Friday, February 24, 2012

E's Day Out. 13 months, 3 weeks.

I took Eamon to the semi-local "House of Bounce" yesterday.  We had the place to ourselves for two hours.
He spent a majority of his time getting in and out of the ball court - and taking balls with him.

What joy!
 Um, yeah, does it get more stunning than that?  This kid is beautiful.
 The little kid area was fun too - everything was much more Eamon sized!
 I like this picture because it reminds me of a football picture of Chris.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tote Bag to Messenger Bag


In retrospect, this is not a tutorial at all.  I'm pretty terrible at instruction.  I like to just do.  I forget to show how I got from point A to point Q.  So enjoy my process pictures, and maybe you can figure out how to do the same thing with one of your tote bags.
Here's what I started with.  Not sure if she is still selling these, but the print was designed by a woman I went to high school with.  I have several, and I love them all.

My goals: a bag I can wear with Eamon in a back carry, provide more structure to bag, closure flap, better shape for messenger style bag, add PUL lined pocket for wet dipes


Step 1: Whack off straps and top of bag for better shape.  Actually, the true step 1 is to press press press and make sure this bag is going to stay square.  There's nothing I hate more than a DIY that looks DIY.  Cut an inch from top of design - save straps (I didn't use them, but I might use them for another project).


Step 2: Assess scrap fabric situation.  I know I have leftover brown twill from my mei tai that I can use. I also have this adorable fabric that matches perfectly.  There's so much of it that I'll probably use it for a lining.  Decided I don't need a PUL lined pocket.  I have a wet bag for a reason.

3.  Apply lining and firmest interfacing you can find.  I used super extra concrete firm on the "U" shaped part, and sort of floppy-firm on the sides.  Now it is a better shape for my use, and it has more structure.

4.  Iron the hell out of the interfacing.  They make this stuff so hard to get melted down.

5.  Envision something great, try to put into reality.  Realize how much of a pain it is, seam rip it out. (I just want everyone to realize that even experienced sewers often spend a lot of time with a seam ripper.)  What happened here?  I envisioned great little piped edges.  In reality, that concrete interfacing makes this a beast to put through the sewing machine, so it slipped on me.  RIPRIPRIP.

 6.  Changed my vision yet again.  I was having a lot of trouble figuring out how to make this messenger bag style without covering up the print.  So I suddenly realized it could be sort of open topped, with cute straps.


7.  Realized I don't actually need an adjustable strap.  Ordered strap adjusters for no reason.  Oh well, they are there when I need them.  And someday I'll need them.  Thankfully, I pinned the strap before I sewed it, so I didn't have to do any ripping there.  And it was very convenient that my little barnacle was up when I needed him to be.


8.  Take a lovely modeling shot when bag is all done.  Note to self: clean that mirror.  Gross.

Just An Update

I had some things to say, but not a real topic of conversation, so I thought I would just do a quick Eamon check in.  These were taken a few weeks ago, but here's some pictures.


Because really, the best way to eat popcorn is in the nude and sitting in your rocking chair.  
This is Eamon's spot every other night or so when we have popcorn.  Usually he has his water bottle on the chair behind him.


This is what happens when you give a one year old a bowl of flour.  
It kept him busy, and sweeping up his mess kept him busy too.
But really, we can't be mad at him.  Look how cute he is.


We got our tax refund money recently, so I've been purchasing some of the things I've put off.  I ordered a broom, garden tools, and mini clothes pins for Eamon, and expect them in the mail one day this week.  I ordered my custom Olives and Applesauce carrier - I CANNOT WAIT for this thing to be done.  I'm stupid excited about it.  And every day I don't hear from the designer is a day I go a little more crazy - because, you know, mine is the only job she is working on right now.

And speaking of carriers, I taught Eamon how to ask to be worn.  I always ask if he wants to get on my back, and I'll pat myself on the back.  Now he comes up to me and pats himself on the back of the head, and if I don't pay attention, he'll bring me the carrier!  Today he asked to get up, so I put him up and we went for a quick walk to the mailbox, then the chicken coop.  About five minutes after we came back inside, he fell asleep.  Baby wearing has about an 90% sleeping success rate for me.

Now that it's getting warm, Eamon and I are going to start working in the yard.  He's got some Crocs rainboots, and I'm debating whether he needs some garden shoes, but I bet we'll probably go barefoot.  I'm pretty excited about his garden tools, too.  I want to carve a special garden space for him to work this year - I know he probably won't grow much, but it will be a safe place for him to dig and plant, water to his little heart's desire.

I ordered some adorable fabrics from Fabricworm on Monday - they had an excellent President's Day sale.  Don't know what I'm going to do with them yet, but I've got 'em.

When I opened up my blog host site to start this entry, I realized I have about six in the works...  I have a great tutorial I'm working on, and hope to finish today.  I am working on a blog about baby signs, but I can't get it finished because Eamon keeps learning new signs.  A few things have presented themselves to me lately, inspiring me to write a little about my birth experience.  So keep your eyes open, there's lots to look forward to in the next few days.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Snow Day

A few pictures from Eamon's Snow Day Adventure.

He was beating on the door impatiently, and looking at me like,
"Quit taking my picture already and open this door!"

Oohhh... Snow


But it's too hard to walk in, so I'll just crawl.


Must. get. to. chicken coop.


Made it!  
(I tried to get him to lay down and do a snow angel.  
The best we got was some snow bell bottoms.)


Eamon decided that swinging in the snow was much easier than walking.


And after fifteen minutes outside, he finally gave up.  He had fallen like twenty times.  
Snow gear just doesn't give the same freedom of motion that nudey does.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Another Sunday

Today was a pretty chill day.  I'm trying to plan a new carrier right now.  I'm treating myself to a custom Olives & Applesauce soft structured carrier - something that will hopefully take us through a few more years of babywearing with Eamon.  I spent the morning trolling fabric sites and pinning a crapton of fabrics I love.  Now I just have to narrow it down... I'm hoping to make it easy and find something I totally love at the quilt shop tomorrow.

I finished up a ring sling for a lovely couple who is expecting a baby girl in a few short months, then Eamon and I spent part of the afternoon hanging at their baby shower.

Understandably, Eamon took a very long nap this afternoon (he played really hard at the shower), so I used that time to move all my blog posts from my joint-venture-sister-blog over here.  Rather than digging through my old posts, why don't you take a trip on over to our site?

Yesterday Eamon and I had the pleasure of meeting some great mamas, daddies, and kid-friends from Triad Tot Toters, a (sort of) local babywearing group.  Eamon had a great time playing with some other children, and I had a really excellent time talking with lots of like-minded mamas.  Can't wait to meet with these ladies on a regular basis!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Breast and Bottle

Someone posted this on Facebook today. I understand it's supposed to be toungue-in-cheek, and can certainly identify with some of them. However, I felt it was only fair to answer it with a bottle feeding preparation protocol.

From Parenting Magazine:

"Suck it! The REAL Way to Prep for Breastfeeding"


... Day 1
Gently rub your nipples with sandpaper.

Day 2
At bedtime set your alarm clock to go off every two hours. Each time it rings, spend 20 minutes sitting in a rocking chair with your nipples clamped by a pair of chip clips.

Day 3
Draw branching lines all over your chest with a blue-green marker, then stand in front of your bathroom mirror and sing "I Feel Pretty."

Day 4
Open your already-crowded freezer and make room for five dozen plastic milk bags.

Day 5
Fit the hose of a vacuum cleaner over one breast and set on "medium pile." Turn off vacuum when nipple is three inches long. Switch breasts.

Day 6
Obtain "DO NOT CROSS" tape from your local police station, then wrap firmly around your chest. When your spouse asks about it, say, "Get used to it."

Day 7
Tape a water balloon to each breast and squeeze into a maternity bra. Repeatedly hook and unhook the nursing flaps with one hand while using the other to balance a sack of squirming puppies.

Day 8
Dine in the fanciest, snootiest restaurant you can afford, making sure to arrive with a big wet spot directly over each nipple.

Day 9
Record your mother proclaiming, "Just give the baby some cereal like God intended, and she'll sleep right through the night." Play in an endless loop at 1 a.m., 3 a.m., and 5 a.m.

Day 10
Slather your breasts with peanut butter, top with birdseed and stand very still in your backyard.

Day 11
Go someplace public - a museum, a courthouse, the steps of your office building - and stuff a lifelike baby doll under your shirt. Use the doll's arm to suddenly hike the shirt up past your collar bone. Lower shirt. Feign nonchalant smile.

Day 12
Suckle a wolverwine.

Congratulations! You are now ready to nurse a baby. Maybe.

Now, here's my answer.

The REAL Way to Prepare to Bottlefeed

... Day 1
Spend hours researching the best bottle for your family. Don’t forget to choose between glass or plastic. Is it BPA free? Do you want drop in liners? Do you get the one with venting technology? Low flow or variable nipples? Now try to choose a formula.

Day 2
At bedtime set your alarm clock to go off every two hours. Each time it rings, run downstairs, blind yourself with your kitchen light, and measure out exactly 4.2 scoops of clumpy lumpy powder. Add water – not too hot or too cold. Mix it well, and make sure there’s no lumps. Run back upstairs. Try to fall back to sleep, but don’t forget you have to do this again in a few hours.

Day 3
Inject a gallon of water under your skin. Does it feel like it’s going to explode? Now put frozen cabbage leaves on your skin. Continue for a few days.

Day 4
Remove everything from your counter to make room for drying bottles, and clean out one of your stuffed kitchen cabinets to make room for a dozen baby bottles and a few cans of formula.

Day 5
Go out and buy a dozen of the best bottles on the market. Wait until two in the morning, and then ask your spouse to make an emergency trip to the local store to find a different bottle.

Day 6
Wake your spouse up in the middle of the night with a wet cat stuffed in a bag. Ask him to hold it while you go downstairs and repeat Day 1’s exercise.

Day 7
Dig a bottle out of the side pouch of your purse while driving through an obstacle course. Once you find it, turn your arm upside down and reach around to the backseat. Aim the nipple at a small, constantly moving spot. And don’t wreck the car.

Day 8
Dine in the fanciest, snootiest restaurant you can afford. Schedule the teenage next door neighbor to call you in a panic and say, “The can of formula in the cabinet is empty,” with a recording of the wet cat in the bag playing in the background.

Day 9
Record your breastfeeding friend proclaiming, "Once I get her latched on, I usually fall back asleep." Play in an endless loop at 1 a.m., 3 a.m., and 5 a.m. while you continue your exercise from Day 6.

Day 10
Leave a bottle of formula under your couch for two weeks.

Day 11
Go someplace public - a museum, a courthouse, the steps of your office building - and hold a lifelike baby doll in one arm, along with your recording of the wet cat in the bag. Wiggle the doll’s head back and forth at your breast as fast as you can, and mix a bottle of formula with the other hand. Feign nonchalant smile.

Day 12
Tally up how much you will spend on bottles, formula, bottle brushes, extra nipples, and the hands-free bottle prop attachment for your car seat.
Congratulations! You are now ready to bottlefeed a baby. Maybe.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

25 Things On Facebook

I found this on Facebook when I was revamping (translation: privatizing) my profile. I forgot it was there. I wrote it on January 30, 2009. I thought it would be nice to revisit these 25 points, three years later.

1. I don't understand why all these TV networks have made so much money ambushing innocent people and telling them they suck on national TV.

This still makes no sense to me. Reality TV is crazy. And I don't have TV anymore. Just Netflix.

2. I wish I lived off the grid. And someday I will. If that means I have to recycle my toilet water, I'm okay with it.

I'm not much closer to this, but the dream is still there. And who knows... It's 2012. We might all be living off the grid soon.

3. I don't really know what I want to do when I grow up. But that's alright.

Know what I want to be when I grow up? A mama. A few times over.

4. I don't want to get married. Except I want the tax break. And I think it's unfair that my car insurance would be cheaper if I was married. Does being married make you a better driver?

Hm. Still the same. Figured out the tax break thing... Have a baby.

5. I'm not buying that digital convertor box. I've lived with 4 channels for the past 4 years, and I think I'll be okay without any. But I will miss PBS.

I didn't. And I do miss PBS.

6. Netflix is one of the best things ever invented. I hardly ever watch mainstream movies, and the selection of social documentaries and television series is worth every penny I pay.


Netflix still rocks. Especially now that we have it through the Wii.

7. Even though I don't have kids, I'm quickly becoming a birth advocate. I think women should be informed about all their options before they get shot up with numbing agents and sliced open.

Now that I do have a kid, I believe this more than ever. Women, even educated women, are violated everyday. Boy do I know it.

8. My life is drastically different than what I imagined. And I'm very happy about that.


I can't imagine any other life. I love what I have.

9. I still live in my little, tiny, backward, close-minded hometown. But if all the open-minded cool people like me move away, it will never change. But I'd love to bomb Wal-Mart.

Yep, this is true. And I see more and more cool, open-minded people coming here every day.

10. I love to talk about myself, but I'm having trouble thinking of 25 things about me that people will find interesting.

Sometimes I think I'm really self centered to think that anyone wants to read so much crap about me. But I know everyone wants to read so much crap about my kid...

11. I own a business, but I'm not driven enough to make it a big deal. I spin yarn. And shear angora rabbits. And knit.

Yep, not very driven. But I do spin my own yarn. And knit. Still.

12. I don't trust chemicals, especially those in our food. I don't use artificial sweetners, and I limit my HFCS intake to one Coke every 2 weeks. I know everyone has to die from something, but I don't want to die from chemical-induced cancer. Of course, I worry about all the chemicals I consumed as a child.

Conventional food is so scary. We skipped the garden last year, but this year... It's going to be great.

13. I don't look fair-skinned, but I sunburn like a red head. Combine that with that fact that conventional sunscreen actually contains carcinogens, and you'll see I spend a lot of money on PABA-free, organic sunblock.

Yep. Our trip to Arizona this August consumed almost two bottles of sunscreen.

14. I'm shocked by how freely strangers will give you unsolicited advice. I was in Winston-Salem one day and a woman asked me why I didn't get married, then proceeded to tell me I would change my mind when I got older, and THEN asked me, "Well, isn't your biological clock ticking?"


After being pregnant, and having a baby, this is even more true. Strangers give TOO MUCH advice.  The really scary thing?  Sometimes I find myself becoming one of those strangers...

15. I love the mountains. I like the beach okay, but I like it best when it's cold outside. Two of my favorite vacations were trips to the beach in the autumn.

Ah, Charleston in autumn. It's so beautiful. My favorite. We've been the past three years in a row.

16. I own an iRobot Roomba, and I will tell anyone that it's the best thing ever. And now my little dog has learned how to turn it on.

My Roomba has been replaced by a rocking awesome Hoover Windtunnel. And when I got the Windtunnel, I was shocked by how much better it was. I think it's finally gotten all the dirt the Roomba missed.

17. Speaking of dogs, I have a few. Three, actually. And that's too many. I also have three rabbits, but they live out in the bunny barn.

I have no dogs. And no rabbits. But I do have seven chickens.

18. I think everyone has a little gay in them. And if they say they don't, they are just in denial. So there.


This is still pretty much true.

19. I am a pollovegetarian. I don't think that counts as a vegetarian, but the cookbooks think it does. I haven't eaten red meat in 2 years. And yes, pork is a red meat. Ham and bacon are red.

Yeah... Pregnancy ruined my red meat aversion. Actually, I think it was over before that. But I craved hamburger when I was pregnant.

20. I used to commute an hour to work every day. It sucked. But now I work 5 miles from home. I think I might start biking when the weather gets warm.

I don't bike to work. But I still work close. And I only drive four days a week.

21. I didn't shop at Wal-Mart for three years. Never. It can be done. Even in this small town.

This could still be done, but we can't go to the grocery store when Chris is working, because Eamon has a meltdown when we leave. So if Chris is at work, we go to Wal-Mart.

22. I don't go to church. I think we might be the only family in the county that doesn't go to church. But I have major issues with christianity.

Actually, there's lots of families in the county that don't go to church. And in our family, on Sunday mornings, we eat pancakes and spend time together.

23. I got called a femi-nazi once. Unfortunately, I let that influence my personality and life choices. Now I wish I had taken more women's studies classes in college.

Stupid guy. Calling me a femi-nazi. More importantly, stupid me for letting that affect me. But then, if I'd done things differently, where would I be now?

24. I get really annoyed when I read a survey on MySpace and all the numbers aren't there. I get even more annoyed when question 13 follows question 11, then followed up with the statement, "Did you notice there is no number 12?" Call me obsessive. I don't care, it's annoying.

I'm so glad MySpace is dead, and Facebook gives me the option to ignore these things. But grammar and spelling errors still drive me nuts. And I don't like inattention to details.

25. I just knitted myself some dishclothes. And they rock. In fact, I'm going to be making cloth napkins and dishtowels, and I'm going to stop buying paper all together. Now, would you like to know how I cut down on my toilet paper usage?? :)


We still buy toilet paper, but that's the only paper we use in our house. We have cleaning rags. We have linen napkins. We use handknit dishcloths. And cloth diapers and wipes. And Gladrags.