Friday, May 30, 2008

BabyLegs Sew Golden Contest!

(And now for a completely shameless advertisement for work, which does, in fact, interest me personally so I don't feel bad putting it on here:)

From June 1 - July 15, 2008, BabyLegs is holding a contest. Specially marked "Sew Golden" packages of BabyLegs will be randomly stuffed with prizes. The grand prize is a fabulous trip to the home of BabyLegs in Seattle, Washington! In addition to the grand prize, ten companies including Moby Wrap and See Kai Run will be giving out goodies! Read all about this exciting contest here.

We don't know what awesome prizes may be lying beneath the wrappers of our BabyLegs at Jennie G's, but we do know some customers will win a buy-one-get-one-free pair! Jennie G's is also holding a little drawing of its own. One lucky customer will win a Sky Gift Set! This adorable set of three is pictured above.

Here's how you can enter to win:

You'll get one entry for every pair of BabyLegs you purchase during the contest period. You can also earn entries by helping to spread the word! Mention Jennie G's and the Sew Golden contest in your blog for two entries, or email this info to five of your friends (in the area, please) for one entry! (Limit of five total entries for the emailing option.) Do just one or all three--it's up to you. If you blog about it, email me the post link or leave the link in the comments. For emails, please CC a copy of the forward to me ( This contest is only open to customers in the brick-and-mortar Jennie G's Boutique of Anderson. But don't worry! If you're out of town here's a list of other participating retailers (some of them e-tailers).

Good luck!

Labor Day is over! Happy Birthday Suzi!

Last night one year ago I pushed and pushed, and finally got her out. I can't believe she's one year old already! We sang Happy Birthday to her when she woke up and I already got the crying out of the way. (Me... not Suzi.) Here's her first birthday picture:

AWW! My baby is ONE!

Tomorrow, we party.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"It's not a fanny pack! It's a sporran!"

That's what you'd have to be insisting to all your friends if you were sporting this little number. While picking out Jordan's sporran, we ran across this fashion faux pas masquerading as a "sport sporran."

"Sport sporran? That sounds nice," I said upon hearing the name but before viewing the goods. Then I saw it.

Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining. I was born in '84. That is a fanny pack! When I looked more closely at the description on the website, they billed it as such apparently as a selling point. Jordan and I had a little walk down memory lane thinking of our own multicolored fanny packs, which were what we had to wear on family trips, like when my parents took me to Disney World and when Jordan's took him to Colonial Williamsburg. I wore mine everywhere, but I can't remember what I put in it. Probably rocks or a Barbie. I remember going to work with my dad one day and him telling me "Now don't call it a fanny pack in front of anyone. It's a hip sack." My mom even tried to make me wear one on a high school trip to Six Flags, convinced it was the only safe way to store money and personal items while riding rollercoasters. But thankfully I'd already sent it to Goodwill right along with my slap bracelets.

What about you? Did you rock a fanny pack? I wonder what the embarrassing fad item will be for Suzi's generation...

Maybe these are the hot new thing in Scotland and I'm just an idiot.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My Cast of Carriers

This is in response to a post on Adventures in Babywearing, one of my favorite blogs! Pictured above is my entire stash. So, yearbook-photo style, here they are from top left:

1) Mei Tai made by me and my mama. Has received compliments for its beauty, but comfort--not so much.
2) Ellaroo Mei Tai bought from Kelly. Reversible to plain black, fits me and Jordan.
3) Moby Wrap bought from Julie. I have nothing but warm, fuzzy feelings for this one and I wish I had one in every color!
4) ModMum Sling won from Bloghunt. Let me hold Suzi in a near-cradle position when she was really too big, but didn't want to be in the hip position. Great for breastfeeding, and it was free!
5) Hot Pink Shimmer Hotsling. My first-ever carrier, given to me by our former retail manager, Dawn. I registered for it at Jennie G's.
6) Dots Hotsling. Bought it at JG's after I realized I'd lost enough weight to fit into a size 3.
7) Jordan's manly Hotsling. This one helped him soothe Suzi in the early days. And it was cute too.
8) Reversible Kaleidoscope Hotsling. The reversible hotslings are so supportive and I enjoyed this one, particularly for learning the hip position.

Seeing them all lined up like that makes me so happy. There are some things in life I feel guilty for having too many, like shoes, but I don't feel guilty about these. I needed every single one! They have helped me joyfully bond with my daughter and for that they are priceless. Let me know if you are in the area and need to borrow a sling to try out. I just can't part with the wrap or mei tai right now because they get me through each day.

What I'd like next: I've never had a podaegi, so I'd love to try one of those. Other than that, I'd like to make a carrier of some sort. I love all the ones I have but it's so fulfilling to make something myself! (I'll have to make the next one anyway, because for some reason Jordan's gotten the idea that I have enough carriers already.)

This post is compliments of Suzi's nap! Here are some pictures I snapped while she was out. The impression of her hand and foot are from her birthday, May 30, 2007. Can you believe this? I highly recommend having an impression made. It's hard to straighten out little fingers for the do-it-yourself plaster ones, and I absolutely treasure ours. It's about 30 bucks; just pay it. If you're at AnMed there's a sweet lady who comes around and does it in the room. If you can only afford pictures or this, I'd skip the pictures. That's what we did.

And yeah... That is a Santa blanket. It's so cuddly I decided to keep the spirit alive year-round.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Crunchy Carolina, and Suzi swings!

First, I'm so proud to have an article I wrote in the first issue of the online newsletter Crunchy Carolina! Yay! I'm sure I'll learn and grow a lot from reading the other articles.

Suzi's Nana and Papa came today to put up her swing set. I didn't get a good picture of the whole thing, but it's a sturdy wooden four-swinger with a landing and a slide, and it was given to us for free! Jordan and his dad worked their butts off all afternoon to put that smile on Suzi's little face (see above). I'm pretty sure Jordan and Suzi are passed out in the recliner about now.

Speaking of the recliner, which is practically the only new piece of furniture we own, and we bought it last year to rock our baby... Well, it's officially earned its title of wise purchase.

See what I mean?

We are mostly finished with painting the living room and I love it. The extremely high over-the-stairs area was tricky, but we worked it out. It's been a big weekend of waiting until Suzi falls asleep, sneaking off to paint, finishing each other's sentences (and singing), arguing and making up. Less than a week until my baby's birthday!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A year ago today...

I was disappointed. My bags were packed, Jordan's birthday had been celebrated, and the portable cupcakes I had made him to take to the hospital had been eaten sheepishly at home. And the baby wouldn't come out. I thought with a belly so huge, she'd surely come out early. We played rummy until it got boring, put together a jigsaw puzzle of butterflies, and over-organized our room downstairs at my parents' house. Every time I called Jordan at work I had to preface it with "no, it's not time, but..." Maternity leave was getting old. I continued to wonder at Suzi's feet and elbows as they slid back and forth visibly inside my belly. We had to have a nonstress test in which you push a button every time the baby moves while nurses monitor the machine that goes ping. Suzi slept through the first half hour, so they brought in a buzzer and zapped her. She threw her arms and legs outward in surprise and continued her aerobics for the remainder of the test. We scheduled induction for 6:00 am on Thursday, May 31st.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Old Stone Church

Today was Heritage Sunday, the one day a year we gather at Old Stone Church rather than our own carpeted, lighted, air-conditioned church. I love to sit in the pew and look up out of the front window. Out of any other window you're bound to see power lines, billboards, stoplights or cars, but through this one you can see only the trees. You can sit and imagine you didn't just take a hot shower, blow-dry your hair, eat a pop-tart and pull up in front of the church in an Odyssey. All the light in the church comes through the wavy glass of the windows from outside.

We missed Heritage Sunday last year because I was nine months pregnant and there's no bathroom at Old Stone Church. I would've been maneuvering my watermelon belly into a porter potty every half hour, and I make it a point never to use porter potties if I can help it. This year Suzi enjoyed a beautiful Sunday with us.

(Uh... A little too close, Jordy.)

She slept like an angel in her Moby Wrap (turns out this was a wise investment, indeed). Her sweet, sweaty little forehead and her breath on my neck made this one of those moments I wanted pictures of so I can remember it in a few years when she'll likely be slamming doors and telling me she wants a new mommy. She woke up just as the choir broke into singing one of the old-fashioned country hymns we always use at this service. Her daddy took her outside to play with Aiden, who was out there with his daddy. Everyone brought food to share at a picnic lunch in the sunshine, but Suzi decided she'd rather sample some sticks and leaves instead. After lunch we took a walk in the cemetery where several historical gravesites can be found, such as that of Andrew Pickens and his family.

I am most intrigued by this one, which I am told belongs to Eliza Huger; a deep crack stretches across the name. I was unable to find any solid info on this obscure subject online, but the story (as it was told to me a few years ago) is that she was a prostitute and her brother walked in on her when she was with a man. He meant to shoot him but accidentally shot her. A grave was made for her away from the others and a wall built around it so she couldn't "corrupt" the souls resting nearby. Attempts were apparently made to plant flowers inside the wall, but nothing but weeds would grow there, and her stone has been struck by lightning more than once.

And now for something completely unrelated...

I just finished reading Alice Sebold's Lucky. (So Mama, it's all yours.) This book is an intricate and, at times, hideous memoir of her rape as a college freshman and its aftermath. It goes worlds beyond Law & Order: SVU and into the mind of the victim. I don't recall ever having learned so much from a book, and I feel I was meant to read it. On May eighth, I went with my parents to Hendersonville so my mom and I could have our outfits made. On the way home we stopped in a nonprofit used book exchange. I hadn't found anything and as my mom was paying for her books, I spotted the title stuffed onto a shelf with a bunch of others, in no particular order. It only cost $1.50, and I was happy to find it after having enjoyed The Lovely Bones. As I read in the backseat on the way home, I realized I had found the book on the anniversary of her rape on May 8, 1981. You should read this; it's a book that won't waste your time.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Moby-Wan Kenobi

Today was perfect.

1) Vicky called and told me I won a copy of Margarita Mama and The Rookie Mom's Handbook. Mama Knows Breast was having a contest in which you had to tell about your weirdest craving and then your funniest pregnant or new mom mistake. I told my puke story and won. Yay!

2) When Vicky called she also told me about an unexpected bit of $$$ I'll be getting.

3) We finally got our stimulus payment! (We used ours to stimulate the company of some hardworking guys who lay sod. They did excellent work and we are so happy with our new grass! It looks like someone came and dropped their yard on our mud.)

4) My mom took Suzi and me to buy some ribbon, eat lunch and then to the library. I got my library card and then realized they have some good DVD's you can check out! Who needs stupid old Blockbuster, anyway?

5) I ordered my Jordy a kilt! I can't wait to see him in it. He has nice legs. My dad has recently gotten super interested in his Scottish heritage, and it's contagious. We will be going to Highland Games in several different places over the next few months and we have to have something to wear! Wait'll you see what I'm wearing. This lady is making me something awesome--pictures to follow. It may not be exactly traditional but it's definitely me, and I'll wear it with our tartan.

6) Last night I watched a video on YouTube about how to tie a Moby, and it was a little different than what I'd been doing. It made it possible for me to breastfeed Suzi hands-free so I could "check my email" (my blanket term for email, facebook, blogs, and online shopping; Jordan has figured me out). This carrier reminds Jordan of Obi-Wan. I love it because it's the most versatile, the easiest to get Suzi out of, it's soft and cuddly, it's lavender, and because I can put it on before I leave the house and not have to hassle with it in the parking lot of wherever I'm headed. I just get Suzi tucked in and we're off! I do not, however, feel comfortable with Suzi on my back in this one and I haven't been able to get her there by myself. That'll probably change as she gets older.

7) I just finished a baby blanket with tags for a friend whose shower is tomorrow. I'll go ahead and post the picture because it's unlikely she will read my blog before she gets it. (If you are reading this, don't look!!!) I think it turned out fairly well, especially for my first one. I could've easily finished it tomorrow but I was experiencing flow and decided to finish it tonight. The other day I told Jordan I was "experiencing flow" and he asked me if I had started my period. Hah!

8) Suzi is so funny. In the first picture below she is using her duck as a paci, and in the second she is "riding sidesaddle."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

She's sticking with us

I have this fixation on finding songs that are just perfect with certain things. I made this video because I think it goes perfectly with The Velvet Underground's "I'm Sticking With You," another song from Juno. It is also an answer to all those wide-eyed stares I get when I try to explain why carrying your baby in a pouch or wrap is superior to pushing them in a stroller. Suzi gets ticked pretty quickly when she's sitting in a stroller.

So yes. I guess I am a babywearing addict. Julie pointed this out the other day at the Baby Fair. Babywearing combines two of my favorite things: accessorizing and cuddling. I still need to blog about my lavender Moby. I would have pictures to show but Jordan and I took Suzi to the "waterfront" park the other day (more like grassfront now; the water has retreated) and we forgot the camera.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

17 days left...

And my little girl will be a one-year-old! I can't believe it. We have been getting birthday-ready: making her a little outfit to wear and preparing the house--oh, and the yard! Jordan and his dad have been working on it for weeks, and now it's almost done. We even have grass! They laid our sod Saturday. As you can see, there's a little missing in the back but they're going to finish next week. I never thought I'd be so excited over grass, but when you live in a house for almost a year surrounded by red mud, you may as well not have a yard; you can't walk in it! Now Suzi will have a nice place to play!

On Thursday we had a good time taking Suzi to listen to bluegrass music on the square. She snacked on goldfish crackers and bopped along to the music, but she didn't want to leave the blanket. Grass is scratchy!

She did enjoy pulling the grass out and tasting it.

But when we folded the blanket up (it was almost time to go home) she decided the grass was okay after all.

And this is Suzi riding the Laundry Express. You wouldn't believe some of the crap I come up with when it's just the two of us here. But she likes it.

I'm itching to blog about her birthday outfit I made (it turned out better than I expected) but it'll have to wait a couple more weeks. I don't want to post pictures before her birthday is even here!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Turning less into more

While reading WiseBread, I came across a company which builds these amazing little homes. The Biensi is their smallest at only 70 square feet! You may ask, who on earth would want to live in such a small house?!? There is a growing community of people who are rejecting excess stuff--clothes, dishes, collectibles, etc--for a simpler lifestyle. As you might imagine, it doesn't take much to heat and cool these teensy dwellings, and that's also great news for the environment. I love the above picture. My question is, who wouldn't want to wake up to a beautiful sight like this? Those who purchase such a home spend around $40,000. It may seem pricey, but take a look at the craftsmanship and love put into each of them and you will see why. I'd imagine Tumbleweed homeowners only spend a quarter of what most traditional homeowners spend (heating/cooling, house payments, insurance, taxes, etc). This would make it possible to either get out of debt fast or spend a lot less time working. Less time working = more family time, volunteer time, or whatever you think is important.

About the material goods. You wouldn't be able to keep many of them. Last summer we moved to our new house which is about half as large as the one we rented. It was difficult to pare everything down, but it was incredibly freeing; I don't miss anything we purged and I still feel our house is too full. Reading about these little houses made me realize I don't need more space. I just need less stuff. I've been thinking about how it's "easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" (Luke 18:25). To me this means we should not grow attached to our earthly treasures. Giving away some things we don't need will not only help others, but will help us focus our lives on God. We aren't about to sell our house and buy a Biensi, but it gives us something to think about. Everyone knows I am a shopper, but I am taking babysteps to fix that--the first one being that I avoid shopping at superstores and patronize local businesses instead (or buy secondhand, which usually equates to supporting charities).

To that end, family and close friends: Please don't be surprised if, instead of a material gift, you receive something like this from Jordan and me this Christmas. The Heifer Project is a cause I believe in because it doesn't offer just a temporary fix for impoverished families. Instead, it empowers them to help themselves, which is emotionally healing. Most of you have more stuff than you can fit into your houses, but the gift of a flock of geese will give a family the opportunity to feed their children protein-rich eggs and perhaps even make a little extra money to buy things they need. That's a gift you can feel good about for a long time! Instead of wasting my time trudging through crowded stores, I think I'll just sit at my computer and pick out an animal for most of the people on my list. Then I can spend the time I save with my family, which is what we ought to be doing at Christmas anyway.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Baby Daddy

It happened again. On his way home from work, Jordan stopped to buy groceries and a lady mistook him for a Bi-Lo employee. Jordan told her he wasn’t, but helped her get the big box she needed anyway. He’d hate for the fact he doesn’t work somewhere to stop him from delivering excellent customer service.

This is the fourth or fifth time it's happened since I’ve known Jordan. In the past year he was asked in one store where the fruit cups were kept, and in Target, whether or not they carried Lee jeans. I think his sweet babyface is to blame. (Suzi is going to have the same problem when she grows up.) Let’s face it, he looks young! At first glance, people figure he's about 16 and what are 16-year-olds doing in grocery stores? Picking up dinner for their families? No, they’re working there.

He’s even been asked a couple of times if Suzi was his baby sister. Uh, no!

Then there was the time in the UK section of Epcot, when my dad wanted ale and Jordan and I went to pick up the food. When Jordan requested ale the server gave us a troubled look and, in her lovely accent, asked "Who's the ale for?" Well, it was for my dad but it didn't matter. We were both 21! Boy was she surprised when he pulled out his ID!

So just in case you see this man, who is turning 24 this month, by the way, and he’s carrying Suzi around, please don’t ask him if he’s watching baby sister for Mommy!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Goats galore

This morning Suzi and I went to the Seneca Baby Fair to show off our Ellaroo carrier and talk to new moms with Julie, Kelly and Gauge from babywearing group. Hopefully a few new moms will start coming. I wish I had attended a time or two before Suzi's birth! It could have changed a lot of things. Suzi and I bought a Moby Wrap from Julie in lavender, our color. I love it and want to go somewhere just so I can carry her around in it!

Then Suzi's Nana went with us to Split Creek Farm to see goats and shop. We bought raw goat milk and lavender soap for Suzi, and goat cheese and fudge for Daddy and me! FYI: Goat's milk tastes similar to cow's milk, but it can usually be tolerated by children and others who cannot tolerate cow's milk. Even infants can be given goat's milk in lieu of formula. (Learned that at babywearing.) Farm owner Evin Evans assured me it freezes beautifully, which is good because a half gallon was $5.50 and Suzi could never finish it before it spoiled. She also said many of her customers give the milk to their babies. (Hopefully I will never be in that predicament again, because I never intend to buy another can of formula. But that's another post.) Carey was explaining the virtues of raw milk the other day and I didn't understand; today I tasted the goat's milk and now I do. But I don't think I'll be drinking much of it. It's Suzi's.

Suzi also got to love on the goats a little. I wanted to take one home but I don't think we're zoned for goats.

We toured the milking parlor, but at that point Suzi was ready to go home. They use a machine to milk the goats unless hand-milking becomes necessary due to the goat's condition (mastitis, etc). They milk 175 goats twice a day, so they'd probably develop carpal tunnel doing it by hand. Goats have a lot of the same problems breastfeeding women have. And, just like breastpumps, the machine used to milk the goats uses an on/off suction rhythm. Below, Acorn the goat models for the crowd.

If you live in the Anderson area, I'd highly recommend going out to Split Creek Farm and buying some products to try. Their goat cheese is slap-your-mama good. They are open 9-6 Monday to Saturday and even Sundays 1:30-6! I'll probably be out there a couple times a month.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A day of learning and changes

We had babywearing group today. Suzi was the littlest and kept chewing on everyone else's toys. Still working on a tooth, I think. Julie gave me a copy of Mothering magazine, which I love. I've read most of it already and will definitely be subscribing. In one issue they discuss cloth diapering, vaccines, and several other issues I've been curious about. The coolest part is all the ads are for useful things like cloth diapers and babywearing items--many of which I haven't heard of before and would consider buying.

Later Jordan and I took Suzi to meet Dr. Bailey-Dorton, our new family doctor. We are thrilled to have found her, thanks to Carey. She and Dr. Cayelli, who will be Suzi's doctor, accept unvaccinated children and are supportive of parents making their own decisions for their kids. Suzi will be getting the three most urgent vaccinations, but one at a time. We will be waiting on varicella in particular, as I'm not convinced this vaccination will last into adulthood and I don't want her getting shingles later. It's so nice to have a doctor, and right around the corner, who isn't going to give us any crap about it.

We are having sleeping issues, and I've suggested cosleeping to Jordan. I would have done it already, but here were my problems:

1) I can't really sleep with Suzi for fear of rolling over on her/smothering her
2) I can't roll over when she's in bed with us because it'll wake her up
3) She's crawling; won't she fall out of bed?
4) How are we supposed to get any, you know, alone time?
5) I have no idea what I'd need to purchase or set up to make this happen. Is it expensive? Will we have to completely rearrange our bedroom?

If you have the answers to these questions, please let me know. She had been sleeping in her crib without complaint, but recently she's been throwing a huge fit. She is truly upset and I can't let her cry like that.

Speaking of changes, we are painting our walls this color:

What do you think? We like it and I think it'll totally change the atmosphere of our blank-walled house.

Last but not least, my smart Jordy got an A in his computer science class!!! I am so happy for him. It won't be long before he graduates, but I won't jinx it by giving a projected date.