Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Toddler T-shirt Dress: Tutorial

I recently made a couple of super cute dresses for Amy using this tutorial from Pinterest. While it was a pretty good tutorial, it was broken up into a couple of parts, and there weren't a ton of pictures. Since I'm an "okay" seamstress, it was all right, but I always think more pictures are better. This post? Obnoxiously full of pictures. You've been warned.

This is a gathered t-shirt dress. So, start with a t-shirt that fits your child. (Note that since I made 3 dresses in as many days, there are a few steps that show different shirts/material. It's okay. Don't panic.)

Try your shirt on your model and determine where you want the skirt to start. I love little empire waist dresses on girls (and me), so I knew I wanted a fairly short top. Once you've measured and marked with pencil, cut it. Go ahead. Cut straight across.

I left about an extra inch, although I used a smaller seam allowance than that. You know, just to be safe, in case I failed to cut it straight or something. Once that's done, it's time for your skirt fabric. I used just a cotton print that Amy picked out. (She wanted dots. "No, SMALL dots, Mama!" Yes, ma'am. Small dots it is.)

The fabric is either 44" or 48" wide, I honestly don't remember. I bought a yard of it. Here, you're going to sew your seam (which will be your back seam) at the selvages. Make sure the fabric is folded with right sides together. (Note: If you want a super full skirt, or you're making this for an older girl, you can always cut two pieces and just have 2 side seams rather than 1 back seam.)

Then finish your seam. I don't have a serger, so I just do a zigzag stitch close to the edge. This step isn't vital, but it does make the finished product look nicer.

 Once you have a tube of fabric, you've got a couple of choices. You can hem it now, or you can wait and hem it at the end. I prefer to hem it at the very end, mainly because my tiny model had gone to bed by this point, plus it's hard to get a feel for how long Amy's dresses should be if it's not an actual "dress" yet. So I opted to put the dress together before hemming. To do so, you're going to baste about 1/4-1/2" from the top of the skirt. (NOTE: If your fabric has a directional print, make sure you do this to the TOP of the skirt!) DO NOT BACKSTITCH, and try to leave some nice long threads to pull on.

Once you've got that done, find your gathering thread and start pulling gently. I should say here that gathering is the bane of my sewing existence. Well, one of them. You'll see what I mean shortly.

Keep pulling gently, and start distributing the gathers equally around the top of the skirt. I always start by gathering more than I need to, because for some reason I find it less agitating to loosen the gathers than I do to try to gather MORE fabric to fit the top of the dress. So eventually you'll get something like this:

Now it's time to pin the skirt and the top together. Attaching a skirt to a bodice is actually the REAL bane of my existence. I wish I were joking. It seems simple, and yet...

The first dress I did, this is what happened. I got all gung-ho because it seemed so easy, so I pinned it together AND SEWED IT without double checking that my pieces were actually attached properly. Yes, that would be the top, inside-out. *sigh* My eagerness meant that I got to seam-rip it, which made the gathering come out, which meant I had to gather the stupid skirt all over again.

So. Don't be hasty. And if you're like me, RESIST THE URGE to (for some reason) flip the shirt inside out to pin it. You want the right sides to be together. It may feel strange (which is why I screw it up so often) but it'll be okay.

The shirt top (bodice) needs to go inside the skirt with right sides together. Loosen your gathers to make the skirt fit the bodice and try to distribute the gathering evenly. It doesn't have to be perfect.

Once I've pinned it, I always tie off the gathering threads so I don't lose more of the gathering, but I'm just paranoid like that. (Probably because of how much I despise gathering.) Once you're pinned and tied off, sew the skirt to the bodice. I always do all my backstitching on that center seam, but that's just force of habit. I used about 1/2-5/8" seam allowance here.

Pretty simple. Now turn your dress right side out and hopefully you don't burst into tears because you sewed the bodice inside out.

Hooray! Everything's facing the right way!

With this dress, I really probably could've stopped here and hemmed it. It doesn't look bad this way. But this was my last dress, and I was kind of on a roll, so onward I went and added a tie to the waist. (Important for Amy, because she's a tiny thing, and it's really necessary so she's not swimming in her dress.)

For the waist tie, I used just plain black cotton.

You'll need to decide how wide you want your tie to be. 2" seemed pretty good to me. Double that measurement and add an inch for your seam allowances, so, 5". You need to cut 2 strips 5" wide by 44-48" long (whatever the width of your fabric).



Those two pieces are still folded in half. Next, unfold them and sew them together along one of the SHORT edges to make one really super long piece of fabric. If for some reason your tie has a pattern, make sure the right sides are together.

I think that's 1/2" seam allowance. This is part of what marks me as an "okay" seamstress in my opinion. I generally don't pay attention to the seam allowance and just go with it, and I'm completely fine with that. It just is not important to me.

Once you've got one super long piece of fabric, pin the long edges together. (Again, if for some reason you're using a patterned fabric here, make sure the right sides are together.)

Of course, then you're going to sew it.

This was the next day, and I had a naked little girl who demanded she get to "help". So, there we are.

Beautiful. I can sew a (mostly) straight line. Now comes the really obnoxious part that is another bane of my sewing existence. (This sounds like I hate sewing. I really don't, there are just those few things that seem like they take an eternity.) You get to take that approx. 90" tube of fabric and turn it right side out. *sigh* I use the safety pin method, and hate every second of it.

Goody. Now that THAT'S over, you get to iron it. (I'm actually one of those sick people who enjoy ironing. Don't tell my husband.)

Once you've got your beautifully pressed tie, it's time to pin it on. Take your dress, and line the tie up on the waist. That center seam on the tie? Line it up with one of the seams at the side of the dress. You'll be sewing across it anyway, and no one will be able to tell.

Hopefully even with the glare you can see what I'm talking about. Make sure when you're pinning that you're pinning on the round, like you're going to sew it. Otherwise it won't lie flat and you'll be pulling your hair out. (Fortunately a mistake from a while ago and not any of these projects.) Once it's pinned, sew as close to the edge of the tie as you feel comfortable. You're going to sew from underarm seam to underarm seam.

This doesn't look like it's lying flat, but it actually does once it's on and tied. Pinky promise.

Now you're going to really quickly finish the ends of your waist tie. It's uneven right now since your center seam attached at one of the underarms. I like long ties to make nice, pretty bows, so I just cut the longer side to match the shorter side. Turn the ends in.

Then go ahead and edgesew. Again, I sewed pretty close to the edge, because that's just how I roll.

Easy peasy. If you're feeling ambitious, you could cut them on an angle to make the ends prettier, but I just didn't care that much. It's not a fancy dress, therefore, a straight edge is plenty fine.

Now it's time to hem it! I tried the dress on my feisty little model, and marked the length I wanted. (This picture actually shows the first dress I did.)


Once I had a measurement, I took the dress back off the little ham (with much protestation from her tiny self), cut the extra length off, and started hemming. I left 1" for the hem. So, turn the hem up 1/2" and press it. (I use to skip the ironing and just go for it. Big mistake. The hem turns out so much nicer if you take the time to iron it. Don't fuss. Just do it.) Once you've turned it up and pressed it, turn it up again and press it again so you have a nice, clean edge.

Then you can pin and sew it. Just a note here, which I'm a little embarrassed to say I JUST realized with this last dress: when sewing your hem, sew it with the right side up. It ends up looking nicer. I was so used to sewing on the wrong side of the fabric I didn't notice the stitching looked a little strange on the first dress. It was a like a lightbulb came on.

So, from now on, I'll be flipping my material over. At any rate, I sewed as close to the edge of the hem as I felt comfortable to give it a nice-looking hem. Trust me, it's beautiful.

Again, you could easily be done here:

Just savor that cuteness for a minute. Really.

That first dress, the shirt I used for the top has a bow on it, so I didn't feel the need to add any further embellishment. This would be the point at which you can, so feel free to dress it up as much or as little as you want. With the second dress, I felt like it needed something extra. So I decided to do a rolled fabric flower and add it to the waist tie. There are about a billion tutorials out there for rolled flowers, so I'm honestly not going to go into a bunch of detail here. I used fabric from the bottom of the shirt I'd cut off and sewed a couple pieces into a nice, long, 2" wide(ish) strip. Start rolling it tightly for the center.

I initially wanted to sew the flower, as I was concerned about hot glue lasting through washing/drying, but I couldn't find a tutorial that told me where to stitch, so I shrugged and used hot glue anyway. Glue it every inch or so to make sure it's secure. You only need a little glue, you don't want strings of glue hanging off your flower. After the first several rolls, I started flipping the material occasionally to give it more of a rosette look. Just keep going til you get the size flower you want.

See? Not the prettiest or the neatest flower ever, but it works. Then I hand-sewed the flower onto the tie. It's a little tough, but it works out okay.

Yes, it's meant to be off-center. :)

Once you're finished, give your cute, feisty model a chance to show off!



Minus the addition of the flower, I actually whipped this dress out in a total of about 1 1/2 hours. (Stupid gathering/turning tubes of material right side out.) It's really pretty simple and easy as long as you remember to keep your right sides together!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

OUCH!

I've been keeping busy with the kidlets this summer. Knock on wood, but since my morning sickness finally went away, I've actually been feeling really good this pregnancy (barring the usual fatigue/exhaustion, but that can't really be helped). So we have been hopping! With visits from cousins, grandparents, trips to the Magic House where we have a membership, the Zoo, the local water park where we have season passes, playgroup at least once a week, the kids have kept me chugging along (even if it is sometimes at a snail's pace). Add on to that the Shakespeare Festival here in St. Louis (which is AMAZING, free, outdoors, and this year performed both Henry IV AND Henry V), date nights, Brett being accepted for 2 different internships, and a presentation just last night I gave to kick off a donations drive for Missouri Children's Burn Camp, and I feel like I hardly get to sit down!

Wow. That's a really long list. It makes me tired just reading it!

At any rate, for the past few days my left hip has been bothering me. It's been pretty sore. I just kind of ignored it, because I know when I'm pregnant my body OVERproduces relaxin (which led to an incredibly painful condition with David's pregnancy called symphysis pubis dysfunction) and makes my joints really unstable. Wednesday morning I woke up with intense pain in my left hip. Again, I tried to ignore, and figured it had popped out of place (which happens occasionally while I'm pregnant) and that it would eventually pop back into place on its own. Didn't happen. Wednesday night, I tried to sleep on my right side because lying on that left side was really painful. For the most part I managed to stay off my left side, but I woke up a few times in pain, having rolled over in my sleep.

When I woke up this morning, I was in excruciating pain. I could barely move, let alone get out of bed. My left hip was just radiating pain, and my right hip had started hurting, too! Oh my gosh, it was just awful. I really can't begin to describe how badly it hurt. I hobbled around with a distinct limp while I helped get the kids ready, then took Brett to work. Once we got home, I called a friend of mine. I can't remember why I called her, but it didn't take long for me to mention my pain. She was concerned and suggested I see a chiropracter, and gave me the number for hers.

It may come as a bit of a shock to those who know how much of a "hippie" I am, but I've never seen a chiropracter before. Despite my chronic back pain. I just never really bothered, and since it's not covered by insurance, who wants to pay out of pocket for something like that?! (Right?)

At that point, I figured, really it can't get much worse, and I HAVE to be able to walk and climb stairs to take care of my kids. I didn't have much of a choice left. So I called Dr. Smith, and his office was able to fit me in this afternoon. My sweet friend offered to take my kids to the pool while I was gone so I didn't have to try to juggle them. So I dropped them off at the pool after explaining (mainly to Amy, who MUST account for my and Brett's whereabouts every moment of the day) that I was going to see a special doctor, who could hopefully help my hips not to hurt so badly.

It was a bit of a drive, but I got there, filled out my paperwork, and talked with the doctor's assistant. I got back to the exam room and met the doctor. And I kid you not, about half an hour later I was able to walk with almost NO pain. He adjusted my hips and pelvis as well as my neck and upper back, and commented that I was twisted up worse than anyone he can remember seeing. (Not that I'm surprised at that, given my pre-existing back issues PLUS pregnancy!) I was a little sore at first (and while he was poking and prodding, which definitely hurt when he hit sore spots), but the relief began immediately. Several hours later, I have absolutely no pain. It's amazing. I was skeptical, but really, what else could I have done (bar taking some serious pain meds, since no way would Tylenol have even touched the pain I was in)? I've never seen such immediate results before.

I realize this sounds like an advertisement. It's not. It's just so rare that I'm THIS impressed by something. I go back Monday for some additional adjustments, and I'm actually excited. I already feel better than I have in months. I'm curious to see what else the doctor can take care of!

Here's hoping the pain stays away and I can get a decent night's sleep tonight!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Party of 5

So...

I've kept my mouth shut for FOREVER! I hate keeping my own secrets. But, I sort of accidentally outed myself on Facebook this afternoon, so I figured, oh who cares. Let's shout it from the rooftops!

That's right, folks! Our families have known for a while now (plus anyone who sees me in person...my belly popped WAY early this time around and was pretty hard to hide). We've been so excited, and I've been anxiously waiting to announce it.

But, after the heartbreak of losing Hannah last year, I was so hesitant. The last thing I wanted was to announce it publicly (again), only to have to un-tell everyone (again). That's incredibly painful. So, we waited. And waited. And waited. And waited some more. We told our families when I was around 17 weeks, I think--past the first trimester plus an appointment to check for a good heartbeat.

We'd talked about waiting to go Facebook-public till we knew the sex of the baby (which we don't yet, thanks to some insurance issues). I've avoided posting pictures that clearly show my expanding waistline. :) But then today, I posted in an event called Bring Back Our Girls Day of Fasting and Prayer, aimed at specifically fasting and praying for the Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped and are still missing, many of them apparently sold as brides. I believe in the power of prayer, and I wanted to participate. I made a comment about being unable to go without food/water due to my pregnancy but still wanting to participate, not thinking about the fact that my comment would be viewable by the general public. Whoops!

So, rather than trying to delete it or hide it, I figured I'd just own it. Ta-da! So, we've got another tiny nugget coming our way mid-August! My pregnancy so far has been more or less okay. I really do wish I were one of those women who just sails through pregnancy like it's a breeze, but alas, it was (sadly) not meant to be. Still, this time around has been less awful compared to my pregnancies with Hannah and David. Not a barrel of monkeys or anything, but at the very least I can function most of the time like a normal person. I've got less joint pain (which means I can still walk! Hooray!) and my morning sickness wasn't *quite* bad enough to really be hyperemesis this time around. My depression has also been easily manageable, which is nice after the hell that was David's pregnancy.

(And you'd better believe I'm knocking on wood after that paragraph.)

We should be finding out the sex of the baby fairly soon, I hope. I'm really tired of waiting, but you've got to love insurance and the hoops they make you jump through. *sigh* Keep an eye out for an exciting reveal when we find out!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

All Are Alike Unto God

There's been quite a hullabaloo online since Monday when the PR department of the LDS church sent a letter to the Ordain Women movement, a fairly small organization advocating for gender equality within the church and asking the leaders of the church to seek revelation on the matter of ordination for women. Several news outlets have posted articles, many of which began making their rounds on Facebook almost immediately. Harsh, angry words began spewing from the mouths of church members towards the women and men who are part of, or support, the Ordain Women movement.

I'm not one to sit idly by when I see something going on that I don't like, or to stay silent when I have a strong opinion on something. So after seeing the response to these articles, I chose to come out publicly on Facebook in support of OW.

Yup. You read that right. I believe women should be ordained. Now, before getting all up in arms, just take a deep breath. It's okay. I'm not here to argue or to push my views on anyone. I recognize that I am vastly in the minority on this. I understand why people are so opposed to ordination for women. I do. And everyone is entitled to their own opinion on this. What I DO want to do, and what I hope to do, is explain my reasons for being a part of this movement. Reasons which are incredibly personal and very near to my heart, about which I have very tender feelings. So feel free to disagree with me, but please don't troll.

I believe in the Gospel. I readily admit there are aspects of it with which I struggle. But I believe I have Heavenly Parents who love me, and who sent me here to grow and to learn. I believe in Jesus Christ, my brother, my Savior and Redeemer. I believe in modern revelation, and that such revelation (both on a personal and a church-wide scale) are vastly important. I believe that President Monson can and does receive revelation directly from God. I believe in the importance and significance of temple ordinances, and that families can be together for eternity. I hope to be with mine even after I die. I believe in the power of the priesthood. I have experienced its power too many times to deny it. I believe my husband and I are (and should be) equal partners before the Lord.

I truly believe these things. They are the core of my belief and my spirituality. They are unshakable.

And yet within the church, I struggle with feelings of...well, the best way I can describe it is cognitive dissonance. (Yes, I know, that's not really a feeling.) I believe these things, but I don't always experience them the way I think I should. I'm afraid that's confusing. Let me explain.

I have Heavenly Parents who love me. I have both a Father AND a Mother in Heaven. Our church teaches that. Well, sort of. Our church acknowledges that. We sing about her on occasion. But we aren't taught ABOUT her. We don't have lessons dedicated to our Mother. We don't even really speak of her, and those who do are looked at sideways like they're crazy. Our Mother is a taboo topic. As a woman and a mother, that makes no sense to me, and I can only imagine it would be incredibly painful for Mother to be completely unknown by the majority of Her children and more or less ignored by the children who do know of Her existence. I long for a relationship with my Mother. I'm taught to strive to be like God. But I will never be male (nor do I wish to be), nor a father, therefore I can't ever really be like my Heavenly Father. I long for an example of what it is like to be an exalted woman.

2 Nephi 26:33 says, "...he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female… all are alike unto God". ALL are alike unto God.

And yet...all are not alike in His church. Women play a far less significant role than men. We can preside over children and women, but only under the direct supervision of men. Budgets and events have to be approved by men. Everything depends entirely on the male leadership within the ward. Disciplinary councils consist only of men. The entire leadership of the church, other than the three auxiliaries women are allowed to preside over, consists of only men. That's a huge disparity, and it leads to many women within the church feeling voiceless. And then, of course, there is the matter of the priesthood. I'm not going to go into detail about historical precedents for women holding and exercising priesthood authority. They exist. I'm happy to discuss them. But this post isn't about history, it's about how I feel. So let's get down to the really personal stuff.

I feel set aside. I feel...inferior, in a way. You see, I hold a temple recommend. Brett and I are sealed in the temple for time AND eternity. I'm "good enough" to be his spouse and his eternal companion. I'm told as a woman I have an innate talent to nurture and care for others. And yet, when Brett is sick, I can only tend to his physical needs. When Brett had pneumonia in August, I was powerless to help him. I could not provide the one thing I was sure would help him feel better. I am forbidden to lay hands on his head, to anoint him with oil, and to call upon the power of God to heal him. Instead, I had to call for men from church to come do so. I, his wife, who hope to be with him for eternity, was set aside in favor of someone with the right set of genitalia. Instead of blessings of comfort and council coming from his spouse, who arguably knows him better and more intimately than anyone on this planet, those blessings either have to come from someone else or they are simply not sought out.

I am "good enough" to be a mother. I can carry children inside me for months. I can endure the pain of labor and birth for hours to bring children of God into this world. I can nurse my children. And yet, when Amy (and David) was given a name and a blessing in church, I was set aside. Not only am I forbidden to participate in the blessing, I am not allowed to hold my child during the blessing. I am expected to remain in my place in the congregation, silent and reverent, along with a couple hundred other people who had no role in my child's creation. I am not even acknowledged as my child's mother. I am set aside for the very reason that child was able to come into this world: because I am a woman.

I am "good enough" to raise my children in the church, to teach them and love them and help them grow. But when Amy turns 8, I will once again be set aside. Every milestone in our church (or nearly every) involves a priesthood ordinance. Not only can I not take Amy into the waters of baptism, I cannot even be an official witness--because I am a woman. I cannot lay my hands on her head to confirm her a member of the church. Because I am a woman.

I am "good enough" to care for and nurture my children, to endure endless tantrums, to clean up vomit and who knows what else. When they are hurt, they often cry for me, because I am their mother. But when Amy is in the ER, scared because she can't stop vomiting, I am powerless. I am helpless. I can pray for her and with her, but I, who believe so firmly in the power of the priesthood both to calm and to heal, cannot lay my hands on her head and give her a blessing...because I am a woman. Because I am her mother.

These things do not make me angry. I don't want people to get that impression. These things break my heart. These things make me weep, as I am now. They fill me with inexpressible sorrow. Because the very thing that allows me to be a mother, the very thing that makes me desire to serve and to nurture--my womanhood--is the thing that prevents me from doing so much.

I do not seek ordination for power, or for authority. I do not demand it. I am asking my leaders, I am asking the prophet, to seek revelation. I am pleading with them: Please. Ask.

Because I long to be able to bless my husband and children. I long to better serve them. I, the wife and mother, who so intimately knows them, want to do more. I yearn to place my hands on my daughter's head and give her council from her Heavenly Parents. I want so desperately to bless the lives of others with the power of God that I have so often felt. I want to serve my sisters and brothers more fully. I feel there is so much I am capable of, so much more I can do to serve my Heavenly Parents.

That is why I desire the priesthood. I do not feel it is an unrighteous desire. I know some will disagree with me. That's okay. God knows my heart. He knows my desires. He is the one I will have to explain myself to when the day comes. And in the meantime, I will continue to humbly plead with the prophet and apostles:

Please, brothers. Ask.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

40 Days

Being LDS, I generally don't pay much attention to Lent or really any of the "holy" days surrounding Easter other than Easter itself. Lent is more or less ignored in Mormon culture, which in many ways I think is kind of sad. But that's another topic entirely.

Many years, I choose to give something up for Lent, despite my religion's non-involvement. I like the idea of sacrificing something to draw closer to Christ. That's part of the idea behind the monthly fast Mormons participate in. I've given up a variety of things over the years--fast food, soda, ice cream, chocolate (NEVER again). Generally food items because I'm an emotional eater, and sacrificing those things really is a big deal to me. And it's a good experience (except for the chocolate). I actually enjoy making that small sacrifice (except chocolate) and thinking about the sacrifice my Savior made for me.

But after Easter, I mentally jump up and down and think, "Woo hoo!!!!" and go right back to my horrible eating habits. There hasn't been any permanent change. It hasn't really had any lasting effect on me or on my home (other than 40 days of cranky, cranky chocolate-less Laura).

Today, Ash Wednesday, marks the beginning of the Lenten season. I was mulling over what I was going to give up this year and was falling flat. I wanted to DO something, not just agonize for the next 40 days about how badly I want chocolate. I wanted to do something that would benefit myself as well as my family.

And then I stumbled across this on Facebook....

join the decluttering revolution! Challenge yourself to simplify and get rid of 40 bags in 40 days. #40bagsin40days

....and I thought, "Ding ding ding! We have a winner!"

Now, I'm not a hoarder or anything. When we moved in November, I got rid of a TON of stuff (at least it felt like it). But it's March now, and the amount of crap in my house really bugs me. It's difficult to keep clean. So much still hasn't been properly put away/boxed for long-term storage. I can't find anything, which means we're spending money buying hygiene items I KNOW we have somewhere. The kids get into stuff that has been left out, creating an even bigger mess. I can't really use my craft room, because it's the default drop-zone, and has so much STUFF just dropped in there right now that I can barely walk through the room.

So, enough is enough.

I'm not just giving up something, I'm giving up STUFF. And a lot of it. If I were a gambling woman, I'd wager I can easily fill up more than 40 bags. But I've accepted that I will never be organized while my house is full of STUFF.

I'm not putting pictures up (mainly because I'm embarrassed at the state of my house). I'm not doing daily posts because they get boring for the writer AND the reader, and really, it's just one more thing for me to try to remember to do. But I AM going to whip my house into shape.

I know my home will be more pleasant to be in when there's less crap in it. My house will never be immaculate. Two toddlers plus one mama who really detests cleaning more or less ensures that. But the mess can be manageable. It can be pick-up-able. And it will be. 40 days from now.

Come join me! Don't think you have 40 bags worth of stuff? That's okay. The point is to get stuff you don't need/want out of your house. Throw stuff away. Recycle. Donate. Have a yard sale. But if it's not being used, get rid of it. When in doubt, throw it out!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

New look!

I've been feeling kind of...blah...lately, especially in the creative arena. Obviously, I haven't posted in a few months, partly because I was just bored and didn't like the way my blog looked anymore.

So, I decided to make a big change. Whew! It took me a few hours, but I really love the colors. It's more...funky? Fun? I don't know. But it reminds me of spring, which is nice since it's so cold!

Not a whole lot going on here other than the usual school and taking care of the kidlets. Just sort of the same old stuff that isn't terribly interesting to post about.

We did have a couple of warm days last week, though, and Brett and the kids went to the park while I was in class. (Only slightly bitter that I missed out on all the cuteness and fun!) They had fun playing peekaboo with Daddy.



Friday, November 22, 2013

The Big Move

First, I am beyond thrilled to be out of the townhome we were renting. Seriously. Beyond thrilled.

Why, you may ask? It was a decent amount of space and the rent was quite low. We had great neighbors on one side of us. Why would we be so eager to leave?

Why not?!

We have a lengthy list of reasons we left. The most serious grievances we have/had with the complex are their complete failure to perform maintenance in a remotely timely manner and their refusal to effectively treat our unit (and building) for a bed bug infestation.

Yup. Bed bugs. For real. Mainly in Amy's room, which meant she was getting bitten to pieces by the bugs on a nightly basis. Arms, legs, and occasionally face. My poor, sweet little girl who began crying out in the middle of the night because the bugs were coming for her and she was terrified.

I doubt I need to relate my immediate transformation into my Mama Bear self. Probably isn't hard to imagine. They insisted on having the pest company use chemical sprays, despite my research that the sprays are ineffective because they don't kill the eggs. They claimed they were using an additive that restricts the bugs' growth cycle, and that after a few treatments, they would be unable to reproduce. Except that my research discovered that the particular chemical needs to be sprayed every two weeks, and we were pulling teeth to get them to come out once a month. Oh, and that pesky little fact that the other units in the building weren't being treated, so the bugs could leave and come back at will. Yeah.

Grossed out yet? I know I am!

In addition to our lovely parasite problem, we had an issue with a nasty sewer smell invading our unit on a regular basis. We'd noticed the smell less than a week after moving in (more than 18 months ago) and had reported it. They basically twiddled their thumbs and told us to flush the drain in the laundry room with water. Yeah...that was helpful. (Not.) So we've had this pretty constant stench that starts in the basement and then works its way through the house via the ventilation system.

So....needless to say, we wanted OUT. And now we are! We're renting a house! An actual, for real, house. I don't share a wall with ANYONE for the first time in years! We're all pretty excited. (Although it's a little bittersweet since the house we're now renting was being rented by our very good friends, who moved to Utah.)

Pictures to come soon once we get unpacked and make the place look nice!