Monday, October 7, 2013

Seamstress Whines (other kinds welcome, too)

In a fit of creativity, I went to the fabric store last week. I seemed to forget momentarily that I have other responsibilities. On the stack of things to sew:

* pillowcase dress (super easy) for Baboos' school silent auction

* pillowcase for the same auction. Did I mention the deadline is October 17?

* pillowcase for Baboos' friend's birthday. Her party is the 13th.

* dresses for Baboos for holiday season. (Not super fancy. I want them to be able to wear them more than once).

* (edited to add) flannel pajama bottoms for myself. If these are done while it is still flannel weather, I'll be surprised.

So then, I look in my closet and realize I have no long sleeve dresses. I have no idea what I wore to church last fall and winter. I think to myself, in a moment of sanity, "I don't have time to sew myself something." So I look online. At several different sites. Pixies, I hate to be the one to tell you, but (a) it's hard to find a dress with long sleeves, (b) they are ugly, (c) I remembered I don't like shopping, and (d) I am sometimes too frugal for my own good.

I still don't have time to sew myself something, and dresses are hard to sew anyway. What's a person to do?

(There are more substantial whines in my life right now, but this one has gotten my goat this morning).

Whine on, Pixies, whine on.

AW: The weather is gorgeous. Finally.


kathy a. said...

Much sympathy on the hunt for reasonable dresses in the wild.

My son crashed his car, so yesterday he and his dad went to the junkyard for parts, and once again he was messing with his car in the garage for 6 hours. He is too proud to accept the used car we want to give him -- but seriously, it is worth it to us for him to have a reliable car and not be asking his dad to spend half the weekend on auto maintenance.

Liz said...

Oh no, Kathy!

This is for you, Esperanza: an elegant cardigan

kathy a. said...

Nobody hurt in the crash! The car still ran, but headlights and two major pieces of metal were wrecked. Plus, as we learned in last week's edition of The Bad Karma Car, the freaking bottom is rusting out, right over the fuel line. This car is several years older than my actual son.

Among Liz's many talents -- she has great leads on clothing solutions.

esperanza said...

oh, Liz, those are pretty. And in two colors.

Heartwarming story from the grandmother saga...Grandma is in nursing home, with hospice in attendance. Hospice nurse was there, and so was my mom. As nurse is leaving, she tells my mom, "just so you know, I pray for all of my patients." Mom thanks her, genuinely touched, and then tells her, "well, since you are praying for her, please use her nickname, which is Pete" (long, and funny story on how she got the nickname. Maybe another day). Mom says the nurse looks like someone has poured a bucket of water on her head. And she replies, "you're not going to believe this, but *my* mother's nickname was Pete, too. She died two years ago at the age of 95. (My grandmother is 95).

A. Nonnie Moose said...

Hey. Here with an embarrassing whinety-whine about siblings. Me and the sibs, we are decades into this relationship, which is why it is embarrassing.

Over time, these two have come up with a lot of criticism and what sound like rules -- I'm too fat; I should use this pedometer and check in with them daily about step-counts, and also I am apparently incapable of selecting appropriate footwear. I am not to mention anything that they may not remember or did not experience the same way, because we are all adults and I am not to "lord" my advanced age over them. [wtf???] They do not wish to hear about this big stressful situation; they don't care. I should lecture my adult children per their protocol. My profession, they do not care for; I should change professions. My contributions to family things do not count, because they are perfect and I am not. And so on.

And now they are not speaking to me, which really hurts. I do not know why; the not speaking part means either that I'm not allowed to know, or that if I was a decent human being I would already know. But I don't know. Guess this has actually been building for 5 years or so, but it seemed prudent to mostly pretend I didn't notice all the cuts and criticism, enjoy the increasingly rare good times, and wait for it to pass. (This strikes me as a joint operation because they see one another at least weekly, living close to one another; and when I do hear things, each one tends to echo the views of the other.)

Obviously, I'm capable of gaffs and of misunderstanding how someone feels, but I do not try to hurt either of them, ever. Try to rise above, be decent. On the other hand, I'm not that into playing the part of a doormat, or being judged so much. Sigh.

kathy a. said...

grr. i have my internet connection, but cannot get my work email -- only the home page offering the email selection. which pulls up another copy of the home page. estimated 15 minute wait on hold, with ads every 15 seconds. "special attention." yes, indeed.

Liz said...

(((A Nonnie Mouse)))

I have three suggestions

The first is to embrace any relief you might feel about them not talking to you.

The second is to write a letter to each of them that summarizes the ways in which you value your relationships with them, and the ways in which you would like your relationships to change.

The third is to tell them (if and when they start talking to you again) that you value their love but not their advice since they seem pretty unhappy themselves.

Sending you love and hugs and support.

Anonymous said...

(((A Nonnie Mouse))))

and, what Liz said.

--Neighbor lady

A. Nonnie Moose said...

This sib thing has made me really angry and sad. Needed to vent, unload, because it is taking too much space in my brain, and there are other things that need doing right now. The actual working it out will need to wait a while -- such good suggestions, Liz. It's no good to go at it from anger, though, and these other things don't need to be dragged down by trying to engage. Sigh.

esperanza said...

Oh Nonnie, so sorry.

Item #1 on the sewing list completed. I made it more complicated than it needed to be by adding a ruffle. Then I decided that I had enough left over fabric to make a doll dress too (as easy as the big dress. Otherwise I do *not* make doll clothes. Too tiny).

Gave Sweet melatonin for the first time tonight. W: I hate that my kid may need drugs to sleep well. W: I even more hate that she hasn't been getting good sleep. W: I additionally dislike that I haven't been getting good sleep. Here's hoping it helps.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Here's hoping the melatonin works! At least it's something that the body produces anyway. My sister has sleep problems, and it helps get her into a proper sleep rhythm.

((((A. Nonnie Mouse)))) You are not the problem in that situation.

AW: Mr. Q is finally coming home tonight!
W: they were delayed, and so he will be home very late.
AW: My sister came over after work, entertained E while I made supper, helped put her to bed, and then helped me get the house clean for Mr. Q's return. It was really thoughtful of her.

kathy a. said...

Esperanza -- wow, Grandma's nurse's mom had the same nickname? That is just, wow. I'd love to hear the stories. xoxo

Also, yay on the sewing.

QWP, hooray about the return of beloved Daddy! And the good sisterly help.

Car corner: son is back, doing more to his car tonight. Um, yay?

Daughter had a good interview today! and something else lined up tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Sitting up with heart pounding: was awaken by the sounds of a horrible domestic dispute downstairs. First I thought it was the TV, but turn the screaming started, and banging enough to shake my bedroom. And we have crazy good soundproofing. I called the police, and more I'm sitting up, in case they need a statement. Shaking.

AW-ish: the police got here ten minutes after I called, after midnight!

W: it's an hour after Mr. Q was supposed to be home, and he's still not home. His phone died his ago, and so I don't have a way of finding out where they are.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

He's home now, and he said there weren't any police cars, so that means they're gone and don't need a statement. I'm going to bed.

esperanza said...

Yikes QWP, that is not good. Glad you called the police. And super glad Mr Q is home.

On another note, I think it's clear that QWP's sister needs to go pay a visit to Nonnie's siblings to show them what a good sibling does.

Liz said...

((((QWP)))) and seconding the sibling training.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Let this motion be passed! My sister's going to be very surprised about being sent to an anonymous person's home.

W: Sleepy day. It took me an hour to get back to sleep, and then E woke up screaming at 5:30 (I think she got really freaked out by the screaming last night. She thankfully put herself back to sleep while I was calling the police, but neither of us felt particularly safe after that.)

I didn't say this before, but Esperanza's story about the hospice worker is amazing!

Sue said...

esperanza, you amaze me with the mad sewing skillz. That's remarkable about your grandma's nurse! My grandmother (who lived to be 91) was named Clara but was always known as Ted. None of her surviving relatives are sure about the story. Huh.

kathy a - sorry about the mechanic shop in your garage, but hooray for daughter's interviews. Yay!

Liz - you are amazing. Seriously, with everything else on your plate, you still find excellent clothes online and offer great sibling advice.

(((Nonnie))) I'm so sorry you are in this situation. As QWP said, you are not the problem here. Remember that.

My sisters and I had a few tense years after my mother died. There are four of us and the other three felt it necessary for us to think with one brain. I disagreed. We have moved into a much better place over the past five years or so, but back in the day it really hurt to be so judged for just being me.

QWP - I'm glad you called the police and so glad Mr. Q arrived home from his trip when he did. Hope you got some sleep.

AW: My beloved is feeling much better this week. Still receiving home care nursing for awhile, but he's settling in to our new normal.

AW: Despite all that happened last week, I managed to pull together an excellent worship service for Sunday.

W: About 15 minutes before worship, I got chewed out for not visiting someone's mother in hospital last week. I did not know she was in hospital - if I had known, I would have visited as I was there for a good part of the week anyway. What is it going to take to convince these people that I don't read fireplacing minds???!!!

Sue said...

NL - how is the school year going??? Inquiring pixies want to know.:)

kathy a. said...

how scary about the domestic dispute, QWP. glad things settled down, and that mr. Q finally got home again!

what a great idea, sibling training!

sue, so glad your beloved is feeling better and things are adjusting.

cluesticks to those who think everybody's a mind reader!

kathy a. said...

the senate chaplain, praying for salvation from the madness.

Liz said...

W: While I have gotten the endorsements of many local (and national!) pro-choice organizations, there is one that I have not gotten and I found out today that I will not get it. Because they only endorse when they are going to donate, and they only have funds for three races.

I very politely pointed out the following: "I don't want your money, I want your endorsement. And oh! By the way, all the candidates you're endorsing are MEN. And oh! By the way! I'm on the board of Big Prochoice Organization. And oh! BY THE WAY, how do you think that looks to people who are wondering why A FIERCE CHAMPION OF CHOICE wasn't endorsed?"

They said they'd get back to me.

I am proud of myself that I did not yell, and that I did not curse.

I am sitting here actually shaking with anger.

kathy a. said...

Liz, that makes no sense whatsoever. It is really great they explained they only have so many bucks, and you explained you want their support and not their bucks. Hopefully they will get their act straight, 'cause that's kind of pathetic for them.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Liz, you handled that well, and they really need to get their act together!

W: Over tired household. E fought napping for half the morning, and got so wound up that she went on a wild, destructive rampage. I ended up putting her in her high chair for a couple of minutes, facing the pretty pictures on the fridge, to mellow her out before her nap. (And to give me a break from her attempts to destroy rental property!)

And then, in the midst of that, a friend (who has four kids, including twin toddlers, who have been on somewhat of a rampage themselves) returned my call. I made the mistake of referring to E's (cheerful) time in the high chair as a "time out." I got an earful, as she scolded me about trying to punish a child before she's one year old! When pressed, she admitted that everything I was doing was fine, but somehow it was damaging for me to imply that this was a form of punishment? She also informed that I couldn't do anything to enforce boundaries for the next couple of months, but just have to cheerfully redirect E. (AS I WAS DOING ALL MORNING.)

I changed the subject before I said something petty along the lines of "maybe this is why you have trouble handling your own kids," which is neither fair nor true.

So, now E is napping, and I'm still stewing.

kathy a. said...

Here is what I used to say about time outs: "Mommy needs a time out to cool down." Everybody taking a little breather is a good thing. xoxo

kathy a. said...

Also, it is OK for even very young pre-verbal kids to learn "No." In case you were wondering. In 10-18 years, you will hear a lot of incresingly facile argument about whether the "No" is appropriate; but meanwhile, boundaries are good for everyone to learn.

Liz said...

Boundaries are good. Time outs in places where a rampaging child cannot harm herself or other(s) or objects are fine. That's what playpens are for, after all. AND high chairs.

Sue said...

Liz, you handled the situation brilliantly.

QWP - I'm all about the boundaries. I agree with kathy that the gentle use of the word "No" is helpful even with wee ones who can't yet grasp the logic. Later on when they can identify the reason behind the "No" it won't sound like a foreign concept.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

So much good stuff here, you guys. We're all about learning about what "no" means: Mr. Q is a high school teacher, and sees first hand what happens when the word is a foreign concept! (The funny thing is that my friend is always telling me about how kids need to learn the meaning of "no"!)

Liz said...

Remember that her drive-by mommy blasting is more about her doubts and fears than about whether or not you are doing it wrong. And you're not.

kathy a. said...

QWP, sounds like both of you were stressed, but I'd be surprised if you were on very different pages. Her talk about "punishment" seems pretty clearly something that was on her mind from someplace else. (There are still "spare the rod" people out there, and a lot of people who don't understand childhood development very well.)

esperanza said...

Ugh with the people who think clergy are mind-readers. And ugh with poking-nose-in-others'-business mommies.

Ok, grandma Pete got the nickname as a little child. She was the youngest of 8 for a while, till baby sister was born 6 years later. She was--ah--hard-headed/stubborn/strong-willed/however you want to phrase that. (A characteristic that has continued to the present day, perhaps responsible for quite a few of those 95 years). Anyway, her siblings teased her for her stubbornness. The family had a mule at the time, whose name was Pete. They took to comparing grandma to the mule, and the name stuck. So to her nieces and nephews and their families, she is "Aunt Pete." I, the first grandchild, was confused as to how there could be two people named Grandma, so the grownups decided I could call her Pete too. Her professional and church friends call her by her name, but family calls her Pete.

kathy a. said...

Grandma Pete has a great story! xoxo

Anonymous said...

Love the Grandma Pete story!

I am swamped, overwhelmed, and exhausted. But still overall happy I'm teaching.

Just found out a relative on Neighbor Guy's side (who we're close to) has fireplacing cancer. In the kidney. I am guessing this is really not good. Very sad.

I just love all you pixies.
Virtual hugs (to help keep me afloat, and for all pixies who need a hug right now).

Off to grade for, oh, about 4 hours and then get up tomorrow again at 5:15am. Lather, rinse, repeat.

and QWP, before I saw that your husband is a high school teacher, I was going to chime in and say that from the point of view of a 6th grade teacher, I could seriously just hug you right now for being someone whose child will understand boundaries and limits. Thank you on behalf of 6th grade teachers everywhere. (and you are doing an awesome job with her--I can tell from here!)

--Neighbor Lady

kathy a. said...

Go, Neighbor Lady! Kudos to good teachers everywhere.

I'm so sorry about the relative with the fireplacing cancer. xoxo

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Oh, the piles of grading. Hang in there, NL! You're doing a good job, and it will get easier. And I'm so sorry about the relative with cancer. Fireplacing cancer. And I really know how family crises make for later nights of marking and prep.

Esperanza, I love the Grandma Pete story.

Thanks for all the positive words on our parenting choices. I think kathy a is right: even though my friend has seen a lot of my parenting up close, I think she's envisioning something much more harsh than I'm doing. I think it's also that she keeps forgetting that her own "babies" are a year and a half now, which means my much smaller baby is getting pretty big: all the advice she have me was suited to babies under 6 months old.

Sue said...

Yay NL!!! Keep up the good work!

Sorry about your relative's fireplacing cancer and the late night marking.

Love the Grandma Pete story!

Liz said...

AW: Margar3t Mar0n donated to my campaign!!!!!!!!!

AW: She sent a nice note too.

Queen of West Procrastination said...


kathy a. said...

Oooh, I love that person, Liz!

AW: the plumbing broke at my dentist's office, so I don't have to go until next week!

Sue said...

Yay Liz!!! WooHoo!!!

Hooray for delayed dentistry too. :)

esperanza said...

Yay Liz! Water went out at my dentist one time, and they still made me come. :( Had to spit in the sink, like in the olden days before that squirter thingie.

W: getting tired of "about the same" phrase to refer to grandma Pete's condition.

AW: finished pillowcase #1

AW: got a nap this morning after the Baboos went to school. (I needed one thanks to their new early-rising policy, and a small Ben@dryl hangover. Seriously. I took ONE and was still drowsy 10 hours later).

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Oh man! That drug knocks me out forever.

AW: I had a good talk with my friend, and we both explained ourselves better. Kathy a was right: she was reacting against some harsh discipline that she saw in another friend, which is way beyond what I would do. She apologised for jumping all over me, and then brought her kids over to play! It turned out to be a lovely afternoon. E was in heaven, having bigger kids here to play with her.

W: and now I'm exhausted. Four active kids ages four and under, in this small space = tiring.

Miranda said...

Just checking and leaving brownies for all. xoxoxoxoxo

esperanza said...

mmm, thanks for the brownies, Miranda. How goes it?

kathy a. said...

Esperanza, you are a fab seamstress! Thinking loving thoughts for you, Grandma Pete, and everyone. xoxo

QWP -- see, that is a really positive way of working things out. Plus, playtime. ;)

Thanks, Miranda! How ya doin'?

Went to a work-related thing this afternoon, and [a] learned what I hoped to, [b] introduced myself to someone who only knew me by name, and [c, the jackpot] ran into a particular colleague who can help me with something, and even better, is happy to help. Yay! (Sorry if this makes no sense. All on my secret list of ideal things to happen in the near future.)

esperanza said...

W: Money disagreements with spouse.

kathy a. said...

ugh, money disagreements. hate 'em.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Oof. Money disagreements. Not good.

But I do see your check list getting crossed off: go go go!

kathy a. said...

W: I'm afraid we are going to need to put our very old dog down. Buddy's just the sweetest guy. And he is very very old. In the last day or 2, he's having trouble walking -- not just the arthritis he's had for a while. No way are we going to put the old boy through anything rough. This has to be my husband's decision, and I don't think he is quite there yet.

We adopted Buddy in 2001, when he was about 5 years old -- the kids and I found him at the animal shelter, and he was a birthday present for Dad, the dog man. He's a pretty big dog, part shepard according to the coloring on his back, with lab-like ears and long fluffy fur. Always gentle and friendly; well-behaved but active until the last couple of years. He LOVES riding in cars -- the one time he escaped (I'm pretty sure someone let the dogs out our back gate), he went uphill a ways and hopped right into this other family's minivan!

I'm probably not the only one who hoped Buddy would just go peacefully in his sleep. He has not seemed to suffer until just now. Good dog.

kathy a. said...

AW: I've been dating bad underwear for a while, and finally found undies that do not fail some of the categories.

esperanza said...

Hooray for half-acceptable undies!

So sorry about Buddy :(

Liz said...

I hope Buddy goes to his reward after a good meal and during a cozy nap. I'm so sorry he's failing.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Oh, Buddy. :-( The saddest!

W: E did a small amount of either spitting up or puking, right after eating sweet potatoes, and while hugging her fluffy bunny. Bunny is now in the laundry basket and smells like puke.

W: I did not handle puke smell so well. I had to do some deep breathing to avoid sympathy puking.

AW: She's been fine since then.

Sue said...

Kathy, I'm so sorry about Buddy. He sounds like a wonderful member of your family. I know he will be missed.

It's always a good day when you can toss bad undies to the curb.

Sorry to hear about the puke smell dilemma QWP.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Hey, do you know what is the BEST THING for a sound-sensitive headache? Sharing a tiny apartment with a ten-month-old baby. I can't escape the sounds she makes.

W: I think is the beginning of a cold. I need some solid, uninterrupted sleep to kick this, but now Mr. Q has been waking me up all night, whenever he rolls on to his back. (Snoring, coughing fits, and making a squeaking noise that sounds like the baby's cries. I think he has both a cold and sleep apnea.)

kathy a. said...

QWP, hope you feel better! and for some snoring relief. and less puke activity.

My beloved is not there yet, on the subject of good old Buddy. Definitely his decision. Good dog.