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Posts Tagged ‘little girl dresses’

Okay, so Saturday I spent some time sewing dresses. I had stumbled across patterns from Tenderfeet Stitches on Etsy a while back (have I ever mentioned how many hours I can waste browsing Etsy and wish I could buy everything I fall in love with).  Anyway, several weeks ago I made a couple dresses for Rebeka from the Bubble Ruffle Dress pattern.

I was inspired by the camo pattern Amanda with Tenderfeet Stitches used and I made this dress for Rebeka.

I LOVE the dress.  It is so stink’n cute.  And after it got washed (i.e. reversing the stretching from sewing), it is even more adorable.  that same day I also made this dress for Rebeka.

Same pattern, just different color scheme.  And, yes, I need to work with Rebeka to be a better model.  She truly has a mind of her own and is very independent, which makes her extraordinarily resistant to posing like a sweet little girl for pictures.  Hahah!

For me, sewing has become a source of relaxation and stress relief.  I have truly been enjoying seeing creations come to life through the joining of fabric with needle and thread.  I honestly just love it.

So, with that first pattern, I feel in love with Amanda’s patterns.  She has an awesome way of just making incredibly cute item very easy to sew with very basic instructions.

I began following Amanda on Facebook, and imagine my excitement when she offered one of her patterns to her “fans” for testing.  I had the opportunity to test her new Classic Crossed Bodice Sundress pattern this past weekend.  And, it was awesome.  Here’s the final product of the dresses I made for Rebeka:

And, here is the back of the dress.

After suffering through absolute brain damage while making Rebeka’s dress (ended up ripping out the hem and waist seems three times), ultimately, it turned out amazing.  It way my incompetence, not the pattern, that caused my problems.

Next, I moved on an made a similar dress for my friend Char’s granddaughter.  I had hope to make a couple more dresses, but only had enough fabric for one more that day.  This time I used some pink tule which I added to the skirt.

The dress pattern has been deemed an absolute hit here at the house.  Chet loved it, I loved it, Rebeka loved it, and Char’s granddaughter loved it.  This weekend I’m going to test another pattern for Amanda, I can’t wait.

I’ll give a comprehensive update on Gabriel tomorrow.  In a nutshell, we’re finally getting out heads above water.  These past couple weeks have been so emotionally trying for Chet and I, and I’ve been struggling to avoid a pity party and I just didn’t feel comfortable bearing all the struggles we’ve been feeling just yet.  I guess, I just didn’t feel like whining.  Honestly, so far in this journey, I’ve truly felt blessed and optimistic with all that we are facing.  However, these past couple weeks, my optimism just wasn’t there.

But, we’re doing well.  Gabe has turned some major corners these past couple days, and things are progressing.  We’re officially 3 years from the end of his treatment (okay, 3 years and a couple weeks).  But, we’ve got an end in sight and come hell or high water, we’re going to be having one heck of a party at the end of May, 2014 – mark your calendars.

Oooh, and I almost forgot – Amanda at Tenderfeet Stitches is amazing in so many different ways.  When she learned of our journey with Gabriel, she placed this dress for auction and is going to donate the proceeds to Operation Leukemia Elimination.  How amazing is that?  We are so blessed, blessed beyond words.

Photo from Tenderfeet Stitches.

If you’re interested in bidding on this beautiful dress, you can do so HERE.

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Rebeka is often obligated to playing second fiddle around here too often as of late.  Unfortunately, it’s just the nature of the animal we are dealing with at this time.  However, it doesn’t mean I can’t dedicate a little time here to my beautiful little girl.

Before she was born, we didn’t share her name.  Instead, we called her “Rock Star.”  It was awesome, when someone would ask Gabriel what Rebeka’s name was, he’d say “ROCK STAR” in a dramatic rocker sort of way.

From the moment Rebeka was entrusted to us, she’s been full of life and fun.  A little adventurer from the very start.

The one thing that I always find myself doing is just gazing into her blue eyes.  She has the prettiest blue eyes, in my humble opinion.

Over the last two years, I have grown to appreciate this little girl and her inquisitive personality and experience how different she is from her brother.  While they are similar in so many ways, they are incredibly different at the same time.

Like her brother, she is always on the go.  And as of late, it is even more difficult to get a picture of her as she will not stop for a picture for more than 2-seconds.  But it doesn’t deter me, and I keep trying and trying.

As much as her brother is ALL BOY, Rebeka is ALL GIRL (I have no clue where that came from) and she loves to be girly.

She is also the most nurturing and sweet little girl.

Here she was making sure her bear had water.

She also love her Rody Horse…both to ride….

To take care of, making sure it has water to drink.

And to be friends with.

Rebeka is always just being silly and funny and loves to dance, sing, and just enjoy those wonderful experiences of childhood, milking every drop of joy and fun out of every moment she can.

But the best part is that she has her brother who she loves and wants to play with, be close to, hug and snuggle with……..

Except when mommy wants to get a picture of the two of them together.  *sigh*

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It has been far too long since our last update.  As I briefly mentioned, our former computer started giving us the dreaded blue screen of death.  So, deathly afraid of firing it up, it took Chet and I a few days to identify and pick up new hardware.  As you have probably surmised, we are back in business.

Shesh, so much has happened in the past week, I don’t know where to start.  Frankly, right now, I don’t even know where I left off.  So, let’s do a recap.

Last Wednesday, Chet and I headed to Oakland for two appointments.  The first was with the radiation oncologist who will likely be doing the radiation treatment on Gabriel.  Man, what an incredibly nice guy.  We have met so many wonderful and nice doctors, so for us to say that he really has been the nicest guy so far is saying an awful lot. It was a great meeting with him.  Gabriel will be getting 8 days of radiation treatment during this block, consolidation, of his treatment.  Since they don’t do it on weekends or holidays, Chet and Gabriel will have to be down for 5 days, come home for the weekend and then head back down for three more days.

The real bummer about the radiation is that it is really a very short treatment, less than 20 minutes a day.  So, Chet and Gabriel will be spending almost two weeks in Oakland for less than a total of 8 hours of appointment time (clinical time included in there).  And, since it’s all out patient, well, you get our drift – it’s mighty inconvenient.  But, it is what it is.  Gabriel only has to have radiation treatment once during his entire course of treatment, so it’s not that much time in the grand scheme of things.

Then on Thursday we had the big pow-wow with the Oncology docs to talk about the clinical trial Gabriel is in.  Here we discussed the potential issues surrounding Gabriel being a part of the clinical study in detail, discussed the various arms that he might be a part of.  Through the course of the conversations we were informed that Gabriel is classified as intermediate risk (within the disease), which is pretty good.  Ideally, he’d be classified as low risk, but due to the fact that his white blood cell count was off the charts when he was admitted along with the fact that when the did the first lumbar puncture and analyzed his spinal fluid they saw some lymphoblasts (but not necessarily leukemia) he’s an intermediate risk.  They don’t believe he actually had leukemia in his spinal fluid at the time of diagnosis, as it appears that the lyphoblasts were likely found due to contamination from the tissue they had to pass through to get to the spinal fluid, but they can’t say with 100-percent certainty that it wasn’t there either.  So, it is what it is. We are so grateful and blessed that he wasn’t classified as high risk, which is where he was at when he was diagnosed.  So we’ll take whatever good news we can get.

So, with him being classified as intermediate risk, there were four potential treatment arms.  Without going into a lot of techno-speak, I’ll just say that at the end of it all, Chet and I decided to take the roll of the dice and have him randomized into the clinical study.  He was randomized to arm “b” or the second arm – basically the conventional treatment of ALL T-cell with the addition of a new drug, nelarabine, which has been specifically developed to treat t-cell ALL.  The plus side of this is that the doctors hypothesize that nelarabine will be more effective at eliminating the t-cell variety of lekemia from the body than the standard treatment, which is the purpose of the study essentially, well along with some other mumbo jumbo.  Ultimately, what it means to us is that there is a likelihood that Gabriel will have greater odds of long term remission than had he received the conventional treatment alone.

With that decision being made and done, the next step was for them to get everything ready, have Gabriel admitted into the hospital that afternoon and start his course of treatment.  We were sent off to grab some lunch and wait for a call letting us know they were ready for him.  You see, some of the chemotherapy drugs require hospital admissions to assure that the child receives enough fluids to flush the drugs from the system after they are administered.  Such is the case with the nelarabine.  And, the nelarabine is administered over several 5 day successions, so each time it is administered, it requires a five day hospital admission.  Which is why we had to wait for them to get all those things in order.

Off we went to grab some food and do a little stroll down memory lane.  We headed out to Danville, and showed Gabriel where Chet used to live years ago.  We saw the swimming pool Chet did his swim team practices in.  We looked at the big eucalyptus tree that Chet and his friends used to play under.  We drove over the creeks Chet used to play in.  And then we grabbed some frozen yogurt and started heading back to Oakland.

On our way back, we got the call.  Except, it wasn’t the call we were expecting.  Dr. T, the attending called to let us know that they wouldn’t be admitting Gabriel that night because they only had one dose of the medication and they didn’t want to start him on it until hey had all the meds in hand, and they had been requested from the National Cancer Institute.  The medication was expected to be delivered Friday.  After that call, Chet and I decided to head back to Reno, and a good decision it was. Gabriel and Chet finally headed back to Oakland for the start of the nelarabine and his consolidation phase of treatment today.

It truly worked out and we are so blessed.  Gabriel got to do some horseback riding with Charlie on Saturday.  Sunday, we were able to enjoy as a family, Rebeka’s 2nd birthday.  I have a ton of pictures to put up, but I haven’t gotten everything set up yet to do the transfer.  So, I just have to leave that as a teaser to get you to come back tomorrow.

While it was so stressful going through the doctor’s appointments and then having a daily waiting game to get the call to head to Oakland all weekend, we are just so incredibly blessed.  The delay truly appears to have worked out in our favor and given all that we are facing, things  have truly been moving along smoothly.

To all our friends, family, and even you strangers reading this – thank you for your support.  Thank you for your prayers.  Thank you for just being here for us.  I know it sounds so trivial, but knowing that you are coming here regularly to check up on us, to hear how Gabriel is doing and how we are all surviving this new reality means so very much to Chet, Gabriel and I.  We can’t express how humbling, yet encouraging your support, well wishes and good thoughts are.  Thank you.

I’ll give Rebeka some attention tomorrow and share about her 2nd birthday and get some pictures from the past week put up.  Until next time.

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Okay, so I’m really enjoying sewing.  Maybe it’s because my career is so left brain oriented that having a right brain outlet is really fun.  And, it’s rather practical.  I’m looking forward to making items for the kids.  The Halloween costumes were a dive into the deep end and it’s a good thing.

Anyway, I was inspired by JJ Heller’s Blog post to make a dress for Rebeka.  My mom had handed down a polo shirt a while back – she said if I didn’t want it to pass it on to someone else.  Well, I didn’t want it, so it’s been hanging in my closet for a few months.  Well, after the inspiration from JJ Heller, I decided I could use that shirt to try to make something for Beka.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of the shirt ahead of time.  I really need to get better about that.  Anyway, the shirt looked something like this.

Photo from Tommy Hilfiger; Wide Stripe Polo Shirt can be found here.

So I got busy and within an hour and half (with distractions) I ended up with an adorable dress for Beka.

(Please excuse the kitchen under construction in the background.)

(Excuse the not so great pictures, it was with my phone as I didn’t know where the other camera was)

Not too bad for my first foray into just throwing something together. I used the sleeves from the shirt to make the sleeves on the dress – as I saw it, it was less hemming that I would be required to do. I also need to get a better picture of the front (sans sippy cup) because I used the buttoned front and incorporated it into the neckline.

And, really, I have to say, it is fun.  I’ll make changes in future designs, but I can’t wait to hit the thrift store and look for some more shirts to use for different outfits now.

This morning I put Beka in the dress for school and realized she needed some bottoms (they have a good modesty policy at her preschool).   And I remembered that Chet’s aunt Rachel gave us this ADORABLE diaper cover when she was born.  So digging into the drawers I went searching, and VOILA!  I found it!

However at this point in time Beka was over having her picture taken.  So, that’s the best I could do.

So, I owe JJ Heller a big thanks for inspiring me to craft something for Beka and to Jessica from Happy Together for providing the basis to do put this together.

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