Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2009

Holiday Traditions

This was Sweet Pea's first Christmas. We got her a set of blocks and she got to taste a Christmas cookie. Her stocking wasn't finished in time for Christmas, but she didn't seem to mind. Now I am thinking about future holidays and imagining what traditions we will continue from our own childhoods and what we might decide to start new with our children. I definitely want to include some outdoor activities as part of our winter plans, and like the thought of decorating the tree and cooking together. What are your favorite family holiday traditions?

Here is a photo of Average and Sweet Pea at the ski lodge a few weeks ago.

Saga of the Worst Afternoon Ever

I am recovering from a bad cold that is possibly a flu. Yesterday and the day before all I felt up to doing was sitting on the couch and folding a little laundry. Today, thinking that some fresh air would be good for me, and feeling energetic enough to try, I take a walk around the neighborhood with Sweet Pea in the stroller and Glen on his leash. We have been working on the command "heel" and he is actually doing OK, so I walk for more than 30 minutes, even though it is quite cold. Sweet Pea is bundled up in her wool pants, sweatshirt and down jacket, and two blankets. She falls asleep in the stroller on the way home. We arrive home, tired and hungry and needing a tissue, to discover that I have locked the door to the house and neglected to bring a key. Well, I usually forget to lock the sliding glass door in the back, so we'll just try that. Locked. My phone has a blinking red light in the shape of a battery so I'm praying that there's enough juice left to make…

Tucson and Saguaro National Park

This post is to share some of my favorite photos from our recent trip to Tucson. It was different from any place I've ever been before, beautiful in a strange, dry way.








So, What IS a Serger Anyway?

A serger is a type of sewing machine that uses between two and four threads continuously, giving you a finished seam like the one you see on the inside of manufactured clothes. A regular sewing machine generally does a line of thread, always using two threads. Using a serger you will typically get a kind of a zig-zag appearance with thread on both sides and all the way around the edge of the fabric, but you can achieve a variety of types of stitches depending on the setting you choose. It is a very strong seam, and allows you to do just one pass through the machine per seam, avoiding multiple steps of folding and ironing, to get a finished edge that won't fray or unravel. Thanks to Ann for asking what a serger is!

Mine is a New Home MyLock 234D. Apparently it is made by Janome because that is what came up in Google Search when I typed that in. Unfortunately, I don't have the manual for it, but I do have the original receipt from when my grandmother bought it in the 90's! I…

Serge It!

A few days ago I finally took the time to try to get the serger going. I've had it for maybe two months now, and this was the first time I attempted running a piece of fabric through it. Well, it took a couple of hours to get the threads all going the right directions through their assorted slots, the tensions correct, and the stitch I wanted chosen, but now I want to serge everything! Got a loose seam? Serge it! An holiday project? Serge it! A cut on your finger? Well, maybe not, but you get the idea.

I have one set of napkins done and about half of my cloth "kleenex" edged, and have lots more to do before Christmas comes, including making Sweet Pea a stocking. I can't believe I didn't think of that until just last weekend!

Update: 12:30 AM
Got my second set of napkins done, cut the black and white ones, and decided that black thread would look better than the white I had been using. I thought I was really smart and changed out the thread color by tying the new…

Diapering My Active 9-Month-Old

Sweet Pea is a very active baby right now, working hard at becoming a toddler. She wants to move move move all the time, unless she is very tired. She pulls herself up to standing maybe a hundred times a day right now. This incessant activity makes it difficult to change her diaper at times. I blow raspberries on her tummy, hand her toys (usually safe ones unless I am desperate - nail clippers are OK, right?), and talk to her nonstop to try to get her to remain laying on her back. But she is like an alligator and can flip right over in half a second. So, I end up changing her while she kneels, while she crawls, while she stands, or while I hold her pinned in my lap. All of this means that diapers that are easy to put on are a top priority for us right now. Are we switching to disposables? Of course not! My love for cloth continues unabated, and I am just using a particular type of cloth diaper more often than before. I have found myself relying on my BumGenius 3.0 and other pocket dia…

Dresser Painting Project Update

The weather here has been extra cold over the last week, so my dresser painting project is on hold for now. I had been painting in the garage with a heater, but the heater can't get the temperature high enough for the paint to work well (55 plus) with our freezing temperatures right now. Overall, I have really enjoyed using the paint sprayer, even though I have had a few frustrating times. Like, when I realized that not enough paint was spraying out because the air hole into the canister was clogged, after nearly an hour of working on it. So far, I have put on three thin coats of primer and two thin coats of paint. The original stain color (shown here <-- )underneath is still showing through a little, even with all of that paint, so I have a few more coats to go, I think. The color comes through the most on the parts where I sanded all the way through the top finish, but didn't sand down to bare wood. It seems as if the stain is able to seep up through the paint in these ar…

Potty Time

I first learned of elimination communication from a New York Times article, back in 2005. This was well before I had even begun planning a pregnancy, but I found the concept fascinating. The basic idea is that you work with your baby's signals and daily rhythm and establish cues for him or her, and can begin using a potty for elimination, from birth onward. Some people completely avoid diapers with their babies, but more common is using a potty at the same time as using diapers. Diaper Free Baby has this explanation: "This practice is followed worldwide and is known as Elimination Communication, Natural Infant Hygiene, and Infant Potty Training. The process involves observing one's baby's signs and signals, providing cue sounds and elimination-place associations, and can be done with or without any diaper use." There seem to be many benefits to this practice, including health (less diaper rash), environmental (fewer diaper changes),  and connection to your baby.

Growing Up

There was a part of me that felt that after Sweet Pea was born, I was going to be parenting a baby for the rest of my life. I just accepted the that idea that my life from now on was going to include wearing nursing bras, carrying a diaper bag everywhere, and waking up at night. I wouldn't go on rafting trips, mountain bike rides, or do anything else that a baby couldn't come along with me to do. How odd is that? Well, my baby is starting to get older. I can see glimpses of toddlerhood in our future. She is now pulling herself up, playing with toys, eating food, and interacting more than ever. I keep having the realization that, hey, she's going to keep changing and growing forever! This little baby phase is extremely short! Of course, I have heard that a million times, even said myself "they grow so fast!" But somehow I had to get to this age before I could really really see it myself.

Maybe this is why strangers are so compelled to come talk to me when I take S…

Baby/Puppy Relations Update

For about the first 6 weeks of owning a puppy, I felt exhausted at the end of each day, frustrated at my lack of skills at dog-training, and guilty for not having gotten more done. Well, Glen is over 5 months old now, we have had him for over two months, and life seems to be getting back to normal. I have time to do some cleaning and some relaxing with Sweet Pea nearly every day, I have time in the evenings for projects (update on the dresser painting to come soon!), and Glen is behaving well for the most part. Phew!

Just in the last 2 weeks we have gotten to the point where I totally trust him to be good with Sweet Pea, enough for me to leave the two of them on the floor and walk out of the room briefly. He still occasionally licks her face or mouths her feet, but much more gently than before, and for the most part he just lets her do anything without reacting. She has climbed over him, pulled his ears and tail, and taken his toys and food. He takes it all in stride, although he does…

Green Holiday Plans

The winter months can be a lot of fun with all of the celebration, visiting, and gifts. However, they can also be quite expensive and these fun activities and traditions can create lots of unnecessary waste. Here are a few of the plans my husband and I have made to cut down on our spending and waste this holiday season.

Gifts: Nearly everyone in our family, and several friends, will be getting a jar (or two) of pepper jelly that we made over the summer or fall. This is nearly free to us, besides the money invested in the garden beds, and the jars. In addition, I am making cloth napkins for immediate family. I picked out some fun patterned fabrics, and will be using my new (to me) serger to trim the edges. I made a set of napkins for us a couple of years ago and have loved using them so much! This gift is economical for us, but has lasting value for the recipient and also helps them to create less waste from paper. Baby's first Christmas can be a tempting time to buy lots of new toy…

White "Green" Painting

Today we made a big purchase: a 26-gallon air compressor and a paint sprayer kit. I'm going to paint a dresser for Sweet Pea's room, and I have a nearly unlimited number of other projects in mind that I can now tackle with more confidence of a good outcome. The idea is that I will achieve a smooth, professional finish. That's the hope at least. I have never used a paint sprayer or air brush before so this is all in theory right now. I was inspired to try my hand at spray gun painting by the impressive DIY feats of fellow blogger Michelle of Three Men and a Lady.

While we did spend a bundle on those two items, and the no-VOC paint I got as well, we're hopeful that in the long run this will save us money: I can paint a cheap used dresser and make it look nice rather than buying one new, I can paint the desk we have and spruce it up rather than buying a new one, and eventually I can paint our kitchen cabinets while we save to re-do our kitchen, probably years from now. A…

Big Plans for the Garden

This fall I hired a garden planner, Villa Verde Garden Designs, to do a plan for the backyard. I decided to do this after a few months of mentally planning, but always feeling unsure of where to start, how much of what materials to buy, and nervous about wasting money with mistakes. With a plan laid out, we know what the final outcome will be and we can do portions of it as we have the money and time, without worrying that putting one thing in is going to screw up something I'm going to want later. I also wanted help with sizes of things from someone who has more experience with gardens than me. The completed plans, delivered to us on a large paper, fully scaled for accurate dimensions, include a path, a couple of border flower beds, tearing down and rebuilding the current raised beds and adding several more. Our planner, Leah, knew to do things I might not have thought of like designing the new beds to be sizes that you can buy boards so we won't have any waste, and with big …

The Puppy's Sweet Side

The sweetest things about our puppy:

He won't go to bed until we all go to bed. That means that if I am bouncing the baby in the office while daddy is asleep, he will come lay near me and won't go to his crate until I go in to bed too.

The way he crosses his ears over the top of his head when he is concerned or paying attention REALLY hard.

The way he lays down if I give a command he doesn't understand - like that's the utmost he can do, is this what I'm asking for?

The way he licks toes.

How he now associates me getting peanut butter out with him going in his crate, so he jogs down the hallway ahead of me and gets inside, ready for his treat.

The way he tries to crawl onto my lap when I sit on the ground.

The way his kisses make Sweet Pea laugh and laugh!

Nursing in Public

How do you feel about nursing in public? Before I had a baby, I felt a bit conflicted about it. Now, after having a baby, and nursing in public myself at least once a week... I still feel a bit conflicted.

My internal conflict isn't about whether or not it should be allowed or how women should go about it. I firmly believe that every mom should have the right to feed her baby in any location at any time, no questions asked. I also believe that women should simply do it in the way that works best for their babies, without regard for the "comfort" of those around them. It is natural and healthy and therefore should be a non-issue. However, even I (called a nudist by my husband for my tendency to wander around the house naked) have some hang-ups about exposing my breasts in public. Why? I don't know, probably because of this up-tight, patriarchal society I come from. Again, intellectually I think it's totally great and should be totally acceptable, but I find myself…

Halloween Costumery

The winning idea this year was: Super Mario Bros. family!
I was Princess Peach
Average was Mario
Sweet Pea was Toadstool

We sewed blue overalls for Average out of some heavy "duck" fabric we found at JoAnn's, got heavy red fabric for the hat, and bought a red shirt at Value Village. I found a pink prom-style dress for myself at the village too, a pink silky robe that I modified with PUFFY sleeves, and we bought a wand and a crown to complete my outfit. Sweet Pea's costume was the simplest: a mushroom hat and a matching vest. I thought this would be good for her because at 8 months old, she isn't that patient for clothing changes, and I wanted her to remain fully mobile and comfortable. My sewing machine held up through all of the sewing of the heavy fabrics and the fluffy fabrics and the silky robe thing, but it is starting to go slower it seems. (Hmm, maybe it's time for another oiling and cleaning? I better make sure it's in good shape because this year…

My Diaper Mentor

Once again, this post is part of the Cloth Diaper Carnival, hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.


In my high school, all students had to take a personal finance class. For the most part, the class was pretty ridiculous, trying to "teach" concepts that are either common sense, or vary greatly family to family. One of the more useful projects we were assigned was to make a family budget, after randomly drawing a job and salary. The budget was to be based on a variety of lifestyle choices, including type of home, car, food choices, and diapers. One choice that I remember was my partner and I deciding to use a combination of cloth and disposable diapers, thinking that it would be too difficult to use cloth all the time but that we could save money by using cloth.

I probably didn't think about diapers decisions again until a little less than two years ago, when I went to a baby shower for my friend, Wendy, who was planning to exclusively cloth diaper her first baby. Her friend pass…

Hoping No One Saw Me

Sweet Pea is in the midst of a possible Nap Schedule Transition, AND her First Illness (a cold). After three attempts at laying her down to sleep for a nap today, I finally gave up when it got WAY past her normal time for a first nap and got her to fall asleep in the ERGO. So, I had been sitting and reading blogs while she slept and occasionally snored. She had been resting for a while, when I noticed the time. I knew the mail-person would be coming soon and there was a bill that I needed to mail today, so I decided to slip on some warmer clothes and walk the block to the mailbox with Sweet Pea in the carrier. The clothes that I could find that I could add to my outfit without disturbing her were: my husband's black fleece vest, a large green knitted blanket, my heeled clogs, and a red baseball cap. This was over a pair of jeans, rolled up at the cuff, and a bright pink t-shirt. I tucked the blanket around myself and Sweet Pea and into the ERGO to keep her arms and bare feet warm.…

Clothesline Weather

I finally finished a little project that I'd had in process all summer long — a clothespin bag. Just in time for the rainy season. I did get to use it once before rolling our line up for the year, but the clothes still had to go into the dryer for a few minutes to get totally dry.

I found the pattern online here. The directions were pretty good, and have nice little thumbnail photos to go with them. The only difficult part to understand was which side you sew the seam on before folding over to the button part, but that part is hidden so I decided it didn't really matter. I used a fabric square that I had bought about a year ago because I liked the colors. The buttons were ones I had in my button box already, and the ribbon was left over from a gift that was nicely wrapped. In August, I embroidered this little design on the front, although it's hard to see in the photo. About a week or two ago, I finally finished it. I currently have the bag hanging from a clothes hanger, b…

Lessons of Parenting

A few things that being a parent has taught me:
Never pass up an opportunity for a nap.Take time to play.Don't stress about your to-do list. There's always tomorrow. All babies are different. They will all sit up, eat, crawl, sleep through the night, walk, and talk at different times, and that is OK.
If you forgot to bring wipes or a wet bag, the baby will probably poop.If you thought you were going to be early, you still might not even make it on time. Whatever gets the most worry will not actually happen; something else you never even considered probably will.It's the truth when people say "they grow so fast," so try to appreciate every moment.
Moments like this....

Baby Eats More

Over the last couple of weeks our baby has eaten pieces of apple, corn, tortilla, peas, cracker, banana, sweet potato, yams, cheerios, pear, and dry leaves from the ground. We gave her everything except the leaves, which she found by herself. She still seems to prefer feeding herself by tightly grasping the item in her right hand and biting (two bottom teeth now!) or licking, but she will accept food from a spoon or from my fingers, finally! Sweet Pea shows that she's ready for more food by opening her mouth and sticking out her tongue, and then she makes funny faces as she gums the food around before swallowing, bounces in her seat a little bit, then opens her mouth for more.

At seven-and-a-half months old, she is finally truly ready to eat. Now, will I get some more sleep at night if I feed her more during the day? I've heard that this was a myth, so we shall see.

We went to the pumpkin patch this weekend and carved up a bunch of pumpkins, now I keep thinking about pumpkin p…

Our Dog Glendovere

Our dog, Glen, was born on June 30, and we brought him home on September 18. He has been a joy and a LOT of work. You know when you tell yourself that something's going to be hard, and then it actually IS hard, and you go "Oh yeah, this is what hard really feels like, not as pleasant as I remembered it." That's pretty much what happened. I thought I could handle hard, and sometimes I can, and sometimes I feel like I'm losing my mind. Those first two weeks, it was kind of like I went back to the state I was in when Sweet Pea was just a few weeks old, and everything I was doing felt new and I was uncertain and super-duper-constantly vigilant to make sure that he wasn't chewing or eating something he wasn't supposed to and that he wasn't peeing in the house and that I let him out often enough. It also feels kind of like a combination of being a parent, and being a teacher. I have to learn how to mentally keep track of times of things (food, potty, sleep,…

Win a Year of Childcare!

I recently discovered this website when I was trying to figure out average rates for childcare in my local area. I even forwarded the URL to the members of my parenting group. Then, yesterday I got an email from an employee of the website asking if I would mention their giveaway in my blog. Sure! I think this is a good site for information, and for connecting with care providers in your area.


So, here it is: Care.com is hosting a giveaway for $12,455—that's how much the average family spends on child care each year. To enter, all you have to do is sign up for a free membership to the site. This is for people who don't even have kids, too. They list services for childcare, pet care, senior care, special needs, tutoring and lessons, and housekeeping! Probably anyone could use at least one of those services, right? Good luck! Contest ends October 9.

Four Factors for Change

I've been contemplating for a while: why did I make some changes this year that I never did before? Why do I feel so open to change right now, rather than any other time? It seems to me that several factors can influence us, and the more that are in play at once, the more likely we are to change.

Factors for change that I've come up with so far:
1. natural changes of life: birth, death, marriage, new job, move
It takes mental and sometimes physical energy to change a habit. When you are already in the mode of change, introducing other new things into your life is much easier. Moving into a new house, a new neighborhood, or a new town can have tremendous impact, and so can having a baby. I've experienced both of these firsthand and have seen how my life changed in more ways than just the initially intended one.
2. influence of friends, family and neighbors
Perhaps the most important factor. It is completely reasonable to me that the more people who are around you doing someth…

Halloween

It's October, which means it's time for wearing rain coats, going to the corn maze, and planning our Halloween costumes. The top two schemes in the running so far:

1. Popeye, Olive Oyl, and Sweet Pea
2. A storm trooper, Princess Leia, and Yoda

Number 2 is what we did last year, so we already have the costumes, but we didn't have a baby to be Yoda, and we didn't go to any parties.

Sorry for the low quality photo, but here is the Princess Leia costume I made last year to fit my pregnant body.
















So, which idea is better? Or do you have any other suggestions for fun family costumes? Thanks in advance!

Top Twos for Advice

My top two sources of online information about breastfeeding:
Kellymom
La Leche League International resources page

My top two forums for person-to-person advice on breastfeeding, and all things related to parenting:
DiaperSwappers
MotheringDotCommunity

My top two books on breastfeeding and baby care:



My top two books on birth:



I really value having sources that I trust for information to go to whenever I have a question or a doubt about something. Yes, I can do a Google search, but having done online research on medical topics before, I know how hard it can be sometimes to figure out if I've found a valid expert, or just someone's opinion, and it can also be hard to tell if the advice I'm getting is really in line with my overall philosophies. All of the sources listed above meet my requirements for positive, pro-attachment, expert advice. Of course, the forums are not purely experts but the parents on these two generally have a similar perspective, and you can often tell wh…

On the Road With Cloth Diapers

To date, Sweet Pea has never worn a disposable diaper. Before she was born, I thought I would want to use cloth most of the time, but that it would be too much of a hassle to use while traveling so she would go in disposables on the road. Thanks in part to a friend from out of town who visited us while using cloth on her baby (you're awesome, Wendy!), I started to think maybe it wouldn't be that much trouble after all. So far, Sweet Pea has worn cloth everywhere we've gone, from two-hour road trips, to ten-hour cross-country trips by airplane, to three-day camping trips, and everything in between. I have changed her on the trunk of our car, in my lap, on the floor at the airport, on the ground on a towel, and on changing tables in public restrooms. I would say it is probably a little more difficult than using disposables, but totally worth it to me not to have to spend extra money to use plastic and chemicals on my baby's bum.
This is a photo of our camp-site from when …

I Won a Giveaway!

I recently won my first giveaway since entering the blogosphere. It is so exciting! Thanks Beth, at Happily Domestic for hosting this giveaway and choosing my entry.

Just yesterday, my "prize"  arrived: the Baby Dipper. We used it today and I am very pleased. It does as promised, doesn't slide around on the table, and is easy to use with one hand, with the food naturally collecting at the deeper corner of the triangular bowl. My hands were too messy while feeding Sweet Pea to take a picture of it in use, but here is a photo of the product with its package. My only complaint so far is that I wish it didn't have this type of plastic packaging. Overall, though, it seems like a neat product idea. Average had a few choice jokes about the shape and dimensions of the bowl being similar to a product for men, which I'm not going to repeat here, but the triangular shape and sloped bottom really make sense to me. Sweet Pea did more spoon and food grabbing than actual eating…

A Day in the Life

I had been thinking about this topic idea for a while, and since we got a puppy I feel like my daily life has gotten even more crazy. So here is a post about a day in the life of Mommy and Sweet Pea.
Puppy Glen and baby Sweet Pea wake up a couple of times through the night; baby nurses, Average takes puppy outside to pottyGlen wakes up for good in the morning and has his morning meal after potty outsideSweet Pea wakes up and has her morning meal (nursing) and then first diaper change of the dayMommy eats breakfast and does some dishesGlen goes potty outside againMommy and Sweet Pea play together while Glen plays outsideNurse Sweet Pea
Change Sweet Pea's diaper
All take a walk togetherMommy checks email, reads blogs, while (hopefully) Sweet Pea napsChange Sweet Pea's diaperTake Glen pottyLunch for Glen, then Mommy, then Sweet PeaTry to do some housecleaning: laundry, sweep, etc.Change Sweet Pea's diaperTake Glen pottyErrands or visits to friendsChange Sweet Pea's diaper

The Ever-Changing Nature of Breastfeeding, Or, Nursing a 6-Month-Old

I haven't posted for a few days because we got a new puppy and I've been busy learning all about dog training. Life with a puppy and a baby will be a future post topic. Also, I had already written 3/4 of a post on this topic (changing nature of breastfeeding) but somehow erased it when I came in to edit. Unfortunately this version probably isn't as good.



If you read my breastfeeding story, you'll see that we had a rough go of it to start. However, when Sweet Pea was about four months old, we seemed to achieve a peak in terms of ease of all aspects of mommyhood. My baby was sleeping through the night, was content to hang out and watch me do work around the house, sitting on her own for 20-60 minutes at a time, and best of all for me, nursing was finally what I had always hoped: relaxing, bonding time with my baby that took very little effort. We began to nurse in public with confidence, and I was pleased to find we could finally do it without too much awkwardness. I had…

Donating Cloth Diapers

This is just a quick post to share an option for those looking for something to do with diapers their children have already grown out of, or for those who need financial assistance getting started using cloth diapers. Miracle Diapers is a nonprofit organization that matches donated diapers with needy families, providing a much-needed, green and healthy service. The group has provided diapers for 185 babies and toddlers, just from January to July of this year! I follow them on twitter and have considered donating some diapers myself at some point. So far, the only diapers that Sweet Pea has grown out of have been passed on to a friend of a friend, and we might eventually get them back for use with our next child. That's one thing I love about cloth diapers, some of them just last and last! I have heard of one set of diapers being used for seven children!

Anyway, if you have the means, please consider donating to this great organization. Or, just follow them on facebook or twitter l…

My green life and my ungreen vices

In preparation for a post I've been mentally planning about how and why we choose to make healthy lifestyle changes of one kind but not another, or at one time but not another, I am compiling a list of the things that I've chosen to do to live healthier and more environmentally friendly, versus the things that I still do that I KNOW are unhealthy. This is a more generalized follow-up to my "items in my freezer" post, which was a concrete list of things that showed foods we keep and eat that are healthy and some that are not (i.e. frozen pizza and peanut butter cup ice cream).

Healthy and Green:
cloth diapers
cloth wipes
breastfeeding
home-made baby food
vegetable garden
home food preserving
cloth mama pads
cloth napkins
reusable grocery bags
reusable glass and metal food containers
walking to the store sometimes
no-pooing
composting
natural cleaning products
automatic thermostat
clothesline drying sometimes

Unhealthy/Ungreen:
eat fast food sometimes - why do Big Macs t…

A dad's conversation about cloth diapering

I'm participating in Fluff Talk Thursdays again and this week's topic is: a dad's perspective on cloth diapering. My husband had already had a little back-and-forth on facebook with one of our friends about his take on using cloth, so with both of their OKs, I am re-posting that here. I have edited to change names to aliases for my husband and daughter. Silas gave permission for his name to be used. Speaking of aliases, a friend recently pointed out that I should explain that my husband's is really not an insult at all, but is just a private joke. He actually chose it for himself — I think he is above average in nearly every way.

Here is a photo of my husband changing Sweet Pea's diaper when she was only one week old.


Silas and his wife don't have any kids yet, but are planning on it. After reading my original cloth diaper post, Silas wrote to Average asking,

Silas: ....Question for you, how does the cloth diaper thing work for you (ease of use, laundering, and…

Cutting baby nails

Why must it be SO hard to cut my baby's fingernails? Sweet Pea's nails seem impossible to keep short. They grow so fast, they are so sharp, and yet they are soft and difficult to distinguish from skin between the clipper ends.

Some tips I have heard are to just bite them off, or to wait until she is sleeping and cut them then. I have tried the biting them off, but Sweet Pea doesn't have any more patience for that than she does the clippers, and it takes longer to chew through the nails than to cut them, so that doesn't help much. I can only get one or two nails done before she completely loses it because she hates to not have control of her hands. Doing it while she is sleeping has not worked for me yet because during the day I am often holding her while she sleeps, making it difficult to get a good grip, or a good angle, let alone going to find the clippers while I'm trying to keep her asleep. Doing it at night is out of the question because there is no way I'm…