Friday, June 29, 2012

A Beautiful Thing

There was a guy that both Andy and I knew in college that was quite entertaining and fun to be around.
He would often say "It's a beautiful thing."
Every now and then Andy or I will use that phrase and we both smile and think of Kimber.

Well folks, this truly is a beautiful thing I'm going to share with you.
Maybe some of you are already aware of it but if not, prepare to have your socks knocked off.
(I realize that not all of you will agree with my feelings here since not all of you are sewers.  However, if you have ever made a baby blanket before, you may appreciate this.)

On Pinterest a while ago I saw these...

Super cute right?
You may recall a while back (I think I mentioned it on my blog),
that I tried sewing this and didn't measure precisely enough and it turned out very wrong and I ended up just giving burp cloths for a baby gift.

Well, a couple of friends of mine were having babies soon and I was determined to try this again and get it right.
I had some fabric that I had bought several months ago with the intention of making a blanket for Matt.
He told me about a year ago that he didn't have a "small blanket" like the other kids.
Josh and Abby have both kind of hung on to one of their baby blankets and just keep it in their bed.
So...I bought this really cute baseball fabric and put it aside for a while.
This was my chance, both to complete a long over due project and practice this technique again.
I had Mom help me look at the tutorial and figure things out.

We actually found this one to be a little more helpful and clear, but they're the same idea.
After Mom's help I felt confident that I could do it and I set to work that day during nap time.
Things were going really well...I was super careful with my measurements and everything looked like it was turning out.  Well, when I turned the blanket right side out something was terribly wrong again.  I was frustrated...I kept trying to make it right but it just wasn't so I sadly left it in my craft corner and went upstairs to finish the rest of the day.
After the kids were in bed I was ready to face it again.
I went back to the tutorial and read it very carefully and after a few minutes realized what I had done wrong.  One simple mistake and I knew it would make all the difference.
So I cut off all the seams and cut the fabric down to size and tried again.
Finally, on my third attempt at this blanket I had success!
It turned out small, but beautiful :)

And Matt loved it.

I love that grin!

So I now felt ready to make a couple of more for my friends.
I was anxious to get to the fabric store and get some cute flannel so I called my cousin to come and babysit for me while I did that and went to the grocery store.
While having the fabric cut, I got a phone call from Abby saying that Ben was having a seizure.
I wasn't too alarmed since lately they've only been a few minutes at the most and on top of that, my cousin has been babysitting before when he has had a seizure.  I calmly told her that I'd stay on the phone with them until it stopped.  The lady cutting the flannel could probably tell something was wrong since she said I could go and come back later if I needed to.
I told her I was fine.  Well, the minutes kept ticking and the seizure hadn't stopped.
After 5 minutes I told Becca to go ahead and give him the Diastat.
She did and after a few minutes it still hadn't slowed down.  At about 9 minutes, my fabric was paid for and I decided I had better get home.
I told them I was coming and hopped in the car.
At 10 minutes it still hadn't stopped.
I told Becca that I was going to call 911.
I was trying to figure out how she could get a hold of me if it stopped while I was on the phone when...
Phew!  It finally stopped.
That was a close one...
He fell asleep in my cousin's arms and was grumpy the rest of the day.

Anyway...blankets.  I whipped these two out plus 4 burp cloths in one day.  

Once I understood what I was doing they were so easy!

The fabric line for both of these blankets is Robert Kaufman's "Pretty Paisley".

They are so slick and give you perfect mitered corners every time!

This is my new go to baby gift. 
I love this technique and I hope you do too.
Thank you for letting me share this beautiful thing with you :)

Side Note:  I just have to share this because I think it is so funny...
At the shower where I wanted to give this as a gift and ended up just doing burp cloths with a package of diapers, there were some sweet ladies who were more advanced in years than some.
When the mother to be opened my gift and I explained that cloth diapers are my favorite burp cloths because they are so absorbent (I have pretty spitty babies) these cute ladies were confused and seemed to think that I had dressed up some cloth diapers to be used as cloth diapers.
They explained how to put one on a baby and so on and so forth...
It was just too funny :)
They must have thought it a pretty silly gift to put fabric and ric rac on diapers!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

7 Completely Random and Unrelated Things That I Need to squeeze Into One Post

Thing #1

Last Saturday was an annual family reunion on my mom's side of the family.
There are always fun water related things for the kids to do.
This year there was a little, blue, sprinkler inflatable thingy that Ben got such a kick out of.

This was just pure heaven to Ben.

 I would say that Ben spent about 80% of the reunion running around in the water...and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa (especially Grandpa) spent that same amount of time out supervising him in the hot sun.  Bless you all!

At the end of the reunion the owner of this water toy came up to us and asked us to take it home with us since Ben enjoyed it so much.  It was super nice of her.

Thing #2
 (Okay, so this one is not totally unrelated to #1.)

There is always an auction at the above reunion.
Mom made the niftiest little patriotic table topper.

I knew I wanted to get it.  I was prepared to go kind of high for it.
However, everyone else thought I should have it since my mom made it and so they didn't give me much competition.  I got it for a mere $25!  I felt kind of bad that it didn't go for more but I'm extremely happy that I got it :)

This is the best I could do out of my garden for a red/white and blue's really pink/white and purple but I tried.

As if that wasn't good enough...
For my birthday I asked Mom for a table runner to put on my dining table.  She did such a beautiful job and I'm thrilled that it's now sitting on the table.

Isn't it beautiful?  I love all the different colors and I think my favorite part is the triangle border.
Mom just recently started learning machine quilting and she's pretty hard on herself but I think is does an amazing job.

I need to get a smaller basket to put on my table so I can show off more of this quilted beauty.

Thanks Mom!  I really, really love it!

Thing #3

Ben had his first day of preschool.  It didn't begin as I had planned.  For some reason I had it in my head that it started later in the morning but at 8:10 a.m. I got a phone call from the bus driver saying that they were just down the road and would be there in a few minutes!  Ahhhh....Ben was still asleep so I told her that I would just bring him that morning.  I hurried and woke him up and tried to throw some sort of keto breakfast down him.  I got us both dressed, grabbed his cute little backpack and rushed out the door.  We got there right as class was starting at 8:30.
I tried to have him sit down at the rug with the rest of the kids but he wanted to follow me around while I talked to the head teacher about some things.  Things like 'would they understand his sign language', 'not to feed him anything except the snack I packed in his bag for him', and 'he's been really grumpy lately so I'm sorry if he gives you much trouble'.  He acted interested in some things at the table we were standing next to so the speech pathologist tried to engage him while we talked.  The teacher asked if I could pick him up at 11:00 since he wasn't supposed to ride the bus anyway since we didn't have his health plan in place yet.

I left as Ben was not watching which I didn't know if that was a good thing or not.  I drove home with a lot of worries and to top it all off I realized I hadn't given him his morning meds in the rush of trying to get out the door.

I had two hours to myself...well, the other kids were there so I guess I should say I had two hours without my little guy needing me most every minute for something or other.
I felt guilty enjoying the time he was gone...mainly because I wasn't sure if he was having a good experience.
I got so many things, paying the bills, putting away laundry etc...
I felt extremely productive.
The time came for me to pick him up.
As I arrived at the school I saw the line of children getting ready to board the bus.  
One of the teachers brought Ben to me and he immediately started signing "bus" and pointing.  He was so excited and wanted to get on.  He was so disappointed when it drove away without him.
I was happy to know that he wanted to ride it as that was one of my main concerns about him starting school.
They all said he did really well...cried a little at first but then was just fine.  They asked me what a couple of signs meant.  I asked them if they had figured out the helmet okay and if he fought it when they had to put it back on after snack time, did they ever have parent volunteers in the classroom and were they legally allowed to change diapers.
Answers:  Yes, No, No, and Yes (as a matter of fact, they have plans to start potty training...great if it works but I'm not getting my hopes up :)

I could just tell that he was happy and had enjoyed those two hours as much as I had.  I felt much less guilty looking at his cute little smile.

When we got home I wanted to take a picture of him by the front door with his backpack like I do with all the other kids on their first more thing that got neglected in our frantic morning.
This was his reaction:

He usually likes getting his picture taken but he would not cooperate in the least at that critical moment.
Grandma got him laughing though so, though it's not the traditional "first day" pose, I did get a cute shot or two.

He loves his backpack and wears it all around the house.  He points to his back to let us know he wants it put on.  It's adorable!

Since it was such a good experience for both of us I'm thinking of talking to the teacher about having him attend two days a week instead of the originally planned one for the summer :)

Thing #4

Abby and one of her cousins are pen pals for the summer.
It's cute to read their letters back and forth.  In the last letter, Abby's cousin told her that she was as cute as a rainbow!  I thought that was the cutest thing!
So this was Abby's reply...

"Thanks for saying that I'm as cute as a rainbow!!"
Love it!

Thing #5

I'm amazed at Ben's ability to put together all these beads.  He diligently works at it until they are all strung together...

then he takes them for a ride around the kitchen floor.

Cute! (notice the backpack)

Thing #6

Abby has become super helpful lately at feeding Ben.  Since I'm always fixing at least two separate meals she will often feed him while I get the rest of the family's food ready.

Ben doesn't seem to mind the transfer of responsibility much :)

Thing #7

We did something today that we haven't done in a long time.
We went to the park/zoo with Grandma O.

Always, the favorite thing is buying the food pellets and feeding the ducks and fish.

Note Ben's happy face.

The kids were quite excited when they saw a duck on the loose.

I thought these baby Emus were so cute.  They were quick little runners darting about everywhere.

Love it when I see things like this.

Always, we have to stop for a while at the playground.  I helped Ben up and down several different slides and the kids (Matt, Josh, Abby and our friends that happened to be there at the same time) fought to see who would catch him at the bottom.

Life is good :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Bryans go to Disneyland - Fourth Installment or Third and Final day in Disneyland

We woke up and got going as quickly as possible to be among the hoards of people streaming into Cars Land Wednesday morning.
We went straight to the fast pass line for Radiator Springs Racers.
While standing in line, a worker came by and told everyone that the fast pass line wouldn't even open for another 45 minutes.  Still, most of us kept our spots...this was a big deal!
Moments later another worker came up to the line and told everyone to just go get in the regular line for RSR because it was the shortest that line was going to be all day.
I moved to the other line and waited while Andy took the other kids on Luigi's Flying Tires.

I love Matt's face in this picture!

I still ended up waiting in line for at least an hour.  With about 20 minutes to go the rest of the family joined me (except for Ben who was too small for that ride.)

Merill and Nancy took turns with Ben in the stroller.  On their off times, they got in the singles line for RSR.
As we were nearing the front of the line, we saw Nancy close by in the singles line.  She hopped over and joined us making an even six for our car.

The scenery was amazing!  It all felt so natural...just like I was in Southern Utah or...Radiator Springs!
The time finally arrived!  We loaded a car and were off.

You drive around outside for a little bit and then go inside and see a bunch of the characters.

These were incredible...they moved and talked so fluidly.  We couldn't figure out what they were made of or how they made it so realistic.

We drove into Luigi's and he changed our regular tires into white walls!
It was pretty cute.
Then we started cruising super fast on a race with the car next to us.

We actually bought this picture afterward because we thought it was so funny!
All the girls in the back are screaming, while Andy's just lovin' it.  Although you can't see them that well, you can kind of tell that Josh and Matt are a little worried as well.

After our thrilling ride (it really was quite fun) we toured the rest of Radiator Springs.
Like I was amazing!

The rest of us took a turn on Luigi's Tires as well...

Nice face Josh!

Then we had Breakfast at Flo's.

I had begun to see a pattern with Matt during this vacation...he strikes a pose for almost every picture.  Here is one candid shot that I caught.

You can see in the background of this picture just a portion of the forever long line for the RSR.  Even further back is part of the track for the ride so we were able to watch the screamin' cars go by as we ate.

 Later in the day when we passed by Radiator Springs again Andy asked how long the wait was for this ride.  3 1/2 hours!!!  And who knows if that was the longest?

I apologize for the plethora of pictures.  Up until this point I felt like I was showing most of you things you had already seen.  However, that's not necessarily the case with Cars Land.
(The kids thought it was pretty neat that it was only "6 days old" when we were there)

On to A Bug's Land...
It was just the right place for Ben.

He loved the rides...

As did everyone else...

I was excited to put Ben in these little bumper bugs and got him excited too until I realized there was a height requirement that he didn't fill.  We were both pretty disappointed :(

Check.  Moving on...
The day before, Merill and Nancy took the kids and Andy and I did Soarin' Over California as singles (there was a huge line).  We knew the kids would love it so we got fast passes the next day.  Merill and Nancy took Ben again and the five of us enjoyed the ride.

Waiting to board the ride (not the best picture but the only one I have of this).
Next, we got fast passes for the Grizzly River Run but our time wasn't until a couple of hours out.  So we took the kids over to Russel and Doug's ("Up") Challenge Trail.

They zip lined, rock climbed etc. and earned their Wilderness Explorer Badges presented by none other than  Russel himself.

being promoted to senior wilderness explorers

Finally it was time to get on the River Run.
I left my camera in the stroller since I didn't want it to get wet so you are spared any images that might have been.
Fun was had by all and when it came down to it I was the most wet.  It took a couple of hours for the back of my pants to dry off.

We got fast passes for "World of Color" for that night (10:15 p.m.) unsure if we would actually use them.  We knew we'd be exhausted and it would be awfully late when we would get back to the hotel but we got them just in case.

On our way to the Rainforest Cafe for lunch we caught a Pixar parade going down Hollywood Street.

I loved how the body segments of the caterpillar were all separate :)

The tail end of the parade was Mater and that was Ben's favorite part.

It was quite late in the afternoon so we were happy to arrive at the restaurant and relax and eat.

Ben ended up in just his diaper for his lower half since his mom accidentally forgot to change his diaper earlier in the day.  He was soaked through.
Ben was such a little monkey.  He would not sit still and kept climbing on Andy.

Eventually he calmed down and enjoyed my cheese ravioli as much as I did.
(I can't remember if I mentioned in the earlier posts that we were going to try and stick as close as possible to the semi-ketogenic diet while on the quickly went out the window)

After lunch we strolled down Downtown Disney and went to the Disney store for the boys to buy light sabers.  I don't know what got into me...I guess the Disney spirit...but I actually allowed it.
Abby's choice of a souvenir was a necklace filled with hand picked beads of her favorite princesses and other Disney things.
I got Ben a little pack of plastic Nemo toys that he has quite enjoyed since returning home.  He likes to line them up but gets quite frustrated because Dori doesn't stand on her own.

Back in the hotel the kids were ready to go swimming.  I was glad we were able to fit it in the schedule for them.

Ben absolutely loves the water but he also likes to be independent in the water which is not a good combination for someone with myoclonics seizures.
Even in the very shallow pool (a couple of inches deep) he wanted to just crawl around in the water on the cement ground.  So I followed him around bent over with my hand against his forehead in case he jerked forward and face planted.

The older kids were enjoying the water slide but we had to call it an evening kind of early because Ben was getting frustrated with not being able to do what he wanted.

We ate popcorn and watched t.v. while we cleaned up in the hotel room.
It was getting to the point where we needed to make a decision about "World of Color".
After much debate and discussion we decided to just go.  Josh almost stayed in the room to go to sleep (with Merill and Nancy in the adjoining room) but as we were walking out the door he got flustered and decided to join us.  I figure it was approximately a mile walk to Paradise Pier...Ben fell asleep on the way.
It probably ended up being a good thing since he wouldn't have been able to see a thing...we didn't get a very good standing spot.  The other three sat on the ground until it started and then took turns on our shoulders and in our arms throughout the show.

We all ended up being glad we went.  It was quite an amazing show.  Lots of Lights, colors, music and movies.  None of my pictures really turned out except for a shot after the show was over.

Somehow we made it back to the hotel room.  We transferred Ben from the stroller to our bed and everyone promptly fell asleep.

At 5 a.m. I woke up to a seizure.  It only lasted a little over a minute and then he fell back asleep.

The next morning we hurried and packed up and then had a quick breakfast outside with the birds...seriously, these birds were everywhere and they had no problem getting close to people.

We said goodbye to Disneyland as we hopped on the shuttle to the airport.

Thank you Mickey!  We had a grand time.

Side note 1: In one of the little shops in the airport, Nancy and the kids and I stopped and bought some snacks for the flight.  There we met a fellow traveler that was English.  Somehow it came up that he had gone to school with a couple of The Beatles.  He was headed to Salt Lake for a conference.  He said he was very excited because on Sunday morning he was going to "the Mormon temple" to hear the world famous Tabernacle Choir practice.  It was fun for Nancy to be able to tell this man that she "worked" there.

Side note 2: We had boarded the plane and Abby and I were waiting to see who would be the third person on our row.  We knew the flight was sold out so we knew someone was coming.
The last person to board the plane, last minute, was an Orthodox Jewish man.  He sat down next to me, I greeted him, he mumbled something in return, pulled out his Torah and immediately began praying.
I ended up extremely tired from the Dramamine and was kind of out of it for the first half of the flight.  When the drink cart came along I came to and that's when he and I started having a conversation...starting with children/family and rather quickly turning to religion.  I asked him where he was headed (Salt Lake was just a layover for him), he told me he was going to New York to commemorate the death of the chief rabbi.
He asked me what religion I was and acted kind of surprised when I told him.
We asked each other question after question about our respective faiths.
It was really quite intriguing to me although I told him more than once that my husband, who was sitting across the isle, should be the one talking to him since he was very familiar with the Hebrew culture and had been to Jerusalem and loved studying anything related to it.  Not that I wasn't enjoying myself, but this man probably would have had a better and more interesting conversation with Andy.  I knew Andy was glancing over at times during the flight a bit jealous of my situation.
We talked until we landed and then said goodbye.
It truly was a neat experience for me and changed my perspective on some me thinking.
Anyway, we gathered our luggage, gave much thanks to Merill and Nancy and drove home.

What a trip...packed full of new and wonderful memories.
The kids are already talking about going back :)