Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I love the smell of thrift shops in the spring.

Robin's egg blue necklace.
It's already been broken by the baby-boy, and restrung on stretchy thread.

Hot plate owl.
I think in the past every household had one of these.

Scale that makes me seem 7lbs lighter.
My husband found this gem. It was destiny since he's an avid bike rider.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Deep Thoughts with Yellowbird

With the passing of both my first mothers day and my son's 9 month mark, I've been thinking about all of the insane changes I've been through in the last year. Random thoughts on motherhood:

• Motherhood is infinitely more amazing, astounding and inspiring then I ever could have imagined. Those little moments when he lays his head on my chest and squeezes my upper arm fat just make me melt to my core. I still have moments when it takes my breath away that he is mine.

• Some days I wake up immensely proud of myself for just doing what I'm doing. I'm raising a human being! That is crazy. I'm a mom...? What? When he thinks of his mom, he thinks of me. I'm someone’s mom. Crazy.

• Parenthood is hard. Even though I've always been a "kid" person having one of your own is an entirely different ball game. I never expected to feel so drained after a day of "just" watching my kid. I often wonder how people who weren't kid-loving to begin with, find the strength to parent their children.

• Motherhood has simplified my wants, needs, desires. The simple things in life are truly what keep me going these days. Coffee. A trip to the grocery store by myself. Reading a book in the bathtub. Going for a walk. Coffee! These things have become the anchor of my personal de-stressing.

• Human development is breathtaking. One day all the correct synapses align and BOOM he can crawl. To go from "not-doing" to "doing" in a 24hr time span blows my mind.

• My husband is an amazing dad. Being parents has only cultivated more love and trust in our relationship.

• Kids don't stop growing! I get so excited for one stage of development and then he pulls a new trick out of his bag. I'm awing over his walking skills and he starts saying "hi!" craziness I tell ya, craziness.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

New Gong-guangs

       I'm not sure what gene makes certain kids develop into "blanket children" but I was a hard-core blanket lover when I was small. My family says that I used to call it my "gong-guang"....? I've been struggling with my son's blanket selection for a while now. He is definitely a cuddle-bug who loves his blankets too. The problem is, all of his thousands of blankets are heavy and thick. Nursing a baby in any temperature over 70 degrees, while attempting to keep some form of modesty has become a big issue for me. Babies produce crazy amounts of head-sweat and are likely to implode into a ball of fire if left to nurse under a think blanket for too long. My sister has been needing a lightweight blanket too. Her 15 month-old feels the need to cover her legs with a blanket every.single.time. she is in her car seat. Their car's air conditioning is broken and the weather is heating up.To avoid heat-exhausted babies something needed to be done.
I've been very inspired by these burp cloths from Ikea. They are light and airy and seem to be the perfect weight for a "summer blanket." Too bad they are so small.


I started out with some 100% cotton "shirt" fabric. I found that a yard and a quarter seems to be the perfect size for a nursing blanket. It allows me to tuck one corner under my arm, stretch the blanket over the baby, and hold the opposite corner in my hand (thus forcing my son to stay under the blanket).

After 3.29 days my sister finally found the perfect letter L for her daughter. The G blanket is for a friend's son. I enlarged the fonts taken from a Word document on a scanner. Then, I ended up tweaking the L just a bit. Queen Older Sister was displeased with the look of the first one. When I was shopping for the supplies this morning, I had to ask the fabric store employee "Where is that stuff that holds the other stuff together...?" She taught me the word "interfacing," now I feel like a professional. I had some issues with the interfacing not melting enough/melting too much, but I think the problems come from my inexperience. With a little more practice I think I could learn to love interfacing. It made it so easy to cut out the curvy letters.


I had the joy of sewing on my grandma's old Sears Kenmore machine. I love how it feels so heavy duty and cuts through the fabric like butta'. I found these old electric scissors in her drawer and had to try them out. They kind of scared me. I put them back in the drawer.


After sewing the edges under this is the final product. I'm really happy with how they turned out. Queen Older Sister wanted her L on a diagional, but I thought the simple G looked best squarely upright. They ended up only costing $7 each to make (but took more hours to make then I expected). Yay for no more over-heated babies!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Salt of the Earth

      When I moved away from the heartland at age 18 I had the attitude that everything in my life was boring. My school, the people in it, the town, the mall, the stupid corn fields for miles and miles and miles, all boring.  I had lived in the same town from birth to age eighteen and was so incredibly tired of it all. I didn't lead a totally sheltered life. I had traveled to many surrounding states on family vacations and dance competitions. After visiting larger cities like Chicago and even Honolulu, I would return home craving the noise and high activity levels that I had experienced. I wanted to feel like one little person in a million. I despised the small town atmosphere and "knowing" people in every business in town.

wildlife watching on the river

     Since moving back to my hometown it's been very strange how many things I can find beauty in now. Because of road construction I've been forced to take the scenic route home for the past month or so. Towards the final portion of my drive the road takes a fancy wide twist first to the left and then to the right. As I drive the S curve, usually reserved for car commercials, I can't help but smile as I anticipate what I'll spot next. There is a perfect little glen on the side of the road. It has rows of trees that sit on a bright green dip in the earth with a small stream at the bottom. Some days I approach the curve and come upon five or six wild turkeys. They are huge!  It's so funny to see them just meandering along.

Ho hum. We are turkeys. We like to walk and gobble. 
      Other days I see a few horses eating peacefully in the small field. It really is picturesque (my cell phone photos are not paying it justice). I've never been a "nature person" in the least. I guess I just have a newfound appreciation for my surroundings. Behind all those rows of corn I'm finding the beauty that my teenage angst wasn't able to discover.

     In California, when I was 20, and about to board the bus to tour with my performing arts group, I clearly remember my Australian dance director giving us a warning. She informed us that we would be traveling to many cities in the Midwest where the people were the "salt of the Earth." She explained that they would be able to see through any false-fronts that we might try to hide behind. I had no idea what she was talking about at the time. But now, seven years later, I get it. I totally, completely, one-hundred percent get it. It means that people here are humble and unpretentious. Most are not overly concerned with their physical appearance, which I now see translates into a certain degree of freedom. The people here are not trying to impress anyone. The most down-to-Earth people I met in California where the families in the wine valley near Temecula where I worked as a nanny. But, even those people had a certain edge to them. A hint of Stepford Wife-ism. It seems like those families were actively trying to live the American dream. Here it seems that people are just doing it. I'm not even sure that most of them realize how blessed they are.

my little blessing

      Tonight I took a long walk through my old neighborhood. I saw parents playing basketball in sweatpants with their middle-schoolers. I saw a little girl in a bikini riding her bike barefoot in the sprinkling rain. I saw people congregating in their driveways chatting with their neighbors. Salt of the Earth. I get it.

6 months, 1 week, 4 days

... is how long I have until graduation! After that I will officially be a part of the "college educated" crowd. Until then, almost every night my 9 pm - midnight shift is filled with homework. EXCEPT Tuesday nights! Lovely, glorious Tuesdays. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. The way my school schedule works, all of my work is due on Monday nights. My "summer vacation" starts on Monday nights at midnight and extends until Tuesday night. Oh man, do I ever live-it-up on Tuesdays. Sometimes I just throw trash at a yellow "no school today?" sign. Sometimes I go on a walk.  Sometimes I go shopping! And when I'm really feeling crazy I hit up my local library's adult fiction section. Can you imagine that much insanity in one location? In all actuality, I typically just catch up on my Hulu shows.
I would love to blog more but it makes me feel educationally guilty when I spend time on Blogger instead of reading my textbooks. But, since I am unchained from any school related work on Tuesdays I will henceforth make a pact with myself (and you, my five readers) to post at least one entry every Tuesday.

Let the wild rumpus begin!