Monthly Archives: November 2011

Whimsy Wednesday (That’s Right – I Actually MADE Something)

Hold on to your seats, folks… I actually have something craft related to blog about today.  Not only is it craft related, but it is SEWING related.  Are you choking? 

I actually called one of my friends and told her that I had HUGE news for her and that she needed to sit down to hear it.  And then I told her that I sewed something.  I think she thought I was calling to tell her I was dying.  Although I was sort of dying… dying of amazement.

For those of you that don’t know – I’ve been seriously procrastinating on starting this hobby.

I received the sewing machine for my birthday… IN JULY.  I promptly took the sewing machine out of the box because I knew if I didn’t, I would NEVER touch it.

I bought fabric, thread and other small sewing accessories in August to start my “make a KitchenAid Stand Mixer cover” project.

I sewed something on Sunday night… in November.  Yeah.

I did a lot of oohing and aahing at everyone else’s projects.  I joined Pinterest and started pinning “sewing inspirations”.  I looked up sewing classes.  I messaged friends that had sewn something and asked HOW… HOW did they get started? 

Honestly, I have no idea what triggered me to actually pull the sewing machine out and start using it on Sunday but once I started, I was on a roll.

And that basically means I didn’t take any pictures.  (cue sad trombone)

I spent the majority of the time going, “Oh my god, I’m sewing!  I’m seeeewwwwwiiiiinnng!

Project 1 – Christmas stocking for Annmarie. 

I don’t remember if this was my idea or Jeremy’s suggestion.  But Jeremy suggested that I make AM’s stocking from her baby blankets.

Side note – people will tell you various things that you MUST HAVE when you’re expecting a child.  Everyone’s opinions are different.  I apparently am friends with a lot of people that felt blankets were a must.  I have so many blankets.  You could even say that I have a plethora of blankets.  So even though I hate the idea of cutting up baby clothing to sew something, blankets were something we could spare.

I looked up some DIY Christmas stockings and came across this tutorial.

I liked the idea of having a liner fabric that is displayed when you cuff the stocking down.  But I’ll admit it took me a few reads to grasp the concept of how to attach the liner correctly.  Even Jeremy didn’t get it (and he’s usually the one that “gets it” for everything… except for when I expect presents. Like a push present.  I’m still waiting. And I don’t think push presents are like wedding presents where you have a year to give said present.)

So here’s the end product:

There are a ton of mistakes (and the most obvious one being that I sewed the liner in the wrong direction.  And to be honest, I wasn’t paying attention to direction when I cut the pattern but if I had, I would have made sure the butterflies appeared right side up when cuffed over).

Project 2 – KitchenAid Stand Mixer Cover

I’ve been wanting to cover our mixer for quite some time since it goes mostly unused and its placement in the kitchen leaves it open to splatter from food and whatnot.

I found this tutorial.

I sort of winged it though.  I didn’t have piping and I didn’t think I needed to mess with bias tape since I didn’t even understand what it was in the first place.

Also – that pattern?  I totally winged it.  I mean, I drew something out on a sheet of newspaper based on some loose measurements I took of the mixer and then cut.  But I didn’t really ensure the lines of the fabric were straight and this was something that would bite me in the ass later.

And because I was still SO pumped that I was sewing, I didn’t take any step by step photos.  So here’s the end product:

Now this is riddled with mistakes but the biggest mistake is that it is lop-sided.  You can’t tell in this picture but if you lay the cover flat, it is quite apparent that it is crooked.  Actually, if you look at it on the mixer, you can see that it is crooked.  But for winging it and for it being my 2nd sewing project since 6th grade – I’m still pretty happy with it.

Now I’ve caught the sewing bug!  Pillow covers are next!

And just because…

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Filed under Charm City Kim Breeds, Charm City Kim Creates

When Your Parents Become Children

I’ve been a bit MIA lately because I’ve been dealing with another hospitalization of my dad.  If you recall from the summer, my dad was hospitalized due to a toxicity of one of his heart meds.  Well – he was hospitalized for the same damn thing last week.

It started with a phone call from my mom, “Kimmy – I can’t get your father up.”

I sped down to their house to discover my dad slumped over in a chair.  I thought he was dead.  When I started screaming, he responded but was SO lethargic that I thought he was having a stroke.  I started shouting questions like, “What day is it?” “Do you know where you are?” “Who am I?”  He was able to answer all of the questions.  He just complained about being “so tired”.  But he couldn’t walk on his own.  My mom and I basically carried him to his bed and then I called 911.  (Actually – I called my brother and Jeremy… and both of them yelled at me to call 911.)

Long story short – this was another bout of medication toxicity.  I was especially worried when my dad started asking if we were in Illinois (his hometown) and couldn’t recall what day it was anymore.  The docs assured me that it was most likely due to the toxicity.

I was incredibly irritated with my parents.  How could they let this happen again?  I found out from my brother that my dad was strapped to a bed, had a “sitter” (someone that was assigned to my dad’s room 24/7) and was being belligerent to the hospital staff.  The belligerence let me know that my dad was fine.

I received a phone call on Thursday from a hospital psychiatrist notifying me that he was deeming my father “mentally incompetent” and unable to check himself out.  I just thought he meant for that night until…

I got a phone call Saturday night from the attending doctor.  He elaborated on the mental incompetence and said that the hospital would not release him unless I had some sort of arrangement set up to manage the care of my father at home.  The hospital felt that he was unsafe under my mother’s care and that they felt they were both “demented”.  The doc mentioned assisted living. 

Then on Sunday, we went to talk to the doc face to face.  He completely downplayed the previous night’s discussion.  It was no longer “mental incompetence”.  It was that my dad was “forgetful” as was my mother so they couldn’t adequately manage my dad’s medication.  No argument here on my part (or my parents) but he mentioned that they’d be transferring my dad so the psych ward to monitor his weening off of some medication.  I was told he’d probably be in the hospital until Thursday at the latest.  I convinced my dad to stay by saying, “You’re my only dad.  I worry about you.” 

But then on Monday, as I scrambled to get information on in-home nursing care to administer my dad’s meds, the new attending doctor informed me that the hospital will generally set up that type of care.  This is something the weekend doctor failed to tell me.

Okay.

Monday afternoon, I received a call from the Physician’s Assistant.  They were releasing my dad!  Apparently he didn’t meet the criteria to be transferred to psych (and that’s a good thing).  But sadly, he also didn’t qualify for at home nursing care since from a medical insurance standpoint… my mom was still very capable of caring for my dad.

The PA recommended that I discard all of my dad’s existing meds (he had scripts for new meds) and check in with them every other day.  I don’t have the capacity for home visits every other day.

And this, my friends, is just the beginning of what I know I’ll be dealing with for the rest of my parents’ lives.  I will have to manage their care.  My parents have now, somehow, become MY children.  It is the circle of life.  They raised me and now I must care for them in their elder years.  And let me tell you – I was so not prepared for this but I’m sure nobody ever really is prepared.

I know that when my dad passes, my mom will become my complete dependent.  Jeremy and I have already discussed accelerating our plans of buying a new home but this time we need to find one with enough space for a parent apartment.

And a part of me finds some of this a little funny.  I had been somewhat preoccupied with the idea of having another baby and wanting one sooner rather than later.  I guess the universe thought that this was a better way to give me another baby.

Have any of you had to manage the care of your parents?  Where should I start?

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Another Wordless Wednesday Post a Day Late

I really meant to post this yesterday but my dad ended up in the hospital again.  I can only describe yesterday’s events as: funny, scary, sad, hilarious and frustrating.  In that order. 

Anywho.

Annmarie isn’t any easy baby to make laugh so when I find something that she finds funny, I hold onto it.  I’m trying to be quiet with what is making her laugh in the video so that all you hear is her laughing… but you can still sort of hear it.  Right now the funniest thing in the world to her is when I pretend to sneeze.  I don’t get it but I’ll keep doing it because I love her laughter!

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Filed under Charm City Kim Breeds

Traveling Tuesday (We Survived Flying with a Baby)

I’ve been a bit MIA lately on here and on Twitter. My grandpa died on Thursday, November 3rd. We flew out to Utah the following Saturday and were there for a few days.

I will blog about my experience in Utah and reflections on visiting with family but this is about traveling with a baby.

I asked my Facebook friends for some traveling tips and most recommended packing plenty of snacks and new toys for the plane ride. Another suggested just using a wrap instead of taking a stroller. And nearly all suggested slipping AM some benedryl to knock her out. We skipped the benedryl only because our pediatrician said that some babies react differently to it and it can actually make them hyperactive. No thanks – I didn’t want to risk it.

So this is what we packed:

  • enough diapers to get us through the flight.
  • enough jarred solid food to get us through the flight.
  • Moby wrap. It isn’t easy trying to carry a 23 lb baby AND coordinate carrying luggage
  • Car seat and base. We had to rent a car when we were there. This had to be packed. We were able to bring it onto the plane as our carry-on.
  • Lots of small toys, new ones (picked up for less than $3 each from Target) and some old favorites
  • Snacks! She loves these Organic Puffs.
  • Enough clothes for 2 outfit changes daily (in case of leakage).

Things we purposely did not pack: 

  • cloth diapers. We wouldn’t have access to a washing machine for daily washes so it didn’t make sense.
  • Disposable diapers for the week. We weren’t traveling to a 3rd world country. We knew we could pick up diapers in Utah. No sense in packing stuff we could just purchase later.
  • Solid foods that we prepped. This seems pretty obvious. We had the same mindset with food that we did with diapers – we could buy some when we got to Utah.
  • Stroller. We thought about it but we weren’t really going to Utah for sightseeing purposes. It didn’t make sense to pack a stroller.
  • Baby towel/washcloths. The hotel has plenty of towels!

Our pediatrician recommended timing feeding AM with the takeoff or at least ensure she’s sucking on a pacifier. I was petrified that she would flip out. We got side eyes from the majority of passengers when we boarded the plane.

But… AM was fine. She didn’t really fuss at all. Granted – she seemed restless whenever she wasn’t napping so we were constantly passing her back and forth to occupy her. Overall however, it wasn’t a bad experience.

About to take off
Annmarie 036

As for traveling around Utah with her? Not so bad. The only negative thing was having her sleep in a crib in our room. Between the time zone difference and altitude, it took her 2 days to adjust. She would NOT go to sleep if we were awake in the room (watching TV, eating, etc.). So that meant we had to go to bed when she went to bed… around 7pm. That was good AND bad. We slept longer on that trip than we had in awhile (9-10 hour stretches usually).  But sometimes it was tough to go to bed that early.

It also didn’t take her long to readjust back to our time zone. She actually slept 12 hours the following night (and each night over the weekend… it was glorious).

I also hauled her around in the moby wrap most of the time.

Annmarie 042

And on the trip home, our flight left Utah at 5pm and we landed in Baltimore at 11pm. We dressed her in her PJs and she slept most of the way.
Flying Home

We survived!

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Shutterfly Blog Promotion – Winners

Hi all – I know I said I’d announce the winners of the Shutterfly promotion code for 25 free holiday cards on Monday and clearly that didn’t happen.  I was out in Utah until yesterday visiting with family and attending my grandfather’s funeral.

Okay – not to be all debbie downer on you guys but out of the whopping 9 comments I received (and let me tell you, I was pretty excited to have more than 3 readers) – here are the winners based on numbers generated out of random.org.

Winner 1 – Jaime

Winner 2 – Mary Daiger Mullins

Winner 3 - MonsteRawr

 

Thank you all for commenting!  I’ll be e-mailing the winners the promotion code.

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Filed under Charm City Kim Plays

Wordless(ish) Wednesday… 2 Days Late

There’s a lot of stuff going on right now that I’m sure I’ll blog about later but I really meant to post something on Wednesday so here it is…

(and I’m borrowing from Nanette the theme of a wordless-ish post… I think “ish” is my favorite suffix)

Baby shoes are adorable especially when placed next to grown-up shoes

I can say the same for a baby coat… so cute hanging next to mom and dad’s coats.
 
I’m starting to think that maybe she really did learn how to crawl by watching the dogs…

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Filed under Charm City Kim Rambles