Monday, May 31, 2010

Wanna Have a Say in My Life?

Well, have at it!

Things have reached "routine stage" with my life and I'm feeling like taking on a new project. I'm going to list each idea and talk a bit about them and how they fit in with my New Year's resolutions. I'll also go over the pros and cons of each.

Elimination Communication

Elimination communication, or EC, is helping your baby realize their need to poop or pee and helping them do so in the potty. It sounds like potty training on the surface, but it isn't. I'm thinking about starting this with Doozer, and the best window of time is starting before four months.

This coincides with my resolution to save money. Less wet or soiled diapers means less laundry which means less hot water, less detergent, and less dryer time.

Pros for this project include less diaper changing, more communication with my daughter, and maybe a potty training boost for BuggaBoo. Cons include a major time investment in the future, the reality of accidents, and dealing with people who may have problems with Doozer pottying in public places in case I can't get to a potty fast enough.


Sprouting is growing teeny-weeny plants inside your house. Sprouts are amazing, just bursting with life force, nutrition, and love. I was sprouting rather regularly towards the end of Doozer's pregnancy but lost steam when I ran into a few lots of un-viable seeds. I also didn't like my set-up, which was glass canning jars, metal rings, and pantyhose. The rings rusted and the hose stayed moist, encouraging mold. However, I bought some sprouting trays amd want to try again.

This helps out my resolutions for healthier eating, better gardening, and saving money.

Pros include easy to do, fun for involving kids, and more nutritional bang for our buck. It also makes us less dependent on stores for our veggies. Cons include remembering to rinse the sprouts three times a day, having a bad batch, and the cost of sprouting seeds.


Water kefir and rejuvelac would be first on my list, followed by homemade sauerkraut this fall (hopefully using cabbage from our own garden). Fermentation is and amazing way to introduce beneficial bacteria into your body. Rejuvalac can help remineralize your teeth, something that would be good for BuggaBoo and Doozer (Side note: my kids have weak epiglottis' and have a lot of reflux. The constant acid wash wore away enamel from BuggaBoo's early teeth, which he got at 3.5 months. Two of his teeth have entirely rotted away and another has a cavity. End of side note.). Water kefir is also a very yummy, fizzy drink that resembles soda. Water kefir grains can also be used in coconut milk to make a thin, yogurt-type drink. Hey, that sounds good!

Fermenting would help with my resolutions by saving money on buying non-dairy fermented products, encourage good health, and help with preserving our future garden produce.

Pros include better health, yummy drinks, and stronger teeth.

Cons include upkeep (you have to rinse the kefir grains and sprout rye or wheat for the rejuvelac), the time to learn a new skill, and the initial cost of the kefir grains.


Weight training it good for everybody, but very good for women to create strong bones. Weight bearing exercises encourage the bones to add more calcium to endure the weight, get it? I listed weights fro about two weeks before I got pregnant with BuggaBoo and loved it. So I would like to love it again.

This helps with my resolutions......Erm, for healthiness? It's not exactly "eating healthier" but it all ties in, right?

Pros include life-long body changes (if regime is continued my whole life) like stronger bones and muscles and (hopefully) less body fat. Another pro is endorphins, baby! That will hopefully help with me being a happier mom. Cons include the times it takes. Also, I don't know when I won't have my arms full of babies long enough to weight train. Can you lift weights while babywearing?

Sew a Seam a Day

I don't have much free time to sew. However, if I sew a seam or two a day that will get me somewhere faster than never sewing anything. I think it will also make for a happier mom overall because I'll get some selfish creating in every day rather than in guilt-inducing blocks of time.

This will fulfill my resolution to do more sewing. It will also hopefully help me save money by making me new clothes from fabric I already own instead of buying fabric in creative desperation.

Pros include sewing! Cons would be trying to stop after a seam or two.

So, there it all is. How should I spend my "free" time? You get to choose! Ooo, look, a poll! I just learned how to do this. Which helped with my blogging resolution.

What new project should I tackle next?

It would also be sweet if you could leave a comment explaining your choice. Unless your want to by totally anonymous in this whole thing, I'm cool with that.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I'm Awesome

Check out my mad tandem nursing skillz. This is what I get to see everyday.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Grace

A year ago my niece, Grace, was born. A year ago my niece, Grace, died. There are many things Grace was.

She was carried in her mother.

She was a girl

She was a Potter's baby.

She was so tiny!

She was born with a full head of hair.

She was born into a loving marriage.

She was born to a mother and father.

She was dressed in a gown made by my mother.

She was laid in a casket made by my father.

And she was carried by her Daddy.

There are many things she would have been.

She would have been a lover of Disney.

She would have listened to music with her Daddy.

She would have worn cloth diapers.

She would have played on the beach.

She would have played dress up.

She would have read books.

But there two things she will always be.

She will always be loved. She will always be missed.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pants to Skirt Advice

Remember the pants I was thinking about making into a pencil skirt that I talked about before? I had some requests for pictures, so here they are:

This is my "I lost a gazillion pounds!" look.

Here's that elastic waistband. There is a zipper in there, too.

So, keep the elastic? Create a whole new waistband? Thoughts?

P.S. Don't worry about the "bra band floob" going on in the last picture. I was trying my bra on a tighter setting because I could, but once I saw these pictures I quickly loosened it. I asked The Hubby why he didn't noticed, he said he didn't know. You gotta love the men that don't see your flaws.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Family Update

For all the family reading this: Hello!

BuggaBoo likes to:

Play with EVERYBODY. He's very social
Eat carrots cooked in soy sauce.
Ditto with broccoli.
Help Daddy in the garden, especially anything to do with water.
Say "Hi!" to the neighbors.
Play on the slides.
Share food with Mommy or Daddy.
Read books.
Flirt with the children's librarian.
Tandem nurse with Doozer.
Sleep in bed with Mommy.
Help Mommy sew.
Go on walks.
Splash in puddles.
Make Doozer smile.

Doozer likes to:

Laugh. She just started today!
Be in dry diapers.
Play with her brother.
Chew on fabric.
Chew on rubbery things.
Chew on her fist.
Have her gums rubbed. She's teething.
Hold onto your finger.
Stand up with help.
Take naps in a front wrap cross carry.
Sleep for the night in bed, thank you very much.
Sleep next to Mommy or Daddy. She's flexible.

I Know Why the Mother Dresses Up for the Doctor

Horrible analogy, I know, but that's what popped into my head and it hasn't left yet.

I've been thinking a lot about Freedom vs Being With My Kids. I though now would be an apt time to discuss this since I've read about this topic on these blogs. So if you read those posts and see me cover some of the same ground, I'm sorry.

I recently was in a discussion with my sweet sister-in-law about parents that schedule regular absences from their children. I was quick to judge those mothers as insensitive to their children's needs and she was quick to correct me. She reminded me that some moms need a break from their kids in order to be the best mom they can be. I eventually agreed with her, but in the way that you're actually saying, "Well, I guess for SOME people it may be that way, but NEVER for me."

And then I ate my words. A week or two after this conversation BuggaBoo went to a friend's house for a playdate. And it was bliss. I think I took a nap with Doozer. When BuggaBoo came home I was in a much better position to be a better mom.

Also recently I've caught on fire for a new project in my life. In short, there is a lack of cute breastfeeding clothes, a severe lack of cute breastfeeding dresses, and a BRUTAL lack of breastfeeding clothes patterns, period. I've been brainstorming new nursing openings that I can use on clothes so I can dress myself the way I want to be dressed. As I was drawing inspiration from ready-to-wear clothing I was struck with an epiphany: Why don't I start a line of pattern for nursing clothes? And then the next thought was shameful, guilt-inducing: Why couldn't I have figured this out before I had kids? Which makes no sense, since I wouldn't have a need for nursing clothes without these babies of mine, but who needs logic?

And so has started a war in my life. I'm trying to balance my needs for freedom with my needs to have family ties. Note I'm not talking about my children's needs. *I* need my babies. When The Hubby takes BuggaBoo out for a few hours I look forward to the time they'll be back. When The Hubby takes the two of them out for a walk I anxiously wait for them, unable to do anything for fear that Doozer is screaming to be fed. Never mind the fact that she'll sleep for two hours in the wrap, I know she is screaming.

So then the children come back and mob me. My thoughts at this point are, "Why didn't I take better advantage of my time alone?!?" And then there is resentment. 'Round and 'round it goes, the life of a mother.

So, back to dressing up for the doctor. My feeling is mothers are so relieved to be doing an activity that doesn't have to do with their children, directly or indirectly, that they're going to take full advantage of it and dress up. Because a doctor will not talk endlessly about your children (which we all know that's what happens on your hubby-wifey dates) and a doctor isn't wondering why you're kids aren't with you and the doctor might actually appreciate not seeing you in spit-up covered sweats.

So, this is what I wore for the doctor:

Cardigan: Given to me by my sister
T-shirt: Thrifted and then altered by me
Neck lush: Made by me
Belt: Thrifted
Skirt: Made for me by my MIL, maternity wear
Boots: Given to me by my sister, same as above
Baby: Made (mostly) by me

Vintage butterfly hair clip: Worn by me as a child, still with me today

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sewing Card Tutorial

I sew. BuggaBoo wants to help me sew. This is a happy alternative to finding straight pins all over my floor. I have fond memories of using these in kindergarten.

I bought flexible plastic cutting boards at my local dollar store for the sewing cards.

Trace the shapes you want the cards to be. I used a heart, a crescent, a square, a circle, and a rectangle.

Cut out the cards and then take a hole punch and punch your sewing holes. Find some shoelaces for "thread". It's nice to use shoelaces since they have the plastic tips and are stiff enough to thread through the holes, like a needle. I bought this 8-pack at the dollar store.

Admire your work.

Not bad for two bucks and a few minutes of work!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I Love Me Some Omega-3's!

The Hubby (finally!) transferred pictures from the camera to the computer, so now I can put up all the tutorials I've been wanting to do. Today I was waffling between putting up a crafty tutorial or a foody tutorial, but food won out since I'm hungry. So I'm treating you to my recipe for Flaxy French Toast.

Well, I'm using the term "recipe" loosely here. I didn't measure anything, flax is something that you have to do by feel sometimes. But I have pictures and explanations so that will have to do.

First you have to find yourself some flax meal. It's important to know that whole flax seed is impossible for your body to digest, so it needs to be ground before using it. I prefer to buy whole flax seed and grind it in my coffee grinder that has never seen coffee. Ground flax goes rancid quickly so buying it pre-ground can give you a bitter experience, literally. Also, at my local bulk store, ground flax goes for about $1.00/lb and whole seeds are $0.56/lb. After grinding your flax store it in the fridge and use it in a week or two for the best results.

Pour your ground flax into a bowl.

The ratio for flax-to-water to make an "egg" is 1:2 or 1:3, depending on how thick you want it. A tablespoon of flax meal plus your wanted water equals the binding power of an egg. I think I use about 1/2 cup of meal for 4-5 slices of bread. But don't add your water yet!

Instead, add your seasonings. I use cinnamon, nutritional yeast, and salt. I think the cinnamon is the key to getting it to taste like eggy french toast, but that's what I grew up with. The nutritional yeast helps the flax taste a bit like eggs, it's also high in B vitamins. And it's yummy in it's own right.

Whisk the flax meal and seasonings together and add your water. Flax meal mixed with water will thicken upon standing for any length of time, so take that into consideration. Experiment, it won't hurt. This is the texture of my flaxy goodness that I like to use. To be clear, this is the texture of it after standing.

If you're using homemade bread for this (and why not!) then slice it while you're waiting for the flax to congeal.

Dip your slices in the flax mixture. You might have to scrape some mixture off it it's too thick. Again, experiment. Then lay it into a heated sprayed pan to cook. I use a medium-high heat.

Then enjoy!

The flax gives it a delightful nuttiness that I just love. It's also great for slicing into sticks and giving it to your toddler to dunk. And you can pat yourself on the back for not buying frozen french toast sticks.

Doesn't breakfast sound good right about now?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Laundry Day

Since Doozer's arrival we have had a lot more laundry. There is a load of diapers every day plus weekly loads of BuggaBoo's and Doozer's clothes. She spits up a lot and he's a two-year-old.

Luckily the weather is getting warmer and less rainy so I can start using my clothesline.

I've learned to hang the kids' clothes by one sleeve to save space on my lines. That way I can fit three loads at once.

There's just something about seeing all those tiny clothes squished together.

Now, not all of her clothes are brown and pink, she does have some pizazz thrown in.

But even with all these clothes in her wardrobe...

sometimes a girl just doesn't have anything to wear!

She doesn't seem to mind.

And some other cute shots

Now, don't you have some laundry to do?