Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fran's Stools

And a crafty lesson for those of you so inclined...

My mom has been making stools for all the kids in our family and extended family for as long as I can remember. She's easily been making them for 40 years, since I was little. Last year, I realized she might not always be able to make them, so someone needed to learn.

I got my first lesson over the summer, and last week started two stools for Heather's daughters for Christmas. Yesterday, I almost finished them. I think I need a little Fran help for the finishing touches, but here are the steps.

1. Use seven "Hawaiian Punch" cans (or any 64-ounce can) -- make sure they are cleaned and dried on the inside and that they've been opened with a key can opener.

2. Cover each can with an old sock, to keep them from clanging against each other, and tie them like so...

3. Trace the stool shape on a piece of cardboard and cut it out. Secure it to the bottom of your stool with duct tape.

4. Trace the stool shape on a piece of thick foam (about two or three inches thick) and cut it out.

5. Cut a piece of thin foam (about an inch thick) to go around the side of the cans, and let it extend three or four inches above.

4. Cut a piece of muslin and pull it tight around the foam, securing with pins. Hand sew the muslin (yes, hand sew!) as tight as you can.

5. Cut muslin to cover the top. Pin it in place, alternating between 12:00, 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00 to keep it evenly distributed. Hand sew in place.

6. Do the same with a piece of muslin to cover the bottom.

7. Using the material for the outside cover of your stool, cut the material to go around the stool and have it extend about two inches above. Using a sewing machine, sew the two ends together to create the side of the covering.

I was a little cautious the first time I did this and made my side too big. I'd sew it another 1/4-inch tighter and put it around the stool. Too big. Back to the machine, sew it another 1/2-inch tighter and back to the stool. Eventually I got it.

8. Cut a circle about one inch bigger in diameter than your stool. Put the side sleeve on the stool inside out, and put the top of the stool on top, again inside out. Pin the top to the sides.

9. On the machine, sew the top to the sides, again use the 12:00, 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00 points -- a little at each, to keep it even.

This is as far as I gotten. My top is still a little loose -- my mom will need to help me with this part.

10. Use denim on the it by hand with hand applique stitches to keep them hidden -- again pulling it tight and going from the four corners to keep it even.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I have lots to be thankful for....I have a mostly supportive family, I have great friends, a good job, a nice home.

And yet, it's so hard to not think about what I don't have. And even though I wrote last week that I was "not there" anymore, sometimes I still am. Sometimes I hear something, see something, read something...and it all comes back.

The sadness, the "why me," the "why not me."

OPP -- other people's pregnancies. I've gotten to a place where I'm happy for them, and I guess that's progress. But it's when I hear about a second baby (pregnancy) for someone. And that's when the green-eyed monster comes out.

And that's where I am today.

I'm going to try to move on with my day....wrap Christmas presents, maybe put the tree up (sans decorations -- that happens with Jill on Thursday), finish cleaning the house, and catch up on my DVR.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Reality Check

And I think I'm doing better than I might have thought.

It's Saturday night, and I got so much accomplished today -- too clothes to the used clothing store and walked out with $25, Walmart, haircut, polish change at the nail salon, Kohls, made cupcakes for work on Monday, worked on two Christmas presents (more on that later) -- that I'm kicking up my feet, Casey laying against my legs, and surfing blogs I haven't visited in a while.

I went to a few of the fertility blogs I used to read all the time. Tonight, after reading things like:

I wanted to answer the unasked questions I saw in their eyes. I felt like saying, "Thanks for the congratulations. I'm not as lucky as you think. I can't have children. If I could have children I probably wouldn't have even applied for this job. I would give up this promotion in a second if I could go back and have a successful IVF. Don't envy me."


I bristled inside. "When I get pregnant.... When I get pregnant... When I get pregnant..." The words rang in my ears all day. Part of me wanted to tell her, "Yeah right. It might not be that easy." But another part of me realized that for her it probably would be that easy. "When I get pregnant" is the world that most people live in.


And just as a parent will always be a parent. I will always be infertile.

After reading several posts like that, I realized that I'm not there anymore. Oh sure, I still have days when I feel like that, days when I have a pity party for myself when I hear someone is pregnant, days when I wish more people would talk to me about what I've been through, to have some sympathy for me...but what I realized tonight is that those days are becoming further and further apart.

I remember nights flipping through the channels and finding nothing but pregnancy-related story lines, even on the Food Network. And it would send me into slow, deep sobs. It's been a long time since I had a night where I cried myself to sleep.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


As in the number that represents the shortstop when keeping score. in the number of months on the waiting list.

A half a year of waiting, over just like that.

And possibly, just possibly, one-third of the way there.

Six months down, 10 to 16 months to go.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Taking Care of Me

As much as I focus on and think about the baby and the adoption, I am reminded that now is the time to also think about me. Because when the baby is here, there will be no time.

So this weekend, I am doing just that. I'm going to my favorite place in the world.

To shop here...

and to drink some of this.

To see this...

and this...

and most importantly this...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Almost Done

My first craft project for the baby. I started a quilting class a month ago. Yesterday, I put all the pieces together, so it's ready to have the top, middle and bottom together and actually start quilting it.

Here's the progression:

Material all picked out... nine blocks with sashing.

Started on the border...

...and the other sides.

The finished top...

...and the back of the quilt.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My New Favorite Book...

"Mama," said Barley. "Tell me again how I'm your wish come true."

The all-knowing Amazon suggested this book to me last week, right after the Halloween party at work. I ordered it and thought nothing more of it. Today it arrived, and it was like it was written for me, at the exactly right time.

"I had an empty place in my heart that I wanted to fill with love for a special child like you. Someone who would be my cuddly little one, and I would be his Mama."