Happy Turkey Day!

This video makes me sad for the turkey, but it made me laugh anyway.  I hope you have lots to be thankful for this year!


A Month of Thanksgiving: Days 23 and 24

23.  I am thankful that I was able to go to the crazy over-crowded grocery store unaccompanied by my lovely children.  Something about the combination of my kiddos and the shopping makes me want to grind my teeth.  You know, more than I already do.

24.  Today I am thankful yet again for my girlfriends.  They came over today to help me tame the squalor that is my house.  We got distracted by chit-chat, so no actual squalor-taming was accomplished, but I was super glad they came anyway.


Mid-quilt Squee!

After moving the sewing machine into the (boxes-from-Daddy's-house-filled) game/craft area, I continue to wrangle the quilt through my tiny sewing machine. 

Perhaps this should be a new Olympic sport.  Amish women the world over could compete in Quilt Wrestling!  There could be different divisions!  Hand quilting!  Machine Quilting!  Hand Tying!  Oh, the excitement!  Or maybe not.

Anyhoo, I love, love, lovity LOVE how the quilt is coming together.  It's not done yet, but I had to share a little mid-quilt photo because I'm so stinkin' excited!

A Month of Thanksgiving: Day 21 and 22

21.  I am thankful that I got to celebrate an early Thanksgiving with my aunt, cousins, and their children.  I love having family close!  Also?  I am thankful Cousin N liked my Cranberry Salad enough to keep the leftovers.  I am making it again for Thursday, and there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.  Unless that thing is pie.  Which is a whole other story!

22.  I am thankful my friend and her kids joined us for a play date at McD's.  Her daughter is Z's best friend, and her son is just Q's age.  And?  She is delightful!  Also, I am thankful for the two new moms who came to the play date for the first time.  Meet Up just keeps working its magic!


Trick My Comforter

I (finally) finished the topper for Z's souped-up comforter set.  I could have a TV show like that car show where they take the plain car and make it crazy cool, but for inexpensive bedding!  Trick My Comforter!

The next step, actually quilting the topper onto the comforter, was at hand.  I have never quilted anything in my life.  I just jumped in like I usually do, assuming I could do it.  After a quick consult with Google, I was off and sewing.    How hard could it be, right?

Really hard, as it turns out.

The first seam was easy-peasy: just a straight seam across the top.  No problem.  Then I ventured into quilting territory.  I had no idea quilting was a full contact sport!  I actually worked up a sweat wrestling the comforter through my machine to attach the center panel!  My machine is on a desk next to a wall.  Trying to get a full sized comforter through the tiny inside area of my machine and then running into the wall?  Insane.  Clearly, I didn't think this plan all the way through!

In true Scarlett O'Hara fashion, I decided to think about it later.  Instead, I finished pin basting the layers together (safety-pinning the layers together).  See how I used that quilting term like I know what I am doing?  Thanks Google University!  Then I pinned the edges down and figured out how to work the corners.  I had hoped to do mitered corners, but my imprecise sewing made that impossible.  It took a couple of hours (as measured by Tivo'd programs), but I finally got everything to lay flat and look nice.

Today's plan?  Sew the straight seams then take another run at the interior quilting.  I'm sweating just thinking about it!  I think I will move my machine to a table with more space around it.    Pictures soon!


A Month of Thanksgiving: Days 18 - 20

18.  I am thankful for my Thursday lunch date with my girlies.  Especially since I am kid-less with Q in Mom's Day Out!  I am also thankful for Z's dance school.  Great instruction and age-appropriate choreography.  Yay!  Can't wait for the Christmas mini-recital next month!

19.  I am thankful for TheraFlu.  It's a miracle in a mug.

20.  I am thankful for the lovely fall weather that allowed me to send the kids outside to play this morning.  It let me rest my plague-ridden body on the couch while they burned off energy beyond my range of hearing.  Yay for free-range children!


A Month of Thanksgiving: Days 15 - 17

15.  Monday I was thankful for a play date with my friends.  Gotta love getting Q all tired out while having some adult conversation!  The Big Mac didn't hurt, either.  (Did I mention that since I got back from my dad's my resist-er is broken?)

16.  Yesterday I was thankful for being a stay at home mom.  I got to chaperon Z's kindegarten field trip.  We had big fun in the corn maze and on the hay ride.  Getting squirted with fresh milk - straight from the cow! - was an unexpected bonus.  The whole day was a welcome reminder that leaving the classroom was a good move on my part.  I need to save my patience for children who share my DNA.  Finally, I am thankful that my friend Jules could pick Q up from school with only last minute notice.  Such a good friend!

17.  Today I am thankful for a quiet day at home so I can work on getting my house presentable for Thanksgiving!  Unfortunately, I am feeling drawn to projects upstairs instead of the more pressing downstairs ones.  Oh well, they have got to get done some time, right?


Feeling Forty

Boy, once you hit 40 things go downhill fast!  I threw my back out this morning.  While I was sleeping.  Seriously, I was fine when I went to bed and crippled when I woke up.  Awesome.

Apart from random sleep injuries, the first weeks of being 40 has been good.  My birthday was big fun (yay!) even if I didn't get to make the annual pilgrimage to San Diego to visit Sister K (boo!).  It started out like any other Wednesday.  Q and I headed out to story time at the college.  Education students practice their read-aloud skills.  The day's story was If You Give a Pig a Party.  The students had us all wear party hats.  Very festive!   They read several pig books and we sang and did pig activities.  We both had a great time.

Mid-day, I had a mini 'significant birthday' morbid melt-down.  I made the mistake of doing the dismal Alzheimer's math:  if I follow in my mom's foot steps, I only have 20 years left before I start losing my marbles.  Z would only be 25.  Gah.  Luckily, Chica talked me down from the ledge.  Whew!

Bun took the afternoon off from work and once I had picked Z up from school we went to get pedicures.  She presented me with a sparkly tiara and a button that says 'It's all about me!'  Love!  On the way we stopped for bubble teas.  I haven't had one of those since I lived in Ginormousville!  We had spa pedicures with the works.  I even got an extra 30 minutes of foot rubbing.  Aaaaah!  Bliss.  I just wish I had gotten the guy pedicurist.  The teeny tiny gal that did mine couldn't work up much pressure with her teeny tiny fingers.  But still!  A foot rub!  Awesome!

Once our toes were gorgeous, we headed out for dinner.  T had made a reservation at Genghis Grill.  he picked it out without any input from me - and it was exactly what I would have chosen on my own.  Good husband!  The gals and their husbands met us there.  Unfortunately, one of the girls had a stomach bug so they couldn't make it, but the rest of us had a great time.  An evening without kids?  What's not to like?  All through dinner we kept saying, 'This is so fun!  Why don't we do this more often?'

We ended the evening with a fabulous Italian cream cake courtesy of Chica.  It had swirls and polka dots!  Does my girl know me or what?  So. Much. Fun.

I found out after the fact that Chica was the puppeteer orchestrating my birthday from all the way across the state.  She was burning up the phone lines the whole week leading up to my birthday.  When Bun was telling me about Chica's machinations she turned to me and said, "Chica really LOVES you.  She was determined that you would have a great birthday!"

With friends like these how could I help it?


A Month of Thanksgiving: Days 13 and 14

Man, I stink at this posting-every-day business!  I have totally gotten out of the habit.  Here are the next couple of days of thankful!

13.  I am thankful Q's cold/allergies haven't triggered a full-on asthmatic episode.  Who knew you could be thankful for sniffles?  Also?  Thankful for the good drugs in his nebulizer and his willingness to take his treatments.

14.  Today I am thankful for a mostly uninterrupted afternoon playing on Photoshop.  I designed a quilt for Q's big-boy-bed.  I will be using pieces of western shirts that belonged to my dad.  I will probably cry a lot while I am sewing it, but when it is finished?  Wrapping up in it will be like getting a big Daddy hug.  More detailed post on that later!


A Month of Thanksgiving: Day 11 and 12

11.  I am thankful that T got home from a week of training in Austin and rescued me from a week of single parenting. 

12.  I am thankful that Z's school schedules fun and educational field trips - and that they have the sense to cancel them when the wind is blowing 30 miles per hour and the temp is below 60 degrees.


A Month of Thanksgiving: Days 1 - 10

As it has been a hard couple of months here at Casa Critical Mass, I decided that I would put some effort into seeing the things that are good in my life.  Each day this month, I will post something for which I am thankful.  Since I am good at ideas and slow at follow-through, I will do the first ten items today.  Feel free to play along!  Grab the button from the sidebar.  Gobble, gobble!

1.  I am thankful for the good man that was my father.  In all that he said and did, he taught me how to be an honorable person.

2.  I am thankful for my sisters.  Laughing or crying, life is better with them by my side.

3.  I am thankful for my husband.  He has loved me through thick and thin thicker.  Clearly, he loves me for what is inside - a rare and precious gift.

4.  I am thankful for my two beautiful healthy children.  Enough said!

5.  I am thankful for my in-laws.  I truly won the in-laws lottery.  They love me like I am theirs and don't hesitate to drive all the way across the state to help out/attend a soccer games and/or dance recitals/give the hubs and me a chance to go on a date.  Wow.  Just wow.

6.  I am thankful for extended family the next town over.  I love that Z and Q get to hang out and spend holidays with their cousins.  I always wished for that kind of relationship with my cousins and am glad my kids get to experience it.

7.  I am thankful for my friends, old and new.  They fill my life with laughter and are WAY cheaper than therapy!  In that vein, I am also grateful for Meet Up.  It led me to my great group o' gals here in Wester.

8.  I am thankful for my small herd of dogs.  They are shed-y and slobber-y and ill-behaved and wonderful.  I love that my smallest dog thinks he is big and and my biggest dog thinks she is small.  Mostly I am thankful for the buckets and buckets of unconditional adoration.

9.  I am thankful for my health.  As a middle-aged-out-of-shape-round person, I am lucky I have good genes.

10.  I am thankful that soccer season is over, if only for a little while.


Losing Daddy

So.  My dad didn't make it.  I have been working my way through the stages of grief.  The denial part was done as soon as he was gone, but I seem to be spending a lot of time commuting between anger and depression. 

I feel robbed.  It seems to my never-been-to-med-school self that if better decisions had been made my father would still be here.  Why did they continue the chemo so long?  Shots to boost his white blood cell count followed with another round of chemo the next week.  WTF?  Why did they give him such crazy high doses of steroids?  Why did they remove his spleen without ever identifying the source of the infection that hospitalized him and delayed the surgery?  Why, why, why didn't they listen when Sister K said he was getting weaker?

Next stop?  Depression.  I have been hyper-vigilant about taking my crazy pills, but it is hard to tell if I am slipping.  This is what sucks about the crazy: it makes you completely question the validity of your feelings.  Am I eating like a linebacker/sleeping 14 hours a day/losing interest in things I enjoy as a completely normal response to my father's death?  Or is it just that I need a pharmaceutical adjustment?  Gah. 

I am managing some semblance of normalcy.  I managed to get Z's costume sewn and the pumpkins carved, but despite my mom-in-laws best efforts, my house looks like squatters live in it.  My cooking skills have regressed to early college student.  Lots of frozen pizza and mac and cheese.  I do manage to get a fruit or vegetable into the kids at every meal, so at least I don't have to worry about scurvy.  (Or is it rickets?  I can never remember the difference.)

At least once a day I start to pick up the phone to ask my dad a question.  He was my own personal Google.  My dad knew everything.  He was an engineer and a computer programmer and a gardener.  His moral compass never failed.  If he didn't know the solution to my problem (rare), he would think it over and call me back when he figured it out.  I can't believe that resource is gone.

Daddies are supposed to be immortal.  He was so alive right up to the end.  I didn't really believe his time could be so short.  I had already gotten his Christmas present. 

So sad.