Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tuesdays with Veronica

It is quite late.  Yes, I am past my 10:30 bedtime.  I only made it on time half of the nights.  But this is at least a step in the right direction.

This last week was awful for any kind of proper eating.  Abigail's birthday (cake) followed by Halloween (TONS of candy) followed by my birthday and a surprise party (Chan's and TONS of snack food) and finally wrapped up with our family party of my birthday (cake).  I feel very bloated and uncomfortable.  Trying to just ignore the food in the house has not been an easy task and I've failed often.  Tomorrow is a new day!

Today I started the goal for week 2 and that is drinking 64 ounces of water.  Or is supposed to be 96 ounces?  I can never remember.  I'll have to go look that up.  Right now, I'm exhausted and going to bed.

Pippi Longstocking

Lion (Abigail) Tigger (Arthur) Pippi Longstocking (Me)
Elephant (Madeline) Oompa Loompa (Brian)
Week 2 Goals: drink 64 ounces of water daily,
                        bedtimes 10:30pm and 7:00am
Week 2 Weight: 221.8

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tuesdays with Veronica

I'm a little ashamed to see that it has been 5 months since my last blog post.  I get high ideals of being a great blogger that thousands of people visit weekly and love to read.  Of course, I would need to actually blog something if that were to ever happen, and at this point in my life blogging is down the list just above pulling out the stove and scrubbing the floor.  Ick!

We've been quite busy in our house the last few months.  Madeline is more of a fussy and wanting-only-Momma baby than the other two ever were.  Arthur and I have somewhat of a schedule for schooling.  It's slow going, but we'll get the hang of it.  Abigail peppers us with constant updates on daily happenings.  Constant. 

I've gotten back into the doll sewing for Migima and have a routine pretty much in place for that.  I did have this last month as there were no pending orders.  That worked out nicely as I took a few weeks to work on costumes.  Those pictures will be up next week.

Next week?  Right!

Don't scoff!  They will be.  And that brings me to my main reason for this post.  My husband has been transforming his image and health over the last 2 years.  He has been slimming down, losing weight and looking great!  I, on the other hand, really wanted nothing to do with it.  I'd complain about not being thin while eating another piece of cake.  I'd start to exercise and then quickly drop that after a week.  Well, now it's time to change!  I'm going to start off with one goal for every week.  And why am I going to start today instead of something like the beginning of the week, or the first day of November, or New Years, or my birthday? 

Why not start today?  It's too easy to just keep putting things off for the "perfect" time when, in fact, the perfect time in NOW!  So, starting today, Tuesday, I begin with my first weekly goal to a healthier life.  This week the focus will be on my sleep schedule.  The goal is to be in bed by 10:30 with lights out by 11:00 and out of bed by 7:00 in the morning.  I think that once a healthy sleep pattern is established, the future goals will be much easier to accomplish.  Who wants to change habits when they are completed exhausted and worn out?

Week 1 Goal:  In bed at 10:30pm, out of bed at 7:00am
Week 1 Weight: 220.8

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Introducing....

 On May 1, 2012, at 8:01am, we welcomed Madeline Grace into the world.  She weighed 7 pounds, 5 ounces and was 20 1/4 inches long.  The family all came later that day to see our new little girl.
 Madeline (pronounced with the long "i" as in "fine" or "wine") and I stayed in the hospital 3 nights to give me a chance to recover from the C-section and her a chance to gain back weight that she lost.  We were very blessed to have a sister-in-law come take the two older kids for nearly a week to give Brian time to work while I was in the hospital and me a chance to recover for a few days at home.
 It was a long ordeal that both Madeline and needed lots of sleep to help us through.  My energy has come back and the pain medications are not needed nearly as often.  And we're enjoying some great awake times with Madeline.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Nearly there





Just four more nights and then I'll be able to see the little peanut that has made me so uncomfortable in the last several months.  The C-section is scheduled for 7:30am on Tuesday, May 1.  I'm very excited!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Counting Down

It's hard to believe that I'm down to 11 days before the BIG DAY! I'm ready... and then, I'm not.

I had such great plans for sewing before going into the hospital, but that hasn't panned out as planned. Right now, I'm just trying to get on top of the laundry, dishes and massive clutter around the house. I'm still waiting for that burst of energy pregnant woman reportedly experience toward the end of pregnancy.

I'm still trying to finish an order of dolls that I had hoped to finish at the beginning of April. I don't think I have to go anywhere tomorrow, so I will work on getting the clothes cranked out as quickly as possible. I also have a couple of quilt swaps that I need to finish next week. The original plan was to take my machine in to get serviced while I'm in the hospital, but finances have turned a bit more sour. The tape is still working marvelously in keeping the stitch length regular and I found the correct needle for sewing on knit. I guess I'll just plod along the best I can until things improve.

The ladies in my church threw a baby shower for me this week. They were all so excited! Our church is mostly made up of retired people, so there aren't many baby showers happening. I got so many nice gifts, with the biggest one being a Sit and Stand stroller from Baby Trend.

This will be perfect when the kids and I go to the parks or library this summer. Abigail just isn't up to making the walks without them taking an hour long. This stroller is so nice. It moves smoothly, isn't much bigger than our single stroller when folded up, has a tall handle, and has plenty of room for a long stride (which Brian always complained about with our other stroller).

I was also given a really nice diaper bag (saves me from making one with the time I no longer have), onesie and socks, cloth diapers, a basket for the baby (I just need to add handles to make it like a Moses basket), a couple of blankets, a gift card to Fred Meyer, and several small baby essentials to go in the diaper bag. Oh, and one of the ladies is making a couple of baby slings after she can get the pattern which goes on sale next week. I have been very blessed by everyone's love and generosity!

I think I'm going to go play with the new diaper bag and start packing it for the hospital.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Bible Study System for Kids

I was reading a blog this morning that is hosting a give away for a Child Training Bible. It looks like a really neat system with a color-coded chart and colored sticky tabs. From what I understand, the chart lists different subjects with verses that speak about them. The matching colored sticky tabs are then placed on the page with the verse and the verse is highlighted.

With Arthur now being 7 years old and reading quite well from the Bible, I've been thinking about getting him his own Bible. I've entered the give away for this Child Training Bible system, but I may just have to buy one if I don't win.

But winning is always better. :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday the 13th

No, I don't have anything to say about the "unlucky" day. I'm just ready to be done with this pregnancy. I've spent most of it with swollen ankles and an inability to walk without looking like I need a walker. Maybe I should get a scooter. Oh, and the heartburn has been fun, too.

Brian says that I've gotten bigger with this pregnancy (the tummy, not the over all body) than with the others, and I'm inclined to agree. Funny thing is that I've barely gained any weight. After losing 6 pounds, I have now gained 10. Of course, I'm not complaining. The keeps saying that the weight looks good, so I'll just go with it.

At this point, I have 17 days left before heading to the hospital. I had great plans of finishing projects and such before the birth, but I'm too tired to even try. I will try to have a clean house (dishes done, clutter gone from living room and dining room, laundry taken care of in the bedrooms) but who knows how that will go. Right now, I'm just trying to finish a sewing job and some quilt blocks for a swap.

I didn't get a baby quilt finished for the new baby. Partly because I couldn't settle on what I wanted to make. And one quilt I am working on is giving me great fits in the quilting department. I do, however, have a sock monkey hat, diaper cover and booties finished so the baby won't be completely naked. :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

In Just Four Weeks...

We will soon be holding our newest little Johnson. This pregnancy has been much more exhausting, heart burn inducing, ankle and foot swelling, and lacking in the ability to just move around.

But this makes up for it all.




Because I am over 35 (37, to be exact) the doctor wanted to schedule an ultrasound just to see how things are going with my little wombmate. The technician said that everything looks GREAT and we seem to be right on schedule with the estimated due date. Because my previous two deliveries were C-sections, this one is also going to be a C-section scheduled for May 1.

I'm very excited to be nearing the end! I've gotten much bigger with this baby than with my last two. Bigger in the tummy, not in overall weight. In fact, I'm only 2 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight. I'm sure I'll put on a few pounds in this last month, but it won't be much.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sewing Woes

My main sewing machine that I use for all my sewing is a Nechhi Supernova Ultra machine from 1959. I love this machine.



It is my main sewing machine. I use it for all my quilting, doll sewing, clothing, etc. It has a few issues, but one in particular is really hampering the sewing. The stitch length regulator is slipping. This is the little knob on the front of the machine to the right which changes the length of my stitches.

It's always been a bit tricky, especially when sewing through bulky fabric or thick seams. The stitch would slowly creep to a longer stitch. And at times, it would jump up to a longer stitch when I hit the reverse button. Well, now, the stitch length won't hold at all. If I don't hold the knob in place when I sew (and that can get very awkward) then it slips all the way to the longest stitch, the basting stitch.

I mentioned my problems to Brian and he immediately had a solution.



Duct Tape!

This is only temporary, of course ~ unless it works. And it does work! I can finally stitch without my length changing even a centimeter. Since I don't change my stitch length very often (I only need to make it a little smaller when sewing the fingers on all the dolls) then that tape stays! When I go into the hospital to give birth in May, my plan is to take the machine to a mechanic so he can look at the knob and just give the machine a thorough one over. I've already told the woman for whom I sew dolls that I need the month of May off, so that seemed like a perfect time.

Hopefully, my machine will be able to be fixed and and made operational, again. It would certainly be cheaper and less time consuming than having to look for another sewing machine.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Old is New

A few weeks ago, someone on the homeschool Yahoo message board posted that she was selling a Singer treadle sewing machine. I had responded that I would be interested in possibly purchasing it, but someone beat me to the punch. I was a little disappointed, but didn't think too much of it. However, a week later she e-mailed me telling me that the first responder went silent and the offer of the machine now went to me.

I drove to her home the next day and came home with my new $35 purchase.


The seller did tell me about a few problems with the machine. There was a screw missing on the metal cover to the left and it looked like it took a special screw. (I found the missing screw in on of the drawers.) The thread take up spring had been broken by one of her children. (I just pushed the spring back around to it's original position and nothing is broken on it.) The needle is broken. (I'm still not sure how it is broken because it is smooth, fits in its slot correctly and seems to sew just fine.) The leather treadle belt is off and a different black belt is on the machine, which may need to be changed out. (Once again, it seems to be just fine the way it is.) And electric light attached to the back had some exposed wires on the inside of the plug itself. (I'm not sure if this light is original with the machine, but I haven't plugged it in and really am not that interested in using it.)

So, all these "problems" with the sewing machine were really not problems at all. I found a free instruction manual for the Singer machine made a couple years after mine, so I was able to get everything oiled and ready for sewing. It took a few days of just practicing and getting the feel of my feet moving the treadle to get the machine sewing in the right direction. I then was able to sew together some blocks from a swap a year or so ago. Then I basted it and quilted.


After the quilting was complete, I sewed the binding onto the quilt, also with the treadle. I now have a finished doll quilt and a little pillow, which I made with two extra blocks. Abigail now owns these for her baby dolls.


I'm thrilled with my "new" machine. The stitches are perfectly even and sew so smoothly. It's also quite fun to sit and treadle. A friend on QATW helped me find out information about my machine. It is a Red Eye Singer treadle model 44 made in April 1901 in New Jersey. So, we are soon coming up on this girl's 111th birthday!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day

Happy Leap Day!

I'd leap for joy, but I'm not doing much of that these days.



This is a picture of me taken yesterday at 30 weeks pregnant. Less than 10 to go! Because this is going to be another C-section birth, I will probably be going into the hospital in 9 weeks.

Wow! 9 seems sooo much less than 10. Something about that single digit.

I'm still getting people that will say, "You're pregnant??" Part of me wants to answer, "Did you just think I was fat?" But, I do realize that my pregnant tummies don't get very big. In a way it's nice. Tonight, it's not so nice. I think the little one is resting on my spine; boy, does it hurt!

I'm just about finished with another 3 sets of dolls. Because of scheduling, I'll be delivering them on Monday. I think I'm kind of getting into the flow of things in making these. I'm finding that if I just take a few hours in the evening each week, it doesn't really take too long to make these. I'm still working on perfecting my sewing itself. The dolls are turning out great (if I do say so myself) but the clothing is a little rough at times. I just need to practice and slow down with sewing on knits.

But, the owner still says she likes my work. And she referred me to the new seamstress that joined our team to get tips and pointers. So, all in all, things are going well.

Now, I'm off to change positions to get some pressure off my back.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Jump Start

While chatting with a friend at QATW, we got to talking about New Year's Resolutions and our growing piles of unfinished quilts. I proposed an idea to have a year long quilt-along for others to join me in trying to turn these UFOs (UnFinished Objects) into finished quilts. This friend then challenged me (in the midst of much teasing) to finish 12 quilts this year. If I could, she would send me 12 F4's. I accepted.

So, I scoured my shelves in the sewing room and came up with 21 UFOs. I really wanted to get a great jump start on this little challenge, so I put the easiest ones up front. It paid off - I finished 3 quilts in January.


Peter Rabbit - A panel that Brian's grandmother gave me when Arthur was born. It's only been 7 years, but it is now finished.


Let It Snow - This is a small wall hanging that I made as a swap at QATW. The theme was winter and I just loved these little snowmen. I did see this design on another blog, but I can't remember where, at the moment.


My House - These are house and tree blocks that were swapped at QATW last year. I just love how this one came out. This quilt is now on the recliner, ready to be used for those afternoon naps that I have come to love.

I doubt I'll get nearly this much done in February, but I'll be thrilled with one finished quilt next month. I've got 2 picked out to work on, so we shall see how it goes.

Veronica

Friday, January 20, 2012

Off to Japan!

I received an e-mail from the owner of Migima.com today telling me that my first set of dolls are heading off to Japan on Monday! This was my practice set, which she was very happy with and accepted after I added just a little more stuffing to the mother's face. I may never make it to Japan in person, but my handiwork is there.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Diving into 2012

I know pictures make blogs more interesting, but I frankly don't have it in me tonight. In fact, each time I'm able to get on the computer to blog, it's late at night and I don't want to have to think or get up from my chair to get a camera, load the pictures, etc. Boy, do I sound lazy!

According to the ultrasound technician and the doctor, they put my due date at May 8. They also say that the baby looks very healthy and I'm healthy, too. I don't ever experience the typical nausea and sickness with pregnancy (hallelujah!!) but I do get horrible joint pain. I have now moved into the it's-painful-to-move-and-especially-get-up-from-the-chair stage. I was too exhausted after Arthur was born to notice, but as soon as I was able to start moving after Abigail was born I notice that there wasn't a single pain in my joints. So, in a little less than 4 months I should be able to move around, again.

Arthur turned 7 on January 1; we had a small party at the local pizza place (with a great play area) and he invited a neighborhood friend. They had great fun and everyone cried when it was time to go home. We've begun first grade in earnest and it's exhausting! I feel like I'm on the go all day long. I get a little jealous of those mothers who send there kids off to school for several hours and have that time to themselves to relax their brains for a while. But, Brian keeps reminding me of how much we're are saving Arthur learning from the kids around him. It's a struggle enough to keep the ungrateful, selfish attitudes in check without dealing with what he can pick up from other kids. It's also fun to tailor his subjects to what he needs and skip over what he already has a firm grasp on.

Abigail is very vocal, telling us everything she sees and does. Maybe she'll be a newscaster or commentator when she grows up. I took her for some professional pictures at WalMart a couple days ago. She did quite well, but just wasn't giving the big smiles like she does for us at home. I think I'm going to look into how to take professional-looking photos at home. We'd get a better response and I think save some money in the long run.

I've been sewing up a storm. I joined (actually, I started the group) a quilt finishing group at QATW. The goal for everyone is to finish at least 2 quilts before starting a new one. I have a personal challenge from one of the members to finish 12 quilts this year. So far, I have 2 done and am in the middle of quilting my third one.

I'm also sewing dolls for Migima. I turned in my first test set of dolls, which the owner was very happy with, and now I have an order to finish 4 more sets by the end of January. A set is 4 dolls - man, woman, boy and girl.

So, life in 2012 is very busy. I really don't see it slowing down any time soon, either.