Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hey, New York, have you heard the news?

I don't consider myself to be a political person. As a matter of fact, I do my best to avoid political discussions whenever possible. They usually aggravate me more than educate. And such discussions never seem to change peoples' minds. Maybe sometimes my silence is taken the wrong way, but I do it for my own good (and for other people's noses as well.) That's why I've been staying quiet with the whole fracking/drilling issue, the war, the economy, Sarah Palin's accounts of history, and most recently, the gay marriage law in NY.

But then I figured...while we're on the topic of equality...well, this is right up my alley. I'll say my piece.
Not for gay rights. Luckily for them, gays and lesbians have voices and can speak up for themselves - which they did! Instead, I'm going go focus on equality for all people - specifically the ones who cannot speak for themselves. Conveniently, we never hear their voices, their arguments, their protests.

If you're rolling your eyes at the looks of another "pro-life, anti-abortion" article, I ask you to focus your eyeballs for a few minutes and read what I have to say. I promise I won't bring in religion (heaven forbid we mention such things), and I promise I won't force my views on you. I'm just going to talk and ask some questions. Feel free to answer below, in your head, or not at all.

There are a few parenting views that strike me as odd when abortion is brought into the mix, and that's what I want to focus on here.

As you may know, I'm about 6 months pregnant with my second baby. As with the first, I signed up for BabyCenter e-mails as well as "Birth Watch" on facebook. I highly recommend both for all expecting parents. They are just so cool. Every week, you get little updates. This week, your baby has grown fingernails. The next week, their hair color can be determined. The next week, they respond to light, movement, stimuli, pain, familiar voices, etc.

Words such as "your baby" and "he" or "she" are used normally and naturally in these updates. Because when a woman signs up for these e-mails, she wants to know about her baby and what's going on inside of her! She's sure to take vitamins, see her doctor/midwife, listen to that amazing, tear-jerking heartbeat, and even get a couple ultrasounds!

But...only if she wants the baby. If she doesn't, then she's discouraged from hearing the heartbeat, looking at the ultrasound screen, referring to the baby as a baby, and instead call it a "fetus" or the "formation of cells and tissue."

It's relative. Or at least that's what pro-choicers think. If the mother wants the baby, well then that baby deserves care. But if the mother doesn't want the baby, that changes everything. The truth becomes variable, and nobody is allowed to make a judgment about the life of that child. Nobody except the mother.

...Which doesn't make much sense. A mother's position is to protect and care for her children. Not to voluntarily chose which ones live or die.

Mothers are very vocal about protecting their children. The Intactivism movement is growing and spreading like wildfire. Intactawhat? Intactivism is a belief that routine infant circumcision needs to end. Non-circumcision. Intact. I'll save my thoughts for another blog post, but in short - I totally agree. I'm all for this. Unless it's medically necessary (which is practically never is), I don't think we should be performing this procedure. I don't hate on people who disagree with me - I'm respectful. Sadly though, some parents who chose to circumcise are called heartless, uneducated, and mutilators.

Oddly enough, however, the same group of people who stick up so much for little boys' private parts have no problem with little boys' entire bodies being burned by chemicals or torn apart by blades, and then vacuumed out of the woman's uterus. They're okay with this because they believe that "equal rights do not begin until birth."

I was appalled the first time I saw this statement.

Are we serious? A perfectly formed, beautiful, ready baby born at 40 weeks will have equal rights. A baby born early at 36 weeks will have equal rights. Even a preemie born at 21 weeks will have equal rights.

BUT if the mother wants to abort her baby at 21 weeks, that's okay. That's legal.

What makes a 21 week old inside of the uterus any less "equal" than a 21 week old baby outside of the uterus?

I really want someone to tell me a logical answer for this.

Equal rights begin at birth? Is that how we defended partial birth abortions? Oh, forgive me for using the incorrect term. It's technically called a "dilation and extraction" procedure.

During a D&X, babies were delivered - almost entirely - but not completely! They were pulled feet first out of the birth canal until the back of their necks were exposed. Then, an incision was made in their upper neck by a sharp knife. Then (I kid you not), their brains were suctioned out, which helped their skull collapse, and then they were delivered. And not alive, either.

But hey, this is okay, right? Had the head accidentally slipped out first, before the doctor got to slice the neck open, that baby would have suddenly been granted equal rights. The doctor wouldn't have been able to finish his procedure. Why not though? Because doing so would have ended its life - otherwise known as (get ready) killing.

But thankfully, since the head wasn't out, since it technically wasn't born yet, we can still end its life.

Imagine, just for a minute, if a mother decided, "Well, let's circumcise the little guy while his bottom is hanging out, before his head is born." She has every reason to believe this is okay - he doesn't have equal rights yet! Go ahead and circumcise the guy.

Can you just hear the Intactivists and Natural Parents throw a fit. I would! How dare you harm that little boy like that! Exposed like that. Defenseless like that. It's infant mutilation and a complete violation of rights.

Right? But somehow people cannot see ending the baby's life - whether by knife, chemicals, tearing of the limbs, or otherwise - as mutilation or violating his rights.

During a circumcision, the baby boy cries. During an abortion, we don't hear it.

Is that the only reason we're against circumcision so much? Because their voices are heard? Because those painful screams tear at our hearts? Do you think an abortion causes any less pain to a baby?
Isn't it obvious that everyone - everyone, including the unborn - has the right to life? Not everyone has the right to go to a fancy school, buy a car, get a trust fund, get a great job. Those things are truly privileges. But being born is not a privilege. Being given a chance to live is not a privilege. It's a right.

How can we look at the development of a baby and pick the time where it doesn't deserve to live? A great man (whose name I shall not mention since I promised not to bring in religion, and his affiliation is religious, but be assured he's awesome and if you want to know who he is, I'll answer you in a comment) once said something to this extent: "Look at a newborn. Now go back a day. Was he any less a human? No. Now go back another day. Any less a human? No. Keep going back until you can say when he was not a human."

People might say, "Well, that's just your personal belief."

But actually, it's not. It's science.

There are so many arguments against pro-lifers, so I won't focus on those now. But I had a great discussion with my sister-in-law months back who provided me with some wonderful articles and insight on the whole "science vs. belief" argument surrounding abortion. I strongly encourage you to read these. As she says, "The main thing is that if life doesn't begin at conception, then what is it that has been conceived?  An almost-person that could develop into something other than a person?  Of course not."

If you don't believe me, I'll end you with these articles from prestigious and prominent scientists from around the world.

Some people might be against reading these. But if you don't, how can you ever expect people to listen to your views, even if they're different from your own? You can't ever expect people to be open-minded if you're not either. 

Princeton - Embryo
Human Rights Quotes
Life Begins
Federal judge: life begins at conception

"This is the moment of conception, when an individual's unique set of DNA is created, a human signature that never existed before and will never be repeated."  
In the Womb, National Geographic, 2005.   

"Biologically speaking, human development begins at fertilization."  
The Biology of Prenatal Development, National Geographic, 2006.

Take home message: equal rights begin at conception, and they continue till natural death.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Poor and Content

This picture couldn't have come at a more appropriate time in my little household. It has me thinking about a lot.

My husband or I are simple, frugal people. We didn't come from money, and we've never minded since we don't know what it's like to live otherwise. We openly admit we're broke and see no shame in being honest about it. We don't pretend to have money and live wealthy. While we joke it would be nice to have an extra thousand dollars to blow on whatever we wanted, neither of us put a lot of importance into material goods. We don't care about status or name-brands. Practically every piece of mismatched furniture in our house was given to us. We don't have modern, orderly decorations. We have the essentials, and that's about it.

I've been a stay-at-home mom since Little Olive was born, and we knew doing so would make things tight financially around the house. But we've been able to make ends meet on one income. While it would be awesome to put an addition on the upstairs and make another bedroom, or re-do the kitchen with brand new appliances, the choice to stay home has been invaluable.

My husband graduated this spring with his master's degree, and we are so happy he's out of school, applying for his dream jobs. However, this past week we realized his loans would start coming in this summer for repayment. We're currently holding our breath on a position he applied for. Because if he doesn't get it, I'm not quite sure where the money for the new bills will come from.

That's why I opened my Etsy Shop last week. I love to sew, and it's about time I take pride in my work and display it for others to purchase. We also did a massive sweep of our house, taking anything we don't want or will never use for a yard sale next week. I've also decided to sell a set of Spode Dishes on eBay. If you know of anyone in the business for vintage, antiques, or dishes, send them the link or send me their information. :)

When we were in London several years ago, my husband and I saw a quote in a country tavern that read,

"Poor and content is rich enough."

It has become one of our favorites, and it's a wonderful reminder for what really matters in life. 

Another one we love is an Irish saying,
"A full cabin is better than an empty castle."

And finally,

"There is no feast without good company."

I think the next few months will be hard, but I know we'll be able to do it. We might be living off peanut butter and jelly till it comes out of our ears, but thankfully Little Olive loves it. :)

If you have any tips for ways to live even more frugally, share below! We're always up for new suggestions. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Safe in the Sun

It finally feels like summer here in my town. We had a rough, rainy spring, but the sun is shining and it's hot! With the heat of summer comes the need for skin protection as well. Stores are stocked full of commercial sunscreen, often inexpensive and smelling great. But I'm not alone in being cautious about slathering myself and my child up in sunblock. Sunscreens contain harmful chemicals and ingredients. The list is abundant and varied, so I won't list them here. I'm thankful to be on the mailing list of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and they are the go-to for that kind of information. Based on what they share with their readers, I try to make informed decisions about sunscreen.

First of all, our bodies need vitamin d, and the best place to get that is from the sun. Especially in Western New York where the majority of our year is spent inside, in the cold, we should take advantage of the beautiful sun in the summer months. Do I mean lay out from 9am to 3pm every single day? No. I think that is dangerous. People do get skin cancer and horrible burns by being careless like that.

But we need sun exposure. Here's how I've been handling it this season.

I try not to take Little Olive outside when the sun is at its peak (between 10 and 2). Sometimes we do, but I keep those sessions short. Being outside when the sun is not so strong has really helped her skin gradually become accustomed to the sun. I've also been careful to keep her shoulders covered, since the sun would hit those areas of her skin constantly. Now she has a cute little farmer's tan.

When we're going to be out for longer times, I make sure she's wearing a hat. She really likes things on her head so this is no problem for us. I've heard people say, "The best sunblock is a hat!" Just an idea.
I'm really tempted to buy one of those cute bikinis for her like we did last summer. She's only going to be little for so long. (Maybe when they go on sale, I will.) But for the majority of the summer, I bought her a suit that was technically called a "cover up/rash guard" from Target. It looks a lot like this, but it's white with cute Hawaiian flowers. The material is regular bathing suit fabric, but it covers a lot more than a normal suit.

I really like this because it lessens the need for sunscreen and still provides protection! Add her little hat, and we're all set. But as most parents would agree, wearing a hat in the pool or while running around in the sprinkler will be close to impossible. Sunscreen just might be needed for the face! What to do?

You can find a list of the safest sunscreen brands here. The lower the number to the right of each brand, the more safe and natural it is.

You can also look up a particular company/brand/bottle here.
I was pretty disappointed that my Banana Boat baby brand was rather high on the list! I'll be looking for some Aveeno sticks for sure instead!

If you have any other ideas or suggestions, feel free to share below!

Friday, June 24, 2011

I found them! Therasandals!

Remember last week I wrote about my favorite pregnancy items? And I was sad because I couldn't find those comfortable shoes anywhere? Well, I'm here to tell you - they are at Walgreen's! I bought a pair. They're $12.99 but there was a sale going on for buy one, get one 50% off. I highly recommend them if you want some comfy sandals. But I'm sure they'll sell out fast!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

First Love

My younger sister graduated from high school yesterday. It was an emotional day! My family belongs to a homeschooling group, and the graduations are held at the same place every year. It brought back memories being there again! You see kids who you remember being 10 years old, now suddenly switching their tassels. You see new families and old friends. Some people haven't changed a bit - others you barely recognize. It's always a nice day.

I was particularly touched by seeing an old friend who I haven't been in touch with much since graduating. We were all friends back then, but our close circles were different. I always remember her being very cool and down-to-earth though.

Well, I had the pleasure of talking with her for a little while and you could just see the happiness in her eyes. She just gave birth to her first child a couple months ago. He is beautiful and precious, and he spent every moment cuddled into her chest. Content as could be. It nearly brought tears to my eyes. You could just tell they were perfect. He trusted her and didn't need anything else. She held him close, and so naturally. We talked about being moms and how crazy it was that we felt so much love for our babies - the tiny mushballs that they are. We never knew that love could feel like this.

When people hear "first love", they think about that puppy love crush in middle school. That boy who, looking back, was not nearly as cute as we once thought. People don't really think about the other "first" loves in their lives. Like your first real love - that real genuine, romantic love. That would be my husband.

But then there's parental love - that just opens up a whole new world for us. Nothing compares to it. I could never say who I love more, my husband or my daughter. I love them to my fullest capacity - in different ways. And now that I'm expecting a second, I hope it will be the same.

In Harry Potter, Voldemort splits his soul into many pieces out of hatred. I wonder if having another child will be like a reverse-horcrux. The heart will be split into pieces - one for each baby, and out of complete love. If the love I feel for Little Olive is anything like what I'll feel for the second, I say bring it on. :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Second Trimester Thoughts

Carrying on the tradition of the first trimester post.

...13 weeks! Hello, second trimester! We are going to be great friends. I can tell already.

...First appointment with our awesome midwife. Got to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time. So incredible.

...Tried a gluten free diet for a month.

...Started to get "morning sickness" again. Totally wasn't cool.

...Took Little Olive to her first movie! It was a fun experience.

...Started to feel the baby move for real - not just maybe baby bumps. Definitely baby kicks! :)

...Ugh stomach flu.

...Mother's Day!

...Ian finishes his Master's degree!

...Belly is starting to really show! Hooray!

...18 week ultrasound! It was amazing! At this one with the first pregnancy, we found out she was a girl - Little Olive. This time it was different - but we're excited to be waiting.

...Took a trip to Indiana to visit friends and family for a wedding!

...Took another trip a couple weeks later to visit more family for Memorial Day.

...So much energy! Cleaning, sewing, doing projects around the house, keeping busy!

...24 weeks - how time flies. Looking forward to the last stretch. :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Due dates - has it come down to control?

The more I learn about natural childbirth, the more I think our country needs to take a little chill pill. Not a huge one, just a little one. One that would change the expectation, anticipation, and dependence on the "due date."

Whenever someone announces their pregnancy, people ask, "When are you due?" It's not a bad thing - I ask it too. And all women have their dates ready. "I am due October 3rd." Immediately people burn that date into their brains. If the woman goes any earlier, well, she had her conception date wrong. Any later? OH NO, she needs to be induced!

In the natural birth community, it's more common to hear women give an estimated time-frame for the baby's arrival - not one specific day. I try to do this by saying, "I'm due early October." Giving a general time-frame works better because it takes the pressure off yourself. Come October 2nd, you know the baby could come anytime, be that next week or two weeks. But people are nervously biting their nails, pacing the hallways, because you're due tomorrow! The baby is coming tomorrow!

But guess what?
The due date is not an expiration date!
Psh, obviously, you might think. But seriously, people seem to consider the two as one and the same. We're used to everything having an expiration date. Our milk, our cheeses, the salsa in the back of the fridge, and even car seats now have an expiration date! But not pregnancy. The average length of a pregnancy is 266 days - some are longer and others are shorter. It's not as if once day 267 comes, the pregnancy should be over.

When parents and doctors think like this, and the baby hasn't arrived by its "due date", they can start to wonder what's wrong. If the baby isn't born soon, he will get too big. There's not enough amniotic fluid. The baby is going to keep growing and there won't be any room for him. The placenta is going to dry up and fall apart. The baby is going to go bad if he's not born!

Then a decision has to be made. We either let the pregnancy go well into week 50 - or we induce. Women believe that if they don't induce, they will be pregnant for the rest of their lives. Since that option simply isn't acceptable, we induce.

The problem with this decision is that labors induced unnaturally can be extremely stressful. You take a naturally occurring event (birth) and take control over it by making it happen now. Hooked up to an IV with a pitocin drip, forced contractions begin, and the body suddenly has to adjust to labor. Labors that start with induction are known to be more intense and can cause fetal distress. This often leads to the need for a c-section.

You hear a lot, "If we weren't in the hospital, the baby could have died. His heart rate dropped, he went into distress, and they had to perform an emergency c-section." But think about it...what if all that happened because we took over? What if the baby wasn't ready? What if the body wasn't ready? What if labor would have naturally begun the next day?

It's hard to wait for the arrival of the baby. We get impatient and want our baby to be okay.

But interfering can cause so many more problems than if we had just let nature take its course. When I hear people say, "We have to induce because there's no room left for the baby," I want to laugh out loud. If there's no room left for the baby, the only place he can go is down - and that means out! If there's no room left for the baby, he's not stuck there forever.

This is not to say there aren't situations where the baby truly is too big for a mother to birth; however, those instances are so rare that it's unfair to put every women in that category. Doctors have been wrong before by estimating the weight of the baby at 8lbs, and saying it's too large. When the baby is born (naturally and vaginally, by the way), he actually weighs at 10lbs. It can be done! But that's a topic for another time.

We all need to take a step back and hand our trust over to nature. Every aspect of our lives cannot be controlled - and especially not the birthday of children. We need to learn to be patient and how to be hands-off. So spread the word, "The due date is not an expiration date."

(All information has come from the wonderful resources of Ina May Gaskin's books, The Business of Being Born dvd, and the stories and experiences of real-life women.)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Prepping for Birth

Butterflies & Hiccups: A Guided Pregnancy Journal
Today I'm going to share some "favorites" of mine during my pregnancy!

I used to keep a journal for all of my teenage years. I filled over 50 of them and enjoyed writing every day - and sometimes twice a day! Then once I hit college, life changed a lot and I didn't make time to write as often. But I still like recording big events! That's why I'm currently keeping this pregnancy journal with updates, changes, and pictures of the nine months. It was a gift from my husband's cousin, and I would recommend it for a pregnant momma who would like a memory book. It's nice because you can fill it out as often or as little as you want.

Burt's Bees Mama Bee Belly Balm, Fragrance Free, 3 Ounce Tins
Belly Butter:
I'm a huge fan of cocoa butter products to help with stretch marks. I like the kinds that smell like chocolate, but this one is fragrance free and very soothing. As the skin stretches and grows so rapidly during pregnancy, it can feel dry and itchy. I experienced that a lot when I was expecting Little Olive. But this time around, I started to apply belly butter before I noticed any growth. I think it really helped. Adding vitamin e, cocoa butter, and collagen helps the skin become more elastic and moisturized. I highly recommend this for all pregnant mothers - even after birth.

Hylands Cell Salts 6x | Set of All 12 Cell Salts | 500 tablets
Homeopathic Cell Salts:
Cell salts are low potency remedies that act as "maintenance" for certain health and body issues. For each month of pregnancy, there are three different cell salts to take for pregnancy-related issues, such as water retention, varicose veins, stretch marks, etc. To get all the details, you can download the information here at Fill out your name and e-mail address, and you'll be knowledgeable in this topic, for you and your baby. I dissolve 3 tablets of each remedy in a glass of water, and I sip it twice each day. Each sip is one dose. Pretty easy. :)

When FitFlops first came out, I wanted them badly. Tone my legs and bottom just by walking? That's my kind of exercise. But at $60 a pair no way was I going to spend my hard-earned money on shoes. (I am extremely cheap.) As much as Kmart is one of my least favorite places to shop, I have to admit I find great shoes there. And for reasonable prices too. In the summer of '09 when I was pregnant with Little Olive, I bought these TheraSandals for $9.99. I went for the gladiator colors because I'm so cool like that, but they also had black, pink, white variations too. Wow, can I tell you how much I love these shoes? Never have I owned a more comfortable and supportive pair. Whether they actually tone or not, I couldn't tell you. All I know is they are mad comfortable. Up until the day I gave birth, I put all my other shoes aside and wore these. Last summer I did the same, and you can bet what I'm wearing two years later in '11. They still cradle my feet and offer such a soft sole. I would tell you to go buy them right now, but they are sold out (as far as I can tell) in stores and online. If you find differently, let me know. I'm not a shoe hoarder but I would buy a pair to save for future pregnancies. Seriously, let me know. :) Comfortable feet mean comfortable walking, posture, and back. And that means a happy momma!

HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method: A natural approach to a safe, easier, more comfortable birthing (3rd Edition)
Childbirth Methods:
I heard about Hypnobirthing from my midwife and read the book. And loved everything about it. I talked about it last summer a little in this blog post, and I'm back again to tell you about how cool it is. I am trying to make myself "practice" a lot more this time around. Usually I pick a time when I can sit down for 20 minutes, turn on my iPod, and listen to the guided relaxations. I've also picked a few very peaceful songs to practice with, and this way I can listen to them during labor. Classical conditioning, right?

If you have any pregnancy favorites or birth preparations, share them below!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Lost and found: a sewing blog

Today will be a short post because time is of the essence! My husband and I have been busy around the house. Call it clearing out, spring cleaning, nesting, or just plain old fed up with the clutter, we are on a roll. I have so much energy to do all these little and big projects; might as well take advantage of it before the extreme heat of summer and the third trimester settles in.

In the midst of it all, I'd like to announce the launching of my sewing blog, Sew Cute Sew Easy. I'm still in the process of figuring out a design and logo, but I have a couple posts up there to view!

I've been sewing off and on since I was nine years old. I've sewn simple things from napkins and pillowcases to big projects such as my wedding dress. Every now and then, my sewing gets lost in the business of life. My sewing machine might sit for months without being used. But recently, I've found time to sew again. I MAKE time to sew again. My passion for designing and assembling pieces of clothing might have been lost, but it has now been found!

I'm hoping that by keeping a blog, I will be encouraged and motivated to finish many ideas that I've begun in the past. Feel free to stop by and see what's new! :)

Monday, June 06, 2011

Boy's Christening Outfit: Part Two

Remember back in April, I wrote about sewing a Christening outfit for our Maybe Baby Boy? I only did the pants then. Here's the  link to the tutorial and photos. It took me a while to sit myself down for round two, but I did it the other day! I finally made the shirt!

I used a light, simple cotton for the top. For the edging, I used the left-over material from my wedding dress. It's a shiny, soft satin. I didn't want the whole thing to be made out of satin, because little babies are slippery enough as it is. ;) If you don't understand my directions, let me know. I'd be happy to edit if something needs a better explanation.

1. I started off folding the material in half so I would have two layers. I placed one of Little Olive's shirts on the layers and folded in the sleeves. I didn't want to cut the sleeves connecting to the torso because I figured it would look too stiff. You could always chose to do this if you're just starting out. The sleeves are tedious, but I think the finished product looks a little better adding them separately. After cutting out the torso, I cut two sleeves. Two pieces for each (front and back) making a total of four pieces altogether. I used a 3-6 month size shirt for my pattern. I'm not sure how big the baby will be as a newborn and didn't want this to be too small. 

2. This is what all the pieces looked like after being cut out.
I sewed the sleeves first, starting at the top shoulder point and working down toward the wrist. I did this for the bottom seem as well, starting at the underarm and sewing to the wrist. Four seems, two finished sleeves. I put those aside to work on the torso.

3. I sewed the top shoulder seems, and then the side seems. Pretty easy and straightforward. You can't tell I even sewed because I used white thread, so I took the picture below to show proof.

4. Close-up of a seem. :)

5. Next I pinned the little sleeves to the arm holes. Make sure all the seems are facing the same way (all inside-out). The picture shows everything inside-out. However, the easiest way to pin and sew is to actually tuck the sleeves into the armhole so you don't see the sleeves. This allows for only the seem to show while you sew and pin. It gets everything "extra" out of the way while you're at the machine.

6. Here it is, right-side-out, after the sleeves were sewn in. I cut the front of the shirt in half, down the middle, after taking this picture. I wanted this to be more of a tunic than a pull-over shirt.

7. Now it was time to make the satin edging. I plugged in my iron to warm up. (Waited a few minutes.) Earlier in the day, I had cut out strips of fabric approximately 3 inches wide. I had all different lengths to fit the different areas of the top, such as the collar, the bottom hem, the torso, etc. 
First I folded the ends of the edging down and ironed them. It will help in the long-run to take your time on this.

8. Next, I folded the material in half to create a smooth edging with no frayed ends. Iron this well, and the next step will be much easier!

9. I slipped the edging over the bottom hem and pinned. 

10. I pinned the whole top before sewing. This is really helpful because you find "trouble areas" such as corners or connecting areas. For this top, it was the top and bottom corners of the middle torso. It was tricky tucking in the ends of the edging so that nothing would be sticking out and fray. I actually decided to hand-sew these four corners to secure them and make for a smooth ride on my machine.

11. Here I am hard at work. (But not really since I set the timer and held very still.)
After this, I went to my machine and sewed on the satin edging. It went well!

12. The wrist hems were done separately on the machine, without the edging. I figured depending on the length of the new baby's arms, these might end up being folded anyways. I didn't want to spend a lot of time on creating such a small edging for this tiny area. I sewed this after creating a 1/4 inch seem.

13. Then I found a blue button in my sewing box, blue thread, and some left-over blue ribbon from my wedding (this pretty blue ribbon went around our favors at the reception. Tiny bottles of Bailey's Irish Cream at each setting. You should've been there.) I made a loop and matched it up to the button.

14. Here is the final product! It's a bit wrinkled right now and uneven in places, but I'm happy with it! 
I know it will be big on the baby so all the imperfections will be smooshed anyway. 

I hope you enjoyed it! :)

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Success: Weaning from the Pacifier

If you were here during the earlier days of my blog, you'll remember my post about pacifiers. Or you won't. In that case, here's the link for it. :)

Wubbanub Infant Pacifier - Pink Horse
As much as we didn't want to use one in the beginning of Little Olive's life, we eventually did. I didn't mind using it as much as I thought I would. It helped her sleep, it helped me leave the room once she fell asleep, it helped keep her happy in the car, it helped her when I was occupied - like in the shower. As she grew into a toddler and weaned from breastfeeding, the "bink" became a huge part of that transition. We had used a WubbaNub pacifier for many months, but we were worried it was messing with her teeth as she got older. The round shape is definitely only meant for newborns.

We switched to a more ergonomic pacifier and attached a Squirt (from Finding Nemo) keychain on the end. This helped us find it in the middle of the night and when she'd toss it aside in the car. The princess only needs the bink when the princess says so.

We talked occasionally about weaning her from it, but there was no need at that time. We figured we'd just wait it out.

I've seen kids dependent on their pacifiers well into childhood. I've seen four year olds talk perfectly well with the nipple inbetween their teeth. I've seen toddlers so attached on their bink that their teeth began forming around its shape.

I didn't want either of these things happening. So several weeks ago, my husband and I decided to cut back. She didn't need it every time she cried - she needed a distraction to get her mind off it. She didn't need it when we'd go for little walks down the street - she talked so much more when we'd pop it out of her mouth.

I was against weaning her completely because being around the new baby in October (I'm sure) will cause a little stress in her little kingdom. I wanted her to be able to be comforted if she needed.

Then I realized...October was still five months away. Hmm...

Well, about two weeks ago, Little Olive was so congested one night from a cold that she couldn't breathe out of her nose. Just as she was starting to quiet down, she would remove her bink and start to cry. My husband (who was putting her down to bed that night) saw that she wasn't going to fall asleep if she couldn't breathe. He took away her bink and decided right then she was going to wean.

Little Olive didn't take it well at all. The poor thing screamed for a couple hours while he calmly sat by her bed until she fell asleep. I was surprised, impressed, and proud that he stuck it out. Of course it was really hard hearing L.O. cry like that, but I knew she had her daddy right there, and he wasn't going to just leave the room. That night after falling asleep, she didn't wake up till the morning.

The following day for a nap, it was my turn. She cried for about 5 minutes, then fell asleep.

That afternoon, when we went in the car for some errands, she asked for it. I said, "No no, honey. It went bye-bye." She started to cry until I turned on the radio. She was fine after that.

Since then, she hasn't asked for it once!

She stumbled upon one in my purse a week later. She was so excited and happy, she just held it preciously in her little hands as if she found a chunk of gold.

I've been so impressed with her weaning from the bink. She falls asleep like a little doll, with her hands folded across her belly. She's happy in the car without it. She snuggles with her blanket and talks so much.

This is not to say she's completely advanced and over it. She definitely bulldozed her little cousin yesterday at the sight of one. Before I even knew what was happening, she had charged, grabbed it/pushed the baby down, popped it in her mouth, and ran away!

I was like, "What!??! I don't even know what to say while putting you in time-out! Don' you just did."

My sister-in-law and I were cracking up despite ourselves.

So we know Little Olive still has a ways to go until she doesn't want one anymore. And if the new baby uses one, we might have a struggle. We'll deal with that when the time comes. I'm not worried about it at all. As my husband says, "The new kid will be lucky if they ever know what a pacifier is."

I just smile and think, Been there, done that.

But you never know, right?

And the blogging award goes to...

What a great way to start off June! Receiving a blogging award is kind of like opening a Christmas gift when you didn't even know it was Christmas! It's a great surprise. I wanted to thank Mountain Mama at Into The Wild Blue Yonder for this one. It's beautiful! 

Some awards come along with rules, and this one has four!

1) Tell who gave it to you. Well, technically I already did - but I'll tell you a little about her. :) We met during the A-Z Challenge and found similarities with our philosophies of life. When I've been away from the blogging world for several days, Mountain Mama's is one of the blogs I go to first to catch up on. I really enjoy her recipes, stories, and honest accounts of life. She has a Wordless Wednesday tradition where her posts are filled with pictures only, and what great pictures they are too. Definitely stop by to check her out. (Go do it, right now!)

2) Link back to their blog. Click above.

3) Pass it on to five more bloggers. 
4) Name someone who has really affected you in some way. I know I mention him a lot, but I definitely have to say my husband for this one. He has affected me in a lot of ways - his desire to learn, grow, teach, and help people is inspiring and admirable. I want to be like him. :)

If you've been awarded today, here's how to add it to your profile:
Click on the picture and save it to your computer.
Upload it onto your blog anywhere you'd like. 
Some people have separate pages for awards; others display them using a gadget on the side.
Next, spread it to 5 other people!
Let them know you've given it to them. :)