March 22, 2014

It started with just rose bushes

This is part of the front of our 1920 house...

See those nasty green bushes under our dining room window?  I really, really, really dislike those bushes.  It doesn't matter whose house they're at.  Those types of bushes are ugly and I think date a house and make it look ugly too.  Not to mention they are spider traps, as some people call them.  Thank heavens I haven't seen too many in there!  

My dream is to have those bushes gone and to replace them with some knockout rosebushes!  It will look so pretty and be so fragrant.  

My dream is coming true today!

Todd rented a digger to pull these bushes and some others on the right side of our house.  We are also jack hammering all the concrete out of our backyard (it currently looks like a very large kennel) so we can have some grass and do a little planting and purtying up back there.  

That's our friend Ken giving Todd, who is in the digger, the sign to start pulling.  Adios, bush!

Rosie and I watched from the dining room window as one by one the nasty bushes were ripped up.  

Then they were loaded on the big flat bed to be hauled to the dump in exchange for some mulch.

Then, the next thing I know, the front of our house looks like this...

Now, we are replacing those little windows that look in to the large guest room downstairs with new windows.  Oh, and we're tarring the foundation to help protect it from cracking and leaking.  Our house was built in 1920, after all.

There is, well, now was, a little sidewalk to the left of the house that didn't really make sense.  Todd wanted it gone, so he, Ken and another friend Joe jack hammered it out and loaded all the concrete on the flat bed too.  

That's Ken jack hammering.  That's Todd's gloved hand explaining to me what's going to happen.  You can kind of see where the old sidewalk was to the right of the lilac bushes.  Where Ken is jack hammering we are also now putting an egress window to the guest bedroom, which has two little windows on the side where Ken is standing.

This is Joe.  See those scrawny bushes lying there?  We were just going to yank those too, because one is dead and the other is part dead and they make me nuts.  This is the right side of our house under the sunroom. I want to put big, blue hydrangeas around this corner of the house.  In fact, there are two already there that I planted last summer.  Todd's plan is to now dig out that whole corner and fix a few cracks as well as tar the foundation here, too.     

Our house is going to look so good when it's all done, both inside and out!  I can't wait to have pretty flowers versus dead or nasty bushes.  I seriously can't wait for grass in the back yard either!  

This is how an old house works.  You want one project done and get four more to boot.  In the end, though, this house will be a neighborhood contender.  

March 4, 2014

Sew, sew

You don't have to know me too well to know I don't sew.  

There was a time, when I was very young, that I had an interest in sewing.  I made beds and pillows for my Barbies.  I tried making them clothes.  All of this was by hand and not with a machine.  My interest in sewing ended abruptly when I was in fifth grade the night before the 4-H fair.  

My mom, who was our 4-H leader, and I decided a good project would be to take apart an "Amish" quilt square I had made for my Indiana history segment.  (We are originally from there.)  

The stress of doing the project the night before, trying to "tighten" up my poor stitches, getting the gol durn thread through the eye of the needle (to this day that makes me antsy; I will not be cross stitching any time soon.) all lead to a massive melt down where I stormed away from the project.  I never looked back on sewing again.

In recent years, a desire to wear some original clothing and not look like a department store clone made me wish I wanted to sew.  Not enough to do anything about it, though.  

When I was pregnant, I think the nesting urge really reared sewing's head inside me.  I wanted a multi-tiered ruffled crib skirt, but the prices for those things on Etsy are appalling!  Come on...$300+ for a crib skirt?  Can't I make my own?  While that story is one within itself, the answer was yes, I could; and I partially did (with the help of two other girls who know what they're doing).  

 I also made Rosie's name on a banner for above her bed.  I was quite pleased with myself.  To have someone on Etsy do personalized banners is, again, ridiculously priced.  

We are also renovating our 1920 home, as many know, and we need curtains and pillows.  My mom made our dining room curtains, but I feel this is something I should be able to work on after Rosie goes to bed and we're watching The Voice.  

What has really pushed the sewing urge over the edge is the Boden Kids catalog.  Their clothing is sooooo cute, and sooooo overpriced for a child!  I can NOT justify $35 for a romper my daughter will be out of in three months.  She would have to wear it nearly every day for me to feel like I got my money's worth.

Boden's kids clothes are pretty simple, actually.  It's the material and the patterns and how they pair things that makes their stuff so crazy cute.  I flip through their catalog and think, "How difficult can that be to make?!"

Take these shirts on the left that I love!  They're so simple looking, yet, $34?!

So, here I find myself, roughly 25 years after walking away from sewing, about to sign up for a sewing class with a new sewing machine waiting to be used!  

I can't wait!  I hope it goes smoothly and that I like it.  I have visions of Rosie being the cutest dressed toddler on the playground due to her mama's handy work.  

The alternative is she'll look like a ragamuffin.  In which case, I'll start seriously perusing Boden's clearance page.  

March 1, 2014

Baby crack

Baby crack is what Todd and I call these fruit and veggie pouches...

We call them that because Rosie can't get enough.  She wants them.  She neeeeeds them.  She has to have them!  

The first time I saw these things, my friend's daughter was drinking one.  I thought, why not just give your daughter a bite of whatever fruit was in the pouch?  She was old enough to eat bites of food, after all.  It sounds like I said that comment to myself in a snarky way.  I really don't think I did.  I just wondered at the purpose of the pouch.

It turns out, my friend is having trouble getting their daughter to eat veggies.   That's all these pouches are: blended fruit and veggie purees.  You can get them with yogurt, grains, and some are even like meals.  We haven't gone the meal route.  We have done the yogurt pouches though, especially since Rosie isn't taking bottles during the day anymore.  I figure they are a good source of calcium.  

I can't even begin to guess how much money we have dropped on these things since we've discovered them.  Rosemary will freak out for one.  She will throw a fit in the pouch aisle at the store if she's shopping with me and I have to replenish our stock.  

And you know what?  I willingly toss one her way.  Because she's freaking out for fruits and vegetables!  Not candy, or cookies, or other sweets.  I'll let her eat us out of house and home with these things.  

And she basically is.  

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