Friday, February 27, 2009


The decision from on high is that this week's favorite foto Friday shall have a theme of "silly". Well since I've been hiding out in the salt mine lately there hasn't been a significant addition to the pre-digital camera scanned photo file so here are a paltry few found in existing files. Silly Mommy, don't you know when it's nap time around here? Guess I gotta take matters into my own hand and this trampoline will just have to be my crib!
Silly Mommy, again!! Imagine thinking that they would be so excited about going to the mouse's house that the plane ride would be one long nap? Guess that proves we went too often and justifies the current parent imposed moratorium?????
Waaaaaay silly Mommy!!! What were we thinking when we took 5 toddlers to Disney World and tried to wait for the parade and fireworks??? That's Andrew crashed on the table, Mari sprawled across the seats, and Mairead curled in the back of the stroller. Daniel's head popped up only for the picture and then he was back asleep seconds later!
Silly kids this time. Millennium Park in Chicago has this 'sculpture' which the locals fondly call The Bean because of it's resemblance to a jelly bean. It's huge and of a polished metal so the kids decided to lay on the ground under it to strike a pose.
Silly kids again. What do you do when you just can't wait for Santa to come? This time Julia was a willing elf to Mari's Santa who's 'ball belly' landed in an awkward spot. Going to see if I can squeeze out another outfit or two before the weekend. BTW, I use second-hand denim that I find cheap at resale shops and there is a decided shortage in the 2t size. Guess those terrible twos are hard on their clothes? Anyone who wants to scout their local Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul, or Salvation Army for coveralls or jumpers in good condition for me has a better chance of seeing some cutified for their little dears, hint, hint.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Singing in the Rain!

I'm almost afraid to type this but it seems that ...ssshh spring is thinking of making an appearance! The snow from Saturday is gone. As a matter of fact right this very minute it is raining so hard that the driveway has turned into a raging river!! Now don't get me wrong, I'm a lifelong resident here and have marched in the snow down the parade route on many a St. Patrick's day, but this thunder-boomer, gully washer is the first hint that Jack Frost is losing his grip. I'm sure that before long I'll be unhappily telling you about another snow storm but for now we have a sign that the days of parka wearing are numbered. This week was spent handling a lot of details and paperwork of life. Julia is now officially registered for camp....HORSE camp!!! The local scout camp lowered their age restrictions so now she is 'legal' and will get to spend a week on horseback....when she's not mucking barns that is :) She's also doing a short 3 night Teddy and Me camp but be assured that as far as she's concerned only the week with horses 'counts'. Mari stomped on the brakes when registration day dawned. She just couldn't get past last years mosquito attacks, mouse nests, bats and spiders and decided that this summer should be spent safely in the air conditioning. I negated this decision because she really needs to develop coping skills so we are in the hunt for a compromise. Spanish immersion camp at a Missouri college is a possibility but I'm hoping to find one closer to home...or there is the YMCA camp where her cousins go that we fondly refer to as "Camp Comfy"...where there are air conditioned cabins and flush toilets. She's hoping that some fairy godmother will use her magic money wand and allow her to go away to some luxury think we exaggerate when we call her the Diva? Spent a morning with Uncle Ben (aka 'the accountant') so we can send Uncle Sam the annual financial report...a family visit I do not relish! Spent waaaay too much of our income on medical bills this past year but it seems to have been our most successful investment. Tonight was D.A.R.E graduation for Mari. Gratefully the trek to school is measured in feet not miles because an ark was the transportation of choice tonight. Hopefully Officer G. did his job well and she remains a drug-free diva! Had I known that they had to wear their t-shirts she would not have been allowed to spend so much time trying on different outfits!!
It was Officer G.'s last class after an 8 year tenure because he's being promoted!
Just had to sneak in another couple of outfits before St. Patrick's Day! This is a 48mos Koala Kids jumper that I spruced up and have on eBay right now!
Another 'little' outfit too! 12 mos OshKosh coveralls cutified and ready for parade day. Also listed on eBay right now!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Half a post...

Had fun in the salt mine this weekend! While sleep deprived ladies moped about the house today I pushed out one more little item for eBay. Have to go back to the 'real' job tomorrow and the next open days will be filled with costume construction for the new Irish dance school. Don't know when I'll be able to 'play' with fabric again because Julia's First Communion is racing towards us so I expect that after the dance costumes I'll be working with white! See Vanessa, I can do small. This is an 18mos two piece outfit where I appliqued Snoopy on a long sleeved onesie tee and added ruffles to the cuffs. The skirt is really a skort because those bloomers you see out the bottom are built in.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Week Wrap-up

Boy we ended this week on a real high! To be fair I am warning anyone who is following the World's Toughest Cowboy on Spike network that the ending will be spoiled for you at the end of this post! Read on at your own risk....... Squeezed in a little 3t t-shirt dress yesterday morning before I got everything out to be photographed. It took a good hour and a half to get them all listed on eBay but felt good when it was accomplished. Small horn tooting here but the St. Patrick's 6x/7 skirt and tee is bringing in a bunch of bids, yeah!
Then my girls and their Dad dressed up and headed off to the school's annual Father/Daughter dance. They had two hours of jive while I had a nice looong, quiet, relaxing soak in the hot tub.
Woke up this morning to blizzard conditions :( For my southern readers just picture a hurricane where it snows instead of rains. Julia spent a lot of time in the front window watching the drifts and willing it to stop....because tonight was going to be a special event and she would be crushed if it was cancelled due to snow!! Just barely the storm eased up and we got the driveway shovelled clear so that the lead sled(minivan) could take off to the big city. Some other time I'll give the tirade on the wallet rape performed by the United Center but we made it in time for the free cowboy hats and the pre-show band Whiskey Falls. Julia died and went to heaven a couple of times over tonight as we watched the World's Toughest Rodeo and in person!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah, yeah, yeah no big deal to "ya'll" down in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas but it RARELY happens in Chicago...too much pavement for livestock you know. Makes it hard on a horse lovin', PBR addicted 8yo girl to live in a megalopolis but this is where we live so you got to grab the chance when it comes.
Yep, real live bulls abusing real live cowboys!
This smile never left her face the whole night. Deirdre came home hoarse from all the hootin' and hollerin' we did! BTW, notice that she didn't take one of "those baby hats" because she had her own "real" one...which only just acquired the Jagermeister patch tonight from one of the sponsor booths. Surprisingly there was no western wear for sale?!?! Tee shirts and one style of cowboy hat but that's all.
A really super nice usher let us into a private box that over looked the animal pens so that we could get pictures.
Way cool opening! After a gruelling SIX rides each, 2 bareback bronc, 2 saddle bronc, and two bull rides the winner of the huge ranch in Wyoming was .......spoiler alert, are you sure you want to know the winner?
#90 Bandy Murphy!!!!!!!!! Yep, the guy with the Irish name. Ironically according to the program his birthday is February 21st....what a birthday present.
Look who had picked him out as the one they would root for as we came in at the beginning of the night? Wish she could pick us some lottery numbers!

Friday, February 20, 2009

FFF-Fake Out!

So this week's favorite foto Friday theme is 'fake out'....hmm who really starts this? Just a couple because there is a bright yellow phenomenon in our sky today and I need to get out and photograph some outfits so I can get them on eBay! Severe winter storm warnings are flashing so I hope that rare orb in the heavens lasts until midday when the lighting will be optimal. The first fake out goes to our weather last week. The snow melted, the sun came out....once, and Julia spent a couple of hours clearing out her lungs in the fresh cool air. Here she is on her 'rod'. This is the bike she and I tricked out last summer. It used to be a mundane 20" Schwinn Pixie but now (with a few too many episodes of American Chopper under her belt) it is now flaming.
Will she or won't she?
Oh no she didn't!!! Really, she just smooshed the pumpkin guts on the corner of her lips to make it look like she ate them and then used these two photos to gross out her friends who thought she had actually taken their dare. Feel free to leave her a comment regarding the lack of lip care because she resists my efforts to prevent the annual winter chap fest.
Quick, strike a pose and maybe they will think we are part of the exhibit!...not. Never too young to 'Dance Like an Egyptian'.
Yesterday's salt mine production included a nurse's smock done in a Snoopy shamrock print for Auntie Peggy, who left taking it home before I could grab a picture and....
this little overall skirt. Decided to see if I did one up without all the Irish themed appliques if there was any interest. This one is a size 5 Old Navy denim jumper to which I added two ruffles in a Celtic Knot print and polka dots. The belt is reversible to either print.
Finished an appliqued tee and belt to go with the little 6x/7 skirt I showed on Wednesday. I put a ruffle to match the one on the skirt as well.
No 'away from the house' work today so I'm off to play with my fabric now, yeah!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Progress at last!

Well here's some of the explanation for shirking my blogging obligations. Some more lame than others but I'm hoping they at least fill you in on the black hole that was last week. I do have a 'real' job as some of you may have deduced from past posts and comments. I am very grateful, given the current economy, that my hours are increasing since several of my friends are in the opposite position. Piled on top of the away from the house work with my housework and my homework was a variety of social commitments that left me with an imbalanced and off schedule sleep cycle. Net result is when I could be in bed I was in an insomniac manic mode and when I needed to be Mom-in-Chief I was more like Oscar the Grouch. During this period I did make contact with a web designer who is going to help make this a more reader friendly and personalized place to visit. Since Rhonda was such a dear to feature her two cuties in the Valentine's outfits I made I feel I need to mention that he is also helping me get another blog up and running to showcase the sewing room output. I will be sure to put a link as soon as it is ready for public traffic! I had wished to keep expenses to a minimum so there would be more to go to Guatemala but as the old adage goes, "got to spend money to make money". Thanks to some advice in a previous post I did start to conquer the camera. The only problem is that we only had one day of sunshine in the past 5 days and of course I had to work that day. By the time I got home and outside the sun was already nearing the horizon which left lots of shadows but it was a good learning curve and I worked out some strategies. Here are the Cute as a Cupcake dress taken outside. Need to keep an eye out for a smaller dress form! The puckering is because it is stretched too tight over this form.
Oops, forgot to turn this one but as you can see the daylight is superior but I need to shoot closer to noon to minimize those shadows! This is going on eBay by tomorrow no matter what because I need room for some new cute summer prints I found.
These are two I have on eBay right now. I love rescuing old denim and giving it a new life!
This is half of today's project. I'm going back into the salt mine to applique a tee to co-ordinate and maybe a matching belt. It will be going on eBay before the weekend...unless one of my blog friends want to make an offer. The skirt is a Children's Place size 6x/7 stretch denim skirt to which I added the St. Pat's day appliques and ruffles. I can do any holiday or theme so feel free to ask about custom work.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lo siento!

A whole week of blog world absence!! I am soooo sorry to leave everyone hanging but there's time for 'splaining later. It's Tuesday again and Abby is back in the hospital for the 21st time since July! As can be guessed, the Rigg's family are treading water hard right now so PLEASE friends add them to your prayers. The challenge this week is OPEN....meaning we can throw out anything we think will bring a smile to your face.
Risking the wrath of the Diva for unequal exposure on the blog I have decided to post a series of pictures showing one of Julia's other loves. Right behind HORSES would come an extreme fondness for FOOD. On our first day together, Julia's fostermother tried to warn me but noooooo, I saw the tiniest little baby and thought, "she mustn't get much to eat." Marina told me she took a bottle every 2hrs.....literally she would start screaming every hour and forty-five minutes like an alarm clock! To this day she still checks in for every meal, snack, and/or dessert whether I've got one ready or not!
In the days when it was mostly still in the liquid form! Took a looong time for this little lady to relinquish her pacha!
This picture still kills me these many years later! That was my friend's hot dog that she naively left unattended on our picnic blanket thinking that Julia was still only eating baby food! She NEVER ate baby food...hated it from the first spoonful so my food processor was her favorite kitchen appliance! She took peas and mashed potatoes straight from my plate at 6 mos old and never settled for less from thereafter.
This is Uncle Steve's idea of raising children...sucker's are a-okay as soon as they can hold them...right?????
It's not all junk! She eats almost every fruit and vegetable...except lima beans which I refuse to cook.
All she knew was that there was ice cream in there...took some creative thinking to get it out and into her mouth.
Yeah, so she has a thing for hot dogs! Here in this part of the country you would call this a 'nudie' bun, no topping, just a naked dog.
The ice cream truck can never come too often for this calorie junkie.
Desserts at Auntie Peggy's are more elaborate than here at home!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Laughter Lives Tuesday!

Time is racing too fast for me these days because here we are back at Laughter Lives Tuesday!!! This is a series started by the Riggs family to help us celebrate the humor in life. They are having it pretty hard lately so PLEASE keep up the prayers for Abby and her family. Their blog is linked to the right here---> see, where it says Pray for Abby. This week's theme/challenge is "A funny thing happened and I was glad I had my camera...." which means that sometimes the pictures need a little explaining!! My first picture is of Julia with her cohort in crime, Deirdre who happens to fill the dual role of BFF and cousin. Notice something a little off? Maybe for you southern friends the combination of halter/tank tops and football caps isn't such a stretch but around here...well you do see an odd drunk or two at Soldier Field who goes shirtless ...but it's usually waaaaay cold during pigskin season!! The parking lot for the Field Museum of Natural History is UNDER Soldier Field and oh so conveniently one must pass the Bears gift shop to get out to the museum. Last July,when it was about 100 degrees with 200% humidity I lost my mind and organized a day trip into Chicago for all the cousins who just HAD to check out the gift shop. After a while I started to panic because these two were no where in site!! At full chest pain panic they suddenly popped out from under a clothing rack with these on their heads. Got a ton of laughs which I can now join in on.
Just another sleeping kid shot I bet you are thinking to yourself? This is from Super Bowl Sunday 2001 and we are in the sports bar of the Mariott Guatemala!!! After a looooong day of traveling out to and back from the markets at Chichicastenango we were starving and Patrick was hoping to catch a little of the game. The waitress put a huge basket of popcorn on the table which we all eagerly dove into but especially 3 yo Mari. I had left the movie camera up in the room and to this day regret that decision because with every reach of her arm towards the popcorn basket her head dropped a little closer to the table. Everyone, (all 8 of us including the staff!!) saw it coming and the guys at the bar even started joking that there should be bets on how many handfuls of popcorn would she get before lights out! It was like a cartoon. Then with one final feeble reach she gave up the ghost and clunked face first into the table!!!!!!
I never meant for this to surface until it would come in handy as a way to embarass a too big for her britches teenager but there's this problem in my home....the kids can work the technology better than the adults!! Mari came across this one day while 'surfing' through the photos and told on me so since it's been outed here it is.... New Year's eve a couple of years my Dad's house in Florida. Typical scenario, they were trying their best to last until midnight by watching the Disney channel but alas Mr. Sandman came 11:55pm!!!!!!!!! Crowns still on their heads and noise makers under their cheeks was a shot I just had to take...and then some adult who will remain nameless decided that the empty wine bottle in the trash should be retrieved and added. Yeah, New Year's Eve can bring out a side to people that is usually not seen......

Monday, February 9, 2009

Gettin' down to Business???

Growl!!!!!!!!!!!! Been fighting this new camera long enough. All of the pictures of the two spring outfits I have shown here were taken with the same lighting and camera why the uneven quality??? This was supposed to be a LOW overhead start up so that the maximum amount of money could go to an account to provide aid to Mari's birthfamily and help with shipping all the shoes I'm collecting down to Guatemala! The labels came and were reasonably priced..... I have feelers out to get this boring Blogspot template BLINGED and hope to find a reasonably priced geek/graphic designer who can get an eBay template designed as well! The photography is just sooooo sub-par and I know it's the CHEAP, CHEAP camera I bought to replace the fatally dropped Olympus. I just do not know how I can justify getting the $800 Sony that has given me a huge case of 'camera envy'???? That kind of money would take a powerful lot of sewing to earn and then there is none left in the bank to use for aid!! Guess until that problem works itself out I'll have to keep getting bottom dollar on eBay :( Big favor of my blog friends....can those of you who have little girls offer up opinions on what type of unique clothes on which I should concentrate my time and attention? Please feel free to pass on my link to any friends you know who buy this kind of custom sewing for their children so I can get their input too!! Up until know I've gone for the super fast and easy holiday outfits with the thinking that since I know I can't command top dollar at this time at least I can go for quantity. So far, they've almost all sold but not for enough over costs to realize much change in the "Guatemala Account". These are the two latest creations. This first is typical of what I've been doing up until now...a pillowcase style top with little matching capris($25-$40 depnding on fabric selection and size). I use all cotton when I can find it but I do also use cotton/poly when the print is super cute. All of my seams are serger finished. This 'Cute as a Cupcake' dress also is fully lined and has a sewn in eyelet slip(This one is a size 3 and I'm hoping for $40). My appliques are done with a real satin stitch! I can do matching bows too but must admit I'd rather be sewing than fighting with ribbons :)! This is the 'kitchen' that Mari's birthmother cooks in.... ...and this is the 'house' that they call home!! I have a strong emotional need to try and ease the hardship of their daily life! How much can I take from the third world in my selfishness without giving anything in return?? Sewing may not be the avenue that brings me the financial resources I need to help them but for right now it is what I have to offer. Since I am looking for honest constructive advise I'd ask everyone to look at what I've been posting on eBay. My eBay id is Drsilk1. Bring it on!!! Because I'm itching to start a little Easter outfit with this fabric!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Julia was blog tagged!

Arianna over at tagged Julia today. The game is that Julia has to tell 10 random things about herself and then tag someone else. Since we were out a 'little' too late celebrating Grandma's birthday she dictated them for me to post...her typing could take awhile!(My commentary will be in parenthesis!) 1) I am a tomboy! I love my cars (hot wheels & etc) and the bike my mom and I made!!! (Tricked/pimped an old Schwinn Pixie with a sissy bar, flame designed banana seat, and chopper bars and put flame decals everywhere!) 2)I wish I could live in Texas or Tennessee because I could own a horse and become a jockey. (Don't know why those two states because she's mostly ridden in Florida?!?) 3)I love to watch PBR and play the game on my PS2. (for the unknowing that would be Professional Bull Riders and when playing the game she almost always opts to be the BULL!!!!!) 4)Secretly I love Pooh but since I love SpongeBob too I just tell the kids at school that SpongeBob is my favorite show.(At that stage where W. the Pooh is for baaabies according to the peers) 5)My favorite PS2 game is Guitar Hero.(...and if I hear Eye of the Tiger one more time I may go insane!!!!) 6)My clothes need to be comfy! (Oh yeah, she TESTS every garment before I buy for 'itchiness' and would be in fleece jams 24/7 if allowed) 7)I would be in heaven if I could eat Outback's mac n' cheese everyday!!(Been her birthday dinner choice for three years running now!) 8)I HATE the dentist and wiggling my loose teeth....YUCK!!!!(Go figure since I'm her dentist huh?!?! She is the WORST patient BTW and has not yet made the connection that REGULAR brushing will change the cavity count!!!) 9)I am NOT a fan of milk but love, love , love ice cream. (Yep, the MD slices hairs by saying she's 'milk sensitive' since that was one of the few allergy tests that did not come back positive....handed her the excuse on a silver platter he did!! Told me that it was very COMMON for hispanic children to have 'issues' with milk and that I shouldn't worry as long as she ate cheese and he's not the one trying to get his kids to eat!! Can't wait to get to the next appointment to tell him how at 8 yo she's already a 'fan' of coffee...must be in the genes???) 10)I'm going to have lots of animals when I grow up! (Interesting......since our cocker spaniel Kelty had to go live with Auntie Peggy after asthma clinic gave her a series of allergy tests and all the pet/dander ones came back off the chart HIGH?!?! I really do hope she 'grows out' of these allergies and her asthma because she does adore animals especially horses and dogs. Very ironic that the one who loves animals the most is the one who needs to stay away from animals!) So there is Julia's tag assignment and now she is going to tag Katie at

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Few Firsts

Well I just couldn't go to bed without showing you guys a few of the pre-digital pics that actually figured out how to scan into my computer. The dog got to the vet, the outfits got finished and mailed, bread was made, but the laundry is well......waiting for me to stop living in avoidance mode! Instead of multi-tasking and running loads while I scanned the photos I just walked down memory lane. There are thousands more to scan so I wonder just how long I can go before the underwear and socks are all dirty???
This is the picture that changed our lives forever! Little did Patrick know how his simple act of opening an e-mail would send us down the road of international adoption and thus parenthood. This picture of 16 mos old Mari is the first one we have of her.
The first clear picture we had of Julia! She looks so "normal" in this view but as a preemie who didn't even tip the scales at 5lbs she was the tiniest baby we had ever held!
The first minutes after becoming a citizen!! Yes, that is the lad who was eager to see her "turn white" which is what he thought would happen once she became an "American girl".
The first picture of the sisters! Notice Mari's big smile? That was because she had not yet figured out that Julia was going to be around for a while...a long while....a very, very long while.
The first picture of our whole family! I love that Julia was already smiling for pictures at only 6 weeks old!!!!!
The first time the "gang" met Mari. This was taken moments after we got off the plane as we walked to the luggage area. I had one of those jolts today when I looked at this picture!! In my memory of the moment I recall Mari immediately taking to her cousins and I always tell people how easily she transitioned.....but looking at this record of the moment her blank stare is jumping out at me!!! How did I miss her obvious state of apprehension?? I could just cry for her when I think about how utterly confusing this moment must have being plopped onto the surface of the moon!!!! Though the white lines you see are the strings of balloons which they brought to celebrate the occasion and she did REALLY enjoy that since hers had Barney. This made me feel better though!! Taken the next morning as she explored her new bedroom she is clearly a happy girl!
This is Julia's first birthday! We kept waiting to get the obligatory icing on face shot but noooooo our little birthday girl would only dip her two fingers in the icing and daintily licked them clean. This shot was taken as Mari came to 'encourage' Julia to get dirty :) Really need to find some willpower and get to bed so I have enough energy to spend another day avoiding the laundry room.