Saturday, November 9, 2013

Pretend Babies and Life Lessons

For a while my now-15-year-old granddaughter has being telling anyone who will listen just how much she wants a baby.  I can't possibly convey how alarming these comments are to me, a woman who already finds herself finishing out the last years of her life raising someone else's children.  I can't live forever.

A few days ago we learned she would soon be bringing home an electronic baby doll as part of a class at school. I've always thought this could be a real eye-opener to a teenager who thinks only of how cute babies are, and doesn't consider the never-ending (and I do mean never ending) work involved in raising children.

The baby was delivered early.  I thought I had a few more weeks until the big day, but due to circumstances beyond my control the baby arrived yesterday.  My family has being trying to find time to drive to the mountains and enjoy the fall scenery for several weeks, and finally we thought this weekend would be a good time.  Not so with the unexpected arrival of our great-grandchild. Already the new mother complains about any attempts we make to get her into the great outdoors; I can't imagine making her go hiking on a chilly Saturday with a newborn in tow. Some things just aren't worth the struggle.

Last night we went out to dinner as we usually do on Friday nights.  (No date nights for hubby and me--it's almost always a party of four, one kids' menu, please.)  I thought maybe the baby would cry all through dinner giving my granddaughter a taste (no pun intended) of trying to eat with one hand while soothing a screaming baby with the other and fending off angry looks from other diners.  That's always been my experience with small children.  But no, my new great-grandson never made a peep throughout the entire meal.  My granddaughter enjoyed her meal without interruption and with the use of both hands.

After dinner we did what we always do to round out a nice, romantic evening with the kids--we went to Costco.

We were quite the sight-- a haggard old couple followed by a teenage mom carrying her baby through the store, and an embarrassed younger sister hanging as far back as possible. A few unpleasant looks were thrown my way by the other patrons who didn't seem to notice this wasn't a real baby. (Being the "mother" of this teenager, I'm sure this unfortunate pregnancy was my fault, just as has been every other bad thing that's ever happened in the history of mankind.)  But the baby never cried or whimpered at all.  My granddaughter's arms got tired after a while, but since she wasn't doing the grocery shopping she had the freedom to find a comfy chair and sit a while.  So far I was seeing nothing that would discourage my granddaughter from jumping into motherhood prematurely. 

This morning when I had so hoped/needed/planned to be enjoying a crisp, autumn day surrounded by God's beautiful handiwork,  but stranded at home with my granddaughter and faux great-grandson, I listened with astonishment as my granddaughter took a leisurely 45 minute shower, using all the hot water that I had planned to use for my own shower, and preventing me from getting started on the 7 loads of laundry I had to do today.  And her baby slept through every single minute!  I haven't had an uninterrupted shower in over 35 years.

I seem to be the only person who has been taught a life lesson this weekend:  even fake babies have a way of interfering with my plans.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Birthday Card for a Young Man

My nephew was turning 18 and I couldn't come up with any ideas for his birthday card.  I knew I wanted to emphasize this milestone birthday, which eventually led me to the numbers theme.
Using Cricut Craft Room (CCR) and the free cuts available in Cricut Craft Room Basics, I welded numbers from 1 to 17 in different sizes and orientations to fit on a 5x7 card front.  It was a little tricky because after welding quite a few numbers together the program started to act a little unpredictable.  I think I saved my project and exited the program a time or two in order to get it to work correctly.   Also, to help me size my number shape to fit the card, I added a 5x7 rectangular shape from CCR Basics on a separate layer prior to beginning my number shape so that I would have a visual aid to help me plan my design.
After I was pleased with my number design (or when I began to fear that CCR would lose all functionality if I kept tweaking the numbers), I cut just the layer that held the number shape.  I wasn't satisfied with the color of the cardstock I had chosen so I used a brayer to roll ink onto a Darice embossing folder called Dot and ran it through my Sizzix Big Shot.  I cut the number 18 from the Cricut Cartridge Calligraphy Collection.
To assemble the card I glued the number shape onto a patterned cardstock rectangle from the DCWV Timeless Type stack, which I cut at 4 3/4 x 6 3/4.  I then wrapped hemp cord around the middle of the rectangle a few times and knotted it on the left side of the card front.  I adhered the number 18 to the right side using foam dots, then glued the card front to a 5x7 kraft paper card base. 
Thanks for visiting!