Life is Too Fucking Short

Just so you know, I’m going to swear.  A lot.  Because it seems like the thing to do.

After a few days of working from home last week, I came back in to the office to find out my gay work husband was in the hospital.  He didn’t feel well, went to the ER and was diagnosed with high blood pressure and with having diabetes.  By the end of the week, as far as we knew, he was at home, and on the mend.  A little insulin and he’d be fine, his kidneys were recovering from the drama and a wee little insulin pill was all he needed, and he had to quit smoking, cut out sugar (not that he was nuts with either).  I kept my distance, after all he was a work friend, so I gave him privacy.  I muddled through my weekend, hassles with the kids, making H give up her Nuk, M lying about trivial shit and getting in trouble, not knowing he’d died Thursday.

As I sat at my desk this morning cursing DST, a minute before nine, the email came.

He died last Thursday night.  Hours after sending an email to his team from home.

FUCKITYFUCKFUCKFUCK.  I didn’t even try to not cry, to not grieve.  I just let it go.  Fuck the small metal cubes that meant that everyone could hear it, fuck them all.

I’m only 36, and fuck all if I was unprepared to lose a peer.  Someone just a few years older than me.

I can sit here now, trying to find my Zen.  I have tried, and mostly succeeded to remember that death happens.  I have made it through the death of three grandparents and two uncles by knowing that it happens.  When it is time, there is nothing to be done but accept.  Anger and despair do not bring people back.  Go through your Kubler-Ross steps and move on.

I just wasn’t ready for this one, so it seems that much more acute.  Even my uncle’s suicide, while not expected, was not a shock either.  People who are 40 shouldn’t just up and fucking die.  Happy, cheerful, people who brighten your life.

I think I’m at the anger/denial stage.  I just want to kick a puppy or something for being so fucking cute.

I’m trying, so hard, to channel all of my rage and disbelief into something good, even though it hurts and I’m filled with so much self-doubt.

I’m pre-diabetic. That could be me if I’m not careful.  That could be my husband, who turns 40 in a little over a month.

FUCK!

I make excuses, I put it off, I eat the cookie, I say when I get through my ADHD evals, when it warms up, when.. when… when… I have a gym membership I used for a whole month, then I stopped going.  I have healthy food to eat at home then still eat out.

Shit has to stop, and now.  No more half assed.  No more bullshit. I have to figure out what it takes for me to get through.  No more fucking excuses.  No more tomorrow.

Of course it’s not that fucking simple.  I sleep less because toddler doesn’t sleep, I am not as productive at work, I feel the need to work extra, no time to go exercise, I sleep worse because I’m not working out.  Vicious fucking cycle.

I don’t want to die though.  I want to be healthy.  I want my husband to be healthy.  I want to annoy the fuck out of my kids for a long time and see all of the crappy, not fun, totally shitty sides of being parent pay off with a toddler who quits crapping her pants and a big girl who realizing it is worse to lie about how her impulses can’t be controlled and she colors lips on her stuffies with pink marker than it was to actually color lips on her stuffies. And you know, all of the other stuff after that.

So, I’m trying, I am remembering when I get to making excuses that my good friend died from what, to the best of my knowledge about what happened, was something preventable, or treatable, depending on how you look at it.  I need to get over my shit and just do it.

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Tangible Results

I went to therapy this week, and was able to talk to the therapist I see while M goes to her doctor about what I’ve been up to in the last month plus since I saw her.  I realized again, in talking about it, what has been stressing me out.  I went from a job where there are semi frequent tangible accomplishments, to one where, aside from closing out tickets that should never have been opened in the first place, it is all about the long play.  Not right now, maybe in a year… It is weird, and I have been feeling lost, and unproductive.  I need to change up my time management in the office, which will be challenging for an old bird like me.  So in the mean time, I have been focusing on creation at home.  It give me something tangible to finish.

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I finally got M to wear the pants I made for her, and she loves them.  The alternation was super simple, even for me who fear new stuff.  I took my traced pattern, which I trace on a graphed interfacing (red dot), found the center, cut down it, and taped it back together taking in an inch and a half on each leg.  I always line up my patterns when tracing so I can do stuff like that if needed.  Finally paid off.

She loves them.  Elastic waist, but heavier than a pair of leggings.  It also turns out that she likes her pants a little roomier (funny considering she’s a rail) and without itchy tags in the back, and they fit the bill.  While they may be a little baggy in the butt, I am happy she has room since the girl needs to gain weight.  Also a bonus in her eyes, she can high kick in them.

IMG_1067a(I really do love that fabric, totally fits her personality)

Since one of my goals this year, both for work and for home, is to get over my fears and advance my skills, I’m trying something new too.  I just printed off 1″ hexagon templates to try English Paper Piecing.  M has started to sew, like really sew, and it is by hand.  This gives me something to do with her, and something I can make that will be an heirloom piece.  I’ve got a lot of scraps I’ve been saving, and I’d like to make each girl a throw, or at least a pillow, by next Christmas.

Posted in Crafty, Sewing | 1 Comment

Create or Not Create, There is no Try

A lovely friend asked me recently why I didn’t blog more about sewing.  I have no good answer as to why I don’t blog.  I guess I just don’t see the words coming as easy as they once did.  I am able to get my expressiveness out on Instagram (private because of kid pictures), and occasionally Twitter, so I haven’t felt the need.  The other reality is that crafting takes time, and I would rather create something tangible for my kids, than write about it.  Writing has lost appeal as I see the blogosphere changing from the stories I remember to the machine it has become.  It hasn’t helped that Google Reader went away, leaving me with no way to actually read the few that still seem to write.  I miss that, Google, do you hear me?

However, I will humor her, and I will write about the crafty me.  Because the reality is that in the world of picture perfect sewing/knitting blogs out there, I see little of the real imperfections that come with every day sewing.  I mean, well, maybe there are that many perfect seamstresses out there, but there has to be more of the kind like me, that sometimes just live by Tim Gunn and make it work.

Coming up in a couple of weeks is a Kids Clothing Week, but as I work full time, sewing during one wee little week isn’t an option.  Not to mention that when I picked my days off from work earned for on call hell time, I totally forgot about it… So instead I’ve been going nuts trying to do some winter sewing before well, it isn’t winter any more.  The girls, they are growing, like weeds.  I swear that H grows every time I remember to buy her only favorite vegetable, and M, well we’ve already established she’s crazy tall.  Something like 52 inches, and hasn’t gained an ounce for the last inch (giving her free reign to hot cocoa on weekends and as much butter as she wants).  The girl is wearing an only slightly too big 10/12 Lands End winter jacket.  And she’s six people, SIX! I’m trying to pad my savings account for the special tall designer clothes and groceries now.

So yes, sewing, like giving up watching TV to cut out pattern, and sew, and well, no savings account padding, I’ve been hitting up Girl Charlee, SR Harris and Joann’s pretty heavy lately.  For good reason, though there was no good reason for that Heather Ross splurge the other night on Instagram.

First, foxy dresses.

I made one for each kid, but M had an OMG is six the new 13 fit about her sleeves being too short, so you get H.  I really really LOVE the Skater dress from Kitschy Coo.  In reality it needs to be altered for the worlds tallest six year old, but for H, it is perfect.  The fabric is this really awesome one from Girl Charlee.  The print, to die for, the fabric itself, meh.  Not a lot of stretch, and I’m really wishing that cotton wasn’t so expensive.  This pattern in a medium weight interlock or cotton/spandex jersey would be the bees knees.

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That being said, I want this dress in my size.  I need to go to the gym… it only goes up to about 30 pounds less than I weigh now. Time to go buy some of those foxes.  Foxes are business appropriate right?

I’m still going to alter it for M, but in the mean time, I’d already cut out another dress for each kid from the pattern.  M’s favorite word would have to be love, based on her overuse. She likes to know what is in my homemade food, and she is the one who tells me every time I put in love.  Another Girl Charlee print here.  This fabric is way nicer.  Still cotton/poly, but a much better hand.

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Since H can’t read, she gets a love variation dress.  Best 1/2 yard score ever from Girl Charlee (see problem, I have a problem).  Its tissue thin, I could only do short sleeves, but who cares, its cute! Wouldn’t you deal with hard to sew with stuff for mustached hearts?

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Last, but not least, perhaps my favorite thing I’ve made recently. I adore, adore, Rae.  She is the reason I can sew with knits.  Her KNITerviews are the whole reason I didn’t mothball the serger after I got it. She’s even doing a new series right now, which introduced me to Girl Like the Sea, a sewing blogger that is real, like really real, which makes me happy to see.  Rae is like that too, but she loses real points for her bad ass design skills.

Anyway… Rae makes amazing patterns, that are simple, well written, and she supports her patterns, something that makes indie pattern designers worth their weight in gold.  When was the last time you Instagram’d McCalls and had them make suggestions on how you could make something fit your oddly shaped child. Try never. Rae’s Parsley Pants pattern is awesome.  So awesome that I was able to modify it in like two minutes for skinny tall girl.  Which is good, because then I could make her these.  Neon is back.  The fabric is a twill from Joann’s.  High quality, nope, but seriously, look at them.  The photo does nothing to fully express just how neon those flowers are.  I love her pattern so much I used its principals to hack an overly complicated AG doll pattern.  She’s that awesome.

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Oh, and I made H a matching pair.  I’m trying to blind my husband.

Posted in Crafty, Sewing, The Kiddo | Leave a comment

I’m Going to be a Bad Ass Grandma

I’m not always the best mom, but if I keep this up, I’m going to be the best grandma ever.  The kind like I had.  The ones that make you the perfect blue and white Little House on the Prairie dress and pinafore for their Laura Ingalls obsessed grand daughters.  I haven’t blogged even though I’ve tried, so I’m trying something new, again.  Time to start blogging about what has been feeding my soul lately, and taking up all of my free time.  Time to blog about… sewing.

First up, American Girl doll clothes.  Because why the heck not.

I get that some girls are in to the retro historical stuff, and some girls are in to the pink and poofy, but it seems to me that M is in to the stuff that is just like her.  Since I sew for her (dresses mostly, because she is taller than her wardrobe tastes have made available), it only makes sense that I sew for her doll.  This, this is what I made for her doll for Christmas.

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The shirts are this pattern, but I elongated the sleeve.  I cut down 5/8″ velcro to work as the closure in the back.  I like the super soft stuff for how it lays, but the “no snag” kind where it is all the same not a right/wrong side snags on hair less. I also didn’t double turn my hems.  I used the stretch stitch on my machine for the hems and I could have used that instead of serging the other seams.  My stretch stitch is a narrow elongated zigzag.

The skirts are all various sizes of rectangles, hemmed (I serged the edged before hemming because I’m lazy) with a narrow casing for elastic on top.  I used both a 1/4″ elastic and 1/2″, and I think I like the 1/2″ better.  Easier to make/thread that size of casing.  While I played around with the scraps that I had, I definitely think the best looking skirts had a finished circumference of 1-2″ more than the waist of the doll.  The exception is the one knit skirt.  That is a mini skirt, just barely bigger.  I wouldn’t make a woven skirt with an elastic waist that narrow.

The pants are this pattern.  It is a nice pattern, but overly complicated.  I modified it because that is what I do.  If I find a better option, I’ll share.

Everything I made was done with scraps.  I know I was saving them for a reason.  I haven’t done it yet, but I plan on doing it eventually, but I think doll clothes would be a great way to recycle old t-shirts if you didn’t have a knit fabric problem like I do.  Bonus to reuse is that you can get out of some of the hemming.  Score!

Also, I plan on working out some good dress patterns/hacks.  I had wanted to make her some matching stuff for Christmas, but getting sick meant I relied more on patterns than I wanted to.  Instead now I’m making her clothes to match what I made the doll, instead of the other way around.

 

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