Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Today I have a midterm for a class I’m taking this summer.  I wanted to do a separate post on my decision to take a class, but I guess it will have to come later.

I’m also supposed to get my test results back from the biopsy I had on Monday. 

Both of these things today have the butterflies going in my stomach.

Though I feel well prepared for the midterm and have had enough doctors tell me that malignancy of thyroid  nodules is rare, I am still  nervous.


And that stinkin fine need biopsy, while a minor procedure, was not as easy as I had imagined.  You see that teeny tiny slit on my neck?  It doesn’t fool me.  Due to the positioning of my neck during the procedure (hyper extended) and the intrusion of a tiny corkscrew into my body to literally pluck out tissue, I am stiff and sore.  While watching the whole thing under ultrasound was kinda cool, it was also hard.  I’m not sure if it was good or not to be able to anticipate the pain when the doctor proceeded with different steps for tissue removal.  I AM grateful that only three aspirations had to be done for samples.  I don’t know if it is related, but I’ve also had lots of cramping in my sides and back.  No fun.  And if this is benign, I’m supposed to have this procedure done every 6 months.  I suppose I should be grateful if that is the case.  But for the moment, I am a big whiny baby!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Big 5!

Here is our Miles, hamming it up for the camera before his Birthday parties at Jones Island park began…


Ella waits in anticipation.  After all, it was a gorgeous June day at a park, with a playground, and lots of room for running next to a lake with a beach.  And there would be food and cake, friends and family.


First the Friends Party

I thought it best to get all of the eating of lunch and cake out of the way before taking the kids over in the muddy grass to hit a piñata and then over to the sandy beach to make sand castles.  So here is Miles with his Cars cake…  (as often is the case at outdoor parties, lighting the candles was a challenge)


Miles going after the piñata with mucho gusto.


All of Miles’ guests (and one guest’s older brother) took the sandcastle building contest very seriously.  Though we don’t seem to have photos of the final entries, they were all very good and all were winners.


Miles was very happy to unwrap presents!


At one point Miles’ hair was so sweaty.  I pushed it up into some spikes and really liked the look.  He received compliments from many others as well.  If I were to do that at home, he’d look in the mirror and smash his hair down to his regular style.  He doesn’t really look to crazy about it here either.


Next up was the family party.  I, personally, was ready for a nap at this point.  At least a little less entertaining needed as the adults seem to be able to take responsibility for their own entertainment.

Here’s Miles and Uncle John playing TracBall.  He was quite good at it.  Uncle John wasn’t too bad either.


Uncle Scott trying to pour water on poor Miles.


I love this photo.  Miles is running away from Scott who continues to try to pour water on him.  Love the geese in the background scared out of their feathers and running away from the wild boy. (even though he wasn’t even chasing them, and had he notice them, he probably would have started crying and not knowing where to run.


Had to get a shot in of the new playground they put in this month at the park.  Cool playgrounds are a very important thing when you have kids.  (I think Miles is still trying to get away from Scott at this point).


The party is over.  I think we were all quite tired.  It was a long day outside, working and trying to entertain.


At the end of the day, I have one wonderful little boy (and another wonderful girl).  And today we have a lot of new toys that BOTH kids are playing with/fighting over!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Today’s Farmer’s Market was called off due to a threat of inclimate weather.  We certainly have been having our share of inclimate weather!  Monday night we were all in the basement around 11 pm because of continuous emergency signals.

But, since the Market was cancelled, and I was needing a break from the last few days, I worked on getting all of my remaining items back on Etsy, as well as listing some new items.

A result of this was a nice surprise.  I was included in a beautiful treasury!  Magnets have not been my best seller, but heck they look pretty nice here amongst these other cool pieces.  I’ll take it!


Monday, June 21, 2010

Customer Requests are the Best!

Sometimes I get caught up a little in the monotony when I am creating too many products at one time.  I will often work with several different fabrics, but stick with the same general construction for each item.  Not a ton of creativity is involved past the initial creation of a new pattern.  And frankly, the process can become boring.

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One of the reasons I really love getting custom requests and orders is that I can focus on that one piece or series of pieces and take time to put a lot more creativity into it/them.  I can imagine what the customer might like to see and bring it to life.  And so it goes with a recent request from a Farmer’s Market customer two weeks ago.  This woman bought a couple of items and said that if I had anything with strawberries, she’d buy it for her mom who loves strawberries.

Will I ever even see this woman again?  Maybe, maybe not.  But I am ever so glad for her suggestion.  It was a great excuse to buy this beautiful strawberry fabric designed by Sandi Henderson and to play up the red (my favorite color) with this sweet polka dot fabric and red thread.  I love the ruffle and the decorative stitching on the bottom.  I have yet to finish this one’s mate and start to put together a couple of potholders to match.

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Then fate will see if the requester comes to the Market on Wednesday!  Can’t wait to find out!

Note: I bought this little shelf at a garage sale.  I just wanted a little something on which to store my pin cushion and pot of flower pens near my sewing machine.  When I found this one with the rod, I thought it would be perfect for displaying and admiring towels I make from time to time.  The shelf was an unstained wood when I got it.  I just cleaned it off and then spray painted it with some antique white.

Update: Tomorrow is my visit with the surgeon for my thyroid nodule.  I’m hoping he will go right in and do the biopsy that day and it is not just a pre-consultation.  In general I have been in better spirits recently, just really tired.  Thanks for your thoughts, prayers and support.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


My husband met my brother John and his fiance Kris at the Chicago Botanic Garden for their engagement photo shoot.  From the best shots, he made this video using a song from one of the bands that they both (and we both too) like.  Sweet Felicity by Verbow.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Unwelcomed Interruption

This year has been difficult for me with medical issues.  Chest pains were thought by my doctor to be asthma.  A really bad reaction to an antibiotic was a surprise and a real pain to endure.

But now, an adventure begins that I’m not quite ready for.  I just hope it is a short one with a good ending. 

I went into a pulmonary specialist because this so-called asthma has been worrisome to me.  It was presenting itself in the form of chest pains and rarely did I have any shortness of breath whatsoever.  While there, he listened to my lungs, had me run up and down some stairs several times, listened again, took my pulse.  He said the lungs seem fine, but he noticed a large lump on my neck.  He thought it most likely had something to do with my thyroid.

The next day I called my general practitioner first thing and got an early appointment squeezed in.  She order a blood test and an ultrasound.

Today I have the results and a phone number for a surgeon I should make an appointment with for a needle biopsy.  Because something looks suspicious.

I suppose one should never read their own test results, but the thing that makes me the most nervous is that I have one large nodule that has blood flow.  Seems like there are several other small nodules as well.

A lot of things have seemed off with my body.  Many are “measurable” like racing heart, chest pains, tremors, excessive nervousness, excessive sweating, hoarseness of voice, difficulty swallowing etc.  But for the last few days, more than that my body feels off in ways I can’t totally describe with words.  Maybe that I’m being eaten alive in my entire chest cavity?  Something just doesn’t seem right.

For now, I will take it one step at a time and follow the plan.  Take it as it comes.  But I can’t deny it has been hard, and despite the statistics that most of these types of things are benign, and even those that are cancerous are mostly quite curable… I can’t help but think of the worst.  And how I’m not ready for the worst.  And wondering if we should always be ready for the worst.

Now back to the regular scheduled program.  While I take some meds to lessen the tremors and nervousness and wait for what’s next.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Congratulations Graduate

The end of the kids school year caught me off guard.  I was much more emotional than I had anticipated.  And just a month ago I thought the whole Kindergarten graduation (for Ella) was a little silly.  Even more silly, I felt, was that we had to buy a cap a gown.  But as it grew near, I embraced the concept and just went with it.  Only to find out I was really glad it all happened.

Here she is, our lovely daughter ready to go for her last day of Kindergarten and her last day of four years at this Montessori school.


Here she is with her friend Caleb who she has known since they were both one!  Caleb’s mom (my good friend) picked up Ella on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


As I mentioned, I embraced the concept of the graduation and invited everyone to attend.  I also threw a small party with appetizers before the ceremony.


A nice picture of the family outside of the school.


Here is the official moment!  Not shown are the awards she won.  One for Star Skater (she’s been bragging about her roller skating and blading I take it), a second for best reader in her class and a third she shared with two other students for “change the world” because she is a very driven and determined little girl!  She says she wants to be a scientist when she grows up.


A sweet one with her beloved teacher.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Teacher’s Gifts 2010

For end of year gifts for Ella and Miles’ teachers I decided to make purses.  The larger one is for Ella’s teacher who seems to like oriental designs.  The smaller is for Miles teacher who has more of a funky style and likes browns  (hopefully she will like the rust color here too).


I used McCall’s Kay Witt Designs pattern M5822 for these bags.

Though I have some experience with zippers, this was a new (to me) design for a zipper on a bag.  I like how it turned out once I got it down for the second purse I did (see below).  The main difference is on the underside, so it’s not real noticeable that it is not perfect on the first one.


Maybe not my style of fabrics, but it was fun to make something that hopefully other people will enjoy.  It was also fun to use so many different fabrics on one project.  The shape of the bag is really cute (in my opinion) too.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Long Weekend

On Saturday we met up with our friends Dan and Jen who we haven’t seen since we all went on vacation together last August!  Needless to say, it was also the first time we met their 4 month old daughter.


It was nice to get together and catch up.  Their oldest had been kinda shy the last time we saw her, but very sweet and starting to warm up to us near the end of the week.  Now she is much more social and still as sweet as ever.  She seemed to love playing with Ella and Miles.

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Ella enjoyed both girls.


We started out at an Arts festival at the Cuneo estate in Vernon Hill, IL.  It was a beautiful setting and a very nice, be it a tad hot day.

I found two vendors I loved and purchased from.  I could not get over the cute clothes from Hand Jive Wear Art.  Here is the dress I fell in love with.  It is so comfortable, cool and forgiving flattering.


We all then went back to our house for a lunch of coconut lime chicken soup and salad outside on our back deck.

We dressed our kids to match that day, but it turns out all four kinda matched…


Later that day Ella practiced her rollerblade skills…


Sunday after work was filled with fun.  A trip to a huge playground, then the pool, then a very nice walk.  At the pool Miles took his maiden voyage down the water slide.  This is the first year has been tall enough to be allowed to do so.

Monday we had my parents, brother and his fiance over to watch Ella and Jason in the parade with Adventure Princesses.  We walked up to the parade route from our house and then we all went back home halfway in the room for a lunch of kabobs and sides.  Halfway home we got stuck in the rain and ended up providing towels and extra shirts for our guests.  My brother’s fiance was kind enough to bring dessert, and luckily it was light and refreshing after the heavy lunch we prepared.



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