Friday, March 28, 2008

Bathing Suit Season

Ask any woman who isn't a runway model and she'll tell you, bathing suit shopping isn't for the faint of heart. I am in the best shape I've been in about eight years and out of necessity, I had to get a new suit. Despite losing over 5.25 inches off my body in the last 10 weeks, it took three days, ten stores and extraordinary spiritual fortitude to find one that wouldn't scar my kids or shame my husband for life! It was nearly an impossible task. Have you seen the swimwear options out there? They need to have gi-normous boxes of Kleenex in the dressing room or have a licensed therapist on the premises.  Wow!
The reason I put myself through such trauma is because, somehow, (I have no idea how), I lost my bathing suit. I wore it to the gym last Saturday and haven't seen it since.  The cause for my urgent need for a bathing suit is that I am now taking swim lessons. For over four decades I've been an aqua chicken but now I'm taking the plunge, so to speak. 

My lesson started in a matter of hours. My mom was visiting and so we dashed over to the shopping center but couldn't find one bathing suit even mildly flattering or comfortable. Each store we entered my delusional yet loving mom would hopefully announce, "I just know we're going to find a suit for you. I just feel it." Puh-lease! It took only seconds in Old Navy, Kohls, Dicks Sporting Goods, and Target to realize that wasn't going to happen. Reluctantly I wore an old bathing suit to the lesson. 

However, yesterday, out of shear necessity, I took my middle OS bathing suit shopping with me. The first store we went to was Everything But Water at the mall. Aaron
recalls it as "the most awkward experience in his entire life." I told him it was Husband Training. We walked into the store and this was the first suit which greeted us. Can you believe it??? 
My guys don't like it when their mom wears a suit with a scooped out navel.  We left dejected.

But today, rejoice friends, I found two suits at Dillards. Beulah, my saleslady was my swimwear angel.  She was encouraging and positive, I felt like I could trust her. I gave her a big hug right after handing her my credit card.  This is a picture of one of the suits I bought. As many of you know, this is NOT me in the photo. 

Then I came home, ripped off that sani-strip (ew!) and went to the pool and practiced the dead man float and putting my chin in the water.  I showed Aaron and Isaac how I could put my head under water and they were mes-mo-rized, (HA!) 

I'm keeping my eyes on my bathing suits in the future. I hope I don't have to go looking again for a really long time.

Oh, one more thing, Miracle Suits are miserable! Don't torture yourself! 

See you at the pool. Look for the hot mama in a sassy suit with the kickboard. It's me. 

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Look What I Made!

I did it! I made my first pair of boxer shorts! My DH Mark was the big winner of the blog post where I requested you pick the person and the material. 

I could have gone back and forth to Target eight times and bought boxers considering the amount of time it took to make them but I think it was worth it. I mean, how many husbands do you know that have their own homemade boxers?

It was my first time using the button hole sewer and this was a momentous event. It's called a utility stitch and my Project Runway Brother Sewing Machine with pink trim is da bomb! My husband is going to be the proudest guy at the gym. While all the other guys are wearing dreary undies purchased at a department store, feeling horrible inside like their wives don't really care about their undergarments, my precious husband can stand tall. He'll be strutting all over the locker room walking proudly knowing he's probably the only guy there that's wearing his style of boxers.

If you're interested in making your sweetie some boxers, here is the pattern. 

Monday, March 17, 2008

Moving into Manhood

Today is St. Patrick's Day and we chose to honor the day in a momentous fashion. Aaron shaved for the first time! Our 13 1/2 year old OS has completed another rite of passage into manhood. Ike and I are now the only ones who do not shave our faces and I'm hoping we can keep it that way for a long time. There are absolutely no plans for me to shave my face, btw! WHEW!
My husband gave Aaron a few pointers as he navigated around his face. Side by side in the freshly tidied bathroom, Mark patiently instructed his son. The peach fuzz has been so much fun to see sprouting but it was time for Aaron to become a clean-shaven teen.
 These are the precious moments that so many boys never experience because their dad isn't home or available or interested. Proverbs 22:6 says "train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it." A father's influence is important in every way - spiritually, emotionally, physically. I know the Bible isn't talking about shaving but these bonding moments will shape our son's masculinity and hopefully he will pass wisdom and character onto his children one day. This is just one simple way my husband is training his boys. We bought Aaron his very own can of shaving cream and a razor and made a big deal about this special experience. One day Aaron will tire of this task but right now, Aaron declared he's going to shave every day! 

Nate is headed to a short mountain trip with four of his buddies tomorrow morning. They are going by themselves, no parental supervision. Yeah, I'm a little nervous. Ike has a few little pimples on his face and some suspicious emotional outbursts. 
My boys are growing up but I like most of the bittersweet changes.  

Thursday, March 13, 2008

You Decide 2008

Hi friends,
I need your advice. I'm going to make some boxer shorts and would value your expert opinions. Let me know the following:
Which material should I use?

A) white swirlies 

orange bunnies

 colorful circles 
 blue squares and rectangles
E) red swirlies and dots
F) yellow bananas

Next, help me decide which person I should make them for. Here are my choices 
Mark (MDH), 
Aaron (13 yr old OS) or
Isaac (11 yr old OS). 

My almost 18 year old Nathan OS is not interested in me making him underwear. I think it would be fun and cost-effective but the whole idea creeps him out. 
The boxers he likes are about $12 a piece, personally I'd rather make them for a whole lot less $$ but he's just not down with that! At least some day I'll be able to make my 2 1/2 year old nephew Jon a pair of Thomas the Tank Engine boxers when he's potty trained, I know he'll be ok with that. 
I will make a pair of boxer shorts and put them on my blog for you to see. I doubt there will be any underwear modeling, sorry to disappoint!
Can't wait to hear from you!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Fancy Pants

On Tuesday, I'm taking a how to sew a zipper class. Dear friends, you just don't understand how excited I am to learn this new skill. I have this vision of making my own skirts. If all goes well, I'll be making some skirts this spring and summer. All these ideas will finally have a place besides in my brain. I'm trying to be realistic here though. Most of my creative ideas don't usually pan out as well as I'd like but it sure would be awesome if this time it did. 

Right now I'm on a pajama pants sewing spree. Last weekend I cranked out three pairs of pants. The sound of a sewing machine in motion is something I find so relaxing. I like the way it sounds when the needle hits the fabric. I like gliding the material down the machine. I thrill at the notion of putting pieces of things together and making something usable and fun. 

I happened to ask my trainer if she'd like a pair of pajama pants. I ask my sons' friends and they all have turned me down. What is up with that? 
Don't 11, 13 and 17 year old guys need pajama pants!? Hmph! But this time my trainer said "ok!" and that's all I needed to hear. The very next day I beelined to Hancock Fabrics and bought some fleece fabric and days later, presented them to her.

Then I made a pair of "hot pants" for Ike. I used some remnant fabric I had laying around the house and sewed them in record speed. The reason I call them hot pants is the material has a flame pattern. Ike doesn't like it when I call them "hot pants" though. You have no idea how I love to see my family enjoying my handiwork. 
It is the best feeling to see them in the laundry knowing that they have worn something I made. To me it's kind of like making brownies or something but not really because you can't eat pajama pants and they won't make your butt big but if you have a big butt, pajama pants can be rather unflattering...

NE way, the last pair I made was for me. A pair of periwinkle satin flannel pajama pants that are so comfy. I tailored them to fit me the way I like them and you'd think I thought I was Vera Wang or something. I'm strutting around the house in these bad boys all the time like I'm some kind of fashion pajama pants designer. 

Monday, March 3, 2008

Sweet Treats

If you are reading this post, you are sworn to secrecy. I wouldn't even write about my recent baking experience if I thought my oldest son checked my blog regularly. However, Nate, if you are reading this post, Honey, remember Mom loves you very much and would NEVER, EVER, EVER do ANYTHING to harm you...'Member that time when I added just a little bit of chopped spinach to the brownies I baked as an after-school snack? Well, Mom added pureed cauliflower to the banana bread I made yesterday. And that is why I have allowed you to eat as many slices as you have wanted and why I even included a piece of banana bread in your lunch today. It's because I love you, k?

The reason I did this was because I bought the Deceptively Delicious cookbook by Jessica Seinfeld.  Admittedly, it is a lot harder making food with secret ingredients when you have kids that can read. My boys are reading above their grade levels and can easily read a recipe. 
In a cloud of secrecy I nonchalantly steamed a head of cauliflower while making dinner. Normally I eagerly include my OS in my cooking, this time I said nothing and did it myself. My trusty husband was in on the deal so he took a few pics.

When Nathan got his first piece of the banana bread, he commented that parts of the banana did completely mix into the batter. "Hmmm," I muttered, hoping he wouldn't ask any more questions. Praise the Lord, he didn't.

Although it wasn't quite as delicious as my mom's legendary banana bread, I loved feeling guilt-free about my boys gobbling it up. I thought it tasted pretty good, especially with the added cinnamon. 

Has anyone else tried this cookbook? Has anyone tried these recipes on literate people? I am so not a lying person so at this point, I'm adopting the military policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."