Copyright © June Cleaver in yoga pants
Design by Dzignine
Monday, March 28, 2011

i got nothing

So both my babies woke up sick. One hacking and coughing in the middle of the night...for three hours...and I am sick too...which means whiney-ness all around...which is where we are at...

Ugh. I am no good at head colds. Really, they suck. Neither is my four year old, apparently. He reserves a special level of whiney for the occassion. I want juice NOW. And if you dont get it for him immediately he starts screaming. Its lovely.

Four year olds are interesting creatures - delightful, imaginative/needy, whiney - all rolled into one powerhouse of a little body. Well, mine is at least.

He tells me he is having "A MISERABLE DAY" if I tell him he cant have a Tootsie Pop for dinner (thank you dada for bringing home not just one, but a WHOLE BAG)

little man's own portrait of his knight guy...
He calls names now. I talk about "using lovely words" ALL DAY LONG, to no avail. I send him to his bed "to think about using lovely words" and he pops out and an hour later calls his sister "stupid boopid." His trick is to make up swear/mean words. He heard the name "moron" on Sword of the Stone (thank you Disney) as soon as we outlawed that word he immediately started calling me "boron" or "schmoron" or "storon" (He just called me that last one for suggesting he go to the bathroom instead of dancing around the living room with his legs crossed.) Maybe that is the trouble with four year olds. They start outsmarting you. So then we have to talk about "using lovely tones of voices," the message of which gets totally lost. 

Can you tell I have a head cold? My thoughts are coming out all muddled.

I mean, the thing is he goes from this to then "Mommy, I love you more than the stars in the sky and all the planets - even EARTH - smushed up together and piled on top of each other." And it seriously is a pendulum, back and forth ALL FRICKING DAY. Exhausting.

Its like, testing, testing, testing...and I try SO HARD to be even-keeled, taking it all in, not letting it get to me. I know that is my job. To be the steady one. The adult, as it were. (HA HA.) But, when one's throat is sore and head is throbbing crabby demands to reattach the playmobile knight's face guard to his helmet while you are trying to do the dishes get...OLD. Really old. FAST.

Okay, so he is sick. But that doesn't account for last week. My other thought is that it is an end of winter cabin-fever kind of thing. Maybe?

Okay, I am sick, forgive the whining.

But seriously? Mothers. Tell me. Its a phase, right? This too shall pass, and all that, right?

Okay, little miss is screaming at me for an orange and little man needs the face guard reattached...again.

Fun times I tell you, fun times.
Thursday, March 24, 2011

end of winter distractions

All the snow was melted. The birds were tweeting. Things looked so hopeful. And I thought surely, surely, we are done with snow for the year.

Alas, I was quite wrong. Yesterday we got around 6 inches of snow. SIX. And it will be cold for the rest of the week into next, ie, this snow isnt going anywhere.

Sigh. Back out with the boots, mittens, etc.

In the meanwhile we have needed distractions, not just from this snow but the long winter in general. So here are some things we have been doing around here to try and forget about the wet cold stuff that won't go away.

About two weeks ago when we got a big snow I was feeling kinda bad for the birds around our house. So we tried to make some food for them. I have heard of the whole peanut butter on pinecones covered with bird seed thing but we had no bird seed or pinecones. Instead I used dried out pita (ew) and had the kids spread on peanut butter, then we covered with sunflower seeds I collected from a giant sunflower growing in the the community garden last fall.

The birds didn't seem to mind. Although the squirrels were the real winners, making off with the bread within a day. Random crafts like this are key to fighting off cabin fever.

  Another winner has been my own personal creation "the exercise game". I wrote a bunch of fun activities, and some for mama too, on some slips of paper. Each person takes a turn choosing a card, then they can either do it themselves (marching down the hall like a soldier is a favorite) or give it to someone else (downard dog for 1 minute). We usually warm up doing "animal yoga" stretching our legs like kangaroos (warrior's pose) meowing and arching our backs like a cat, arching our heads up to the ceiling like a snake, and of course, downward dog. Running around the house flapping your arms like a chicken and such for half an hour really does help take the edge off. And it is a much WARMER way to get exercise than trying to play in the snow (and avoids the whole bundling up routine).

Finally there is crafty-ness. Yesterday, during the aforementioned snowy day, I pretty much spent the day crafting for the kids. (No I am not reading you a book, I am TRYING TO MAKE YOU A DOLL DARNIT.) Not always the most fun for the kids but I am sick and it was a crabby day.

Here are the results:

First, per little man's request, I made a queen for his castle. He already had a baby and a king and as he said "my castle NEEDS a queen mama" Her name is Annabelle. He spent the next hour playing that is was her birthday, or that the knights were all saving her from a dragon, or that she was having a baby. (HA)

Next I created the 8 inch doll that I meant to make for little miss "poochy head" as her brother has taken to calling her. When dada and I were walking around the shee-shee mall (the one with Louis Vuitton and a Tiffany's) we walked around this amazing baby store. In it was this 8 inch doll in a little carrying bed. It cost $80. I was like, dude, I could totally make that. So yesterday afternoon I did. It was really quite simple and I am super happy with the results, as is little miss. She has been carrying her around all morning, even chasing dragons with her brother.

So, those are my wintry distractions to share. Spring is supposedly here already. I guess it will be real all too soon and days will be spent in the sun, chasing at the park and getting mud stains out of clothing. For now, a day of crafting and projects and silly games, well, its not really that bad.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011

on getting away

So I know I don’t write much about dada. It’s easy to be all la-dee-da about mommyhood. Not so much talking about grown up things like marriage and relationship. For me anyway. Let’s face it having young kids is hard on a relationship. It’s tiring.

we took the kiddies to the aquarium before we left -
yes, totally to assuage our guilt, ha.
Your evening interactions are spent thus:

Partner A comes in from work

Children attack Partner A

Partner B yells hi from the kitchen

Partner B gets dinner ready... okay well Partner A usually does this part while Partner B zones out on the computer for ten minutes, truth be told

Both partners fully and necessarily engaged in getting kids to eat dinner. Partners may or may not get a chance to eat whilst food is still warm

Partner A cleans up from dinner whilst Partner B rounds up children like cattle into bathtime

Both partners required for bathtime, getting PJs on, getting teeth brushed etc.

Partner A reads book to child A whilst Partner B reads book to child B (why? Because they insist on their own stories in their own beds, well, on difficult nights anyway)

Partner A lies with child A until child A falls asleep which typically includes multiple requests to hold still, stop kicking, etc. – usually Partner A drifts off too until Partner B comes in the room and kicks his foot to wake him up

Partner B lies with child B for five minutes until child B falls asleep then gets up and sneaks out of room to go watch TV or surf the internet for 30 minutes until child A is finally asleep
Partner A joins Partner B in watching said TV or lying on the couch reading for perhaps 15-30 minutes before a word is spoken. Then a conversation like this follows, maybe during commercial breaks of some generic police show or pawnshop reality program:

spooky jellyfish...totally looks like a placenta in this picture
“Oh, hi. What is your name again?”

“Sara, Hi. Nice to meet you.”


“How was your day?”

“Long, you?”


“I need to go to bed.”

“Okay, I am staying up for awhile.”

“Okay. Good night.”

“Good night.”

And there you have it.

On the weekends the length of this conversation may or may not be doubled, depending on whether the children are contented listening to “Baby Beluga” whilst driving to Costco Saturday morning. There is usually an argument involved at some point between Partners who are both tense and tired. It typically involves who deserved to sleep in that morning and who between Partners is more tired.

Now, I don’t mean to scare off my three regular readers who are without children. More than this is possible. The point is that it is WORK. Lots of work. Anything worthwhile is of course, but especially marriage, and particularly when there are small children around.

So. We have tried to go on dates more often. We manage once a month, maybe. We generally don’t see movies on these dates. Because all you do is sit in the dark. Doesn’t really help forge connections, you know?

And then there is the overnight getaway. We have done three of these since having children. And only for one night each time. THREE. Now, here is the thing. I would honestly rather be at home with my kids. We both feel that way. But sometimes in order to have a conversation or reconnect in a significant way the overnight trip is a good thing. Probably should be doing this more than once every year and a half.

what a cute dada!
We recently had overnight away number three. In a shee-shee hotel five miles from our house. My lovely sister and her husband stayed with the hooligans overnight (even managing to keep child B asleep whilst changing pee sheets after child A had an accident. IMPRESSIVE.) We wandered two malls, couldn’t decide what to eat for dinner. Then I took a hot bath and was bored within 15 minutes (its quiet, too quiet). Dada went and retrieved me a burger and we stayed up too late watching dumb TV. I woke up half a dozen times, once for more than half an hour and woke up for the day at 7:30. All that said. It was good. We laughed. Even flirted a little. I can still flirt, apparently. We had the obligatory argument and still had a good time.

I think more than these kinds of trips it’s the little daily things. We text a lot. A LOT. Dada has found that he learns a lot about my day reading my blog entries! (HI HONEY, I LOVE YOU!) And I have realized that greeting dada with a kiss and hug when he comes in from work, a la June Cleaver, really IS a good way to reconnect after a long day. And dada knows that I love LOVE waking up to a clean kitchen so he often does up the dishes that are left from dinner when I turn in early for the night.

We could do more though. But, like with parenting, I think it’s a gradual thing we learn, how to connect, stay grounded, listen and love even with kids shouting and whining and laughing around us. That cacophony after all is the soundtrack of this thing called a family. We just need to hear the melody in it. Sometimes that can be hard.

And besides, these little beings will only be little for so long. Our trips to Italy for two weeks of sightseeing and wine tasting will come. And ohhhh, won’t that be lovely???
a spin on the carousel - gotta love the MOA. okay, you dont HAVE TO
but sometimes its fun....
by the I was totally in a panic that little man got the purple dragon
to ride as he had been talking about for a week.
So, how many of you get away regularly? How often? Any thoughts or tips on reconnecting?  Do share.
Friday, March 18, 2011

something from nothing, or really ugly at least

So. It has been glorious outside. Okay, relatively speaking. Glorious to me=sunshine, temps above 40. Good enough. We have been spending a good chunk of the afternoon outdoors, we even made it to the park!

Last week, however, was not so nice. So, to make myself feel better I sat the kids in front of Wall E one afternoon and went to town on a stack of ugly, and I mean UGLY, clothing. Pleated pants, sweater vests, etc. Okay, no, one shirt was super cute but ripped and stretched out.

Here is what happened.

see, already super cute. i just shortened the
sleeves and mended the rips...

terrible picture. she REFUSED to pose.
but it is super cute.

So, now we move on to the ugly sweater shirt thing. Really, who wears these?
i cut out a rough dress shape, i should've made
it tighter...
you cant tell here but i stitched the pockets on
with a super cute leaf stitch...
also, i would like to note, i had to bribe them with
JELLY BEANS to get them to pose.
i made a matching head scarf thingy.
i like it. it should be smaller though.
Now for little man. A pair of dada's pants with pleats. Why do men buy pants with pleats? One reason. Sales. Also, I was out of the country when he bought them.
pants are so super easy to make. just cut
out along a pair of pants that fit your child
well, add in a waist band. sew in elastic.
add some pockets. VOILA.
okay, not that easy. I ripped out the waistband
and redid it because there wasnt enough room
in the rise. they are still low waisted but, oh well
notice the super cool pose. this is
what jelly beans get you folks!

large pocket for dragging around crap.

And we can't forget about baby (though I do, most days! What me? Pregnant? Are you sure I am not just FAT???)
this was my first ever purchase at "THE GAP" when it was
a super cool store, back in the early 90s. super soft jersey
waffle shirt and pants. i miss this shirt..

but it made a REALLY cute hat!!

And now for mama...

this is a "circle scarf" out of jersey fabric to warm one's neck
i seriously love it. going to go make more now...
just used a long scrap of jersey. i didnt even finish off the edges!

i think i like it better as a head wrap!! totally
making more for summer.
And those are my creations. I love something from nothing, don't you??
Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Standing in the sunshine
Eyes closed
Birds overhead welcoming the green
Calling it forth
Like priestesses, performing the ritual that is spring
A dance and a hop and a bobbing head
Flittering flight from tree to tree
Now soaring high
Crying out to each other of things to come
And I am aware
Of tingling fingers
Sharp bite of a breeze on my cheek
Snow and ice still underfoot
Yet up they call to me
Look up
Look at us
We know what is next
And the dance continues
And the green will come
Just as it is beckoned
Monday, March 14, 2011

waiting, waiting, waiting.

Good grief. Have I not posted in five days? What a lazy blogger. Not a lazy mommy though. My word the days are busy...this writing class and W.I.P. is kicking my, er, tush. I am barely keeping the house presentable. Dada suggested inviting someone to dinner last minute on Sunday. Ummm. Maybe next week?? The bathroom is particularly scary. Seriously I am thinking, maybe a maid service once a month?? Is that horrible of me?? You would think a stay at home mom could keep her bathroom smelling fresh. Although that is more the fault of the four year old boy, if you know what I mean.

So, yes, waiting. Isn't March just a waiting month? Will it or will it not be warmer today? Will the snow melt? Will the sun be out? Will I ever see green grass and leaves again? Normally I am okay with the wait. It's nice to have one last cozy evening with snow, soup, fresh made biscuits, knitting, etc. All those lovely winter things. Instead I am ITCHING to be done with winter. Like can hardly stand it. AT. ALL. Its the restless kiddies that are mainly doing me in. How wonderful it would be to sit in the sunshine reading a book (rather than shivering in my parka) while the kids play in the warm green-ness of outside. Or, to load them up into the stroller for a walk to the park, the flower gardens, the nature trails all around us.

Oh. Oh. Oh.

I am torturing myself. We are weeks away from this.

baby girl has recently conquered the "L" sound. so her new
favorite phrase is "HeLLLLLLLLO there!"
So instead, today, I did what all Minnesotans do. Pack up the kiddies and head to the Mall of America. That blessed sanctuary of tourists and materialism only a short drive from my house. The kids split a hot cocoa. I got a chai. We walked with friends for a bit but then when they left we headed to Legoland and played and then circled around the Nickolodeon theme park in the center of the Mall, feeling the sun on our heads (through the glass ceiling up above) looking at the trees and flowers planted, and trying out all the quarter kiddie rides we could find.

It was kind of perfect. I am going to try and do one outing like this every Monday with them. Just to have a little fun. Or to try and get boy to stop saying things like "Mom, I am having SUCH a miserable day!!"

our double stroller has a dead tire.
this was the compromise...

But still, the waiting presses in on me. Waiting for my belly to stop looking like I overindulged this winter and start looking like an actual person is growing in there. (Dont you HATE that in between phase??) Waiting to find out if we are relocating for dada's work (oooh, New Orleans? Tampa? Santa Barbara? The possibilities! I of course am loving the idea of sunshine year round....) Its just a lot of waiting. And if you know me you know I am rather impatient.

Well, in any case. I will do some crafty/inspiring type posts this weekend. For now. Waiting. Waiting. For inspiration. Sleep. Sun. Green. Answers. Bellies. Etc. Etc.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011

today's zen parenting moment

My children are at each other's throats today. Okay, fine it isn't THAT bad. But with a doctor's appointment to go to and a denist appointment later (fun day for me, huh?) and a trip to the airport at rush hour, well, my nerves are like UP TO HERE. You know how it is.

So, when I realize they are being quiet, (crap, what ARE THEY DOING!?) and find them like this, even if just for 10 minutes, it totally makes my day. 

again with the pillows and the cozy nest, not in the living room this time at least!

They are now back to jumping on the bed. It was good while it lasted, right?

P.S. Oh, and anybody out there remember the show "Blossom"? The girl who starred in that (and is now on "Big Bang Theory") is Mayim Bailik and she just wrote this fabulous article (and I am not one to throw around the word "fabulous" lightly, like some Sex in the City girl) about bed-sharing with your kids. YOU MUST READ IT. I love her.

That is it for me from today. Off to the dentist. Good times, good times.
Monday, March 7, 2011

three. children. really??

There is something about having a third child that is slightly overwhelming to me. Okay fine, its really overwhelming sometimes.

It isn’t really the logistics of it all.

I run around like a crazed person all day anyway, what is a third little body to chase, right? Okay, I do get that we will now be going from “man to man” defense to a “zone” defense in parenting as my sport-minded brother-in-law says. Yes, that is different.

I may never sit down again.

And yes, I will not be simultaneously growing a third arm to hold hands whilst crossing the street, or walking through a “look, don’t touch!” store, etc. But really, with a sling/Ergo at the ready at least until the kid is 18 months or so, I can handle that.

This kid is going to be spending a lot of time in the Ergo.

(Ooo, maybe an excuse to buy a new soft carrier! I’ve been wanting to get a Mei Tai. Any tips on good brands??)

So, not logistics.

No, here is the real thing that has me freaking out.

How am I old enough to be the mother of three children???

Three?? I mean, one kid, sure. Two kids, still kinda playing house. Right? Your boy, your girl, you can sit at a table for four, still travel in a sedan comfortably, still live in a two bedroom duplex just fine.


Three kids is like, you need a house! An honest to God single family house. With a big yard. More than two bedrooms for sure. And well, forget about borrowing or renting the cheaper sedan when you travel. You can’t fit three carseats in a sedan!


Two kids is still like pretending at this mommy business. Three is like, “Dang, I have KIDS. THREE OF THEM.”


Hopefully it won’t actually be that different. Is it? I don’t know. It seems like much more…real.

I think I am going to go downstairs and sew baby hats.

My head hurts, its snowing out, little man just turned on Christmas music. Oh and did I mention what my living room looks like? Yes, it looks like this:

but mom, its our nest! we are being cozy babies!
Definitely time to retreat to the sewing machine, don’t you agree?
Friday, March 4, 2011

happy things

So, I was just chatting with my mother and she informed me that next week we are supposed to get 20-30 inches of snow in a massive three day storm.



To make myself feel better I decided to do a post of things around the house that make me happy.

a little bouquet of flowers, to distract one's eye from
the piles of snow outside, next to a super duper
scented candle from Ikea.

i made this garland of flowers for baby girl's room. but, i decided
my window was in more dire need of flowery decorations...
again with the distracting from the snow.

oranges. i love oranges with this pregnancy. its crazy.

an "ugly quilt" found at a thrift store for TWO BUCKS. love
the bright colors!

living room shelves organized with educational books,
games, mama's crafting gear, and my books.

junk literature, awaiting a free moment........

my bright red tea kettle. i LOVE it.

drinking fruity tea with my boy.

a reminder for the rough moments....

...aptly hanging over this mess...

my new "corner office" (HA HA)
 meant to entice me to work whilst the children are
happily playing around me....

and then there are these two....
Wednesday, March 2, 2011

a baby doll for my baby doll - how to make a waldorf baby doll

Last Christmas I attempted making Waldorf dolls for the kids.

This is what resulted for little miss.
floppy head, arms, and legs....but a good first effort
This is what resulted for little man.
i like these two better. he named the boy flash and the girl daisy.
But this year I decided, with a baby coming, to make a proper Waldorf style baby doll.

True to form I started a few days before her birthday. Below is step by step in photos. Should you care to try this is a great, great link with complete directions. I should've followed the pattern more precisely. Instead I looked at it and sketched out my own. I also used an old jersey knit t-shirt (dying it in tea for a flesh tone) which made the limbs stretch way bigger than I wanted. I was aiming for an 8 inch doll that could be easly carried around by a toddler. I made a 14 inch doll that is big enough to fit in newborn clothes. Ooops. She loves it though. That is the point.

an old banana republic t-shirt. really soft. way stretched out
(i think i wore it every other day my last trimester with little man.)

it only took two tea bags and five minutes. rinse in cold water. in the drier

start your head with a ball of yarn for more shape.

my sketched out pattern

looping wool over the ball of yarn for the head. i ended up redoing it
several times to make it big enough....the directions say to wait
to make the head until after the body is completed, to gauge the size.
(a baby with a small head doesnt look right!)
they were right....

tying strong thread in a plus shape around the head to form the face

pull down the cross at the back of the head
(so the front is flat, the back round) this also
shapes the cheek more (this is a side view of the
head if you are confused)

the body pieces cut out and sewn. i didnt realize (because i didnt read
the directions all the way through first, a bad habit of mine) but you dont
leave holes for the arms and legs! they are just closed up and sewn on
with an X so that they are jointed. clever huh?

a finished arm.

so, her directions have you cut out a foot in two pieces and sew it on, for a shaped foot
i tried this and without the exact pattern (my printer is broken) i couldnt get it right.
i cut out just a sole for the foot and sewed in on to the bottom of the leg piece.
it looks terrible. sewing in toes helped a little.
you can also sew in fingers, belly button, even a butt crack, but i kept it to toes...
so, the head piece is a like an open toed sock that you sew,
then pull over the head to form the close fitting skin.
i stuffed more wool in to make a tighter fit and make
my head bigger.

sewing the top of the head hole closed.
baby doll ready to be sewn together.
kinda creepy looking huh?

the next day during naptime....little baby gets a face! keep it simple,
otherwise it looks funny. (this was my third face attempt)

jointing the arms. SO. first run a needle through the underside of the arm, then out the top of the arm. bring it back through to form one half of the X, but very closely to where your needle first entered. now run your needle through the body and do the same to the other arm, now back through the body into the first arm to form the second half of the X, now back again through to the second arm to form the second half of that X. got that??? HA. do the same to the legs. i actually think i am gonna go back and redo the joints so my X is doubled up. the legs have already fallen off once...  

oh, also, sew the head on first. i went around my head twice with a whip stitch,
which you can see here.

sewing on the arms. photo courtesy of little man.

finished baby!!!

giving her some hair. i used wool in three colors (raw, brown and yellow)
and felted it on with felting needles. it keeps falling off so i poke it in more.
you can also create yarn hairstyles.

she even fits newborn dipes that missy wore!!

all dressed up and ready for birthday girl!

singing and rocking her baby. YAY. even little man likes her and plays with her.
mission accomplished! although i may make an 8 inch version soon.
There you have it.

Questions? It really was easy, and fun, especially when the kids were asleep. HA.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...