diy: how to take in jeans at the waist

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I posted a while back about taking in pants at the waist. And I had no idea how bad of an epidemic droopy drawers were until over 21,000 people read my post and pinned, and repinned, and repinned a few hundred times.

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My first post was how to take in pants from the back of the waistband which worked really well on my work pants. Last week, I decided to try a different method by taking in the waistband from the sides on a pair of jeans  that I once adored with all my heart but could no longer wear for more than an hour because they’d stretch out to the point of me flashing a little cracky every time I bent over which, let’s be real, is really only cute if you’re the Mayor of Buttcrack City. And I’m happy to report that I now have my favorite jeans back and they cling to my bunzos like a koala on a tree.

Disclaimer: By day, I am a computer technician. By night, I am a mom with a glass of wine and a sewing machine. A seamstress I am not. But I do love salvaging a good pair of pants and this worked perfectly.

Ready?

Things you’ll need:

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And go!

1. Turn your jeans inside out

2. Put them on, then figure out how to button them from the inside. ‘Tis an art, I tell ya.

3. Pinch the waistband at both sides to get a feel for how much you’ll be taking in (I made mine pretty snug and took in about an inch on each side)

4. Start pinning down one side with straight pins, trying not to pin your finger to the pants (if you do, it makes it very difficult to move on to the other side). Repeat on the other side. I actually ended up pinning from my waist down to about mid-thigh, tapering out slowly so my last pin ended up on the existing seam (I could have gone all the way to my knee but I like these jeans a little looser, more like a boyfriend cut). Long story short, your pins should look like this:

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5. Laugh at how ridiculous you look with your new hip flaps.

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6. Shimmy your way out of the jeans trying not to pull too hard for fear of the pins popping out and stabbing you in the thigh. Or so I’ve heard.

7. With your jeans still inside out, sew along your pinned line. These were my machine settings for a nice, tight straight stitch (pictures like these always help me with sewing tutorials):

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Don’t forget to backstitch (reverse back over your stitches) at the beginning and end to make sure your thread doesn’t come undone later. I may have overcompensated but I backstitched about 4 times juuuuuuuuuuust in case.

8. Unlike with my first tutorial, I didn’t cut out the excess fabric when I was finished because they were comfortable as-is, plus you then have the option to take them back out down the road if needed. But if you wanted to, you could always cut out the excess (try them on first to make sure they look ok after sewing) or fold and sew the end of the excess fabric down so it lays flat on the inside when you’re wearing them.

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9. Turn them right side out and put them on. As you can see my seams don’t line up perfectly but unless someone is literally trying to smell my hip bone, I don’t think they’d notice.

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10. Give yourself a high five for saving the money you would have spent on a new pair of jeans!

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Dear Miss Patty,

I want to start off by saying thank you. Thank you for the sleepless night I had last night, thank you for the hours I spent lying awake staring at the ceiling worrying about what in the world I am going to do now. I couldn’t turn off my brain no matter how hard I willed myself to, knowing that in 3 hours, 2 hours, 1 hour, my 5:50am alarm would be chiming in my ear telling me to wake up even though I was already wide-eyed. And trust me, as I laid there, I came up with the mother of all speeches, oh it was good, it was chock full of sarcasm and anger and all the things you should hear so you could realize just how badly one little note you left each of us parents yesterday at daycare pickup would affect us.

The note. It said that after careful consideration you have decided to close the doors at daycare because owning 2 centers has become too much to handle. That you are keeping your other center open but that there is no room for any of us. That you spent 9 months looking for a buyer and couldn’t find one so you were giving up and closing down.

You’ve been looking for 9 months. You chose to give us 11 days notice.

Do you know I work for a commercial real estate company? Do you know that I personally know an agent who buys and sells daycare centers and that’s all he does? That he has a database of thousands of people across the country who may have been interested in buying the center? No, you don’t. But had you let us families know your plan months ago, maybe, just maybe you could have gotten some help or ideas or, I don’t know, something from the brilliant mothers and fathers who drop their kids off to you every single day so they can go to work and earn their paychecks and keep coming back week after week. We could have been resources. You had dozens of people who would have done whatever they could to keep the place open, right at your fingertips but you chose to keep us in the dark, and then give us 11 whole days to figure out where we are going to take our children after a week from Friday.

I see what your plan was, tell us at the end of the day on a Monday after we’ve given you our week’s tuition, then use our deposits that we put down when we first enrolled to pay for the last week. That way you wouldn’t have to worry about giving us enough time to find somewhere else and pull our kids out before you closed the doors, leaving you with anything less than being fully funded your last 2 weeks being open. But come on. A month. You couldn’t even give us a month.

To know that you have been planning this for 9 months, nine freaking months, and didn’t have enough respect for all of the families, children and teachers who have kept your business going, who have trusted you to be a safe place for us to drop off our kids while we go to work, to give us anything more than 11 days notice before closing the doors for good? That’s the part that I can’t wrap my brain around.

On our way to daycare drop off this morning, I actually had butterflies in my stomach thinking about all the things I wanted to say to you when I got there. But when Summer and I walked through the door and you said your chipper, “hi!” I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t even look you in the eye and so instead I focused on my girl, getting her settled in for the day and I left still angry. Because no matter how great my little speech could have been, it wouldn’t have changed anything. You would still be closing the doors in less than 2 weeks. I’d still be taking time off work in the next week to find a new safe place for my baby. I’d still be anxious and worried and calling at lunch time and wondering if my baby is ok and adjusting and playing with the new kids and trusting a teacher that I hope deserves her trust less than 2 weeks from now. Whatever I could have or should have said to you, it didn’t matter.

I know there’s a blessing in disguise here somewhere. I don’t see it yet. Maybe this will be good preparation for Summer when she starts school and has to adjust all over again. Maybe wherever the new place ends up being, it’ll be better. I don’t know. All I know is that I wasn’t the only mother lying wide awake last night worried, angry, and exhausted, and yes, I’m sure you’ve had plenty of sleepless nights over this decision you made, too. I just wish that there had been a little more respect given to the pregnant mom who picks up her 2 kids at the end of the day, or to Miss Mary who has been there for years and plays with those little babies like they are her own, or to Conor and Logan’s family who just started there a few months ago, or to Miss Christine who just quit her other job last week to work for you full-time, I just don’t get it. This is why I’m not a business woman because I wouldn’t have been able to face all the parents this morning after the business bomb you dropped yesterday, my compassion would have gotten in the way.

Good luck, Miss Patty. I hope you’re sleeping at night better than the rest of us.

- Summer’s Mommy

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to be almost 3

Almost a year ago I wrote about the funny little things a 2 year old does. And almost a year later….well, I’m still learning the mind of an almost 3-year-old…

Still the funny little beings they were at 2, now they’re a little wiser and braver and funnier:

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They’ll hide in the same spot every single time they play hide and seek.

When you give them an option on which shirt they want, they’ll give you the dreaded blank stare. And when you finally just pick one for them, they’ll always want the other.

They’ll take an hour and a half to eat a meal yet they can eat 3 bags of fruit snacks in 30 seconds.

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They’ll beg to watch the one show you don’t have DVR’d.

And once you do record it, they’ll never ask for it again.

They’ll find this thing at the grocery store and beg you to go on it until you finally fish a quarter out of the bottom of your purse, turn it on and then pull them off the giant scary horsey 2 seconds later as they bawl their giant doe eyes out at the terror, you bad bad mommy:

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They’ll listen to the same song over and over and over and over and over.

They’ll take all of your jewelry out of your jewelry box, toys out of the toy box, nail polish out of your nail polish bag, spoons out of the silverware drawer, throw them on the floor, and then walk away.

They’ll fill a cup in the bathtub, try to pour it into another cup but end up pouring it all over your socks.

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They’ll cry when you won’t let them wear pajamas out of the house, and then they’ll cry when you try to take them out of their day clothes before bed.

They’ll insist on sleeping with their baby, blankey, monkey, shovel, chap stick, guitar, football, a marker, and their shoes on.

They’ll want to try on every pair of sandals in the shoe store. In the middle of winter.

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They’ll spot the bouncy ball tower display thingy in every store and insist they neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed another ball that you know they’ll forget about tomorrow. And it’s always the ball on the bottom.

They’ll impress you every time you teach them a new life lesson, like how to open a door by turning the doorknob, how to open the refrigerator, and how to put water in their mouths and spit after brushing their teeth.

They’ll tell cashiers and neighbors and their teachers stories like, “I had different ones! Uh huh! Yesterday I had a pink one and a purple one and they didn’t match!” And only you know they’re talking about their sock choice from a week ago.

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They’ll make up their own language that changes daily. Take yesterday…mamba apparently meant mommy and bahstock! meant open the door. This morning I was cah-coh, and there was no word for open the door. I’m trying, I really am.

But at the end of the day…

when you’ve made your second full dinner because the first one “wasn’t good”…

and they want you to watch Frozen with them on the couch for the 4th time…

and they want to snuggle with you because, “they like you,”….

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…having an almost 3 year old will make you a little wiser, braver and funnier, too.

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toddler speak

Toddler language is its own unique creature. My dad gives my mom and I a lot of credit because we both understand everything that comes out of Summer’s mouth, and often times she’ll say something to him that ends with his eyebrow raised and a need for one of us to translate. But, just because I understand the words, well…

Last night:

“Mommy, your face is green grass,” as she patted my cheek.

Um, thanks, sweet pea, and your ankles are pink monkeys.

Then she called me a bunzo and fell asleep.

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Good talk my love.

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patience

“At the end of the day, you can either focus on what’s tearing you apart inside, or focus on what’s holding you together.”

The divorce process sucks.

Plain and simple. It fucking sucks.

It’s been a little over 4 months since we sold the house and moved out, and I am finding myself here with feet firmly planted on a mountainside with the sun shining on my shoulders and a raging tornado right next to me that keeps trying to knock me over.

The damn tornado  – it just won’t fizzle out, as much as I want it to and as hard as I try to will it away, it just keeps spinning and swirling, whispering in my ear as it goes round, “you’re alone….” “you can’t afford this anymore…” “you don’t get to see your own baby every day of her life…” “nobody is coming home from work to you anymore…” “you’re going to end up in debt again…” “no one is going to save you…”

And yet the dazzling sunshine is warm on my shoulders, rays of happiness singing softly, “no more fighting…” “no more tension…” “you can breathe again…” “the hardest part is over…” “you’re vibrantly living life again…” “you’re doing this and you’re doing it well…” “your baby is getting to see the happy in you…”  “you don’t need saving, you’re absolutely fine…” “you are brave for choosing the life you deserve…”

I so much like the sunshine better.

Yesterday I saw someone going through a dumpster, I watched as they shook out a pair of jeans they found. And my first thought was, “what a whackadoo going through the garbage, so gross…”, and then I thought about my apartment with its cushy carpeting, comfy couch, warm beds, clothes in the closets and food in the fridge, and my thoughts about this person out there took a complete turn. This person was looking for necessities in other people’s’ garbage and they didn’t give a shit who saw because it wasn’t about other people, it was about doing whatever the hell it takes to survive. And despite the tornado that keeps slapping me upside the head and throwing me into a funk, despite the divorce process and the broken heart I’m mending in therapy, despite the trying to figure out how to make $100 pay for $200 worth of groceries, I understood in that moment that life could be so much harder; unfathomably harder like it must be for anyone so desperate for things that they have to turn to the garbage to find them.

I’m going through a divorce and it is awful.

I’m dealing with a hole in my heart and it hurts.

I’m full of anxiety and it’s scary.

But…

I’m going through a divorce to make life better and I have to go through the storm to get there.

I’m dealing with a hole in my heart, but it’s been broken before and I have somehow always managed to glue it back together.

I’m full of anxiety every time I talk to my lawyer – a stress that will end soon and thank effing God for payment plans.

It’s hard, but it’s all doable.

Silver linings, baby. I have a good job. I have a happy healthy 2-year-old who likes to snuggle with her momma (and throw all her toys across the room and wake up at 5:30am and take her clothes off right before we have to go somewhere, ha). I have a nice place to call home and a good reliable car. I have friends who make me feel like my old self again, who worry about me and support me and tell me with full conviction that I am the strongest, bravest person they know. I have family who is always there for me no matter what, and would never let me get to the point where I’m looking for my next pair of pants in a dumpster. At the end of the day, my girl and I are safe and we’re happy. The tough parts, the stress and the worry and the uneasiness that have built up in this big ugly raging tornado, are a blip on the Doppler that will eventually pass leaving behind blue skies and peace and me standing, eyes closed, head back on this mountainside soaking in sunshine again. I hope nothing but the same for the person I saw yesterday.

It will take time, this I know, but as of today it is officially Spring and the warm is coming…

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my shooting star

Another little video of my Summer Bear lately…

To watch directly on YouTube, click here (boo, not available to watch on mobile devices because of the third party content)

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the whirlwind

God will not lead you where God is not waiting.

Ah, this whirlwind called life lately…

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I’ve been carving out lots of time for healing my heart and soul, enjoying the peace and happiness with Summer, reconnecting with old friends and my sewing machine on the days she’s not with me, all the while dealing with the never ending lawyers and the 9 hour work day and the trying to figure out how to do this all financially…it’s quite a balancing act keeping all the plates spinning and not letting any of them crash to the ground. I’m not quite sure how they’re all still spinning, but I’m surprised at how much strength can surface when you need it the most.

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Update on the daycare debacle – Miss Evil-Valentine-Killer is gone, hurrah! The potty accidents were one thing, though this woman had the nerve to blame her lack of attention on Summer by telling Scott that our daughter is not ready to be potty trained (ahem, she has been potty trained for the better part of a year now thankyouverymuchyoulazyevilhorriblewoman), safety was another. After Scott walked in one day to find Miss Evil down the hall mopping the floor while 6 unattended preschoolers hung by their hands on the wooden cubbies on the wall, that was it. She was gone as soon as we let the owner know. And now we have a fabulous new teacher who gives me the warm fuzzies and makes me want to hug kittens and pat unicorns instead of punching them. (Miss Jenny, we still miss you dearly)

I took Summer to her first movie in a theater a week ago, knowing full well it could go one of 2 ways, hence the reason we went to the 10:30am showing. Total spontaneous decision, I packed a small back with fruit snacks and a sippy and we headed out to the theater to see Frozen. She was definitely unsure of what to expect as she sat on my lap and covered her eyes for all of the previews, and holy crap did she jump at the first scene where an axe comes through the ice, but after that she started to thaw out a little. Har, we saw Frozen. Thaw. I know, I’m not funny. She did fantastic and I think she enjoyed the movie, even though we missed a few parts with 3 potty breaks and her insisting we leave 10 minutes before it was over, she practically pushed me out the door as I tried to stall by putting on our coats reeeeeeeeeeeally slow, tiptoeing backwards to the exit so I could watch, stopping in the doorway thinking maybe she’d be ok as long as I was holding her … yeah, she wasn’t having it, out the door we went. I am so sad I don’t know how it ends!

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I recently took on the role of project manager for a team project at work because I needed more things to do as much as I needed the new hole that Hazel chewed in my bedspread last night. But after being talked of the edge of the project managing cliff, oh I was so ready to jump, I decided that instead of jumping it might be more fun to delegate everything I originally thought I had to do. Project Manager now means tell everyone else what to do so you don’t have to do it yourself. Um, yes I can do that. Now, I’m just trying to come up with a few more fancy titles for my teammates that would help me even more, so far I have Grocery Shopping Coordinator and Laundry Folding Facilitator.

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The little one has almost made it to her 3rd birthday, my Baby Center monthly email subject lines have now officially gone from “your newborn” to “your baby” to “your toddler” to “your preschooler”. I wonder how long they send these and if I’ll be getting emails 18 years from now with the subject “your legal binge-drinking adult child”.

A few weeks back I had a to take a medical exam for my life insurance policy and luckily they sent the person to my house to do it. She came complete with a rolling suitcase stuffed to the brim with a scale, a tape measure, rubber gloves and a bunch of medical pokey things. Problem now is that every time I eat at my dining room table I have visions of a little old Polish woman poking a needle in my arm to draw blood and pouring mah pee pee in a bunch of test tubes. Not exactly the image you want flashing through your mind over chicken nuggets and steamed carrots.

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Last week I met another single momma in my building, actually she’s right upstairs from me and she has a little girl, too a few years older than Summer. They’ve been living here for 5 years and say the pool here at the apartment complex is awesome in the summer time! I’ve never had a fancy pool of my own to share with a 1,000 people I’ve never met, the closest I’ve had to an unlimited access pool was the blow up kiddie oasis my sister got Summer last year for our backyard that came with so many separate sections that I almost fainted blowing it up for 3 hours.

And then it popped a week later. Damn you, pointy objects.

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The Chicago Kids and Kites Fest is coming to Montrose Harbor on Saturday, May 3rd and I. AM. SO. EXCITED. It is one of the most magical days in the entire world.  It’s marked on my calendar with big puffy hearts covered in glitter so if you need me that day, you can find me running down the side of a hill with my little one at my feet and a few hundred kites in the sky.

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One of my favorite blog posts that I’ve ever written came from that day: My Heaven has Kites.

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That’s about it, hanging in there, figuring it all out and staying sane.

Mostly.

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