Bunk Bed Tents

Before anyone starts doing the cough-laugh thing whilst whispering “bless her heart” to themselves… I know. I feel the same way about the tent portion of the bed tent. The images on the inside? I traced what they wanted from that google place onto leftover scrap material, added some acrylic paint (and some glow in the dark paint) and was done in an hour. JB did the Millennium Falcon, after he fell to the floor laughing about how my version looked like a penis with some sort of testicle disease.

I had many,many dreams for the bed tents (damn you, pinterest!) But dreams are dreams and reality is, well. Life. 😀

Dream: You wait until the last minute (December 21st…) for stuff like this, while blithely waving your hand, saying, “it’ll take me an hour– tops”.
Reality: Your youngest child will puke that night followed by your oldest, 48 hours later. In between they will seek your love and attention. You will feel like a douchebag for ditching them to sew. You sigh and sit with your children. As it should be.

Dream: You will decide to wait until Christmas night, since you know you are getting a new sewing machine.
Reality: Sixteen seconds after you get motivated to unpack the new toy, you– and the rest of the street, oy he’s loud– hear your husband vomit. He will then spend the first 2 days of vacation either holding down the couch, or sitting really still on the floor watching cars spin on a track. I must pause and give some love– he was made a strong effort to play enough with the kids that I wasn’t bombarded the entire time.

Dream: Your husband is finally well enough to take kids away from the house for a 3 hour window. You can finish the tents!
Reality: You realize that the very reinforced window is crooked as hell. You will also realize that the up-cycled bed sheet is so old that ripping out seams is not an option. You nash your teeth, figure out a way to hang the monstrosity in the living room window and stare at it for 2 days.

Dream: You’ll just start over, you think.
Reality: Your kid has already said he didn’t care about the crooked window. If you start over you are in direct conflict with the “not everything has to be perfect”** life vibe you keep preaching.

Solution: You do your tracing thing and hot glue gun the pictures over the crooked window, which will now face the wall. Then you glance at your shiny new sewing machine and the now-hated bed tent. You feel the weight of the already heated glue gun. You hot glue gun the rest of it– sewing be damned.

**will resist urge to obsess about making upgraded bed tents. will…resist…**

My Creative Mind

Long before I had my own children, I overheard a stranger lightly scold her child’s use of his “creative mind” at a grocery store. That child was 1) old enough to know better, and 2) opening all of the freezer doors to knock down the carefully arranged boxes of food.

What does that story have to do with this post? Um. Nothing. Except I can’t use the phrase, creative mind without also thinking troublemaker. And considering that my husband reacts to 85.3% of my creative project ideas with the same thought, it seemed apropos.

One of my biggest ADHD challenges isn’t focus. Watch me read a book from a favorite author. 600 pages in a day? No problem. They refer to that as hyperfocus, and while challenging and disruptive, I cope okay.

No, my catastrophic problems occur more in the time estimation/management arena. For example, I think I can do almost anything in an hour, and that it only ever takes 15 minutes to get from Point A to B. Nevermind that nothing can be done in an hour anymore (Small People!) and it takes me 15 minutes to transition activities. That my tried and true time management methodology includes crisis and looming deadlines is problematic. But when some “normie” (aka, a typically thinking, non-ADHD person known as husband) tries to help me plan effectively, my immediate reaction is, “WTF—I’m not an idiot! I use to be a project manager!” And while both of those statements are true, I still slid right up to every deadline, often making them only by the hair of my chiny-chin-chin. Just a teeny bit of an adrenaline junky.

It’s that complete lack of time management that took me from webmd (checking for early strep throat symptoms– just in case) to facebook, to pinterest, then to here. It’s not a lack of focus– I’m hyperfocusing on NOT putting away a Mt. Everest sized pile of laundry. I’m totally smitten with pinterest. The possibilities. The creativity. The ability to symbolically collect magazine clippings without having a bunch of magazine clippings.

It brings joy to my heart, people.

Homegrown Superhereos

Okay- so I understand the obsession between little boys and superheroes, and little girls with princesses. They are both marketed as being good and strong and, most importantly, magically strong. As a kid, I definitely had Princess Leia Underoos. I’m reasonably sure that I pretended to be Wonder Woman– and if not her, definitely Indiana Jones-ette.

But I also pretended to be an Indian Princess after watching a Gandi miniseries with my Mom, complete with a green-checked tablecloth tied around my face. It is that memory that prompted me to make them superhero capes of a more specialized variety.

Thanks to hot wheels, Zach is obsessed with flames. Not fire, thankfully, just flames. Elliot loves water–especially pouring it, which is why he still uses a sippy cup. While I was in the cape-making mode, I also had a belated birthday cape (as in from August!) for a friend of mine’s daughter, and a birthday party coming up for another little girl, the tinkerbell-loving daughter of one of my favorite feminist friends.

Superhero Capes for everyone!

I use the pattern from the Puking Pustilles website and imagination for everything else.

Since I can’t draw worth a darn, I did a google search for the type of clip-art I needed and found excellent examples for the flames, water splat, fairy (then a sword, see above about feminist friend), and a crown.

Once I decided what I wanted, I sized them appropriately in the photo editor and then printed onto regular paper.

Next I traced the designs onto interfacing. Then you choose your felt colors and iron on according to the package directions. Cut off the excess felt and iron-on the felt to the cape.

Now– all of this went without a hitch and is actually the most time consuming of the process. In theory. If you actually sew with any regularity. Me? Well, it took forever, but that wasn’t the capes’ fault. First, I had knotting and breaking problems with the bobbin. I took off the sewing plate to clean it, found this.

Which of course led me to take the rest of the machine apart (following manufacturers instructions) and clean/oil inside. Then, since I had already read 6 pages of the manual, I decided to stop a read the rest of it. Which sent me back to the store to get new needles. After that, I needed to practice my stitches before sewing the capes (I have never followed that step in sewing instructions before–it actually made a huge difference in the final product.)

Then it was time to sew.

Elliot’s superhero cape, aka Commander H2O:

Zach’s superhero cape, aka Captain Fire Flame:

I wasn’t even surprised when Zach, instead of falling onto the cape with love and amazement, just looked at me and said, “that doesn’t look like a Batman cape.” I was annoyed–but not surprised.