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Showing posts from December, 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…