This is me loving you

June 15, 2010 § 4 Comments

I shared this at today’s LLL meeting and wanted to share with you, too.

When I’m not feeling like doing what my kids ask me to do, clean up yet another mess, pick up yet another toy, etc, I’ve found a way to turn my no energy into yes energy and actually enjoy myself in the process.

It happened at some point with bilingual baby a couple of months ago. She was pouring herself some rice milk and some spilled and I was not in a good mood. I handed her a towel and said, in my “I’m trying to not have an attitude” voice, you can clean it up with this towel. She turned to me and said, mami do it.

Since I already wasn’t in a good mood, getting this sort of directive from a 3.5 year old was quickly pushing me over my easily drawn line. Out of nowhere, which tells me it was divine intervention, I said, “This is me loving you” and I cleaned it up. She turned to me and gave me a huge hug that I took to mean, “thanks, mama, you’re the best. you didn’t want to do it but you love me so much that you did it anyway”.

I felt all my anxiety about feeling like a pushover melt away. My worries about what other might say, should they pass by and look in through our windows, vanish.

I’ve used this approach many, many, many times. I still say it out loud but I’m sure it’ll become second nature in… say, 30 years. Although, I may still be saying it when they’re grown ups. Who knows.

The sweet thing is that now bilingual baby will say “this is me loving you” when she does something she doesn’t want to do but does anyway. It’s especially sweet because it’s unprompted. I ask her to do something and 50% of the time I’ll just accept that she wants to do something else- when I accept her where she is she’s more likely to do something to help me out.


By A Thread Blog Giveaway

June 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

Check out this blog giveaway:

The latest Vermont Etsy Street Team Giveaway, from By A Thread, is for a matching Quilted Eyeglass Case and Coffee Cup Cozy set. This great cotton fabric is a Civil War Era design. Both items contain soft polyester batting made from recycled plastic bottles.

To Enter this giveaway, do one or more of the following. One entry for each, if you do more than one.

1. Go to, pick out your favorite item and leave a comment here saying what it is and an email address of etsy convo address to contact you if you win.

2. Become a follower of the By A Thread facebook page at and leave a comment here saying that you did that.

3. Buy an item from any of the Vermont Etsy Street Team shops, and leave a comment here saying that. Links to the Vermont Etsy Street Team shops are to the right of this screen. One entry to the giveaway for each item you buy!

This giveaway is open from June 14th, 2010 – June 27, 2010. The winner will be announced on June 28th. Good luck and don’t forget to leave an email address or Etsy address for each comment entry.


June 11, 2010 § 1 Comment

In an earlier post, I talked about the wonders of the balance bike we converted from a regular bike I bought the kids that came with training wheels, even. I gave away the training wheels to a friend who wanted them and asked another friend to take off the pedals and chain.

It’s really only until you see a kid actually on a balance bike, cruising that you see the benefits and the absolute fun that a balance bike brings. In doing the math, we’re figuring that bilingual baby has been playing on the balance bike for about four weeks.

Here’s a video of bb really balancing earlier today with her feet on the middle bar of the bike. She said she was just doing what I was doing…pretty cool! (sorry about the finger on the lens.)

I’m seeing the potential to get her going with pedals but I’m not going to offer. I’m going to wait until she asks. For one, it’s not like I have to be hunched over the whole time she’s on her bike; and two, there’s time.

So, for anyone who hadn’t seen video of kids on these pedal-less bikes, here ya go. Now, it’s your turn to be amazed at how quickly your kid (grandkid, etc) “gets” balancing, and there’s no added stress with having to take off the training wheels.

Cat Pants

June 9, 2010 § 5 Comments

Boy clothes are either blue, green, brown or black. You’ll find stripes, but not dots, solids and few prints. It’s sad after having a girl. Girl clothes have interest. Visual and textured.

My little boy wants to wear his sister’s clothes… for no other reason, I believe, than they’re cuter. I’m guessing he loves the fabric, the simple designs, and maybe the fact that I made them- I swear by that part.

In light of that, and because baby brother likes cats, I made cropped pants for him from this fabric that I bought a couple of months ago. As I was cutting, my little girl asked if there was enough fabric to make a pair for her, too. Of course!

So, they got matching pants. I think it’s adorable.

I was talking to my mom and she said that my sister, with her two boys, is also frustrated by the lack of t-shirts that don’t have a superhero on them. She doesn’t want all the paraphernalia and tries to get the older one (especially) in clothes that don’t have a whole lot of stuff she finds inappropriate.

I’m lucky to have the parents and in-laws I have. Neither side of the family is into having the kids wear clothing that fits the stereotype. Now, I just need to set up a wish list on my favorite online fabric store so they can buy clothes for the kids via fabric… I know it’s not the same for some but bilingual baby is into fabric stores- but that’s what she knows. She gets a fat quarter every once in a while and comes home to play cutting.

Enjoy the photos. In them, they are cuddling, doing tai chi (that’s what bilingual baby told me they were doing), balancing, and running in circles.

Diastasis recti

June 6, 2010 § 2 Comments

Some of you may already know through my facebook rantings that I’m in bootcamp. It’s not that kind of bootcamp. I don’t wake up at 5:30 am to go workout and our instructors don’t yell at us to do 50 more push-ups.

It’s actually belly bootcamp. More specifically, it’s bootcamp to repair my diastasis. Diastasis (die-ASS-ta-sees) is the separation of the outer muscles of the abdominals. During pregnancy, my growing belly pushed on my muscles and slowly separated them. I didn’t know about doing these specific exercises to help prevent or minimize diastasis, so I just went along my merry pregnant way. After two babies, but before this bootcamp, I had no waist to speak of- and it was because my muscles had separated, making my waist larger than ever.

Check out this illustration of before and after- you can see how the exercises are meant to close up the abdominals. You’ll get a better idea of what I’m talking about:

A personal trainer (also a mom) in town was teaching mom workouts and she got trained in the Tupler technique, which is a set of exercises that help close the muscular gap of diastasis and during pregnancy help prevent or minimize the separation. She’s got us all on board. Now, she teaches a beautiful bellies workshop- specifically for learning the Tupler technique.

So, my bootcamp, if it should be called that at all, includes these exercises during the weekly strength training class and two cardio classes- though you can opt to do just one cardio class.

From what I understand, you could go to 100 cardio classes post-partum and still have that “mummy tummy”- that bulge that just won’t go away. If you still do, it’s not late to get checked for diastasis. You could be 15 years “post-partum” and still correct an abdominal separation. The thing to know is that, just like any part of staying in shape, you need to keep doing the exercises to keep the muscles active and closed. It’s alongside these specific exercises that the workouts really have an effect.

Since I have diastasis, I need to be careful when I get up out of bed (I have to roll to my side and then push myself up) and I can’t do traditional sit-ups, and other kinds of abdominal movements I thought were good for my middle. I still can’t do the hundred from the pilates workout I used to do. I can do a lot of other exercises. I just have to be careful.

Patchwork Picnic Blanket in the works

June 1, 2010 § 1 Comment

A friend from school in Colombia recently asked me if I could make her a picnic blanket. This is such a dream for me. This is someone who is very special to me- despite the time and distance that have kept us from keeping in better touch. Anytime I’ve gone to Colombia, I’ve gone to see her. Even if it’s been years.

You can imagine why this is such a love project. Here are some pictures of the quilt pieces. I’ve sewn the rows together and now need to piece all the rows together. I’m hoping I can finish this soon so I can put it in the mail by this week.

Last night I pieced the rows together.

Standing back to admire my own work. hehe

This morning I sewed the rows together while the kids watched a dvd. I did change a couple of squares up to add more interest. The top is done! Yay!

I’ve spent 5 hours on it so far and I’m still not done. There’s a lot of straight sewing and ironing to do. Finishing the top means I’m really more than half done.

Now, I just have to cut the batting and back so that they are the same size as the top. Then… okay. There are more steps. I won’t bore you. I’ll just post more pictures as I get them done.

Check out my etsy store where I have this picnic blanket up for my friend to buy off of me.

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