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I've been too busy at work during the day and chasing the girls at night to get to any sewing or anything of the kind. But I do get some desk-downtime here and there, and so I cottoned on to something to keep my occupied.

Just for grins, I started out intending to design a T-shirt or two for MY girls. Then I decided that, having gone THAT far I'd just put them up on CafePress. That turned out to be more tedious that I expected, but if you're curious, here they are:



Sep. 20th, 2009 02:06 pm
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It took way too long, but I got 11 jars of pears canned. And cleaned out the pantry so that the only thing in it is THIS years' preserves. Yeah.

Got the drop on [livejournal.com profile] ablackram and made her transport her own scrolls for this weekends' event. ;-) Hee. Evil accomplished.

Still have to make Dale's cake, which means a trip to JoAnn's for another cake pan.

I love surfing for quilt fabrics. But shopping locally is frustrating. The fabrics I like tend to be rather trendy and retro - Tula Pink, the new Sherri Berry Christmas fabric, Tanya Whelan, the Little Brown Bird collection. And what's available is kittens and cabbage roses. *sigh* Gotta do a shop hop at some point with company. 'Laina?

I did do a couple more professional surveys. Money that goes into Anneliese's dance account, so that, should she get to that point, we're set for an eventual school dress and hard shoes.

Which reminds me, there are no less than 3 Irish Dance schools in the greater DC area. Hopefully one would be willing to work with us. So that's good. Oh, and I happened across a real estate agent in Fairfax who is FROM Grand Haven. Used to be a Rycenga - one of the Great Clans in town.

Anybody know anything about the Barony of Steirbach?
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We spent the first part of the morning at the Muskegon Feis yesterday. Anneliese stood in front of the state watching, then started doing the dance steps she's learned. This rapidly segued into generalized stomping of her own devising. Still, it was high on the cutest moments of all time list. We then wandered the vendors, of which there were few. Glad I got her shoes in Lansing. There were two authors there who write little girls' books about Irish Dancing. So I got her the first of each series, signed by the authors. ;-) Probably ridiculous and indulgent, but hopefully she'll enjoy them at some point. Whether Liffey Rivers or Kaylee O-Shay, both are cute.

We stopped at De Reuze's for a raid of the bargain gourmet section. I'm making the Red Velvet Cake with Cinnamon Buttercream for Dale's birthday and needed some more decent chocolate. The 85% Godiva was on sale, so we'll try that. Of course, I still have to hit JoAnn's for an extra 9" cake pan, as it's a 3 layer cake. Since the batter has buttermilk and soda, I'm guessing if I don't bake all 3 layers together, the last one won't rise right.

The I bought a passport for a quilt shop hop that I probably won't have time to finish. I sort of forgot I don't have Thursday off this week. Ah well, if I get a partial day off, I'll give it a try. I did pick a pattern for a vintage still little girls' apron and some quite pink fabric to make it out of. One of Anneliese's birthday presents, I think. Gotta figure out what else to get her. Hopefully something that she won't lose interest in in 5 minutes.

Today I have pears to can. And the cake to make. And more territorial research to do. We're sort of looking at Manassas and Fredericksburg. Both seem like nice areas, and have good programing for Autism.
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The new car and I are settling in together.

And I'm indulging myself in throes of delight planning our first trip to Disney World as a family. Using an agent - I'm not completely crazy. I might even see if I can get her to help set up Character dining - once we decide what we want to do. Fun stuff!

Hedgehog Handworks is doing free shipping for the month of August. That might make it worth my while to order the new Men's clothing book from Tudor Tailor.

Mom and Dad are taking Anneliese for a few days. So we'll be painting her room (teals, as everybody recommended). I have to go buy some stencil plastic. And the paint. And with luck I can get the room prepped this week.

This means I'll be Boo-free for Fiber fest. Maybe John will want to come along and play pack mule. (Not to onerous, as we'll have the stroller/shopping cart. ;-) Then on Sunday, we'll head for the Irish Dance competition. We can watch the dancers, get Boo fitted for shoes, do a little shopping, and then take her back home with us.

Sometime amidst all this, I need to finish painting the basement, get play-meetings set up for Anneliese with the candidates for her dance aide, make sure I have all of my vacation plans up and running, get some new garb sewn, and finish the chicken coop.

I also ran into Anneliese's teacher at Michaels (I was buying a 8x8 album to use as a character autograph book. I found the Cinderella one on clearance - I must check the other Michael's in GR for the matching Tinkerbell one so I've got one for each of the girls). She is more that OK with us taking her out of school for Disney. There will also be 3 girls in the class this year, so she's looking for dress-up clothes. I'm feeling guilty enough about all they do for Anneliese, that I may raid some of her collection as well as make a few things. Dress-up clothes don't have to be elaborate - just girly and pretty and elasticized.

Time to go get lunch and check for an e-mail back from my travel agent. ;-)
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But, in fact, the first slow day we've had all summer. The usual parade of Dumb people at work, but nothing Earth-shaking.

So I'm sitting here day dreaming. Cruising the Disney Vacation Club website. Looking for yarn that I don't need. Shopping for a solo Irish Dancing dress for Anneliese - that she won't need for years, if ever.

But aren't they fun?

Elevation Design has my current favorite website. Neat stuff. I like the Siopa Rince dresses, too, but they're doing a site redesign and it won't be up until the end of the summer. :-( Here's one of their designs for sale used, though.

Gavin Doherty has some neat stuff, too. Though some of it is a little flamboyant and grapic-y for my taste.

Eileen Plater has some neat stuff, too. Lots of velvet.

Dancing In Celtic has some less expensive designs that still look good.

I do have a line on somebody that deals in used foreign cars that regularly has a good inventory of Jettas. So progress continues apace.

The estate is finally closed for John's brother. Though all of his inheritance was lost to a lawsuit against the estate. Apparently, we can claim this as a loss on our taxes next year. I don't think this will make an enormous difference in what we get back. But I'm not a CPA. And so we'll have our taxes done by one next year. And if it does mean a large unexpected windfall... maybe we'll be a tiny bit irresponsible and take the girls on vacation.
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So the Irish Dance place will take Anneliese AND an aide, without us paying 2x the tuition, which I think is very nice of them. So I have until classes start in Sept to get her gear together.

The list:
Tote bag
Poodle socks

She won't need a school dress for a while, if ever. Same with the curlers. But I'll bookmark some stuff, just in case. Heck, she may never even get into hard shoes. But as long as she enjoys herself, good enough.

I suspect, if she does like it enough to continue, by the time Rori is old enough she'll want in on this. ;-) Here we see the real disadvantage to the fact that they look nothing alike. I can't hand down Anneliese's things. Especially things like a dance wig and probably the shoes. She has SUCH skinny feet. Though Rori MIGHT, I may be better off to sell them and just get new ones for Rori should I need to.
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So.... Anneliese dancing means if I'm smart I'll set aside a little account for the expenses. Which at first will mean:
Class Fee
Poodle Socks
practice clothes and a bag (She does better with activity-specific duds and containers - "routine" oriented).

If she does well at this we can then add legwarmers and such this winter.

If she ever is up to performing/competing we add:
School dress
Soft Stix for her hair
Costume accessories
Sock Glue

Time to start savin' up.
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Truly a bizarre week or so, it has been

First off, we took Anneliese to the new dance studio. Her old one burnt down, and moved about 15 miles away. Another studio in town folded. So this is the only game in town. She assured us last year that she works with Autistic kids "all the time." Only last year there were no openings. We got the same assurance this year, but, just to be sure, we took her in to meet Miss Karla beforehand so she could see what she was getting. During the meeting, Boo ran around the studio in typical Boo fashion, playing with hula hoops and mirrors and anything handy. Mis Karla was Confident, though unsure about placing Anneliese into the only class left as there were already 14 little girls in it, and her assistant was new. So it was agreed that Anneliese would try it out for two weeks before we plunked down money - just to be sure everybody was satisfied.

Fast forward two weeks to the first class. Class begins, Miss Karla runs them all around the room playing "stop and go" - which Anneliese seemed to be more or less participating in. Then she takes them all to the barre for ballet exercises. Boo behaves as she usually does, circling the room in excitement and playing in the mirrors. They made it 5 minutes before they asked us to take her out. The studio owner sat and explained to me how much she wished they could take her and on, and on, and on. Boo, when it was explained to her that there would be no dance classes, cried silently in OSCAR-worthy fashion. Said studio owner also insisted they saw the need for a Special Needs dance class in the area and they were considering starting one. She took down my name, address, and phone number.

I'm not holding my breath. I believe the problem was one of expectations. I'm not sure WHAT they expected of her, but it was clearly not what they got. I suspect those "autistic" children they've dealt with in the past have been very mild. And likely of the variety who, when overstimulated, shut down in the corner and resist being touched. Anneliese, when overstimulated, is a bit like Speedy Gonzalez on a caffeine high. I still think there might be a dance class around for her. I'm very sure it's not at that studio.

So we took her off the the Irish Music Festival on Sat. Though (thanks to Tropical Storm Lowell and hurricane Ike, it's very, very soggy) it was much too wet to do the outdoor festival, we did go to the dance competition. Anneliese watched raptly for better than an hour, clapping after each dancer and saying "Good job! Good job!" Oh, and "danced" up and down the aisles herself. It was adorable - and a little heart-wrenching, given that we can't find an instructor to take her on. One of the vendors was so touched, she made an effort to try to find John Heinzman, who owns one of the larger Irish dancing schools. She was convinced he'd be willing to take her on. And he might be, but they operate out of Detroit. Their Grand Rapids studio is likely staffed with assistants, who might or might not be as willing to deal with her.

Which is the real rub, I suppose. I don't know if I do her a disservice by it, but I can't bring myself to force other people to put up with her on a regular basis. We tend to not go to a lot of things that I think she might not handle well. I haven't left her with anybody but my mother for more than an hour or so in - well, years. I just can't ask anybody else to deal with her. I probably should get the list of Grand Valley students willing to provide respite care again. *sigh*

It's off onto the Parade of Homes today. More about that afterward. As well as a small update on the extreme screwiness that was my former place of employment. Oi.

May 2014

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