Sunday, May 30, 2010

Why I've been MIA

The following is a post I just wrote for my weight loss blog The Skinny, but I'm re-posting it here for two purposes.  The first is to explain why I haven't been posting lately.  And the second is because I'm trying to scrounge up any advice I can on how to feel better.  So, please, if you have any suggestions for me, please share them in the comments.  I would really, really appreciate it.  
Truth be told, I'm really not feeling so peaceful at the moment.  Mostly it's because of my body.  I feel like I'm falling apart.  See, I've been having headaches for a little while now (a couple of weeks?) almost daily.  And I'm not the kind of person that even gets headaches weekly... usually.  And on top of that my back and neck and shoulders have been sore.  And I've had some toothaches.  So I figured it's probably time to see the chiropractor.  And the dentist.  Well, I still haven't taken the time to find which dentist I can see on our oh-so-lovely (not) student health plan.  But I did go and see the chiropractor on Thursday.  I really liked him a lot.  He seemed to have a really comprehensive approach on what's going on with my body which won him a lot of points in my book.  I have a hard time believing doctors when they start going on and on about what's wrong with me, but haven't taken time to learn all the facts--that I have mild scoliosis, that my left leg is slightly shorter than my right leg, that I have orthodics, that I have a child, that I'm breastfeeding, etc., etc.  Anyway, basically what the chiropractor said is that I need to do a few things to help my body get back to where it needs to be.

Right now my body is overworked trying to function because things are out of whack.  So in order to get back in whack I need to see the chiropractor a couple of times a week, have some acupuncture done at least once a week (he does that too, which is part of the reason I went to see him), have some deep tissue massages to help break up all the knots in my back, get a good cervical pillow (he suggested one like this, but I think since I sleep on my side a lot I'll probably get one like this) which will help my neck to stay supported while I sleep instead of forcing my neck to go flat, and--ultimately--work on my posture.  He said that the core of my problems are structural, meaning that my spine is becoming... not the shape it's supposed to be.  Which is chiefly due to my slouchy posture and leaning forward to breastfeed and look at the computer.  And, according to the chiropractor, this bad curvature in my neck/spine and my body/nerve endings being overworked is causing a lack of blood flow to my brain, which is causing the daily headaches.

Needless to say, I came home on Thursday very concentrated on trying to keep my shoulders back and my head held so that my ears are aligned just over my shoulders.  And I was trying very hard not to pop my own joints since the chiropractor said that when you pop your own joints it usually just puts added pressure on the ones that already have too much pressure on them, rather than releasing pressure in between two joints that are stuck (which is what chiropractors can do since they know what they're doing).  I was trying very hard to focus on these things and try to be better.

Then, on Friday at about 3:00AM I woke up feeling absolutely terrible.  It felt like someone was taking my stomach and trying to wring it out like a wet towel.  Finally around 3:30AM I was in the bathroom violently throwing up for a while.  I feel fairly certain that I got food poisoning from some spread that I had eaten on a roll as a snack on Thursday evening.  Finally around 4:30AM I got back to sleep, feeling absolutely miserable.  Bryan came home from work early to take care of Olivia since I was still feeling so sick I could hardly do anything.  I slept the majority of the day.  We already had a babysitter lined up, so we went out for a really low-key date on Friday night during which I "walked like a 90 year old woman the entire time" (according to Bryan).

I woke up yesterday (Saturday) feeling a lot better, but really sore.  I had thrown up so violently the day before that the whole frame of my upper body felt bruised, especially my ribs.  I skipped lifting weights (just the thought of doing the chest press made me feel exhausted) and we took it easy going to some yard sales, babysitting our friends' kids, watching a movie at home on the couch, and later playing games with friends.

But you had better believe that any efforts to sit up straight and not pop my back have flown completely out the window.  I've been in so much pain the past few days that anything that makes me feel even a little better has been up for grabs.  Which may have already come back to bite me in the bum.  Because I woke up this morning feelings so, so stiff.  My whole back/spine from about my waist up feels extremely stiff and sore.  I am definitely far worse than I was when I went to see the chiropractor on Thursday.  Which means I'm definitely going to need to go again this next week.  Which, I'll admit, stresses me out a little because he seems really good, but, quite frankly, he's too expensive for me to see on a regular basis.  So I had kind of already made up my mind not to go back and to just try and do things on my own as much as I can.  But clearly these problems with my body are beyond me.

Any ideas?  Any advice?

I hope you're all having a nice Sunday.  And even though this probably wasn't the most uplifting post for you to read (if you even made it this far), it does make me feel a little better to get all of my "poor me"'s off my chest.  So, thanks for the vent.  And, please, I would really appreciate any advice.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Shirred Dress

So yesterday I spent my $20 from Mother's Day and got these things:

(Okay, okay, so I actually spent $26.)  Anyway, now that I had some elastic thread burning a hole in my pocket I was just dying to try my hand at shirring.  I love the look and the simplicity of it, but I haven't had the materials for it on hand before.  I had glanced over Disney's awesome tutorial for shirring over at Ruffles And Stuff (It's great!) earlier during the day and decided to give it a try.

Well, let me just tell you--it is SO easy!  And so, so forgiving.  I practiced on a scrap first (I definitely recommend doing this) and let's just say some of my lines weren't perfectly straight, but once it's done you can't even tell.

So, since it was so easy, I thought I'd make a little dress for the big O.  Can't be too hard, right?  Right!  I used some fabric that came in a grocery bag of fabric that I bought for $2 at a yard sale a couple of weeks ago.  Can't beat that!

How to:
Basically I just cut a rectangle of fabric (about twice as long as I wanted the finished bodice (plus seam allowances) to be).  Then I hemmed the top and bottom edges (the long edges).  Then I shirred a few rows until there was about 2" of shirring (which was as wide as I wanted the bodice of her dress to be).  Then I sewed my rectangle into a tube, added straps, and... done!  It seriously took maybe all of half an hour.  (Or at least that's how long it would have taken if the safety pin hadn't come undone inside one of the straps as I was trying to turn it right side out.)

So I sewed it up last night and then spent the day taking pictures of Olivia in it.  Let's have a little look see, shall we?

It's so light and summery!  And it has just the right amount
of s-t-r-e-t-c-h to it.
See what I mean? 

I will definitely be making more of these little dresses for Olivia.  It's simple clothing projects like this that make me have crazy thoughts like, "Oh, I'll just make all of her clothes from now on!"  Haha.  We'll see.

Have a wonderful evening!

Monday, May 24, 2010

May 24, 2010

7:56 AM
Bryan: Want to hear something really ridiculous?
Me (still in bed): What?
Bryan: It's snowing outside.

 Well, sure enough, when I peeked out the window the snow was coming down steadily.  And still is.  In an effort to pretend it wasn't happening, I kept the blinds closed.  That was until I heard a loud CRACK!  

A huge branch off of one of our trees had fallen.  A few minutes later another one fell.  How glad am I that I don't work for grounds crew today?  So, so glad.  **I just heard another branch fall right now as I was writing this!**  So crazy.  This doesn't even happen during the winter when the trees are usually heavy laden with snow. 

On this particular occasion, I would like to blame this ridiculous snowfall on Olivia. 

Or, more accurately, on the socks that Olivia is currently wearing.

Little penguin, it is all your fault that inside it looks like this...
(Flowers picked YESTERDAY EVENING.)

...And outside it looks like this.

And you all wonder why I'm so excited to move.

Happy Monday!

Friday, May 21, 2010

5 Minute Ribbon Organizers

I never thought I'd be one of those people.  You know who I mean.  The ones with all the ribbon.  It's like they're addicted or something.  But when I reorganized all of my craft and sewing supplies a couple of weeks ago I realized it's happened.  I've become one of them.  One of those people.  And, although I feel a little silly about it, I think it's okay to be one of those people.  Except for one thing.  What one thing?

This one thing.  What a mess.  When I went looking for some ribbon to tie around some gifts yesterday evening I had to dump out the whole box just to be able to find what I was looking for.  Bleh.  So, today I decided it was time to organize.

First I busted out the scissors and tape.

And cut a lot of little skinny pieces.

And made all the unruly ribbon behave.

Then it was time to get that ribbon in line (literally).  How so, you ask?  Well, it's simple math, really.


So simple!  Just my style.  And with the 10 pack of pencils at $.99 and the packs of 12 erasers at $.89 the price was right in my range too.

Now I've got a whole little fleet of easily accessible ribbon.

I love the way it looks.  Tidy and sweet.

Aaaaand it fits perfectly in its little box!
Now my ribbon can sleep on the shelf in a much more orderly fashion.  Maybe yours will too?