There's so much pressure on girls to be perfectly put together all the time from such a young age. I can't completely protect her from that, but just like this with her hair a mess and all of her covered in dirt from several hours playing outside, she is beautiful.
All to often we focus on the little things that don't matter instead of the little things that do. A tantrum, a spilled glass of milk. These things won't matter tomorrow. A long walk in a slow March rain, her little hand holding tightly to mine as she learns the simple joy of splashing in a puddle- that's what will continue to matter for years to come.
With the cold we've been having it's not debatable that Miss P needs a coat even just for going from the car into places. But constantly getting her in and out of her coat (as it's absolutely not safe to wear a coat in the car seat) is such a pain. It's the sleeves. Solution- a hooded poncho. It can be pulled up so that it's not between her and the straps when strapping her in and then pulled down to keep her warm on the trip which means no more need for a blanket that gets kicked off.
I wanted it to be doubled layered for extra warmth, reversible just because, and to have a hood since she won't leave hats on. I'm sure if I spent long enough on Pinterest I could have found something that matched that description, but I finally decided it would be easier to make my own since a poncho is a simple enough garment.
This tutorial as written is somewhat too big on my (large) 14 month old but I wanted it to be something that would work for next winter as well.
I started with 3/4 yard of two coordinating pieces of microfleece. To size the pattern up or down, just change the starting yardage.
The first thing I did was fold each one to make a square and cut. You should have two squares of your fleece (these will be the poncho) and two rectangles. (These will be used for the hood.)
You're then going to want to cut out the head hole. You can always make it larger, so start small here. (I didn't follow my own advice here and so have to pin the neckline shut). I used a salad plate to make it a nice shape on the first piece I cut and then used that as the template for the second piece.
You now have two squares with holes in the center. You could be done here if you want a (two) single layer ponchos- microfleece is one of those fabrics where you can get away with not having a finished edge.
Now for the hood. If you have a favorite hood pattern, feel free to use it. I do not, so I just googled until I found a free one in the shape I wanted.
You need to cut out and assemble the hood per the patterns instructions, making one of each of your fabrics.
Once you have your two hoods place them one inside the other, RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER, and sew around the face open.
Flip it rightside out using the opening at the bottom and then add top stitching around the seam you just sewed to get it to lay correctly.
Attaching the hood to the poncho can be a bit tricky. Take one poncho piece and find the center back (straight up from one of the points) and align this with the center back of the hood. Pin the hood in place with the right sides together. (Fabric A on the hood against fabric A on the poncho).
Drop the other poncho piece over this, sandwiching the good between the layers. Pin in place, lining up the center backs. Sew together all the way around.
Now turn your work right side out and you should have something that looks like this. Once you've made sure that it looks ok, top stitch around the front of the neckline; I made mine come out if the stitching on the good so that it looked like one seam.
Now it's time to finish the bottom edge. There's two options here. You can just line the edges up and stitch them so that they hang together like they're meant to when it's worn. I wanted to carry on the top stitched look so I folded the edges to the wrong sides and stitched around that way. I think it gives it a slightly more polished look. And that's it. You're done. You now have a cozy warm poncho to wrap your little one up in to keep them safe in the carseat in the winter.
Stuck beneath a sleeping baby. Perhaps one of the best possible places to be. A place that can be so amazingly comfortable no matter the actual physical surroundings. People say I shouldn't still be here at night; that at almost a year old she should be going into her bed awake and quietly laying down to sleep without bothering me again until morning. But they say that it's ok to reach that point by putting her down and just letting her cry until she learns that I'm not going to be "manipulated" by an infant not wanting to be alone in the great big dark. I say rubbish. (Ok, that's actually a cleaned up version of my knee jerk response).
The quiet moments right on the edge of sleep, the moments where I watch her eyelids flutter and feel her breathing slowly deepen and slow, these are the wonderful moments that make my heart swell and erase all the bad of the day. How many women have had these precious moments stolen from them by so-called experts who tell mothers that the only right way to put baby to sleep is to leave them awake in their beds and that crying is a normal stage? Not here, not for us. Here sleep comes peacefully and gently.
At some point she will sleep on her own. At some point, she will fall asleep without nursing (she's already hit that point for naps), and she won't need rocked. She won't go to college (or even grade school) still needing to come to my bed rather than staying in hers until morning. Someday. But not this day. And that's okay. The human infant knows they're not meant to be left alone in the dark, even if we've spent decades telling parents it's better that way.
And again this blog has fallen by the wayside. I just never feel that I have anything to write about. Yes, there's topics that I'm passionate about, of course there are, but by the time I get time to sit down and write, the current events either aren't current anymore or I feel as though someone has already said what I wanted to say in a much better way.
There's always the way of those mommy bloggers, talking about their kids and their recipes and all the amazing ways they save money, but I never feel that I'm good enough at selling myself for that. And have you ever noticed how most of the women who do that still find time to be absolutely gorgeous in every single picture that they post? That most certainly is not me, but I suppose that it does raise a good point to be talking about.
I want my daughter to have a better body image than I do. I know that right now she looks at me and just sees the momma that she loves; she doesn't see the woman that main stream culture says is "too fat" or has bad skin or unperfect hair. For her, I am doing my best to never let her hear me talk negatively about myself. I don't want to teach her that she is wrong to think that I am lovely and beautiful just as I am. Not because I am vain and want or need those sorts of thoughts from my child, but because I don't want her to see herself as less than perfect. I want her to know that a woman can be happy with herself and her body if she's not a size 4 (try a size 24) and a C cup (yeah, we won't even go there). So I don't make negative comments in front of her. Ideally I wouldn't make them at all, but loving myself is a work in progress. It helps when I can look at my brilliant and beautiful wee girl and remind myself that my body made her. There are still times when that just absolutely blows my mind to think about- I grew a human being. How freaking amazing is that?
So maybe this can be a mommy blog. Not a fake, edited to be perfect one, but one that shows how things really are. Mom's don't have to look perfect, and parental relationships aren't always perfect. Because real isn't perfect, and love doesn't need perfect; I don't think love can survive the expectation of perfection. And for my daughter, I will not shy away from the camera or from recording the lack of perfection. I will not have to explain to her that Momma isn't in any of the pictures because Momma didn't like how she looked. I am Momma, and I am wife and daughter, and I am loved. It might not be perfect, but I think what I have is even better than perfect.
And I'm not even going to try and fill in everything that's happened since I last posted. So much for my "at least one post a month" goal. Oh, well. Shall try and start that again.
Obviously the biggest highlight of the last few months is that our beautiful baby girl, P, was born on December 1st. The last four months have been an amazing whirlwind.
I've sort of lost my knitting/crochet mojo, but I've been sewing (pretty much all stuff for her) like mad. Tomorrow a tutorial for a cute dress that I made from a boring onesie and some scrap fabric!
Hobby Lobby, the "craft store" that has more pre-made cheap junk than actual craft supplies, is threatening to close all their stores if they're forced to follow the law rather than force the owners religion on all of their employees. Well, good riddance is what I say. There's so very much wrong with their claims that I don't even know where to start.
I suppose first and foremost is the idea that a company has a religion- the owners themselves might, but the company does not, so there goes any ridiculous religious freedom argument. Never mind that in the pursuit of their "freedom" they're trampling on the rights of their employees, specifically the right to control their own body by what their morals say is appropriate. But that seems to be a common theme these days, doesn't it? Women are idiots incapable of making our own healthcare decisions especially when those decisions might run counter to our being anything beyond breeding chattel for rich white men.
Then there's the science, or rather complete lack of, present in their arguments. Birth control of the sort that they're talking about does not cause abortions- all of them work by preventing implantation of a fertilized egg. Oh, but life begins at conception, you say, at that magic moment when sperm meets egg? Then lets talk about the biggest abortion provider out there- nature. Or God, in the minds of these people. Depending on the study you look at, somewhere between 30% and 50% of fertilized eggs never implant in the uterus and simply flush out of the body with the regular menstrual cycle. So god can prevent up 50% of pregnancies, and that's ok, but a woman isn't allowed to make that decision herself.
What about after implantation, when the medical community starts to consider it a possibly viable (and detectable) pregnancy? I'm going to quote straight from the Mayo Clinic on the dangers of taking Plan B if you're already pregnant meaning that implantation has occurred.
if you're already pregnant when you take Plan B One-Step or Next Choice, the treatment will simply be ineffective and won't harm the developing baby.
WebMD gets even more specific about how it effects pregnancy by saying what it is not.
Plan B One-Step is not the same as RU-486, which is an abortion pill. It does not cause a miscarriage or abortion. In other words, it does not stop development of afetus once the fertilized egg implants in the uterus. So it will not work if you are already pregnant when you take it.
So much for abortion causing drug, eh? But then, why would you want to worry about facts if you're trying to push an agenda that isn't supported by facts. But what happens if you leave it "up to God"? Up to 20% of known pregnancies result in miscarriage.* So Plan B is less likely than their god to cause a loss of pregnancy once the medical community actually considers it to be a pregnancy.
In short, Hobby Lobby, and anyone else who thinks they should be able to control the health of women, can just shove right off and find some actual facts before they start trying to legislate their ideas or get exemptions from existing legislation.
And if you still really think it's anything to do with protecting "babies" rather than controlling women, take a look at this article. How I Lost Faith in the "Pro-Life" Movement."
*Note that this only includes 1st trimester losses, anything after that falls under the heading of still birth rather than miscarriage.
I used to love to write. Poetry, short stories, I even started a novel once during Nanowrimo. I have a large box full of old journals and I loved the number of research papers I had to write as a history major with degree number one. Then at some point I just stopped writing. Some of it is mental health related, I'm sure. I still have a paper journal that I occasionally pick up on the bad days, especially when there's a stretch of them.
But more and more I'm realizing that I miss real writing, so there's going to be some changes coming to the blog. For whatever reason, I've always felt like politics should be kept separate from blogging, whenever I've had one, and I'm not sure why. But that's going to change. I'm setting myself the goal that aside from the basic gardening/DIY/mommy stuff this blog would otherwise have I'm also going to try and make sure there's at least one post a month on serious and important topics. There's one percolating in my brain now but at this hour it's really best to sleep first and write later.
After several weeks of cooler than normal weather, the heat of summer has arrived, at least temporarily. The garden is progressing nicely. We lost the snap peas going out of town for the weekend; they weren't ripe when we left and were overripe by the time we got back. But we've gotten a couple of cucumbers that I've made into refrigerator pickles (all eaten already) and D has gotten the first few ripe tomatoes. Unless something goes terribly wrong with them, we're going to have tomatoes coming out of our ears in a couple of weeks. Still a bit early for everything else, but there are tiny baby ears of corn coming.
I managed to neglect the catnip patch for far too long. It had been nearly killed off by a dog laying it then after a rainy spell it seemed to take no time at all for it to grow to 3 feet tall and flower. I just trimmed a bunch of it back that was getting in the way of the door but with the way the bees and butterflies are all over it, I didn't want to take away too much. What I did cut is now hanging to dry to keep the cats supplied with their dope through the winter.
In the continuing theme of home improvements, D managed to get the clothesline up a couple of weeks ago- a proper one with actual poles and line and not one of those flimsy umbrella things. I've picked out the colors officially for some more of the painting. Rather ahead of what we planned, there's a wee one on the way and a nursery to be set up, so I've been focusing on cleaning out our junkroom/"0ffice" so that it can be painted and repurposed. I would also really like to get the kitchen done before then; it's the only room whose color scheme really bothers me and I'm realistic enough to know that once Bean gets here, we'll probably have a year or two of not doing any of the sort of work. Dingy ivory on the cabinets and darker ivory on the walls. Bleck. It looks dark and dirty no matter what gets done. The colors are chosen for the cabinets and the walls, it's just a matter of getting the money around for the paint.