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Monday, July 30, 2012

Project: Cloth Wipes

We have been busy beavers around the Saric homestead, working on little lady's room, taking care of our furry crew, and working on acquiring and creating all the things we need for our baby girl. One of my latest projects is below, colorful cloth wipes.


We plan on using cloth diapers (these and these) for covering our little lady's bottom and wanted to use cloth wipes as well. Since we are going to be doing frequent laundry to keep her diapers clean it will be easy enough to throw these in as well.

It took me a good chunk of hours spread out over the past two days to create these, but if you have access to a serger you could whip these up in a matter of minutes. While I am not yet so lucky to have one of those lovely machines, I do have a sewing machine I love way more than is probably normal and that I am so glad to have time to finally work with.


I used three yards of 100% cotton flannel to create 60 wipes. Prior to doing anything I gave all of the fabric a run through the wash to make sure it was clean and through the drier to allow for any pre-shrinking. Each wipe started by cutting out 6.75"x6.75" squares with right sides facing each other. I then sewed the pieces together with a 1/4" seam and leaving a small opening to flip them right side out. Once they were all sewn I did the flipping, making sure to poke out all corners (I used a dull pencil for this purpose). At that point I tucked the un-sewn fabric into its hole to be even with the rest and ironed them flat. From there it was just a matter of giving the entire outer edge a zig-zag top-stitch to keep them flat. A bit time consuming but super simple.


In the end I found myself with a pile of 60 reusable cloth wipes that measure 6.25"x6.25" each and cost just $14 and a chunk of my time. We'll keep some in a repurposed disposable wipes container with diluted Dr. Bronners Baby soap and others around for patting things dry, wiping cheeks and boogers, or whatever other uses we can find for them. I'm tempted to snag a few for my night-time face wipe-down because these suckers are super soft and feel great...not that I've been stroking my skin with them or anything...


So that's that. Like I said, super simple, and definitely worth the effort. Not only will having made these myself save us a lot of money, but there are other reasons it was important for me to take this route:
-We try to reduce and re-use as much as we can, so I am comforted by the fact that these can be used multiple times each and even then will not end up in the garbage. 
-I like to know what's going on my body and am sure to feel the same about little lady, so it's nice to have control over what soap or additives are being put on her bottom.
-Fulfillment of making things myself. If you are a craftsman of any sort you are sure to know the feeling of having created something with your own hands and then using it in your everyday life. There's nothing like it. 

Have you made anything yourself lately? Do you use cloth wipes for your baby bottoms? Next on my list is curtains for her room. I have the fabric, but have used up all my white thread. Hopefully I can get to the store and crank those out tomorrow so I can move on to the blankets I have in the works. I can guarantee you that between the two of us there are at least five or more projects going on around here at all times, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sara

linking up with Frugally Sustainable

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Women and Children Series


I know things have been quiet around here this week, but I wanted to stop in to share my guest post from over at Well and Cheaply, a wonderful blog by a gal named Sarah. You can find my post HERE  but I also encourage you to read the rest of the Women and Children Series Sarah has gathered together. Posts run from Monday through tomorrow with two post a day and there are many wonderful perspectives being shared, all surrounding motherhood. 

Sara

Monday, July 23, 2012

Five Sources of Joy

(1) Basil that just keeps giving and giving.  

(2) Silly, inquisitive, feisty, loving, and incredible little niece. I hope our little lady is just as awesome as this sweet niece of mine. 

(3) Enjoying time outdoors while E waters the garden, the dogs wrestle, and the sun starts giving us a break from the extreme heat of the day. 

(4) Continuing to create simple meals at home. Sweet Potato Dal on this occasion. 

(5) So many cucumbers flowing from our garden, the joy of knowing they were tiny seeds just months ago, and a husband who helps to wash them clean. Plus, these very vegetables were made into four quarts of bread and butter pickles which provide joy from both enjoying them ourselves and sharing them with others.

Sara

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Nugget Boogie

Today has been weird. I will be back tomorrow to fill you all in on pregnancy updates, but for now I am off to get a snow cone with my love. Until then, there's this...


Poor Nugget doesn't know what she's in for.

Later,
Sara

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Switching to Midwifery

Inspired by other mamas, like this one in Forest Park.

I have been saying I want to talk about my switch to midwifery care for quite some time, but the truth is that I'm not quite sure where to start and it is quite emotional for me. For that reason, I'll just start typing and sharing and hope that this all comes together to make sense and shed some light on the differences between typical MD care and midwifery care from what I've experienced so far.

Really, I should start at the beginning, at the day I looked down to see a positive message coming from my home pregnancy test. We had been hoping to become pregnant, yet it was still a surprise and I was eager to have the news confirmed. I had always heard you should get a blood test for confirmation, so I quickly dialed up my school clinic to schedule one. With a quick testing of my blood they were able to confirm my pregnancy, but said my hormone levels were low for where I should be (should being an arbitrary thing seeing as how I told them from the get-go that my cycles do not fall into their 28 day model). They had me come back for another and urged me to hurry to an OB-Gyn while giving off a very negative vibe that my pregnancy was not viable, words that are hard for me to even type. I knew things were probably fine since I knew my body did not fit so neatly into their charts, but being in such a vulnerable and unsure state I was filled with worry regardless. A moment that should have been filled with so much joy now had a dark cloud hanging over it.

At their urging I looked up what providers my insurance would work with and quickly made an appointment with one where they ordered an early ultrasound for dating purposes. Again, it was too early to see anything beyond a yolk sack and they ordered a follow-up ultrasound for three days later to try again. Knowing in my heart that three days was not going to give us much room for growth or peace of mind I called to reschedule for three weeks out. Those three weeks were emotionally trying as they had filled me with so much unnecessary worry, but I knew I needed to give our baby time to grow and to show themselves, and, as I suspected, at that next ultrasound little one was at 8 weeks and 3 days, was very clearly doing just fine. They were able to give us a due date of September 19 at that time.

But, their ability to inflict worry did not end there, without looking at the charts for our next appointment they continued to go off the inaccurate dates they had assigned me and broke out the doppler to search for a heartbeat. Again, a moment that should have been filled with joy at it's first happening was dreadful as they were unable to find one, not because it wasn't there, but because it was too early and they hadn't updated their information. Again, I knew things were fine and it was simply too early, but sitting with my stomach bare, covered with gel, and having someone search for a sound I was longing to hear, well, it was all a bit too much. With all of the uncertainty and fear they had made a part of my life up to this point I just couldn't believe they were doing this too. We finished our appointment and made the next, but upon leaving the office tears filled my eyes, as they had in the past, and would in the future. I knew we needed to switch to a different model of care but with E working full time and me going to school full-time while also working 16-20 hours a week at my internship it was really hard to find time to do anything, so we continued on at the OB-Gyn with plans to switch to a midwife just as soon as my schedule slowed down and we could figure things out.

Time ticked by and we continued our appointments, traveling to a hospital I would often sit waiting long past my appointment time and then barely have any face-to-face time with the actual doctor, but soon it was time for our halfway there ultrasound where we would get to see our little one in all their glory, make sure everything was okay and get to find out if there was a mister or misses hiding out in there, so that helped to keep me moving forward. That appointment came with it's own set of obstacles, but was worth it to find out we were having a little girl and that everything looked okay. While she seemed good and healthy they said my placenta was riding a little low, but seemed on the right track to continue it's upward ascent, yet I should still take pelvic rest and come back for another follow-up ultrasound in six or so weeks. Again we continued our appointments but with my school schedule slowing down a bit we were able to start looking for midwives as well. Many e-mails were sent back and forth until we finally found a midwife partnership that seemed to be just what we were looking for. They happened to only have one opening available for September due dates and it was ours if we wanted it. For the first time in my pregnancy I finally felt relief and excitement about the care we would be receiving. We still had a couple of obstacles to wade through before making a complete switch, but my eyes were filled with hope and joy for the first time, rather than tears and I was excited to see what was in store for us.

To be continued...Come back soon for more about how we made the switch and how our experiences have changed since then. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Five Sources of Joy

(1) Bouquets of driftwood from our lovely Missouri river. 

(2) A niece who is super spirited and too cool for her own good. 

(3) Remembering Army as a tiny tot. Even his fingernails were so small. 

(4) A superhero nephew who always has stories and secrets to tell. 

(5) This guy. So much joy brought to my life by having him in it.

I hope everyone has a lovely joy-filled weekend. My sister, brother-in-law, and niece will be in once again to throw us a baby shower and we have another midwife appointment to look forward to as well. I'm sure this weekend will be filled with all sorts of good memory-making moments. What are you looking forward to this weekend? Any joyful moments to share?

Sara

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lazy Days of Summer


This picture of Roxanne pretty accurately sums up our day. I knew it would be a lazy one when, this morning, I rolled over to my right and saw digitalized red numbers telling me it was already ten o'clock, something I am never in bed long enough to see these days. A combination of an indecisive bladder, an annoying barks-at-all-hours neighborhood dog, and my body's preference for becoming a night-time space heater, well, a combination of those things had me begging for those extra hours, so they were much appreciated, but threw me off all the same. 

Lest you think I am a completely lazy slug, I did in fact accomplish a bit today, you know, very important things, like recycling old Spanish flash cards, searching the entire house for my fancy colored pencils for nearly an hour without success, beginning a new drawing which has me feeling happy where it counts, and drooling over pumpkin containing recipes online. So, yes, maybe more on the slug side than the jack-rabbit side, but I am at least proud of allowing myself to just sit and draw for a bit. It's crazy to me how wonderful it really makes me feel and leaves me wondering why I don't pick up my pencil more often. Realistically I know it all goes back to my perfectionism, fears and doubts, but I really don't like that I let those things stop me, so it can be hard to own up to it. 

So here's to lazy days now and then, but more than anything, here's to doing what makes your heart sing and gives you the shivers in all the right ways. 

Sara

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Perspective


Yesterday left me writing about how I needed to change the way I spent my time, and the universe seemed to agree on the necessity of that lesson as it kept coming on strong as the day continued on. 

You see, in the evening I was talking to E about how bummed I was that so many people were going to have to miss our baby shower, for I had been looking forward to seeing everyone and celebrating together and it seems the number keeps dwindling and dwindling. Really it was not a big deal as we can see everyone another time and a smaller number of attendees will not take away from the joy of our celebration, but I was wasting energy by fretting about it. Well, as if to show me what was really important, Leroy began choking while eating his supper and became unable to get enough oxygen. 

With a quick call to the vet and a dash to the car we got him there in time, but there was one achingly long moment that I wasn't sure what would happen and he lost breath completely. Luckily the vet came in soon after and he was rushed off to be put on oxygen where he stayed for half an hour or so as we waited to hear what was happening. It seemed things worked themselves out with the aid of the oxygen and the vet providing syringes of water, and I am so thankful he is okay. None of us are sure what was really happening, but he is stable now and once again on medication and under the close watch of a worried mama. I just know that once he returned to the examination room table and he climbed right up my baby bump and into my arms, I realized how silly and unimportant everything I had been fretting over is. 

What is really important is that we are all safe and healthy and have each other to love. I may worry about how everything is going to work out or want to make moments into something larger and more extravagant than needed, but that is not necessary, because we have each other, and that really is all that matters and all that we need. 

Sara

Monday, July 9, 2012

Downshifting

With my new schedule, that being the lack of a schedule, I have found myself spending large amounts of time using the internet. I will sit down in the morning, open bloglovin and realize three hours later that I have just been sitting at a screen for all that time. Granted, during that time I am reading interesting information, looking at informative articles, being inspired, and so on, but much of it I am also just clicking around and filling my head with extra. Extra information that is not more important than working on the quilt I have begun for baby girl. Extra worrying about what other people are up to rather than writing a letter, setting up a coffee shop date, or preparing a little package for the mail. Rather than facing life head on I am seeing it through a screen.

While I value technology and it's place in my life, right now I have given it too large of one. So, last week I told myself that needed to change. I will still be here five days a week to share bits of my own life and to connect with others I admire or have built friendships with, but I will be being more mindful of the clock as I do so. And the time I am not online? I am going to do my best to pretend it doesn't exist, to ask myself what I would do if there were no internet, no endless abyss to distract me. To take a little time each morning and afternoon to tend to this space and to check in on others, but to fill my other hours with more fully living. This morning, rather than continuing to click around, once my time was up I tended to some ironing that has been needing tending to for weeks, read books that have been sitting in a dusty pile waiting for me to finish them, picked up around the house and cuddled my critters, created a large list of things I have been wanting to do to make my home more cozy and organized. None of those things would have happened had I not tucked the laptop away and forced myself to look at how I really wanted to fill my day.


Back on my old blog, at the beginning of the year, I talked of my word for the year being "simplify" and this is all just a continuation of that desire. I want to live more simply and more mindfully and not look back on my days and see only a glowing screen looking back at me or have regret for all the things I want to have done, but am not doing. I want for when little lady is born, for her not to think time spent on a computer or phone is more important than time spent with her. So, I need to start now in changing the way I am living, to fill my days with things that bring me joy and things that need to be done for my family to make our days run more smoothly as a whole. I need to allow myself empty time so that I can choose how to fill it. I'm looking forward to continuing on this journey and seeing how it changes the way I live my life.

If you have made an effort to limit internet usage or to find a balance in your online time I really wouldn't mind hearing about it. I think it can be a hard change to make and a hard balance to find, but I know deep inside it is a change I need now more than ever.

Sara

Friday, July 6, 2012

Five Sources of Joy

This edition of five sources of joy is all about my little family, all seven of us.

(1) Love this little goober. He is always up for a snuggle, has the funniest expressions, and would do just about anything for food. Each time dinner comes around he puts on quite a show with twirls and spins of excitement.

(2) Roxanne has taken to cuddling on the nugget bump. I always wondered if the animals would act differently once I became pregnant and this is the first sign I've received. Little lady was kicking up a storm and Rox was bumping up and down but she just nestled right in for a good couple of hours. 

(3) This purple tongued loon. She has been acting especially crazy due to her fear of fireworks, but no matter what I love this gal. After seven years together we have been through a lot and she always ends the day with sweet love that helps erase the memories of her more neurotic behavior.  

(4) Spending my fourth of July morning with the one I love most, exploring by the Missouri river on a driftwood collecting adventure. Any time spent together with my love is a joy-maker.

(5) Goofy Jasperillo Armadillo. He is my sweet, snuggly, energy-filled dude, always up for keeping my company, cuddling close when I need it most, and just bringing us joy with his wonderful personality each day. 

Bonus number six. These first little goodies from our garden. Our plants have been taking a hit with the nonstop heat wave and lack of rain, but we are tending to it the best we can and looking forward to the break in the weather that's due to visit us on Sunday.

As you can see, this week my heart is most filled with the joy that comes from spending time with my family. We are quite the goofy crew, but I wouldn't have it any other way. What is bringing you joy this week?

Sara

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Our Memory Jar


On a random shopping trip with my Mama I happened across this large glass jar for under five dollars. I picked it up thinking I would make one of those terrariums that seem to be all the rage these days. Once it was home and I looked into what it took to make one, well, let's just say that wasn't going to happen anytime soon, but I had something else in mind. Having heard of the idea of a memory jar I decided I would start one for us, beginning on our wedding day. The idea being that we will write down any fun memories or accomplishments and add them to our jar throughout the year.


I keep it up on the mantel with a pen and stack of card-stock pieces nearby so that either one of us can add a little slip when we feel compelled to do so, with my plan being to compile these slips into a little book for each anniversary. Not being into scrap-booking or someone that can stay consistent with required journaling, I thought this would be perfect, and I love that it is something each of us can contribute to rather than being a solitary project. 


Already this jar holds memories of our wedding, canoeing adventures, and personal accomplishments. I'm excited to see what else is added during this year and look forward to looking back at them all next June, with my fella and little gal by my side. 

If you do something similar or decided to start one for yourself I would love to hear all about it. One thing I love about this kind of project is that it is simple, low-pressure, and doesn't have to cost a dime. Using card-stock I already had on hand, leftover faux moss from our wedding, and a clearance-priced jar, ours cost just five dollars, but you could easily use a spare pitcher, a paper-covered box, a leftover sauce jar, or even a vase. It really is a simple project, but one anybody can do and a great way to capture all of the moments that seem to pass so quickly.

Sara

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Hold on to Each Other


Life is crazy in the sense that you never know what will happen. No matter how hard we try or how determined we may be there is no predicting the future and no controlling it. We can try with all of our might, yet, in the big scheme of things, so many things are beyond our control. One thing I am thankful for is that once we are adults, we have the ability to choose who we spend our time with. If a person does nothing but bring us down we can choose to stop spending time with them. If a certain family member doesn't treat you with respect, value your choices, or are totally off their rocker, you can choose to minimize time spent with them. The lovely flip-side to all of that is that when a person brings you up, makes you feel more alive, and accepts you for who you are, well you can choose to spend just as much time with them as you can handle.

I feel very lucky in my life to have found a few of those people who make me feel more alive. While my group of friends may be small, I feel like they are actually true friends who love me for all that I am and with all of my flaws. Sure, it would be lovely to have a large tribe of friends who would bring me up when I am down, who would be there to celebrate everyday life, and who would stick it out through thick and then, but the reality is my group is small, small but wonderful, and I wouldn't want to know life without them.

Also, more than anything, I feel so lucky to have found my full-time partner-in-crime when I found my E. He came along, looked past all of my faults and rubbed away the grime to reveal what's hiding underneath my anxieties and insecurities, and even then, he chose to love me. Even on the days I cannot stand to be around myself, he is there with open arms, loving me with all he has and for everything I am. Growing up I felt as if my faults made me unloveable, like nobody could truly love me with all of my history, my anxieties, my variations in moods, but E came along and loved me despite all those things and maybe even a little more for them. When my old insecurities come out to play and I feel at fault for everything that has or will ever go wrong, he stops me and makes me say "it's not my fault" even if it is through tears and without a lot of heart the first couple of times it is uttered. He makes me a better me, and while I used to think I would be better off alone, now I would never want to be, for I am truly better with him by my side.

So, we hold each other close. We let each other know how much we care, whether that's through a hug, a text message just to say I love you, or sleeping with the tips of our toes folded over each others. Who else would want to bypass an early supper in exchange for snow cones, brave the storms and continue to camp even when we find our tent in the middle of a sudden lake, make predictions and laugh with me during an episode of the bachelorette? And who else would respond with a "when" and a "where" rather than a "why" or "what for" when I mention my desire for a date to the riverside for collecting driftwood? Maybe others would, but not in a way that makes my heart tingle or my face flush with love each and every time I know we are about to be reunited. So, we hold each other close, for even if we lost every material thing and had nothing but the shoes on our feet, we would be okay, because we'd have each other. And me? I'd be especially lucky, for I am usually barefoot, and with nothing to our names he would want nothing more than for me to have his shoes.

Sara