Hey, look, I know things are a mess. I took a hiatus from blogging and decided to switch up my design before returning. Please be patient, because if you can wait out the mess it means REGULAR POSTING WILL RETURN SOON! :D

Hooray!

Thursday, November 26

The Big Day{s} Is{are} Coming

Saturday.
We’re moving Saturday.
I’m not packed.
Do you know how long it takes to finish ANYTHING when a small person interrupts every five minutes? No really, how long does it take? I don’t know how long it takes because I haven’t finished a darn thing yet! But we’re getting there. The moving van is booked, the mail forwarding set up, internet service scheduled to be moved, deposit and first months rent is paid, helpers confirmed. We just need to finish packing.
Cleaning the old place can wait several days as we’ve got it until December 15th. The focus this weekend is moving in, putting up the Christmas decorations and tree, and getting our dining room table. We have a new table we can buy as a back-up if the used table we want is taken {still waiting to hear back from the sellers}. Our current table is, well…it doesn’t stand up unless placed in a corner, so you might say it’s broken. Adam’s Saturday shift got cancelled so hopefully it’ll be easier to get all this stuff taken care of.
Did I mention that his birthday is tomorrow?
It is.
And how will he celebrate?
With an 8 AM test.
And with packing.
Poor guy. But he’s a good sport. He says we can have snicker doodles {his choice in leiu of cake} after we move in. So, wish us luck and wish him a “happy birthday!” I’ll see you on the other side!
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Tuesday, November 24

Adventures in Babywearing

I was a finalist. Thank you to everyone who voted for me. :)



Beco babywearing baby carrier Lucy daddy
I own two strollers: an umbrella stroller that lies folded in the back of my station wagon "just in case" and a monstrosity that spends the vast majority of its time folded and stuffed into a closet as the Beco baby carrier that hangs above it is taken out and used again and again and again. Poor strollers. They must be lonely. Tough luck Mr. and Mrs. Stroller, but Ms. Beco is the one pulling her weight in this family instead of weighing us down.

We have been fans of babywearing since the first day we tried it. When my baby girl was smaller we'd tie her on in a stretchy wrap. The wrap was wonderful! Our daughter loved the perpetual hug that babywearing provides and we loved having our hands free to do dishes play video games. But before traveling several thousand miles to visit Grandma and Grandpa we invested in a Beco from Parenting By Nature. We felt that a carrier that could be easily gotten on and easily adjusted would be more convenient going through airport security and since our little girl was getting less and less little, it would be practical to have a structured carrier that would better support her weight.

'Practical' does not even begin to describe how we feel about babywearing with a structured carrier; 'cozy,' 'easy,' and 'fun' come to mind. When traveling? I'd go with 'absolutely necessary' and 'miraculously helpful.' There's no plane-side checking of a baby carrier. You either continue wearing your babe on the plane, or you can roll up the carrier and stash it in your diaper bag. Wearing our baby during our flight helped keep her happy and secure versus cranky and wiggly (which kept us parents from being cranky too)! But the real benefit came when an unforeseen landing problem landed us in the emergency room.

Upon descent my body freaked out a bit. I had some blood pressure and hyperventilation issues that left me weak, sick, and fuzzy-brained (well, more fuzzy-brained than usual) and before you could say "please return your tray table to its upright position" the flight attendants had called for help. I found myself being wheeled through the Toronto airport on a stretcher so I could take my first (and hopefully last) ambulance ride to the emergency room while my worried husband raced behind carrying every. last. piece. of our carry-on luggage. The one thing he wasn't struggling to hold onto? Our daughter.

We ended up spending hours at the hospital. We waited quite a while in the emergency room before being told I was fine and that it was nothing serious. Then we spent more time trying to figure out where we would stay for the night, how we would get there, when we could fly again, informing family members of what had happened. It was, to put it mildly, stressful. But the one thing we weren’t stressing about? Our daughter. The whole time she was happily worn by her daddy.

All three of us love babywearing. We use our Beco regularly, around the house when our daughter is fussy, at the grocery, at the park, at the mall, everywhere! But the convenience and emotional benefits of babywearing really shine when life gets complicated. Wearing your baby is like wearing a life jacket…a life jacket for your sanity. So our strollers stay folded and stashed away, rarely seeing light of day, not really earning their keep. Which leads me to ask...anybody want to buy a stroller? Barely used, great condition. Going cheap!


Inspire Natural Parenting Contest


This post was written for the "Blog to Inspire" contest hosted by Parenting By Nature. I'd love to hear your comments! Tell me what you thought! Tell me if you baby wear. What's your favorite aspect of babywearing? What's your favorite carrier? Has babywearing ever saved your sanity in a tough situation? Do you have questions about babywearing? Lay it on me! I love hearing from my readers!
Monday, November 23

I’m Like, Famous Now, Right?

Remember my cloth diaper ornament?
Yeah…well, it was featured on the craft mecca website One Pretty Thing!
oneprettything
I’m pretty stoked. I just had to brag. :)
Also? I’m moving THIS WEEKEND! ACK!
I’ll be glad once we’re settled into our new place. I’m anxious to get my Christmas decorations up. Plus I have a bunch of craft projects for Lucy’s birthday and for the holidays that I want to get done and write posts about. Anybody who helps me move will get free treats of the sugary variety. ;)
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Sunday, November 22

Two Truths & A Lie

  • I am feeling overwhelmed by the move.
  • I have a to-do list a mile long for the holidays, graphic design projects, blog plans, and Lucy’s party.
  • I’m going to finish NaNoWriMo despite all that and despite the fact that I’m way behind in word count.
You figure out which one is the lie. ;)
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Monday, November 16

Because I Love You

So…I had several people commenting on my post with the free invite downloads that while they do have winter babies, they won’t be turning one. So I’ve made a version of the download with “One-derland” spelled normally as “Wonderland.” These invites are suitable for any winter party, birthday or not. Just add your own text with the party details.

For the .png {for use in programs like Photoshop/Gimp/etc.} just click on the picture below, then select “save image as”}. For the vector file {for use in programs like Illustrator/Inkscape} click here.

free birthday party polar bear download invitation

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Sunday, November 15

Jeepers Creepers!

cute baby beautiful eyesWhere’d this baby get these peepers?! From her mama of course! This is C. She’s my best friend’s baby. And I cannot get over how gorgeous her eyes are. This is one gal that will never be tempted to take Latisse {and really, nobody should be using that stuff for cosmetic reasons but that’s just my opinion}. Anyway…I just had to share this picture before I died of cute overload. Enjoy!

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Saturday, November 14

Walking In A Winter ONE-derland! + free download!

oneprettything

ETA: You can now see pictures from the party, and get another free download for use in your goody bags.

The theme for Lucy’s first birthday party came to me when browsing Michael’s back in September: Winter ONE-derland! I think the combination of snow, pretty shades of blue, and cute arctic animals will make for a great party. And before you can have a party you have to have party invitations!
I made these invitations myself. I did them {including the polar bear illustration} in a vector program. Then I had them printed as 4x6 photos {which I’m having a little trouble finding envelopes for, but hopefully Staples will have them}. It only cost $1.90 plus tax to have 10 invites printed at Walmart. I just uploaded my file to their online photo center and they did the rest.
But I wanted to make the invitations extra special so I decided to give them the glitter of fresh snow with glitter glue pens from Michael’s!
polar bear free invitation birthday party diy craft tutorial
polar bear free invitation birthday party diy craft tutorial
I used silver and blue to match the letters which fade from white to blue.
polar bear free invitation birthday party diy craft tutorialpolar bear free invitation birthday party diy craft tutorial You like?
Aaaaand…just because I’m awesome, and generous, and “ONE-derful” {and humble, apparently} I’m giving you a blank version that you can download for your own party {assuming you have a winter baby who’s turning one}. To download a .png invitation {for use in programs such as Photoshop} just click the picture below, then right click and save as. To download a vector file {for use in programs such as Inkscape or Illustrator} click here. You’ll also need to go to kevinandamanda.com and download the “Teacher’s Pet Font” {free}.
ETA: I didn't end up finding the right sized envelopes {they can be ordered online but I didn't have time for that}. What I ended up doing is buying blue envelopes and trimming the blue border off the invites. If you use these invites you could either order envelopes online, trim the blue border off, or have them printed with a white border and trim that off.
ETA: If you want to have a party for a kiddo that won't be turning one, or if you just want to have a winter party for the fun of it, you can get free invitations with "Winter Wonderland" instead of "Winter ONE-derland" by visiting this post.

free invitation birthday party diy craft tutorial polar bear
You’re welcome! :)
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Friday, November 13

DIY Cloth Diaper Ornament

oneprettything
So, I know I told you I wouldn’t be posting much. And now I’m posting twice in one day. But hey, I’ve got stuff to say so why not? Anyway…I’m part of an online ornament exchange. The mama I got paired up with uses cloth diapers too and I knew I wanted to make her a cloth diaper ornament. So I did. And you can too.
You’ll need:IMG_1344
  • felt in the colors of your choice {I suggest white for the inside}
  • needle
  • thread {I used white thread}
  • ribbon to match
  • scissors
  • paper and pencil {optional but I found it helpful}
Or...
  • ETA: hot glue and hot glue gun {if you really, really don't want to try sewing you could totally do this project with hot glue, or maybe even fabric glue}
First, cut out a diaper shape a bit like the one pictured below. I did mine with paper first, then used it as a pattern for the felt. This first piece is the inside of the diaper. Sew {I hand stitched for all the steps, it’s easy when the project is this small} the inner piece to the piece of felt you want for the outside of the diaper. This second piece can be a rectangle {make it a little larger than the first piece} and once they’re sewn together you can trim the outside of the diaper to match the inside but a little wider.
IMG_1343
After the two pieces are sewn together you can sew a felt rectangle and felt “tabs” to the front and sides of the diaper as the “Velcro.” Or you could sew on little snaps to make a snap diaper. I went with the Velcro look.
IMG_1346
I also stitched a cute little heart to the back of the diaper. Then I sewed the diaper shut and added a ribbon for hanging. You might find it’s easier to add the ribbon before closing the diaper.
IMG_1444
Adam kept telling me I should add a little “poo” in the diaper, but I decided to pass on that idea. And just in case my DIY ornament wasn’t as cute to my swap partner as I think it is I’m also sending her a purple picture frame ornament I picked up at the store. This project was inspired by a cloth diaper keychain a friend of mine owns. It was really super easy. I’m not a great seamstress, I swear. I was able to do a lot of this project while breastfeeding so that should tell you just how easy it is!
IMG_1447
Do you think you’ll try making a diaper ornament? Tell me in the comments! And leave me links to any pictures you have of the completed project!
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Goodbye

Lucy 077
{Girla is the tabby in the back, Lily is the whitish one in the front.}
Today I woke up and there was no ball of fur curled up at my feet, no demands to be fed, or meows asking for a drink from the bathroom sink. My cats are gone.
Last night I said goodbye to my little furry family members. I expected it to be unpleasant. But I had no idea how painful it would turn out to be. Saying goodbye to one of my dogs, Sandy, years ago when she had to be put down wasn’t this hard. Feeling her die in my arms wasn’t this hard. Leaving my two cats behind and walking away was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Which, I suppose, just goes to show how hard my life truly isn’t. But even if some might not get what the big deal is, it is a big deal to me.
Girla came into our lives first. She was a hell-cat as a kitten. She destroyed our possessions and drove us crazy at night attacking our feet and meowing. But we still loved her. She grew calmer in time. And she became more pics 027affectionate as she grew older, often trying to climb into our laps at inopportune times, like when we were using the bathroom. She could spend what felt like hours chasing after shadows and spots of light on the walls. She went absolutely nuts for the laser pointer. And she always wanted to be nearby. Often, if Adam was in one room, and I in another, she’d find a spot equal distance from both of us and lie there where she could see us both. They very first thing I ever sewed was a cuddly cat house for Girla.
Lily came later. I thought she was beautiful the moment I saw her. I adored her single striped leg. And I was so sad when the shelter said someone else was already adopting her. But then circumstances changed and we were allowed to bring her home after LilyandorGirla 037all. As a kitten she would spend the entire day sleeping in my lap. As she grew up she became more independent, finding a quiet, out-of-the-way spot to sleep most of the day. She loved watching the world through the window. She’d get excited watching snow fall, as if the flakes were thousands of fluffy, white bugs. Lily sometimes insisted on us watching her eat. I was never sure why that was. At night Lily turned into a snuggle addict. Sometimes she’d crawl under the covers with us, other times she’d sleep on top of us. When I was pregnant she’d sleep on my belly and purr so loudly I was certain Lovey could hear it. Lily had the loudest purr I’ve ever heard.
But not anymore…not for me. Now somebody else will hear the clunking footsteps of my fat Girla, and the chirpy purr of my little Lily.
I will never again find toy mice in my bed because Girla brought them in the night hoping for a game of fetch. I will never again be greeted at the front door by a Lily who is happy I’m home. I will never pick up their furry bodies and hold them close ever again. I miss them so much, more than I ever thought I would. And sometimes it’s a battle to stop from panicking and crying out “I want them back” and “I want to go bring them home!” And sometimes I lose that battle and am a tearful, snotty mess. I think of my last memory of them, cowering in a cage together because they’re surrounded by the smell and sound of strange cats they’ve never met. It breaks my heart to not be there to comfort them. And it breaks my heart to be hurting so much and to not have them here to comfort me like they have so many times in the past.
I try to remind myself that not only does Lucy deserve to be safe, they deserve a home where they don’t feel threatened or annoyed by small children, a home that will be more stable than ours in the coming years. And I know the SPCA will do their best to find them that home, and I hope, oh, I hope that they’ll find them a home together so they at least won’t be separated from each other even though they’ve been separated from us. But knowing I’ve done what seems best for my daughter and for them, doesn’t make it any easier to do something that hurts and sucks for me. I can feel their non-presence. The emptiness and quiet of the house is oppressive, like it’s closing in and squeezing me tight. And there’s just Lucy here to distract me. Lucy, who has no understanding of what’s happened, acts as if today is no different than any other day. She won’t remember Girla of Lily, even though “kitteh” was one of her very first words and “Gggrra” was another. She won’t remember how she used to meow back at them when they meowed. She won’t know that, even though they became aggressive because they didn’t understand that they shouldn’t attack her at other times they were loving. When Lucy cried the hardest they’d come to see what was the matter. Last night, while Lucy sat in her highchair I asked her sadly “where’s Girla?” And she smiled, and cooed and immediately looked down to the floor to see the cat that wasn’t there. She quickly forgot and went back to happily playing with her Cheerios. But I didn’t forget. I’ll never forget. I could never forget my fur babies.
LilyandorGirla 021
{I love you, Girla. I love you, Lily. I’m so sorry. I miss you so much.}
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Thursday, November 12

The New Digs {picture intensive}

Room 1 – It’s really, really looooooong.IMG_1357 IMG_1358 IMG_1372

Walk in closet. It has shelves and bars just like this on the other side too. The closet can be reached from room 1 and room 2.

IMG_1374

Room 2.

IMG_1377

Bathroom. It has a nice deep tub that I’m excited to use.

IMG_1378

Kitchen. It has a REAL fridge {if you follow me on Twitter you know how important that is to me}.

IMG_1381 IMG_1383

Linen closet. We’ll probably use it as a pantry instead.

IMG_1384

Coat closet.

IMG_1385

Family room/dining area. It’s big. Adam measured it. We’re probably going to have to build our own baby gate because it would cost $330 to buy a wide enough one with enough extensions to reach across the room {plus shipping}.

IMG_1386 IMG_1387

So, there’s a peek at the new place. I cannot WAIT to get in there and decorate for Christmas!!!

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Have I Mentioned I’m Impulsive?

I met Adam August 27th, 2005. Two weeks later we were in a ring shop looking at engagement rings. Exactly four months later, on December 27th, 2005 we got hitched. Yes, I know how crazy that sounds.

Two weeks after we asked ourselves “hey, what if we moved to Canada?” we were crossing the border.

So yeah…we make big decisions quickly and go for it. So far it’s worked out really well for us.

Here’s the newest one…we’re moving {again}. See, unfortunately our two fur babies have been getting more and more aggressive with our real baby. They attack her. She has been bitten and scratched and my mama-bear instincts won’t stand for it anymore. They may not sound like serious injuries but cat bites can actually be very, very nasty. I also don’t want Lucy growing up with a fear of animals because the animals in her own life are cuddly sometimes and unpredictably violent at other times. It’s sad for me. And I feel guilty for “divorcing” my cats. But I keep telling myself, the cats are cats. Lucy is my daughter. And she comes first. So, we’re paying a forfeit fee and taking them to the shelter tonight. :(

What does that have to do with moving? Well, we’re in our current place because it was the only place we could find that welcomed both children and animals. It’s bigger than we need. It’s got some issues we don’t like. And it’s in a neighborhood we have grown to hate. Once we had made the decision to say goodbye to the kittehs we wondered if we might be able to find a smaller, cheaper place to live since we’d no longer need a pet-friendly rental. And we did. And I’m in love with it. Why?

  • It has carpet. No more ugly foam mats to protect Lucy’s little knees. No more falls and bonks on a hard floor.
  • It has a normal-sized refrigerator that isn’t leaking cold air.
  • It has a dishwasher.
  • It has lots of space where it counts. In our current place we have more space than we really need, but it’s all in the basement/rooms we don’t use. The new place has lots of space in the kitchen, the family room, and the dining area! In fact…it’s spacious enough in the living area that we’ll now be able to fit all the people we want to invite for Lucy’s birthday party! Yay!
  • No more stairs! There are stairs to get up to the apartment. But there are none in our living space. I hate stairs. Knowing I don’t have to walk up and down stairs every time Lucy needs a diaper change or I need to use the bathroom makes me want to do a happy dance.
  • It’s within walking distance to the library. I repeat, it is within walking distance TO THE LIBRARY. I cannot begin to describe how happy that makes me…you know, the bibliophile without a car all day because Adam takes it for school/work?
  • Walk-in-closet. *swoon* And it’s a niiiice closet with lots of shelves and multiple bars at different heights and magical fairy dust.
  • Nice, new windows (did I mention it was renovated about a year ago?). That means no more cold, Canadian, winter air pouring in our home through gaps between the glass and the wall.
  • The only utility we pay is electric.
  • The building is nice and secure. You can’t enter without a key or without being buzzed in. And there are security cameras in the hallways. Medicine Hat isn’t exactly the crime capital of Canada. But I can be a bit paranoid some times. So the security definitely appeals to me.
  • It has those fancy hot water heaters that provide instant, on demand, unlimited, hot water. Um…maybe that’s a bad thing because it will probably mean I’ll use up the city’s entire water supply taking hot showers/baths and that’s maybe not so good for the planet…
  • It’s just really pretty.

The one drawback is that there is no in-suite laundry. That means we’ll be washing the cloth diapers in the coin-op down the hall (but at least I don’t have to go up and down stairs to do it). Paying for laundry always sucks, but even taking that into account we’ll be saving money in our new place. {If you’ve ever done cloth diapers with coin-op laundry please leave any advice in the comments.}

We’re going over there today to take some measurements (so we know what kind of baby gate to get) and to drop off some paperwork. I’ll try and take some pictures while I’m there. We move in Dec 1st. So…yeah…I’m going to be REALLY busy in the coming days. In addition to moving and all the hassle that entails I’m still doing NaNoWriMo {I don’t think I’m going to finish by the 15th but I still hope to finish early}, I’ve got a few clients at the moment, I’m planning Lucy’s birthday party, I’ve got some Christmas crafts {advent calendar and some gifts} that need to be finished, and Adam is approaching finals and picked up some extra hours at work recently. So, we’re sorta, kinda, maybe a little busy right now. That means the blog posts will be sporadic at best until some time in December. But oh boy, once they get going again you are going to be pleased. I’m going to have posts about the new apartment {with pictures of course}, posts about the holidays, posts about Lucy’s AWESOME party that I’m currently preparing for, some product reviews/giveaways, and, you know, my usual awsomeness. ;)

Life’s a crazy adventure. Wish us luck!

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Monday, November 9

NaNoWriMo (sneak peak)

ETA: Adam said I might want to point out that this is NOT Twilight fanfic. In fact, this is the antithesis to Twilight as far as the message of the story.

I always thought I’d be too embarrassed to share excerpts from my NaNoWriMo novel…but I’ve had a lot of people curious about it. So I’m gonna just post a few snippets and hit the “publish” button really quickly before I can chicken out? OK? Here we go…{no laughing and remember this is YA fiction}!

He didn't like the idea of me spending 4 years and tens of thousands of dollars for no degree. I tried to point out that an art degree is almost as worthless as no degree at all so it really made no difference.

“It's OK.” He said. “I'm Erik.”

“Eleanor Whidstoe” I replied.

“Ew.”

“What?”

“E-W. Your intials spell 'ew.'” Great. The first thing he had noticed about me was that my name was gross.

“What the hell, Erik! You bit me!” I touched the side of my neck and looked at my hand. The lighting was dim, but I could barely make out blood, and I could feel it. “I'm bleeding! What is your malfunction? What, are you a vampire now?” I hissed sarcastically. He just stood there for a moment, eyes wide and then he said

“Yes.”

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Thursday, November 5

NaNoWriMo, an update

NaNoWriMo is going well…which explains why I’m not writing much here. ;)

Depending on if you trust Open Office, Google Docs, or the NaNoWriMo site I’ve written 14,250 words, 13,955 words, or 13,796 words so far. Unfortunately the NaNoWriMo site is the count that counts in the end {yes, I’m punny, deal with it}. But I’d much rather say I’ve written 14,250 words, wouldn’t you?

Either way, I’m pretty pleased. Just to put things in perspective for you, as of today, to be on target for finishing by November 30th I need to have 8,335 words written. Adam has challenged me to finish half-way through the month and then start editing during the second half. That would require writing 3,600+ words per day from now until the 15th. That’s over twice as much as the regular daily word quota. But I think I’m going to go for it. Writing is going waaaay better than I expected, even with Lucy out and about instead of trapped in my belly. And I’m enjoying my story so far.

And with that brief update I go back to my novel.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo? How goes it?

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Monday, November 2

Thespian

Did you know I’m an actress? Well, I am. I started doing musical theatre when I was just a little kid. I love being on the stage. But I also love being in front of the camera. Maybe you’ve seen some of my work?
voyager firefly glee cast house cast star wars
buffy-cast1
The Whedon shows were probably my favorite ones to be a part of. But getting to sing and dance on Glee has been fantastic so far. I’ve met so many wonderful people through my acting career. It’s been fantastic. There’s a biographic movie in the works. They wanted to get Angelina Jolie to play the role of me, but I said “She’s a hack. I’ll play myself thankyouverymuch.”
There you have it, the highlights of my life as a thespian. It’s not the only career I’ve dabbled in. I’ll have to write posts about the others. Remind me to tell you about the time I designed the Large Hadron Collider.
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