The “Is it Friday, yet?” Wrap-up

October 21, 2009 § 2 Comments

I know it’s not Friday yet but here’s to hoping I turn around, change a diaper and voila! Friday appears.

We were ‘on the mend’ yesterday, and while we still are today I was laying low just so that we could give our bodies (bilingual baby’s and mine) more time to get all better. While yesterday we were still both using the hankies freely, today we hardly used one each. That’s great, right? We had a couple of nights where the coughing kept us both up, but last night neither of us woke up to cough. I woke up but I’ve got a nursing kid next to me. Needless to say, and as sad as it was, I had to cancel our crafty Wednesday just to ensure we weren’t spreading germs. Annoying germs, at that. I haven’t felt all that bad but just a hum of malaise. So, if in fact this was the flu, then great.

I just finished some wool leggings for baby brother. It’s an Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern. I’ve worked this pattern before and I’m getting the feeling that I’ll use it again.

On the knitting front, I’m also working on a bonnet for baby brother in gray wool. I bought a whole cone of the stuff cos I love it so much. With it I’ve made three pairs of socks (for my mom, dad and older sister). I think I may make some socks for myself after… tho the kids do need more nice wool socks than I do. I just love the feel of 100% wool socks knit by hand.

Baby brother is loving his way of communicating. He’s very clear, for the most part. He is only one, after all. For instance, he’ll go and stand by the food pantry and raise a hand up and start to say something nobody understands. Then he’ll start doing his sign for “more”. Okay, food, I get it. So, I offer him a rice cake. He likes those. He shakes his head. What? No rice cake? How about a corn cake? Big sister likes those a lot. He shakes his head. Finally, I figure out he wants one of the unsalted rice cakes bilingual papi got over the weekend and not the lightly salted ones we got today. What’s the sign for salt? Tomorrow I’ll sign “salt” while shaking my head to see if that helps him. Basically, he loves shaking his head.

Tonight, before bedtime (or whatever it is I do when bilingual papi is at work late) we went for a walk and played in our neighbor’s pile of leaves. We had a lot of fun. It was funny walking home. Bilingual baby said, “It’s so dark outside”… “I don’t want to be up all night”. ๐Ÿ˜‰ She didn’t enjoy the walk home. Again, I wish I had had another carrier with me.

We had another CO scare tonight, too. I was on the phone with the landlords when it must have happened: bilingual baby decided she was big enough to try to turn on one of the stove burners. We have a gas stove and it was only after about 20 minutes and after vacuuming all the rice off the floor that I realized that one of the knobs was turned on. I know from an incident last winter that our CO alarms work. The alarms didn’t go off so I’m figuring we weren’t in any harm. By the time I realized what had happened it was already 8:30pm and I had two sleepy children waiting for me to encourage sleep. I was, and am still, wide awake. Tomorrow I’m getting those ugly knob covers to baby proof the stove. I’ve managed to stay away from gates but this is something I can’t count on bilingual baby to be good about… or at least I have to take precautions with this since I feel like it’s quite unnatural- the flame, she’s fine with. Knobs, not so much. There are plenty of times when she’s downstairs and I’m upstairs with baby brother and I don’t want to take a chance.

It’s cold here with all the windows open- see, I’m still wanting to get out every ounce of CO lingering, though I think it’s all gone. I had the front door open and was standing outside with baby brother on my back and bilingual baby unwilling to go outside without socks and shoes on. Now, that is irony!

So, since I’ve got a couple of more days until the calendar Friday, I don’t know what to do with my week. I mean, I messed up my Wednesday by canceling crafty time and tomorrow, besides going to buy some covers for the stove knobs, I don’t know what I’m going to do.

That’s somewhat untrue. I should mention that we’re having a blast doing wet on wet watercolor painting. I’m still new to this but in our kid version, we wet a sheet of 90lb paper and only dab a little of the excess water off. Then, we get our flattest paintbrushes out (we have a couple) and enjoy watching the watercolors spread across the damp paper. The cool thing with wet on wet is that it’s very moody. I’m totally seeing the difference. We used to do a bit of coloring with crayons and enjoyed it. Looking back at the coloring bilingual baby used to do, it does seem more like outlines instead of colors. Watercolor, in and of itself, creates more of a mood. Times that by 10 and you’ve got wet on wet. Waldorf folks give kids bilingual baby’s age only one color at a time and then little by little introduce other prime colors. In this fashion, the young child gets to see how each color reacts to the water, the paper, itself, etc. Then, she sees how the first color reacts to one other color, and then to two other colors, and so on.

We just got more paper this week and all she wants to do is watercolor. It’s really neat to do, too. One of the Waldorf suggestions is that adults painting alongside the child should take a long time so that the child doesn’t merely want the “picture” the adult made replicated on their paper. I want to get her a little board so she can paint on it and then let her paintings dry on it. After a while, I’ll get her some 140lb paper to work with. It’s recommended to soak the 140lb paper for 15 minutes before working on it. An almost three year old need not wait.


When did I lose weight? and other stories

October 20, 2009 § 1 Comment

I’m surprised and pleased to note that I’m wearing the same pants I was wearing when I got pregnant with baby brother. How and when that happened is my best told story: I don’t know. It’s great.

I’ve been wearing both kids at the same time and going on hikes in Hubbard Park which have been both calming and tiring- I am adding about 50 lbs (a little more than 22 kilos). It’s nice to know that the kids are right there and I don’t have to corral anyone. It’s pretty peaceful.

Since I’m here and feeling like rattling off information, I’ll also add that I was in a store downtown Montpelier called Onion River Sports Kids and I offered to do babywearing demos for them and they accepted! They’ve been carrying Maya Wraps (Mei tai’s, ring slings) and Ergos (both the regular and the sport) for a short time and I figured that most people go in there wanting to know how these carriers work. So, in November, we’ll be working together. There are a couple of ideas out there so far: Seasonal babywearing demos, wearing two, wearing older kids, etc. So far we’ve agreed that we should do something in November. They are also going to see if they can get a discount on baby carriers on the days of the demos. I’ll keep all of you locals informed on details so you can help me spread the word.

On the babywearing front, I have to say that I’m gearing up to make a mei tai for bilingual baby. The Ergo is okay but I’d like a carrier that actually had the fabric under her legs to go from knee to knee- the optimal for a comfortable and safe ride. I’ve got some measurements I’m working on and at this point I’ve just got to figure out what fabric to use. I’m thinking this will be a carrier bilingual papi also uses since he loves our other mei tai.

While walking with a friend today, two ideas came up (both from her):

1. I should have drop-off points downtown where I can leave extra layers neither of my kids nor I want to wear nor carry, and other things, for bilingual papi to pick up on his way home. ๐Ÿ˜‰

2. I need to invent a carrier so compact that you can fit it, much like those ponchos and bags, into a tiny bag and keep in your pocket. This need comes from the continuous desire bilingual baby has had to be held on our walks. I would much rather wear both kids than try to prop bilingual baby on my hip or back and be told that I’m holding her wrong (translation: she wants to be held tighter).

We also had some theories on food that we can’t prove which I’ll share after we work on them some more.

He’s so sweet

October 20, 2009 § Leave a comment

It’s nice when you hear reflected in your children the nice things you say. How many times already has bilingual baby said things that make me stop in my tracks. For instance, and this actually has happened on more occasion than one, I’ve said something or done something that she didn’t like (or in some cases has just been me being mean to her) and her response has beeen:

We don’t do that to people.

Oh my. Yes, we don’t.

Several times already I’ve heard her remark to her brother, “You’re so sweet!”

Helps me see the big picture.

Recon Flannel/ Franela Reconstruida

October 18, 2009 § 1 Comment

recon flannel

recon flannel longview

(Scroll down for the English version)

Aqui esta la conclusion de mi proyecto de hoy. Cogi una franela de mi esposo- una que me habia dado para usar hace dos anos- y la corte y cosi para que me quedara. Para la proxima voy a tomar fotos de antes para que asi se pueda ver mejor lo feita que se veia. Tengo otra franela que puedo reconstruir y prometo tomar fotos de lo grande que me queda. Lo que se pierden de una foto como tal es ver como me quedaba de larga y ancha en los brazos, que tan larga en general me quedaba (aunque me gusto lo largo despues de los arreglos) y el look bombacho no me interesa ahorita.

Asi, con solo fotos de los arreglos, no se nota tanto el cambio, o sea que lo detallare:

1. Usando mis medidas, hice una puntada curveada a los lados de la camisa, para ajustar la cintura y crear una nueva silueta.

2. Encogi la manga quitando un poco de tela en el hombro. Las fotos estan oscuritas pero por lo menos se ve en la primera que la camisa me queda en los hombros. Normalmente si algo que queda en los hombros no me queda en … lo demas.

Ya. Eso fue todo. Que les parece?

Tambien pueden ver mi nuevo corte. Me lo corte yo misma y me encanta. No solo me encanta que me puedo hacerlo yo misma sino que no tengo que esperar hasta conseguir cita y entrar con el miedo de que me lo vayan a embarrar. Antes no me preocupaban estas cosas; sera que es algo que surgio despues de tener a mis bebes.


Here’s the end result of a recent flannel recon. Bilingual papi gave me a couple of flannel shirts about two years ago and I’ve been waiting for the right moment to reconstruct them into something I’d want to wear. Something that wouldn’t make me feel like I was a day or two postpartum. I always forget the before picture… next time… What you don’t get to see in the before picture is how frumpy I looked in this flannel. It was sized an XL shirt for men, making the length super long (which I kept), the arms too wide and long and everything else just too oversized for my taste these days.

Since the before photos aren’t available, I’ll detail the fixes I made:

1. Using my measurements I sewed a curved line on each side, triming the original side seam and creating a new silhouette.

2. I also took in the sleeves by tucking in a bit at the shoulders. In the first picture you can really see it. The shoulders used to look like drop shoulders but really they just looked like I was wearing a baggy shirt- which I was. Normally if it fits in the shoulders it won’t fit anywhere else.

So that was it. What do you think?

You can also see my new hair cut. I started cutting my hair a couple of months ago- as in I cut my own hair when I get that urge. Thing is… I love it. I love that I can cut my own hair and don’t have to wait until I can get an appointment and possibly be disappointed with the results, which I never used to be, so this must be a new thing since having kids.

How to make elderberry syrup

October 18, 2009 § Leave a comment

Making your own elderberry syrup is painfully easy. You get yourself some elderberries and get it to boiling, simmer for 30-45 minutes, smash the berries, strain the whole thing and add raw honey to taste.

You could just buy it and that would be great but I tried doing that and for one, it’s pricey; two, it’s just too sweet for us. I think also some other ingredient in it that keeps it from spoiling makes it distasteful to bilingual baby.

We call our elderberry syrup Purple Juice and she loves it! I doubled the recipe I found here and only added about 1/3 cup of honey. It’s perfect!

If you already make your own purple juice, how do you change up the recipe or do you leave it as is?

Pigs and Bears

October 15, 2009 § Leave a comment

Here in the United States, the H1N1 (Swine Flu) vaccine just came out a couple of weeks ago and on our local mama yahoo group there’s been much a flurry about what to do. Everyone’s getting their two cents in- to vaccinate or not to vaccinate. I’ve read some interesting thoughts on both sides. What I like the most about this e-conversation is that people are being really nice about the whole thing. I haven’t heard anyone say anything mean about someone else’s choice. That’s how it should be. Everyone’s doing what they feel is best. How can I argue with that? Now, if someone wants my thoughts on this whole thing, they’ll get me on my preventative care soap box before I even enter the vaccine debate. Well, maybe; maybe not. Depends, I suppose.

I did want to share what our naturopath said about the vaccine. He doesn’t recommend it. Also, it appears that the complications have not happened among healthy families. Now I suppose we’d have to spell out what healthy means, right? Here’s what I do when someone in my family is sick: No sugar (including fruit), no dairy, but lots of Vitamin C, Elderberry tea, and other warm tea drinks all day, and lots and lots of rest. I also make sure that they’re eating things that will help them heal. Ginger is a good one for the beginning of a cold and will warm up the body very nicely. Bilingual papi and I also use the neti pot and do gargles with lemon juice and baking soda.

I think prevention and good health go a long way. Now, on to bears.

I was knitting a bear for baby brother from a Debbie Bliss pattern. You have to knit all these little pieces and then assemble them while stuffing it. I’ve got a couple of the pieces knit up but I’ve really lost interest in it, so I’m considering ripping it out and starting another bear pattern from the Drops Design site. It’s a bear you knit up in the round, with double pointed needles, and it looks like there’s only a small amount of finishing to do. Click here for the pattern.

I have to admit that as I write this I feel like I want to finish the other pieced bear and then make this one as well, just to see how they compare in the end. I’m almost done knitting up some wool leggings for baby brother and I have a bonnet I’m working on for him so we’ll see what gets put in the knitting queue.


October 11, 2009 § 1 Comment

There is a scale out there that grades how much sugar you and your family takes in- well, maybe not. But if there were our family wouldn’t be on either extreme. Nor would we be dead in the middle. I think we’d end up closer to the groups that don’t use any sugar.

When I bake, I either omit any sugar or substitute some of it for applesauce, bananas, or brown rice syrup. I try to feed my family basic foods, nothing too fancy since my kids are still so young. I don’t think their taste buds need to be bombarded with a ton of new flavors. Also, bilingual baby has been known to push aside a tasty chili in favor of plain black beans and brown rice. I’m having a hard time with bread these days- wheat mainly. I’m having a bad reaction to it and can’t really take in more than very small amounts. However, my kids are in a “bread only” phase right now. I’m promised the phase will pass and we’ll be back to our regular menu. Having said that, I have to also admit that they still eat all the oatmeal, beans and rice I offer them. Sometimes only after they’ve had some bread. Well, mostly baby brother. Bilingual baby is on a bread-only kick, something I remember from a year ago or so.

But back to the sugar. Bilingual papi and I sort of agree on the sugar thing but I think it’s a bigger issue. Dr. Mercola, who authors a great health site and newsletter, lists some of the dangers of sugar. He also sums up an article from the Journal of Pediatrics citing a study thatย  “revealed that in the 2- to 3-year-old group, average consumption of added sugar was around 14 teaspoons a day. This number jumped to 17 daily teaspoons a day among 4-year-olds and 5-year-olds.” This was in 2005.

Some may argue with me saying that a little bit of sugar isn’t going to do much harm. The problem with that argument is that there is sugar in almost everything. What once was consumed in small amounts now flavors pizza and pasta sauce, salad dressing, most frozen foods, etc. It’s ridiculous.

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