Saturday, January 29, 2011

Recon - Tie Dyed Onesies

I have recently been given a number of plain white onesies for our upcoming newborn.  Personally, I'm not big on white.  Boring.  Get dirty in a hurry.  Generally no fun at all....but I loooooove tie dyed onesies!  Hell, tie dyed anything!  I want to get to dying as soon as possible...but it's the middle of the night so I'll content myself with tutorial recon.

Dying Tutorials & Links:
Tissue Paper Tie Dye (I assume crepe paper will work equally well)
Striped Onesie Tutoiral (not tie dye...but still cool)
Color Wheel Onesie Tutoiral
Faux Tie Dying
28 Tie Dye Projects (bunch of techniques)
Tie Dye with Resist
Marble Tie Dye
DIY Shibori (Japanese tie dying)
Freezer Paper and Bleach Tutorial (not dying, but a cool embellishment)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dani - The Imaginary Breastfed Toddler

I have been informed that it is impossible to breastfeed your child past a few months.  You absolutely WILL HAVE TO give formula at some point because there is no way you will be able to keep producing enough milk for more than a newborn.  Okay.  Well, I intended to nurse my daughter til at LEAST the age of 1 and beyond....let's look at how this is working out so far...

Oh look!  A newborn!  Breastfeeding at this point is going well.  No need for formula yet...

Two months later and she's quite a bit bigger.  Hm...still have milk...wonder how long that will last....

Look at the chubbiness!  What?  All breastmilk so far?  How odd. far she doesn't look underfed.

Six months old.  Still breastfed.  Still no formula.  No interest in solids AT ALL.

Look!  She's breastfeeding right now!

Standing and cruising around the living room.  Yes, that is a black eye from being mobile.  Still nursing.

Walking!  Almost to 1 year!

Dani's 1st birthday!  Loves cake.  Loves nursing.  Hasn't had formula or cow milk.  No bottles at all, actually.

Enjoying time outdoors.  Still nursing.  No cow milk.

Look!  She's at it again!

She also like apples.

Dani's at the park with her friend Ella.  Ella is breastfed too!  Ella's mommy had supply problems when Ella was a newborn so she had some formula.  They worked through their problems though and Ella hasn't had formula since she was 10-days-old.

Oh!  I forgot to mention that she had teeth!  Lots of them.  Nursed anyway.

Dani LOVES pizza.  Probably her favorite thing after mama-milk (which she calls "meecies").

Well wadda ya know....Dani is 2-year-olds and here she is nursing again.  Not a drop of formula yet.

So it looks like it IS possible to nurse more than a few months and formula is NOT automatically necessary.  Did my milk ever dry up?  Well yes, actually it did.  It's been about 2 months now (Dani was over 2-years-old) since my milk dried up due to pregnancy.  She never had formula.  She's only had a few sips of cow milk here and there out of curiosity.  She eats solid food just like any other child from 9 months onward.  She didn't starve.  She wasn't malnourished.  I didn't struggle to keep it up this long either.  Sure, the first few weeks are hard...but it's downhill once you get over the hump.

So much for being imaginary.

Monday, January 24, 2011

It's A Boy

This past week we found out that our child due in June is in fact a boy.

Aaron and I are both happy with this, even though we didn't have a definite preference either way.  My husband is happy because he was worried about having two daughters and treating them differently...though why this makes a difference I'm really unsure.  I get his feeling...but I'm having a hard time understanding why I do.  I'm happy because I feel like having a boy means it will be easier to decide if we really don't want to do this again.  Then again, having another baby to "get a boy" is really an odd concept...but again, I feel this way without understanding the feeling.  I mean, they're children not collectors items so I'm a bit annoyed with this feeling, to be honest.

Why is this male?
This also has me puzzling over my ideas about gender neutral parenting.  With a girl, it's easy to say "she can wear anything she wants!" and ignore what gender it was intended for.  Before she was able to make her own choices I obviously chose clothing based off my own preferences and that included a mix of "boyish" and "girlish" clothes.  Now with a boy, I'm fine with my son choosing a pink play skirt or to have barrettes in his hair...but what about before he has a choice?  Is it hypocritical for me to purchase exclusively boyish clothing for my son before he is able to put in some input?  Of course, a lot of clothing was purchased for us by others so I didn't pick a lot of stuff out myself...but I feel weird ignoring the girl clothes in favor of boy clothes when I object to things being divided in such a way.  Then of course there is the fact that I tend to like boy clothes better.  Plain jeans, graphic tees, sneakers...those or typical boy fodder and can be worn by anyone despite gender.  I like that sort of thing and wear it myself.

And then you throw the color pink into the fray.  Pink kicks you in the teeth and screams "VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA" via your optic nerve.  It's just a color.  A lighter shade of red...but I dislike it for me, my daughter, or my son.  That's not to say I wouldn't allow either of my kids to wear it, but I'm certainly not picking it out for anybody.  I wish I didn't have these negative associations with something so stupid as a color, but I do...and I'm trying to figure out that means for me having a child with a penis.

I know boys and girls do end up being different in the end, we're wired differently.  However, I'm trying not to let my ideas about it cloud my means of raising my children.  So how far do I take neutrality here?  Do I put my son in my daughter's girly hand-me-downs?  Purchase a whole new wardrobe of boyish stuff?  Dress both my kids in totally plain basic pants and shirts with no gender messages at all?!  I'm trying to figure out where this line is...and it's really hard to define.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My Daughter - An Interesting Person

This is Dani.  It's hard to imagine what your children will be like.  She's not what I expected...though I honestly don't know what I expected.  I never thought I'd have a blond child, but I do.  She looks like her father with the exception of my brown eyes.  She's a quiet child, something else I wasn't planning on.  At times she's shy, other times she's silly and loud. 

I think Dani likes pink.  It's hard to tell, but she often picks it out...thought it might just be because we don't have a lot of pink stuff around.  Her favorite pair of shoes are red and glittery....though other days she wears green frog boots.

Dani loves to play outside.  She likes to lay on the front steps for some odd reason.  Whenever I lay out a towel to keep my butt from getting cold on the bricks she takes it over as a bed.  She loves to watch birds and squirrels, collect leaves, pick up sticks, look at bugs, and watch airplanes fly over.

 She loves trucks...
And making cookies...
Making music...
Going out to lunch with her aunt...
And about a million other dolls, dinosaur sweaters, castles, dragons, shoes, flowers, butterflies, doggies, cats, frogs, turtles, Miyazaki films, singing songs, dancing, tutus, stuffed animals, books, markers, paint, cooking, dress up clothes, slides, bathtime, puzzles, popcorn, scissors, eggs with ketchup, bikes, and piggie-back rides.

No, she's not what I expected.  She's herself, and that's just right.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bird Tree Decorations

Ella and Dani did a lot of snacking

 I opted to go with these birdseed ornaments from Saltwater Kids as well as classic peanut butter pine cones, and popcorn strings.  This morning I packed up Dani and a bunch of supplies and headed off to my friend Amanda's house to get crafting.
birdseed gelatin mix...yummy?          
First we started off with the molded ornaments.  The kids enjoyed spooning the mixture into the cookie cutters, but their favorite thing was placing the straws that kept the holes open for a hanger.

At first I thought maybe I should mix up a double batch of the birdseed mixture, but I'm really glad I didn't!  We ended up with a dozen ornaments from just the one batch which was more than enough with all the other things we had planned.  I also have to mention that these things are tough.  I knocked the pan of half-dried ornaments off the top of the Learning Tower and they didn't break!  I was shocked!

she might look serious, but she loved filling the cups up
Dani was really taken with filling the orange-half baskets.  They were probably the easiest thing we made and still fun for the kids.  The downside being that they birdseed all ended up in the floor when I knocked over the tray...but we swept it up and refilled them easily enough.

We decided we'd leave the peanut butter dipping to us adults and the birdseed rolling to the kids.  We mixed a bit of oil with the peanut butter to thin it a bit (don't overdo it though, you don't want it too drippy) and then laid out a cookie sheet of seed for them to mess with.  We couldn't get the pine cones dipped fast enough for them!

Ella thought they might be tasty
and this is only half of it!
In the end we had quite a pile of stuff and the kids enjoyed it all.  Amanda and I agreed that we were actually more excited about decorating the trees for the birds than we were about decorating them for the holidays.  Is that sad?

Tomorrow we will be decorating the tree outside once the ornaments are fully dry.  Daylight will also help of course.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Recon - Decorating the Bird Tree

When I was a child we would get a bit of extra life out of the family Christmas tree each year by moving it out into the yard and decorating it for the birds.  Up until this year my husband and I had used an artificial tree due to living in an apartment (the 3rd floor no less) and had no desire to deal with the mess of taking a live tree in and out of the apartment....however this year we're renting a house and I was absolutely thrilled at the prospect of having a real Christmas tree!  And more so than having a real tree inside, I have been dying to continue the bird-tree tradition with my toddler (who, by the way, loves birds!)

While we only ever made the pine cones rolled in peanut butter and birdseed, I'd like to branch out a bit.

Tutorial & Link Recon -
Classic Pine Cone Feeders
Thrifty Birdseed Ornaments
Birdseed & Gelatin Ornaments
Orange Peel Bird Feeder Cups
Holiday Treats For Wild Birds
Bird Food Cake
Popcorn & Fruit Strings
Popcorn & Fruit Garland
Speedy Bird Cake

Coming soon: Our experiences!

A Fresh Start

A new year.  A new blog.  A fresh start.

I suppose I should start with a few things about myself and my life (which I look for on the blogs I follow).

Let's see...I'm 25.
My husband, Aaron, is 28 and we've been married for 4 years.
We have a 2-year-old daughter and and another little one due in June.
We are attachment parents and unschoolers.
I value art and creativity and seek to pass that on to my children...and to others which is the intention of this blog.

Which leads us to this year year.  My goal is to craft more and blog about it...and keep it up!