Monday, June 27, 2011

The weekend

Today as I was swinging on the front porch swing thinking about this past weekend, I realized how blessed I really am.  I have an amazing husband and an absolutely perfect son.  My friends are wonderful and my family is the best.  I'm including my husband's family too because they have welcomed me with open arms since day one.  God has been good to me.

This past week and weekend has been a very joyous and difficult weekend.  Grayson turned one year!  How time flies!  My son is healthy and a genius, at least I think so.  We had a good day celebrating his birthday.  We ate Mexican and Grayson even got to wear a sombrero!  It was a perfect day.  Well, almost a perfect day.  Someone was missing.  Milestones like that are hard when you reach them without someone you love.  Skype wasn't working so we couldn't even see each other.  At least we got to talk on the phone.

The next day I went to buy decorations and groceries for Grayson's party.  I also thought I would buy me a new dress.  Well, that didn't exactly go the way I planned.  Just a little background.  I am a dog lover.  Always have been and always will be.  Plus I am a little emotional right now.  Ok, back to the story.  On the way to the store I saw a dog in the road that had been run-over.  I was very saddened and started thinking about my Buster.  Well when I passed the dog he lifted his head and looked at me and I lost it.  I started crying and I turned the jeep around as soon as I could and stopped to get him.  I was not the only one.  Three more vehicles pulled over and helped me.  One gave me a blanket and the other two picked up the dog and put him in the back of the jeep.  Poor dog couldn't stand up.  He tried and he fell right away.  I took him to the vet and the only humane thing to do was euthanize him.  I hated to do it but the vet said it would take hours of surgery and that was just to repair a broken pelvis and he would probably need at least one leg amputated.  Then the vet told me he hadn't even started to discuss the internal injuries.  He said the dog was probably a stray and he could tell by looking at him he was not well taken care of.  The vet and I decided the best thing for him was to let him die in peace.  I have never stopped crying and now I am crying so hard that the vet tech goes and gets me some tissue.

After I finished up with the vet, I sat in my jeep for 10 minutes and cried.  I finally cried for Buster and for me.
I usually try not to fell sorry for myself but this day I just let it all out.  I cried for Grayson.  I cried for all the people in my situation.  I cried for the ones who have lost someone, I'm including pets.  I think I just needed to cry.  When I finally composed myself, I went shopping.  No fun.  Nothing looked good to me.  I just wandered around town.  I really needed to talk to Gabe.  He makes me feel better.  Of course I cried when I told him what happened. 

I love that man.  Just the sound of his voice makes me feel better.  There is no greater feeling that knowing I have my soul mate.  He loves me and I love him.  I am blessed.  I hope everyone has someone like that in their life.  He is my best friend. 

Sunday was Grayson's birthday party and we had a blast.  Again it was hard without Gabe but my family made it perfect.  We had good food and lots of laughs.  Most of the laughs came because of something Grayson did.  That boy is an entertainer.  He put on a pair of sunglasses and walked around to every person there!  He really is absolutely perfect!  I love that little guy.  All the things we went through after he was born was worth it.  

So sitting on the porch swing tonight I realized I was the luckiest girl in the world! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Look what I did!!

I don't know if this is a trend all over the US or just in the South, but down here we measure the height of kids on the door or door frame of our houses.  Since we are in the militarty we won't stay at the same house for long so I needed something to track Grayson's growth.  I looked in to ordering a portable growth chart but once I calculated tax and shipping it came out cheaper to make my own, so I did!!  I'm going to brag on myself for a minute.  It turned out really well.  I forgot how crafty I could be.  It took a long time and I DID have help sewing it because my sewing skills just aren't all that spectacular.  It was a family affair.  My Mom, sister, cousin and Mawmaw helped me.  I will try to explain how we did it.  So here goes!

I found a blog that showed how to make a portable growth chart here.   I used it as a template but definitely didn't follow it to a tee.

  1. I bought 3&1/2 yards of canvas material, stencils and fabric paint markers.  The fabric was 60 inches wide so I could make another one if the first one didn't work out.
  2.  I cut the chart 23 inches wide.  The chart is 20 inches across and each side hem is 1&1/2 inches.  I folded the side hem in once and pinned and pressed and sewed it.  Then I folded it over again and again and pinned, pressed and then sewed it.  The width of the chart and hem is totally up to you. 
  3. We measured and measured and measured again for the hems on the top and bottom.  The first hem at the top and bottom didn't work out so we had to rip out the stitches and measure and do it again.  I'm going to buy dowel rods and twine to hang the growth chart when I get back.  I used a dowel rod my Dad had just so I could get measurements.  The exact measurements depends on what size dowel rod you use.  I used a half inch dowel rod.
  4. First I measured a 1/4 inch hem and pinned and pressed and sewed.  Then I rolled the material over the dowel rod and made a mark.  I then folded the material and measured about every 5 inches to make sure it was the same.  It took almost two hours to do this.  I don't remember the exact measurements because they were an odd measurement.
  5. Wash or don't wash the material is up to you.  I washed mine after I did all the hemming.  It did shrink a little so be prepared.  I ripped the top and bottom seams outs after I had washed it.  Maybe if you wash after making the first fold it might not mess up the hem.  It DOES need a hem before you wash it because canvas ravels very quickly!  
  6. The most tedious part of the entire growth chart was marking off the marks on the side.  I started at 1'7" and went to 6'4" .  I am going to hang the growth chart 18 inches off the floor.  I lined up the bottom hem at 18 inches and started marking one inch above that.  I made the feet marks 3 inches long and the inch marks 1.2 inches long.  It took forever to make sure the lines were straight and the exact.  (I blame my husband for making me so OCD when it comes to measuring things!)  The first thing I did was use a pencil to make a tiny dot where I needed to mark where all the lines would be and then I went back with two rulers and the marker.   I used a black fabric paint marker.  I know that was probably an extra step but I wanted it straight.
  7. Next I placed my stencils where I wanted them and moved them around until they where exactly where I wanted them and exactly straight and even.  Again I blame Gabe.  This took a long time.  I taped my stencils down so they wouldn't move.
  8. I the drew it out on a piece of paper and decided on colors.  Before I forget, I used the scrape fabric I had to test the stencils and the colors of my paint markers.  I found this very helpful.
  9. All that was left to do was color them in.  I used fabric paint markers.  This was just easier for me instead of using paint and brushes.  
  10. The only thing left to do is heat set the paint.  Each painted section needs two minutes of heat set.  I found this video on YouTube.
I haven't totally decided how I am going to mark his growth.  I really need to decide seeing as how his birthday is coming up soon!!

Hope you can understand my directions if you decide to make one of your own.  I would suggest making it early, unlike me and making it the week before.

I can't upload pics right now.  I will try another computer.