Tag Archives: mommy

My Mommy

I got to spend a good portion of my day today with one of my favorite people: my mother. Mommy texted last night and asked if we could visit in some way/shape/form today and I texted with an enthusiastic “yes!” We’ve both been very busy lately… her with her school’s play and me with my library’s arts gala event (let’s face it, we’re both super-important people), and we just haven’t had a chance to see each other.

Today she came over to visit me, Nate, and the boys (minus Nick, who was at his mom’s this weekend). She bought stuff for Nate to cook us dinner (bacon hamburgers on the grill with an assortment of cheeses and a super-duper garlic dip!) and even bought some extras… strawberries for Trent, single-serve ice cream cups for all of us, a special Girl Scout thin mint creamer for me. She brought over Frozen, which she surprisingly purchased recently, for us all to watch together. We ate until we were sick-full and had garlic-dragon breath and watched the movie which was really awesome, and we played with the boys. Then she and I chatted about mom/daughter things that didn’t involve kids and husbands, just ourselves. It was heavenly. I kept asking if she wanted coffee or tea, somewhat because I always offer several times to all my guests, but mostly because I didn’t want her to go.

When she’s not around I miss my mom. A lot. I love her. She’s the best teacher I’ve ever had; my greatest mentor, most gentle critic, and most dedicated fan. She asks a million and one questions when I want to talk gossip or speculation with her. She asks no questions when I come to her after an argument with Nate. She knows what I need to hear when I need to hear it and she knows how to issue the best kind of comforting silence when that’s all there is for me. She never criticizes me too harshly but doesn’t ever let me settle for anything that isn’t my best. She’s encouraging in the most upbeat, funny, and gentle way. I love her.

I’ve said this before, but I don’t tell people I love them enough. I feel weird saying it, and I don’t know how to fit it in without it being awkward. I need to tell Mommy, and everyone, I love them more often.

I have a handful of friends who’ve lost a loved one. My best friend lost her dad very unexpectedly a few years ago. My other close friend lost her mom unexpectedly almost 5 years ago. I don’t know how these friends make it through without their parents. I don’t know what I would do without mine. I know some people have rough relationships with their parents, but other than the normal angst-ridden teen moments where I flung myself around and whined and cursed about how awful they were to me, I’ve never had a poor relationship with either parent. I think about these friends of mine who’ve lost a piece of their lives and dread that feeling. It consumes me more than I like to admit. Gah! I’m crying about it now.

I guess what I’m saying is this: my mom is my best friend. She’s a mother and a teacher and a critic and a friend. She’s taught me everything I know. I feel like I’ve turned out pretty nicely, and it’s because of her. I follow in her footsteps in nearly everything because I look up to her. I want her to know that every day forever.

20140330-211254.jpg

20140330-211323.jpg

20140330-211346.jpg

Advertisements

Making Your Own Woven Wrap for Babywearing

This past fall my mother and I embarked on a brave quest to make my own woven wrap so I could wrap my wee baby Atticus. I became addicted to babywearing just a few months after giving birth to Atticus in February of 2013. I bought a Moby when I had Trent and unfortunately never used it, and my mom bought me one as a gift prior to having Atticus. I was determined to learn how to wear this time around. I knew that having a newborn and a toddler at the same time could be hectic if I didn’t have a way to carry around the baby without wearing out my useless/non-existent arm muscles. Woven wraps can be super expensive, I quickly realized, and I thought making my own would be a cheap alternative addition.

Atticus and I Using Our Handmade Woven Wrap
Atticus and I Using Our Handmade Woven Wrap

I won’t bore you with my wrap purchases on this post, but be warned that they’ll surely come up soon. I have a handful and they’re gorgeous and soft and fun and cozy and useful and and and…

So anyway, my mom and I decided we were going to bang out a wrap on our own! Here’s how we did it.

Making your own woven wrap

Purchase your materials. You will want a sturdy but not-too-stretchy fabric. I used Osnaburg, but some people also use tablecloth material. I bought my Osnaburg from Hobby Lobby. The cost was $4.99 per yard, but they typically have a code you can enter for 40% off one item. You can also buy Osnaburg on Amazon for around $4.98/yard. I bought 10 yards, which would have been $49.90, but after applying the 40% off code my total before shipping was $29.90. I chose to purchase 10 yards was so that I’d have plenty, since I knew the Osnaburg would definitely shrink. I definitely wanted a size 6 wrap, which is 15.09 feet or 181.10 inches, or just over 5 yards. [Find more information about wrap sizes and other information about woven wraps on PAXbaby’s Woven Wrap Guide. Be warned… once you start poking around you’ll start losing hours before you realize it]. I figured buying so much extra would either leave me enough for a shorty or a ring sling, if I ever wanted to make a second wrap.

10 yards of Osnaburg is a whole lotta fabric!

Wash the fabric. First we washed the Osnaburg on hot and dried it on hot. Again, Osnaburg shrinks, and I wanted to leave plenty of room for shrinkage before measuring and cutting. Some people suggest you wash and dry 2-3 times, but I only did it one. I lost approximately 1/2 yard.

Choose your size and cut. Next, determine for sure what size you want your wrap to be. As I mentioned above, I wanted a size 6 (just over 181 inches). In addition to the 181 inches, we left extra fabric to allow for more shrinkage and for tapering the ends. Check out this nifty Babywearing102 Formal Investigate on Tapers to see different depths of taper by wrap maker. We measured 15 inches from each end so that, not including the tapers, the wrap measured 181 inches. Then, we cut on the diagonal so the tapers weren’t too deep.

Measuring the taper 15 inches deep
Cutting the Osnaburg on the diagonal for the taper

Serge or sew the edges. After the fabric was measured and cut my mom and I took turns serging the edges. If you’re not familiar, a serger uses 4 or more spools and has the capability to trim the edges to keep it clean and even. At the end of each side I tucked the four threads back into the serged edge with a needle, then added some fray check. (*If you don’t have a serger you could fold the edges under twice and then sew it for a nice seam. It would take a little more time to do that. You could also not sew or serge at all if you don’t mind slight fraying. Fraying doesn’t effect the integrity or strength of the wrap.)

The serger makes a nice clean cut and edge
The wrap as it is being serged

Attach a middle marker on the long edge. I wanted a middle marker on my wrap, so we took a piece of ribbon and folded it in half, then held it in place with pins until we got to that point of the fabric while serging. Needles can easily (and dangerously!) break with a serger, so we removed the needles and slowly serged over the ribbon to attach it.

The ribbon is serged on for a middle marker

You can see in the picture above that because we used four colors of thread on the serger the different sides of the wrap are obvious when up close; one side is primarily purple and the other side is primarily green. New babywearers (and some veterans, too) need to be able to see the difference between the sides so the wrap doesn’t get twisted. I also wanted to be able to tell the top from the bottom (again, to prevent twisting). With this in mind, we serged one long edge with the wrap turned over, so that the opposing thread colors were on the facing side.

It was not an easy project, but it also wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, and it was very rewarding! I got to spend time with my mom, try out my new serger, and got a new baby wrap out of it! Maybe one of these days I’ll dye it. You can see below that Atty and I both love it!

A size 6 is quite long!
A close up view of the finished product
Atticus loves his new wrap!
A back view of the wrap job. Plenty of length.

Technology & Beauty. No, I’m Not Calling Technology Beautiful.

Technology still hates me today. What gives, comprooders? I finished setting up a brand new sparkly Asus Transformer Book for the library director today that we’ve been waiting to receive for over 3 months. I love checking things off my to-do list. However, I had a computer begin showing signs of petering out yesterday. I need to replace it with a ‘recycled’ machine (one that’s recently been replaced with something newer and better) pronto, but I’m stuck. I have both a Dell Vostro and an HP Compaq dc5750 that I can’t seem to restore to factory settings. I’ve tried F8, F9, F10, and F11 and I keep not getting them to do what I need. I’ve done this on other computers a handful of times at this point so I don’t understand what the issue is. I feel like these boxes are just laughing at me. 

20140305-185946.jpg
Thank goodness my thoughtful predecessor left me this handy kit. 

I recently had an interesting discussion about beauty with a few friends who are beauties themselves. We talked about people we knew in high school that everyone seemed to consider beautiful and we marveled at how our standards have changed and continue to change. There are people I know from my past who seem to have passed their prime, so to speak. Sometimes I see myself as past that prime time, too. But really it seems like I can see more beauty in everyone now. I don’t care for just one particular type of features or look. I’m fascinated by how different everyone can appear and by what others see as physically attractive. 

For example, the older my mother gets the more beautiful she becomes to me in so many ways. She rarely wears makeup, or at least not much and doesn’t seem to go to tons of trouble in terms of her appearance. Her hair is a nice soft blonde-ish grey mix and her skin is always a summery brown. My mom has a natural and gentle beauty that is hard to come by. 

Anyway. As for the success of the croutons: I took a snack baggie to work today and my coworkers really liked them. I promised to bring more tomorrow but I’m going to have to break that promise. 

20140305-184638.jpg
:-/ suspected culprit: Lucy. 

The dogs expressed interest in last night’s expired leftovers endeavor. They had a few slices before the croutons began and they liked it. When the croutons came out of the oven they were again extremely interested. I couldn’t find the leftover croutons this evening after Nate and I said hello and goodbye. But I did find the above pictures shredded bag in someone’s crate. 

20140305-185653.jpg
Innocent little creature, huh?

The sealed bag was set far back in the counter when I left them last night. Hmm. Trixie trickster.