Monday, July 26, 2010

Online Watermelon Madness

This story actually begins many moons ago. When the earth was still cooling... and Daddy Don was still in law school. We're talking more than 10 years ago, people :-P

Mama was just Rachel. Kittyn wasn't yet Kittyn - just Robyn. Daddy was in school and worked, so he wasn't around much (but he was missed). Mama and Kittyn had (and still have) a great friend named Poodle (or as his mama refers to him - Sig) who liked them so much that he dragged them all over San Diego encouraging them to ingest alarming quantities of alcohol.

In the way that these happen, a list was made of things that were liked. In the way that these things progress, several things were taken OFF the list of things that were liked, and put onto a list of 'things that are OFF the list'. This second list was deemed important enough to write directly onto the wall in permanent marker. Here is the fabled 'off the list' in it's earliest days:

Note that Kittyn is tan, buff, red-eyed and adamant. That's how we used to roll :-)

The list grew, shrank, grew and was eventually painted over when the condo was sold, but the legend of the list lives on in oft-told story among those who were there... this brings us to present day...

Recently, I was getting ready to clean out the fridge when Kittyn called. We were visiting as I realized that I might need to store some stuff in the second fridge in the garage during the process. Well, the damn second fridge is always full of stuff like empty beer boxes because we usually only have one hand free (the other is holding the door to the house), so 'we' (Daddy) tend to leave trash in there taking up all of the room.

I began to pull cardboard out and stack it for recycling. I reached the back of the bottom shelf, and found a box that was stuck to the shelf. I tugged, swore, tugged again. It came free with a sticky, nasty noise. I realized that said box contained quart-sized zipper bags that were full of (the remnants of) watermelon. Not just any nasty aged watermelon, but watermelon that I sliced and bagged THE WEEK THAT LILY RUTH WAS BORN. That's right - over a year ago. At that time, somebody told me that watermelon can start contractions if your body is ready for labor, so I had gone out and purchased a gigantic watermelon and commenced eating.

I only made it through about half of that sucker before I realized that my body wasn't ready, and I was tired of really intense Braxton-Hicks contractions that took me nowhere on the labor progress scale.

The box was shoved to the back and forgotten. Until cleaning day. I was grossed out, pissed off at myself and embarrassed. I still managed to admit my shameful secret to (I thought) my best friend. She was grossed out too, and made me hang up to finish the job so that she could not be accused of helping me procrastinate any longer.

Then she jumped on Facebook and updated her status to 'may never eat another slice of watermelon'. Then her mom asked why, and she said 'ask Rachel'. After that, it was ON. Silliness flew between Kittyn's wall & my wall. We spent the rest of the day giddy with the fun of an on-line 'war'. We even recruited Kittyn's Mom, New Friend Sarah and Poodle to play!

Here is a transcript. The names have been changed to suit my whimsical nature - there are no innocents:

- From Kittyn's 'wall'
Kittyn: Not sure she can ever eat watermelon again.
Kittyn's Mom: a few too many slices?
Kittyn: Ask Rachel.......
Kittyn's Mom: OK : )
Mama Rachel: dammit, Davies - that was a CONFIDENTIAL exchange between (previous) best friends. You're on my list! :-)
Kittyn: You take that back right now!!
Mama Rachel: make me. the list is being magic-markered onto my wall as we speak...
Kittyn: I am making my own 'list' right now - it is ON!
Mama Rachel: bring it, little girl.
Kittyn: Oh I will bring it Doyle - Revenge is a dish best served cold - kind of like watermelon!

from my 'wall'
Kittyn's Mom: What's up with Robyn & watermelon??
Kittyn: You tell her Mrs. Doyle!
Mama Rachel: Do I know?
Mama Rachel: Oh. Dammit, Robyn! Leslie, I am TERRIBLE at cleaning out the fridge. That goes quadruple for the extra fridge in the garage... that's all I will say in a public forum. Robyn, zip your lips.
Kittyn: Zipped- but the truth will set you free!
Kittyn's Mom: Are you telling me that you don't age watermelon and use a straw? Damn! There goes the fruit course tonight. ><
Mama Rachel: well, it was aged... whiskered even...
Kittyn: ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww-ya didn't mention whiskers!
Kittyn: If you shaved the whiskers and wove them together could it be a watermerkin?
Mama Rachel: omg, that is BEYOND genius!

Since I had threatened a list, proof was needed. I posted this picture and got the following responses:

Kittyn: Seriously and watermelon doesn't rank number 1?!?!?! ;-P
New Friend Sarah: He he he very expressive, but I would have gotten a lot farther then TWO! Give us MORE!
Poodle: I am so glad that Mandy Moore is now over 18 and she can be ON the list
Mama Rachel: Did I mention that this is my list of things that are OFF my list?
Poodle: No . . . you did NOT!
New Friend Sarah: YAY this says ON my list not OFF my list
Poodle: Also, if you really had an "off the list" list, you would have written directly on the wall or door.
Mama Rachel: Look, I just fixed then painted that wall recently. I am too lazy to create a situation where I'd have to re-do it. You know what's going on the list? Smart-ass Californians :-P Oh, and Don for accidentally insinuating that I'm fat then apologizing real fast.
Mama Rachel: Sarah, many moons ago (in a land far from here) Sig had a list magic-markered on his wall. It's a long, wonderful story. Robyn is spilling my 'secrets' in public today, so she's on my list of things that are off my list... apparently she has a list too, but I've seen no proof.
Kittyn: Try my blog betch ;p
Kittyn: Really Sig - can Mandy Moore ever come off the Off List?
Poodle: Robyn, you are right. Mandy Moore (and Toni Braxton) really is an "off the list" hall of famer.
Poodle: . . . why is Robyn off the list?
Kittyn: Ask her about the watermelon - she'll tell you why I'm off the list!
Kittyn: And Doyle - really sorry for airing your dirty watermelon in public.
Mama Rachel: you are not the least bit sorry. don't make this any worse for yourself...
Poodle: . . . well?
Mama Rachel: perhaps we should just say that some of us know how to have horrible moments, and some of us are good at blabbing those moments to the entire interwebs.
Kittyn: God grant me the serenity to accept the fruit I cannot find; the courage to throw away the fruit I can and the wisdom to know when to clean the fridge.
Poodle: I am certain the story must be hilarious and I would love to be in on the fun.
Mama Rachel: Robyn says I can't tell you. She's mean.
Mama Rachel: and bossier than me.
Poodle: In her post from seven hours ago she says I should ask you and you will tell me.
Mama Rachel: YAY! No take-backs on permissions, Davies! If only it were funnier... I'll call ya...

So that's when I began to write out the story. And here we are. You've managed to waste perfectly good time reading my nonsense. Again :-) It's just that it felt so good to be that silly. Kittyn & I used to behave like that all of the time. It kept us sane through years of crappy jobs. I miss it.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Remember when I was all mad because there were Ginger Cats having loud sex behind my air conditioning unit? Well, apparently, they kept practicing and eventually got it right. How do I know this? Well, I'll tell ya - THERE WERE KITTENS BEHIND MY AC!!!!!!!

Daddy Don went out there yesterday to chase a Ginger away. He noticed a tiny movement. It was a kitten. I took Lily Ruth out to see, and it was TWO tiny kittens.

We had some dinner then went out to check again. All of a sudden, it was SIX tiny kittens!

They seem to be new to walking, but that means that we're going to start seeing a lot more of them. Now I'm freaking out about what I'm supposed to do with six kittens. I'm also afraid that they will fall into the pool... or be beaten up by one of their daddies... or not get enough to eat because cats are terrible mamas... Why do I have to be so nice? Why can't I just not care what happens to the tiny babies? Dammit.

Well, this story has a happy ending (for me) because the mama cat spent ALL F'ING NIGHT moving the kittens. It kept Keely up for HOURS. Now they are in the hedge next to the pool... because CATS ARE CRAPPY PARENTS. We were in the pool this evening when I noticed a teeny-tiny cat watching us from the viney-overgrown wackiness between our elderly neighbors and ourselves. If either of us had any cash or any dignity, there would not be a place that you could hide six kittens there. But we each have to be who we are, so there happens to be a falling down fence overgrown with a vine that creates a perfect (???) den.

When I went over to their house to mention the kittens, she already knew. I think that she has maybe been in our yard when we're not home, but whatever. Not only was she not surprised about the kittens, but she knew where they had started out, where they were now, and how many there are.

She did seem a bit concerned about the fact that she has to pay a no-kill shelter every 3-4 months to take a new litter of kittens. It took a lot for me to not offer to help pay, BUT they're not my kittens! My cats are fixed. I expressed sympathy, but that was all. I was proud of myself for not taking on this wackiness. Daddy Don is relieved.

It gets better, ya'll. Daddy Don went out to find Frank for dinner. He came back sans Frank, but avec concerned expression. There was a baby bird on the ground. DAMMIT.

It was hideously ugly and oh so very small. I found a Victoria's Secret bag and a rag to line it. I picked it up (with the towel) and put the bag in the fork of the tree it was closest to.

I checked on it several times as I finished dinner. Then the doorbell rang. A neighbor child was attempting to return the bag. The tiny bird was on the ground again. As a group, we discussed it and decided to leave tiny bird there least it fling itself from the tree AGAIN and hurt itself. It was really hard to walk away, but I did.

I'm overwhelmed with the fecund offerings of nature this weekend. I may close the blinds and refuse to examine any further examples. Dammit.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Today's Random Tidbits - 5

Monday was AWFUL. I had the stomach flu, and I thought that death might be my best option. It was the kind of bug where movement of any kind makes you positive that you are going to throw up again. Since you already know exactly how awful that would be, you just do your best not to move. Luckily for me, I have a wonderful grandmother who came over to play with my baby and also did my dishes. I know that she feels like she didn't do anything, but I'm pretty sure that she saved my life. She also brought me flowers:

I feel MUCH better now. Possibly the best I've felt in over a month. Now I just need a nap...

Lily Ruth and I ventured up to New Braunfels to see a good friend. It's only 30 minutes away, yet we never seem to make it up there. Before I had a baby, I went up to New Braunfels once a week in the summer to go tubing down the Comal River. *sigh* It has now been close to two years since I've plopped my butt into a tube and floated my cares away. Maybe next year Miss Lily will be old enough for a life vest and her own tube.

The friend that we went to visit always makes me want to be a better grown up. She has a great house (old, comfy, furnished, painted...), a garden, and always serves beautiful food that looks effortless. We had quiche for lunch. It has not occurred to me to make a quiche in AGES, yet I love quiche. I feel calm and more like myself when I'm around her. She is one of the first friends that I made that I wanted to model myself after. Twenty years later, that still holds true. She also sent me home with herbs that we clipped from her plants as we walked out the door:

There's Rosemary, Thyme, Lavender, Thai Basil, regualr Basil and Chives :-) She also gave me eggs fresh from her chickens:

That's not a trick of the light, they really are beige and pale aqua! My Mama tells me that you know what color eggs a chicken will lay by the color of their 'ears' (the membrane over their ear openings).

Lily Ruth is starting to figure out crayons! She is obsessed with pens and markers, but is just as happy to walk around holding them and running them through her hair while their lids are on. This was the first time she focused long enough to put anything to paper:

I know - toooooo cute!

Oh, I mailed my Dress Up Skirts off to Samster Mommy! I managed to include a rambling hand written letter that will surely convince her that I am crazy. Good Times.

I think that's all for now. It should come as no surprise that I have forgotten anything else that i intended to add. I really do need that nap.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Happy Birthday, My Beautiful One

I started this post an entire month ago but in my Mastitis-induced stupor, I forgot about it. Well, I found it again, and finished it off. Better late than never, right?

Lily Ruth, I wanted to catalog some of your accomplishments to date. Kind of like a baby book, but without the book since I haven't been able to keep up with one... surprise, surprise :-P... So here are some of the things that you can already do at 1 year old!

- you sign 'more', 'eat/food' and 'all done/finished'
- you say 'daa' for Daddy, 'mama', 'tikka' for kitty and tickle, 'go', 'hello', 'okay', 'cat', 'shuh' for shoes, 'cup' and 'hello'
- you're not just walking, you're CLIMBING!

- you can get down off of high furniture by turning around and sliding off feet first
- you take baths by yourself - closely supervised by Mama and in 2 inches of water

- you chase Keely around saying 'ca-T' very loudly and poking her in the face

- you're gentle enough with Bing that he allows you to pet him (but not Frank, he still swats at you)

- you eat lots of different foods all by yourself (including cherries - you don't eat the pit or the stem!)

- you sit on the kitchen floor and play with plastic dishes and utensils while I cook.
- you stir my coffee for me after I add the cream
- you are learning how to throw balls so that you and the doggie can chase them

- you can not just take out, but put small items back into into larger items (i.e.: stacking cups, stuff from my purse)
- you dance whenever I put music on, and sometimes in public

- you clap when people sing, and can even keep a beat if it's slow enough
- you play hide-and-seek with Mama - I hide, you find me :-)
- you sleep in your own bed for naps and most of the night (that's a VERY new and VERY appreciated development)

Every day is an adventure with you, Baby Girl! I can't wait to see what this year brings. Let's find out together, shall we?

This was written for you by your Auntie Robyn on the day that you arrived. I think that it sums it all up so beautifully!

Her appearance marks a day so sweet when
both creators hold her close
and welcome her into a world of awe
both of their own and hers

When two become three
and three become infinite
everything is beautiful.

Auntie Robyn

Dress Up Skirts (Batch Two)

Ya'll, I did it! I made 4 more skirts in time to donate them to Samster Mommy's Tutu Drive!

I learned a lot the first time around. Also, I read another tutorial about little girl dress up skirts, and realized that there was a MUCH easier way to deal with slippery fabrics. I had been fighting with them in a single layer. Naively sliding fabric along my cutting mat and attempting to wrestle it into submission and straight lines as it slid off onto the floor. Well, if you fold and pin it:

your life will be so much easier. Mine was :-)

I decided to make 4 skirts in 4 different sizes. I even made tags for them so that I could tell them apart:

I wrote 'you are loved' on each tag. Have ya'll heard about The Hidden Messages in Water?

This go-round was much faster. I managed to completely finish 2 of them and get the other two to (tutu - heehee!) the 'layers assembled, time to iron down the casing' phase in less than 3 hours. I finished up the last 2 in about 30 to 45 minutes yesterday.

What's that? You want to see close-ups of the trim? Okey dokey:

Oh, and remember how I felt like Lily Ruth's skirts were too long for her tiny body? Well I made adjustments this time. These two skirts have the same length of fabric and the same length of elastic. The only difference is the height of the fabric layers.

Live and learn, right? I'll know for next time... and there WILL be a next time. I have black and orange for a Halloween skirt, and aqua for gift skirts. If you want one, you should let me know :-P

All that's left to do is to mail them off tomorrow! So excited!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mama Moments II

Today we went to the Children's Museum again! We took our friend Henry and his Mama Kerrie. The babies were in sensory overload from the minute we entered. This meant that Henry wanted to be down in the middle of it, and Lily Ruth wanted to be held while she buried her face and adjusted slowly. Instead of exploring the whole museum, the mamas decided to head over to the tiny tot spot where our guys could run and play without fear of being mowed down by an older child. As a bonus, it is MUCH quieter over there than in the main portion of the museum.

Lily Ruth and Henry ran and played for over an hour!

They started to wind down at almost the same time, so we put our shoes back on and headed for the cars. My darling one fell asleep before we hit the main road.

The Dilemma: I am now sitting in my car, in my driveway (with the air conditioning and radio running) while Lily Ruth snoozes in her carseat.

I made a quick dash inside, so now I have my laptop. I also have a book. Folks, this is not something that I would have ever considered doing before becomming a parent. It's just that I have learned the hard way that Lily Ruth does not transfer from sleeping in the car to sleeping in the house. If I move her now, she'll wake up IMMEDIATELY, and the nap will be over. And by over, I mean that she will not sleep again until bedtime.

The Outcome: I sat in the car for 50 minutes until she woke up. At this point in her life - and her sleep training - I would MUCH rather that she sleep than worry about all of the chores that I'm not able to do while we're in the car. Also, who do I think I'm kidding with that talk of chores? I'd just be on the computer or reading a book anyway...


You know how kids LOVE every single thing that you don't want for them to have? Well, as can be expected, Lily Ruth is obsessed with remote controls and cell phones. She is never allowed to play with remotes, but I do give her my phone to hold. I used to let her hold it while I talked (I would put the call on speaker phone), but she figured out how to press buttons, so now she hangs up on everyone and/or creates a conference call.

The Set-up: I was in the kitchen starting dinner. Lily Ruth and my phone were in the back room. Lily was watching Nick Jr. (bad mommy) so that I could wield a knife safely. My phone beeped with a 'new message' tone. I heard Lily Ruth start vocalizing with her 'talking on the phone' voice. I started talking back to her - 'hello', 'who is it?' 'daddy's calling'. She kept talking, so - on a lark -I asked her to bring me the phone.

The Outcome: Seriously, ya'll - SHE BROUGHT THE PHONE TO ME! I almost fell over! She came straight into the kitchen with the phone held to her ear. She was still talking into it. We were negotiating a handover when it beeped again. She thought that was hilarious since she was 'using' it at the time. Coincidence or not, this was one of the funniest things that has happened to us recently!

She just keeps on growing and changing faster than I can type! What a gift to bear witness to this. What a blessing to be mama to this amazing girl.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Dress Up Skirts (Batch One)

Alright. Show of hands - who knew that I was going to have trouble sleeping last night because I had not yet finished my skirt? Darn you obsessive-compulsive tendencies!

Before retiring for the night I had affixed all of the trim, completed each layer and pinned all 4 of the layers together. As I hung out in bed, my mind began turning a bazillion miles a minute, and I mentally made some adjustments. I decided that 4 layers of fabric was too much for a tiny skirt. I decided to take off the bottom (aqua) layer. Then I decided to use the aqua layer in another skirt. Then I had to decide what fabric to use with it. I decided on the white embroidered organza. Then I had to decide how to trim it since I had used the finished edge of the fabric already. I thought that there might be a coordinating ribbon in my sewing box, but I wasn't sure. It was REALLY hard not to get out of bed to check. It was AGES before my brain shut off!

Anywhooo - here are a few things that I learned while making this first batch of skirts:

- Slick fabrics SUCK. They are almost impossible (for me) to cut evenly. I ended up using my cutting mat & rotary cutter for most of it, and it was still really hard.
- This craft is very forgiving. Uneven edges blend into the 'fluffiness' of the skirt. This is good, since my edges were pathetically ragged.
- These skirts are fairly heavy as baby clothing goes. I used Lily Ruth's waist measurement, but due to their weight, these sit under her baby belly like she's a fat guy with an overhang instead of a stick-thin baby girl.
- The chart given lists 9" as the fabric height for Lily Ruth's size. This is too long. It looks cute, but is unwieldy - especially since it sits so low on her 'hips'. On the plus side, they will fit her for longer. It will be very easy to put larger elastic into the waist band.

Enough Lead-in. Here are the AWESOME finished products!!!

and individually:

and a close-up of the trim on the purple one (because it's so pretty):

and my model (who thought this was pretty funny!):

The verdict? I love these. I will definitely be making more to donate and for friends! I need to find a good source for trim. It took almost 2 yards of trim for each layer on a tiny skirt! Oh well - it was worth it :-)

Felt Purse Tutorial

Here it is! The adorable felt purse tutorial. You may or may not recall that I made the first one for our airplane trip. I loved it so much that I made a second (tiny) one. The second one was a lot harder because I was not deliriously throwing an ill advised craft together at the very last (panic filled, sleep deprived) second.

I actually took my time and tried really hard to care about things like straight seams and even edges. Whatever. It's felt. Felt is very forgiving. If you screw up, you can either snip off bits until it's fixed or throw it out and start over because crafting felt is so dang cheap.

I decided to create the tutorial because 1) I'm thrilled that I made this up out of my own (panic filled, sleep deprived) head and 2) I'm excited that it was so easy.

So here's what you need:

- felt pieces (29¢ at JoAnn) - get lots of pieces in lots of colors because it's hard to stop making felt things once you start
- disappearing fabric pens
- maybe ribbon for trim and/or something cute to sew on the front (applique or flower or buttons...)
- embroidery thread in a complementary color (get lots)
- I am in love with my rotary cutters and cutting mat. it saves a lot of time measuring and marking b/c you can just follow the lines on the mat...

Decide what size you want to make your bag. In theory, the front and back pieces could be as large as an entire rectangle of felt. For my first bag, I was using a color that I loved, but had a limited amount of, so that determined my bag size. For the second bag, I wanted it to be tiny and adorable, so I made each panel 1/4 of a felt rectangle.

Pick colors. I used different colors for the front and back panels on the first bag, used three colors for the sides/strap (supply issues), and lined it in white. I used matching panels for the second bag, used two colors for the sides/strap, and lined it in white. I like the fact that they look really homemade and whonky, and I feel like the white lining adds to that. By the way, you DO need to line the bag, or it will be too flimsy, and will probably not survive it's first week of use.

Whatever size you decide on for your bag, cut 4 pieces that size - 2 in the colors of your front and back panels, and 2 in the color of your lining.

Using the fabric pens, mark off a curve on one corner - this will be the bottom of the bag. Then fold that piece in half and use the line as your guide to trim both corners (so that they will match) like so:

Here's where the cutting tool and mat come in for the first time - if you have them, you can stack the felt and cut it flat. If not, use your original piece as a guide for trimming the other pieces one at a time:

If you are using ribbon as trim across the top or decoration on either or both panels, affix them now. I hand stitched the bird to the purple piece only then sewed one straight line through the ribbon, purple and white pieces:

Now you need to decide how deep you want the bag to be - this will also be the width of your strap. You will need pieces that are as wide as you want the bag to be deep. You will need enough of these pieces to go around 3 sides of your panel and still be long enough for the strap... see photos of finished bags for clarification...

For the tiny bag, I chose to make the sides/strap 1/4 of the width of a felt rectangle... so I cut a piece of felt into 4 equal strips down it's length.

Through the highly scientific process of 'eyeballing it', I decided that the length of 4 strips was perfect to go around my panels and still have a nice strap. SO, cut your strips for the outside, and cut strips of matching length and width for the lining.

Sew the strips into a loop with all of the seams facing the same direction:

See how I am cleverly showing you in a manner that is much more clear than all of the explaining I just did! Do the same sewing for the lining pieces.

*Note: the strips do NOT have to be the same length, just the same width! You could have 2 pieces, 4 pieces, 9 pieces, etc. as long as they all the same width and they equal the length that you have determined is perfect.

Iron the seams open on for both loops - TRUE STORY: if you turn the iron up too high, you will melt felt onto your iron, and then you will have to get even MORE creative as you attempt to remove the stuck-on felt bits before your husband accidentally irons red and purple felt onto one of his dress shirts... I'm just saying...

Slide the lining loop into the outer loop with the seams for both loops facing inward. I also offset the seams so that I would not have to sew through a bazillion layers at once:

Here's the only 'tricky' part. I pinned the middle of the bottom of the front panel to what I arbitrarily decided was the middle of the sides/strap piece. You will be pinning through 4 layers of felt:

This is the only part that I pin. The rest can be aligned as you sew. In fact, it is better not to pin for the rest of this project as 4 layers of felt means that you need to give it room to shift as you go along.

Starting in the middle (where you began pinning), sew the edges together. I used a 1/4 inch seam so that I could use the edge of my presser foot as my guide. You will need to go very slowly as you take the corner. Hold the layers together very tightly - moving your grip as you keep the edges together:

I sewed from the middle to the top of the panel (where the ribbon is), then from the middle again all the way around the other side then over the strap - finishing at the ribbon. You could choose NOT to sew around the strap at this time as we will be finishing all of the raw edges with a blanket stitch, but my blanket stitch is not that great, and I needed the machine line as a visual guide to keep it looking nice.

*Note: I used a contrasting color for my thread for the entire project (aqua). I did this for three reasons 1) I am lazy, and did not want to refill my bobbin, 2) the blanket stitch that I used to finish the bag hides most of the machine stitch, so it doesn't really matter and 3) I really like the amateur/homemade look of the whole thing.

Pin the back panel on, and repeat the sewing on that side:

Ya'll the bag is done! All that's left is a finishing embroidery stitch around the edges! Told you it was easy ;-)

So, you can find an awesome blanket stitch tutorial HERE (thanks AGAIN to Samster Mommy who showed it to me). I used this stitch aaaaaall the way around the larger purse and around the little purse except for the edge that has ribbon. Here is a close up of my blanket stitching:

Notice how I used my machine stitched line as my guide? :-)

Here are the finished bags:

with their straps twisted to show their colors:

and from the back - just because:

and of course - one with Lily Ruth :-) as she attempts to rid herself of the purse...


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dress Up Skirt Preview!

Let me just begin by saying (again) that I LOVE SAMSTER MOMMY! I went out today and bought (way too much) stuff to make THIS skirt.

My plan is to make one for Lily Ruth first to hone my technique. Then I plan to make one for Samster Mommy's Tutu Drive... and two more after that (look out Maddie & Lola!)

I have to share pictures of the fabric that I bought for these! Please keep in mind that the light is very weird today, and my dining room is poorly lit - the colors are MUCH more vibrant than the pictures show! When completed, each skirt will have 4 tiers. Each layer will be trimmed with the baubles pictured.

Keep you fingers crossed that these fabrics will be as gloriously mis-matched as I am hoping. My thought is that they will blend in a weird way once layered and finished out...

This will be my first experience working with slippery fabric, and my first time to mail off something that I made with my own hands. I am giddy with nerves and excitement! Giddy Up!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Nursing in Public

Art by Erika Hastings at

So, this week is Nursing Freedom's Carnival of Nursing in Public.

Here's the deal, friends. I am a nursing mother. I am still nursing my one year old. The majority of her food comes directly from my body. This will continue until she is ready to be weaned (and communicates that to me), or I am seriously ready to be done nursing - whichever comes first. The fact that I have found myself practicing 'extended breast feeding' (nursing past the first year... or even past 6 months these days...) brings me under some pretty opinionated scrutiny. Some are curious as to how we made it this far. Some are 'weirded out' by nursing (and almost exclusively nursing) this long (or at all). Some don't care what I do at all :-)

What has also happened, is that I have become a bit defensive about my decision. I am ready to stand tall and say it loud. 'I BREAST FEED. I DO IT ALL OF THE TIME.' - like that. Even if nobody challenges me. I have to be careful that I don't start lecturing from a soapbox that nobody's looking at. There's no need to be a pompous jerk about what I'm doing - it just happens to be a choice that I've made. I have had to work hard to make it this far, but that does not make me a better mother than anybody else. It just makes me ME.

Since I am a stay at home mother (THANK YOU, hubby!!!!), Lily Ruth and I have been able to create our routine in our own manner. We do what we like, when we like. If we want to be out, we're out. If it's time to go home, we go home. As a result, I have done very little nursing in public. I do not have a problem with nursing in public. I do it if I need to. I do not mind if any other woman chooses/needs to nurse in public. I DO, however, have body issues of my own (*ahem* - nipples - *cough*), and I have an alert, squirmy, social baby who does not stay put under a blanket or nursing cover. She also will not settle into nursing if there is a lot (alot :-P) of activity around her, so if she's hungry, I usually seclude us for our session so as to avoid public nudity.

Since you stuck with me this long, I guess I'll get to a point. I DO have a problem with strident public nursers. Example: We went to the Children's Museum this week. At one point, we were watching a friend and his son on one of the 'rides'. I turned my head as another parent came into view. She pushed her stroller around a corner into the area where we were standing. She pulled out a nursing cover. She freed a tiny baby from the stroller. She proceeded to nurse her infant while STANDING in a walkway. A WALKWAY, people. One that led to the building's ONLY elevator. She coupled the awkward placement with a hostile 'you wanna make something of it?' demeanor. I was irritated. This is a children's museum. You are allowed to sit on EVERYTHING in there. There was no need to stand where everyone else needs to pass. There was also no call for the glaring. She just seemed determined to shove everybody's nose into her business in the hopes that she could have a fight about her right to be there.

Of course, I'm not her. I have no idea what her reasoning was. Maybe she came around that corner expecting privacy, and simply couldn't wait another moment to get that infant latched on. Maybe she wasn't hostile, just awkward and embarrassed. I shouldn't judge - at all. It just struck a nerve for me.

I approve of nursing in public. I agree that as nursing mothers we must support each other and bring awareness to the fact that we have a legal right to nurse in public. I believe very strongly that nursing is natural, healthy, and WHAT BOOBS WERE MADE FOR. I am angered by all of the recent celebrity 'tweets' about how disgusting public nursing is. In a culture that has developed an almost slavish devotion to celebrity (yuck), I find this infuriating.

What I don't approve of is forcing your point of view on others. I don't like it in ANY group of people be they mothers, religious fanatics, politicians, cult leaders... whoever.

The truth is that exposed breasts make people very nervous in our culture. Even the possibility of an exposed breast or (*gasp*) nipple sends people into a frenzy - and not a good one. That is simply a current fact. I am not convinced that the way to change the way society views public nursing (or nursing at all) is to FORCE people to watch you nurse. What if we were to go about it in a way that is less aggressive. Just behave as if we were feeding an infant a bottle or even just holding our little darling close... especially since that's how I nurse when I'm NOT in public. I do not believe that if I want to support public nursing that I have to 'whip out' a boob in my favorite restaurant.

Well, it has happened again, I've run out of steam. I started out all 'hey, I've got a point!' and now I'm all 'oh, I am soooo tired'. Stupid Mastitis. I'll be so glad when I feel better and can complete a thought!!!! ooof. Oh well. At least I made more of a point than usual.

To sum up quickly (and poorly), Ya'll can expect to hear more nursing talk from me, but don't expect and gratuitous frontal nudity in public. I MAY however be feeding my daughter, and you may not even notice ;-) unless she plants one of her tiny feet in the center of my chest and starts twirling my hair... then it gets a bit more obvious...