Friday, July 28, 2006

Busy week!

These weeks when B is home just fly by!

B & I are very pleased with ourselves. Our most recent project worked out very well, although it took the full week to realise... A while back, when my back started acting up again, I found the body pillow I used when I was pregnant (more than 10 years ago) & started using it again to make myself more comfortable sleeping. Somehow, my side of the bed (& the body pillow more specifically) has become B's comfort spot when he's upset or out of sorts. Sometimes it's heartwarming & cute, finding him burrowed under the covers wrapped around the body pillow... unless, of course, he's just come in from playing with water balloons (with soaking wet hair) or is really sweaty from helping dad mow the lawn. Then it can be annoying... So we all decided that B needs his own body pillow. B has also been having trouble with his regular bed pillow for that last few months, sometimes rejecting it altogether, sometimes needing a new pillowcase before he can go to bed... he had mentioned to C how much he likes the quilted pillows I made for the sofa, which made me think that what he really needs is a pillowcase that's 100% cotton & not the poly-cotton blend ones that come with the sheets. We were hoping to make more ExoForce fabric (like we made for the lego lampshade), but the printer has decided to go, maybe terminally, on the fritz... so I suggested a trip to JoAnn Fabrics last Monday to see if he could find any fabric he liked instead. This all somehow coalesced with my musings about a body pillow for B, & some time in the wee hours of Monday morning I decided that we'd make B a body pillow & make a cover for it out of the fabric B chose for the the pillow case. I measured my body pillow & lo- it was exactly 18" wide. I have had some 36" muslin hanging around for some time, so that's what we used for the shell. B found some Star Wars fabric that he latched on to :) & it was on sale (yay!). The "do not use this fabric for children's sleepwear" message along one selvage kind of freaked him out, but he decided it was ok because we weren't making pajamas out of it... (big sigh of relief). So, while the fabric was being pre-washed & dried, we made his body pillow. I measured the fabric about 6" longer than he is, so he can grow into it, & we used shredded foam for the stuffing (& made a quick trip back to the store because, of course, I did not buy enough...). B machine-stitched the long seam himself, with a bit of guidance assistance from me. I sewed it shut, since by the time it was full it resembled a 5 1/2 foot long sausage & was about as easy to manage... We made the cover a couple of inches bigger all around & used hammer-on snaps for the closure, which B really enjoyed hammering in place :) Volia! He has enjoyed snuggling with it every night since. We decided to wait to make the bed-pillow case, since we had other projects to get going...

We decided to do our summer tie-dyeing this week. I have been saving things to dye for a while now- whenever I put in an order at Dharma Trading Company (mostly for undershirts & socks for B & C, but their specialty is clothing blanks for dyeing) I get some bigger sizes of t-shirts for B to grow into, some cotton squares to experiment dyeing for furoshiki (wrapping cloths), & other fun stuff. C needed new socks so I decided to tie-dye some for him (he hates boring socks) & we did a couple pair for B as well. I had been saving white boxers of B's to tie-dye as well, but the main thing I have really been wanting to do is the cover for B's ball-blanket :) This is a weighted blanket that B uses to help him sleep. It's made of denim fabric, but I made a cover for it from white muslin specifically for when we travel, to keep it clean. I've been wanting to dye it for a couple of years... So, we did the 3-day process, beginning Monday with making the soda ash solution to soak the to-be-dyed items in & then tying everything with rubber bands before tossing them into the solution. On Tuesday afternoon we spread an old tablecloth on the back deck & commenced with the dyeing (I use Procyon dyes because they are wonderfully bright & durable). B did his socks & his boxers (& part of the house, but who's complaining...) & left me to do the rest. Everything had to sit overnight before we could rinse & wash them Wednesday afternoon.

Wednesday was my once-a-summer return to the 19th century... For 11 years now I have been teaching spinning for a programme in a little town about 1/2 hour away called "Miss Eliza's Schoolhouse". For a whole week 14-20, 10-year-olds spend their days dressed, living & learning as kids in the 1870's would have, in an old, one-room schoolhouse. I also dress in authentic 1870's clothing (somewhere in the neighbourhood of 7 yards of fabric, including the apron...) & tell the kids about how different fibres were & are used to make clothing. I bring things I've made to show them, then I teach them to card wool & spin it on a drop-spindle. They all go home with little skeins of yarn that they've made themselves. This year there had been a request to try the spinning wheel, too, so I brought one of mine along & we made the time for them to try after they had learned the basics on the spindles. I always have a lot of fun doing Miss Elisa (I'm Miss Lisa :) & it's nice to give the kids a glimpse into the past & a sense of where things come from. C took the whole day off this Wednesday so that I could do Miss Eliza, & he arranged to have one of B's school buddys come for a visit. So, after I got home at 2:30 from a full morning & partial afternoon of teaching (& lugging baskets & wheel) I was able to change clothes & move right into rinsing tie-dyed stuff. I like to rinse in the yard when I can, so the water isn't wasted (I've never had any trouble with the dyes hurting the lawn or garden). It was a lot of lifting heavy buckets, but everything came out beautifully- the ball blanket cover is fabulous & B says it looks like a supernova. I put everything through the washer with some synthropol to keep the leftover dye from doing any harm. We a now a newly colourful family :)

Thursday was not as much fun as the rest of the week had been... I woke-up with a migraine :( We were supposed to go grocery shopping but I just couldn't manage it. By 12:30 I realised that tylenol & caffeinated soda was not taking this one away, so I took an imitrex... mixed blessing. Yes, after a couple more hours the migraine was mostly gone, but I thought my head was going to explode first, the pain was so intense. B was wonderful. He played games on the computer while I dozed on the sofa, then when I could manage to sit for a while, we watched Pokemon videos together. He read to me, too. He never once complained that we weren't doing anything fun & was really sympathetic. I called C to warn him that I wasn't feeling well, so he brought pizza home for dinner, bless him. He read to B at bedtime to give me a break, since I was still wiped-out from the migraine.

Today I was much better, although still a bit fuzzy. We started out at the chiropracter for one of my regular appointments & B was able to sit & read while I had my visit, after asking the doctor about the "mechanisms" in the room :) Then we finally went grocery shopping. Poor B, though... the bacon cheeseburger pizza (a local specialty) that C brought home for dinner (my half was eggplant) had weirded him out, which sometimes happens after he eats meat. He gets OCD thoughts about Rufus being hurt or eaten & then food starts giving him thoughts. So there we were in the grocery store... all of the food started giving B thoughts. I would stop to hug him when he was really distressed, but I tried to keep us moving as well because I was afraid that the thoughts would just keep getting worse & B would completely lose it & there was no way we could leave the store without our groceries. I was very distracted from my shopping list & kept having to back-track to get things I'd forgotten. B's tics got louder & bigger. There was a nightmarish quality to the whole thing- every time we turned a corner there was another triggger. I kept wracking my brain for distractions... finally, in the last aisle, as I was despairing that B would never have the patience to wait in line while we checked out, we had to pick up some bug spray for C to use on a yellowjacket nest in the garage. I asked B to help me compare the different types so we'd buy the right kind... we were reading the ingredients on 2 supposedly different kinds & discovered that their ingredients were identical, & the absurdity of this did the trick. We discussed this all the way to the checkout, then I told B to look over the candy to see if there was anything he wanted, which took him almost to the end of checking out. We walked in the rain to the car, B trying to hold the umbrella over us both while I pushed the cart, & laughing hysterically when he managed to do a better job of protecting the pavement from the rain than me... whew! We got home, I put groceries away & dealt with laundry while he played on the computer. Then we made his pillowcase, finally. He is very pleased with the matching pillows :) The rest of the day was mellow, with grammie coming over for the usual Friday night family dinner. He was very excited to show grammie & dad what we'd done today.

Looking back on the week, I just can't believe a whole week has gone by, it went so fast... Looking back on the day, I am exhausted. But I'm also really proud of surviving our grocery store crisis. When I glanced at another person or briefly worried about what they thought of my melting-down kid, I was able to bring my focus right back to B & not waste time on feeling embarassed. I think that keeping my focus allowed me to keep it together myself & I feel really glad that we were okay by the time we left the store. It bodes well for our shopping expedition next week... fingers crossed!


Post a Comment

<< Home