Friday, October 10, 2014

Visions of Sugarplums {Riley Blake Flannel Showcase Blog Hop}

My blog has certainly been neglected lately. We have been having phenomenal weather and so, we spend our time outside exploring soaking in all the vitamin D we can get before it turns gray once again. It turned gray this week and therefore, we are enjoying a pumpkin wonderland of autumnal bliss and making the final final decisions about Halloween costumes.

With both P and J in school this year I find myself with ample "me time" and I have been moping around deciding what I should do with myself. The answer is sew, sew, sew and this is my stop on the Riley Blake Flannel Showcase Blog Hop! They sent over a ton of the Home for the Holidays prints and I set to work and then enlisted P's help too. We made pillowcases. She has been asking to learn to sew and we fit it in here and there but I thought she would like stitching up some pillowcases for Christmas gifts this year. Friends of P, take note you may be getting a pillowcase this year.



We had a lot of fun matching patters and picking the trim too! There are an abundance of pillowcase tutorials out there, I used this one from Cottage Mama . It is very simple, quick, and there are great pictures too. This one uses the "burrito" method and gives instructions for the finished french seams.



P enjoyed her sewing session and I felt reassurance that she is growing into a well rounded young lady, sewing is a life skill and so, she will be able to mend the sail on the boat when marine biologist P  sails around the world studying the blue whale.

We added a ruffled cuff to one, P got to learn about gathering and pinning in detail. I am sure she will be sewing up her prom dress and/or those of her friends.


The rigorous life a third grader requires lots and lots of sleep. Fortunately, she is a heavy sleeper and I successfully snuck in her room without incident. She still sleeps with her arms up like she did when she was a teeny tiny P.

Please visit the other bloggers on the tour, you are sure to find something to sew up for yourself or a gift for someone special, there is even something for your furry friends too:

9/5 Riley Blake Designs - Flannel Play Dress
10/14 Sew We Quilt
10/31 Lucy Blaire
11/4 Riley Blake Designs Final Post + Giveaway

{This is a sponsored post. I received fabric from Riley Blake Designs in exchange for my post; all opinions are my own.}

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Riley Blake Flannel Showcase Blog Tour

It is officially September and therefore I have given into the call of fall. I attempted and failed at my first batch of pumpkin cream cheese muffins. They just don't fluff up pretty or more seriously, taste edible when I forget to add the sugar.

Fall brings on the flannel too and living in the Pacific Northwest we know a thing or two about flannel (the peak of the grunge era was just a few years ago right?). Beginning this month, Riley Blake Designs, is hosting their Flannel Showcase Blog Tour and Rose & Odin has been invited to join. I'm looking forward to sharing with you what I create with the flannel fabrics they sent over. However, I can only offer a sneak peak as my day is not until October 10th.


In the mean time, please follow along on the blog hop and all the inspiring cozy flannel goodness. 

Check out the Day 1 of the Flannel Showcase Tour. It is an adorable gingham dress and I think P absolutely, without a doubt needs this! Flannel Showcase Day One

Here is the list of the Flannel Showcase Blog Hop Tour: 

10/14 Sew We Quilt
10/31 Lucy Blaire

Friday, August 8, 2014

Request Denied

This past week I received 29 game requests from one person for a single game on Facebook. That pretty much pushed me into a rage.....STOP! STOP! STOP! ENOUGH OF THIS B%## S*%$!

I don't really want to unfriend this person but I really REALLY need these requests to STOP! So, I did a bit of research and found that you CAN block app requests on Facebook. YAY!

Here's how to do it in four easy steps with photos I took with my phone to illustrate it:

1. When you are logged into Facebook, at the very top right hand corner there is an arrow, click on it and it provides a drop down menu. Find "settings" and click on it.



2. Once you are in the settings mode, on the LEFT hand side of your screen, there is an option titled "blocking" click on it.



3. On the next screen locate "Block App Invites" then type in the name of the person who is the request offender. This will block ANY app invite this person wants to send you.


4. After you have blocked a specific person, you may also block the app entirely to prevent other request offenders, who have yet to surface, from sending you requests. Just type in the app you wish to block in the "Block App" section. I think I have 20 or so already blocked and the list is growing!



Blocking complete. This process only blocks app requests and apps from getting to you or being visible on your timeline. It does not block the person or any other post they may post on their timeline or yours. I hope this is helpful to you and will prevent some Facebook rage! 



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Baby Market

I am a birth story junkie. I hang on every word when women share their story of how their child made  their entrance earth side. I feel it is empowering for women to not only share their stories but also, to listen to other's birth stories as well. No one has the same story. Not one single story I have heard, read, or watched has been exactly like mine. That's the way life is. No one is exactly like me or you.

I have moved on from my own desires of baby birthing yet, somehow I found myself at a premiere baby/parent conference last fall. I had been psyching myself up thinking I would really, absolutely, without a doubt want another baby after attending. I miss breastfeeding. I miss baby wearing. I miss having a baby. I really do.


Spring of 2010 when J was new. 

Imagine how surprised I was when I was unmoved by fondling a newborn size cloth diaper.  I am so glad to have graduated to independent potty users. My breasts didn't ache at the cries of babies around me, no more let-downs. I didn't look at the latest Ergo Baby carrier and want to own it immediately and put a new baby in it just so I could kiss it's little sweet head as I go about my day. I was in shock. I felt no attachment to any of these items. These "hot," "new," "latest," "safest," and "most expensive" items on the market. Ok, I really want a Sophie Giraffe!

Even though I wasn't having let-down anymore in the milk sense, I felt an overwhelming sense of let down at the conference. I listened to the stories, I listened to the speakers, I listened to the Q & A sessions. I was completely awe stuck. That somehow having ________ makes a better parent not only that but the more ___________ a parent has the better. People would begin their comment or question with "I have the newest model of the _________ for my child and I was just wondering...." They didn't really have a question, they just wanted to share that they had the latest _____________. Lots of parent posturing was happening and it was really uncomfortable.

One speaker talked about birth. I was completely engrossed. Hospital births, home births, VBACs.....moms were sharing it was great. I love birth stories, I should have been a midwife! One thing that was common in every story was fear. Fear of failing at birth. Fear of a c-section. Fear of the baby not latching on. Fear of dying. Fear that your doctor will force you to have this, that, or the other for fear of your baby dying. FEAR! I had all those fears too, with both births.

The next session was to promote the best, most awesomely, wonderful, new, most expensive, and safest stuff parents NEED for their babies. Diapers, highchairs, bouncy seats, breast pumps, baby wearing contraptions, strollers, and carseats.

Carseats. The most safest model with the highest possible stars available was there and it was marketed this way: parents, you must get this seat because it is safer than any seat out there and without it your baby is at risk and could possibly die in an accident. Not in those words exactly but the message was there: FEAR. This carseat, which is rated the safest and happens to be the most expensive carseat on the market today was being marketed with FEAR.

It is the fear peddling by doctors that people complained most about when sharing their birth stories and it is fear that baby product companies are peddling to sale their stuff.

I get it. I want the best, safest, newest, most awesome stuff for my own children. I can't afford it. Does this make me a terrible parent because I don't have _____________. No. I also should not be told to be scared for my child's life if I don't have ______________.

I left the conference with this: if this carseat is the highest rated carseat, then all car seats should be as safe as that one no matter where a parent can afford to shop. That, the top rated safety carseat should be the standard.  The carseat is the most important item a parent buys but safety shouldn't dictate the price. I left the conference feeling like there shouldn't be this much polarization; that products don't make a better parent. All babies need to be in the safest, most secure carseat on the market not just the babies with parents who can afford it. There shouldn't be a middle or low standard when it comes to baby safety for any baby product out there. Period.

I miss having a baby. I really do. I don't miss baby product marketing. In my newborn exhaustion of sleepless nights and engorgement, I shed a lot of tears over not having the best most expensive ___________ for my baby but so far,  P & J are turning out great.  


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Mother Who?


I grew up watching the 4th Doctor zip in and out of time saving humanity with his faithful companion, K-9. That scarf! If only I knew how to knit I think I would only knit those.

I have been binge watching the new "Dr. Who" lately and just as the 10th doctor said farewell I had the revelation that, I too, am exactly like a Time Lord. In fact, all moms are Time Lords, only better!

I give you…
Mother Who

1. We have a heart for each of our children. I have two, just like the Doctor.

2. Our TARDIS has four wheels, loads of buttons to push, and gets to school, dance, library, swimming, and play practice on time. It holds more than it looks like it should and sometimes my passengers need to hang on!

3. We may not have a sonic screwdriver at our fingertips but we can pop Barbie’s head back on, French braid hair, make something out of nothing, cook, clean, fold laundry, wipe boogers off faces, and build a block tower all at the same time. We are masters of improvise.

4. We fight the villains, doing our best to keep the path of the future clear for our children.
Here are a few of the villains I have met up with along my parenting journey or expect to meet:
·      The Great Intelligence: All that unsolicited parenting advice from the so-called experts who like to tell you everything you do is wrong. (This villain arrives with the onset of pregnancy and they come out of the woodwork to hunt you down.)
·      Sensorites: The first few weeks post-partum. You are in a fog and you don’t really remember much of anything because you are so sleep deprived, possibly crying at every little thing, you go days without a shower, your boobs are sore and leaky, and then you just snap out of it.
·      Davros: In-laws.
·      Vashta Nerada: These are the creatures of the darkness. I eradicate these creatures every night when my children express a fear of the darkness and I look under the bed, or in the closet with a flashlight.
·      Cybermen: A 2 year old in a temper tantrum. This is a brain melting no escape situation. We must remain calm and wait for the monster to leave hoping it spares our sanity. P’s could last up to 45 minutes of non-stop screaming and we all survived.
·      Autons: Legos scattered across the floor, lying in wait to attack an unsuspecting barefoot pedestrian.
·      Silurians: Sibling fights. Sometimes co-habitation is just impossible!
·      Weeping Angels: When it is just too quiet in the house and you just closed your eyes for a moment.
·      The Rani: The “I know everything! Leave me alone” phase (does this every really go away?)
·      Daleks: When your child’s favorite response is “NO” what he is really saying is “EXTERMINATE” but in a much more adorable way, non-threatening way.
·      The Master: Puberty. Your child trying to establish her own identity while laying waste to everyone and everything in her path and blaming you. (I have yet to meet this one.)

5. Our children revive us, and regenerate us with their joy and unending hugs, kisses, and stick figure drawings of appreciation.

6. Our children view us as the cleverest and smartest individuals in the universe.

7. Like the Doctor, we do not do this for gratitude and thanks; remaining anonymous in our actions most of the time.

8. There is a small part of us that always wonders, wishes, possibly hopes that time will pass just a little slower with each breath our children take so we can savor each second and imprint these moments in our memory bank.

9. There is a guilt rubbing inside us questioning our responses to critical parenting situations maybe wanting to rewind and a do-over but we can’t go back, especially in our own timeline.

10. There is a time when we have to let go, and allow our children to forge their own path in the world equipped with the best tools and knowledge we have provided them with. They may become Mother Whos or companions but they will continue to fight for humanity and the future of the earth with love and compassion leading the charge. 

We are nurturers, healers, leaders, life-givers. We are so much more than Time Lords, we are Women and we are Mothers. 


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Union Jack Laptop Sleeve Tutorial

My current laptop case is boring black and I wanted a new one. So, I made one out of the Union Jack Fabric panel the lovelies at Riley Blake Designs sent over. I'm going to show you how to make your own too!


Supplies: 

1 panel of Union Jack squares
1/4 or 1 FQ for the outer accent. I raided my scrap bin too!
1/3 yard for the lining and button loop
1/3 yard batting
Optional: 1/2 yard interfacing. I used Pellon SF101
1- 1 1/2" button

I have a MacBook Pro which measures 9.25" x 13".  The cutting measurements and instructions are for this size laptop. You will need to measure your laptop and add 1/2" all around. If your laptop is larger, a single Union Jack square will not be enough to cover the side and you may need to add an inch or two of a side panel.

Cut:

From the Union Jack panel: cut two  complete Union Jack squares. Cut to measure 10 3/4" wide (you will trim up the length in another step) making sure the white boarder on the long sides are equal so your Union Jack will sit squarely on your laptop.

From the accent fabric: Cut two pieces that measure 10 3/4" x 5"

From the lining: cut two pieces that measure 10 3/4" x 15"
                          cut one piece that measures 2" x 5"

From the batting: cut two pieces that measure 10 1/4" x 14 1/2" (Having your batting a little shorter than your fabric pieces helps keep the seams less bulky.)

From the interfacing: cut 4 pieces that measure 10 3/4" x 15" and one piece that measures 2" x 5"

Cut 2 whole Union Jack squares. Each should measure 10 3/4" across, from short side to short side. 

Assemble:

1. Trim one short end of each Union Jack square to a 1/2 inch boarder from the edge of the print. With right sides together, stitch one Union Jack square to one accent piece along the short edge using 1/2" seam allowance. Repeat for 2nd Union Jack square. Press seam towards accent piece and topstitch. 

Trimming the boarder on the short side to 1/2" allows for the accent piece to be flush with the Union Jack design.

2. If you are using interfacing, iron it on now to both pieces of the outer and lining. If you would like to quilt your batting, do this after you have added the interfacing. If you are not quilting your batting then I recommend you baste your batting to the wrong sides of the lining pieces. 

3. Button loop: take your 2" x 5" piece, add interfacing if using, fold in half lengthwise, then open and fold each lengthwise edge to the center, then fold in half and topstitch the open edge. 
Iron your folds to keep them even and straight.

4. Fold one of your outer pieces in half lengthwise to find the exact middle. Then pin your button loop with the loop facing in to the right side of your outer piece along the top of the accent fabric edge and baste.


5. Trim from the bottom of your Union Jack outer pieces about 1/2" to 1" to even up with your lining pieces. This takes the white bottom boarder out for a cleaner match up when sewing the pieces together. 
Trim from the bottom. 
6. Using a 1/4" seam allowance and with right sides together, match up the bottom Union Jack markings of the outer pieces and sew only the bottom seam. Press seam open (topstitch if desired).


7. With right sides together, sew one lining piece to the top (accent side) of one side of the outer piece. Repeat for the other side. Press seams open. When fully laid out your pieces should be in this order:

Lining-Outer-Outer-Lining


 8. Fold in half, right sides together, lining up seams. Pin all around. Sew up sides and short edge of lining, leaving an opening to pull thru. 


9. Clip corners and pull thru the opening to right side. Sew up the small opening and put lining half inside the outer piece. Smooth out, iron, and topstitch all around the top. Sew the button on and your Union Jack laptop sleeve is complete.





The Riley Blake Union Jack Blog Tour is happening every Tuesday and Thursday in April. Please visit these other fantastic bloggers for more Union Jack inspiration:
Union Jack Blog Tour

Paula from The Sassy Quilter, Jina from Jina Barney Designz, Karin from Leigh Laurel Studios, Marni from Haberdashery Fun, Julia from My Fabric Obsession, Molly from Rose & Odin, Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl, Madame Samm from Sew We Quilt, Julia from Riley Blake Designs, and Ginny from Darling Adventures


Friday, April 11, 2014

Kid's Clothes Week: Day 2

So, I am a couple days late in posting about my KCW Day 2 sewing adventure and I am sure you thought I was once again a KCW drop out! Fear not, my faithful readers and read on....

On Day 2, I sewed up the Prefontaine Shorts by That Moxie Girl . These are the perfect shorts for J. He only wants to wear shorts and with pockets to fill and an elastic waistband for enhanced independence when needing the potty, I could not resist the challenge!

I had grey knit interlock on hand but wanted accent fabric for the pocket linings and the back pocket. I didn't want make a run to the fabric store so, I "shopped" the box of baby clothes I am saving for absolutely no reason other than I cannot part with these items I have deemed "special" and "must keep" even though we have no plans at all to have anymore children.

I uncovered a wealth of knit onesies and rompers. I chose a sea creature romper that was P's when she was a tiny baby and an orange striped Halloween onesie that P and J both wore for their first Halloween. I cut them up without hesitation. These were going to be the cutest pockets ever!

I made the bigger of the between sizes options for J. So, it looks like he will be able to wear them everyday until he goes to college. He really likes these shorts despite the bagginess. I could have easily made the smaller size and he would still have room to grow. I mean: I will be making the smaller size too because he wears them everyday!

It turns out our little town is just south of Prefontaine's hometown. So, J and I day tripped to test his new shorts out on the original track and then went in search of Prefontaine landmarks.

The Coos Art Museum has a permanent gallery in honor of Prefontaine including the running shoes he wore when he broke his first record in 1971. Marshfield high school has a "Pre Lives" logo on the school marquee. We stopped by the Coos Bay Chamber of Commerce to inquire further.

Here is an excerpt of the conversation I had with the women working the welcome desk:

Me: Other than the memorial outside and what the museum has, are there any other memorials around town dedicated to Prefontaine?

Woman: No. Well, unless you wanted to run, you know he was really into running. I guess.

She really didn't want to speak at all about Prefontaine and made it clear from the beginning and it was a bit uncomfortable. So, J and I made a quick dash back outside!

We spent the rest of the afternoon running and digging for worms. These shorts are perfect for both activities and any other romping around your little one likes to do too.

The Prefontaine shorts are a bonus pattern for the current pattern bundle offered from Perfect Pattern Parcel which is only available until the 18th!


Prefontaine Shorts in action! They are fast!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Kid's Clothes Week: Day 1

I have joined in the madness of Kids Clothes Week. It is a really simple idea: sew clothes for your kids 1 hour a day for 7 days. In previous years I have been a KCW drop out but not this week! I have plans and new fabric and loads of notions oh, and that new serger I got for Christmas too!

Today I stitched up a pair of Hosh Pants by Lou Bee Clothing for P. I had some metallic stretch denim that was just begging to be made into pants. They sewed up so super fast! I measured her after coming home from school and she was wearing them at dinner.


Since P is a "leggings and dress" kind of girl, the Hosh pants are perfect! They are slim fitting yet are sewn with a stretch twill or denim which makes them a bit more dressy or at the very least not so like pajamas. I suppose I will need to sew up some khaki ones for her to play golf in too. 


The Hosh Pants pattern is currently being offered as part of the Girl's Essential Spring Wardrobe bundle from Perfect Pattern Parcel. The bundle is loaded with girly cuteness ready to challenge your creativity and refine your sewing skills.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Ultimate Blog Party #UBP14

The ladies behind 5 Minutes for Mom are throwing the Ultimate Blog Party and you're invited! Yes, if you have a blog you can join the fun and there are prizes too! Link up your blog post about the party over on 5 Minutes for Mom, join in on the Google+ Hangout on Monday (April 7th) evening, Twitter party  on Tuesday (April 8th) evening, and did I mention prizes! Yes, make sure you enter that too!


Ultimate Blog Party 2014
Here is my introductory post:

Hi, I'm Molly of Rose & Odin. We are a family of four with two cats named Roary and Ulla-Bulla, and one hamster named Pearl. We live on the south coast of Oregon but are originally from Colorado. We sure miss Colorado a lot and all our wonderful friends.  Having an ocean view makes it hard to leave. Also, we do not miss snow one single bit.

My blog name is the middle names of my children. I started blogging a few years back. As much as we love our ocean view and don't miss snow, one thing we really miss is people and having options for anything from shopping, to play groups, to a variety of fabric stores, to restaurants, to..... I could go on and on and on. It is isolating here and I left a lot of friends in Colorado when we moved. I thought they might like to read about our adventures and it also has helped connect me with a community of fantastic crafters and sewists.


I write mostly about our family life sprinkled with crafty/sewing posts and if I get lucky, a sponsored post too. My goal this year is to write more frequently and regularly. I would like to grow my blog and even make some money from it through advertising and sponsored posts. I have run into stumbling blocks when assessing  the probability of this:

1. I live in a far far away place that makes it inconvenient to get to a conference/meet up/event. Face to face networking is not happening!

2. I don't have a huge amount of page views or a ton of sponsored posts already and this has made it difficult to get my foot in the door.

So, I'm going to BlogHer this summer in San Jose and hopefully I will gain a ton of knowledge about the blogging world and how to branch out and expand my blog. I am at a point in my parenting journey where I can focus on myself, even if it is a little bit at time, and it feels great!

A few of my favorite things: Beer, chocolate, spicy asian food, baby animals (even alligators are adorable when they are little), VWs, cruiser bicycles, hiking, traveling, sewing, natural products, Danskos, coffee, equality, smiles, and rainbows.




Thursday, April 3, 2014

Enthusiastic Confessor

"Oh, my God, I am heartily sorry....."

Every time P has recited the Act of Contrition I still hear the words that I learned..... The modern way starts like this: "My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart...." She has had the prayer memorized forwards and backwards since last fall and the day of her First Reconciliation had finally arrived.

When I was nearly 8 and made my First Reconciliation, we were living in England and I attended a Catholic school. The church was very ornate in its architecture and had the communion rail where everyone sort of just flocked to the alter without much order. The confessionals were small rooms lined with dark wood and smelled like a mixture of stale incense and starch.

We memorized the order of the confession, (old version of) the Act of Contrition, and got to choose between a face to face or a screen. We all chose the screen side where you kneel in a little room on the other side and just see the outline of the priest flickering in the candle light. After going to a face to face I realized the screen side was a bit more terrifying.

After I transfered to public school, my visits to the confessional became less and less until it was time for my Confirmation. As an adult I rarely find myself attending a penance service. I would venture that this is rather common for adults since we don't like to talk about our faults outright and seem to find an endless way to justify our wrongs.

P made it through her First Reconciliation with ease. Not visibly nervous she walked in with a smile on her face and came out smiling as well. We had spent the afternoon reviewing the order, talking about right and wrong, and practicing the Act of Contrition. She nailed it!

She asked me if I was going to go to confession too.

The moment of truth.

Yes, I was.

Our Pastor is a really animated, enthusiastic, affirming young man. Of course all of this made me extra nervous.

One big breath, then like I had rehearsed with P, I followed the order and laid out my faults.....

I expressed concern that I sometimes I get snippy with my children over petty stupid stuff that didn't matter much.

He launched into the most amazing parent pep talk ever! He told me I am doing a great job, that he can see that I am a great mom because of the way P is and how I am with J and his energy, he said that I am really relaying the importance of faith to P because she carries herself with confidence during church related activities.....He told me to continue to do what I'm doing as a mom and always remember that leading by example is very important...

His hands and arms are very animated while he is speaking to me and I am feeling great! I am getting my own personal homily and I, too, am nailing confession!

He finishes and is preparing to do the absolution.....I am so pumped up on confession and parenting right at that moment.....He raises his hand to pray over me and

BAM!

I land a high-five on his open palm just as he begins the final forgiveness act.


Monday, March 31, 2014

Union Jack Blog Tour!

I have been chosen to be part of the Riley Blake Designs blog tour for their new Union Jack fabric line. I am thrilled! Each Tuesday and Thursday during the month of April, there will be an inspiring tutorial using the Union Jack fabric. My day is April 17th but be sure to check out the other bloggers on the tour too! If you love all things British then follow us on this tour!

Click here to see the list of talented bloggers on the tour:

Riley Blake Designs Union Jack Blog Tour

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Spring Breakers!

It is spring break. Since we already are living the beach life, P, J, and I hightailed it out of our town quicker than if there was a tsunami coming and we headed inland. We drove to where sidewalks don't end and traffic lights reside at most intersections, we drove to where there actually is traffic. We drove to my parent's house to spend the week.

Pearl came too. She was my copilot for the journey. At one point she was stretched out flat in her little tunnel, her eyes closed and her nose stopped twitching. I pulled over just to make sure she was still alive. Much to my relief, she was. I positioned a towel over her cage to keep the sun out and set the vents to blow in the cage with cool air. I'm not taking any chances with Pearl in my care.  Last  week Roary flipped her cage off the shelf. He was more surprised by the fall and therefore too stunned to snatch up chubby Pearl for a mid-morning snack. P was more traumatized than anyone.

The sun was shining and we listened to these three songs on repeat for the 3 1/2 hour drive: "Let it Go" from Frozen, "Shine Your Way" from The Croods, and "Pick a Little Pickle" by The Okee Dokee Brothers. If you haven't heard The Okee Dokee Brothers yet you are missing out. Maybe it's because they are fellow Coloradoans too and I miss CO a lot but these guys are really worth checking out if you like music and have children but don't want to listen to annoying kid's music. (They are worth checking out even if you don't have children too.)

We arrived at our destination for the week and Gree-Gree made homemade peppermint ice cream with P. Then there was a viewing of Frozen on the big screen in Poppo's upstairs theater. I was informed prior to the movie starting that I was not allowed to sing "Let it Go" along with Elsa during the movie. That was an "only in the car thing" and only if P says it's OK.


Just prior to our departure the mail arrived and J received a delectable box of sporting goods from family far away. We loaded it up too and brought with us. Here J is practicing his 3-pointers early Sunday morning. March Madness in the house, especially when this happens before the sun rises.

We attended mass with my parents Sunday morning. It is always a treat for them to show off their family and it is especially important since P will be making her First Communion this spring. Mass doesn't come easy to a four year old and we spent the hour with God outside picking daffodils and searching for bugs.

A gentle reminder upon entering.

We took advantage of the fantastic sunny weather and spent most of our time outdoors. P and I took a little hike around the common grounds of my parent's neighborhood and were able to spy a woodpecker and several pairs of mallards on the creek. We took the bikes to the park downtown and rode around dodging pedestrians. We blew bubbles and skipped rope all afternoon.




The rains arrived on Tuesday and we ventured to the mall for some shopping and then to see The Muppets. It was hysterical. Unfortunately, like Mass time, a movie is difficult for a 4 year old to sit through as well and J spent the hour and a half coming up with excuses to leave the theater in order to run up and down the hallway.

The rains continued for the remainder of the week. We attempted swimming at the community center but was told the pool was at maximum capacity and it would be a minimum of 30 minutes before we could swim. We left. P and J were sad. They were won over with the promise of a trip to Build-a-Bear later in the week and ice cream.

Spring break is coming to a close. We will head home and sing in the car, play i-spy, and tell stories. Then back to our routine and anticipate another over the river and through the woods journey back to Gree-Gree & Poppo's to create more happy memories.



Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Birth of Piper Rose.

May 17, 2006 at 6:00 pm my water broke. I was now at the threshold of motherhood; the final trial was now set in motion and afterward I would be rewarded with a babe in my arms.

I was ready and smiling. I phoned the midwife. My instructions were: eat, rest and call back when my contractions have been two minutes apart for an hour OR in twelve hours. 

It was twelve hours later when I phoned again. The contractions had been somewhat frequent but had not progressed. 

I was admitted and asked a bunch of irrelevant questions and I was checked. The nurse looked puzzled and asked: "are you sure this baby is head down? You are only dilated to MAYBE a one."

My heart sank. Since the time I was 32 weeks pregnant I have been asking my midwives, at each visit, about the baby's position. I had a very large, hard part of the baby stuck under my right rib and this part of the baby stayed exactly in the same spot until the end. 

Three of the four midwives in the practice agreed that this hard lump was the butt. (The fourth midwife was at my delivery and we had not had an appointment with her after 30 weeks.) 

I just felt, all along, that this lump was indeed the head but it was my first pregnancy and these ladies are skilled in feeling babies in bellies. I did not argue and was reassured that the baby was head down and there was no reason for concern or to think the delivery would not go smoothly. 

The nurse brought in an ultra sound machine, scanned the lump at my rib and then politely excused herself to call in the OB. 

The OB came in and scanned my belly. There was the head, right under my rib. 
She took my hand, I began to cry, she said: "We are going to have to do a c-section at this point. Your water has broken and there is no way to flip your baby. You will be holding your baby within minutes."

I was shaking and crying.

My midwife arrived. She hugged me and said: "It will be ok. This is the safest option. You will be holding your baby very soon."

I phoned friends and my sister-in-law. My parents were with me as they had driven in from Oregon to be here.

I was then descended upon by an assortment of technicians and nurses. The anesthesiologist arrived detailing everything she would be doing. The OB had a form for me to sign. It listed all the possible risks associated with c-sections. Including death.  

I walked myself down the hallway with my medical team entourage. Nick was suited up. My brother called just then to say he loved me.

I entered the surgical room with the midwife and anesthesiologist. It was freezing cold. I took a deep breath. Then I was lying down under glaring lights with my arm strapped down and my lower half numb. I was unable to escape this fate. 

Nick had arrived at my side and Paul Simon was playing on the stereo. The dividing curtain was up, I was helpless and I began to cry. This was humiliating and degrading. It was 7:00 AM.

At 7:09 she was born. I just caught a glimpse of her over the curtain and she was gone across the room. Out of sight and out of reach. Several nurses wished me congratulations and a few said: "Don't worry, her head will look fine in a week or so." Wait, what was wrong with her head?

She was given the all clear and Nick was able to bring her over to me.  A hat was on her head. She looked perfect and was very alert. Still strapped down, I was unable to touch her. I was stitched on the inside and stapled back together on the outside. We moved to the recovery room but not before one final dose of something nauseating administered through the line in my spine by the anesthesiologist.

The recovery room was a swirling vision of haziness. There were a lot of people and beeping things in the room. They measured and weighed her then placed her on my belly. She wriggled her little body up and latched on. I was dizzy and happy but mostly dizzy. They wheeled us to our room. I fought sleep and nausea desperately trying to focus on the little warm body that was laying on my chest. I was starving. I kept thinking: "If only I could eat a sandwich I would feel better." I wanted normalcy. I wanted to be coherent. I wanted to relish every second of this newborn's first day. My newborn. I talked the nurses into letting me eat a popsicle.

I threw up on my baby.

They took her away for her first bath and dosed me up on anti-nausea medicine. I fell back asleep. Off and on throughout the day I would be given more anti-nasuea medicine and then fall sleep. I would open my eyes to see either Nick, my mom, or my dad holding Piper. Keeping a vigil at my bedside. It was very comforting. I don't think I would have faired so well if she had been whisked away to the nursery.

It was not until sometime in the evening when I was able to eat again and the numbness gone. I was awake and I was determined to not miss anymore.

The next day one of the midwives stopped by. She said: "Sometimes a baby will just flip at the last minute."

This baby never flipped. Her head, from being under my rib for so long was rather flat on top and had the appearance of a bicycle helmet. She also had severe hip dysplasia in both hips which required her to wear a harness and be followed by an orthopedic surgeon for several months.

She had a heart murmur which was audible until she was three. She failed her first hearing test at the hospital.

During the midwife's visit to my room I made it very clear I would not take any medicine that would make me loopy or require someone else to be present when I held my baby. I was in full mama mode and it was this that allowed me to focus on my baby and heal. I was given 800mg Ibuprophen every six hours and sent home with a prescription for Vicodine just in case I needed something stonger. I ripped up that scrip when I got home.

The staples were removed, I was mobile, and I was a mama. We were released from the hospital with only a two night stay. We picked up Guinness and some mint chocolate chip ice cream on our way. I was so anxious to be home, to heal and get to know my new baby.

I was not bullied or pestered into a c-section. It was simply a matter of the risks out weighing the benefits. There was no one skilled at vaginal breech deliveries at the hospital. We were living in northern Colorado at the time of Piper's birth. We are now in Oregon and recently, Oregon Health Science University has implemented a program for vaginal breech deliveries.

My risks for future vaginal and c-section deliveries regardless of baby's presentation have increased. Even if my water had not broken and they were able to turn her, I would have most likely ended up with a c-section due to the fact that her head was so misshapen because is was under my rib for so long. I am not angry because I had a c-section. I am upset because I spent 8 weeks asking and inquiring about breech presentations and what-ifs. Only to have my momintuition shut down and told I shouldn't worry and that was a butt under my rib. If they had discovered she was breech I could have tried many different exercises or even moxibustion to flip her weeks before labor began and possibly avoiding a c-section. I was mentally and emotionally unprepared for what unfolded at my delivery. It is still a source of sadness for me.




Wednesday, March 5, 2014

#disneyside Birthday Party for J! {sponsored post}

**This is a sponsored post. I received free products from Mom Select and Disney in exchange for my views and blog posting. All opinions are my own.**

It was party day for J on Saturday. He was so excited he could hardly contain himself. He kept asking "am I 'hello 4' yet?" He won't be four, hello or otherwise, until Thursday so, we get to celebrate all week long! Hooray!

Party day arrived and it was full of all the excitement and let downs one can expect from a party for a four year old. We booked the conference room at the Inn at Face Rock since our home is tiny. N, P, and my dad transformed the dull table filled room into an open festive area fit for roly-poly children.

No party is complete without balloons!

Upon arrival, J's little guests seemed to all ball up together and roll about the room with outbursts of giggles and squeals. J's chubby cheeks pinked up real fast. P joined in the fun too. Things got really loud after we decorated cookies!

My mom bakes the absolute best cookies!

She also makes the absolute best frosting. J liked black the best!

After the cookie decorating, the kids had to burn some energy so it was back to rolling around the room squealing and giggling while we cleaned up sprinkles and tried to find some cookie crumbs to lick up. Those kids sure ate up the cookies fast! Then it was onto opening presents. I think that took about 3 minutes from initial unwrap to the final unwrapping. It was like a pack of wild dogs descended on the gifts, shredding the outer layers to bits, complete with snarls and joyous yips.

After gifts, it was on to a quick game of musical chairs. Little did I know this game would leave the majority of our guests in tears. How could I let this happen? I'm such an inclusive person and yet here I was pulling chairs out from under kids and laughing. We survived and there was a victor.

Every year I make P and J a birthday CD with their favorite songs. I passed them out as part of the party favors but also used the CD for musical chairs too!

This year's birthday CD for J is filled with his favorites!

Cake time has to be the best time! My mom baked and decorated J's cake this year from a Mickey Mouse cake pan she has had since my childhood. Yes, I had Mickey Mouse cakes baked for me growing up too. It turned out fantastic.

This cake tasted as delicious as it looked!

We sent our guests home loaded with loot thanks to Disneyside Celebrations  and Mom Select. They were also very worn out and the sugar high began to crash. A perfect time to end the celebration and say goodbye.

If you want to see all the goodies I received from Disney and Mom Select then read this blog post: #disneyside

*This is a sponsored post. I received free products from Disney and Mom Select in exchange for my views and blog posting. All opinions are my own.**

Friday, February 7, 2014

For Emily.

Super Bowl Sunday was going to be great this year. My team had made it all the way and they were going to win. I was sure of it! Goodness, I love football but I have to say it is easier to stomach the game when you are not emotionally invested in a team.

That morning, I was busy on Facebook posting about my excitement and hopes for the game. I can get a little ridiculous and sentimental about it. Remember, orange and blue looks good on anybody.

In Colorado my Super Bowl Sundays and a good number of football Sundays, were spent binging on chili and beer while enjoying the company of my friend and her family. Her husband and I could clear out a room with our over abundance of "enthusiasm" for the game.

However, those Super Bowl Sundays did not include our team and it was more about the company than the game. This year, the year our team made it, would be another year we would not be together and cheering.

While I was busy posting about my excitement she was busy posting about her excitement too. Her boys were decked out in orange; ready for the ride....

And then it happened.

At the top of my page was a photo of her brother under the header of "Trending Now."

Am I reading this right? Is she reading this too? Is this how she found out?

My heart sank and broke into a gazillion pieces for her.

The game lost its luster. It no longer mattered. It would be tough to celebrate a victory.

In all the excitement and hopeful anticipation of the game death snuck in and chewed out part of her heart, spit it out, and took up permanent residence.

I texted her and told her I loved her and to feel my hugs. I have never wanted to hug someone so much in my life!

Her brother was famous. His loss is great but it is a loss felt far deeper than that of Hollywood and Broadway because when the trending topic of his death fades away into murmurs, it will never leave her or any of her family. It is raw and painful and it is public.

Before he was famous he was a son, brother, cousin, nephew, uncle, friend, mentor, father....He was human.

My friend is grieving for the loss of her brother. It is insurmountable pain and I am at a loss as to how to comfort her.