Tuesday, September 9, 2008

43Things

I like list so I think this site is just neat. Baicaly you make a life list, things you want to do. They can be basic goals like make a grocery list or long term over the top travle the world and see the seven wonders and everything in between. I have come across this site at times when I have done google searches for various things and I'm giving it a shot just for the fun of it, I think it will be fun to track what I have accomplished.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Life Update

We took Olivia to the Linton Zoo on Monday, it was an OK trip but really I wish we had gone to the bigger zoo. I had been there before when I worked with youth services and so I knew it wasn't a big zoo and that there were not a lot of animals there but I was disappointed really this time, many of the cages were so overgrown you couldn't see anything. Olivia did enjoy it though and we saw lions, tigers, owls, parrots, zebras, turtles, giant tortoises, and many other animals I can't remember all the names.

We have some more trips planned in the next few weeks as my DH has some extra time off, we plan to see some castles and go to some towns we havn't been to yet

I know some of you would like to see pictures from here, I would love to share and hope to but my computer is a pain to upload and edit them, not good when you are trying to do an online store. I think I'm going to start looking at the mac books at the BX, I'm not impressed with VISTA can't use the word processor that came with my computer without a product key and there is no SD card reader on this thing (I bought it in February!!!!). Also we have not gotten back into the grove of taking pictures, so far what we have done has pretty much been going to the High Street and that is pretty much mundane for us though I know some of you it is knew and exciting.

Friday, August 8, 2008

I had to move the cat food today

It's not a new thing to keep the cat food up off the floor, we have to do that to keep the dogs out of it. We have kept if various places over the years, on top of the refrigerator, in a room with a kitty door, on the dryer..... Our last house we had a little room that served as an office and pantry we kept a baby gate on the door way and put the cat food in there, here we just do not have that luxury there are three rooms down stairs kitchen, living room, and office. We don't have a full sized refrigerator and I was trying to avoid having the cat on the counters. My solution was to put the cat bowl in a window since he comes in and out of them all day anyway. Well today that plan was taken out of commission as Olivia discovered where the cat food was and started playing in it. So now the bowl is on my laundry counter, the cat may just start eating in the garage.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Oh how I love Ebay

In the last week I have bought four different fabrics that will become something. I have one now it's a plaid upholstrey weight about two yards and pretty wide in green. Part of it is going to become a bean bag chair for Olivia's room I think, it's not quite the color that I thought it was going to be. If not I'm thinking a coat, handbag, hat, I think I could get more out of it. On the way I have 7 yards of some kitchen themed fabric; I'm thinking shopping bags, table cloth/napkins, play linens for the little kitchen, aprons. For clothing I have coming 7 yards of yellow cotton/ploy and 4 yards of a brown with white polka dots, I plan to make some dresses for me and Olivia and hopefully some tops too. I was on my way to bidding on some denim, I need some for skirts and pants, when I was firmly told by Justin that I was to get no more fabric until I get my sewing room organized which will involve acquiring some organizing type furniture and a desk for our computers so the table they are on can go into the sewing room. Fair deal since you can't really walk into the room, but really he has NEVER told me I can't have something before and is usually telling me that if I want it I should go ahead and buy it. That remindes me I really should stop buying fabric and get on some auctions for notions, I could really use some fun stuff to do up projects.

Oh yeah, and after years of looking, shopping, almost buying I got 28 cloth napkins for around $20 including shipping which is not a bad price at all. I'm going to keep looking for more as most of them were dinner size and I would like more of other sizes. I'm also looking for table cloths and such too. And a cabinet to put this stuff in before I get banned from bying them too. I have a place to put the cabinet, not a place to put all the linnens with out a cabinet.

I have been enjoyin Ebay UK too. I have found what would be great deals and would solve some of my storage delimas if not for having to drive 5 or 6 hours one way to get some of it *sigh*. I have found some things a bit closer just don't want to eat our weekends up driving all over the country picing up finds and don't want to drive all over the country by myself with a child.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Swimming!

What started out as an attempt to teach Olivia about pouring liquids into containers turned into a fun afternoon of swimming. She's still small enough to fit in a wash basin :).

This is our back yard, the smallest we have had yet, and a postage stamp to our last one.
She spent a lot of time just lounging like this. We are going to buy a wading pool this weekend!




Monday, July 21, 2008

Home Tour

So here it is the promised post with pictures of my house!! There are things that are very normal for a British house in our home and there are things that are not for example it's pretty open feeling even though it's not really all that large it's laid out so that there are windows on both sides of the living room and kitchen which help to give light all day and let them feel larger.

So onto the tour....

This first picture is the entry and our downstairs cloak room (half bath). To the right there is a small room that is either a study or small bed room, it's my sewing room but due to lack of furniture its a mess so I'm not showing that room today, sorry.

This is looking into our lounge (living room)/dinning room from the entry. We use this area for living room/play room/office, and we will have a dining table there in front of the fireplace once we find one, the one we had didn't fit.
Here is looking at it from the other side by the fire place.

Here is my kitchen this is the side that has all the cooking stuff. The stove is 21" wide by the way. All of my baking stuff fits in it except for on pampered chef pizza stone that I just bought last year :(



This is my kitchen from the other side, basically a view of my laundry area, allot of people have a hard time with the *small* washers here. I must have been given a larger one by the base because I don't have an issue with it, I can't wash blankets like my king sized washer in the states but it gets my clothes clean and that's what matters.


Here is the breakfast bar and drink station. The cabinet with the lock on it is the snack cabinet and it's the only one I have to keep locked or Olivia will tend to pour cereal all over LOL.



Here is the upstairs cloakroom and bathroom. The cloakroom has a toilet and sink, the bathroom has a bathtub and sink.



This is Olivia's Room.

This is the guest room, this is the only room in the house that is completely decorated (with the exception of needing a bed frame) mainly because Justin couldn't take most of his military stuff to work at this office so we had a surplus of things that just really did not fit in the rest of the house. If you ask him this is his room LOL, it's where he comes to get away and play his video games.


This is the hallway entering into the wing of the house we use for the Master suite. One of the minor drawbacks to this house is that it doesn't have a proper master bedroom and the bathroom with the shower and such is next to the two smallest bedrooms which are coming up. We decided to cope with it by using the whole section of the house as one large room cut into different sections. What you can see here is the dressing area, which is a very nice feature to have since you can't plug anything in in a bathroom here, there are no electric outlets in them (sometimes there is one for electric shavers). I think it was a law thought up by a man who was tired of all his wife's stuff on the bathroom vanity LOL. Anyway in this area is a vanity, a very small built in closet (one of three the other two are in Olivia and the guest rooms) a dresser and a built in cupboard with shelves (linen closet).


This is the big bathroom in the house. It's called a family bath. to the right and back a little is a large shower. The floors are radiant heat and we found out the radiant heat can be uncomfortable if turned up too high and you have wet feet :)

This is the fourth and smallest bedroom, right now it's kinda a catch all room-like my sewing room but neater. It has a wardrobe for my hangup clothes because the other closet is not big enough. We would like to make this a full on dressing room and/or use it as a nursery if/when we have another little one.
And this is the bedroom, nothing fancy literally a bed in a room. Not much room for anything else. We were hoping to be able to get a king bed when we moved so that our guest could have a queen bed to sleep on but there is no way that a king bed is going to fit in this room so if you come visit I will promise to make you a comfortable as possible.


And that's our house. Hope you enjoyed the tour.













Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bibs


One is in my shop now, more to come. I made a couple for Olivia and thought they were too cute not to share. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Under the Sink


Retro Housewife has issued a challenge to show her what is under our sinks, or what we use for cleaning for those of us who do not keep cleaning supplies under the sink so here it is. Since we have moved and I had to start from the beginning I have made an effort to go as simple as possible with my supplies I have:
Seventh Generation: dish soap, dishwasher detergent, and all purpose cleaner
baking soda
vinegar
shout
Febreez allergen reducer
borax
sea salt
liquid starch
and I need to buy rubbing alcohol
That it I use a combination of these to make various cleaning products like window washer, floor cleaner, shower spray, and scouring powder.
To take the challenge head on over to Retro Housewife and follow the instructions.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Incase she is ever a tomboy

This last weekend we went to the Fourth of July celebration at the Air Force Base here. They had a carnival and all the fun stuff you do at a summer fair including the games. Of all the stuffed animals that could have been won by her Daddy Olivia just had to have this


They came in this small size, medium, and very large. She wanted the large one but loves this one just the same. All I could think of is...Whats that saying...Ignoring the pink elephant in the room.

Sorry I don't have pictures from the carnival, I left the camera in the van. Don't worry though there were no important first like carnival rides, or ice cream cones and we did not stay long enough to see the fireworks as we forgot to bring warm clothing and got too cold.

What I have been doing


The last couple of weeks have been up and down. I'm pretty sure I got everything I ordered a the beginning/middle of June so if I can make myself sit down down and do them I should have some projects going and done this month. Then on the other hand July is one of the nicest months of the year here in England and if it's not raining I sure would rather be out taking walks with Olivia or playing in the garden. Speaking of which we have a greenhouse and I have taken to growing things in there and it's not going half bad, if I can keep it up I think I can grow a good portion of produce right in our back yard.


I have completed one project. Part of my big shopping spree was an order of diaper kits from Diaperkits.com I spent an entire weekend and a little bit putting together a dozen all in one diapers but the results were great and the order was well worth it since I could not have bought the materials to cut them myself for what I paid per diaper. Justin told me when he put one on that if we got 50 more of them he would be perfectly happy. We don't need 50 but another dozen in this size and three dozen or so in smaller sizes should do us along with some sleeping diapers.
Up next, the ruffling foot for my sewing machine FINALLY came in so I will be working on the pettiskirt I started for Devan while we were home and send that to her. I have 30 yards of chiffon so I'm going to make one for Olivia for play clothes and put at least one in my ESTY shop. I also got in two yards of oil cloth to make bibs with, I will be making a couple for us because we are in desperate need of bibs and putting the rest in my shop. I also have a shirt cut out for myself if I ever get to it and I would love to get to my fabric stash and make myself and Olivia some new clothes since I have lost a couple of dress sizes since moving here and Olivia is growing like a weed.

Friday, June 27, 2008

It must have been very hungry

Meet our dinosaurHe is a very cool toy if you are under 3 ft tall, you take the balls which you can see in the turtle (another cool toy) and put them into the holes on the top and they come tumbling or rolling out of different places on his body. OK I admit this can be a fun toy if you are a bit taller than 3 ft also. All that rolling and tumbling makes a Dino very hungry and what better snack than........

Crayola coloring crayons. You can see here that we have a very well balanced diet as we have a whole rainbow to choose from.
And yes he was very, very hungry.



The talented cook.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

Newborn Jumper

Catching up on the few things I have made in the past few months. This jumper is in the shop .

I made ten jumpers a while back and am still working on them. Olivia wears one and it is a favorite outfit the others are in various stages of completion, waiting for the prefect embellishment to call their name.....

Tutu


I put this together when we first got over here. I'm hoping to add some to my shop at some point when I can orders some more tulle. As it is I have ordered a whole load of things in the last week and will need to wait until the next pay check to have some more spending money ;).

These make wonderful dress up clothes for little girls and Olivia has a ball wearing what she called "Twinkle, Twinkle" the first time she put it on.

My SIL Devan uses them for props in her photography and they come out sooo cute.

Well that's all for now Olivia is down for a nap and I'm going to get some work done. Have a great day everyone.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

What, I have a blog?

OK so I know it's been forever since I updated here and I have a whole long list of excuses, really. To start with my old computer died a very sudden and tragic death. The video card and hard drive both went at the same time. I was very attached to that computer, I also had not back anything up on it so I lost a lot. Luckily Justin had transferred the pictures we had taken of Olivia over to his computer so we did not loose those, but everything else was gone. We bought a new computer right away but I do not like this one the primary reason being that it does not have an SD card reader which makes blogging and posting things for sale on ETSY rather inconvenient. I have found the cord for my camera however I don't like that process as well as I like popping the SD card into the computer and getting the pictures that I needed.




Add into that finishing up with our move and well that just made life a little more stressed, but we are done with that for a while now and settled into our new house for the most part. Sometime I will post pictures as I know there are some out here who want to see it.




Before we left the States we spent three weeks with our family in Illinois we had a wonderful time and got to spend a lot of time with my brothers and their wives. I love having sisters after having had only my brothers for so long its so nice to have sisters to hang out with and do fun girl type stuff with. My youngest brothers wife and I went off a couple of times and did girl things like searching Joann's for the prefect fabric for a pettieskirt (I'm getting a foot in the mail to make it Devan I haven't forgotten) or going to a tea house to eat. We also all went out to a local pub for dinner and some drinks, it was so nice to be together too bad we are all over the world.






Devan also took some awesome family pictures of us.

When we got here we pretty much focused on finding a house and settling in. Well that's done now and I finally have a room that I can sew in so you can look for postings hopefully to be more frequent both on here and in my shop.



Now to leave you with the latest item in my shop this clothes pin apron.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Because a girl just can't have too many bags


I was purging old clothes to put away new ones that I purchased today so Olivia played in my room (because playing with Mommies things are so much better than playing with her toys). She decided to take out all of my purses and apparently couldn't decide which one was better, or she had a lot of things she wanted to carry :). This isn't the only thing she played with, I put away several drawers and shelves that were emptied before I got my job done :).

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

How Cute is this

Olivia is growing so much, physically and cognitively. She is really starting to do some cute things.
This morning I wasn't feeling well, DH gave me a quick back rub before he left for work (too much floor scrubbing yesterday). As he was giving me the back rub Olivia came up and rubbed my feet, just like I do when she is feeling icky.
This afternoon DH was doing some grooming on our Persian cat. The cat does not like to be groomed and was whining. The whole time Olivia sat at the gate into the kitchen and stared and whined right along with the cat.
She has also started patting our back when she wants her back patted, and letting us know that she needs a diaper change.
So much fun!

Additions

I added some items to my side bar.
The first being a link to my sister-in-law's web page. She does awesome photography. The portiates of Olivia I have posted here were done by her, she also did our family picture.
I also added some of the blogs that I read.
Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Hat and Scarf

I taught myself to knit several years ago to help get through a winter deployment. That first project was a sweater, it's still sitting in my knitting basket just about done. I lost track of where I was at on the last sleeve, someday I will attempt to figure out where I was at.

I did finish this project though, I made she scarf in a garter stitch, it's OK, it has some holes from dropping stitches and it's wider at one end because of the dropped stitches. The hat was so simple and other than taking time to finding the proper needles it only took me a few hours to make.

House Hunting

One of the perks of being a military family is that we get to move every few years.
One of the down sides of being a military family is that we move every few years.
I guess it depends on how you look at it. Our move is getting closer and as it does I am looking more at the options for houses that await us at the other side of the "Pond".

We have two main options Government housing which can be on or off base (as far away as 45 min) and very small (650 sq ft-1200 sq ft) or living "on the economy" meaning that we live in town in a British house and get a housing allowance. The first option, because of DH's rank and our family size, will put us in a two bedroom house where ever they have room until our family grows then we will be moved up until 4 bedroom housing (because that's as big as they get). The second option we are given a set amount of money to shop for housing and get something that will work for us size, location, amenities. Since we have lived in a 3 bedroom house or the equivalent for the last six years and do not really want to down grade and then move one or more times we are choosing door number two. I had my choice made with some out of pocket expense and a little longer commute than DH would have liked but it looked like it would fit us well and give us room to grow. Then with the new year came a higher housing allowance meaning we can afford to live closer to the bases and possible get most of my wish list for housing which include

  • Recent build or remodel 4-5 bedroom (I have been living in a remodel for the last four years I would like my home to look clean with minimal effort and older homes just don't have that)
  • A study for a sewing room (if it's a five bedroom it does not need this)
  • A master bathroom (this is an upgrade from the one bath we have now and would hopefully allow Olivia to sleep longer in the morning since we would not be making noise right next to her door)
  • Half bath downstairs (because I don't want to be stuck upstairs when I get pregnant again)
  • A dryer inside and/or a utility room (Many of the houses I have looked at online do not look like there is a vent for the dryer in the house, here in the states I cannot line dry clothes because of allergies, I'm not sure about there)
  • A gas cook top (I just prefer this)
  • Fenced Yard so the puppies do not get out.
  • Some storage space
  • I think a conservatory would be cool but it's not a must.

So that's my list for some it may sound like a large house but it doesn't come up to much more than the average American split level, the bedrooms are small, were talking 8X6 or smaller in most cases for the 3rd and 4th rooms and the biggest master I have seen in our price range is about 12x11 slightly larger than the bedroom we have now.

I'm glad for two things in this process. The Internet, which allows me to get a feel for what is available before we even move over there, and the fact that we are moving to an area that we are familiar with. With any luck I'm just a couple of moves away from my dream home.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Helping a grieving Mother


~Courteous people are empathetic-able to relate emotionally to the feelings of others. They listen closely to what people say. They observe what is going on around them and register what they see. A self centered person might say ,"I know exactly how you feel" to someone in a traumatic situation and then immediately start describing his own experiences. An empathetic person is more likely to say something like, "I can't know how you feel right now, but I can understand your grief [or anger or sadness]. And if you want to talk about it I'm here to listen." -Emily Post Etiquette 17th Edition, Peggy Post~

When a pregnancy loss occurs the stories of others losses often come out of the wood work. While there is nothing wrong with sharing your personal story of grief and recovery with a mother whose world has just fallen apart there are some ways to go about it that are better than others.

In my own experience I had many people who approached me and told me how sorry they were to hear of my loss and that they knew how I felt, they had loss a pregnancy also. While I smiled and listened to their condolences I really wanted to tell them they had know way of knowing how I felt. They could understand part of they sadness, the anger, the longing in my heart but their experiences were not the same as mine. Except online I did not encounter a woman who had lost a child due to my condition (a cervix that is too week to hold a baby to term). Most of the women that told me their stories had miscarried very early and after having had one or two children. I do not discount their grief, however, that is a very different experience from your first and second children being carried almost to a point that they could have survived, and holding them in your arms.

The best condolence I received was after my first loss when a neighbor of mine who had experience seven early miscarriages had stopped at my house for something. During the course of our conversation she told me that she didn't know how I did it (dealt with the grief of losing a baby at nearly five months along), all the while I could not imagine being her losing one baby after another and having no idea why my body would not hold a pregnancy for more than a few weeks.

God gives us special graces to deal with our individual circumstances and will never allow us to go through more than we can handle at one time, even if it seems we are 10 inches over our head at the time. That is a grace for our life and our trial though and does not mean we can know what the person next to us is feeling, experiences such as these even effect spouses in profoundly different ways. If you find yourself giving condolences to someone who has just lost a pregnancy a shoulder to cry on is the best first offer, let them talk about their grief, and if they are open to it you can use your experience to help them to work through their grief.

My own response to pregnancy loss veries at this time. I will often gauge it on how well I know the person. Most people who know me know my story so I do not even have to tell them my experience. I do offer condolences, a shoulder to cry on (or a in-box to vent to). I also offer ideas to memorialize the pregnancy and/or books to read that can be helpful. From there I allow the other person to take the lead.