The Song of the Night Owl

My youngest child can't sleep and his hell is mine. It's not that he is even cranky or unpleasant about it. In fact he is so freaking sweet that I get a cavity each time he comes in to tell me a new poem, deep thought or contraption he has dreamed up while laying wide eyed on the bottom bunk below his soundly sleeping older brother. He wants to sleep, but it seems that his head has other ideas and he tells be about all the pictures he gets in his head and how they will not let him shut his eyes until they are done.

The problem with this scenario is not him.. it's me. I need some firm and defined "time-off" from being mommy/homeschool mommy/ font of all answers to obscure questions that even Ripley knows not the answer. The few short hours between 8pm and 10 pm each night is the time I take to recharge my personal batteries and when I don't get that I get a weee bit grouchy. So far I am dealing with this OK, but I can see that I am fraying at the edges and have been looking for solutions to help him sleep and me to cope with things until he does.

Of course this has spilled into other parts of my rather tidy and well controlled life ( stop laughing!).. no really it has. .. This is how it's SUPPOSE to go.. in fact it's gone this way for YEARS.. ( yes I am a creature of habit, I even use the same flavor toothpaste I used in highschool..sue me)

7pm family dinner, everyone at the table ( just call me June Cleaver)

7:30 Young boys up to get ready for bed, clean up /shower/Pj's/brush teeth

8pm ( Maddie now OFF DUTY )Les reads boys a chapter of their book or until 8:30

8:30 Boys into bed

Maddie-.. sews, surfs blogs, ignores HUGE pile-o-laundry that needs to be folded till 10 pm

10Pm- up stairs to take bath or shower with husband - it's all about water conservation ( stop laughing again!)

10:30 Marital enrichment..uh yeh, most every night (Edited to say that in fairness it's more life 5ish night per week given all life that life throws in my direction, but yes and I think it is an important part of my marriage not to mention that it means that my husband is one happy camper, treats me like a goddess and I get just about anything I want... it's a good deal)

11 pm SLEEP till 8am the next day at which point I arise like Sleeping Beauty complete with birds twittering and small rodents bringing me slippers and a satin dressing gown. .. HONEST!

Now it's a whole "nuther" ball of Cheetos!... things are good right up until the boys are tucked in.. and in fact they are even good for 20-40 more minutes. Often enough time for me to think that i am in the clear.. but no. Soon enough I hear the rather distinctive noise of footy-pj's on the stairs and see a little smile peeking through the hinge opening on my studio door. .. first a hug, then a drink, perhaps a metered verse rendition of his latest poem... back to bed.. 20 more minutes and a trip to the bathroom and another hug and commentary how he thinks I might be losing weight since my butt does not look so big in my office chair anymore ( nice to hear!) A visit while DH and I are in the tub, " mommy, I didn't know we had any bubble bath!" A visit while DH and I are NOT in the tub.. knock knock knock... "mommy, your door got locked by accident, I will go get a screwdriver to fix it!".. Finally some time after 1 am he falls into an coma and I just need a drink but am too tired to even go down and pour a glass of wine.

I do know in time this will pass, it has with each of our children and I am doing my best to treasure the moments in my haze of exhaustion. It's a time of exponential cognitive growth on his part and I see evidence of it each day as he explains his 6 year old take on the Big-Bang theory or the merits of soft ice cream over scoop. Each idea thought out to the point that I can see what his little head has been doing each night and find it a marvel, a sleepy marvel.

Doing the *done* dance.

Honestly any time I actually finish a project ALL the way it leaves me a little dumb struck with self awe.. ( humble hu?) This could be because I have a very awful habit of getting so close to the end of a project that even 15 more minutes work would have it totally done but I fink out at the last moment. Sand, prime, and paint the dresser in a day and then take 2 years to get the knobs on?..yep that is me. So as you can see the fact that I started this shirt this week and have totally finished it is a BIG DEAL. Neither of these photos is of Posie quality but then I am pretty sure she is not homeschooling 5 kids and raising 8 pets so I will give myself some credit there. The pattern is the one I mentioned in a few days ago and was a pretty easy sew with the exception of the button band which had the most obscure instructions I had ever seen. In the end I had to wing that part, but it came out fine.
The fabric is a bit more poofy and floaty than I had envisioned and I am going to go with a bell sleeve next time but any negatives are offset by the fact that the thing fits my chest! hoorah! I went fancy with covered buttons and it add a nice touch but I think I will go with some shell buttons on the next version... and oh yes.. there will be a next version!

Living Faster than my Blogging

I feel so old when I say it... but WHERE do the days go? This past week flew by in a flurry of meetings, schooling, bad weather and birthdays. My oldest child turned 18 this week, where did that time go? I have such a firm picture in my mind of him as a baby and those early days when it was just him and me, fast forward 18 years and 5 more kids, wow. Sort of like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride on steroids.

It's not that I have not even been sewing, crafting and actually I have tons to share but can't seem to find where I put down my camera so that I can up load the photos ( the dog photo is totally out out place but I thought it so cute that i wanted to share). I finished a super cute little smock dress for the sweetest little baby in my extended life and I do hope it fits her. Besides that I have been working on my book and ...what????? uh did I forget to mention that? Well yes, now that I mentioned it I am writing a book and am super duper excited to say that my darling friend Kay is going to be doing the photos for it. Alas like everything else in my life it has been thrown out of balance by my near month long battle with the flu and other yuckies but Spring is soon here and I am feeling better with each day.
I hear tell that I got some print time in the newest issue of The Link Homeschool magazine but have yet to see a copy to know that it's true. I have two more articles due soon and many ideas swimming in my weeeeeeee little head but prying them out has been a chore of late and I feel like I am chasing down rabbit holes most of the time and making little progress. Uhh dang this post if becoming some what of a
Ok.. Happy News.... *think think think*.. Oh!.. yes I am making a shirt from this ( look for 3684)pattern inspired by this post and it actually fits! Will wonders never cease! I have still not tackled the jeans yet but if i can get a woven fabric shirt to fit over my generous top half without looking like a pup-tent I have high hopes that I can sew some jeans to fit my sadly flat arse ( no junk in the trunk here at Chez Anarchy, lots of boobs but no butt)
Ohhh ok... only gown ups can read from this point down.. move along my darling daughter, you REALLLLLLy don't want to read this.
So.. you know how you read in all the popular ladies mags that sex drive increases for women in their 40's?.. well I .. DANG!..they are right! Not that we have been lacking in that department and most people just drop jaw to know that after 10 years of marriage we were still doing *it* 3-5 time per week but now... WOW!.. Let us just saw that since recovering from the flu and other bits of misery we have been having quite a nice time rockin' the marital bed ( much to the chagrin of my teen children who I know are horror filled, since no matter how quite we try to be I suspect that this old house is less than sound proof!).
This new found bit of wonderful has had many side benefits that at some point I want to blog about. Those who know me in *real life* know that I am a strong supporter of a full and enriching marriage which I do believe starts in the bedroom and I suspect that much that goes wrong with once good marriages starts when women due to a multitude of reasons start to have less and less sex with their husbands. When they no longer look at the man they married and think.. " wow.. he is cute". The reasons are long and difficult and I need to think through how to talk about it here and if it's even right to. But I know that I see a lot of marriages suffering and I feel lucky not to be one of them and work very hard at it.
Well!... guess there was more in my head than I thought. Hope you all have a wonderful start to your week and I will do some more thinking on it all and until then I look forward to hearing what you have to say on the matter.

Spring Cleaning

The weather was pretty darn nice here today, almost a hint of Spring in the air. Such changes of season really pull on me to freshen the house. Of course the plans that dance in my head are always bigger than my real time expereince will every allow but it does not mean I cannot dream.. no?

Right now I am dreaming about:
Repainting the living room, trim and all. This would be a HUGE project and so quite possibly folly on many fronts but the colors are just not working for me anymore and I see this project in my future.

Ways to freshen up the furniture in my livingroom.. 2 Great Danes and 3 cats are very hard on furniture and mine is really showing way more than it's age at this point.

Adding more storage to my craft and sewing studio. This one is quite possibly the easiest and more likely to actually happen. Curently I am waiting for my local craft store to get this craft shelf( featured to the right) back into stock.

But right now I am STILL suffering the effects of this freaking lung infection so honestly I am thinking that an early dinner of homemade mac & cheese, a little bit of knitting and then it will be time to snuggle under the covers with my very sexy husband and go to sleep!


The only thing I can say about being sick for three weeks is that I have been totally grooving on taking a nap each day. I am not sure that there is much that feels better to my middle age body than to lie down in the middle of the day, pull up the covers and turn off the world for at least a little bit. In fact I have quite possibly become a nap-junkie and will sing it's praises from the highest stack of PosturePedic mattresses I can find.

My kids are even getting use to this quite time and my littlest guy often comes up and snuggles up with me and "rests his eyes". He is still young enough that to actually admit it might be a nap would be a betrayal to the ranks of the other 6 year olds in the world. So we just "rest our eyes" and if we happen to snore like a freight train during this eye-resting it's nothing we are going to talk about.

So dear friends, try a nap today, it's your right.. and the world is a better place for each nap we take!

Did I show you this?

Ok... if you have already seen this, move along. Other wise, please gawlk in amazement at what I did!.. This time I cut and designed it all myself!.. Sorry that I shot the photo right after ironing it flat so the back ground is a tad distracting. This whole papercutting thing is quite fun and rather addictive. I am planning a large cutting for over my mantle... something to represent the kids and our family. I am not sure what yet but when I finally fully birth that idea I will let you know!

Happy Valentines Day!

V-day is a low key affair here are Chez Anarchy. Not because we don't like hearts, or candy or sticky sweet examples of love ( although we do find love best spread out all year is rather the way to go) it's just that life seems very full right now so this year I settled for giving each of the kids a classic Hershey Chocolate bar and calling it good. I don't think they were too disapointed so I am not all that worried.

We are all still suffering the effects of our battle with the big bad flu but day by day things are getting easier and I am now down to just one 30 minute nap per day to catch up on my energy that still is ebbing at low tide.
I have some sewing that I really would like to do but want to make sure I am on top of my game before diving into making a pair of pant style jeans for myself. The whole making jeans thing always seemed rather odd to me until I saw the CUTEST pair of jeans that were being worn last week by my doctor. They were a darker wash and a wide legged pant style that she wore with some ass-kickin cool black sling backs. Damn!.. they were great but the chance of finding them in my size (14) as opposed to her size (8) I did not think was going to happen. Of course this might end up being a $27 disaster ( $27 worth of darkwash demin with just a touch of spandex!) but I thought.. what the heck. What is life if you don't dive into the deep end every once in a while!

Grandma, is That You??

Things are still sniffily and bit feverish at Chez-Anarchy but there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I can now envision a day when we will not be ill and the last box of tissue will not be fought over like the Holy Grail.

In fact Saturday for a two hour period I even felt well enough to run over to the fabric store take advantage of their 99cent McCalls pattern sale.

 While there I just wandered around in a sort of a foggy cloud feeling fabrics and thinking about projects when out of the corner of my eye I saw just a snipit of fabric that made me jump over two old ladies pawing some dubious double knit in order to get to it's wonderfulness.

Have you ever seen a fabric that just FLOODS you with memories? This fabric did that to me. It's a floral print in shades of blue and the fabric while not heavy is heavier than a typical quilting cotton.

When I saw it I was instantly transported back in time to the early 70's and the times my Grandmother would come to visit us in Oklahoma from her home in Chicago. I think I have mentioned before that Grandma was a real fashion plate, everything matched, dress, shoes, bags, right down to her lipstick and eye shadow.

She was Miss Frizzle without the fun, oh and with a Manhattan in one hand and a smoke in the other... charming hu? Well this print reminds me very much of one of her summer dresses.

Looking pack now I would say it was a Lili Pulitizer style/ Jacki-O sort of princess shift, with of course matching bag and coordinating shoes.

I can remember her sitting at my parents table in the afternoon drinking her Manhattan with those lurid bright red cherries and leaving lipstick prints on the glass. I was horrified and entranced all at once.

While I am sure that she loved us I don't think she had much use for two wild little girls like my sister and myself. In fact I think she was pretty sure that by my dad moving us to Oklahoma he had doomed us to a life of squalor*.

While visiting she did do her best and I do remember her letting us have the gold ribbons off of her bottles of Youth Dew "parfume" and "body lotion". To this day if I have to walk through the makeup/fragrance section of the mall I stop and take a whiff of the stuff.. yep.. it's grandma!
So I bought what was left of the fabric and even whipped up a very cute skirt on Sunday night leaving me with still quite a bit of fabric. Some of which I am using to make a baby dress for a sweet little baby I know and the rest... well it just begged to be made into a " ladies who lunch" sort of purse. I think Grandma would have liked it :)

* Please note that I in fact grew up in a swell sort of Brady Bunch-esque neighborhood and the squalor that my grandmother referred to was the fact that there was no Country Club.. oh the pain!


Well I thought we were all getting better, but it would seem I was VERY wrong about that. In fact to the tune of 3 prescriptions and 102.4 for me and 101's for the boys. It's amazing how much the fever will knock you on your tail! I am not one to stay in bed. There is only so long you can surf blogs till you mind turns to mush. I am now firmly past that point but there is nothing else I can do. I swing from teeth chattering cold to meopausal sweating in a matter of minutes. My eyes hurt and when I was in my drug induced sleep via Nyquil someone snuck in took my mental function and hit me with a bat given how much my bones hurt. What a bummer!

I had hoped to share some fun stuff with you today... but as I already mentioned I am not the brightest crayon in the box right now... so I will leave you with this little project.
I am forever misplacing my scissors and it causes me no end of grief and frustration.. to solve that problem I created a fast little teather for them. All you need is the scissors you want to stay, a nice length of ribbon and two cute little brads. Loop end of ribbon around finger hole in scissors and secure with one brad, and do the same by looping ribbon around a static item not likely to go anywhere. I chose to secure mine to the power cord of my machine.. but a table leg would also work quite well. I hope this little trick helps solve a little frustration in your life!

Something to Do While Waiting for the Ibuprofen to Kick In.

I swear, this cold and its pains are kicking my tail! One day I start to feel better and the next I am ready to craft myself a pine box and just crawl in. Still getting stuff done but slower with a side dish of stupid. I am now down for a weeee rest till the meds kick in to get rid of body aches so, here we are!

Ok.. stuff to share.. First A TOTAL brag... I DID THIS!!!

It's a papercutting!.. that I did by hand.. my little hands!.. While not without mistakes by a long shot I do love how it came out and since our house is called SqurrielWood it seems rather perfect, no? I have since taken the black paper cutting and mounted it to a robin's Egg Blue piece of paper and put it into a black frame.

Next a bit of yarn love from my birthday!... I got a wonderful gift certificate from a group of great folks from my church.. of course I HAD to be over on that side of town so why not just stop by for a minute???.. it took about 5 minutes and I had scooped up 4 hanks of Misty Alpaca.. yummmmmy! I have a vague feeling the lighter weight will be fingerless gloves and the heavy stuff.. well I am just not sure!

I finished up a babydress that I had started LAST summer... for a different baby!.. Sorry ( you know who you are, but take heart I have another dress going for your little darling!)...anywho I unearthed this from the bottom of the stash and finshed up the the hem and added a little yellow button to the back. It's made from a vintage sheet and I used the upper sheet double fold to make the bodice of the dress... too sweet and perfect for my neighbor's new baby.

Last thing then I need to get back in the groove and get some wash spinning!.. this is one of the little fabric covered buttons that I found at the thrift a few months ago.. I embroidered the little owl... he just makes me so happy each time I see him!

Make it a good week!.. I don't think I will be around till later in the week but will check comments!

I Feel an Obsession Coming on...

Good lord.... I feel light headed ( and no, it's not just the Nyquil).. how cute are these???? I must now go paint all my shoes!!