Thursday, June 6, 2013

One Year

June 1st marked the day I put away my Respiratory hat and put on a new one of a SAHM.  Wow, not sure how I have survived this new job but I am still alive, for now.  I actually have added a new hat into that mix; Babysitter.  More on that later.  This last year has been a crazy and a trying one to say the least.  I am learning new things as well as about myself.  I know for sure that I will never home school.  This SAHM job does not really allow for time for myself and I miss those days of getting everything done that I set my mind to.  I just have to readjust the time table on projects now.  Instead of getting it done in a day, I plan on a week or so. 

I need to relish in the fact that I do have the privilege to be home with my girls and watch them grow up because it will go fast; it already has.  Some people don't have the "luxury" to be at home with their kids.  I think I know the ins and outs of my girls better then anyone.  I am Willow's translator for Tim most of the time. I know how long her tantrums last and just let her go, anything after that is unacceptable and she is being naughty.   I am Charlee's everything!  I know what each cry means, which I always thought people were crazy when they said get to know your babies different cries. It's amazing how on schedule she is about things, I guess that is because of me though. 

One thing that I have been trying hard to do like my mom is fold a fitted sheet so it looked all nice and pretty like the fitted sheet when folded.  I just remember my mom always getting it perfect every time.  I never actually watched her do it or asked how she did it either.  Well, I have finally mastered it on my own.  Yes, I know this seems odd but I am self proclaimed to be odd myself.  I wonder what else I should try mastering?

I have tried to be more crafty with things to keep my mind busy.  Somethings have gone better then others, but I tried at least.  I have gotten or tried to get into my sewing more.  I don't think I will ever be like my mom though. (maybe this is what I should master next?)  She was the sewing queen when I was growing up.  She would make most of my clothing right down to my undies.  I never appreciated it as much as I do now.  I specifically remember a pair of red and white polka dot undies she made.  I really remember these because one day when I wore them Luke Ropte saw them and yelled out to everyone what they looked like.  I was mortified and never wanted to wear them again. Not because he saw the undies but because my mom had made them.  I know now how much time and effort my mom put into everything she has made.  I think sewing is a dying art and my mom is a great sewing artist.  I strive to be like that. 

The first thing I tried to make was a tablecloth.  Seems simple enough right?  Wrong.  I think I made it more hard myself then it needed to be.  I have a square table and it is hard to find a square tablecloth.  I, of course, picked a printed material that needed to be matched up when I sewed the 2 pieces together. Bad idea.   I think that was the most challenging part of all.  I don't even think I could tell you how I did it now, but I got it done and it matched up pretty darn good.  All was good until I washed it.  That is when I saw everything I did wrong.  Some of my seems came apart, which was due to me not getting the thread in the right spot when I thread it on the machine.  (did that make sense?) When I fixed it, I just went over the ripped out part but then that made the pattern not match up as well.   When I made my hem around the square I just folded it over once instead of a double turn back hem.  You would think that would be okay but the material frayed and I have these strings hanging off all around it. It gets worse with each washing too.   Lesson learned from this project.  Order that table cloth off the Internet and pay shipping.  The price comes out the same anyways.  Material is not cheap anymore!

The next sewing project was a car seat cooler.  When it is so hot here, the inside of the car gets REALLY hot.  Someone told me about these coolers and when I saw it I once again said, "oh, I can make that."  It looked easy enough and there are tutorials all over Pinterest. It turned out good.  The bias tape around the edges could have been a little better but it works. The back is a different material and I need to cut all of them together instead of seperate so they match up when sewed together.

I made Charlee's bed skirt for her crib.  I learned from Willow's crib skirt that when you lower the mattress, the skirt needs to be shorter as well.  I just made 3 separate pieces  the length and width of the side I was putting it on and made little ties on top that could be tied to the frame. Then when I need to lower the mattress I just move the ties up to where it isn't bunched up on the floor.  I suppose you could use velcro and go with it that way too. 

One of the things with not having a basement was where we were going to put the litter box?  I wanted it out of the way so it was not really visible.  I didn't want it in any bathroom because I hate walking on litter that has been flung out of the box.  I didn't really want it in the laundry room for the same reason and if I dropped clothes on the floor from the washer to the dryer I didn't want to get litter on it.  I just get grossed out by that darn box.  For awhile it was in the laundry room and it bugged me the whole time it was there.  Finally I redid this cabinet to hold the litter pan. I just painted it, added new doorknobs and had Tim cut a hole in the side for the cat.   No one sees it and really knows it is a litter box. The hardest part was finding a cabinet that fit a litter pan.  It works out perfectly.  The spot at the end of the hallway was perfect too!

My latest project I did was not so fun.  It was a desk/table for the computer.   I wanted to get a table, paint the legs a turquoise color,  stenciled the top and stain it a dark color.  Well when it came down to it, none of that came about.  First off, I couldn't have the turquoise color I wanted because it would clash with the color of walls Tim picked for the computer room.  That's what I get for giving Tim free rein over picking paint for that room.  So I decided on white legs with the antiquing look.  The stencil didn't happen because the stencil pattern I picked was horrible for getting the paint through the cut outs to paint the table.  I tried several times and when I applied a lot of pressure to get the paint through the small little openings on the stencil it just got blotchy.  So I scrapped that part and just stained the top.  That turned out to be a pain in the rump.  We got a stain that also contained the polyurethane in it.  It didn't go on really even and you could see the brush parks and some areas where darker then others.  I sanded that table top so many times I think Tim was wondering if anything would be left of it.  I just finally gave up and went with the unevenness of the stain and we vowed to never get the 2 in 1 again.

I have been watching 2 girls twice a week for 4 hours a day and I am wondering what I got myself into. It has only been a week.  The mother is the Pilates instructor at the gym.  I am trading her this for private Pilates classes.  It could not have come up at a better time because I was longing to get back on that machine due to my back just giving me trouble again.  I hated how the Pilates was extra $ on top of your membership.  Hannah approached me about it and I jumped on it.  It is only 10 weeks, so it is not forever, thank god.  I don't know if I would be able to handle more then that.  The oldest girl, Ava, is 7 and the younger one, Karah,  is Willow's age.  Willow and Karah fight over the same toys, are hitting on each other and just being nasty.  Ava is constantly tattle telling when they are not sharing or when one hits another one.  Yesterday I had to put the 2 little ones in time out.  I just need to tell Ava to stop being a tattle tell but I just feel weird about getting after someone else's child.  I guess it is my house and I am watching them so I have a right to do it.  I thought that this would be a great opportunity for Willow to get some play time in and I wouldn't have to entertain her or really keep an eye on them and I could do my own thing.  So far that has not happened.  I am constantly telling them to stop and be nice to each other and share.  A daycare provider I am NOT.  I just am not cut out for this.  Sometimes I can't even control my own children. 

Who knows what this next year is going to bring.  It will be my first whole summer here in the dessert.  I think we will be spending a lot of time in the backyard in our new pool, if that even gets done.  (That is a whole other story.)  I will probably get some new moles and increase my chances of skin cancer but at least I will stay cool.  This heat is so hot you don't want to go outside unless you are in water to cool off.  It is like what we did for winter in Nebraska.  You just don't go out, you stay inside and find indoor activities to do outside of the house.   Since I don't have a real paying job, next summer I should just go back to Nebraska for a month and cool off there.  I don't know if Tim would go for that or not. In the meantime, I have some rooms to decorate and a backyard to get landscaped.  I will start a new garden in October so we will see if that one makes it unlike the first one we did.  It is a whole new world of gardening here in the dessert. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Try it Tuesday

Mini Carrot Cake Cups

I am a huge fan of carrot cake, it has to be super moist though.  I would rather have this then a birthday cake any day.  Someone sent me this recipe and it was from Pampered Chef.  You know how those recipes go, they throw in what Pampered Chef item you must use to make this recipe.  Well guess what?  I had every tool they talked about.  Not sure if that is a good or bad thing. 
 Original recipe, link

1 small pkg (9 oz/250 g) yellow cake mix
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) allspice
1   egg
2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
2 medium carrots, peeled, divided
 As you can see I used the Jiffy yellow cake mix.  It is exactly 9 oz.  I thought this would be easier then getting a Betty Crocker or something and measuring out 9 oz then having some left over for I don't know what.  For some reason, Jiffy mixes remind me of my mom too.

 Mix in the ingredients to get the cake mix wet.

 Shred your carrots and fold into batter.  I didn't fold per say because I felt maybe my mix was a little dry after mixing it up. 
 Spoon mixture into well greased mini muffin pan.  Trust me I greased this baby up!  Can you even see the spray on the outside of the mold.  Cook in oven for 10 minutes at 350°.

 In the meantime, play with the little sous chef while it is baking.

 Check for firmness before removing.  I had to wait about another minute before I removed it.  I then used my tart shaper to press down the tops of the cake.  I missed the part about lightly flouring the end and some got stuck and peeled a little bit. 
 I then removed my mini cakes oh so gently, at least I thought, and they still stuck to the edges!  I actually thought I had too much spray in the time due to some of it pooling.  Oh well.
 This is how much it stuck to the muffin tin.  I think next time I am going to use butter instead of cooking spray. 

I didn't show the frosting process because I didn't do it.  These were good little bites on their own.  Just a tad bit dry, maybe a tad but more oil would do the trick.  This is a good dessert to have that you don't have to cut up and you don't have to hear people say, oh just a little slice for me.