Friday, February 27, 2009


Why do they have to grow up so fast?? This morning Logan woke up, apparently earlier than he really wanted to, climbed into my lap, and fell right back to sleep. Myra was sleeping, so I got a chance to snuggle my little man while he snored away. I was thinking about how small he once was, and how he's just going to keep on growing up. Some day he may even get to big for snuggles in my lap. Fortunately, that day isn't particularly soon. Still, they are growing like crazy, are my little ones.

Logan is my boy genius. He is still working on his verbal skills, although his vocabulary is quite good for his age, and he is beginning to construct sentences that actually make sense. He even occasionally throws in an article or pronoun, just for fun. His true prowess, however is with numbers. He LOVES numbers. He can count to 400, both forward and backward starting with any number you give him. He also recognizes numbers written, and can build them himself from the individual integers. Next step - Calculus. He is also very physically able. He jumps and climbs everywhere. Thanks to our friend Elmo, he's learning to hop on one foot. He also loves music and quickly learns any song you present to him. He even has a pretty good sense of pitch. Myra is also making leaps and bounds. I had forgotten how quickly they grow at this age!! She has nearly mastered sittingand is working hard on forward propulsion. She rolls around pretty much wherever she wants to go, but scooting is still just moving her backwards. She holds herself - briefly - in a standing position when you put her there, but isn't pulling up yet. She also has 3 (Yes, 3) teeth. They showed up all at once. She is really enjoying eatingand tries to make off with anything edible (and sometimes not!) in reach. She isn't a huge fan of pureed foods, but loves soft chunks of stuff like bananas and cooked veggies. She does love yogurt though and goes crazy if I'm eating some and won't share. She'll even happily down pureed food, if it is mixed into yogurt. Sweet potato yogurt with cinnamon is her favorite. Don't knock it if you haven't tried it! She is starting to sleep in her crib more during the day, which has been nice for me. Of course, right now she's crashed out on my shoulder, but it does happen.We're trying to "teach" her some self soothing skills, and if you catch her at just the right moment, she'll fall asleep in her crib by herself. Hopefully she can grow up to be a better sleeper than Logan, who requires much parental intervention before those long-lashed lids even think about closing.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

My first "Recon"

Reconstruction, that is. I've been wanting to try to recycle some clothing for some time. There are so many awesome ideas and tutorials out there! I finally found a project that looked about my speed (also, Logan needed some new shirts), so I decided to recon some of my old sleepshirts into raglan sleeve tees for Logan. There is an awesome (free!) pattern here. I did have to shorten the sleeves a little but otherwise the size was good, which is good - one thing at a time.

These are the sleepshirts that I started out with.

I wanted to preserve the screenprinting on the front for cuteness sake, so I started out by cutting out the shirt front, attempting to center the images on the new front. I also turned Mickey right-side up. Then I cut out the back and sleeves from the remaining fabric in the body of the shirts. I also thought it would be fun to swap the sleeves for contrast. I didn't follow the instructions that came with the pattern, as they called for a set-in sleeve. I didn't see the point in a raglan style top, so I sewed the front and back pieces to the sleeves, then sewed the side seams as a whole. I also salvaged the ribbing from the original shirts to make collar bands. Then it was just hems and wear! I did save myself a little time by cutting the sleeves on the existing shirt hems, so that I didn't have to hem the sleeves. I hate hemming.

Anyway, here they are! Logan models the first one that I made, and plays with my tape measure. Here is the second one. I think it is the cuter of the two, but then, I like Mickey Mouse! Logan with both his new shirts.

Yay! Now I'm ready for some serious recon! Bring on the Goodwill jeans!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Music Makers!!

This is the highlight of Logan's week! We have a wonderful friend, Tammy, who puts together this program every week. The kids sing and dance and accidentally learn about music. It is awesome!! We go every Friday morning. Logan is usually asking for it by Tuesday. I took some pictures today of the fun...
Here we are learning about colors. This month's color is pink, so we all bring something pink to show through the "window", which Zander is holding. Logan loves doing this, and usually tries to get more than one turn. Zander's onto him, though.
Here we are singing with puppets. The song is pretty simple - lots of La, La, La - but moves up and down the scale, which the kids represent visually with their puppets. Logan loves it and runs around the house singing La La Las all the time. He does not, however, do anything in a conventional manner. Note that he is sitting and facing the pretty kids all in a row.
Logan, playing in the back of the gym.
Circle time. Logan is actually paying attention, although again with the unconventional. He stands while everyone else sits.
Logan jumps over the Candlestick. He LOVES this one.
This is Marching Time. The kids all get an instrument and march around the gym. Logan usually goes for drums or a maraca (or both), but today he has some sort of banging instrument.
Here is the music lesson. Logan is there, front and center, although I'm not sure he can see Tammy's visual aids...
This is part of activity time. They are banging pots, pans and sticks and acting like chickens (in the kitchen). Fun!
More activity time. This time we are jumping and counting. Since those are Logan's two favorite activities, he is all about it! His best friend, Anna is front and center in the picture.
We always end with Story Time. Logan has usually lost interest by this point and today was no exception. You can see him wandering in the back behind Caroline and Hayley.
Thanks, Tammy!! We love it!!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

6 months

I can't believe Myra's already six months old. We just had her checkup, and the last of the "baby" shots, as I think of them. Now it will just be one or two at a time.

Vital stats: Length - 24.75 in (25%ile)
Weight - 18 pounds 2 ounces (75-90%ile)

She's round like her brother. We love it!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I Did It!!

I cut my hair. I've been thinking about doing it for some time, actually. I've gotten a little tired of the same old boring bun. So, without further ado...


Can you tell I LOVE it!!! We'll see how it wears, but for now, I am one happy girl. I even like my grey hair right now, and that is saying something.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Slings and things

Logan takes a ride in a linen sling
As many of you know, I have been making ring sling baby carriers for about a year now. I think I may be a running gag in my ward, since every baby shower that we have had (and there have been quite a few!!) has featured a sling that I have made. I love to carry my babies in slings, and both of them have loved to be worn that way. I have really enjoyed sharing that with the other mommies in my life, and I hope that all of them have gotten some use out of their slings. That is not, however, the topic of this post. Since I have made total of 19 slings to date, I thought I'd share what I have learned for those who might be interested.

This is a double layer sling. The polka dot fabric is gauze, and the solid pink is linen.

First of all, there are as many ways to make a sling as there are mommies who wear them. My favorite, for comfort, ease of wear and attractiveness, is a pleated shoulder sling. I learned to make them at Jan Andrea's exceptional website She has an amazing tutorial that is so easy to follow, (here) as well as several articles that she has written about fabrics, rings and other things. I'm not going to reinvent the wheel, so if Jan talks about it, I'm just going to add on. She also sells slings there, so if you aren't up to making your own sling (Don't worry, it's really easy!) please buy one from her!

This is one of my favorites! It is a single layer french twill bound with pink bias tape.

Fabrics - This is the first thing you will probably choose when you are making a sling. First of all, remember that this is holding a baby, so strength is your first priority. I have several favorites. For a single layer sling, I love french twill, wool suiting and linen. Be sure that they are bottom-weight fabrics. Natural fabrics breathe well and are generally easy to clean. I will say that a touch of polyester makes your sling more wrinkle resistant, though. Twill is a nice sturdy fabric that wears well, washes easily and doesn't wrinkle (much). My vary favorite, go-to sling is twill. Wool has many of the same properties, although it is a bit more wrinkle prone, but I think it looks a little fancier. Linen wrinkles like the devil (again, a little poly is your friend here), but is otherwise easy to care for, sturdy, and breathes beautifully in the hot Texas sun. As an aside, I have a sling made of fleece that I absolutely love! It isn't a good option if it is your only sling, since it does get hot as the mercury rises, but is is so comfy and cozy. Myra and I have really loved it this winter. For a double layer sling, I generally use a layer of shirt-weight cotton broadcloth and a cute cotton print. I have also used gauze and linen. Both have worked fairly well. The critical thing to consider in selecting your fabric for a double layer sling is that when you sew in the rings, you will have several double layers of fabric, so a really thick fabric will need to be balanced with something thinner (like with the linen and gauze). I once tried denim lined with satin. Seemed like a good idea at the time, and it was so cute! Unfortunately, it was nearly impossible to adjust, hard to sew (thick + slippery = lots of swearing) and hot. It ended up getting torn apart and made into clothes for the kids. I have read (and believe to be true) that silk also makes a wonderful sling. I haven't tried it, mostly because of the cost, but someday...

This is a linen single layer, edged with satin ribbon.

Edges - This isn't relevant for a double layer sling, obviously, since the edge has a nice clean seam. Topstitch it to prevent twisting and go. For a single layer sling there are plenty of options. The easiest is just to hem or overcast the edges. This works fine. I like to bind the edges of a single layer sling with bias tape. I think it makes the sling easier to use, since it is easy to find the rails when you need to adjust it. I also think it makes for a more attractive sling. I also hate hemming, so you may feel differently about this.

This is a double layer, brown broadcloth and blue/brown batik. And a small version for a child.

Rings - I don't have a ton to say here except remember that the rings have the very important job of holding your baby! Make sure that they are sturdy!! Please don't use craft rings from Hobby Lobby. They are fine for a toy sling that is not intended to hold anything live, but your baby is worth the extra couple of bucks. I use rings that were designed and tested for use in baby slings. You can get your own at I have also heard that you can purchase steel rings at a hardware store that are also good and sturdy. Just make sure that they will bear the weight (and wiggles) of your little tot.

Myra, snug as a bug in the denim/satin double layer sling. It sure was pretty!

Wearing - Get someone who has some experience to help! If I'm around, I'd love to help any of the mommies out there wear their baby comfortably. Barring an experienced babywearer, I found videos very helpful in learning to wear Logan. There are some great ones out there. Just search "babywearing" on YouTube and you'll find a ton! My favorite come from the Zolowear sling company. They are available here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Moving along

Myra may not be crawling yet, but she's figured out how to get around anyway, when properly motivated. She can roll both ways, and apparently decided that she really wanted that kitty! I laid her down on the blanket, and walked into the garage for about 30 seconds to get the laundry, and this is what I see when I return! Guess the kitty is more fun than her toys. She's also working on sitting up. She really can do it by herself for a few seconds, but I haven't been able to get a picture of that, so here she is sitting with just a little help.
Here's the picture I have been getting - halfway down...
And for some comic relief, Logan chews his toenails. Mitch thinks this is totally gross, but it just makes me laugh. After all, his uncle Dan does it too! I wonder if this is an heritable trait?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Duct Tape

You really can do anything with it. Yesterday I convinced Mitch to help me with a particular duct tape project that I've been wanting to do for some time.
I love to sew. Mostly I sew for my children and sometimes my hubby and friends. On the rare occasion that I would like to sew for myself I am often stymied by the fact that I have a somewhat atypical figure, which requires tailoring and significant pattern alterations and my lack of a dress form on which to make those alterations. Anyone who has shopped for a dress form knows that you get what you pay for, and cheap (and I mean cheap and utterly useless) starts in the $200 range. But I have seen instructions online for a dress form that you can make at home with duct tape. The benefit to this (besides the fact that it costs all of ten bucks for the two rolls of duct tape) is that you get a nearly perfect replica of your body. Sweet! I'm all for it! So, yesterday when Mitch had the day off, and while Logan was napping, I convinced him to wrap me in three layers of duct tape. We used the instructions from Threads magazine found here. Here I am after application of the first layer. It's getting tricky to breathe! How do people wear latex clothes?? I was so hot and uncomfortable!
Here is the finished product, before we cut it off. The pink line is my waist.
Here she is, before she was stuffed.
After stuffing... I still need to put her on a stand, and she needs a bit more stuffing in the lower half, but she's almost ready! I can't wait to use her!!
And are my boobs really that big!? Wait, don't answer that - I don't want to know.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I decided to try making my own bias tape a few days ago. Bias tape, for the non-sewers out there is a strip of fabric which is cut at a 45 degree angle to the direction of the weave (on the bias). The important thing about that is that it gives it some additional strength, but more importantly, it is able to curve around corners. You use it to bind the edges of things, and to face curves - like little bitty baby armholes. I also love to use it to bind the edges of the slings I make. It is pretty, durable, easy, and makes the slings easier to use, since you can easily identify the rails when you need to adjust the sling. Here is a sling that I bound with commercial bias tape.

As you can see, there isn't anything wrong with just buying the bias tape. It's easy, not expensive, and available everywhere. The problem is that it's a bit boring. It is only available in solid colors, and selection can be limited. I am currently working on a sling for a friend, and she has a very vibrant personality, so I want her sling to have some pizazz. So, I wanted to bind it with something a little more interesting. I was reluctant to make it myself, only because the last time I did any bias binding, I chose a completely unsuitable fabric (polyester satin) and it was a HUGE pain. It was for my Ren Fest corset, and it ended up taking me far longer than it should have, courtesy of that binding. Looks nice, though.Anyway, I decided to give it another go. I bought some lightweight cotton, found a good instructional website here, and went for it. It went a lot better than I thought it would! I used the instructions for cutting/sewing on the website, and that went really well. Then came the ironing, which I hate to do anyway, and turning under millimeters of fabric - well, I wasn't excited about it. It wasn't that bad, though. Now, roughly two hours later, I have about 7 yards of realllly cute bias tape. I won't post pictures now, since it's a surprise, but stay tuned...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

How does your garden grow?

Last year we decided to plant a garden for the first time. It was awesome! We had a lot of help from some very knowledgeable friends, and we were eating fresh homegrown produce all summer. At least, until August, when life got crazy. Myra was born; Mitch was busy; the poor garden was severely neglected (read: completely ignored for a month), and we decided to mow it down. Literally. With the lawn mower. We thought that would be effective in eliminating the problem. The lettuce had other ideas... Apparently, it had gone to seed. A few weeks ago, we found baby lettuce in our yard.
Cilantro, too.You really can grow anything in Texas - even when you don't mean to...