Thursday, August 30, 2007

"Please," the lake, and good nurishment!

Okay- happy mama gush! Roman started signing "please" on Tuesday! We hardly ever give him sugar, but I was going to give him a small bite of a cookie and I told him to say "more please." He started signing more a while back but hasn't been using it lately. Well, to my surprise, instead of "more" he started signing "please!" Now he is the "please" king! He points to things he wants and signs "please!" I tell him, "No, don't climb on the chair," and he signs "please!" It is so cute! It makes saying no to the things he is doing wrong very difficult! It is just so fun to see his communication expanding! He now tries to copy the words we say and he really watches our mouths! I love it! It is like having a little friend with me all day! Umm... the joys of motherhood!

On that motherly note, I just got the most wonderful book (and a new Bible since Roman had done quite the number on my other one!). The book is by Lisa Whelchel (ya know, Blair, from The Facts of Life?) and is called "The Busy Mom's Guide to Bible Study". It teaches moms how to really get a lot out of the abbreviated times we find to spend in the Word. She has such loving and practical advice for mothers and is a beautiful writer. I have read a few of her other books also, "Taking Care of the Me in Mommy" and her book on homeschooling- both were wonderfully helpful and I highly recommend them! In fact, I plan on reading them both again because they were just so packed with awesome information and insight!

My goal is to start waking up earlier in the morning so that I can really have a chunk of time that I can just focus on getting myself prepared for the day. To just be able to sit in my rocking chair, drink a cup of tea, read my Bible and truly spend time with the Lord, without the distraction of a zillion other things, would make such a difference to my day! To also be able to maybe do some yoga and take care of a few little things before Roman emerges from his slumber would just be so nice! If I only didn't feel so tired every morning! Oh Lord, give me the grace to get my butt out of bed!

And now, onto an entirely different subject- the lake!! Yesterday I headed up to Coeur d'Alene with a few of my friends and their kiddos who are all around Roman's age and we had so much fun! It started off kind of rocky when I was supposed to go meet the mama I was car pooling with and discovered I had a very flat tire (which Jer went and got fixed this morning, bless his heart!). But the other mama graciously drove all the way across town (about a half an hour out of her way) to come pick us up! After that things got much better! The kids chatted hysterical baby jabber to each other the whole way there, while my girl friend and I compared our possible pregnancy symptoms (we will be testing within two days of each other!) and just got a chance to chit chat rather undistractedly!

Once we got there the kids had so much fun playing in the sand and water! Roman was the craziest of the bunch of course! That boy always keeps me on my toes! While the other mamas were even able to sneak a few minutes here and there to lay on their towels and read magazines I was constantly chasing a (hmmm, shall we call him adventurous?) toddler! But when it comes right down to it, would I have him any other way? He may be more work then some, but I love his personality and know that he is destined to be a leader! Plus- he makes sure I get my exercise, right?!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

OOOO- another fun contest!

Don't you just love fun contests? I do! There is a great one over at Our 7 Qtpies, for a 1 lb bag of Little Miracles for Diapers and Pails. It sounds like an awesome product! Apparently you can use it as a deodorizer and as detergent! How cool! The products are from Reversal Miracles which looks like a cool little store! They have a little diaper stick that is safe for cloth and a few other items too! Check 'em out and get in on this contest!

Monday, August 27, 2007

I think I'm in love!

My new yarn finally arrived today! I am so excited! It is 100% Uraguanian Merino Wool and it is sooooo soft! I bought it a couple of weeks ago from 100 Pure Wool and it is my first really nice yarn purchase. I have used Cascade and a couple other okay brands for Roman's woolies, but this is by far the most luxurious! I just can't stop petting it! I can't wait to knit it up to see how it looks! Jer liked it because he said it looked "manly". A lot of the other colorways I showed him he just couldn't get into, but this one he loved! Good thing, 'cause he is going to have to hold it for me tonight while I wrap it into a center-pull ball! And it wasn't even expensive! Shipping included I only spent about $30! I can't remember exactly how much, but it was only about $7 per skein! Woohoo!

Oh, and check out these cool stamps from Uraguay! According to the package it cost $150 Uraguanian which translated to about $9 US! Crazy Huh? I want to start keeping stamps like these, and other little bits of uncommon art to put under plexiglass on my craft table someday. When I have a craft table and a studio to put it in, that is! Wouldn't it be cool on an old door turned table? Oh, I can dream!

For now this is my "studio". We just moved it out of our bedroom into the living room yesterday so that I can get more use out of it. It is the perfect place to sit and knit and do my Bible Study.
The blanket across the front is the lapghan I am crocheting for my grandparents. It is slowly growing, taking much more yarn than I had expected! Oh well, it will be nice in the end and they will love it!

The quilt across the back is one I started a few years ago in a sampler class. I really like it but I still need to add a border to it so that it is the right size and then actually quilt it and bind it! Someday it will be finished! For now though, it helps my little chair feel homey and inspired!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Attempts at discretion... and do you see it?

Do you see it? Do you see that faint line? Okay, first off, don't get your hopes up! It is just an ovulation predictor kit! But for me it is a very good sign that that faint line exists! It means that my body is returning to normal and I actually have a shot at getting pregnant this month. I still have this overwhelming feeling that after my 2 week wait I am going to get some happy news! I think the Lord is sending me signs! Okay, some or most of you probably think I am a loon right now, but I hate to chalk things up to coincidence!

Here is how it all started- Roman came down with a cold on Friday and didn't sleep well yet again last night, so we decided to sleep in and skip church. Well, when we got up I started thinking that maybe it would be a good idea to test for ovulation since I have been keeping track of my other signs and my temperatures have been rather unclear. I figured that if I tested right in the morning it would be perfect since I hadn't peed yet! One problem though, I didn't have any testers! So I convinced Jer to hop in the car with Roman and me to buzz to the nearest store with a self check out (hence the idea that I wouldn't have to actually discuss my purchase with anyone or present it to some young high school boy to have him ring me up!). Well, as murphy's law would have it, I couldn't find the testers in the aisle I figured they would be, so I ended up having to ask where they were! Ugh- just what I was trying to avoid! Then, when I finally do get them and am checking out, the little magnetic strip didn't demagnetize and sent sirens flaring when I tried to leave! Go figure! The woman who checked my purchase then of course had to start asking all sorts of questions about whether or not I was pregnant and if I really wanted to be, to which I had to give as simple an answer as I could about how they were ovulation testers not pregnancy tests... blah, blah, blah! So my attempt at being discreet ended up involving two grocery store clerks and a siren! Oh well! I digress!

So we got home and Jer made some brunch while I went and finally took the opportunity to relieve myself (after all that mix-up at the store it was a long time coming!). Three minutes later that faint line was unmistakable! So, it is nothing to do cartwheels over, but at least it shows that we have our timing right!

What about the Lord and signs, you ask though? Well, I am getting there! During our brunch we decided to sit down and watch Jon Courson's message from last week, August 19, online since we had missed church. Well, during the message Jon started getting all into the meaning of a name of a particular person in the Bible who was given a name change by the Lord. The name that the Lord gave the man is the name that we have been seriously considering for our next boy. Lately I have been wondering what the actual meaning of the name is, and there Jon was giving insight and definition of this name! So now, not only do I think I am going to get pregnant this month but I think it is going to be a boy! Haha! I know- I will probably be totally off! Just watch, I will get pregnant in like November with a girl! Oh well! But wouldn't it be cool if all of this did happen?! Well, I can live in my happy little place of hope and contentment for now, and see what the Lord brings along in two weeks!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Babies on the brain... along with a lot of other stuff!

Oh my, my, my... what to say? My brain feels jumbled! I have so much rolling around in that noggin of mine that it is difficult to be productive around the house (unlike last week!)! Drat! So here goes... some good, some bad, and some dreamy...

First off lets talk about some good! Some crazy really! Last Friday I came home to a very big surprise from Jer... and iPhone!! I couldn't believe it! I was totally shocked! I almost choked on my dinner! I have wanted one since I heard about them last fall and have been dealing with a ghetto Walmart cell phone for a few months since Roman broke mine! I totally love it! It is so nice ot be able to check the web and my e-mail, especially with Chic & Savvy Mamas really starting to take off! Plus, I am such a lister! My life is run by lists and now I have one handy place to store them all! It is also nice because I never forget to take my phone with me so I now will never accidentally leave my shopping lists and so forth on the kitchen table! Yeah for my wonderful husband! That more than makes up for Mother's Day!

Hmmm... next, not so fun. Roman is teething! Four molars all at once! Ugh! Poor guy (and poor mama!)! He had a fever all last weekend and is so cranky! Totally not himself! I feel so bad for him but I am also on the verge of loosing my mind! He just wants to be attached to me all day. The top two have broken through but the bottom ones still have a ways to go. Hopefully it will get over quickly! Pray for him!

And now for the dreamy- I have baby fever! Bad! I currently know 8 friends who are pregnant and one who had her baby 2 days ago. One of those friends I am planning a baby shower for also, which of course really makes me think about babies! Jer and I had planned on starting to TTC (try to conceive) in May, but due to a whole series of issues (including my body not cooperating) we haven't really. Well, this is the first month that my body is really getting back to normal and I have this gut feeling that it really is going to happen this month. I don't know, I am probably setting myself up for disappointment, but it just feels like it is going to be real. I have this strange calm about it.

Maybe that calm is from some of the planning we have already been doing for the next babe... (which could be getting a little ahead of the game, but hey I am the kinda gal who read homeschooling books when I was 2 months prego with my first! I like to be prepared!)... we have our names picked out (even if we were to have twins, hehe), the basement and yard really should be finished this fall/winter, and then there is the final decision that I have just come to (like last night!)- I want a homebirth for the next babe. I can't believe I just said that! I have always been very leary of the whole idea- I admire the mamas who do it but never thought I could myself. I had many reservations... what if something was the matter with the baby at birth, what about the mess, my house is so small... and on and on. However, most of the hospital experience with Roman was nothing short of frustrating... worrying that my birth plan wouldn't be followed, the constant threat of medical intervention, the nurses who never let you rest postpartum, the cold and sterile rooms... and even more on and on. My friend who had her baby 2 days ago (she is actually my doula) had a homebirth and from what I have heard so far thinks went beautifully. Her labor was only 9 hours!

So the last few days I have been getting online and really doing some research about the whole homebirth thing. I have read all about the safety, and in many cases your home is actually safer for birth if you are being attended to by a trained midwife. I have also been reading a bunch of different mama's homebirth stories and last night I came across this one at Not the Kind of House for a Home Birth, by Emily Sinagra. It truly touched me. It just seemed so fitting and perfect for birth. I suddenly had visions of preparing my home for the birth of my next baby (I love to plan and prepare things). I could see myself peacefully laboring in my home by the glow of soy candles, listening to a soft playlist of music flowing from my computer. The ideas of being able to drink and eat from my own kitchen without waiting for a nurse to fill up my cranberry juice or tell me that the hospital cafeteria is closed so all I can eat after my 21 hour labor is a stale miniature croissant, became suddenly appealing. Not having to deal with stalling my labor while driving to the hospital, constant vital sign checks, nurse shift changes, and worries over my birth plan being followed, started to make too much sense to ignore.

But what would Jer say? I had to bring up the topic in light conversation to see what his initial reaction might be. Our friend's recent homebirth was the prefect introduction. I started chatting with him about how short her labor was (her first labor in the hospital had been VERY long), and how beautiful she had described the experience as being. Then I casually said, "Man, homebirth doesn't sound so bad after all!" And to my shock he said, "Yeah, ya think? Would you want one?" Trying not to stammer, I said, "Well, I'm not ruling it out. It might be nice." And he just said, "Yeah, it could be good." Holy Cow! I can't believe he was so open to it!

For me, that was the final decision maker for me. I know now that I want a homebirth with our next baby, whenever that may be. I know we will get lots of whiplash from friends and family (my brother had spina bifida and they didn't know before he was delivered which scares my family to death, and lots of our friends are nurses.) But ya know what, I don't care. I am comfortable with this decision, much more comfortable than the thought of another hospital birth. And really that is all that matters. Right? I think so.

Monday, August 20, 2007

But what about the poo?!?!

Whats up with Cloth? Article #3

So, you are wondering how you clean nasty cloth right? Do you have to dunk them in the toilet? Are they REALLY sanitary? Are they all stained? Do they stink? What do you do with them when you aren't at home? Well, I will tell you!

First of all, washing cloth diapers isn't nearly as laborus or burdensome as everyone seems to think it is! Honestly, I spend as much time washing diapers as I did emptying the darn diaper genie! It really comes down to a couple of key things- having enough diapers and a washing routine that works for you. I have enough diapers that I only have to wash every 2-3 days and my routine is down to a science. I spend no more time with diaper laundry than I do regular laundry.

It is really pretty simple- I throw the wet diapers into a lined pail (just a flip top trash can with a reusable PUL bag liner that can be found on almost any cloth diapering site) and when the pail is full I take the bag down and empty it into a cold rinse cycle with a little bit of OxyClean Free (helps with stains and stinks- you can use it only every couple of loads if you like). Next I run a hot wash cycle with a couple tablespoons of natural detergent (my favorite is Country Save), about 1/4 cup of baking soda, and about 1/4 cup vinegar where the fabric softener is supposed to go. Sometimes I run an additional rinse cycle after this to make sure all the detergent is washed out, but it is not always necessary. So there you have it! It is that easy! Pop those babies in the dryer or out on the line and voila'- fresh and clean diapers! The hot water, vinegar and baking soda work to sanitize and the detergent washes everything else away! What could be easier? Of course, sometimes you may run into some build up issues from diaper creams or not rinsing your dipes well enough, but those problems are usually easily fixed with a few good hot washes and a little bit of OxyClean Free!

I know what you are thinking though... what about the poo? Aww yes, the dreaded poo. Well for starters- your own kid's poo is somehow different from anyone elses poo in the world, so right off it is better than it could be! But allow me to let you in on a little secret. It is an accessory that I bought with my first diaper stash and have been in love with ever since! It is called.... the Diaper Sprayer! Yes my dear friends it connects right to your toilet and quickly sprays any unwanted mess right into the bowl! And guess what, since you are simply washing the poo down the drain you don't have any stinky mess to smell up your house! In all actuality, wet cloth diapers smell worlds better than wet disposables since the stench that most people associate with diapers is actually caused by the chemical reactions taking place, not the mess itself! You will also find this handy gadget useful while potty training to easily rinse out your child's potty! I couldn't live without it! I don't know how those sposie mamas do it! Plus, if we get right down to it, you are "technically" supposed to remove as much poo as you can even from disposable diapers, since you are not "technically" supposed to throw human waste into landfills. So you might as well just cloth diaper your kids and save a bundle of money in the process!

So now maybe I have you nearly convinced, but you still have one more burning question, "What do you do with the diapers when you are out of the house?" And guess what, I have one more brilliant answer for you! It is called, a wet bag! These waterproof bags come in zillions of sizes and fabrics to match every mama's style and protect everything in your bag from coming in contact with a soiled dipe. Half the time you can't even find a place in public to throw away a sposie anyway, so why not just slip your dipes in your cute little washable bag and not worry about it! I must admit, a wet bag is another one of those cloth diapering accessories that I just don't know how sposie mamas live without! I mean, wet bags are ideal for swimsuits, spit up rags, or any of the other little messes are bundles of joy constantly spew! See, cloth diapering allows us women to accessorize even more (especially fun if you have a little boy!)! One more wonderful reason to jump on the band wagon!

Still not convinced? Well, let me throw these last few wonderful reasons to use cloth (and a bit of a review) at you and then I will rest my case:
1. Cloth diapered children typically learn to use the potty 1-2 years earlier than children in sposies (we started Roman at 1 year and he almost never poos in a diaper anymore and he is just 16 months! It is glorious!)
2. You never have to worry about your child having allergic reactions to the chemicals in sposies (which many children do, but it is normally just attributed to being diaper rash, not diaper reaction)
3. It is WAY cheaper! Even if you buy the most expensive dipes and thoroughly accessorize yourself, you will still be saving bundles of money!
4. Cloth is much more comfortable- would you like sitting around wrapped in paper all day? I mean come on mamas- remember those post-partum days? Try that for a few years! No fun!
5. Oh yeah... the environment
6. Cloth is just so darn CUTE!! I mean, who could resist?!?!

Friday, August 17, 2007

But I don't want to use pins and plastic pants!

Whats up with Cloth?? Article #2

So, now you know why I decided to cloth diaper. Now I will show you what modern cloth diapering really looks like!

My very first stash consisted of only 8 diapers! Yes it can be done (although I don't recommend it!)! I ordered 2 of 4 different kinds of diapers (from left to right- Happy Heinys, Fuzzi Bunz, DryBees, Bum Genius 1.0) to figure out what we liked the best. I subsisted on this stash of diapers for 2 months before I bought 12 prefolds and covers along with snappis to lighten my laundry routine- but we will get more into that later! All of the diapers you see to the right are Pocket Style, which simply means that they consist of an outer shell made of PUL (a soft, waterproof fabirc) on the side facing away from baby, and a wicking fabric (which pulls moisture away from the skin, such as microfleece) on the side touching baby, therefore forming a pocket for you to stuff an absorbent insert into. The nice things about pockets are that they dry quickly, you can adjust the absorbency based on the number of inserts you stuff them with, they come in cute colors, and are just as easy to put on as disposables, using either snaps or velcro. These dipes are especially great for dads and grandparents, and are nice for outings when you don't want to have to deal with putting a cover over a diaper.

Of course, Pocket Diapers are just one of many different styles that exist in cloth diapering today! My other favorites include: All-in-ones (just how they sound- waterproof fabric and absorbency all sewn together! What could be easier?), fitteds (which look like a diaper but require a cover), and prefolds (the "old style" dipes that you fold and either pin or snappi). For more information on all of the different types of cloth dipes you can look at this detailed page on my website: Modern Cloth Diapering Options.

All in all, I like to use an all-in-one or pocket for when we are out and about, and a fitted or prefold at home. The fitteds and prefolds allow Roman to go coverless at home, giving the maximum amount of breathability to his bum and helping prevent diaper rash. Now you may be thinking, "But you have to use pins with a prefold! I never want to use pins!" Well, you don't have to anymore! Now they have a thing called a snappi (see left)- a "T" shaped plastic gadget with little teeth on the ends that secure the diaper into place! Honestly, I use prefolds all the time and I don't even own pins! Plus, you can make your prefolds sooooo cute by dyeing and embellishing them(see left, stash photo below and picture of Roman in Article #1).

"But covers?" you say, "who wants to deal with covers?! And aren't they those icky plastic pants?" Well, as I mentioned before, I rarely use a cover at home. If I do put a cover on him it is for naptime or bedtime, and then I use wool. "Wool?" you say- I know it sounds strange and I definitely had my reservations, but wool is wonderful! Due to it's antimicrobial properties wool can be used for up to 2 weeks (depending on how often you use it) without smelling or needing to be washed, and the lanolin in the wool is an amazing waterproof barrier! Along with function wool is also adorable! I mean, check out these shorties that I knit (right)! If you need a cover for going out there are many very trim wool options along with wrap style covers made of PUL that either snap or velcro right over your prefold or fitted.

Here is my current stash from left to right, top to bottom: flannel receiving blankets used as flats, 2 Happy Heinys, 2 Fuzzi Bunz, 2 DryBees, 2 Bum Genius 1.0s, Chic & Savvy Wet Bag, 1 yellow Dream-eze fitted- the green one was in the wash, 2 Dream-eze AIOs, 2 Easy-does-it AIOs, 2 Wonderwraps adjustable size covers, Snappis, baby wash cloths used as wipes, 1 fleece liner, 6 premium infant prefolds, 6 regular infant prefolds, 2 mother of eden doublers, 3 microfiber towels used as doublers.

So, now you may be thinking, "Okay, okay, they do seem pretty cute. They aren't what I was expecting and they even seem functional and maybe even easy, but what about washing them? I can't spend my life washing diapers!" Well, you don't have to and I will tell you how in my next article!

Why in the world do I cloth diaper?!?!?

What's up with Cloth? Article #1

I recently received an e-mail from a fellow mama who was inquisitive about cloth diapers. Her questions were simple and straight forward, "I see that they now have snaps, but can you tell me how it works?," "I cannot imagine cleaning a cloth diaper and I'm curious why would you do it when you could throw them away. More specifically, how do you clean those things?" I appreciate her questions- most people don't even bother to ask before they just assume that I must be crazy or a glutton for punishment! Quite honestly, I completely understand that mind set though. Ya know why? I used to think the same way! In fact, if you asked anyone who knows me they would undoubtedly tell you that I was the least likely person on the planet to EVER use cloth diapers! When I first had my son I didn't care how much disposables cost me or what they did to the environment- there was NO WAY I was going to cloth diaper! You couldn't have paid me enough money to use cloth!

So what changed my mind? First of all, I started meeting mamas who used cloth and I was totally surprised at what I saw! These moms were cute and trendy, nowhere near the hippies I had envisioned! And then there were the diapers themselves- they didn't have pins or plastic pants- they were actually cute! They had snap or velcro closures and were as easy to put on as a sposie! However, I still wasn't convinced that cloth was for my family. I mean, after all- you still have to wash them and deal with poo, right? Although I was intrigued (much like the mama who e-mailed me), why were mothers putting themselves through "all the work" of cloth diapering?

So I started doing some research. I found, which has lots of product reviews, information and helpful forums, and used their Cloth Cost Analysis Calculator to find out how much I would really be saving. To my shock, over just one year I would save more than $1000, and thats not including how much I would save by using the same dipes on future kids! Compelling, but not the final straw. The thing that really tipped the scales and convinced me that cloth really was the way to go was they promote the awareness of what you are really putting on your babe's bum when you strap a sposie on them. I read their article about how disposable diapers can actually effect your child's health. This is some of what the article has to say:

"Disposable diapers contain traces of Dioxin, an extremely toxic by-product of the paper-bleaching process. It is a carcinogenic chemical, listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals. It is banned in most countries, but not the U.S..1

Disposable diapers contain Tributyl-tin (TBT) - a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals.2

Disposable diapers contain sodium polyacrylate, a type of super absorbent polymer (SAP), which becomes a gel-like substance when wet. A similar substance had been used in super-absorbancy tampons until the early 1980s when it was revealed that the material increased the risk of toxic shock syndrome.3

In May 2000, the Archives of Disease in Childhood published research showing that scrotal temperature is increased in boys wearing disposable diapers, and that prolonged use of disposable diapers will blunt or completely abolish the physiological testicular cooling mechanism important for normal spermatogenesis.18"

Now, as a mama who was using disposables this article horrified me! I couldn't believe that I had unintensionally been exposing my son to such toxic chemicals 24 hours a day since he had been born! That did it! I was convinced! I couldn't in good conscience put my son in disposable diapers any more. I bought my first stash of cloth diapers that night.

I thoroughly believe it is my job to protect my child however I can, including by removing harmful chemicals that are in their environment. Sadly, diposable diapers are packed with toxic chemicals but parents have no idea. We figure that if it is on the market and says it is gentle enough for my baby then it must be okay, but that just isn't the case. For instance did you know when a bottle of baby shampoo says "Tear Free" it is not because it is so gentle that it won't hurt your baby's eyes, but rather that it contains a numbing agent so they don't know they are being burned?

My research opened up a whole new world to me that I needed to protect my family from. Just as you lock cupboards to protect your child from what is inside, I made the decision to remove toxic chemicals from our home any way that I could. We now use only non-toxic, natural cleaners and all-natural personal care products (like soaps, toothpaste, lotion, etc..) and eat organic when we can. I now rest easy, knowing that by being an informed mama I am making the most healthy choices for my family. You can just call me a non-hippie natural mama! I am good with that!

So now you know why I Cloth Diaper, stay tuned for the "hows" and learn that it really isn't as much work as everyone thinks! You can also go to my website to learn more: Chic & Savvy Mamas.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sweet, Sweet Summer & need for a reprieve...

Is there anything really like it? Kids playing in the sprinklers while you relax in the shade and watch their joy as you sip a cool glass of water? Today Roman and I went to a friends' house where four of us mamas (all having kids relatively close together) regularly gather and let the kiddos play while we chit chat and get a little "girlfriend time." The house has a lovely backyard with lots of room to run and things to explore. They recently finished a beautiful patio area with a pergola and have had a nice little swimming pool up all summer that is the perfect height for the munchkins but deep enough for us mamas to cool off in too! And of course there is always the spinkler to play in as well!

When I really think about it though, I guess I really didn't get much relaxing, more chasing my crazy 15 month old! What a little instigator! The other kids can be completely well behaved and then along comes Roman! What a handful!Now don't get me wrong- I love him to death! He is my son! God gave him to me and I wouldn't want him any other way! But lets face it, there are those days when you feel like you are at your breaking point, and this week has had a few of them! I think we have some serious teething going on and on top of it I have had some shipping mishaps with a few recent orders I have sent out. Sometimes when he is clingy and the only way to keep him calm is to hold him (with his left hand inevitably down my shirt "twiddling" and his right thumb in his mouth!) while I am trying to juggle everything else at the same time- you just want to call for a time out! Any mama of a young child can sympathize I am sure! Where is my reprieve? Where is that place that I can escape to and just be by myself for a few moments, with no one touching me, and not have one bazzilion things running through my head?

Hence the name of my blog! Someday, I will have a studio all to myself! I will make that one room as girlly as I want, have all my projects, supplies and books just where I want them, have a big window with a wonderful view and lots of natural light, and best of all- a lock on the door!

For now, this is that place. This blog is my studio- the place I escape to late at night, when everyone is asleep, to recapture a little bit of me. In this place I collect my projects and thoughts to share them with whoever might listen and look...

...and then I find a project, a collaboration if you may, of some of the most beautiful art I have ever seen- Roman's first chalk art (I made the "R" or course- that is where the collaborating came in!). And when I look at simple little things like this, and can find such joy and beauty, I know this whole mothering thing is more than worth it. These are the things that I live for and they make those frustrating moments feel small. Well, smaller anyway...

To every mama out there... find your studio... your place to be you... take those moments and breathe...

What a productive morning!

Mmmmm... the sweet feeling of getting things done! I feel like I have accomplished so darn much this morning! I guess I was just in power mode and I got a ton accomplished- even those things that I have been avoiding for weeks! I just got down to business and got things done! Ohhhhh- it just feels so good! It all started with getting up earlier than normal (which I should make a routine, I know). Now I can go about the rest of my day free to enjoy it, not worrying about laundry and dishes and bills! Here is this morning in pictures:

My sweet boy enjoying his sweet morning snack... watermelon!

I even got to enjoy a cup of tea!

Making dinner... shepherds pie. I have it all ready to pop in the oven!

My latest Mei Tai orders ready to deliver today!

So, go out there and get things done! You will feel magnificent afterward!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

oooo- check out this contest!

5 Minutes for Mom is running a contest to win a LCD Flat Screen TV! All you have to do is post a reply on this details page and you are in the contest! The whole thing is being sponsored by Best Buy and ends at the stroke of Midnight on August 17th- so get over there!

Is anyone out there?

I would love some comments on my posts- a little reassurance that people are reading... or maybe they're not! Who knows- It would just be fun to hear what people who view my blog have to say! So, feel free to comment! Lets interact.

Monday, August 13, 2007

My Crazy Dream!!

Okay- I had the craziest dream last night! In the dream (not in real life at all- but we are trying!) I was pregnant. Very pregnant! In fact, I was in labor! So, I headed for the hospital but Jer was nowhere to be found! So, I get all check in and settled and this doctor comes in who I have never met before and says to me, "So a girl, huh?" And then I see all this pink writing on the chart! I am like, "A girl?! But we weren't finding out and I totally was expecting a boy!" Then the doctor gets all flustered because she realizes that she wasn't supposed to tell me and tries to cover up by saying, "Well, maybe its a girl! We will find out soon, huh?"

Then I realize that I didn't bring (or possibly even make) a birth plan for this labor! This of course causes me to start freaking out and in between contractions I am trying to explain my plans for the birth, which I feel is critical because I know how doctors can be and I am all about natural birth! So she finds a copy of my last birth plan in my chart and things calm down but Jer is still MIA! All of the sudden it is time to push and I am crying saying the baby can't arrive because my husband isn't there. After a while of pushing I just say, "Thats it! I am going to find my husband!" And I leave!! Ha! There I am, in my gown, walking out of the hospital to go find Jer! Eventually I do, and we decide that a homebirth would be better. Somehow my contractions have slowed and I am walking all over the place- crazy I know! We decide to go to his parent's house to have the baby and one of my childhood friend's moms is there to deliver the baby! She brought along bunch of her hippie friends and they are getting make shift home birthing supplies together and running me a bath when I am still wondering if I am actually having a girl or not, and I wake up!

I hope that is no indication of how my next labor will go! But, hmm... a girl would be nice- I won't get me hopes up though! Safer that way!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Itching to blog...

Wow- this gets addicting! I love it! I never thought I would but I totally do! I find myself waking up at night thinking about what I want to blog! And then there are all the amazing ideas I have gotten from other blogs! So- a big THANK YOU to the fellow crafty, bloggin' mamas of the world! I salute you!

So, update on Christmas! I have moved beyond the planning stage to the actual making stage! I bought the yarn for my Grandparent's crocheted afghan on Friday and I think it is going to turn out really nice! The yarn is just Homespun, but I figure that will be easy for washing and use. It has a nice mix of a mossy green, heather and copper/peach colors. I think it will go well in their living room (hopefully they will think so too!) This is the first time I have really made many gifts for Christmas, so I hope it goes over well!

This morning Roman and I watched to Jon Courson's message from August 5th. It was nice to get some teaching since we haven't been to church in a few weeks. Jeremiah has been working every weekend and I feel like it is pointless for just Roman and I to go since I end up sitting in the nursery the whole time anyway. Jon' s message was in Psalm 14, talking about how we need to acknowledge and remember God, keeping in mind that we could face eternity at any moment. It was really good. You can find it here. I was amazed when he started listing the statistics of how many people die- 50 million a year; 6,000 a hour; 100 a minute! There's a glimpse of reality for ya! Are you prepared?

Thursday, August 9, 2007

On the needles- 8/09!

Okay, I probably have too many projects going at once, but hey- that keeps things interesting right? In the picture on the left, the far right project is a Curly Purly soaker with the yarn I have left over from my latest pair of shorties. However, I am doing Grey with Blue trim- just opposite of the shorties! The middle project is a Double Moss Stitch Scarf for my mom (see below for the nightmare I went through with this yarn!). And the project on the left is the most complicated project I have attempted to date: a Zip-Up Cable Jacket out of the Debbie Bliss book Simply Baby. I am really excited about this one! I think it is really going to expand my repertoire of knitting skills! Hmm... now that I am looking, I should probably be knitting, not typing! Oh the many things I put on my plate!

"Socks" "Sit" "Doggy"!!!

It's official- Roman has been uttering REAL words all week and it all started with a pair of socks! It is the middle of summer so I rarely put socks on him, but the other day I thought it was a little chilly around the house so I took him in the bedroom and said, "Let's get you some socks!" Then he said, "Socks!" Plain as day! I was shocked! He said it another 10 times over the hour, so of course we had to call daddy, Nanna Bubbe (my mom) and Grammy (Jer's mom) to let them hear this wonderful milestone!

Later that evening Jer and I told him to sit down in his high chair and he said, "Sit!" Then, the next morning when we got up, he was sitting in front of me and he noticed that the boxers I had worn to bed had Dalmations on them! He got so excited and started saying, "Doggy! Doggy!" We are also hearing a lot more of "Mama" and "Dada", which he has been saying for a while but mostly when he is mad!

Now, some of these amazing utterances may not necessarily by decipherable to the untrained ear, but as a mama they are perfect English! In fact, I have noticed that as my ears become more atuned to his unique little sounds I am able to understand other little youngsters better too! Wow, being a mother is incredible! You just can't get these little joys any other way! How blessed I am!

Oh what a mess!!

Oh my, my! What happened here? Well, I will tell you! My loving mother was working a craft fair (my parents own Labor of Love Creations- they make beautiful signs for the home! Check 'em out!) and she found a booth with beautiful hand painted yarns by Lee Greenlee of Shoalter Bay (she doesn't have a site but if you want her number I can get it to you!). Knowing that I am an avid knitter, she generously bought two skeins for me to make scarves out of- one for her and one for me! However, when I attempted to unravel the first skein to make a center-pull ball I quickly realized that something had gone terribly wrong when the skein was originally made- I found yarn criss-crossing every which way! Then, to make matters worse, my one year old son decided to "help" me! Before I knew it I had a knot worthy of the Guinness Book of World Records! It ended up taking me 3 days and over 4 solid hours to work the whole thing out! I can't believe I stuck with it- probably because it was a gift and I would have felt terribly guilty to give up!

Now that the madness is over I am finally getting to knit the first skein up in a lovely Double Moss Stitch (alternating k2 p2 k2... with p2 k2 p2... every 2 rows). In the end I am sure it will be worth the work, but I am absolutely making my husband help me hold the second skein while I roll the center-pull ball!


Well, I don't know about perfection but I sure do love them! The brown longies (Cascade 220) were my first ever pair. Sadly, they are getting rather short (probably should have made them longer to begin with! Oops! Oh well, part of the learning process!), but Roman still wears them almost every night to bed!

The light green on the left were the second pair I made. Since I only bought one skein they ended up being more like hot pants than perfection pants, but they did there job until I got another pair of shorties made! Some of our friends who lived in Germany for a few years said he looked like a German baby! Well- Danke!

My third pair were the dark green with brown trim. I messed with the pattern a little, wanting wider legs. Well, it seems that I over compensated a bit after the light green pair and I think Roman could probably wear these when he is, oh, I don't know- maybe FIVE! They are huge! Drat! Try again!

Which brings me to my last completed pair- the blue with grey trim! They are the closest thing to perfect I have made! Much better fit and I think the cutest pair so far! My husband even thinks they are cute- and that is saying something!

Here is Roman "helping" me take pictures:

And here are the blue ones in action:

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

An intersting Blog- good reminder

I was just reading this pretty cool blog that I found on 5 Minutes for Mom- Cheaper by the Half Dozen. This mama points out something very important- so many kids are not getting the attention they need when it come to schooling. I think that a lot of parents checkout when it comes to what their kids are doing during the day at school- they figure that teachers are taking care of all educational concerns, when many times that is just not the case. Teachers have a lot of students to think about and it is not hard for a few to slip between the cracks. C.R. Morris at Cheaper by the Half Dozen notes that parents are the ones ultimately responsible for their children's educations. So, whether you need to hire a tutor or homeschool your munchkins yourself, be sure you are active in your kids education this year- your kid's future is depending on it! Way to go Mama (C.R. Morris) for bringing this to light!

Personally speaking, I know that Roman is still quite young, but his learning is constantly in the back of my mind. In fact, I started reading books about homeschooling when I was still pregnant! I hope to get his education off to a fun start this fall by enrolling him in some music classes and possibly a co-op!

Christmas is Coming!

Okay- you may think I am crazy but Christmas has been on my brain lately! Probably because I am planning out my Christmas projects and I have a lot of them! I figure that if I want to get even half of what I have planned actually accomplished then I had better get started soon! My first big goals are the afghans I am crocheting for my grandparents. In addition I have a long list of other fun items that I am either sewing, knitting, or craftily making in general, but I can't post them just yet for fear of some of the recipients finding out! All in all, I think it will be lots of fun and if I start now it hopefully won't be too stressful! So, Merry Christmas All!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

So I was watching TLC...

So we recently got cable again and I can't stop watching TLC!! I am addicted! Let me tell you, "A Baby Story" and "Bringing Home Baby" are not doing any thing good for my current case of baby fever! But the real point of today's blog- "Kids by the Dozen." On Monday nights TLC always has shows about multiples and large families- they mesmerize me! I mean when I watch them I am just completely fascinated and inspired! I by no means want 14 kids but I do want a large family and I just love to see how they organize, shop and run their families smoothly! I only have one kid and I am not half as with it as these moms! Then again, since they have more kids (a lot more) they HAVE to be more organized! All the families I have watched so far have been Christians and most homeschool. I only hope I can be half the woman that these women are! The latest episode I watched was last night about the Arndt family. Along with everything else this family has undertaken they have a ministry they run out of their home called Safe at Home. Here is their Website: you should check them out! Pretty Incredible! Anyway- it just gets me thinking and dreaming about our future!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Well here is our little crazy man on (and off) his potty! We started potty training the week after his birthday and he is doing great with it! We hardly ever have dirty diapers anymore- only wet ones, which is very nice for mama! Having our diaper sprayer (which is hooked right up to our toilet) has been very nice to rinse the potty out- I don't know how non-cloth mamas do it!

Prefold Madness

A few months ago I dyed and embellished Roman's prefolds! It was lots of fun and they look way cute on!

Big Boy Bed!

Last month we bought Roman his very own big boy bed! After over a year of co-sleeping (in a queen bed) it was time for the restless little monster to get his own bed! As you can see from the picture he was keen on helping us put it together! He thought he was being very helpful- Jer and I felt otherwise, but it ended up being just too cute to get mad at him for trying to help!

He has made the transition very well- better than expected! The bed is in our room at the foot of our bed but it seems to be far enough away from us to not disturb him when we go to bed. We started night weaning at the same time and I think it has helped him sleep longer stretches. He is typically only waking up one or two times a night and falling back asleep pretty quickly- a nice break for mama! We are going on week 4- wish us luck as we continue!

My Little Blog

Well, I have tried blogging before and not been very successful. However, recently I have been finding so many wonderful ideas for crafting and what not on blogs that I thought I would start one myself! I hope to share everything from family news, to our adventures in cloth diapering, to my latest crafty projects, to my faith, to news about my company (Chic & Savvy Mamas) and whatever else pops into my head! I hope you enjoy!