Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Kindergarten, here they come!

We attended the Kindergarten orientation today and the word excited is a big understatement. Both K and J wanted school to start today. Now! They got mad at me for not taking their backpacks, even though I have repeatedly told them that today is only for looking around and meeting their teachers.

As we were touring the school, I did hear J ask "where is my sister?" when she couldn't see her because she walked too far ahead. J is showing more anxiety though, and it's obvious when the principal gave a rundown of the school bus procedure. She raised her hand and asked what happens when she can't find her classroom? I will have to remember and reassure her that there will be many teachers to show her around and that her and K's classroom is right next to each other.

This will be the only pictures I will have, I think, as parents are not allowed in in order to get the kids adjusted ASAP. The fall picnic is already in the schedule later in September so I will be anxious to see the friends they've made.

The only other thing I have to get used to is being late to one event since they are in a different class. Daddy will will probably be able to split with me so one can go to one and I can go to the other, unless of course the event is school wide and we will have to go to 3 different classes.

Oh my. I just can't believe the time has come. Five years has come and gone. I remember the assembly line process of feeding and changing them, but what happened to the time in between?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

NYC, panhandling, and a 7-year-old

Here is a lesson that kids learn from being in New York City; I almost forgot to post about it.

Big M said he wants to save $63 for when we go back to NYC to buy something I wouldn't let him get. He asked repeatedly at different times while we were there, to give him the opportunity to earn it. I told him I would think about it. 

Later that day he said, "Mommy. I know what to do to earn some money. I'm going to play my Beyblades (spinning top game) and put a bucket in the front so people can put money in it."

The meaning of panhandling, brought to you by NYC.

Upcycling outgrown knit dress into bike shorts/leggings

I have been on a sewing kick lately, sewing dresses, skirts, pants, etc for my kids. Pinterest has proven a great resource for many things, but one thing I couldn't find was ideas on what to do with old knit dresses. My girls have outgrown many dresses that were barely worn, and so I hesitate to give them away.

Then it hits me, I can make bike shorts/leggings with them. Since I couldn't find an exact tutorial for it, I decided to just do it myself and share the process.

1 - I took a legging that fits just right and traced it on parchment paper. The dress is too small to make a full length leggings so I folded it to make bike shorts. I traced it half an inch larger on the side for seam allowance. The waist has about 1 - 1 1/2 inch seem allowance to allow for elastic casing.

2 - I cut out the parchment paper and pinned it on the dress. While doing this, I realized that I can use the side seam on the dress for bike shorts, so pinned the pattern slightly outward to remove the seam allowance on the side.

3 - After cutting one leg, I turned the pattern over and pinned it on the other side of the dress and cut another leg.

4 - 2 legs ready for sewing. 

5 - I used zigzag stitch on the inner pant leg. Once both inner pant leg were done, I placed one inside of the other (right sides together) and then sewed the crotch. Since I used the hem of the dress, I didn't need to hem the pants!

6 - Fold the waist over 1/4 and then again at whatever width your elastic is. Make sure to leave an opening to fish the elastic in. Use a safety pin to fish the elastic in, overlap 1 inch. Then sew the opening close.

7 - Bike shorts!

NOTE: At first I decided not to put an elastic in and used elastic thread instead. It didn't work quite right because it still prevented good stretch while putting the pants on. After ripping that up, I decided to not put any elastic. That almost worked, but since I fitted the pants right below the belly button, it just flared up too big on the waist and the pants eventually started slipping off. For the 3rd try, I decided to just go ahead and put elastic in. That worked much better.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Dinner at the park

We decided to buy dinner and eat at the park last week. The kids have been cooped up at home due my sheer laziness and fear I taking them all out in public.

They enjoyed the playground and the running around. I can't wait to buy a house with a backyard!


These 3 have been playing together a lot lately. Little M has become the girls' boyfriend, baby, and whatever else they need him be. Little M will miss them terribly, and miss his big brother a lot when school starts next week.

Incidentally, this picture was right after K's pinky (she's on the left) was pinched in the door when Big M closed it. Yup, the door was fully closed. Half of the last segment of her pinky was black after I scrambled to open the door. After a few minutes, it turned dark red. I was doing good, panicking by myself and the kids for a while until the red wouldn't go away. I finally called Daddy and he drove home. He was thankfully not busy or had just finished what he was doing so he decided to come home in case I needed to take K to the urgent care.

It's not obvious but K is holding a bag of peas to the side.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Big M and I took a trip to NYC for the weekend to meet up with 2 of my friends (one flew from Chicago and the other from LA) to go sightseeing. We took the train for a very comfortable 2.5 hr ride. We stayed at a hotel in Time Square and walked and used the subway to get around. It was a great short weekend to take some of NYC in.

We took the ferry to liberty island and Ellis Island. Big M took all information in that the ranger recited. I took him away to take a picture and it elicited a tantrum and a half when the group started walking without him.

We planned on seeing the 9/11 memorial but only made it to the preview memorial across the street as all the passes for the day have been sold out. The preview was full of giant posters of the timeline and pictures of that day. I tried to explain to Big M the events but couldn't help my voice from breaking. I think it was for the best that I couldn't get through it because he started feeling depressed. It is too much for a 7yr old who has an enormous capacity for empathy.

We walked through Chinatown to buy some gifts for the girls and ate lung there. We had Gelato and cannoli at Little Italy.

It was an awesome experience. We can't wait to bring everyone there for a family experience.

Mod podge wooden crate

Mod podge seem to be a big thing with crafters so I thought I would share my own. I made this over 10 years ago before I even knew what wonderful things mod podge could do.

I bought the wooden crate at Michael's and thought I would make something for my bookworm husband. I photo copied some of the books (cover) I thought were his favorites. I printed them in regular paper which turned out awesome. As I was applying mod podge, some colors started bleeding which gave it an old antiqued look. I slathered a lot mod podge into sections. I didn't need to finish the entire thing at once. When the whole thing was finished and dry I brushed (using foam brush) more on the entire thing for good measure.

To this day, this is my hubby's favorite. I bought one more crate for my son who loves Lego. I went online to print out Lego pictures and did the same thing. Unfortunately haven't finished it years later because now I have 4 kids. Life happens. :)

Tank top dress

I recently found t-shirt dresses on Pinterest and I just couldn't wait to try them. I have tanktops that I've been meaning to appliqué for my girls but just haven't done it. I got the tank tops on clearance at Walmart for $2.50 and the fabric is $3 a yard also from Walmart. I bought 2 yards each of the fabric because I didn't know how much I would need.

For the fullness of the dress, I measured their waist and multiplied by 2. For the length, I just cut the fabric at the fold and used that, which worked out - not too short, not too long.

This tutorial said to use elastic thread, which I did. The dress wouldn't have gone through their torso if I had just used regular thread.

For the sash, I just used my measuring tape as a mock sash to figure out the length. I then just cut 5 inches thick (I wanted the sash to be 2 inches thick).

For the flower, I used the mouth of a glass to trace a circle and cut several pieces. There are a lot of tutorial for fabric flowers online.

Friday, August 17, 2012

xL t-shirt to girl's dress

I had a t-shirt laying around for Daddy that he never really wore so armed with the knowledge that there are people doing this exact same thing, here I my first attempt.

Actually, the first time I didn't modify the length so it looked like a perfect nightgown, which K did not like. So with some cutting and more sewing, she now loves it. I then appliquéd the flower to make it look girly.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The bravest 2 yr old

Little M had his blood drawn today as part of his routine 2-yr old check (except he had his check-up 2 months ago). As I have already experienced this with the twins when they were 1 yr old and with Big M when he was 5, I knew this would not be easy.

The tech instructed me to keep his legs between mine to restrain them, to wrap my right arm around his right arm with my right and left hand holding his left arm. We both knew there would be screaming and fighting. I tried to make Little M look away, but he only did so momentarily. He then watched the needle go in, and to my surprise he didn't even flinch. There was no crying. The tech and I were both impressed.

My 2 yr old is braver than all of us.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Birthday weekend

For my birthday weekend, I wanted the whole family to go to Six Flags. The high was 88; compared to the Texas heat it is a cold front. However, it just zapped everyone of their energy and whining stared early. Thankfully, the kids recovered and we all had fun, (except for the vomiting Little M did in the car on the way home).

Little M hugged all the characters we saw, except Big Foot. Big Foot started blowing air through his nostrils and ruined it for him; even the girls were cared as I evident in the photo.

Little M also loved roller coasters. After riding a roller coaster designed for kids, a father got off muttering to himself and everyone listening that this coaster should be removed as it was not designed for kids. The coaster was fast enough to whiplash kids. It was fast and furious enough to knock the sunglasses I had propped on my head. Little M loved it though. He was giggling and squealing the entire time. I held on to him to cushion his head, but ungrateful boy wanted none of it. Daddy ride with him on a log flume ride and also reported a lot of squealing.

The boy is a daredevil.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

At the mall

It's been a bad week because of lack of sleep so I haven't taken the kids out all week. Even on my birthday we had to cancel our dinner because the kids were cranky.

As far as birthday goes, it was pretty good. The kids sang to me while I was still in the bathroom, Daddy cooked me birthday breakfast, and I gave myself permission to craft and not feel guilty that the house was messy.

Anyway, to exercise the animals we took them to the mall. A year later, we finally got to use the Barnes & Noble gift card Little M got from a friend on his baptism. He picked a train sound book and a pack of Thomas board books.

Oh and the staches...they're so cute.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Many faces

Just for fun.

Big M
Little M

More appliqués

Two evenings ago, I decided to make more appliqués. I started a robot for Little M and Mickey ears for Big M. The next morning, Little M saw the robot and demanded I finish it.

I have decided to open an Etsy shop and sell my hand-made creations. I have appliqués, embroideries, hair bows, wood carvings, dresses, jewelry and more. I am not creating anything anything unique, so I think my hook would be that it will be more economical compared to other online shops.

I will probably not start until fall when the kids are in school. But spread the word! I can even start now if anyone want to contact me for anything I've created. :)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Library storytime

I've been taking the 3 younger kids out for the summer so we don't drive each other insane. Luckily for us there is a great one in the next city over.

We've been going while Big M was in camp so this is the first time for him. He said he is too old for it though so I let him stay in the children's section. He occupied his time by researching Japanese military planes.

There is a room across the story time room that was filled up with toys for open play so the younger kids enjoyed that too.

Strawberry shortcake

K's bedroom has strawberry shortcake wall decals so I wanted to embroider one for her. Using a t-shirt I found on clearance at Walmart, it is a very personalized shirt. I printed a coloring page from the Internet, scaled it, and traced it into a tear-away shirt stabilizer. I then hand-wrote her name on a separate sheet of stabilizer and voila!