Monday, January 26, 2009

A Frog Story...

Geo just brought me the next installment and since I know you'll all be dying to read it, here it is...

Once a pon a thme ther lived a frog He was so ciwet. He lived in a log. He in vidid his frends to come over to his hose. One day wen his frinds wer playing he sed dos eney of you want to wath a movy Thay sed yes so thay sat down to wach it the video. It was polor express, now the part wen the track went into the warder came up the kids wer scard thay tride to stop it but thay wer happy.


     Once upon a time there lived a frog; he was so cute. He lived in a log. He invited his friends to come over to his house.
     One day when his friends were playing he said,"Do any of you want to watch a movie?"
     They said "Yes," so they sat down to watch the video.
     It was Polar Express. Now the part when the track went into the water came up. The kids were scared, they tried to stop it but they were happy.

A Cat Story...

Geo (my second grader) wrote a story and I just had to post it...

Oncea pon a time in the woods ther lived a cat named Chesey[.] She was so small and so cewt. She oftin sed "Mew mew, I sed to her Here cidy cidy cidy, now a snake herd me say Her cidy cidy cidy and the snake was hungrey He sed Mmm cat wood be good to eat The cat herd the sawnd and mewd so long she made the snake deth He codent here at all the cat tot the snake a lesen and you better be good and not to try a lisson and if you her a cat don't eat it.

Grammatically correct translation:

     Once upon a time in the woods, there lived a cat named Chesey. She was so small and so cute. She often said, "Mew mew."
     I said to her, "Here kitty, kitty, kitty."
     Now a snake heard me say "Here kitty kitty kitty," and the snake was hungry.
     He said, "Mmm, cat would be good to eat."
     The cat heard the sound and meowed so long she killed the snake.
     He couldn't hear at all. The cat taught the snake a lesson.

     And [the moral is:] you'd better be good and ... ? ... if you hear a cat, don't eat it!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Fancy feet

I'm so jazzed by my new shoes! I found them at a quaint little thrift store on top of a mountain in the middle of a freak snowstorm. Thankfully the snowstorm only lasted a few minutes and I got my shoes (3 pairs of Clarks leather clogs [or maybe they're called mules(?), I'm not really up on shoe terminology]). I looked them up when I got home and depending on the site they ranged anywhere from $30-$60 a pair, so I got anywhere from $90-$180 worth of shoes for $11. Yeehaw, that's the way to do it! I love these shoes because they are really comfy, easy on/off, and will go nicely with the skirts I've been wearing more of lately. I had been wondering what kind of shoes to wear with skirts as my ratty tennis shoes just wouldn't do and I didn't want to wear my church shoes out; these will do quite nicely!

Diapers from flannel shirts

Here's how I recycle a flannel shirt (this one was 50 cents from a local thrift store) and turn it into a cloth diaper (Rita's Rump Pocket in this tutorial).

1) Cut sleeves off of shirt.

2) Cut collar off and cut along seam between neck and shoulder.

3) Cut front panels off from back section.

4) Sew front halves together where they were cut from back piece (to make outside piece). Or (in the case of this shirt which happened to be huge, I was able to align and sew one of the front panels on to the back after I carefully lined up the stripes. I 3-step zig-zagged them together, then zig-zagged the seam flat to the back of the diaper.

Cut out pieces; If there is a wrong and a right side, make sure that the prints are facing the right way.

5) Sew up diaper.

I'll be placing the seam on the outside of Missy so as to minimize chance of irritation.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Fleece Mittens tutorial

My kids needed some mittens and I figured I could make them some from some fleece scraps I had "lying around." I found another tutorial online for fleece mittens and I really liked them. But I looked at a pair of store bought fleece mittens that I had and I liked the way they were constructed a little better so I altered their pattern to work the way the store bought mittens did and I really like the results.

You don't have to use this pattern, but it will give you an idea of what it's supposed to look like. I actually made patterns for my 3 older ones by tracing their hands, drawing an upside-down U about 1/2" all the way around their hand (fingers together, not spread out), marked where their wrist was (for the elastic placing), and finished the pattern using this as a guide.

The original tutorial said to enlarge the patterns till the grid was 1 inch square (for adult size), maybe 3/4 inch square for a child's hand. Play around with the sizing, find what works for you.

I trace the hand 1/2 inch in from the fold (on a piece of paper folded lenghtwise), make the upside-down U, fold it in half again and cut the rounded part off the top (to make sure it's nice and even on both sides). Then I fold the thumb side in half to the middle fold to get the thumb width. Fold the paper in half from top to bottom to find out how far the cutting line for the thumb should go. Then about 1/2-way from the top of the thumb cutting line to the bottom of the mittens, start drawing the curve for the thumb-tip. Fold the paper in half again from edge to thumb cutting line and cut the curve for the rounded thumb-tip. Fold the thumb part up and make the pattern piece for the thumb. Make it a little longer than it calls for, then cut down if need be. I discovered that the thumb pattern piece runs a bit short.

To cut out the pieces, fold over a piece of fleece, line the pattern up on the fold, and cut the rest out. Then open the fleece, lay the opened pattern on top of it and cut out the thumb flap. If there is a right side and a wrong side to the fleece, make sure to flip the pattern over when cutting out the other thumb flap.

To sew, line up the thumb pattern piece with the thumb flap, sew from the notch around to the other side of the thumb. Stop. Line up the long edge of the thumb piece with the long part of the main mitten piece, and sew together. Sew some elastic to the wrong side where the pattern indicates (or where you noted the location of the wrist). Place right sides of mitten together and sew mitten together. Hem the edge. Turn inside out, enjoy :)

CDing again

I had planned to cloth diaper Missy, but really wasn't looking forward to having to do an extra load of laundry ever 3 or so days. I used 'sposies for the first few weeks to get me back in the groove again and still use them for overnight (till I get my courage up, lol). But getting back in the CDing saddle again wasn't as hard as I anticipated. It's really rather fun to cloth diaper and you get to be so much more creative than you can be with "go 'n throw" dipes (which really have zero room for creativity). And while babies are 100% breastfed, you don't have to "scoop-the-poop" as there are no solids, everything gets nicely washed away, so it's really no trouble. I wash about every 3 days, and have an ever revolving supply of soft, fluffy non-landfill-clogging diapers. And as far as the creativity side of things, here's what I've gotten to do so far:

The diapers are made from a large, soft sheet using the Rita's Rump Pocket pattern (I managed to get 10 from one large, flat sheet; queen or kin size, not sure). They were so fun to make and super easy too. This tutorial helped immensely when it came to adding the elastic. I can't wait to get a hold of some more flannel to make some more! I'd like another couple of sheets' worth at least. I stuff them with a trifolded small prefold (I have used premium diapers as stuffers too, but they're kinda big!, might be good for overnight) and they aren't too too bulky, easy to get on and off (just use one pin), I love 'em!

Update, here are a few more:

The pink (acrylic) diaper cover is my rendition of a Flapper Bottom soaker which turned out nice, but I still don't like it as well as the Warm Heart Woolies plain wrap that I made from recycled red wool. It's so pretty and so easy to get on and off, also is a good fit (this pic is so far from doing this soaker justice it isn't funny. It's a much deeper, darker red in real life and the color is nice and even, not faded looking like in this sub-par photo).

I also made an Ottobre soaker (.pdf; the Ottobre is my favorite pull-on soaker, very quick and easy to make, easy on/off, contains wettness well...) out of some chunky recycled wool which is my bullet-proof diaper cover (the blue and green one above is an Ottobre soaker, but the one I made most recently is a cream color). That with a premium stuffed RRP might be the ticket for night time when I run out of disposables.

She's here!

Ok, admittedly I'm VERY very behind, but all truth be told, I've been just a tad busy lately :).

The 23rd was indeed the day; I had contractions almost all night (got an hour's sleep a couple of times) and they gradually got stronger and stronger toward morning. I got up at 3:30 to eat some breakfast and was still very able to manage the contractions as they came. I kept track of them in my Palm with a program specially for that. Finally around 5:15 I was so drowsy I thought I'd try lying down again so I went and lay down on the couch in the family room. Dh got up to use the restroom a little while later and came looking for me. So since he was up, I went back to bed. I got a little more rest (the 2nd hour's sleep I think) and woke up when Eli did just before 7. I got up and helped Eli get breakfast and dressed...

Then around 8 I went in to take a shower and suggest that Dh start inflating the pool (we set it up in the family room). I had a banana with p-nut butter to eat and a glass of milk. Then around 9 a.m. I was feeling tuckered out again so went to lie down on the couch. I had called my midwife at 7 a.m. after what I thought would have been at least 9 hours of sleep for her, but turns out she had to be at another birth the night before from 12 midnight to 6:30 a.m. so she had just gotten to sleep (I felt bad). So then I called the other midwife and she said she's be on her way. She and the apprentice got here around 10 and by then things had gotten more serious. I was quite uncomfortable during each contraction, but they were still not real long at this point. She checked the baby during a contraction and she was doing fine. I was dilated to 5cm and -2 station at that point.

I was given the green light to get in the pool if I wanted to and oooooh, it felt SO good to get in. The water was delightfully warm and my contractions did slow down a little bit and were much more tolerable. At least at first... Then around 11 the contractions started getting downright painful. I couldn't help but groan thru them (though I'm always very ladylike if I do say so myself, LOL; Dh says I make it look easy... whatever!). I kept thinking "I can see how women want epidurals"... and "I just wanted this to be OVER!" There weren't many positions that were comfortable for me. And then at one point I had to get up to empty my bladder and had several contractions on the trip to the bathroom and back, which was NO FUN. I finally managed and back to the pool I hobbled.

Sometime around noon, I started feeling like I was getting close to transition and/or pushing stage. I checked myself and could feel quite a bit of head, still in the sack. I couldn't tell if I felt cervix or not. I asked the midwife if I could start pushing and she said "listen to what your body is telling you." So I started trying little pushes for the next 3 or so contractions. Then I got serious and on the next contraction (about 12:15 p.m.) I gave one good long push and out popped her head. Dh said she was blinking her eyes under the water :) Then on the next contraction I pushed the rest of her out and Dh caught her and confirmed right away that she was a SHE :) (She was born at 12:17 p.m.) The kids got to witness her entrance into the world from the doorway of the next room (they didn't really see too many details tho!).

Missy (short/nick for "Miss Magoo", lol) was covered in vernix and looked little. I didn't think she was a 9 pounder like I had been expecting. She didn't have a lot of hair, but 5 fingers, 5 toes (per hand and foot that is, lol), 2 adorable little ears, 2 pretty eyes (which we still don't know what color they'll be; kind of a dark grey/brown/blue/green color right now, lol, could be anything but for now I'll put my $ on brown), chubby little chin and knees..., and a precious little face. She cried as soon as she was out of the water, but then settled down. I kept her warm in the water and tried to stimulate her a little just to hear her cry some more (and clear out any wetness that might be in her lungs...). She had passed some muconium at some point in the past, but she never appeared to be in any distress, though we watched her carefully. After just a few minutes she showed signs of being open to nursing so I helped her latch on and she did great. Because she was nursing so well, I stayed in for a while longer. Then Dh cut the cord and took her so I could get out and take a shower. After I got dressed I came back in and nursed her some more. Then the apprentice did the newborn exam and she checked out beautifully. I caught it all on tape.

Here are her stats:

20.5 inches long
8 pounds, 9 ounces
born at 12:17 p.m. on November 23 (her due date :)
after 10 1/2 hours or so of labor (but only 2 minutes of pushing and 2 pushes to get her out)

I was SO glad when she was out, let me tell you. I was NOT having fun the hour or 2 before she was born.

After she I was born I basically felt fine, though a bit tired and a little "peekid" feeling. The midwife estimated my blood loss at 4 cups so I made a point to eat iron-rich food the few days after she was born to help me feel a little more perky. I felt shaky right after getting out of the pool and was a little unnerved by that, but that didn't last long and went away after a few minutes. Dh had done well to keep me well hydrated with electrolyte drinks all during labor. I ate a good lunch after the midwife and apprentice left, then tried to take a nap as Missy was zonked out after her trip; however my brain was so hyped up that I couldn't drift off. But I guess I did get some rest. Gigi held the baby the whole time I was "napping" which was a little over an hour. She didn't want to get up until I got back and my mom started talking about going to Wal-Mart for a few things we needed ("Can I go, please?!?" lol).

We were so pleased with the outcome, another little girl (awwww) making our tribe an even Boy/Girl/Boy/Girl. We couldn't have planned it better if we'd tried (we did sorta try for Gigi, but the rest... no). I think everyone was secretly hoping we'd have a girl so that Gigi could have a sister. I was also very relieved to see that she was normal and in good health as I'd had that "irrational fear" all during pregnancy that something might be wrong. This was partly fueled by the knowledge that I had been exposed to x-rays when I was holding Eli for his arm x-rays (this was before I knew I was pregnant) and also because I'd used a heating pad on my back one night when I was newly pregnant (also before I knew). So I am very grateful and thankful that our little girl is fine.

Since then we've been battling thrush/yeast which has been no fun at all. I'm taking probiotics to help my body fight it. I thought that I was over it, but now am feeling shooting pains in my milk ducts (a sign of ductal yeast) that I'm hoping is not yeast. Also Missy's tongue does have white on it that won't wipe off which is a sign of thrush so I don't know for sure that it's over. I may have to start my grapefruit seed extract regimen again (groan!)

Missy started smiling around 3-3 1/2 weeks, and is developing really great head control, she doesn't like it when we try to put her head down on our shoulders, she wants to be looking around. She started making little cooing noises last week which is really too cute.