Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Look what I scored!

I came across this sweet Singer 66 Treadle Sewing Machine on Craig's List and fell in love. 

I have been wanting an antique sewing machine (partially for use and partially to match my decor, which is peppered with vintage and antique items).   I have, however, not been searching actively and just happened upon this ad. 

My sweet hubby jumped right on it and suggested that I call the owner and make him an offer.
Needless to say, my offer was accepted.  René sacrificed his afternoon to drive all the way out to Valley Center (aka The Boonies) to check it out for me.  He was impressed with it and loaded it up and brought it home to me.  (Reason #1,894,765 that I love this man.)

So, it is a Singer Treadle Sewing Machine Model No. 66. 

 By it's serial number, I found that it was manufactured on October 10, 1911.

The coolest thing is that the decal pattern is called Memphis Sphinx.   What do you think about that?  :)

The cabinet is in remarkable shape!   I adore the finishing work on the cabinet.

The decaling around the throat and the plate is worn, but that just shows this machine was well-loved. 

The detailing is exquisite! 

I have ordered a new leather belt for the treadle, and can't wait to put this beauty to work! 

Monday, June 28, 2010

A tough road...(long and picture/video heavy)

I can honestly say that I have experienced my toughest day of motherhood, thus far.  There have been many difficult days, don't get me wrong, but this was by far the worst.  I finally feel as though I have a moment to write about it and I think that I can do it without totally breaking down mentally.

A few months ago, I posted about my youngest daughter, Gabriela, and the fact that she needed strabismus surgery again.  It wasn't the news that we wanted to hear, especially since her eye only misaligned intermittently, but we understood the risk of loss of vision, if she did not have the surgery. 

Well, the day finally arrived:  June 24, 2010.

Shiley Eye Center called to schedule the check-in time the day before the surgery: 12:00pm. What? Noon? For a five year old? *eye roll* It is hard enough to have a child fast, but to have them fast through the night and not have any food for breakfast or lunch is ludicrous. I explained the situation to Gabriela and she was amazingly mature and understood the importance.
So, first challenge accepted and met. 
We arrived for the surgery and Gabriela gets dressed and ready.

She was in pretty good spirits, but eventually started to grow a little nervous.  Who wouldn't?  To alleviate some of her anxiety, as well as prep her for general anesthesia, the anesthesiologist gave her a dose of Versed. 

Welcome to the Purple Haze!   It took a few minutes, but she took a trip!  She even pulled her cap down over her face to hide.  I have three videos like this one, each one funnier than the next to me!  :)

So, Dr. Granet and the anesthesiologist came in to take her to the operating room.  Hard.  I cannot describe how my heart was in my throat as they were rolling her away. 
I'll take this minute to brag about Gabriela's doctor for a minute, plus show the surgery that she had.  Dr. Granet was featured on an episode of "The Doctors" explaining his specialty.  If you are squeamish, you may need to tune out of the following video when it cuts to the surgery portion.  It is really hard to see, but totally cool to see if you are curious about things of this nature.  Sidenote:  This is the same surgical procedure that Gabriela had, except Gabriela's eye muscles were tightened and the little girl in the video had her muscles weakened. 

"The Doctors-featuring Dr. David Granet"  (I tried to embed this video, but the code is hopelessly crap.)

So, hours pass.  Finally, around 4:00pm, Dr. Granet comes out to tell us that the surgery was a success!   He explained that he had purposely tightened the eye muscles so that the eyes would be (slightly) crossed.   He also reminded us that the recovery would be far more difficult than the first surgery.  We heard that, but I don't think we *understood* that.  We were about to understand it completely.
Here is Gabriela Mae, just out of surgery:  the calm before the storm.

As she started coming out of the anesthesia, she was inconsolable.  She couldn't open her eyes; partially because of the ointment and partially because of the pain of the stitches.  She was screaming and crying so hard, which exacerbated her dry throat from the oxygen.  She couldn't catch her breath.  :(  We finally got her calmed down enough to try to open her eyes.  (Now, the part that I get emotional over.)

She opened her eyes and looked straight at me, but didn't really "see" me.  There wasn't a look of recognition that came over her face.  There was fear and confusion.  It touched my very core.  She finally said, through sobbing heaves, "Mommy, there are two of you."  Then, she looked around the room and started to cry heavily again because she couldn't make sense of what she was seeing.  My heart hurt.

The doctor explained that the antibiotic ointment was obscuring her vision some, but that the crossed eyes were the root of the double vision.  When one crosses their eyes to see things that are close, only those things are in single focus.   Everything else is double vision and that is what she was seeing for EVERYTHING.   Over the next few days, ideally, her eyes would begin to work together and her field of (single) vision would go from inches to feet, feet to yards, etc. 

She was eventually stable enough to let me get her dressed and head home.  The ride home was pretty uneventful, as she slept the whole way.  I forgot to mention that her eyes are EXTREMELY sensitive to light, now. 

When we got home, the disorientation and crying started again.  Poor baby. 

Let me say one thing about my children: they love each other HARD.  They may argue and disagree, but an injury to one is felt among all of them.  I love them so much for their compassion and kindness and this was no exception.  They were truly hurting for Gabriela.  At one point, Daniel (6 year old) came up on the verge of tears and said, "I just want everything to go back to normal for Gaby."   Jake (12 year old) asked me if she was going to be ok and if there was anything that he could do help her get better.  Cristina just kept coming up and telling Gaby that her toys were waiting for her.  It was touching. 

Gaby-girl finally calmed enough for some Tylenol and an ice-pack, which began a 12 hour cycle of the two.  She slept on one couch, Rene slept on the other, and I slept in the chair with the ottoman pulled in front of it  I made countless ice packs during the night and arose at every movement she made. 
An amazing little thing happened during the night.  Our cats, who are typically aloof, *needed* to be near her.  They kept jumping on the couch and cozying up with her.  (They were, of course, quickly shooed away.)

When she woke, Friday morning, she could open her eyes without excruciating pain.  She did, however, still have a fair amount of double vision.  She was just not her normal self.  She did have a popsicle for breakfast.  It is so hard to see her with this flat affect. 

Time, Tylenol, and Ice were still the order for the day.  Gabriela was able to hold down some lunch and she started to look a little more like my Cha-cha.  She even played with the ZhuZhu babies that she picked out to open after her surgery.  My friend, Karol, dropped by to surprise Gaby with all of the fixings for a banana split. 

She made it by herself!  My independent little lady!  (Another sign that she was feeling better.)

Her double vision was pretty much gone by Saturday afternoon, except for extreme distances.  Finally, by Sunday morning, my sparkly little girl came back. She was smiling and happy.

Yes, that is my wild woman!   I obviously didn't fuss with her hair during this time.  :)
As further proof that she was doing better and back to her normal self, I received this validation: 
My response?   Easy.  I love my Gaby, because she is a good girl!  :)
P.S.  This is officially the longest blog post that I have *ever* created. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Everything's coming up "Daisy"

Well, we finally did it.  Our family grew by four feet....well, four paws would be more precise.  We bought a little puppy.  When Edgar died, there was a hole left in our little world.  :( 
It took a while for the idea of a new puppy to grow on us. Our house is pretty crazy and, during the school year, could be described as chaotic. There is no way that we could train a puppy and give him/her all of the attention it would need. Except....summer. When school finishes, it is like a deep breath settles over the house. We are afforded time and quiet. So, without further adieu, meet Daisy Damita.
  She is a Boston Terrier that we picked up from a breeder up in Costa Mesa. 

We are having so much fun with her around.  She never lacks for attention, because the four kiddos absolutely adore her.  She has really responded to training and already has a pretty regular routine.  She does a lot of this:

Some of this:
And she loves to hang here:

This is her "Lifestyles of the Bitch and the Famous" pose.  :) 

Welcome to the family, Daisy!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

School's out for the summer!

     As of yesterday afternoon at 1:06pm, we are on summer vacation! We spent the good part of today in the pool, soaking in the perfect day. The last month or so has been such a whirlwind of activities and events, it was nice to do a lot of nothing. 
     I did not get a chance to post the quilt that I made for my dear friend Linda DiVerde. She was my teaching partner for many years when I taught Kindergarten. She has taught each of my sweethearts, and this year she had the youngest of them. Not only did she have the last of the babies (Gabriela), but she also was in the room when Gabriela was born and helped me sing Happy Birthday to her for the very first time! It was bittersweet, seeing Cha-Cha finish Kindergarten, but knowing that Mrs. DiVerde would not have any more of my little ones in Kindergarten. So, I did what I do...I made her a quilt.
     It is from the Eric Carle line of fabric for Brown Bear, Brown Bear. Having taught that grade level for so long, I know how apropos the quilt is for her classroom. She LOVED it. She cried. Well, I did, too.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

And the award goes to....

Jake!   I'm so proud of my BabyJake.  He had a pretty big week!   Chavez Middle School had their awards ceremony and Jake was fortunate enough to receive two awards:  one for a 4.0 GPA and another for Outstanding Student in 6th grade math.  He was chosen from all of the 6th graders to receive the math award.  :)   
Jake and Mr. Magnuson, the 6th grade math teacher at CCMS

Jake's cheering section:  Me (taking the photo), Jake, Cristina, Nana, Gabriela, Daniel, Grandpa, and Rene
Behind us was Derek (Jake's dad) and Tina

Finally, here is a screen capture of Jake's grades from School Loop.

So proud of all the wrinkles in that brain of his.  :)  Love you, Jakey!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Whimsical Hexagons

Happy day! Two very close friends of mine were recently blessed with a baby girl; however this story is so beautiful and means so much to me, that I feel the need to share it. 
Four years ago, this couple adopted a beautiful baby boy.  At the time of the adoption, they agreed to be put on a registry to accept babies that have been abandoned or given up after birth at any hospital in the county. 
Years passed and they decided that their family had settled into a comfortable routine and they were happy with only one child.  They decided that they were going to remove themselves from the registry. 
Just before they made the call, they received a call from social services telling them that they had been chosen by a young mother to accept her newborn babygirl! 
She chose them because they could not have children of their own and they both have careers in the education field.  She wanted her little girl to have a better life than she could provide and she knew they would be able to give it her!  *tear*
So, to help them celebrate I asked them to choose some fabric that I could use to make a baby quilt for their preciosa!
They chose Whimsy by Fig Tree Quilts for Moda Fabrics.  I used a simple little pattern to make these hexagons that went together easily and quickly.