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Showing posts from May, 2014

Home on a Keychain

Our anniversary is tomorrow, and I decided to buy myself a gift. (I bought Shawn a custom rain gauge, and with all the rain we've been having I've been sorely tempted to give it to him so we can measure!)

As for me, I need a new keychain, as the one I've been using (these little plastic/paper things our church gave out around Lent for two years) are absolutely falling apart. I used to have a keychain with Owen's picture on it, but that one too wore out (it was perfect -- purple suede with room for a baby picture ... but I have not been able to find its match).

I like to support small businesses, and crafty people abound online. I didn't expect shopping for a keychain to lead me to question "where is home?"

A lot of the keychain options on Etsy were sentimental locations -- GPS coordinates; hearts on a map to indicate a couple places, maybe where you are and where you're from; a state cutout, etc.

(Aside: my favorite option, which I didn't get but …

Boring my Toddler

I've been feeling less-than-great at parenting this week, especially after our go-go-go week while Shawn was gone last week.

I am bored, but she is bored too.

I absentmindedly searched for "boring toddler" on Google the other day.

Sad stories came up in the search results about a toddler who died in a tractor accident in Boring, Oregon.

Way to put my whiny boringness and boredom into perspective.

Still I persist in being bothered by my own boredom and worries about not being "enough" for Jane.

Full-time mama life is hard, but it isn't that hard. It seems like it's getting harder as Jane wants to play more, and I'm finding I'm not such a good player. I can read books, but even that I get tired of. I'm not as good as Shawn at imaginative play with her cars or dollhouse. Shawn comes up with really funny scenarios that make us all laugh.

I've also picked up a bit of freelance work that's made me juggle -- and feel completely out of mysel…

Latest Hair Morph

Here's my latest haircut, about six or seven months since my last. It manages to be both too short AND too long at once. It has a distinct MULLET feel.


I went back to the first salon I tried in BR -- a different stylist because the one I originally went to has left, and in my hormonal state she was the reason I never went back (for leaving a small chunk of hair longer than the rest).

Shawn doesn't understand why I'm not more forceful -- I should have said "HEY! Can you cut some more off the back? I want it shorter." And I don't really understand either.

But when I'm in the chair I feel like I owe it to the professional to make the finishing touch decisions (although in my defense I did say I'd like it about shoulder length). The stylist was worried about how short it would be when curly, because it definitely does bounce up a lot. He said "better to have it too long than too short and end up looking like a Christmas tree." He didn'…

Bloggy Spruce Ups

I have owned the URL for several years now. There has been a home page there, and I even had a sub-site for our wedding stuff. I just deleted that today and redirected everything to be to this blog. Now IS this blog.

I hope everything is set correctly and that soon will redirect to (right now there is a random WordPress page coming up). Any bookmarks to should still redirect to the corresponding page on At least that's what the Google tutorial says. Please email me if there are any problems.

Unfortunately my host provider ( just automatically renewed my hosting, which I don't need if I'm going to have my site hosted as a blogger blog. It's not a lot of money, but it's still frustrating. Mainly I should have been paying better attention when I set up a recurring thing!

My next project is going to be getting actual content on,…

Toddler Trail Time

Toddler Trail Time is a gem of an outing. It's at the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center, and it includs coloring, a craft project, a lesson, a guided hike through the swamp, story time, a snack and a movie.
We've gone twice, and the second time we went there were more children, so the hike took a LOT longer because they asked SO.MANY.QUESTIONS! Because we had a big dry spell (which has ended, but it was still dry during our hike), all the water in the swamp had been sucked down to one little pond. This was where all the snakes of the swamp had congregated.

The guide told us they aren't venomous but they would bite. The boardwalk over this pond area had a rail at about 3 feet but nothing lower. All the children wanted to squat at the edge and look down at the snakes.

It was so nerve-wracking because I just knew one of them (likely MINE) would fall in. Even if they weren't bitten it was still a good 3-4 foot drop into muddy water. The other mothers were non-plusse…

TIBTIL: Mr. Coffee Latte Maker

This Mr. Coffee Cafe Latte maker is a thing that I bought that I love.

It was a gift to myself after doing some freelance work. My mom bought one that I got to try out when I saw home in March, and I've coveted it ever since.

It doesn't make a true latte, because the coffee made is not espresso (it's just regular drip-coffee) and the milk isn't steamed, just warmed and frothed. It should probably technically be called cafe au lait. But it is so convenient and tastes GREAT that it beats a latte in my book. (Not to mention the savings if I were to compare the cost to a Starbucks or CC's latte.)

I've had it for almost a week, and I've made a latte at least once every day. It can make two at a time, so I usually drink two at a time! I use decaf coffee in the afternoons, and it still tastes deliciouso!

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Happy Mother's Day 2014

It is SO great to be this little girl's mama. I read a Jezebel article this week about some moms who don't like the role of parent. The comments too were weird -- with some saying things like "every parent I know regrets having kids" or something to that effect. It made me so sad that not everyone gets to feel this deep joy. I know a lot of us do, and that is what keeps us going during the not-so-fun parts of parenthood.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms who love being moms, to all the moms who don't like it as much, and to all the moms-to-be and those who want to be moms.

Crochet Hat Pattern: Vertical Stripes with Curliques

I made this hat as a riff on the pumpkin baby hat crochet pattern at FaveCrafts, which was the very first thing I crocheted for Jane. I was able to make this hat larger than the newborn size just by increasing the starting chain and making more rows. I omitted the pumpkin stem and added several more curliques. Here's what I did for a toddler-sized hat:

In color A (green), chain 30.

Row 1: In back loop only, double crochet in third chain from hook and each stitch across.

Note: this is tough to do into a chain, and it's not a huge deal if you just regular double crochet into the chain -- or make a foundation double crochet chain.

Row 2: Chain 3, turn, and double crochet in each double crochet. Drop color A and pick up color B (pink) to complete final double crochet. Do not fasten off/keep color A attached.

Note: in my example hat shown above I crocheted in back loops only on every row. But it actually looks better with crochet in both loops when crocheting in the same color (on…

Crochet: Cotton Toddler Sun Hat

Using this fantastic Toddler Sun Hat pattern from Stitch 11 and some cotton yarn I liberated from my Gran's stash I whipped up this darling hat for Jane in a matter of hours. I love-love-love the way it looks, the drape and feel of it. And Jane will actually wear it.

Unfortunately the skein of 90s-era yarn wasn't quite enough to make the full pattern. I omitted a row of DC from the crown (which actually worked out better for Jane's head) and had to cut the brim short. I'm thinking I'd like to try this again when I have two full skeins (or just a bigger starting skein). Fair skin little girls need lots of sun hats, right?

Crochet: Pink Bubbles Stripe

This blanket is just like those Twin Blankies: Pink & Blue Tonal Stripes. In fact this was the original pink version for that set, but I couldn't find blues to match, weight wise. I just used a mix of pinks that are all sport weight, so this has a better drape and feel than the straight up regular Red Heart stuff I used for the twin blankets.

I also wasn't as happy with the color shifts I did here. The "soft red" is more jarring somehow, and this definitely taught me that color selection is not my strong suit.

It is the same Bubbles pattern though, which I love. It doesn't have a home yet, but I'm sure a friend will have a baby girl who will claim it someday.

Clean Enough

I spend a lot of time in our home, and I spend more time cleaning it than I ever did while I was working. That's understandable, since I am here more, which means I make it dirtier, and Jane's presence adds to the cleaning duties. But for whatever reason it feels dirtier than before. I can see the baseboards need dusting, the staining in the bathtubs and on tile, the ceiling fans that need scrubbing and the kitchen counters and sink I never get fully shiny every time.

Last month we had a former colleague visit -- she had lunch with us and came to the house when we dropped off Jane. I made a comment about our house being "lived in" and that I would have cleaned more if she were staying longer. She later said our house looked very clean and I was being silly.

So what's clean enough?

You Look Pretty Today

I'm not the greatest small talk-er, but I've noticed that a lot of initial small talk has to do with how you look. And I am the WORST at complimenting people on their looks, even when I think it to myself. It isn't too hard to comment on someone's clothes or new hairstyle, but to just say "You look great," isn't an easy thing for me to do.

Part of it is just my own awkward craziness or feeling like it comes off as disingenuous. But could part of it be an intentional stance against making appearance the paramount connection to other people? Or could it be my own appearance and my own belief about it?

On googling to find an image to go with this post I came across this blog post that sums it up a possible reason for my diversion, although on the flip side because she's writing about receiving compliments:
"I hate it because it reminds me how much people are constantly looking at each other and judging others’ entire lives based on thinness, yo…