Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April showers bring May flowers

Last week a tornado hovered over Zurgovani.  For seven straight days the banshee wind howled outside our window all night long.  Doors slammed by themselves and even the 20-foot walk from the front door to the car was a struggle against gales determined to knock us over.  We were stuck inside even when the sun was out, and when the sun wasn't out, it rained.

And then on Saturday morning I looked out the window at the hill behind our house.  The grass wasn't moving.  And it was sunny.  And warm.

Since then, we have spent almost all our waking hours outside.  The wind still blows, but with temperatures in the high 70s, we can call it a breeze.  And the pool will open tomorrow!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Palm Sunday

Yesterday was Palm Sunday in the Orthodox Church.  We went to church as usual and it was jammed. It is usually pretty packed, but there were probably twice as many people as usual.  People brought (or bought from the many old ladies sitting outside the church) greens and/or pussywillows.  We picked up two little baskets of boxwood.

As we walked up the stairs into the church, a priest blessed us and our greens with sprays of ice cold holy water.  He is the gray bearded one to the right in the crush of people making their way up the stairs.

As usual, I wore Gabriel in my Beco carrier.  Although it was a 70 degree day I was thoroughly chastised by a number of people for dressing him in a short-sleeved shirt and - gasp - no hat.  This is not the best photo of me but you can see to my right a lady expressing her distaste at the way I chose to clothe my son.  He is pretty cute, isn't he?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

KCW days 3-6

If nothing else, this KCW is teaching me patience.  I cannot believe how many days it took me to finish this nightgown.  Part of the problem was that, as drafted, the pattern with this tutorial didn't fit my girls well.  So I had to redraft it after making the first bodice.  Then I decided to finish the neckline with bias tape and use the ends of the bias tape to tie it, instead of adding a button.  I decided to use my 1/2" bias-tape maker.  For some reason I had the hardest time making that stupid bias tape.  I'm guessing that reason had to do with sleep deprivation, but I could be wrong.  Anyway, I had so much trouble that I didn't even finish making all the tape I had cut out - I just did the bare minimum.

So this first finished nightgown is for N.   I'm really pleased with how it turned out.  She was, too, and kept asking to wear it.  I told her she had to wait until I finished sewing her sister's.  I know I won't be able to hold her off for long, so today I also redrafted the pattern a second time to fit Z better and I cut out and finished her bodice.  If I get that done tomorrow I will call it a successful KCW!

Lace trim from the shop I found last week.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

KCW Days 1-3 - something to show, finally

This three-kids-of-which-two-are-toddlers-and-one-is-a-newborn thing is no joke.  It is a minor miracle that I finished anything at all, let alone that I got photos taken.

I actually finished sewing the skirts on Tuesday morning. I pulled out my box of elastic ... only to find that I was clean out of the 3/4" width I needed for these skirts.  Drat.  I knew of a fabric store about 25 minutes away.  You know I was determined when I grimly loaded the kids into the car Wednesday morning and made the trek. Success! Not only do they have elastic, but fabric, pretty lace and a lovely array of buttons. This store is by our church so I will make sure to do my notions shopping on Sundays.

Yesterday I also started sewing summer nightgowns for the girls. I hope I can finish them by the end of the week.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

KCW Day 1

So it's time for Kids Clothes Week again.  This is my third one. In the past, I have sewn much more than the requisite hour per day.   When I thought about whether to participate this year, it occurred to me that, while I might be able to carve one uninterrupted hour a day, I wouldn't get very much done in that time.


Yeah, I was very optimistic.

I did spend a little over an hour yesterday working on two Lazy Days skirts for the girls, but it was far, far, faaaaaar from uninterrupted.  It was more like, spend five minutes measuring and cutting fabric, then spend 49 minutes getting everyone in and out of various princess costumes.  Spend 13 minutes sewing and ironing a couple seams, then spend 33 minutes serving food, wiping spills and throwing in another load of laundry.

So, despite the fact that the Lazy Days skirt should really be a 30-45 minute project from start to finish ... I have nothing finished to show you today.  Better luck tomorrow.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Birthday fun

We had our first party in Georgia yesterday.  The occasion was Jeremy's birthday. We had planned to break out the cornhole set Jeremy built over the summer.  It was far too cold and windy for real play, but the men and kids (15 of the latter!) gamely gave it a try.  I made a triple-layer devil's food cake with dark chocolate ganache (but forgot to use my cool blurry-background lens to take a photo of it).  A good time was had even if the weather stunk.  Happy Birthday J!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

In the garden

I have never successfully grown anything. I've never really even tried to grow anything.  I am generally game to try new things - like teach myself to knit and sew, or to attempt all manner of complicated baked endeavors.  But gardening has always seemed intimidating.

I, apparently, am not the only one who doubts my own green thumb. When, upon moving to Georgia, I remarked to my husband that I would like to plant a vegetable garden, he gently recommended we hire a gardener.  I argued, but Jeremy diplomatically suggested that perhaps it would not be so easy to find time to do the necessary research, not to mention the work itself, with a new baby in the house.

So we hired Giorgi.  Last fall he took out the hideous succulents that were encroaching, fungus-like, onto the sidewalk in front of our house and replaced them with tulip and hyacinth bulbs.   Then he dug out a garden plot in the backyard.

This week he showed me and the girls how to plant seeds.  We put cilantro, oregano and basil in between the flowers out front, and two kinds of lettuce, spinach, snap peas and broccoli in the back.

Then yesterday the girls and I did that Pinterest thing where you paint rocks to be your garden plot markers.  Today we put them out in the yard.

Hopefully something will grow.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Little mamas

Somewhere, amid the insanity of adding a baby to a household already bursting at the seams with unbridled toddler energy, I have been trying to find little moments to hang on to.  You know, the little snippets of time that you want to freeze.  The ones that get you through the screaming fits when your kid runs into traffic, or opens the door and walks out of the house without your knowledge or permission (both of which occurred yesterday).  The ones that you envisioned before you had kids.

Thankfully, we had a couple of those yesterday, too.

Gabriel spends most of the day strapped to me in one carrier or another - usually my Babyhawk mei tai or my Beco Gemini.  The girls have started trying to create their own baby wraps with scarves.

Thanks to the confluence of two events - 1) my finding this excellent tutorial for a doll mei tai, and 2) Jeremy taking the kids for a few hours on Saturday and Sunday - I was able to sew this weekend.

And, tada!  Some precious moments:

Monday, April 15, 2013

Home again home again

Jiggety jig.

Today is day 6 in Georgia.  We took a circuitous route home that involved spending 24 hours in Istanbul in order to arrive in Tbilisi at a reasonable hour (4:30 p.m. instead of 2:30 a.m.).

As long as this was going on ...

or this ...

... everything was relatively smooth.  However, whenever the iPods had to be put away, there was inevitably some of this ...

In any case, the extra time and cost to travel this way resulted in negligible jet lag.  Sold.  We will never not travel this way again.