Thursday, March 26, 2009

Baby sewing

I'm going to a baby shower later on.
What to give to the expectant mother of twins? Little matching outfits? A million baby socks? A pile of diapers?
I thought about a diaper wallet, but I made one of those just a few weeks ago. I can never go into business making these things because I'd be forced to dig my eyes out if I had to make more than one in the course of a month.
Then it hit me. Baby slings. I've been meaning to sort these out for ages. It prickles my skin when I happen on a web site selling the simplest of slings for fifty bucks.
I see them, I admire the lovely fabrics, I see how nice and convenient they are, and I start to want one. Then I wake up and realize just how simple it would be to make if I just thought about the measurements for a few minutes.
Yesterday I thought about the measurements for a few minutes. Then I made one for myself. Then I made one for my friend. Then I made one for her husband. (they are having 2 babies, so they'll need 2)
The actual sewing takes no more than 15 minutes. The most time consuming part of the project is washing and ironing the fabric.
I think I'm going to dip my toe into the pool of tutorial writing with this project. Don't hold your breath though, I don't feel at home on this computer so it may have to wait until my shiny new lappy comes and I get all nice and comfy with it.
Here are my three slings

The all floral one is mine, the floral with green one is hers, the brown and spots is his.

And here is the Diaper wallet I already gave away.

This time I made it out of a discounted Pillow sham from Ross. That was nice because I didn't have to quilt it myself. The sham was made with a lighter weight batting than I normally use so I had to beef it up on the closure flap to get the stability I needed. It still saved time though, having it pre-quilted.
This was my best one yet, I made it a little longer than it's predecessors and that was the key.
Some day I'll be able to show you what else I've been up to.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I was peed on last night.

Enzo was a very tired missed his nap boy. He was also a boy who'd had two explosive diapers during the day so skipping bath time was not an option.
The tub was filling, I'd undressed the small squirmy boy and he was perched on my lap, head snuggling against my shoulder arms around my neck as he squatted, standing on my knees. It sounds like an awkward position but he was comfortable and cuddly.
That's when it happened. My lap was suddenly warm and wet. I gasped and sputtered "Did you just pee on me? No, fella! Pee goes in the potty!" And he looked up, oblivious to what I was ranting about.
I put him in the tub. My pants were not a very absorbent pair and dripped when I stood up. I didn't want to drip through the house, so I took them off and deposited them in the laundry room.
Once in my bedroom, I removed my other urine soaked clothing (that is to say, my underpants) and looked up to find that I hadn't closed the window. The ground level window that looks out onto the neighbors front door.
I stood paralyzed for a moment and then inched to where my bathrobe laid and threw it on before fleeing the room.
The good news is, the next door neighbors moved out last week. The Mr. told me so when I told him what had happened. Still, I don't know when I'll find myself ready to open that window again.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A ramble

This dead computer thing has me out of my blogging grove. To be honest, I've been a bit out of the groove for weeks now, maybe even months but the dead compy has definitely compounded the problem.
Today though, I felt like blogging. Not anything specific, just a ramble.
I thought I'd discuss my drive home from church. The way I had all the windows down and the sun roof open to enjoy the bright blustery day, and as I pulled out of the parking lot and accelerated to meet the speed limit, the wind through the windows sneaked up my skirt and sent it up in a billow finally settling around my waist once I got the windows rolled up. Luckily there was no one in the neighboring lane to get the full view.
Further down the road were freshly plowed fields surrendering their dirt to the wind. I was glad for the closed windows as I drove through the resulting dust cloud.
After the dust came the tumble weeds. I nearly ran over about five. They kept tumbling across the road just in front of me, and then tumbling out of the way again just in time. I did swipe one, but the visions I had of a giant weed tumbling on to my windshield and lodging on a wiper, cutting off my view of the road gladly never came to pass.
I read Shannon Hale's "Austenland" over the weekend. I quite liked it. It was one of those deliciously quick and satisfying reads. Fun and fluff with a perfectly resolved ending. The kind you're sorry to finish when you reach the end.
Now I've got my copy of "The Complete Novels of Jane Austen" on the table waiting for me. I've been luxuriating in the thoughtless pleasure of easy reads for a few months, lots of young adult fiction, things I can read while supervising children without missing anything. It'll be nice to read something that requires a bit of thought. Not that Jane Austen novels are particularly challenging, but they do take a bit of thought.
I think I'm going to start "Persuasion" tonight. I have yet to read that one and I'm itching to start.
Speaking of dear Jane, when you refer to her works do you call them "Austen Novels"?
I've always used both her names when discussing her but "Austenland" was full of "Austen this" and "Austen that". Am I the odd one, or do others of you find it hard to leave off the "Jane"?
I got new shampoo. I had a slightly mint scented one last summer that was bright and refreshing without being overly minty. My Mr is allergic to mint so If I want it around it has to be very mellow and unassuming, a hard thing for mint to be. I remembered that nice freshness of mint shampoo when I was shopping the hair care isle last week and decided to try something new,"Rosemary Mint" shampoo and conditioner.
I used it for the first time last night. This product is not mellow or unassuming. I stood there lathering it through my hair and thought to myself "I smell just like a thin mint".
When I got out of the shower, I went straight to the pantry, cracked open the girl scout box and ate a few.
Well, I'm off to brush my teeth, wash off my make-up and see about this "Persuasion" business.
Fare thee well.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It went like this

Zizza was dressed in green before she came down to crawl into my bed and pester me out of it. I dressed the others in pinch avoiding attire and then retreated to my room where I dresed myself.
In orange.
I came out and waited.  After a few minutes I asked Ziz, "So, do you think this is a good outfit for me to wear?"  She said she didn't think it was. Still, it took quite a few less than subtle hints on my part before she came over and pinched me. I thought about pinching her back ten times because truth be told, I had donned my spring green supportive undergarment in honor of the day, but I decided against it.  I'd been debating the wole time about whether or not I was going to pinch back.   My final decision not to was based on the sweetness whith which she finally pinched me, and the joy it gave her to have bested me at selecting appropriate attire for the day. (So she put on a Christmas t-shirt with her green skirt, big deal. It's festive right? Who says you have to stick to one holiday at a time?)
Then we found a scorpion in the laundry room.
When Zizza was safe away at Joy School I took the younger, oblivious pair of children to the store for a bit of holiday magic. Sadly the only St. Patrick's day items in the place were, a t-shirt worn by the greeter at one door, and a small Guinness display at the other so i was forced to get creative.
I took my search into the kitchen ware section where I found what I was looking for in a "molcajete set, 2-8 oz bowls for salsa and condiments" that's what it says on the label. Along with, "Make every day a fiesta!" To me they looked just like the pots leprechauns use for gold storage, so I took them home with me and made today a fiesta. I also took some mini caramel flavored popcorn cakes and a bag of fun sized Twix.
Then, our neighbor and pest control specialist came and took the scorpion away.
After quiet time, Zizza was delighted to find paper shamrocks and confetti outside her bedroom door. It took almost as much cajoling to get her to look around for her pot of golden snacks as it did to get her to pinch me.
When Enzo woke up from his nap, he was pretty happy about the confetti and golden snacks too. In so much that he chanted "crackers, crackers, crackers" as he ate his popcorn cakes and again as he jumped on the trampoline after dinner.
Dinner was Zucchini cakes (my version of them anyway) and green pasta with leprechaun milk to drink and avocado ice cream for desert.
Aside from the scorpion, a good, green, sort of a day.
How was yours?

Monday, March 16, 2009


I haven't read any, and I mean any blogs since Thursday.
Our family desktop, that is to say, my computer, died a slow tired death. (I have the Mr's lappy here, which enables me to type this bland report)   Plus, also, we've had a busy weekend, which involved no bloggity-ness.
Something else of very minor interest. The Dog was groomed today.  About dang time too.
If we don't schedule his next appointment when we pick him up, we tend to keep putting it off until he's a smelly little mop with a black nose and a mass of eye goobers. This was one of those times, and he was bad, really bad. I didn't think to tip the groomer extra until I was driving home reflecting on how awful he looked this morning. That groomer really did deserve a little extra gratitude.
I  remembered to schedule the next appointment though, so that's something.
One clean dog, three exhausted kids, a dead computer, and a pile of unread blog posts. That's my status this afternoon.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A pink t-shirt

When I was a senior in High school and working at JC Penney, a change started coming over me. My favorite color had been red, then it morphed into Orange and now, it was morphing again.
There was a pink flowered T-shirt in the Jr department, right across the isle from the Misses sportswear department where I worked. The Jr's associate and I worked closely, covering one another's breaks, putting away teetering towers of clothes from the fitting rooms, that sort of thing. What this all means is; I walked by that pink t-shirt roughly two billion times a day, and every time I walked by, my love for pink grew until it unseated orange as my favorite color.
I bought that pink flowered t-shirt. I bought it and loved it in spite of the fact that it fit awkwardly. It was rather too short and the gradated floral motif hit me in just such a way as to bring more attention than I wanted to the boobular area. I loved it, but I hardly wore it.
I hung onto it for a long time, partly because of the love, and partly because I didn't know how to get rid of clothes. Pitching anything with the least amount of wearability was an unpardonable offense to my mind.
Six years after the t-shirt entered my wardrobe I learned how to let unworn clothes go. I put the pink shirt in the donate pile, but I still couldn't do it. I loved that pink floral too much. I snatched it out of that awful pile, and apologized to it's lovely pink softness. I didn't put it back in my closet though. I knew it didn't belong there, keeping it locked up, unworn, was a grievous crime and it was time I repented.
I took it to my sewing room. I snipped and sewed and soon, I had a lovely baby dress. A gradated pink floral baby dress ready and waiting to adorn my sweet young child.
Today was a great day. Today I opened the box of size six months baby girl clothes, pulled out the little pink dress, and put it on My New One.
She, of course, looks fab in it.

I meant to post photos of both my baby girls in the dress. Alas, the image of baby Zizza wearing the beloved item is missing. I know there exists such a photo, but find it , I cannot.
One day I'll find it and when I do, I'll post it. For now, we'll have to make due with a photo of one adorable baby girl wearing the legendary pink shirt-dress. The photo really doesn't do justice to either the baby or the dress, but I was in a hurry, sorry.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Don't talk to me when I'm dealing with poop

Lunch has been eaten by all. The older two have adjourned to the back yard and the new one has grown tired of her chair.
I'm hoisting her out, one hand grasps under an arm while the other slides under the bum and finds slime. "Darn it," I'm thinking, "She must have spit a lot and it's dribbled into the bottom of her seat." I reposition her to get a look at the damage, leaning her against my body in the process.

It's poo.

Her poop has smelled particularly manure like lately, still I failed to notice she was slick with it until I'd smeared it all over my abdomen.
The stress in my voice didn't process with Zizza and Enzo when I admonished them to stay out side and play for a bit. They followed me up stairs and bore the brunt of my poo covered grumpiness.
I should have mentioned the poo to Zizza before I fled up the stairs. If she'd known, she would have understood.
I had a parenting triumph the other day when she came to talk to me as I was changing Enz. Once he saw what I was doing, she stopped her address and muttered under her breath "Don't talk to Mama when she's dealing with poop" What a valuable lesson for a young child to learn. I had to repeat that phrase about a bajillion times, (once or twice per poopy change since she's had younger siblings) but she finally got it!
Today, once she realized it was a poop situation I was dealing with, she decided to get a head start on her quiet time and headed off to her room.
Now, If only I can get Enz to understand as well I'll be all set.

Friday, March 6, 2009

a 3 damnit shopping trip

I wrote this post two years ago during the worst week of my life. I was 3 weeks postpartum when The Mr went to Israel on business for nine days. During that time, I got news of a break-in in the neighborhood which left me not only lonely and hormonal but also panicked and in search of curtains.
I had some technical difficulties posting this and lost the second half. I was so frustrated, I abandoned the post and it's sitting here un-published all this time.
I don't remember the circumstances of the second and third "Damnits" referred to in the title but this lonely little piece of a post needed to see the light of day, so here it is.

Today I took my 2 little bundles out to do a bit of shopping. A few days back I left one of my bags at Target and this was my first chance to retrieve it. I was also in the market for some curtains and what do you know World Market is right by Target so off we went.
As I was leaving the house I realized I didn't have a binky but decided it was not worth going back for as the tiny boy will not generally take it anyway and it being his nap time, he would likely sleep the outing away.

We parked at World Market and I found not a sleeping infant and an anxious toddler, as I had expected, but a sleeping toddler and a wide eyed infant. So I put on my trusty ergo baby and attempted to load little Enz, but he didn't wanna go in there.
He was holding his little body so rigid I couldn't get him snuggled in. His head was bobbing all over the place and the sun was getting in his eyes. I figured he'd relax a bit after I started walking and then I could arrange him better so I got Zizza and headed into the store.

Walking did not help so I bounced. Bouncing was a waste of energy. I had now succeeded in making my mild mannered infant hopping mad. Thankfully the curtains are in a lonely corner of the store, still the child was wailing. So I unstrapped the ergo baby and stuffed it in the cart. This appeased the Baked Potato enough that I was able to hold him in one arm and keep him calm with a slight sway. I selected my window coverings like this and we were off. Almost, Sweet Baby girl wanted to look at the animals so I pushed the cart one handed to the display of jungle animals managing not to knock anything over. This was quite an accomplishment. World Market is not known for being a maneuverable store and I was still doing the mommy dance to quell the occasional yelp. Soon the yelps became more frequent and I deemed it best to quit the place. We left with out much further fuss but found that there is not a ramp onto the parking lot from the sidewalk in front of the store. I was not willing to attempt a one-handed curb jump wile cradling a cranky 4 week-old so I picked up my stuff and managed to balance everything long enough to lift Zizza out of the cart. I've only just realized how much easier it would have been to lift her out before getting the stuff. We made it to the car and I reached into the pocket of the ergo baby for the keys. There was nothing else in the pocket so they were easy to locate. I pulled them out and keys flew everywhere. My key-ring was not intact. Actually only 2 things actually reached the ground and they fell in the fairly secure area between my car and the one parked next to me so Zizza picked them up for me and climbed into the car, pausing to adjust the straps to her car seat so tight buckling would be impossible. Eventually after dropping only a few more items and a "Damn it" we made it to Target.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Birthday Post

There was a party with cake and presents. It was great, it really was. It happened the Saturday before the actual event and we didn't get any pictures of it.
That meant we had to do something worth photographing on the actual day of his birth, so I made cookies,

and he ate some. Actually, what he did was dip it over and over slurping the milk out of it each time but never really taking any bites. There was a pile of soggy crumbs and chocolate chips left over when he was through.

We found some super fantastic presents for him this year. Handmade, awesome, excellence from etsy, that sort of thing. I don't have any documentation of those. I'll probably talk about them some time though, because I love them all so much.
On his real birthday he got balloons, and he adored them. His sister also adored them, they adored the balloons together for days and days. I've only just realized that the balloons are gone, what a good job my Mr did of sneaking them out to the trash when they were spent.

As is my custom, I dragged myself out of be in the wee sma's to snap this photo of him the minute he turned 2.

It was a good birthday. I sang "happy birthday" to him a million or so times and he joined in for most of them. He thought it was pretty neat, having a song all about him, with his name in it and everything. He tended to skip right to the name part as soon as I started the first "Happy Birthday" That's the kind of thing that makes two so great, I'm looking forward to more of that.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


I miss the the joy and anticipation of spring.
I miss the excitement of noticing it's still light out at 6:30.
I miss the absolute bliss of stepping out dressed in half as much as you've been accustomed to and feeling pleasantness caress bare limbs.

Here, spring is foreboding.
It's the taunting of a sibling who catches you in your mischief, "You're gonna be in soooo much trouble!" says spring. And you begin to feel anxious. Summer really is coming, it will find you and you will be in trouble.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Thank you Monkey


My garage freezer is plugged into a GFCI outlet. That's not recommended but It's the only outlet available so it's the one being used. After two years of thinking "we really need to have another outlet put in that wall" whenever the situation comes to mind, the inevitable happened and it tripped.
That Monday I went out to the freezer and thought "How annoying, the light's burned out".
Then on Thursday I was in the garage and noticed suspicious fluid oozing from beneath the freezer. I opened the door, poked a piece of chicken, and found it squishy with thaw.
Back in the house, I carried on getting lunch ready and packing Baby Girl off to Joy School, wondering the whole time what to do with the dripping mass in the garage.
I decided I'd just have to give all the meat away. I started calling people "Hi, do you want a roast for dinner tonight? How 'bout some steaks? Chicken anyone?"
Lucky for me, the third or fourth number I landed on was my friend Jodi who has a pressure canner. She brought that bad boy over and while I prepped my kitchen casualties, she took on the bloody job of cleaning out the freezer and it's torrents of flowing meat juice.
Aren't friends great?
To all the friends who came to help, to console and to eat my melting steaks that day: Thank you. I appreciated it all so much.
I spent the following day and a half up to my elbows in meat, stuffing it into bottles and moving it through the canner. When that was all done, I made up that little monkey for Jodi.
Honestly, how do you thank a person who upon finding you, staring forlornly at a mess of that magnitude, steps in and bathes in meat juice on your behalf?
I didn't know, so I made the monkey.