Sunday, November 30, 2014

Festive holiday burp cloths

This is our last day at the casita. I'm both sad and excited. It's always depressing to close up Pettita Casita and leave the high desert. At the same time, I need to get back to Houston and spend time hugging and kissing The Little Prince.

I've had such a great time sewing and have gotten so much done because there are so few distractions at the casita. The phone rarely rings. There is only one neighbor on the private road. Unless out-of-town guests come to stay with me while I'm here, I seldom leave the casita. This might seem boring, but I really enjoy my alone time with my projects (and beautiful garden during the summer).

Today I'm creating adorable holiday burp cloths. Four down and six to go. Tonight Mr. B and I are having dinner with Leslie and Dick. I went to high school with Leslie and hadn't seen her in decades. We became Facebook friends and she talked about buying a house in Santa Fe. Last summer she and her husband bought a casita about four or five blocks from ours. Its time for the hubbies to meet.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Two blankets and 10 burp cloths are on today's agenda

If yesterday was Black Friday, what do retailers call the Saturday after Thanksgiving? Super Saturday? I see a marketing opportunity here.

I completed the projects on my agenda yesterday, and have now started worrying about set up and wondering if I have enough items. The artisan spaces in this venue are smaller than what I usually have for display. Last night I couldn't sleep because my mind was going crazy thinking about my smaller display area. And as a marketer, I'm concerned about the demographics of who will attend the show and sale. This topic is always an unknown until doors open. Besides all the baby items I also have tote and clutch bags, holiday aprons, pillows, and tin jewelry.

Today I'm creating the last two baby blankets I plan to make. I'm also finishing 10 burp cloths, about half of which are already cut. Tomorrow will be my final day in the high desert (sigh). Before cleaning the casita I plan to make about a dozen holiday burp cloths. The fabrics for these are darling!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday

It's afternoon in the high desert and I'm hoping Black Friday early birds have finished with that madness and gone home for leftovers and a siesta, not to mention all the football games that are on television. On the news this morning, which comes from ABQ, the report was that there weren't huge crazy crowds. This isn't surprising since the mantra here seems to be "maƱana" (why do today what you can put off until tomorrow).

At the store I'm not looking for deals and steals, but rather essentials. I need household supplies such as laundry detergent. I also hope to find more cloth diapers that I'm using to create the burp pads. Apparently cloth diapers are only available at one place in town. Go figure. The discount store is across the street from the fabric store, which I'm hoping I can avoid today. If there's one thing I don't need it's more fabric! Still, buying fabric on sale is much more enjoyable than watching reruns of Gunsmoke, The Rifleman, and other spaghetti westerns with Mr. B (sorry dear).

Today I'm creating more baby items for the artisan show and sale I'm participating in on December 6. Only three more sewing days until we return to Houston and reality.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanks for everything, including the beautiful summer flowers that grow in the Pettita Casita garden.

I would say that I have more to be thankful for in 2014 than in any other year of my life, but that wouldn't be true. Yes, the Little Prince is a blessing and a miracle (not to mention adorable and delightful), but I don't want to discount the joy that Dr. Mc and Sweetness have given me throughout their lives, along with their significant others: Big Daddy and Giraffety. And, of course, there is my soulmate Mr. B. I can't imagine my life without him.

There are also so many friends who supported my family during 2014. I don't even know the names of some people who followed our journey since August 19, 2014, the day Aulay was born. I'm thankful for every prayer list that contained his name. I'm thankful for every doctor, nurse and technician who cared for Dr. Mc and our miracle baby. I'm thankful for all the people who brought meals to the McZam family. So many have brought so much joy!

Today I'm creating thanks for a blessed life! I'm a lucky girl.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Eve

On the day before Thanksgiving I'm thankful for so much, including:
1. The luxury of sleeping late;
2. Sweet Rose sleeping in with me;
3. Mr. B making breakfast;
4. Time to sew this afternoon; and
5. Dinner tonight with The Richards.

While I'm tempted to buy cloth diapers and make more burp cloths, I'm resisting the urge. I have 16 made and think I should move on to making receiving blankets. I have fabric for three pink and three blue blankets, which should keep me busy.

Today I'm creating receiving blankets. I have rick rack to put on the pink blankets, but am leaving the trim off the blue blankets. I haven't made any neutral-colored items because I think most couples find out the gender of their babies.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tuesday before Thanksgiving in the high desert

Today is a happy day because I'm with Mr. B and Rose at Casita Pettita, which may be my favorite place on earth. Today is also a reflective day because my mom died on Nov. 25, 2001.

She was a complicated woman who I didn't always understand or get along with, yet I have grown to appreciate her more as I've gotten older.
What I appreciate most is that she was a terrific homemaker! She loved to cook, especially for holidays and for a crowd. She enjoyed having family around and would plan for months before holidays. If she knew you liked a certain dessert she would make sure it was ready for you when you got to her house. She was a fabulous seamstress who could make anything I showed her, whether she had a pattern or not. She could also knit and crochet. And I wish I had half of her organizational skills. Every drawer in her house was orderly. There was no such thing as a "junk drawer" in her house. Clothes were hung in her closets by item, length of sleeve, and color. Her shoes were kept in boxes in the top of her closet and label so she knew what was inside. Her Christmas shopping was often completed by mid-year, if not sooner. Unlike me, she could always tell you where to find a pair of scissors and a roll of tape.

Today I'm creating more burp cloths, and I can't help but think about Mother. She would have adored knitting or crocheting blankets for her seven great-grandchildren and sewing for them. Unfortunately she didn't live long enough to hold any of them, although I know she and many others are watching over them. Rest in peace, Mother.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday in the high desert

Yesterday, in the middle of off-and-on snow, I spent a couple of hours getting sewing supplies for make cloth diaper burp pads. For a girl from Houston, it was fun to see the falling snow.

Back at the casita I got the diapers washed and dried, and about seven fabrics cut to sew. I'm starting with 20 burp cloths. I also have fabric for six receiving blankets and two diaper bags. This morning I realized that I don't have any straight pins, which means I'm heading back to the fabric store. I don't like this because I'll start looking at fabric and that means one thing: spending more $$$.

Today I'm creating baby gear for the artisan market I'm participating in on Saturday, Dec. 6th. I have plenty of adult treasures. Now, not surprisingly, I'm creating items for wee ones.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Yet another photo of the sweet boy.

Dr. Mc and I had a conversation the other day that's so true. Both of us admitted that we no longer shop for ourselves. Instead we look at all things baby. It doesn't matter if it's something that Aulay can use or wear today or two years from now, we look at them.

Thinking about The Little Prince, I'm wondering when I'll stop posting photos of him. He may be the most photographed baby. Ever! But he's just so cute I can't help myself!

Today I'm creating fabric matches. I'm participating in an artisan show and sale on Saturday, Dec. 6. I have totes, bags, pillows, Christmas aprons, and tin jewelry. I want to make some baby items such as bibs and receiving blankets before the show. It should be fun.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Slow Internet. UGH!

There are about two places in the house where the Internet service is good, if I stand on my right foot, close my left eye, and put both hands on my head. Of course, this position makes it impossible to type on my computer or search the web. We've had technicians come out, replace the old wiring, add boosters, and yet the Internet is still slow. UGH!

I've made a decision to stop the de-cluttering until after the first of the year. There are still boxes that need to be dealt with, but we're leaving to spend Thanksgiving in Santa Fe and when we get back it will be time to decorate for the holidays. After the holidays I'll be able to deal with the boxes again. Hey, I know a woman who moved at least six years ago and she still has unpacked boxes.

Today I'm creating stacks of boxes in my studio and in Mr. B's studio. Most of the items in the boxes go in either of those two places, so we'll stack them and close the door until Jan. 5. Sounds like a plan.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday, Hump Day

Oh boy! We're leaving for the high desert on Friday. As Mr. B likes to say, "We leave at dawn." Since I haven't been to Pettita Casita since my sudden departure on August 19, I may get up early to leave Houston.

Speaking of my early departure from the high desert, today is The Little Prince's due date. Although his early birth and 85-day stay in the hospital was super stressful, the good news is that he has been ours to know and love for an extra three months.

Today I'm creating phone calls to get pricing on merchandising items. I'll probably also be doing some pr work. Yesterday I got alone time with The Little Prince. He stayed with me while his parents ran errands. He is a sweet boy!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I'm so forgetful!

I completely forgot to write my blog yesterday. There was a time when I could multi-process better than anyone, but now I can only do one thing at the time. And half the time I forget what one thing I'm supposed to do. I don't want to slow down, but my brain and body may leave me no choice.

Right now I'm sitting in the TV room watching crappy daytime television. The only thing that makes this afternoon OK is that I'm babysitting with The Little Prince. He has been asleep for about a hour. I don't want to wake a sleeping baby, but there is something really smelly and it's not coming from me!

Today I'm creating a client meeting, trying to get an older computer to boot, making some calls to set up appointments before I leave town on Friday morning, and having lunch with Dr. Mc, Big Daddy, The Little Prince, and Mitzie.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Another cold, quiet day

I'm so proud of Mr. B! He finished painting the inside of the garage apartment last night. Today he is tackling more neglected upstairs projects. The disposal needs to be replaced, as do the toilet and tub faucet. I told him that when he was finished with all the projects I was going to make the upstairs my man cave.

We have decided it's finally time to replace the 2000 Explorer. In the 15 years I've owned it, we have made numerous trips Austin (when Dr. Mc was attending UT) and several trips to Denver (where she attended graduate school). We made several trips to Denton to see Sweetness when she was attending UNT. And we have driven to and from Santa Fe at least three times a year since 2007. Even though the Explorer has been a very dependable car, I'm ready for a new SUV. Actually, if I wasn't such a gypsy — always hauling something or other — I'd buy a car instead of an SUV.

Today I'm creating dinner. It's cold and damp outside, which sounds like the perfect day to cook something low and slow in a large pot. I'm also going to watch at least part of the Texans game while I continue organizing my studio.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Quiet Day

I've stayed in my pajama bottoms, a t-shirt and sweater all day. Mr. B got the paint he needed to finish painting the garage apartment so he has been upstairs completing that project.

I should have been organizing my studio, as I've renamed my craft room. I think studio sounds so much more artistic than craft room. If Mr. B can call his junky home office a study, I can call my room a studio. We actually live in a four bedroom house, but there's only one room with a bed in it.

Today I'm creating kissy-face time with my Little Prince. He has been in the house most of the afternoon. Eat. Sleep. Pass gas. Repeat. That's the range of his activities. He has been a little fussy, or at least that's the excuse I'm using to justify why I've been rocking him a lot.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Times are changing

My youngest daughter, who I call Sweetness, is 26 years young, so it has been a long time since I took care of a baby. One thing I've noticed having The Little Prince around is that almost everything that I did 26 years ago is now "out." I'll begin with feeding, although I may be comparing apples to oranges when I write about taking care of a baby who was overnight in the hospital after birth to a baby who spent 85 days in the hospital.

With Sweetness, it was feeding-on-demand. When she was hungry she let me know and she got fed. The Little Prince is on the NICU schedule. Every three hours the nurses checked his vital signs, changed his diaper, and fed him. Most of the time he was getting fed through a feeding tube that went directly to his stomach. Then, when he learned to suck and swallow, he was bottle fed … whether he was hungry or not. Dr. Mc and Big Daddy were told to follow the same three hour feeding schedule. I was feeding him at 5 p.m. yesterday, but he really wasn't hungry. I suggested that they feed the baby on demand instead of force feeding him. The last thing I would want is a five-year-old who had to be fed at 11 p.m., 2 a.m. and 5 a.m.! The McZams have a visit with their pediatrician today and this will be a topic for discussion.

Today I'm creating downstairs de-cluttering. While the garage apartment was going through de-cluttering some of the items made their way into the house. My goal this weekend is to do some de-cluttering in the house to pitch or donate items so there will be a place for the treasurers that came from the garage apartment.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Baby it's cold outside!

How did it get so cold so fast? I was surprised at the crispness in the air this morning. I'm hearing that it will get even colder tonight.

Last night it was cold outside, but hot in the house. I don't think the central air and heat vents in the house were properly installed. During the winter some of the rooms are hot and others are cold. In the summer the back of the house is always hot. A contributing factor to the problem might be that the 100+ year-old house is on pier and beam (air gets under the house) plus there is a lack of insulation in the walls.

Today I'm creating a trip to the store to get supplies for a small event at a client's office. First I had lunch with a friend who is celebrating her birthday today. Next I went to the huge HEB on Dunlavy and W. Alabama to get the needed party supplies. After I dropped them off I went to DSW. I'm not sure if it is fortunate or unfortunate that the only things I got for myself at DSW were socks. I did see the Little Prince for his 5 p.m. feeding. He is even cuter today than he was yesterday, if that is possible.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

An early Thanksgiving

I cried like a baby when Mr. B came home from work and held the Little Prince for the first time. He has never been around babies so he was a little stiff, but he'll loosen up.

Sweetness and The Quiet One (a.k.a. Raff) plus Dr. Mc, Big Daddy and The Little Prince joined Mr. B and me for dinner last night. I cooked pork tenders, new potatoes and French green beans. Dinner was yummy, as was having everyone here. We won't be together for Thanksgiving, so I considered last night's dinner an early celebration. I am so thankful for my family and friends.

Today I'm prepping for an afternoon meeting and attending a company happy hour that I organized. I have the feeling that my day might also include time with The Little Prince.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Day 85; Aulay has left the building!

Last night I looked at more than 300 photos and videos that Aulay's family shared on iCloud since the day he was born. I cried the most at the 1:12 minute video Big Daddy took that first day when the nurses brought Aulay to meet his parents. You could hear in Nick's voice how astonished he was that Aulay was so tiny. Dr. Mc was hesitant to touch Aulay because he was so small and there were so many wires attached to him. To look at the photos and videos made me cry tears of joy. I'm so excited for the life of this little prince. What a miracle!

I know in my soul that Aulay is a special little boy who was given to Kendall and Nick for a reason. We may not know the purpose of Aulay's life yet, but my heart tells me that he will be a loving and caring man, as are his parents. Come to think of it, maybe the purpose of all of our lives is to love and be loved. Of this I have no doubt … during the 85 days that Aulay was in the hospital, my ability to love grew infinitely greater.

Today I'm creating a client meeting and setting up more meetings for the rest of this week. Then I'm going to the grocery store and home to make dinner for the McZam family and Mr. B. The little prince is free at last!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Aulay, Day 84

I remember leaving the hospital with the new parents when Dr. Mc was discharged after Aulay's birth, but he had to stay in the hospital. It was a sad day and I fought back tears when she told me that their baby should be leaving with them. Praise be to God, as well as the doctors, nurses and specialists at Woman's Hospital of Texas who have cared for the little prince since August 19. The day this family has looked forward to will happen. The three McZam's will leave the hospital together.  TOMORROW.

Dr. Mc and Big Daddy will spend most of today at the hospital meeting with doctors and nurses, receiving final instructions about Aulay. Tonight the three of them will stay in the hospital together, which is termed rooming-in. And tomorrow, knock on wood, the little family will begin the next chapter of their lives, which I pray will be an epic tale of love and happiness!

Today I'm creating an e-blast and getting ready for a visit with my little prince.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Aulay, Day 83

The pic-of-the-day was taken earlier this week. I think the picture is great because the little man is cuddling with his mommy, she is smiling, and it really shows how much he has grown.

Although Dr. Mc and Big Daddy were supposed to room-in with the little prince yesterday, that got delayed. The delay had nothing to do with him or them, but rather the availability of the room. Bummer!

Today I'm creating a spotless garage apartment. I didn't think it was possible, but Mr. B and I got everything out of there yesterday around 5 p.m. I don't think either of us could climb the stairs one more time. I had a shower and went to bed early. Today I clean and then I'm finished. It is such a good feeling.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Aulay, Day 82

All the fuzz that pretty much covered the little man when he was born is gone, so to me he is looking more and more like Dr. Mc when she was born. His hair is blonde and there isn't much of it, just like his mommy. Until she was about 18 months she didn't have much hair and since it was blonde you couldn't see it. People would ask me why I dressed the little boy in pink. With the little man, Dr. Mc won't have questions like that from silly people.

I don't know how long Auley is, but at 7 lbs. he is about the same size as his mommy. She was 21" long and weighed 7.2 lbs. when she was born on Jan. 3, 1980. Unlike the little man who was born three months early, his mommy was born only three weeks early.

Today I'm creating the final day of de-cluttering the garage apartment. I have one last pile of stuff in the front room that I'll divide into three smaller piles: thrash, donate and keep. Before anything is put back into the garage apartment Mr. B's job is to paint the walls and ceiling. I'm ready for this project to be over!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Aulay, Day 81

We were having a little chat.
The pressure is on – what will the little man wear home from the hospital? I remember his mom had on a white flannel footie with a Peter Pan collar and embroidered pastel pink flowers. She was very cute (and still is).

Mr. B and I are making our annual trip to the high desert for Thanksgiving. I think we are leaving on Nov. 20. It will be hard to leave the little man, but it will be so nice to just hang out in the casita, and sew. I'm already planning holiday and baby fabrics to take with me.

Today I'm creating a client meeting at 1:15 p.m. I really hate Friday afternoon meetings!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Aulay, Day 80

He wasn't sure about his car seat.
The discharge of a preemie from the hospital isn't a single event, but a process. That process is designed to assure the medical staff that the infant can survive and thrive outside the hospital, and it prepares parents to take care of the baby on their own. 

In the process of Aulay's discharge, yesterday he passed his breathing/sleep test. Last night he had his car seat test and passed. He had to stay in the car seat for 90 minutes and keep his heart rate and breathing within normal limits. He also had another eye test yesterday and the results show that his eyes are fine. Today he has the final ultrasound on his head. 

Today I'm creating an e-blast for a client and meeting with another client. As always, my heart is in the hospital with Aulay. Once again, thanks to all of you for your prayers, well wishes, and encouragement. This journey with Aulay would have been so much more difficult without all of you! 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Aulay, Day 79

The little man is having a sleep apnea test today so I probably won't see him <sigh>. Sleep apnea is fairly common in premature infants. They can have breathing breaks of up to 15 seconds until six months of age. Doctors don't consider this dangerous unless the breathing breaks last 20 seconds or longer (so I've read). If Aulay does have sleep apnea he may wear a monitor to keep track of his breathing and heart rate. 

I haven't seen him have problems breathing, except when he is feeding. He'll suck on the bottle, but he'll stop to take some deep breaths. I've read and been told that this is also very common in premature babies. Looking at him and seeing how chubby he is, it's hard to believe that his due date is still a couple of weeks away. He looks great, but the development of his central nervous system is still a consideration that could keep him in the hospital.

Today I’m creating an e-blast or two for a client and also doing some proofing. Rose came back from the groomers last night smelling and looking good, but stressed. Whatever I do today, she'll probably be sleeping by my side.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Aulay, Day 78

The little man's feeding tube was taken out yesterday. Look at that handsome little face! So many people who look at my daily blogs (or at least the photos) have said how chubby the little man is getting and how great he looks. You are so right. The countdown is truly on for his release from the hospital. It seems so appropriate since this is election day to mention FDR's campaign song, "Happy Days are Here Again." This is the tune I sing to myself whenever I think about Aulay's release from the hospital.

Speaking of Democrats, for anyone who saw my picture on Facebook last night with the lovely McCarley sisters and Wendy Davis, I'm sure you are thinking, "What the <insert the expletive here>." Yes, this Republican organized and attended a Wendy Davis rally last night, but please don't hold it against me. I have a lot of respect for the woman, who at one time was also a Republican. Question: Does it speak to my character that I'll do anything for money, including organize and attend a rally for a Democrat?

Today I'm creating assistance with a press release and then I'm going to vote. I'm also taking Rose to the groomer (she is so stinky) and spending an hour or so with my handsome grandson. Thanks, again, to everyone who has been following his progress and sending prayers and well wishes. Your continued support has meant the world to me! Dr. Mc and Big Daddy also read the blogs and comments you send. The baby's hospital journey is coming to an end soon, and this family couldn't be happier!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Aulay, Day 77

It takes forever for the little man to finish a bottle. AND, he still doesn't like to burp. This morning he was awake when I got to the hospital. I changed his diaper, took his temperature, and talked to him for awhile. Then when I started feeding him, the little man went to sleep. I had to keep waking him up to feed him. He still doesn't like to burp and will fall asleep while I am rubbing or patting his back. I think it's time he started eating when he is hungry instead of being on a schedule of eating every three hours.

Also, he may be having a problem pooping. He was grunting and turning red in the face for at least 30 minutes before finally pooping so little. Poor little man.

Today I'm creating an afternoon of running around to get food and flowers for a political rally this evening. I guess Mr. B will have to record Dancing with the Stars for me.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Aulay, Day 76

I'm late posting today, or maybe it just seems late after the time change. I like it being lighter in the morning, but don't like it being dark so early. Well, I guess you can't please everyone.

The pic-of-the-day shows the little man's favorite expression right now. He did it over and over today when I was holding him. He has also noticed my hair and gets focused on trying to reach it. And he like the scarf I had on this afternoon, which is visible on his left side. He kept grabbing at the scarf so I finally took it off and put it across him. He put his hand on it and didn't move it. I suspect it was the pattern or colors in the scarf that interested him, but then I'm not sure babies as young as Aulay see color.

Today I'm creating an artist reception. I was at the grocery store shortly after 9 a.m. to get the supplies I needed. Then I cooked and baked until 11 a.m. when the servers arrived. While I went home to change clothes, the servers made everything look so pretty on the serving platters.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Aulay, Day 75; Happy 6th wedding anniversary to Kendall McCarley & Nick Zamora

Dr. Mc and Big Daddy enjoy dressing up for Halloween. In fact, I think they got married on November 1, 2008, so they could have a costume party for their rehearsal dinner. It was a great pre-wedding party and an even more exciting wedding.

Last night for Halloween they even dressed up the little prince in NICU. In their first family photo they are a bunch of bananas. In the pic-of-the-day it even looks like the chunky money (Aulay) is making a silly face. (I could add more bad banana-related puns, but I'll refrain myself.)

Today I'm creating another day of decluttering, or at least a couple of hours. I've promised myself that if I ever get everything like I want it I'll never mess it up again. Famous last words!