Rainbows and Dragonflies

Thanks to everyone who has followed me through my journey as a new mom. I feel that I’ve outgrown what this blog was supposed to be so I’ve moved to a new home: So Rae…Me. Don’t worry, I’m taking all of my old posts over and there will give more insight into my life. Please join me. 🙂

Three years ago, I first discussed my new mom body image issues. Here I am now 30 pounds lighter and I’m still back and forth with the same internal dialogue. In my head I had an idea of how my body would look at this weight. To not have that fairy tale image realized upsets me from time to time. Even though I was heavier before I got pregnant, I feel like my body was more proportionate. Now I have stretched out skin in my stomach and still have a lumpy area on my right side where Li’l T spent most of his time. Big T has been a sweetheart about all of it. He compliments me a lot and mentions the weight I’ve lost. I can admit that it’s all in my head and I’m very critical of myself. Some days are better than others, though. Especially, if I wear THAT outfit that hides my stomach and shows my other curves. I’m sure that I will always have some things that I don’t like about my body but I’m working on focusing on what I do like. It’s a slow process but I’m trying.

Last night I had a HORRIBLE night. Gas pains were shooting through my shoulder joints, my abdomen doubled in size, and I could barely walk without feeling sick. I was having a gluten reaction. It began around 11 pm and I didn’t feel normal again until well into the morning.

6 hours after the gluten bloat began

6 hours after the bloat began

Last year, I put myself on a modified Paleo/Primal diet. I wanted to see if cutting out grains would help me lose fat. I slipped up from time to time and succumbed to my bread addiction but I noticed after each time I would get some abdominal bloating. I didn’t know what it meant but since I wasn’t supposed to be eating the bread I figured that it was my punishment. Over the next few months I treated myself like a lab rat. Trying out foods, noting reactions and researching. In the end, I concluded that the best case scenario was that I had gluten intolerance, and worst case I had celiac disease.  The next step is to talk to my doctor about my conclusions.

I try to be really careful about what I eat but sometimes, like yesterday, foods with gluten get by without me recognizing it. I never had these problems before delivery. I can remember my first reaction happening when Li’l T was about a month. I just thought it was related to the c-section and maybe my body had to work out what had been done in surgery. In the beginning the reactions were so rare that I couldn’t pinpoint it. Now, I can tell almost as soon as I eat something that I’m going to be in for a bad night.

I still love breads and pastas but now I go for potato or rice based or I skip them all together. The pain, sleepless nights and missing work just isn’t worth it.

Ello. Long time no post, I know. LOL Things have been very busy around here lately. I’ve gotten my sewing mojo back and completed a few projects that I’ll be posting. First up is Simplicity 2404.

Simplicity 2404. Source: Simplicity.com

Simplicity 2404. Source: Simplicity.com

I started this dress as part of a little black dress challenge in the “Sewn Up – A Group for Sewists and Would-be Sewists” sewing group on Facebook. The challenge was for the month of February but seeing that it is now July I obviously didn’t complete it in time. LOL

I chose view B with the sleeves of view A. I picked this pattern since it was in the “Amazing Fit” collection and liked the idea of different bust and hip pattern pieces. I decided on a black stretch sateen–which attracts so much lint that I would never use it again–and went on my way. Little did I know that the instructions would give me the biggest headache I’d ever had.

My Simplicity 2404 - Front View

First of all, if I had known the instructions called for basting the dress and putting it together one way, then taking it apart and sewing it another way, I would have just made a muslin and gone from there. Ugh. The dress had so much ease that I had to recut my pattern pieces in a smaller size and still take in the seams.

This was a dress of several firsts. I had never sewn princess seams before and the instructions left me confused for days. Even after asking my group for help, I still didn’t get the seams lined up completely the way I wanted. I was starting to wonder if my pattern pieces were drawn incorrectly. As others have noticed about this pattern, the shoulders extend too far. Adding sleeves, though, seems to make it less noticeable.

My Simplicity 2404 - Back View

And the directions to sew a lapsed zipper after the front and back were already sewn together made the zipper very difficult to get in. I ended up with puckering at the bottom of my zipper. I also sewed set-in sleeves for the very first time. Google searching helped A LOT with that part.

All in all I do like the way the dress fits but I don’t think I will sew this pattern again. There are some other sheaths that I want to try first.

Happy Mother's Day

Source: The Spotted Olive (http://thespottedolive.blogspot.com/)

Happy Mother’s Day! Whether you carried a child, adopted, or are filling a maternal role, this day is for you. To the mothers-in-waiting, you haven’t been forgotten and I send love to you. For those of us whose mothers have past on, hold in your hearts the memories and be comforted by them.

Every year as Mother’s Day approaches I wonder how it will feel. Will I be overwhelmed by missing my mother or will it go by uneventfully. This is my 4th Mother’s Day but my 7th without my mother. She passed away less than two months after I got married and I miss her every day. I didn’t get to tell her I was pregnant or talk to her about her experiences while she was pregnant with my sisters and I. Honestly, there are times that I feel cheated. I want to share my life with her and have those long talks that we used to have. My family says that I resemble her in looks and voice but I’m starting to forget the way she sounded and the way she moved. *sigh* I will try not to dwell on that. I will spend my day with my family and keep my eyes open for any of the signs that she usually sends me. I made a donation to NAMI in her memory and went for a run this morning. When I returned Li’l T wished me a happy birthday. Big T had him practice saying “Happy Mother’s Day” but little kids will say what they want. He tried. 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day, Momma. I love and miss you.

I love pencil skirts and try to keep a few in my closet at all times. They’re very feminine and fit in with my love of retro clothing.  A few weeks ago I found a black ponte knit at the fabric store and knew that I had to make one. Between Mademoiselle Chaos’ and Cotton & Curls’ tutorials I got it done.

Since, I used a knit fabric I omitted darts and just concentrated on 5 measurements: waist, hip and knee circumferences, distance from waist to hip, and distance from waist to hem. I used my French curve to draw the lines connecting all.

Pencil Skirt Sketch

I cut two pieces (front and back) and straight-stitched along the sides with a (roughly) 1/2″ seam. Zig-zagged the top and bottom with a 5/8″ seam. The project went pretty smoothly.

Black Ponte Knit Pencil Skirt

And now for my mistakes:
I’m still learning my lengths and widths on my machine so the zig-zag stitches aren’t even on the hems. Also, I didn’t realize that I didn’t have any black thread. I REALLY wanted to wear my skirt the next day so I used navy thread and hoped for the best. LOL You can’t really tell but I know the colors are off.

I’m excited to make another one. This time I will buy some black thread and I think I’ll add a side zipper. The skirt goes over my hips well without one but tucking in my blouse was difficult.

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I’ve been doing some sewing projects here and there over the last 6 months. I’m slowly but surely learning my machine, the rules and how to break the rules when necessary.

I bought this XL green shirt to wear as a maternity shirt while I was pregnant. I found it recently and decided that it needed a new life.

Oversized green shirt

Voila. I took in the sides and the arms. What I learned: When taking in a garment while wearing it, don’t use stick pins. They hurt and pop out when you take the garment off. LOL

Green shirt alteration

I bought this tank top last year on sale right after the 4th of July. I figured that I would get a jump on this year. Little did I know that I would lose weight and the tank would be too big. I took in the sides and shortened the straps.4th of July tank top alteration

This pencil skirt is the result of following Mimi G’s pencil skirt tutorial. Lesson learned: Make my zigzag stitches wider next time. I popped some stitches while playing with Li’l T.

Skull knit pencil skirt

These next two are also based on a tutorial from Mimi G. They are maxi skirts/dresses. They were really easy to make. Lessons learned: Pay CLOSE attention to the width of the fabric on the bolt, read instructions multiple times and double check my math. The blue floral skirt isn’t as full as the yellow because I got confused while reading the instructions and did my math incorrectly. I actually want to take the blue one apart and use the fabric for something else.

Blue floral maxi skirt/dressYellow maxi skirt/dress

When I saw this Star Wars fabric I HAD to buy it and make some pajama shorts for Li’l T. I used a pair of sweatpants that he already had as a template. Lesson learned: When using another piece of clothing as a template make sure it is a current size and not too small.

Star Wars pajama shorts

This skirt is based off of One Avian Daemon’s Hemless A-line Skirt tutorial. I modified it to add side pockets and to add a little room in the front for my abdomen. Lessons learned: Read and fully understand the instructions before starting. Practice inserting side-seam pockets. Draw the pattern based on the instructions and then modify it for my abdomen. Make sure that I have all of the necessary supplies. If I don’t have what I need don’t make rush decisions to finish up the project. Just wait until I buy more supplies.

Pink circle skirtMy future projects are two blouses and a pair of pants in a houndstooth fabric. I’m intimidated by the blouse pattern, though. I don’t want to end up like Theo from the Cosby show with a lop-sided Gordon Gartrell shirt replica. LOL

Theo in Gordon Gartrell shit

I don’t want to look like this!! LOL

But I shall press on and work through my fears. Wish me luck.


I’ve always been the type of person that wants to celebrate one holiday before the next. I don’t like my holidays to mesh and hate how the stores rush one without us being able to enjoy it before the next begins. I’m especially annoyed that Black Friday started early this year and Thanksgiving was a work day for many non-essential people. Instead of people spending time with family they were manning stores to sell things that could wait another day. Yes, I’m one of those people who doesn’t like Black Friday. I used to work retail and after seeing many fights and trying to protect myself from the crowds I refuse to participate. I just don’t get a thrill from the rush.

Anyway, I can tell that over the past few years consumerism has been sapping my holiday spirit. Last year I didn’t get into the holidays until Christmas Eve. *sigh* I don’t want to do that again. I want to enjoy the time with my family. So, this year we bought a tree, some decorations and I baked cookies for Big T and my friends. Christmas cards are on display, music is on repeat and we’re watching our favorite movies. Listening to my son yell “Crismah tree” is better than anything in the world and I hope that I remember it for years to come.

I wish you the most blessed time during this holiday season. Enjoy it and all of the memories that are created. Happy Holidays from my family to yours.

Since, Li’l T was born we’ve put off trips thinking that he’d be too young to enjoy them. It seemed to be a good idea at the time but I’ve started to rethink it. A lot of our friends and family aren’t in this area and we miss out on seeing them. At the end of April we drove to Ohio to visit Bhan and family from BhanVoyage. It was a 7 1/2-8 hour drive through the mountains of Western Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. We discovered that Li’l T is a great road buddy. He sings, talks and just hangs out in the back seat. The drive went really quickly and I now know what the PA Turnpike is. I’m highly considering getting an EZPass in anticipation of more travel. We made about 3 stops total for food, gas and potty breaks.

When we arrived he was immediately enamored with Bhan’s cat and dog (Scrooge and Macy). And even decided that he was going to rest in Macy’s kennel. :-\ It was a fun but short trip. We encountered a little traffic on the way back but Li’l T took it in stride. We only had one mishap when Li’l T got extremely hungry and all of the rest stations were closed. We had to hop off the Turnpike and find a fast food restaurant. A batch of fries in his tummy and he was all good.

Now that we know how he does on long car rides I’m ready, to make some more trips. I wonder where should be we go next?

What we learned from traveling with a little one:

  • Pack LOTS of snacks. You never know when the little belly will need to be filled when there are no restaurants in sight.
  • Don’t be in a rush. Unexpected things happen. Traffic jams, explosive diapers, etc. Just know that going in and add a buffer of extra time.
  • Wear loose comfortable clothing. You’re going to be in the car for a while. Don’t wear anything constricting that will make you uncomfortable during the drive.
  • Take time to rest. Build in time to visit rest stops even if all you do is stretch. Getting out of the car for a few moments can save everyone’s sanity.
  • Pack activities. Give the little one something to do in the backseat. A game, a book, anything to keep the mind occupied.

With mommy at the Pennsylvania line

With Daddy

Easter grass

Poor Bhan's living room after Hurricane Li'l T

Playing in the cat toy

Taking over Macy's crate

For the past few months we’ve been potty training Li’l T with the help of his daycare. They have a schedule at daycare where he goes regularly and he’ll go to the potty without any urging when he’s at home. We’re halfway there. When he went on vacation last month my younger sister bought him his first pack of little boy underwear. I’m not ready for him to be a big boy but it’s about time to get him out of diapers. The glitch in the system is that he hasn’t made the connection yet that he isn’t supposed to go in his undies. If he’s bottomless he hops on the potty but when he has on undies he equates them with diapers and goes in them. I know it’s a process and he’ll get it eventually. I just want to make sure we help him move forward and not backward.

Since he still wears diapers at daycare we’ve been thinking about switching him to some sort of training pants. My head is swimming after reading the pros and cons of disposable versus cloth training pants. At this point I think we’re going to go cloth. One, because it’s eco-friendly, less expensive and we can go back to a similar process that we used for his cloth diapers. Two, I think disposable will be too similar to diapers and it’ll be harder for him to transition to his big boy underwear.

Are you potty training as well? How is it going for you? Do you have a child who’s potty trained and have some tips and tricks to share? Let’s hear it.

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

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