round a few months after this one wraps up. My RR went missing, so I really want to do this one again. Despite my frustration with that and one particular member of the RR (who might be responsible for the missing RR), I really enjoy stitching these "snapshots" of Mirabilias. :)

I finished stitcing this early on Saturday, so I had more stitching time to get in a good start on Autumn's Foldable book RR. I had a lot of fun picking out the colors to match her main color and I hope the result looks good. I should have a pic of that up within the next few days. Then it will be on to finish Chatelaine SM2 and some other pieces for the fair. :)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Bedtime Bathroom Breakthrough

Only my child would have a potty training break through at 2:50 a.m. Yes, a.m. At least I hope it was a break through. She has been using the potty at my prompting since she was about 16 months, but doesn't tell me she has to go very often. Occasionally when she has to poop she will tell me, but never when she has to pee. Anyway, I hope that is changing in light of the middle of the night events last night/this morning.

I woke up at 2:50am to the sound of her crying in her room. Not fussing like she sometimes does right before she drifts back to sleep - but really crying. So I go in there to see what the problem is and she seems like she is crying in her sleep. So I try to cover her back up and tell her it is okay (thinking maybe bad dream?) and I attempt to leave. Whoa! Big mistake mama!

Katie gets out of bed before I reach the door to her room and throughs the biggest tantrum I have seen from her (trust me - this is saying something!). She kicks and screams in place and when I try to pick her up and put her back in bed she throughs herself on the floor still kicking and screaming. I realize something is up and try to get her to talk instead of just scream. Finally I'm able to make out "poopy" in between shrieks. I'm skeptical because she has used this trick in the past to get out of bed when she doesn't have to go but just wants to be out of bed. But she is really upset and I figure it cannot hurt to take her.

Once on the potty she pees for what seems like forever. I wait awhile since she is still wanting to sit on the potty and not go back to bed thinking maybe the "poopy" is still coming. It doesn't after about 10 minutes so I pack her back off to bed without any more fuss from her and she is sleeping almost immediately.

I really hope this means she didn't want to pee in her diaper and wanted to pee on the potty so she wouldn't have to sleep wet. I don't care if she uses the wrong word (poopy instead of pee or potty) as long as she is telling me when she has to go! She started wearing pull-ups this week at home and at daycare and I've been putting her on the potty at lot more at home and they are starting to do it at daycare now too since she is now in the 2 yr old room. We've also had a few trial runs in underwear so that she can feel what it is like to go in her pants and actually be wet. Seems like maybe some of it is sinking in!

DH gets her ready for school in the morning (I leave before the rest of the family is up) and he said that yesterday she kept pulling down her pull up and asking to be put on the potty. Then she wouldn't go. Finally he left her there for about 5 minutes while he was doing some other things in the next room to get ready for work. He heard her say "all done" a few times but didn't think much of it because she sometimes says that immediately after sitting down and lots of times it doesn't really mean anything. When he finally went back in to get her she was standing on her step stool that is in front of the toilet with a big ole turd between her feet on the step stool. "All Done Daddy!" Had to laugh at that one!

Anyway, cross your fingers that we are on our way with the potty training!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Goody, Goody, Gumdrops

Usually when it is that TOTM, I'm ravanous for chocolate. Not this time. I wanted sugar, pure sugar. Or junk candy made out of little else I should say. Yesterday, I stopped at the gas station and decided to pick up a cold sandwich for lunch. With my sugar craving going full blast I casually walked past the candy aisle vowing to be strong as I picked out my turkey sandwich. Of course, the control was only momentarty as I turned right around and stared longingly for about 10 minutes at all the selections. Finally I caved and picked out some gumdrops. Haven't had them in awhile, thought I might have a few after lunch as a little treat. There were 4 servings in the bag, so I figured I'd keep them in my desk at work and eat them over the next week or two a few at a time. They were 59 cents or 2 for $1.00, so knowing I couldn't pass up a bargain and pay 9 cents more than I needed to for a bag of gumdrops, I had to pick out something else. Nevermind that I was actually paying 41 cents more for more of something I didn't really need in the first place. Tend to block out those kernals of truth during TOTM. So I added a bag of those orange slices that are also made of the sugary gelatin stuff, also four servings.

Yup, you guessed it. Downed both of those bags in one sitting after lunch.
8 servings of gumdrop like goodness. I really did enjoy every minute of it.

Nearly 24 hours later my digestive system is still gurgling in protest. UGH. I know better, I really do. Why, oh why, do I have to give into these cravings when I know how bad it is for me? At least it isn't something I do often. Maybe this little lesson will make it even less often - one can only hope to escape the seduction of the sugary nothingness that is the gumdrop.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Katie No Nap and other Katisms

Just have to document, uh I mean share, a few oddities of my second child. She is such a trip sometimes. :) She seems to decide every few months that she no longer takes naps. Despite the fact that she obviously still really needs the nap. She sleeps in a toddler bed now rather than a crib, but I keep the crib in her room just for nap time so that I can force her to stay in bed. Up til now there was repeated protest during nap time, but she would eventually nap after being cajoled or left to cry a bit in her crib. (Not for hours or anything, just a short time and then she tends to quiet herself.) No longer. She did not nap at all this past weekend. It was really frustrating cause I count on that time to relax and not having it meant I was a bit more frazzled than usual. She spent all of nap time either fussing to get out of the crib or talking to her feet half in English and half in Katie gibberish.

There is an amusing side to this story - since she hasn't been napping she has been really tired the rest of the day, falling asleep in all sorts of odd places. She also refuses to go to bed at night time and ends up hanging on the gate in the doorway to her bedroom instead of staying in her bed. Of course after about 15 min. she is asleep on the gate which is quite hilarious to look at. :) As soon as I notice she's fallen asleep I'll pick her up and put her back in bed, which will usually wake her enough to only get back out of bed and hanging on the gate again. Repeat. About 4-5 times until she is so exhausted she just crys a bit when I put her back in bed cause she is too tired to get up and walk to the gate again. Such a stubborn child.

We are also starting to use time outs with her a bit cause she has started slapping people when she wants something they have or just when she is cranky in general. Poor Alex usually bears the brunt of this when he is trying to keep her busy or entertained. She knows she has to promise to act nice to get out of time out, so when it is time to get up (or way before) she'll start saying "N I C E" in a very drawn out loud way, which is hilarious because it sounds anything but nice. DH, Alex, and I have started saying this to each other when we sense someone is getting annoyed with us. She also seems to think that saying "Pretty Please" pretty much entitles her to whatever it is she wants. We, of course, do not give into these demands, especially when it is to eat chocolate right before dinner, or play in a busy parking lot, but that doesn't stop the shreiks of "Mama! Putty Peese!"

She has also decided she is going to be the next American Idol. She is always singing. Sometimes it is the ABCs (or her version of the ABCs - sometimes every other letter is B - i.e. A, B, C, B, E, F Beeee), sometimes she makes up her own song. On her birthday we took the kids for ice cream and she also had cake - both chocolate. A week later she is still singing a little song she made up herself to the tune of Happy Birthday that goes something like, "Chocolate Birthday.... Katie! Chocolate Birthday..... Katie!" And don't try to sing along with her - ever! She will immediately stop singing and shout - "NO, Katie singing." To which I usually respond by tickling her to death. :) What else can ya do?

Friday, June 02, 2006

"L" is for L O S E R

I didn't get the placement. My manager told me that the client interviewed three other applicants because they didn't feel I was "enthusiastic" about the position at the interview. They ended up taking one of them. I know reading my blog you can tell I wasn't enthused - but I swear I didn't act like that at the interview. I was friendly, polite, and did the best I could to show that I was confident I could do the job. I was even feeling a little bit competitive, so although the placement was never my dream job, I definitely went after it. I suppose my personality isn't bubbly by nature. The woman who first got the position is very much like that - but that just isn't me. I wouldn't have acted that way even if I wanted it so bad it hurt.

I sort of suspect that my firm didn't even want me to get it. It turned out to be only part-time after the first few weeks (something they didn't know going in to the first interview) and since I'm salaried as a full time employee that is time I'd be "benched" and not bringing in money, but couldn't be started on a new placement. I believe the person who did get this placement is a part-time hourly person at my firm, so they were probably promoting her this time around and didn't want to tell me they weren't in my corner. So instead they are trying to blame the failure on me not being "enthused" enough.

Anyway, I'm going to do my best to stop obsessing over it and hopefully another better placement will come up soon. I just hate that the impression everyone seems to be getting is that I wasn't good enough.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Job Angst

Remember that placement I got beat out of a week or two ago? Sounds like I'm not out of the running after all. The woman who got the gig has had some unexpected health issues and is not going to be able to accept the position. My firm has again submitted me for the placement. This is no guarentee that I will get it - there are likely other firms submitting other candidates. Of course this brings me back to not really wanting the position. Also there is no "good feeling" in getting it if I do - because they really wanted the other person anyway. Also even though I had an interview that seemed to go well to me - they want me to resubmit my resume and new writing samples. Maybe I'm reading too much into it - but if they want additional stuff over and above what was submitted before, then they must not have been satisfied with what I had turned in before. All this just has me feeling really insecure - I thought my interview went well and they hired the other person off just the interview - so why the extra scrutiny on me. What's wrong with me? Did I raise some doubt about my qualifications in my interview? I dunno...

It also doesn't help that my last placement was mostly clerical. We have sort of a debreifing after each assignment to determine what we learned, how we can do better, how our skills are improved, etc. During this meeting I tried to tactfully explain to my manager that I'm a professional technical writer, and I really don't want to be on clerical assignments. He was trying to be all reassuring and said something to the effect that he was confident in my skills and that we should have no problem placing someone with 1-2 years experience. ARGH!! I have 5 - 6 years experience. This is my problem - everyone sees me as entry level when I am not! But then, isn't that my fault - how am I projecting that image?? I'm 32 and while I might look a little young, I know I don't exude 22, fresh out of college, anymore. There are two other woman, both also technical writers, both also hired around the same time as me, both within 5 years of my age who seem to get way more respect and proposed for much better placements. At least if I get this placement and do a good job in it and get positive feedback from the client (which I'm completely confident will happen if given the chance!), perhaps I'll have proved myself a bit.

So I guess I reluctantly want the position so that I can flex my muscles a bit - but geesh - why do I have to prove myself and everyone assumes these other people can do the job with no question??

Monday, May 29, 2006

Emma's Garden

I finally got a few hours together in a row today to just stitch. :) I worked on Emma's Garden which I'm going to give my niece for her first birthday in September. I'm also hoping to enter this in this year's fair. This time I did all the flowers and leaves on the left side of the design. It was a lot of confetti type stitching and it was a pain trying to figure out where to anchor all the thread ends, but I'm pretty happy with the result. Will do the flowers on the other side next time I work on it, then there is just the lacey design along the bottom. :)

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Katie is 2 Today. :)

Wow, the last two years have really flown by! I cannot believe my baby is 2 already. How did that happen? We decided not to have a party or anything as she is really still too young to expect one and it was really a good thing as we were all so sick recently I'd hate to have all the friends and relatives over, just to infect them with the worst cold known to man. We are mostly better now, but we all still have a bit of a residual cough. We did bake her a cake and sing happy birthday, and she got the Little People's Princess Palace for her birthday, which she really liked. She has been playing with it all afternoon. We took the kids to Chucky Cheese for her birthday too, and she just went down the slide like a million times. She also liked pretending to drive on the racecar game they have there. I think she had a pretty good birthday. :)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Sick Sick Sick!

Ugh, as I mentioned in a recent entry, Katie had pink eye - well that is cleared up, but she also had a nasty cold along with the pink eye. In fact, when we visited the doctor on Monday because she was still battling a fever and the cold was showing no signs of getting better, he said she likely didn't catch the pink eye from daycare. More likely, it was another symptom of the terrible cold she had, which was causing a sinus infection which had likely seeped into her eyes and caused the pink eye. *sigh* So he put her on an antibiotic for the sinus infection and sent us on our way. She was well enough to return to daycare on Tues (yesterday).

In the meantime, everyone else in our family has caught this terrible cold. It is totally kicking my @ss! I've been sick since Saturday. I missed work on Friday to take care of Katie, on Monday because I was sick and still caring for Katie and taking her to the doctor. Yesterday and today I'm back at work even though I probably really shouldn't be because I just cannot afford all the sick days. DH who is almost never sick is totally laid out as well, he has also been sick since Saturday and after trying to tough it out Monday and Tuesday is staying home today. He actually seems to be getting worse instead of better as time goes on and might have to go to the doctor like Katie did if he doesn't get better soon. He doesn't have any sick time built up at all at his job until he has been there for 6 months (not until August) so he's been reluctant to take time off as he already took off one sick day about a month ago with another bug Katie brought home from daycare. Any days he takes off come directly out of his pay and his boss gives him a hard time about taking days he hasn't "earned" yet.

Alex, who was so far dodging this illness, turned up sick as a dog yesterday afternoon. I picked him up from school and he just looked so miserable. I asked him why he didn't call me at work to come and get him and he said, "I know you had to miss work for Katie, and I didn't want your boss to get mad at you for having to leave again." Knife in the heart there. I told him he could always call and not to worry about stuff like that - my boss would have to understand if my kids were sick. Besides, my boss probably would have understood - its obvious that I'm still a bit under the whether and he has kids too. I don't think I have said anything contrary to that in front of Alex - so I don't know where he got that idea. So he is home sick today with dad. Katie has pretty much made a full recovery now and is at daycare blissfully playing dolly or something. :) I'm trying to lay low in my cube and wash my hands a billion times to avoid spreading germs.

Cross your fingers that this is our last illness for awhile!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Finally SM2!

I started working on this pretty much right after part 5 was released on Apr 29th I think. Part 5 was big, so I'm very relieved that I was able to finish it in time for the last installment, which will be released on or about June 1. The lettering, the plant, and the two peacocks on either side of the plant are what is new for this installment. Now I can get in a bit of stitching on Emma's Garden before the next Mira RR shows up! :)

Friday, May 19, 2006

Pink Eye!

I picked Katie up from daycare yesterday only to discover that they were about to call me to come and get her. She has pink eye, which has been going around in her room at daycare. So I called her ped. who called in a RX for some eyedrops to the pharmacy. We are home today as she has to be on the drops for 24 hours before she can return to daycare. I'm sort of glad - I really needed a day off and there wasn't anything pressing going on at work, so the timing was good. This is my first week day not working since I started back to work on Feb 6.

It feels good to be home doing our old routine. Katie is in pretty good spirits despite the pink eye and the nasty cold she has on top of it. We even took a walk and visited a few rummage sales this morning. I found several sesame street picture books for 50 cents each! She is really having fun paging through those and pretending to read them. :) The only real problem I'm having is getting the darn drops in her eyes - anyone have any tips on how to get a screaming, struggling toddler to hold still so I can drop her medicine in her eyes - please share! We also had a pretty miserable night last night as she didn't sleep well, more from congestion I think rather than her eyes. I spent between 2:30 and 4am trying to get her to go back to sleep. She would fall asleep in my arms and thenwhen I tried to put her back in bed she would cry and cry til I came back. Very exhausting. She did sleep in a bit this morning to compensate though.

Well, I'm going to try and capitalize on my time off and get in a bit of extra stitching time!!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I got beat. :(

I probably shouldnt' be looking at it that way, but it is tough not to. The other woman got the placement and I didn't. My interview went well and hers did too. I think she got it because she has a Master's degree in Instructional Design and I just have a measly Bachelor's in English. The placement was for creating job aids for salespeople. I *know* I could have done it and done it well, but her credentials were admittedly better than mine.

Like I said yesterday, I didn't even want this particular placement that much - I just don't like the fact that the whole office sees the two of us go up against each other and I lose. Guess I can just park my but in front of that copy machine cause that's what I'm going to be doing while I'm waiting for another placement to come along and she is off doing what she went to school for.

I know that sounds bitter, but I'm feeling a little raw about the whole thing right now. Just feeling publically humiliated more than anything.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


I've never really thought of myself as a competitive person - but I guess I sort of am...

Today I'm interviewing for a new consulting placement. I don't really want the placement that badly as it is downtown Milwaukee and the traffic is really terrible right now because they are reconstructing major portions of the freeway system in and around the city. Also I have a friend who just came off a placement there and did not have a good experience working for this particular company. The manager she was under was a big jerk - they tell me I'll be working for someone different, but it is hard to know how much of that kind of treatment is company culture and how much is one guy being a jerk.

The competition comes in when I find out another writer at my consulting firm is also interviewing for the same position. I've only known this woman since I started here in early Feb. and she seems very nice. We have similiar qualifications and I think either one of us would do well in the role. Suddenly, now that I know she is also being submitted for the same placement I feel I have to beat her out. I don't really get this about myself as I don't really even want the "prize" as it were. I guess I just don't want to be seen by our managers and coworkers as the weaker candidate or the one who lost out. I feel I'm already fighting a secretarial type stereotype at times, and I don't need my bottom-rung status confirmed by being beat out of a placement. I wish they had just submitted her and not me, but I cannot really request that without a more legitimate gripe. *sigh*

Monday, May 15, 2006

I'm back... for now

The consulting position I was on for work ended on Friday, so I should be around the net a bit more, at least for a little while. I'm being proposed for at least one other new position, so it might not last long, but for now I have internet access at work again and nothing pressing to work on... so I'll be online more.

Stitching wise I finished up a section for the "Any Designer Band Sampler RR" and I've been working on part 5 of Chatalaine's "Sampler Myster II". It is a really large amount to be stitched, so I'm just hoping I can finish it before the next part comes out and complete any RR obligations that come up, and maybe, just maybe get in a bit on Emma's Garden. I was hoping to be able to enter her in the fair, but if I don't find some extra stitching time somewhere it ain't gonna happen!

So anyway, hopefully there will be more regular updates on me here in the blog for at least a little while. :)

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Foldable Books RR

I've started on another round robin. This one is based on the Designing Ladies books. We are each going to design our own book together with the others in the round. When we get the stitching back we'll each assemble the stitched pieces into our own book. Here are some pics of the fabric I have all marked out for each section, and the cover which I've already stitched.

Since it is also the end of the month, I'll do a quick run-down of the goals. My goals for April were

Part 4 of Chatalaine Sampler Mystery II - yep!
My section on Autumn's Mira RR - yep!
Stitch another section on the Any Designer Band Sampler RR - no, but it hasn't come in the mail yet.
Stitch some on Emma's Garden - nope
Stitch one square on Katie's blanket -yep
Get a layout together for the Foldable Books RR - yep

If I have more time: (I didn't!)
Stitch some on Angel of Summer
Stitch another square on Katie's blanket.
Stitch some on Alhambra Garden
Stitch some on Waiting for Ships
Start Mother's Tree

So for May:

1. Part 5 on Chatalaine Sampler Mystery II

2. Another section on the Any Designer Band Sampler RR

3. Stitch on Emma's Garden

4. Stitch another section on the Mira RR

5. Stitch another square on Katie's blanket.

That is likely all I'll have time for... especialy since there is a lot of stitching for the Chatelaine Sampler Mystery this time.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Stitching Stuff

A few pics of what I've been up to stitching wise over the last week or so... I got back my Stitcher's Lane RR in the mail and framed it. :)

And I finished my section on Autumn's Mira RR, as you can see I stitched a portion of Aida, The Garden Fairy.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Really Busy!

Just wanted to drop a quick note for anyone whose noticed I haven't been around as much. At the beginning of the month I started a new consulting assignment and I basically have no access to the internet from work anymore. I'm also driving into and out of the city of Milwaukee which is basically all torn up right now because the entire freeway system in and around Milwaukee is being redone. Traffic is a nightmare. Anyway, I've been leaving early and getting home late and have little time and energy for the computer right now. The assignment is over at the end of April, so likely I'll be back as usual come early May..... I am generally on the computer for a half hour or so every evening, so I am reachable if necessary. :)

Hope everyone is doing well and I'm looking forward to when I can be more "in touch"!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

One goal completed! :)

Finished part 4 of the Chatelaine Sampler Mystery II! Yippee! There sure seems lots of room for parts 5 and 6 though! :)