Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Well, the month is up, and...

I haven't gotten everything on my list done. (Are you surprised?)

I didn't expect to get it all done, but just having the list gave me a sense of purpose and I think I accomplished more because of it. Here's what I did and didn't do:

1) Amy's challenge of ditching paper towels. I did pretty well on this. We had already mostly ditched them anyway, but we made an extra effort to use actual dishtowels whenever possible. We did use the paper ones a couple of times, like when we tie-dyed.

2) Make cloth hankies in order to give up tissues. I didn't make any, but I did find some brand-new hankies we bought forever ago in a bag, so now I don't need to. I consider this item done.

3) Sew my own pads. I finally found the perfect pad pattern. Now all I need to do is make minor adjustments according to my preferences and I'll be all set!

4) Write post about making pads. Yikes. Haven't even started.

5) Find a good deal on some plain white onesies, possibly at consignment sale. Did I ever. A whole pile of them.

6) Tie-dye said onesies. We did a few of them, but still have most of them to go. I can only tie-dye for so long before I get tired, and the shirts won't look as good.

7) Make Suzi's play kitchen. The bright orange wooden boxes we plan to use for this are still sitting out on the front porch. I'm sure the neighbors appreciate that!

8) Finish sanding Suzi's block set. Ha, no.

9) Get the dining room cleaned out. Yep, I did this one!!!

10) Do a second giveaway on my blog. Done. I'm now on my third.

11) Set a schedule for monthly giveaways. I decided to do at least one a month, and not worry about the date. The date will depend on opportunities for publicizing, such as the Bloggy Giveaways Carnival coming up at the end of October (block out your calendars, ladies!).

12) Figure out how to publicize giveaways. I think I've got this one under control between Prizey, Prize-a-Tron and Contest Blogger. Also, giving extra entries for blogging is a major help!

13) Learn three new recipes. I learned Black Bean and Salsa Soup, Cheese Muffins, and Spinach & Feta Hummus. The first two I'll be making again (and again); the third, not so much.

14) Make tutus. Nope.

15) Take Suzi's picture wearing tutu and BabyLegs. Nope.

16) Do a post on tutus and BabyLegs. Nope.

17) Start walking regularly with Suzi. Nope. Lugging out the big stroller is a bit of a hassle, I have to say.

18) Break in my running shoes (by walking, I mean!). Not even close.

19) Make Suzi's handprint (with a kit we have). Well, I thought about it. Does that count? We may wait until she's 18 months old, since that's a landmark age.

I did get other things done; for instance, I made four baby slings! These will be good for me and Suzi to use and the others I will use as giveaways or donate to No Mother Left Behind. I also wrote a fairly time-consuming post for the Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog's September Carnival. Overall, even though my list is half-done, I think I had a productive month!

October's to-do list coming soon.

And now for some links to my other blog:

My thoughts on babywearing for beginners
How our first tie-dye session went
23 questions about Suzi's birth (I will post this on here soon)

It's almost October! Woo-hoo!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Earthlust Bottles: beautiful, simple, green (Updated with winner!)

The winner of this giveaway is:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2008-10-19 04:10:13 UTC


I have already emailed her and she has until Thursday to send her info.

Thanks to all who entered, and thanks to Earthlust for the awesome giveaway!

Ever since the recent ban of BPA-laden products, I've been in the market for a new water bottle. Because I am picky it has taken me this long to find just the right one. I refuse to drink from anything with a "sports top." (I'm an adult, you know? I don't need a sippy cup.) I liked the idea of stainless steel, but didn't want anything with multiple layers because water tends to get trapped between them. And of course, I didn't want anything ugly.

When I found the Earthlust line of stainless steel bottles, I was in love. They weren't just affordable; they were everything I could want in a water bottle and more. My only problem was trying to pick my favorite design out of all the beautiful choices. I finally decided on the Red Crow. I was drawn to it, and besides, it matches my purse, see?

Here are my favorite things about my new Earthlust bottle:

1) It's beautiful. I don't see any reason why we can't incorporate beauty into everything in our lives. Just because an item is utilitarian by nature doesn't mean it can't reflect our personal style. My favorites are the Red Crow and the smaller Growing Tree.

2) The design is simple. I decided against several other brands purely because they featured multi-layer designs and/or complicated caps. All I wanted was something that would last a long time, be easy to clean, and would not leak, and that's what I got! The lid screws off to reveal a plain but perfectly contoured opening, making it easy to enjoy your drink without spilling, even if you're walking or riding in a car.

3) The lid makes this bottle convenient. As a mom, I rarely find myself with a free hand for carrying a drink. I usually have Suzi in one arm and at least one bag in the other! The lid on my Earthlust bottle seals tight (I turned it upside down to test it!), which allows me to throw it into a bag without worrying about soaking all my stuff. (Or me. Once on my way to work my insecure drink toppled over into my seat. I almost had to go home and change.) Even better, the lid has a mini-carabiner clip attached so you can clip it to a backpack or bag. You could even hook your keys to it. It's a good way to keep everything together.

4) It's safe for us and for the environment. I have peace of mind knowing my water is not steeping in toxic plastic. Earthlust bottles are made of high-quality stainless steel and adorned with non-toxic paint. They allow you to forgo a disposable bottle of water and keep a ton of waste from going to landfills. (And that's not all. Did you ever think of how much fuel it takes to ship all that bottled water to stores? Bottled water is not green!)

I know you are wishing you had an Earthlust Bottle of your very own. Good news! Earthlust has kindly agreed to give one reader the bottle of their choice. To enter, all you have to do is take a look at their designs and leave a comment on this post saying which one other than the Red Crow is your favorite. For one extra entry, blog about this contest and leave a separate comment with the link to your post. If your email address isn't posted in your blogger profile, please remember to leave it in your comment. I will accept entries until 11:59 pm on Saturday, October 18, at which time the winner will be chosen randomly. I will email the winner requesting a mailing address and if I don't hear back within four days I will draw again. Good luck!

If you don't win or just want to buy an Earthlust Bottle now, you can do that online at Nubius Organics or Online Fitness (I got mine at Nubius).

Friday, September 26, 2008

Oh, Table! I never thought I'd see you again!

I don't know about you, but my house is not constantly company-ready. I clean when I know someone is coming. If you were supposed to come over at 5:00 and popped in at 4:45 instead, you'd find me frantically vacuuming up cracker crumbs and pitching dishes into the dishwasher at warp speed. I've tried to commit to FlyLady but I just keep falling off the wagon! Anyway, at Cheryl's request, here is my biggest mess:

In case you can't tell, this is my dining room. I know it looks crazy, but let me explain. I love to make things, but it's hard to find the time. I generally only work on a project for a few minutes before I have to get back to caring for Suzi. I figured, what's the point of cleaning this stuff up just to pull it back out again in a day or two?

Therefore, this one table was covered with tulle for tutus, flannel for pads, cotton fabric for slings, t-shirts to tie-dye, and a bunch of odd stuff like laundry and clutter which hadn't quite reached its destination. When I started to work on a project it was aggravating because there wasn't a square inch of table that wasn't covered.

Luckily, I got motivated to clean it up after watching an episode of Clean House. I love Miss Niecy. I set the timer for 15 or 20 minutes at the time (a FlyLady thing) and focused all my energy on it. I organized each project into its own grocery bag or neat stack, and now I can just pull one out at the time. It'll be so much easier to work now! Here's the time lapse:

I feel like there should be fireworks going off, or a parade or something.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Banana baby

Bananas have long been Suzi's favorite food. Tonight, in order to have our hands free, we allowed her to hold the banana herself for the first time. Jordan and I high-fived each other and continued eating our soup. But then it came time to pull the peel down. There was only a little nub left so I took the whole peel off and handed the rest of the banana to her. Well, she had a fit; she wanted the peel back. After trying to reason with her and then trying to ignore her, we eventually gave it to her. What could it hurt, right? She sat there happy as a clam holding the peel in one hand and eating the banana from the other. Then when she finished the actual banana, she started to nibble on the edge of the peel. I started to take it away, but then remembered the high-pitched wails from before and decided to let her figure it out for herself. "AAAAAH!" she exclaimed with her tongue out, nose crinkled, shaking her head. I wish I had a video.

Do I really see what's in her mind?
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Just-in-time Wordless Wednesday: Try these on for size

Yogurt pants

I got an email at work that they'd be offering one free yoga class followed by an inexpensive eight-week session. So I went shopping and bought a pair of yoga pants; I wanted some anyway. Jordan teases me and calls them "yogurt pants." Yesterday afternoon, Vicky and I went to our first "easy" yoga class. Despite giggles and wide-eyed warnings from friends, it really wasn't that challenging. We spent most of the half hour lying on the floor. The teacher is a tiny little southern blonde lady named Rosalinda. "If you can sit down on the floor and get back up," she said, "you can take this class!" I felt so good after the easy class that I almost wanted to stay for the regular (level one) class. But when I asked her about the difficulty level she mentioned headstands (!) so I decided to go on home.

So we're going to do the eight-week easy class, and who knows? Maybe next time we'll be ready for the regular one! I am excited to learn some cool-looking poses. In a few years when I'm homeschooling Suzi, I'd love to be able to do yoga with her as part of P.E. I sure wish they would've let me do yoga in middle school instead of stupid volleyball. I probably would've been more popular.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Let's take our perverted society to school

I am proud for this article to be a part of Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog's September Carnival of Breastfeeding!

A few nights ago I was holding Suzi as she squirmed uncomfortably and whined. Her daddy pointed out that she might want to breastfeed. "Tell her you want the boobie," he said to Suzi. She looked at me and smiled, then pointed her chubby little finger at my breast and said booh-bee. She got such a kick out of calling it by name, and her proud little smile just melted my heart. At the same time, though, a wave of panic came over me. Was she going to use this word for it everywhere? In front of friends and, worse, family? The glazed, irritated expressions of half my distant relatives flashed through my mind. They would surely be whispering "by the time a kid can ask for it, it's time to wean her, for gosh sakes!" Did I really want to subject myself to all that scrutiny?

It took about twenty minutes for me to decide to place my daughter's needs ahead of theirs.

Rewind twenty years or so. A mother whose daughter I went to school with was attending storytime at the library with a group of five-year-olds and their mothers. Her toddler son (about two and a half years old) was there as well. During the reading, the little boy walked up to his mother and requested tit. She obliged, and for the past two decades has served as anecdotal evidence of Mothers Who Breastfeed Too Long. Little did we know she was extending the benefits of breastfeeding for her son. I never even noticed their nursing session was taking place, but my mom seemed to think everyone else saw her "flop her boob out" and feed him. This toddler-nurser wasn't like the other mothers. My mom weaned me when I was five months old, and I'd wager most of the other moms in our group weaned by then as well, if they breastfed at all. The long-term breastfeeding mom ended up raising a high-school valedictorian. The other mothers did not. She must have been doing something right!

Because of this experience and the dialogue that followed, I spent two decades of my life thinking extended breastfeeding was gross and weird. Imagine my surprise when I turned into one of those mothers myself. It was never my intention; my original goal was to breastfeed for six months. Then a year. As Suzi's first birthday approached it became more and more obvious that her heart would be broken if I weaned her so abruptly. So here I am, breastfeeding a 15-month-old with no end in sight. I know in my heart it's best for her. How else can I ensure that if I get a stomach bug, she won't? (It's happened.) When she refuses to eat anything but Ritz crackers, how can I be sure she's getting any decent nourishment? I love my little girl and I will nurse her for as long as she needs.

And I am not alone. Amy at Crunchy Domestic Goddess wrote a brilliant post on nursing a preschooler. She prefaced it with this thought:

While I’m OK with the fact that I am [nursing my preschooler], it’s not something I try to draw attention to either... It’s not the most socially acceptable thing to do here in the USA... Maybe [this article] will keep another mom nursing a preschooler from feeling like she’s the only one in the world doing it. It’s just something so few people talk about.

This sentiment is common among mothers nursing older children, as they are faced with an impossible choice: Do I deny my child this irreplaceable nourishment and bonding, or do I go against the grain of society? If she chooses to continue breastfeeding she may become a pariah, but if she stops nursing before she and her child are ready she is not following her maternal instincts, which can be agonizing and harmful.

For example, I read about one nursing mother whose three-year-old son had leukemia. Breastfeeding became vitally important to them. Had she weaned him at the age society expects she would not have been able to offer him the comfort, nutrition, or protection of breastfeeding during the most painful and frightening time of his life. After chemotherapy treatments, breastmilk may be one of the few things a child can digest without vomiting!

In The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers, Dr. Jack Newman debunks the ridiculous theory that once a baby reaches six months, mother's breastmilk is devoid of any value and the mother is only continuing to nurse the baby because she is "getting something out of it." As he points out, the idea that a mother derives sexual pleasure from nursing a child is symptomatic of a perverted society (see Chapter 19, "Breastfeeding the Toddler”). People have grown accustomed to the idea that breasts are primarily for pleasing men, and are only on loan to babies for six-month stretches.

It is widely known that the AAP recommends breastfeeding for at least a year, and longer if it is mutually desired by mother and child. The World Health Organization recommends nursing for two years. The general public implores us to wean ASAP. Our society is in desperate need of remedial education on the purpose of women's breasts. I am so thankful that I live in a state where women can breastfeed anytime and anywhere, covered or not, no matter how old the child is, and I plan to continue exercising my right to do so. However, the law is no help at all for mothers who crave acceptance from their friends, families, and even strangers.

I am a member of our local breastfeeding coalition and will begin teaching a Breastfeeding Basics class for expectant parents in November. Last month I attended the class a friend was teaching to prepare myself. At the end of the class we showed a short video to reiterate the points covered, and it featured a number of nursing mother-baby pairs. When a nursing toddler came onto the screen there were audible snickers. I thought, what are they laughing about? Then I remembered they had probably never seen a baby nursing, let alone a toddler--and if they had it was probably not in the context of acceptance. Although their giggles made me feel like I was in ninth grade sex ed class again, I couldn't blame them. Most people have never heard of nursing an older child and have no idea why anyone would want to do it. Below are a few ideas nursing moms can put into practice to help these people learn.

1) Integrate dialogue about nursing into your children's daily lives. First impressions are hard to overcome, so it helps if children learn at an early age that breastfeeding is the norm. Instead of buying your child a baby doll with a bottle, buy one without. Then teach the child that babies are fed from mommy's breasts. If your child is a girl you can even let her pretend to nurse the baby. I have friends whose children do this and it's a refreshing change. Remembering the hundreds of times I fed my own dolls a bottle, it's no wonder I had to work to overcome my attitudes about breastfeeding! Society had set me up to think breastfeeding was the exception and bottlefeeding the rule. Breastfeeding dialogue will probably come naturally if there is a baby sibling involved, or if a child is breastfed long enough to discuss it. Children won't think breastfeeding at any age is unusual until someone tells them it is!

2) Breastfeed your toddler in public as you are comfortable. This doesn't mean "whipping out a boob" as some people like to phrase it; I am discreet and half the time no one but savvy fellow moms realize I am nursing. You never know when a nursing mom whose child is nearing the one-year mark is going to see you. Your actions may plant a seed of thought in her head and empower her to keep nursing if she was previously unsure of what to do. Furthermore, people need to witness real moms nursing toddlers. While reading Mothering Magazine I came across an article about breastfeeding as portrayed in movies ("Reel Milk" by Sarah Rubenstein-Gillis, Sept-Oct 2008). The most prominent depictions of nursing are comical; for example, a man might accidentally drink a little breastmilk and then spew it dramatically across the room when he realizes it is not cow's milk. If this is the only information routinely given to the public about breastfeeding, it should be no surprise that they are getting the impression breastfeeding is embarrassing and makes people uncomfortable. The more people realize how ordinary and pleasant an experience it can be for mother, child and onlookers alike, the closer it will come to being the norm. There are, of course, times when mothers are asked by an ignorant employee to discontinue a nursing session. At least it is preferable, though, when the mother being victimized is confident and familiar with her rights and can stand up for herself. It's hard to say how many inexperienced, timid moms must be humiliated and inconvenienced, perhaps even pressured to end their nursing relationships, before the first mom comes along and fights back. Most occurrences of this kind end with an apology to the mother and the news coverage they often attract serves to further educate the general public on the legal rights of breastfeeding moms.

3) Don't let anyone get away with publicly condemning mothers who choose to nurse their toddlers. Back when I was still the inexperienced mother of an infant, I read a Babytalk Magazine article in which nursing a toddler was portrayed in a negative way. The author said she saw a woman in a park breastfeeding her "sturdy toddler" and thought "Yuck! She really should wean that kid." At the time, I silently reassured myself that Suzi would be finished nursing by twelve months. Then, a couple of issues later, a reader wrote in to say she was angry about the article. Since Babytalk is usually so supportive of breastfeeding, she viewed the attitudes in the article as a step in the wrong direction. Her comment pointed me in the direction I needed to go. More importantly, if a mainstream magazine runs an unfavorable article and is subsequently flooded with emails from concerned readers, perhaps next time they will publish something more helpful. Since so many moms read these inexpensive or free magazines, getting them to commit their support to long-term breastfeeding is a major victory.

4) Debunk the myths whenever you get a chance. Many people discontinue their nursing relationships for what they think are good reasons. "He was getting teeth!" is a popular one. While some babies may bite their mothers, mine rarely has. I thought I'd have to wean once Suzi had opposing teeth growing in, but it turns out I was worried over nothing. The times I have been bitten were not as bad as I'd expected; some mothers expect blood and gore to be intrinsic to nursing a toddler, but it's just not so in the majority of cases.

5) Talk about it! In November when I start teaching our local Breastfeeding Basics class I will be proud to mention that my toddler is still nursing. When I was pregnant with Suzi, a mom in the breastfeeding coalition mentioned she nursed her daughter until she turned two, and she would have nursed longer had she not been planning to try for another baby and didn't want to wean during her pregnancy. Although I was a bit shocked at the time, her mention of nursing her toddler was highly instrumental in my decision to continue nursing Suzi. Now I can appreciate what an amazing role model she is.

If we breastfeed our toddlers and talk about it rather than keeping it hidden for the sake of our prudish society’s sensibilities, more and more people will realize how beneficial it is. I hope that one day children will grow up not batting an eye when they see a woman breastfeeding her two- or three-year-old. Until then, we have some work to do!

Want to read more about breastfeeding education? Check out the other articles in Motherwear's Carnival at these blogs:

Beautiful Letdown
Motherwear Blog
Hobo Mama
Breastfeeding 1-2-3
Breastfeeding Mums
Poked and Prodded
Stop Drop and Blog
Nurturing Notes

Making ordinary things beautiful

Bet you can't guess what we're going to do tomorrow!

As expected, the consignment sale brought good deals on a pile of white onesies, all in different sizes. Scratch that off my list. We bought rubber bands, gloves and some Rit dye and we will be tie-dyeing tomorrow, probably in the kitchen (where there's no carpet). I learned to tie-dye from my 11th grade Chemistry teacher Mr. DuBose. I left that class with two spiral-dyed t-shirts, one of which I wore to have my wisdom teeth removed the following year. Ouch. (Is it strange I remember that?)

I also tie-dyed with my friend Megan in our church circle. As a matter of fact, we tie-dyed our underwear. Megan is pretty deep and came up with a lovely Christian reference: God takes ordinary things and makes them beautiful for us, and that's what we were doing. We took our ordinary white underwear and made them bright and beautiful. At the same time I made Suzi this little onesie:

Wasn't she a little pumpkin? She was just four months old. I hope the t-shirts we do tomorrow will be this good!

Visit my other blog to see the even more amazing consignment sale deal my mom got today!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Well, she's not shy

On Wednesday Suzi and I met Beth, Elaina and friends at the park in Clemson. They have Picnic in the Park there every Wednesday in September and April. I am ashamed to say I didn't take a single picture, but Beth did. There's even one of Suzi in there (with her hair flying wild, as usual).

I do have a cute story to tell, though. As it neared 2:00 and parents and kids began to pack up and go home, Suzi spotted a little boy who looked between three and four years old. She smiled and began following him around. As he stood looking at her, she walked up within a yard of him and said "boo." I don't think she was trying to scare him; she was just making conversation. But he ran away. He came back later and while they were both standing by the climbing wall, she suddenly threw her arms around him and gave him a big hug! He looked shocked, so I assured him that it meant she liked him. He smiled and said "She's my friend. She's almost my girlfriend, but I hate to say it, but I already have a girlfriend I'm gonna marry." Not even potty trained yet and she's already flirting with the boys!

Another cute thing she does now is pretending to cook food for us. The other night we were sitting on my mom's couch watching Hairspray and Suzi grabbed the DVD case. She wiggled her little fingers inside the case and then plucked out imaginary food. She stuck her whole hand in my mouth to feed me and then drew it back, eagerly looking for my reaction. ("Mmm! So good!") Then she fed Daddy some, and even Grandma got a taste of Suzi's yummy cooking. We have to get to work on her kitchen (it's on my list for September) and then she can make us even more yummy meals!

Being Suzi's mommy just gets better and better.

(Go here to find out what to do for fun on a Monday night, and here to see my great deal from the Anderson consignment sale!)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Go Tigers! / Sleepy Tiger Cub

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My little apronista

My lovely daughter kicked me out of bed at 5:00 this morning. She rolled up against me and whined, and I figured I was going to have to breastfeed her. I got up to go to the bathroom first and by the time I came back, she was asleep. Across half the bed. Boy, will I be glad to get her into her own bed, even if it is in our room still (more on that later). But I did get all the dishes done, and now I have time to blog!

One of our yard sale finds from Saturday was this apron set. We found them at a local Christian thrift store.

And this is an apron my mom made for me when I was a little girl. She had some fabric left from making curtains for her first grade classroom. I found it in a box about a month ago.

Suzi loves her aprons!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ring giveaway winners!

I drew the winners for my giveaway, and here they are: bison61 (the first ring) and huguette (the second two rings). I had to write the names on actual pieces of (recycled) paper and draw by hand so it would be fair between the two prizes. I've already emailed them, but I'm keeping the other slips so if I don't hear back by Friday night I can draw again!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

To be more giving

During church today, several of the prayers and hymns were centered on the theme of being more giving and loving. It inspired me to get started on a project I've been excited about ever since I heard of it a few days ago.

As you know, I recently learned to make baby slings. It's been like no other project I've ever attempted; I instantly understood the instructions, the needle glided smoothly over the fabric, and in just minutes I sat holding something that can bring peace into a stormy parent-child relationship. I feel so lucky to have had the use of slings during Suzi's fussy "fourth trimester" phase. A ride next to our hearts in the sling would often calm her when no amount of rocking or bouncing would.

Unfortunately, not all women have $50 to buy a sling, and most of them don't have a sewing machine either. This is why I was so glad to read about No Mother Left Behind: a volunteer organization which collects donated slings and redistributes them to mothers who need them. Just think--this organization could be the difference between an overwhelmed mother shaking her baby in frustration, or finding relief in soothing the baby in her sling.

They accept gently-used slings, slightly imperfect seconds from companies, and hand-made slings from individuals. I am waiting to hear back for more info on how to contribute (like what sizes they need most), but I am hoping to make some slings to donate. From what I've seen at work, I feel quite certain there are mothers right here in our community who need slings, too.

God has provided the skill, an outlet, and even fabric. Weeks ago I bought gobs of fabric for just a couple of dollars at a yard sale; at the time, I didn't know what it was for. Yesterday I found a roll of sturdy decorator fabric (at least four slings' worth) for $3 at Goodwill. I know there is more out there if I just look!

I think it would be fun to have a sling-making workshop. I don't know when or where, but we could bring our sewing machines, teach others to make slings, and make a bunch of them together! Let me know if you are interested!

P.S. To see how Suzi hurt my feelings at church today, read my post over at Mothering Without a Manual.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Jenny's got a brand new blog

Please see the first post on my new blog, Mothering Without a Manual, which is among ten blogs featured on Anderson Independent's website! I am excited and proud to have a blog there.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sewing machine is getting a workout

Suzi and I are both happy with this one! It's made of flannel, so it will be perfect for this fall and winter. I made it a little big so we can both wear a sweater. Soon it will have a twin and I may do a giveaway with that one. Next, as Emily suggested, maybe I will look for some orange fabric and make Jordan a gameday sling!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Stand back, I can make slings now!

I just made my first two baby slings! The possibilities are endless; I keep thinking of all the fabric I have stored away which can now fulfill its destiny. I used these directions from ida.net and love the way my sling turned out, even though my fabric wasn't quite 45" wide. I am used to a hotsling, so it didn't bother me that my sling was a little shallower. I thought I'd take some pictures and add in my two cents here.

1) I measured from my shoulder to my hip and got 23". Double that was 46, plus 6 was 52". As luck would have it, that was the exact length of my fabric! It was a remnant (my favorite way to buy). Stacie's instructions said a 45" wide piece of fabric could make two slings, but I made two slings even though my fabric was several inches short of that. I just grabbed the nearest available piece of already washed fabric since I didn't want to wait.

2) When hemming the two long edges, I folded it over twice so no edges were hanging out. It made it look nicer. That is probably obvious to all you sewing ladies.

3) I folded the fabric in half, wrong sides together, so the raw edges met. Then I folded it in half again and drew a line where I wanted to cut my "smiley face." The ida.net directions say you should end up about 2-3 inches above where you started.

4) My smiley face was a little pointy, but I fixed it after unfolding.

5) I sewed the smiley edge together...

6) Then I learned how to do a French seam! (I'd never heard of it until now.)

7) Then I sewed down where the hems met the seam, and on my first one I even reinforced that with a little zigzagging over the crack. Now I realize that was overkill.

I am just in awe of how simple this was. I didn't even make a mistake! Go here for the full directions and her diagrams. Thanks Stacie!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Suzi tailgating

Monday, September 8, 2008

Three rings giveaway!

Well, I can scratch this off my list now! (Thanks for the nudge, Emily!) Here is my September giveaway: three sterling silver rings. I found them at a yard sale, and even though they didn't fit me they were so pretty (and such a good deal, I might add) I just had to have them! They are all, I would guess, around a size 6.5.

There will be two winners. One will win the ring in the top picture (it's my favorite), and the other will win the other two rings.

TO WIN: Please leave a comment telling me if you would rather have the one top ring or the other two rings. That part is required. If you want you can also tell me the best thing you ever found at a yard sale. This time I am willing to ship anywhere! Be sure to leave a way for me to contact you, either through a blog or with an email address. I will accept entries until 11:59 pm on Sunday, September 14th. Winners will be chosen randomly. I will email the winners and if I don't hear back within four days I will draw again.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

End of round one; I win

Today we went to pick up our unsold items and our check from the consignment sale. It's over, and I'd be sad if there weren't an Anderson sale September 16-20. Among my favorite finds are...

A Cabbage Patch Kid preemie, $3.00. Suzi's eyes lit up when she saw her new "bay." She loves babies, just like I did when I was a little girl. I did throw away the lame bottle that came with the doll, though. As we all know, breast is best--especially for a preemie!

Lots of cute clothes in my favorite brands: BabyGap, Old Navy, Children's Place, and (sometimes, when it's not too dorky) OshKosh.

Suzi especially likes her blue Children's Place "yoga set." I wanted to try it on her to see if it would fit, and as I expected, it was a little big. When I undressed her and tried to find another outfit, Suzi started to cry and threw the yoga set in my lap to put back on her. Then she was happy again. Silly girl. You can't tell her anything.

I found an adorable little hat and mitten set. Suzi loves these already!

We had previously been making Suzi a naptime pallet on the floor using a couple of blankets. (At night she sleeps in our bed, but she can't be left up there alone.) Now we have this lovely sheep mat, which I got on half-price day for $7.50.

I spent $135.89 at the regular sale and $34.24 on half-price day for a total of $170.13. I do not plan on spending half that much at the Anderson sale. We do have a few things that didn't sell which I am going to mark down a buck or two and try to sell again, though. At the Clemson sale I made $181.20, so I got all new stuff for Suzi, decluttered, and made $11.07! I am happy and so thankful for Kim and her family who created this wonderful thing.

Babywearing Bonanza!

Head on over to Simple Things and check out this cool event. Andrea is interviewing the creators of different baby carriers and even giving one of each away on her blog! Hurry, because the giveaways end soon (one is over tonight at midnight). She is featuring the Posh Papoose, Slinglings, Peekaru Original (fleece vest for keeping babies in carriers warm), Sleepy Wrap, and Kozy Carrier.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

In case you wanted to be just like her...

This is Sarah Palin's hotsling pattern: Reversible Ingrid, which is black on the other side. $60 at hotslings.com or better yet (if you're local) at Jennie G's (get coupon). We might have to order your size.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Chocolate Delight

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

To-do list for September

You know that feeling you get after a day completely filled with projects and work? Exhausted and maybe filthy, but happy, because you took on a healthy list of chores and finished them. Almost like you are on such a roll you could keep right on going. That's the feeling I want to have this month, and here's what I'm going to do to get it:

1) Get cracking on Amy's challenge of ditching my paper towels--and I encourage you to visit her site and commit to ditching one of your "sposie" items too. Come on! I think everyone has one little thing they could give up. It won't kill you.
2) Make cloth hankies in order to give up tissues
3) Sew my own wingless pads
4) Sew mommy pads and winged pads from patterns
5) Write post about making pads
6) Find a good deal on some plain white onesies, possibly at consignment sale
7) Tie-dye said onesies
8) Make Suzi's play kitchen
9) Finish sanding Suzi's block set
10) Get the dining room cleaned out
11) Do a second giveaway on my blog
12) Set a schedule for monthly giveaways
13) Figure out how to publicize giveaways
14) Learn three new recipes
15) Make tutus
16) Take Suzi's picture wearing tutu and BabyLegs
17) Do a post on tutus and BabyLegs
18) Start walking regularly with Suzi
19) Break in my running shoes (by walking, I mean!)
20) Make Suzi's handprint (with a kit we have)

Jordan will help with some of these, by actually doing them with me or just by watching Suzi for me. Some of this stuff may have to wait until October, but I think it's doable in September if I turn the TV off and chip away at it a little each day.

Consignment sale today! Woo-hoo!!!