Monday, August 31, 2009

10 months

My sweet baby is 10 months old now, (Since the 29th) and I struggle to capture the wonder, the wiggling, the beauty, the energy, the perpetual motion (except when new people are talking to her, then they all say, "She's so chilled out." HA!) of my sweet baby girl. So I'll just put a snippet. This is her yelling at talking to the girl in the mirror, then she'd try to look behind it and see where the other girl went! So silly. More here, and here but that spot that looks like a booger is really just a spot of something (toothpaste maybe?) on my mirror. (Don't judge my housekeeping skills!)

Also, my weekend Garage sale finds: $5.50 total. (it was the Polaroid that put me up so high! $3!! It was worth it.) Check out all of that yarn! $1. Oh yeah. Winter baby sweater, here we come! I'm currently digging through borrowed books for the 'perfect' sweater for her. Plus, check out that 20's style cloche hat!!!! That and the (nearly) complete Jenga for $1 and it's brand new. Awesome. I'm sure there are better hagglers out there in blogland, but I'm pleased with my finds. I hope you all had a great weekend!

One final thing, I walked the farthest I've ever walked on Sunday morning (for my training), 5 miles. I'm still hurting!!!

{update: for all you naysayers about how Polaroid is gone forever, check out this initiative to make Polaroid film again. They bought all the equipment and are searching for alternatives to the current chemicals and processes! I don't think it's gone forever!!}

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Chore avoiding...brought to you by - Naptime!

While Cora slept yesterday (or attempted to sleep, babbling up in her bed) I decided that she needed flashcards of her colours in French. I was really just avoiding chores, but we will call it a 'creative brainstorm', rather than slacking. ahem. Those piles of old mail can wait right? I like the way they turned out so much I am going to do them over on real watercolor paper and put them up in Cora's room! (and add 'Marron' - brown and 'Blanc'-white) More pictures here and here. (I especially am loving 'gris'!) I'm taking a day of rest, so I'll see you all on Monday!

Friday, August 28, 2009


Things are still tight around here. It takes awhile to dig out from under 5 months of being unemployed, the birth of a baby, an uninsured trip to the ER, etc. I get lost in the minutiae of my day, budget, and how in the world am I going to feed two adults, one large dog, a cat, and a sweet baby girl on $20 for the week. (Dog food costs $20 alone!) But then I am reminded in the most subtle of ways how blessed I am. I have a home, a family that is all together, and so much more. So here's a little list of things I am grateful for today.

1. This little family. My little family! Matt, just the other day, while Cora sat in her chair babbling on and on over dinner, said in wonder, "She's ours!" and I know just what he means. Add to that my favorite fella and I'm saying to myself in wonder "They're mine!"

2. Summer! Oh, I love summer. I don't mind the heat (thanks iced tea!), I don't mind the bugs thanks 'Off'!), I don't mind the sweat. Really. I love the green, the golden light, the blue, blue sky, the birds, the grass beneath my feet, and swimming - my favorite thing. I watch Freckles lay in a sun spot in the yard and just sniff the fragrant air. I could do the same thing! Can't you just drink it?

3. Hands that work. I took them for granted for so long and then when I was pregnant, couldn't use them for anything without severe pain. Now I can knit, I can sew, I can write and I can revel in the pain-free-ness (nope, that isn't a word!) of it all. Delicious! Bring on the craft projects!

4. Sisters. I have three! I love my brothers too, but there is something about sisters. Sisters that are all (except for the youngest) mamas. There is a new connection there as we sort through the old wounds of the past when we were not so nice to each other. There was a time when I couldn't have spent a week with ANY of my family, but years (and therapy!) have begun to heal the past. I love my sisters.

5. Friends. Friendships have always been hard for me. Mostly because of my own insecurities and being the human equivalent of a steamroller. Yes. Me. I know! You are all just shocked, right? But I think I'm finally mellowing and friendships are easier and more of a blessing, now, more than ever. (and will miss when they move, and miss already cause they HAVE moved)

6. Music. To make, to hear, to use as a form of worship. It's easy to get inundated here in Music City and to become jaded. I've been jaded for a long time about music. It is slowly becoming a joyful thing again. Not something to be judged upon. Just created and sung with a grateful heart to the sky, the wall, the babe, the dog, to no one. Just singing, playing and being. I love this!

7. Snuggles and tiny bits. I'm figuring out a rhythm (for this week!) for putting my baby to sleep. She needs to snuggle, to talk, to wiggle, to rub her face on the blankets, to rub her eyes, to scooch up next to me, to roll all over me, all the while saying 'La la la la la' and then close her eyes and sleep. I have to slow down. To be in the moment. To practice patience when piles of laundry still are living in suitcases!! To let go and just love her with snuggles (and to munch on those tiny toes!!).

8. Morning - I AM a morning person, daggonit and I won't be ashamed of it any more! All of you grumpy bears who need coffee to get started, I don't understand you. My feet the floor and I am off. Baby in stroller, dog tied to stroller, saying a cheerful 'Good Morning' to all of my bleary eyed neighbors. I love the morning!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

EC Baby!

I haven't shared very much about my potty practices with Cora around here. It tends to make people a little freaked out. We practice EC, short for Elimination Communication or infant potty training (more info here after a friend told me about it. I thought she was joking! But we love it and so at nearly 10 months old, we have photos like this one, which is too cute not to share. And yes, she really 'goes' on the potty!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Step away from the crafting... (making things for my baby girl)

Just back away slowly and no one will get hurt!

In just 9 (short!!) weeks, my baby girl will turn one year old. (How did that happen!!!) I'm bubbling with things to make for her and projects for her first birthday. I'm hoping the following will happen. Some are a must!

1. A birthday crown (from The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule - blogged about here)
2. Fun wood toys from here. I'm thinking a lovely bead necklace (great for chewing on!), some blocks and perhaps some fruit. All of which (except for the beads) I intend to paint myself! Is this insane?
3. A birthday sweater. Which may come from here. (If the library has a copy!)

Cora needs just a few things to make it through the winter months, thanks the the very generous hand-me-downs of friends with sweet little girls who are not so little any more. So a nice sweater, a coat/snowsuit (mama intends to walk with this little girl in her stroller and I don't want her to freeze!), and soft sole leather shoes like these, or these, (too bad these and these are out of stock now, because you know I want her to be a little songbird too!!) because I imagine she will soon be quite mobile. Yesterday, she pulled up all by herself for the first time!

{Update! I found the taupe and red songbird shoes here, (aren't they sweet?) but seriously? $30 for baby shoes? I'm just too cheap for that. Sorry sweetie!}

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Cora and I have been gallivanting across the country again, and now are home with hearts full of family and a suitcase full of dirty clothes, useful hand-me-downs including a baby potty (which I took through as a carry on. Oh yes.), hand made puzzles, and pictures drawn by my sweet nieces and nephews.

We went south to Houston (area) and braved the wrath of the southern summer sun (yes, again) for a week! My sister asked me if we wanted to 'do' anything. Nope. Just hang around with you guys! So we did. We swam (a lot! You have to to survive, I'm tellin' ya),

ate lot of mangos (to which I must continually prove to myself I am allergic...sigh), visited friends, had sweet sister conversations till the wee hours of the night (ok, not wee, it was midnight, but when Cora woke up at 6am every day, it felt wee), played,

went to church, went to groovy 70's night at their church, (and we thrifted for the costumes!)

played Bunko with the ladies, and generally had a fabulous time!

While there, I altered a dress for my niece that I made when she was 4 (and mailed with no chance to try it on her before I finished) and is just now almost fitting at 6 (simplicity pattern! I didn't know they ran so big!).

She's a slim little girl, so I added some shirring in the back and she wore it to her first day of school! So sweet. I only got these kinda dark photos (it was early! I didn't think to go outside.) to show it off, but it is tiny pink and red flowers on a brown background. I don't know the name of it or the designer, but it's so sweet and reminds me of Laura Ingalls!

So we went a-vis-tin' and came home to 75 degree weather (yay!), a (mostly) clean house, and a sweet Papa/Geek, who missed us lots and lots. (he said so!) It's good to be home. Cora thinks so too! She slept for 2 hours in her bed as soon as we hit the door.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Image from here

I love quilts. I've never made one, well...not a real one. I've done the whole 'sew squares together' thing (on my machine!), and backed it with corduroy fabric, and sandwiched some flannel in between. It was HEAVY, and very nice, but there was no actual 'quilting' involved. I'd like to make one. Really, really. But I peruse photos of quilts and I find them a little old fashioned. I'm not a fan of maroon and hunter green. Not at all. But then I find amazing patterns like this: Climbing Lanterns. I love it. Plus, how wonderful would it be to have a quilted tree in Cora's room! (since we never got around to painting the tree on her wall. Hmm.)

However, I'm learning that fabric is amazingly seasonal. The fabulous fabrics that are in this quilt (that only came out in May of this year) are now like an in-depth treasure hunt and I'm not brave enough to make substitutions! I would love it if someone had a pre-cut set of fabric for this quilt, but alas. No luck there either! I think I'll just have to get brave and make my own.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Goodbye to the family bed

The baby has been in our bed almost since the day she was born. Aside from the nurses in the hospital telling me it wasn't allowed (but we sneaked a midnight snuggle or two in anyway). She was so small that I was terrified of her sleeping with us for a short while, and then it was the only way any of us got any sleep at all. She was not about to sleep in her little bassinet all alone, thank you very much!!

Then she got very, very wiggly and being in bed with us kept us all up, so she transitioned to the pack and play bassinet feature right next to the bed, but frequently ended up with us anyway. Now, she has decided that her greatest joy in life is to attempt multiple nose dives off of the bed while mama grabs at little feet. She thinks it's the BEST GAME EVAAAAR! Mama disagrees. She has long been ready to do her own thing (she's very independent with her 'me time'), but I wasn't ready. But when the gal who loaned us the pack and play needed it back, it seemed the right time for transition.

Cora did great! She loves her bed and spends a lot of time talking to the little bright lady bugs that decorate her bumper, as well as fiddling with the bumper ties. It's me who misses my sweet little doot in the bed with us. I love how she'd fall asleep holding my nose, or whispering sweet 'thuh, thuh, thuhs' to me, before she'd burrow her face against me and close her eyes. As much as Matt was worried about rolling on her or something like that, he never did. We were very aware of her at all times. So it is with a little sorrow that we see her move to her own bed and her own room. I miss my little snuggle baby! Is there room for me in there?

Friday, August 14, 2009

On the needles

Fall is coming! I can smell it. On my walk this morning with the little girl and the dog, I noticed how the leaves were just starting to drift down. (Just a smidge? Maybe? Huh, huh, please?!) It was the first day back to school around here and the neighborhood was practically abuzz with kids waiting for the bus. (usually it's very quiet at that time of morning!) I wish I had had my camera with me since the leash was tied to the stroller and Cora was holding onto the leash. It was almost as if she was walking the dog. So cute!

So knitting. Yeah. I've begun again. It's very seasonal for me and I don't know why. I have no idea where this yarn came from. A friend gave it to me when I first began to knit and I think it is recycled from a sweater. I'm pretty sure it's wool (but don't quote me on that!), but I've been saving it for the perfect project for a long time now. It's time for it to become more than a ball of yarn. Aren't the colors delicious? The pattern is a top down beret found here. The tomato stitch markers are made by me from a Tomato Art Fest of yesteryear. I had some sculpted tiny tomatoes left and they became knitting accessories!

A closeup for ya! (Is this yarn porn?) Tee hee!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Yarn Hoarder

It's only August, but the recent rains cooled everything off (however briefly) and my brain has been whispering little projects to me. (and now that my house is clean, I can do it guilt free!) Sweet! Let me tell you a little something. I am not a great knitter. I get bored really fast. I've never done a sweater, because, let's be honest here, I live in Tennessee and a lovely wool sweater would be a complete waste here. Seriously. Even in the winter, people keep the heat at ungodly hot temperatures so it would have to be something that got pulled off and put back on several times per day. That rules out any lovely delicate (yet warm) sweaters and I'm not in the mood to knit something bulky or (God forbid!) a cardigan. So I settle for the instant gratification projects. A hat, a scarf, a groovy something or other. It works for me! So I have this tremendous stash of yarn that rarely sees the light of day.

This, however, is my favorite. It's made of nylon so it's a yarn snob's nightmare, but it's so soft! (And fuzzy. I know, I know. More yarn snob nightmares) The line has been discontinued and I bought up all I could. (It's Aerie by Moda Dea in 'coral' colorway, btw, in case you have some in your stash that you don't want. I'm just sayin!) This, however is the last of it, so if you get something made from this from me, you better know how awesome I think you are.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My. House. Is. CLEAN!

Nothing like a baby sitter coming over (for a date night!) to make one realize how much grub has settled on one's house. And by one, I mean me. Ahem. I don't think our upstairs bathroom had been properly scrubbed since...oh...I don't know...pre-pregnancy? It was not necessarily 'dirty' (ie, mold, poo, dirt etc) but covered in dust, mixed with old house funk, mixed with my post-baby hair loss giant hair-balls of doom. Not pretty.

The house (all except for my desk...sigh) has been scrubbed within an inch of it's life. It's lucky to have paint left! If you are wondering how I accomplished this with a baby in my care, I'm just gonna be honest, she rolled around on the floor of whatever room I was working on, saying 'la la la la' and chomping on her jingly chicken. Yeah. Not much Mama interaction with her today. Bad mama. Bad. She and I had to keep negotiating my need to vacuum. It's not her favorite thing! But now that that's out of the way for the next long stretch (another year and a half? hee hee!), I'm all hers! It's so relaxing to have it all done. Now if only the dog and I wouldn't shed!

Our original date plans (see right sidebar) got thwarted due to weather, so we had a little Greek food, wandered around a book store, and flirted over a cup of coffee. It was very fun! I love this guy. Smooch!

Here's how I kept the baby occupied some of the time today. She loves this!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

A little mischief

I love this little fish! She loves bathtime, but just can't leave the plug alone.

See Mama's hand holding it down? Um...Yeah.

No amount of foam alphabet is going to distract this baby!

This is how she feels about bathtime being over. So sad!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Blog stalking...and other strange modern ideas

Blogging is so weird. Really. Really. Weird. I mean, this is sort of a journal. A collection of thoughts, ideas, opinions, sweet baby pictures. If I caught you leafing through my little moleskin, I'd give you a shiner! But here, I like it. I have two groups of blogs that I read. I call them 'I know you' (Like Will Ferrell, in Elf, "knows Santa") and 'Kindred spirits' (from Anne of Green Gables. I was a nut for those books!)

The 'I know you' group is a no-brainer. Folks I know IRL (in real life). But the Kindred spirits group is all strangers. Some live in town. Some live far, far away. But I like what they have to say. I love stories and these people's words tell great stories. There are so many people out there with something to say. It's like how I hoard old photos. They tell a story that might be otherwise lost in history. So I find myself daily reading (and writing my own) the public journals of folks who's stories seem worth telling. I jokingly call it blog stalking, but sometimes I really do feel a connection with another human. I cry over posts! The Geek thinks I've lost my mind sometimes. (actually he says I just have a big heart) It's not them personally I connect with, it's the universal story. Triumph, hardship, love, faithfulness, a peaceful home, glorying in the moment and so many other ideas. I see them as books I love that get updated every day, so, unlike a good novel which eventually comes to the last chapter, this one goes on and on! But still, it IS strange, no?

PS. The Squiddly-doot and I braved our sickies and headed to the Tomato Art Fest today! (I might have been delirious to attempt it and 3 am may prove rough, again, but sometimes a girl just has to get out!) We left Papa Bear to convalesce at home. This is round 2 for him. What is this yuck! But wouldn't you know it, in spite of all the fun and friends we met there, I only got one picture, and it's of a hot, sweaty, and flapping baby. Here she is.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Busy, busy summer

We just can't sit still! (and by we, I mean me, since I'm the one who keeps planning trips) The baby bear is very mobile right now and I am reveling in it! The Papa Bear is a bit grumpy that he keeps getting left behind on all of these summer adventures, but our family vacation time will come. Don't you worry, love!

The Doot and I just got back from a jaunt to Gramma's house, (Over several rivers and through the woods) and I discovered that a 3 and half hour drive to Atlanta is very doable by myself, if properly planned for. But, wouldn't you know it, I did not charge my camera and so have just one or two photos to show for the visit. Now that I know we can do it, we'll go more often. (With a book on CD this time, for the doldrums of the drive.)

The Geek's mom and I spent hours, while the baby slept and played, digging through history. The Geek's grandfather was a professional photographer for a paper in NYC beginning in the 30s, so there is a whole lot of photographic evidence! I had a blast and I'm sure I exhausted my MIL's patience with, 'OK, now who is this in THIS photo?' Which I must have said at least 100 times. Really. And we didn't even get through one box. I also came home with a little hoard of photos of the Geek and his family, which I will be scanning soon, so I get to show off what a cutie he was!! (and still is!)

One more trip left. And this time, I refuse to leave my favorite pair of pants behind!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Packin' up for Grammas!

Tuesday morning, at the crack of dawn (or 8am, lets face it, I procrastinate) the babe and I will head south (south-east-ish) to the land of Lanta. Hot-Lanta. (also known as Atlanta) The Geek's mom lives in a northern suburb of that city and we are way overdue for a Gramma visit. The Geek will stay here and support my stay-at-home-mom habit ;) while me and the bitty bird go flitting across country.

Since it's only an overnight trip, we will be packing cloth diapers. I hate to buy paper ones and then give the unused ones away, since I don't want to use them. I hate to waste money! Anyhoo, there are cousins to visit, sisters-in-law to gab with, swimming to be done, and not a moment to lose! We'll be back with lots of photos. (I'd better charge my camera batteries!)

Knots and Notes

When I was little, my mama would include tiny notes in things. They usually had a scripture and a little encouragement on them. Silly me, I didn't keep them. I read them and then threw them out. She stopped doing it after I left college because by then emails had taken the place of a letter from home, and now I only have two of them left. I wish I had saved my mother's letters to me in college and camp, but I was a child and what did I know about the things I would wish I had saved. There is something powerful about the written word. The hand-written word. It takes no time at all to dash off an email, but it takes a little time, effort, paper, pen, and stamp to send a note.

I've also been thinking about friendships. How they grow more important to me as the days slip by, never to come again. As a little girl, I made bracelets for friends and this week I dusted off my friendship bracelet skills. Here is the result of all of my knotting and making. A little bundle of notes and knots for friends.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Modern Day Dilemma

The Geek, being the Fabulous Geek that he is, recently saved me from computerless horror by giving me one of his old desktop computers. My laptop is hardly a year old and it keeps overheating and shutting down. Without warning. It's pretty annoying. And wouldn't you know it, it starts all of this crap just after the year long warranty expires. Classic. It was a replacement for my old laptop which got declared a 'lemon' and replaced for free by a big box store around here that I prefer not to promote. However, we didn't have the ready cash for the service plan that would have fixed my ailing laptop, so it basically becomes junk. Really expensive junk.

It's hard to transition to one place after the carefree roaming of my laptop, but I will manage. Already there is a collection of random things that crinkle, rattle, and are shiny under my chair as the wee squirt entertains herself while I check email. Not to mention teeth marks on the legs of the chair. (I think she's getting another coupla teeth!)

So, like the lower-(techie) class, non-snobbish, she-geeklet that I am, I like Vista. Wail and moan, I know. I still like how it lets me deal with photos, which, lets face it, is my main job around here as I chronicle the raising of THE cutest girl in the universe. So I wrangle around for an install disk since my laptop only came with the 'repair' disk, (cheapskates!) and do the install. The Geek supervises, although I am pretty savvy and can run circles around my parents (and other folks only slightly older than me) in the tech department.

The Geek steps in for the final wrangling of some elusive drivers for my monitor with speakers attached, and he solemnly turns to me and says, "Your computer wasn't meant to run Vista. It's gonna be really slow."
"Crap!", I think, "Cause I need my computer to be fast when dealing with large picture files!" I hop on and give it a whirl and, oddly enough, it doesn't seem that slow. Now granted I haven't tried editing a huge file in photoshop yet, but honestly! How bad can it be? Then I get to thinking.

Slow is relative, really. Isn't it? I mean, when I remember back in '96 when my professors at Uni said they wanted us to look stuff up on the internet, we GROANED! Out loud! It took more than a minute to load each page! It was tedious stuff. And the pages were lovely, no picture, no flash, no ads, plain old boring text for the most part. So the Geek's computer may process stuff at the speed of sound, or light (as it were) but I don't really notice a difference if my computer takes a little bit longer. I usually take that moment to make sure Someone isn't going for the computer chords or trying to eat the cat's tail. I've been known to start a program and then walk away from it for several hours...

Ok... that was weird. Mid sentence, my computer just...

Wait. Don't crash. Please!

Reset screen resolution to huge??? What the...

Reset it to normal... ok. Computer? Are you ok?

Crazy black screen with vertical lines of code from the matrix, but not as cool???!!??


The Geek spoke the truth. My hardware can't keep up with my software. (Ain't that always the way?)
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