Thursday, November 11, 2010

The lingering effects

"I can't believe I am 10!" was the first thing awakening me this morning. I look at my clock and realize I have only slept about 4 and half hours again. I really thought we would be past that now but the effects of a premature birth still linger with us. After a decade, the optimism has begun to fade and reality has set in to what we do have to deal with. We run like a well oiled machine around here most of the time. Very few surprises pop up anymore like that day ten years ago when I went into labor. I knew something was wrong, the lower back pain was excruciating and then my water broke. Fortunately I had read enough to know that at 25 weeks, they did have a chance at survival. The statistics at that time were 50% chance the first night.  The percentage increasing with each passing day. The overall statistic for survival was 80%. I am sure that has changed  now due to medical advance in a decade. But for us that night changed our lives forever.

Both boys arrived 15 weeks early. Their eyes still fused shut, no cries. We would not hear a cry from them till almost 3 months later. I never had that final trimester most women endure. Gaelan weighed in at 1lb 12oz and Ghavin weighed 1lb 11oz, both were a foot long. They should have finished off their development in utero. Most babies do but for the next four months they finished their utero development in a NICU isolette and incubator. The hospital was about 30 minutes from our house. So much time was spent on the road traveling back and forth. I can not even count how many times we got home only to get a call that said we needed to come back because it did not look good or another problem had arose.
Gaelan was the sickest, born under distress, he had a bleed on the brain and his lungs were diagnosed with Chronic Lung Disease within a day. The bleed resulted in a diagnosis of Hydrocephalus. Of course when you deal with the brain , they really can not tell you much..... just wait and see how he develops. In a course of 4 months, he fought over 15 infections consisting of Pnuemonia, , Strep B , E.Coli just to name a few. He had a PDA ligation surgery, seizures and several surgeries on his retinas. One of the biggest catch 22s of having the babies on the oxygen for a long period of time is it accelerates the growth of blood vessels and they start pulling the retinas which untreated can result in blindness. He recieved his last blood transfusion 4 weeks before his discharge.
Ghavin came home a week and a half earlier than his brother after fighting off just as many infections and seizures but thank goodness his lungs were responding and healing better than his twins. He mainly struggled with his stomach, developed necrotizing enterocolitis and reflux. This will plague us long after he leaves the hospital. Ghavin received his final blood transfusion 5 weeks prior to his dismissal.

Most people just assumed they lived, all is well with the world. Unfortunately the effects of a premature birth linger long after the discharge from the hospital. They started  occupational and physical therapy when they were 5 months old. That was just the beginning of many therapies including speech, sensory, behavior and listening. I remember at one point in our lives we had a therapy every day of the week. Finally after 8 years of therapy, we stopped because honestly.... we were tired and ready to just accept this is as good as it gets.  Plus we were struggling with the newest challenge of academics.

The first three years were mostly all health and medical issues we dealt with. Ghavin was diagnosed with failure to thrive because of his severe reflux. He was a colicky baby for more than a year. If you have ever had a colicky baby on your hands, stretch it out a year long event. You get the idea. Solid foods had to be introduced slowly to both boys. Gaelans palette had suffered from the prolonged time he was on the ventilator. He also was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy. Due to those issues, he would not eat solids till after he was a year old.  We were not allowed to be out around people because they caught eveything. Regardless of this , they managed to contract RDS several times, and stomach viruses that put us in and out of the hospital for the next 3 years. Just as the health issues started to subside, we noticed things about Gaelan and Ghavin that would take us down the road of several specialists. We have had the terms Autism, PDD-NOS, ADHD, ADD, OCD, RLS loosely thrown at us. Acronyms became our life along with the doctors, the therapies and the IEPS. This time frame to me was harder than the initial aspect of their stay in the NICU. Gaelan did not sleep, Ghavin did not talk, both had meltdowns over everything. We were all just exhausted.

Fast forward 10 years..... Gaelan has mild cerebral palsy, OCD, anxiety, and a sleeping disorder. He fixates on laundry, cleaning, talks a mile a minute, wears glasses and overall is very social. Ghavin still has reflux,and was diagnosed last year as dyslexic and dyscalculic. He is shy, quiet, artistic, humorous, hates roller coasters and observes alot. We homeschool now to alleviate some of the anxieties that traditional school creates. Both boys still have not landed on the growth chart for their age. They look as if they are entering kindergarten or first grade and weigh about 45 pounds. The twins see an endocronlogist that has told us their bone age is running on the average about 2 years behind their actual age. We see a nuerologist, behavior therapist, orthopedic, nutritionist and pediatrician on regular intervals. Gaelan must have his retinas checked annually. He will be at risk for detachment for the rest of his life they say. Our day consist of brain gym exercises for processing and memory, games to promote sensory and motor skills and schooling at our own pace. Gaelan still does not sleep for long periods of time which means I usually do not as well. Sometimes we read, bake or he just talks while I try to hold my eyes open.

I am grateful they lived but wish we knew why I could not carry my babies full term. November is Premature Awareness Month.  I encourage you to visit to learn more about this rising epidemic. The numbers are growing and they are astounding. Yes, most are surviving but the effects are lingering. I can attest to that.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I want to be.....

My boys start thinking of what they want to be for Halloween usually back at the end of August. Between then and Halloween, They will pick something new every other day it seems. Gaelan first decided he wanted to be a gargoyle. I found a great one to make at Family Fun. Definately different, right?
I have to say I was not thrilled with this selection. I was already envisioning....
Mom, I am hot, I can't carry my bucket, I can't see, etc. You sense all that too right?
Then he decided he would be a King Tut Mummy. This is a beautiful costume.
But once again, I kept thinking.... this mask is beautiful, will be fun to make not so much fun having him wear it all night. So I started my motherly manipulation and I talked him into the coolest, easiest costume. No mask, nothing too hot or bulky. He is going to be a ghostbuster! I may even have my ipod set on the theme song all night just for effects while I walk him around. Hee-hee!

Ghavin is such a pratical child, he originally chose this alien costume which I love the concept. It is way cool. I am sure he would get lots of stares.

He however decided it would be too uncomfortable all night so he opted to dress up as Sherlock Holmes. He has been reading the book and just out of the blue announced this past week what he will be. Now they can not change their minds anymore because the fabric is bought, props are bought as of today. They have to stick with this. As a matter of fact, I really need to start sewing before they change their minds.  *LOL*
Cya later!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Spooky Elegance

I think I showed you the cool font I recently got that is a spooky frame design.

I fell in love with it but could not decide if I wanted to do a banner or some pillows. I finally decided on the pillows. I just love how they turned out. What do you think?
They are already gone though. I had to start a new set this evening for myself. I used a black and white toile looking fabric on the opposite side. Black piping finished it off with a nice polished, elegant look.
 In addition to the spooky frame, we managed to FINALLY decorate the front porch and the mailbox for FAll. My kids said......Well it is about time! I have them spoiled. They assume I will do something again because we have done it before. This is exactly why I have to make owl cookies, pumpkin bread, candy corn fudge and black cat cookies this coming week.
Cya soon. I promised myself I would not neglect my blog anymore! Hold me accountable folks! :-)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The smallest details

Sometimes the smallest change can make the biggest difference in a design.  This Whimsical Pumpkin design that I bought from Planet Applique is adorable as is, right?
I have been very intrigued by the ruched designs that I have seen so I took this design and tried my hand at it.....

I LOVE how different it turned out from the original design.
I decided to add ribbons to this turkey to create feathers.

 He was actually designed like this
So wonderful to get an alternate look from a design you already have.
Have a great evening!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Time Off

Everybody needs it right? Well I decided I needed a night off so I hosted a party for my friend Maria who sells Premier Jewelry. It was so much fun spending an evening with friends laughing and conversing. If you have never been to a Premier Jewelry, I highly recommend attending one. They just celebrated 25 years in business. The very first piece I bought was back before my  eldest son was born ( remember he is 14) and I never attended the party. I ordered from a client who was having a party. Honestly I traveled and worked such long hours back then, it just was never possible for me to attend something like that. Now I am always running to spend a little time away form the kids with some friends especially since I homeschool. I do miss my daily adult interaction I received when I worked a job. But back to what I was going to share with you. If you attend a party, they share so many cool tricks of how to interchange your jewelry and basically get more bang for your buck. It is so neat and really simple stuff to do to give your jewelry a new look. SO that is all I have to share with you tonight. Nothing crafty just how much I enjoyed my night off with my friends.
 If you have not spent some time with a friend lately, do it, for it will do your soul some good! :-)

Monday, October 4, 2010

EEK, What to do???

I did not visit the shirt ordeal today. Maybe by the end of the week. I did however do this incredible font .
 It is awesome, spooky, simple and classy all in one!
When I started with it, I had planned on a banner with the word EEK and a spider on each end.
After finishing all three pieces however, I really started thinking this would look amazing as throw pillows too. Now I am left wondering what should I do.....make the banner or the pillows?
Maybe both? What do you think?

 Remember the Boo sign I made with the kiddos ?
I finally got around to attaching the wire handle with orange beads.
As promised .....Here is a pic of the finished design.

Have a wonderful evening!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Cupcakes...yum, yum, yum

I have been working on quite a few orders this week and organizing all of our homeschool stuff.  We are still finding what works for us and what does not. Somehow I did manage to complete a birthday package, a fall banner  for myself, hair clips, bows, buckets . Oh and let us not forget I messed up a shirt really bad ( this comment is dripping with sarcasm and disgust). It was awful..... which goes to show embroidering with a machine still requires constant management and preparation to achieve good results. I really wanted to complete that shirt too so I could have the little boy that I watch, wear it to the pumpkin patch. I guess mother nature heard about my ordeal. She has sent a great deal more rain. Now I can use that as an excuse as to why we are not going to the pumpkin patch just yet. This is what I wanted to make for him. Cute right?
Yeah, well .....we will just say mine was not! One of the fabrics caught up under the presser foot and that was all she wrote. I picked out the stitches but what a mess!
So maybe tomorrow I will work on it. I was just so disgusted with the whole ordeal that I needed something to cheer me up so off I went to make some cupcakes. Not the typical kind that give you immediate gratification but these cuties that will give smiles for a long time! They look yummy enough to eat!
 I actually had the idea to add them to my birthday banner with clips to hold photos of the birthday child. I know......I amaze myself sometimes too. *LOL*  Sometimes I think we look as things just as they are and tend to forget what else we can do with them.
I do not know why I did not think of this sooner but at least I did, right?
I will share a pic of it tomorrow . Who knows maybe I will share my pumpkin truck shirt with you too. I just need more strength to go there again.
Hopefully a good nights sleep will give me just that!

Monday, September 27, 2010

B O O !!

Some people seem to think Halloween has to be scary but it can actually be quite cute too. Just check out this adorable little sign I am making for a friend.

Guess what? Her children did the ghost images with their feet. I watch her sweet angels on Monday, so today we whipped these out by dipping their feet in white paint and pressing their feet onto the black plaque. I then added the word BOO and some polka dots to jazz it up. I still have to add the clear gloss, drill some holes and wrap some wire with beads to form a handle. It is REALLY raining hard so that will have to wait till we have a clearer day. This is a great project to do with your little ones. I bet a lot of grandparents would love to receive this..... I could also imagine a bunch of these hanging around through the years to show their growth.

Have a great evening!
I am linking  this project up to these great sites:
733 Blog - What are little boys made of weekly party

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Halloween Photo Garland

I am so excited to share this with you because this  idea has been bouncing around my head since August. I love this time of year soooooo much. I do not even know what I love more, the pumpkin patch, apple pickin, cool weather, crunchy leaves, candy corn or creating memorable costumes for my kiddos. Over the years we have created some wonderful , delightful costumes. We always take pictures but have always been saddened by the fact that we take them and just set them aside in a photo album.  Here are just a few :
Sasha as the crocodile hunter
Gaelan and Ghavin
Seriously ...How could you not want to see those proudly displayed????
They always bring the biggest smile to my face. Usually at Christmas I display our Santa photos on a garland in the living room so I thought it would work for all the Halloween photos I had too. This is what I came up with quickly. 
This is not the one I will be using for all of my photos but I thought it turned out great and gave me an idea if it would work or not. As a matter of fact, most of those photos are from magazines. *LOL* I promise to show mine by the end of the week.
My head is already swimming over all of the possibilities!!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Candy Corn

Candy Corn.....some people eat it just during the fall. I could eat it all the time. I love those little pieces of candy. They taste sooo good! Even the colors are tantalizing. That is why I was tickled when someone ordered the candy corn font for their bucket. I have  worked on it off and on all week. I redid the tulle around it twice before I finally was satisfied with the end result. Here it is during the process. This was after I took the tulle out and started over again.
I do not know what the problem was but I just did not like how it was shaping up. I had the same feeling with the witch hat bucket right beside it. As matter of fact I just redid the tulle on it too. But considering I have been ill with a sore throat, I guess we ended on a good note. I think it turned out to be one of the sweetest buckets I have made! What do you think?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


 I am serious when I say that all of you who have girls must have some fun times when shopping. I would be broke if I had a girl. The twins and I headed to the outlets today in search of sweaters and shoes. I saw so many adorable things for girls. It is just so much fun dressing a girl. Dressing a boy is fun too until they realize that tshirts and jeans are the best thing for them. They each found a pair of shoes and maybe two other things they liked. I found some really cool shoes for them but they looked like I had grown a third head when I suggested it. Their response was we have crocs, we have tennis shoes, why do we need these brown loafers? Well they did not need them but they would look cute with some of the shirts and jeans I saw. I finally called it a day and came home. Oh, do not get me wrong, I had fun with the munchkins. It was nice to get out in the autumn weather. They even remarked how pretty a day it was. Ben and Jerrys was the highlight of their day. I just realized I have lost them to the comfort world of jeans and Tshirts. Only so much we can do with that!

After we got home, I finished up this shirt for a little girl. It is a fun applique of a pumpkin. We could have stopped right there. It would  have look great as is but since I do not have a girl...... well I just had to add more to it because it is fun to do when you can. Ribbons and buttons now adorn the shirt and I added 3 inches of fabric to the bottom. 

I think it would look awesome layered over an orange shirt. We will have to see how Miss C wants to wear it. She knew she wanted the pumpkin design so I am sure she knows just how she wants to wear it too.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Overdose of cuteness!

This past week I have been working on a gift for a baby shower. A month back I had bought the fabric not really knowing what I was making but I just knew the fabric was definately her. Afterall she is putting a chandelier in her baby girls nursery. So you can just toss out the cute typical baby prints. That was not going to fly with this momma. So this is the stack of print I bought and fell in love with.
 My first thought was a blanket  but something told me she would be receiving lots of blankets. I finally decided on this baby capelet. It is sooo cute.
I do know of some things I will do a little differently next time but overall I was pleased with what I got, without a pattern. I managed to make as beret to go with it adorned with the pink ribbon too.
Check out Teddy modeling for me. He is cheap and stays right where you put him. The easiest model I have worked with. *LOL*
Oh and guess what, I did mange to put the magnetic clasp in the  Poopy Pouch or diaper clutch, whatever you want to call it.  See, it turned out pretty well and once again....super EZ.
With what little bit of fabric I had left, I made a burp cloth too for Ms. Audrey.
Everything turned out well. It was great to spend the day enjoying company of friends, laughing and hearing tales of the momma to be.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Productive Days

Sometimes you have an incredible productive day but just really do not have  alot to show for it. That would be the case today. I really got  a great deal of stuff done but it was all kind of like behind the scenes type stuff. I managed to do lots of domestic stuff like laundry, dinners in the freezer and  cleaned out the fridge.  Somehow I managed to get extra stuff done too. For example - I schooled the boys, designed 2 birthday shirts, 6 halloween buckets, cut fabric, made fudge for about 50 people, planned next weeks lessons for the boys and started baking cookies for a baby shower.  You would think I would show you something from all that but I do not think you want to see my messy kitchen from baking, my folded laundry or lesson planning book. 
It was a great day though. Trust was a productive day. That always leaves me with a wonderful feeling.  I like it when things are checked off my list, don't you?

However, I can show you these adorable hair clippies I made the other day. They are super easy to stitch out on the embroidery machine. As soon as A has some hair, we will put these pumpkins in her hair. For now we will have to clip them to her headband. Hopefully I can do a pumpkin applique shirt for her this coming week after I am done with this baby shower I am baking for.
These little scotties are too cute. For some reason I always think of herringbone patterns and scotties together. Wierd how we form these images in our head.
I have a few more to share but I may have another "not much to show you day" so I had better wait just in case!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday Toots

I stumbled across this  Poopy Clutch a month or so back and fell in love with the simplicity of the design. I was hoping I would eventually find a reason to create it. If you desire a Poopy Clutch too, you can find the complete tutorial at ISLY by Melissa Esplin . She has several different designs of the clutch to choose from. The Poopy Clutch is just big enough to hold a wipes case and a couple of diapers. It is perfect for when you need to  run out  just a moment and do not want to take that big diaper bag. This project involves absolutely no sewing unless you decide to make it out of cloth. I cut and put this together in less than 30 minutes while I watched The Closer last night. How cool is that? Twice I lucked out, the leather was on sale. YAY! The only thing that I could not find was a button stud so I am holding my case together right now with a brad but I plan on installing a magnetic closure on it tomorrow. Stay tuned for the update ................

Tomorrow I hope to feature the Poopy Clutch with its new magnetic closure and who knows? Seriously, I do not know. *LOL*
Have a great day!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Back to School

Most of you sent your kiddos back to school a couple of weeks ago but we just sent ours back last week. My oldest is in middle school and I am homeschooling the twins this year. Back to school shopping was easy peasy this year. I was elated with how short my shopping list was but then I became nostalgic for that feeling you get with back to school shopping.  New clothes, backpacks, much of that was not needed this year since we are at home. As we were kind of preparing for  back to school, a friend contacted me about making a special dress for her daughter, who was starting school this year. I really do not do dresses. Dresses like hair bows are just not something I have been allowed the pleasure of experiencing in a house full of boys.

Working on her daughters dress brought back so many memories of how we always prepared which new outfit the boys were going to wear on that first day. We usually took a pic of them with their new backpack and lunchbox heading out the door with a sign that has the first day of school written on it. I hope my friends daughter enjoyed her first day at school . This is what I was able to come up with for her daughters first day. I have this adorable crayon font that I have been waiting for the chance to use. This seemed the perfect time to try it out.

I really like how her mom wanted a bow tied on the crayon.
Since I do not get to hang around the girly world very often, I tried my hand at making some cute little hair clips.
 I kind of liked hanging out in the dress and hairbow department. I might have to live vicariously through my friends with girls for awhile.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fall is in the air!

It will not be long till Halloween is here. I can already feel a little bit of the autumn crispness in the morning and evening air. I love this time of year. Fall colors are truly some of my favorite color combinations. Normally I decorate the house for the fall on labor day weekend but due to the appliance trouble that was all mine last week, it just did not happen. Maybe this weekend? Hmmm, we shall see.

I did get to work on this Halloween Bucket for Claire. Between working on the bucket and the crispness in the air, I am really starting to get anxious about decorating for the fall. Claire's mom liked the candy corn fabric so we used that and the curly halloween font with cats, pumpkins and candy corn to create this adorable bucket. I did tie on some lime green tulle bows just to give it that sassy, girly feel. What do you think? Did I get it sassy enough for a 3 year old girl?

  I just can not wait to see Claire all dressed up with her tote. It should be a precious picture!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Making lemonade out of lemons!

Guess what....... my cell phone can not hold its charge more than like an hour ....go ahead, laugh. It really feels as if every electronic, appliance in my life is taking a break from its responsibilities. Drama, drama, drama with the gadgets in my life. Even my embroidery machine has decided I was overworking it the other day. How, you ask.....
Oh it decided to chew up a blanket I was embroidering for a friend to give as a gift. Horrified, I was!!!!!!! Let me just say that blank blue baby blankets are not easily found in my area. I would know this because I visited every one in the area trying to find a replacement. After realizing that this was not going to happen, I knew that I would have to make her a new one to replace the one that was not so ready to be given. So I came up with this and had a little cooperation from my machine to personalize it as well.
I finally calmed down once I had it completed to understand not all was lost with the chewed up blanket. I was able to take the rest of the blanket and make the following:
A Monkey Lovie, He is a cutie!!!
A Burpcloth, a Bib and a Wrist Rattle
I love this Taggie Bib and the Wrist Rattle. They turned out much better than I could have imagined.
Life threw some lemons at me this past week, looks like it is still hurling some this week. But that is OK.......because I know how to make lemonade!