Friday, November 30, 2018

Pants for the Nerdlet

The pants pattern no longer has anything in common with the original Ottobre 4/2005-10 pattern, but they make the nerdlet happy.  I cut six pairs yesterday but only got one sewn up.

I took the nerdlet shopping with me to JoAnns this past Saturday so she could pick out fabrics and this is one of the ones she chose.  It's a plaid minky that is made for JoAnns.  Darth Monkey is extremely jealous of the fabric and unfortunately I only bought a yard, but after I finish the nerdlet's pants, I should be good to work on hers and the bear cub's wardrobes. 

I often look up or ask about how many pairs of pants a particular child should have but I'm thinking that when they are such wild patterns that they probably need more so while I say I'll be done with the nerdlet's sewing, I'm not sure it will be so.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Black Friday

I've been pretty much disdainful of Black Friday.  I'm not upset that there are store open on Thanksgiving because it seems like there have been lots of times I've needed medication on Thanksgiving eve for one of my girls or someone else I know.  However, I'm  not one to really get excited for it.  I'm too wary of large groups of people to really venture out.

I am grateful for Black Friday online.  I've gotten a few Kindles from Amazon for less than $50.  I don't mind at all shopping from my couch at my leisure.  So I am thankful that I don't have to venture out into the crowds and can still get a good deal or two.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from this thanksgiver to you!  Hope you all have a good one filled with love and gratitude.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

People that Blog

I'm grateful for those people that blog about quilting, sewing, arts, and crafts.  I learn so much from them and even when I'm not learning, I enjoy reading and being inspired.  I enjoy flipping through pins on pinterest knowing that someone has been generous enough with their time that I can likely find a tutorial. 

First Sewing Post in a Long Time

The nerdlet has issues with pants.  In lengths she wears an 8 or 10 depending on the pants, but she has a waist of 19 1/2 inches (49 centimeters).  In addition to this, like a lot of kids on the spectrum, she has tactile sensory issues which makes clothing difficult in general.  Mostly she likes to wear knit fabrics, but she will wear other clothing if it is both loose and soft.  If all that were not enough, she loves colors and patterns so while I have been able to buy leggings for her and just sew in the waist, it was tolerable to her and nothing more.  She recently requested for me to make her flannel pajama pants (which are 4T but she is still wearing) in other fabrics. 

So I decided to start with a pajama pants pattern.  I chose Ottobre 4/2005-10.  I went with a size 128 to start with.  I knew they would be short but I figured that the first pair would be just to try out.  I chose a lightweight denim that I got from from my MIL.  Other than the length I changed nothing.  they ended up being really big.  Luckily Darth Monkey, who is 3 years younger, is significantly larger in every way but height (though she might match her in the next year in height).  You'll have to excuse her pose.  I'll admit I didn't make her change it.

 I actually have a hard time fitting Darth Monkey's butt into normal pants so I might just use these as a jumping off pattern for pants made for her.  The front would need a bunch of excess fabric removed.

So after trying on the above pair, the nerdlet expressed that she wanted to wear them lower and she wanted a waist band, too.  I added 14 inches to the length and removed 5 inches from the top (an inch or so too much) and added a long waist band.  She's wearing them now, but I think they still need some adjustments for the next iteration. 

 If it wasn't winter, I might have a field day making her batik and other light cotton fabrics.  As it is I'll have to go through my fabrics to find something appropriate.  This particular fabric I've had forever and I made a fantastic skirt for my mom with it about a decade or so ago.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018


I dreamed about having kids since I was four years old.  In fact, after three girls, the baby lust is still strong and I convinced a lady I know to let me grandmother her baby, who I even got to visit in the hospital at her birth.  I get to cuddle and hug her and buy her things.  I also get to grandmother her older child who is 8 and I get to take her on trips with my girls to the zoo and Six Flags and the like.  I'm so grateful that my friend decided to let a crazy white-ish woman grandmother and love on her girls.  I'm also grateful that these girls are such sweethearts.

My girls and my grandchild

Grandbaby at birth.  I made her the little crown.

A more recent picture of the grandbaby.

Monday, November 19, 2018

My Girls

I am grateful for having my girls home from school all week.  Don't ask me again on Sunday though as my answer might change.  They are getting along so well and are so loving to each other that it warms my heart.  I had planned activities to do with them and we haven't yet started any of them as I have been cleaning, but it's nice to see them enjoying the time together.  I hope you are all having a good Thanksgiving week, too.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Day 16 of Thanks

I'm am grateful that I am not particularly attached to my hair or vain about it.  I got my hair cut today and the hairdresser seemed so happy to have made me 'look just like Hermione'.  I walked outside and immediately put it back up. 

You win some.  You lose some.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Day 15 of Thanks

Today I am grateful for all the good and decent drivers out there.  There are so many almost accidents that I see on a daily basis that are avoided because people are paying attention.  I'm glad to see people allowing others in, not speeding up to avoid being in line, and just being patient in general.  The traffic since Halloween in San Antonio has gone through the roof and I know that all the good drivers out there are the reason that it isn't just pure accidents.  I've been really lucky not to have been in any real accident and I know that it is something to be grateful for.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Day 14 of Thanks

Growing up, one of my favorite things in our house was an Encyclopedia set which I referred to often.  I remember hearing 'Look it up' from my mom starting as early as 2nd grade, and I did.  I looked everything up.  Now I still look everything up and it is so much easier with google and wikipedia.  I only relatively recently acquired a smart phone and I resisted it, but I'm glad I have one now and I use it most to look things up. 

In addition to being grateful for my walking encyclopedia, I am also grateful for the wealth of easy, free information and education.  I love that Khan academy is out there and that there are so many college courses available for free online.  I love that there are youtube and blog tutorials to walk you through almost anything, and I watch many for things even that I will likely never attempt.  I'm so grateful that there are so many experts out there that are willing to take their time to explain things.  I have learned so much outside of school and I love that I can continue to do this with no end in sight.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Day 13 of Thanks

I am grateful for all things nerdy.  I love superhero movies and tv shows.  I like Star Trek and Star Wars and science fiction of all types.  I like Lord of the Rings, Brandon Sanderson, and all kinds of fantasy.  I like science websites and Michio Kaku and arguing with my husband about various sizes of infinity.  You name a nerdy thing am I am likely a fan.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Day 12 of Thanks

Today I am grateful for having had the chance to see the world.  I am an army brat that moved every one to three years growing up.  I'm not quite a 3rd culture kid but I got to see so many different cultures and places.  In addition, I've had to opportunity to see a few more countries since I've become an adult (and hope to see quite a few more).  I feel so fortunate to have been able to visit so many different places around the world and I really feel that it has influenced my thinking and views in a positive way.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Day 11 of Thanks

I am grateful for having a mixed heritage.  My mom's dad was born in Mexico and her mom was born in Arizona before it became a state.  My mitochondrial DNA comes from the New Mexico/Arizona Native Americans.  I love the Mexican culture and my relatives.  I am grateful for the opportunity to learn how to make authentic tamales and caldo and other great Mexican food.  I love living in San Antonio where there are so many Mexican activities and shows. 

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Day 10 of Thanks

I'm so grateful for all the wonderful fresh produce available and for HEB, our Texas grocery store.  I love Bountiful Baskets where I get a basket every other week.  San Antonio has multiple produce distributors and I am really fond of River City Produce, which is actually where our site of Bountiful Baskets gets our produce.

I'm also rather thankful that my girls are big produce eaters.  The nerdlet's favorite food is caldo de res, which I am making today.  She loves it so much, she wanted me to bring bowls of it to school for her birthday instead of cupcakes and tells me she would be a vegetarian if she could still have the meat and stock didn't count.  The Bear Cub is one of the few children I know with Down syndrome that doesn't have constipation issues and I can only attribute it to the amount of produce she eats.  Darth Monkey will eat all the berries you give her and has been known to eat all of the steamed cauliflower I made for the family for dinner while I'm finishing the rest of the meal.  Fresh produce makes my whole family happy.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Day 9 of Thanks

I am thankful for digital cameras.  I got my first camera for my 10th birthday.  It was a Kodak instamatic which Polaroid sued Kodak over and so it was almost instantly recalled.  It took them two years to resolve and give credit for a new camera, so it took a while for me to discover just how bad a photographer I could be.  I got some good pictures over the years before my first digital camera, but I also wasted an awful lot of money and film, too.  The ability to just delete bad pictures and to see immediately helped improve my pictures so much.  I'm finally to the point where I can rely on the fact that I took a good picture for the most part and so rarely have to check anymore and I don't think I ever would have gotten to this point without digital cameras.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Day 8 of Thanks

I am so thankful for the variety of ethnic foods and ingredients available today.  I've feel like good and unique foods are like art for the tasting sense.  I love trying and enjoying new and flavorful dishes but it is amazing to me that in today's time, I can actually make a great deal of them to enjoy at home. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Day 7 of Thanks

I am so very thankful for the quality of medicine that we have today.  My bear cub has had nine surgeries in her 9 years of life.  My mother recently broke her knee and had to have surgery to repair it.  My husband has Samter's Triad which results in his needing somewhat regular surgeries to remove polyps from his sinus passages.  Aside from surgeries, I love that so many people that would not be alive to day because of lack of insulin or had they gotten smallpox are able to live happy full lives.  I am grateful for all the people in my life that are healthier because of the medical care that is available to us. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Day 6 of Thanks

I'm grateful for electronic books, specifically ones on the Kindle.  I'm grateful that I can download them from the library.  I'm grateful for which allows me to quickly find reading material available from the library that I might want to read.  Having three very active girls, of which two have special needs, means that my reading time is cut short a lot if I have to actually go to the library or book store to acquire books and return them.  Also, almost 3 years ago after some allergy tests, we found that I'm allergic to almost everything including both types of dust mites, which means I was actually often reacting to the paper books that I always had on me.  The shots I have been taking have helped, but so has knowing what to avoid and having a paper book alternative is perfect for me.

I'm also grateful for libraries that do not require me to be local but still allow me to check out electronic books (like the McAllen library).

Monday, November 5, 2018

Day 5 of Thanks

Today, I am particularly thankful for skorts.  I am also grateful for Jalie carrying sewing sizes from size 2T to 22.  I haven't used the full range of sizes but I sure have come close. 

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Day 4 of Thanks

First amazingly there was a brand spanking new playground at the park yesterday for the Nerdlet's party.  The playground was bigger and had more activities than the previous one and has a canopy and they added swings.  It was kind of amazing and I couldn't help but comment multiple times on how they put it up so fast.

Today I am also thankful that the Catholic church that I attend has a great program for people with special needs.  We are working on the Bear Cub and Darth Monkey doing both Reconciliation and First Communion together this year and in anticipation of that I enrolled the Bear Cub in the Special Needs class and had her repeat the 2nd grade class with her sister.  Normally I sit outside during the Special Needs class because I don't want to distract my daughter or the other children, but today she was the only one present so I decided to stay and go through the class with her.  I'm very impressed with how they go over the mass and other aspects of faith and even cover the current mass and prayers.  I was so pleased with what I saw and am even more confident that the Bear Cub will be completely ready for these sacraments.  I have heard some really bad stories about children with special needs not being welcomed in their respective churches (Catholic and other) and I am blessed that this is not the case with ours.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Day 3 of Thanks

Today we are celebrating the nerdlet's birthday in the park.  Unfortunately it used to have a playground but that has recently been removed so we're giving it a go without a playground.  Next time I'll pick a different park.

Today I am grateful that San Antonio has over 300 public parks of which most of them do have playgrounds and quite a few have exercise equipment.  I used to take the girls once a week to a new park when they were quite small and I found that most of the parks are pretty well maintained.  I feel truly blessed to have so many options.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Day 2 of Thanks

When people are asked what color they think I am, they say 'Orange' or 'fuchsia'.  I've always felt a little put off because they are considered loud, obnoxious colors that are grating.  I've been watching my nerdlet at school as she is a member of the school's safety patrol and I can definitely see that she is a bright different color that stands out like orange or fuchsia.  Not everyone may like the color but flowers in those colors add so much to a field of green.

One of the things that I am particularly grateful for are the special kids in the nerdlet's grade that accept and/or welcome her difference.  I know that now that she is in fifth grade, the girls are starting to get mean and form cliques and I have seen some of that for a few years now, but there are some girls that fit in and some that don't that are always nice and friendly to my nerdlet and I am so grateful that they are.

Here is a recent pic, one month before she turns 11 in a dress I think we made in size 5.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

November Thanks

It's November and Thanksgiving is still my favorite holiday.  I love the dedication of a day to appreciate all that you have to be grateful for.  I know I have been absent for a while and I'm hoping that posting my daily thanks will help me get back into the groove of posting again.

As always I am thankful for my family and friends, near and far.  I am truly blessed with all the people in my life that love and support me.  I could post once each day just about a particular person and not run out of people to post about.

Today though I am reflecting on being grateful for having such a busy and full life.  I am grateful that I have my girls that fill my day with work but also with joy and love.  I am grateful for my mom that broke her knee and has needed me to be helping her with daily things because it means that I still have her and she is near for me to appreciate.  I am grateful for the cats and dogs that cause extra work as I struggle to keep muddy paws wiped up because it has been raining so much lately here.  I'm grateful for the extra messy downstairs that resulted from us losing a garage and putting in a downstairs bedroom so that I don't have to crawl upstairs on bad days.  I'm grateful for all the annoying appointments because it means that the school is working to accommodate my girls special education needs and that I have doctors to help with all the medical and other issues that my family and I have.  Yes, I feel like I'm constantly running behind, but I also feel needed and valued and my life is never boring.