OK there is  A LOT of teething going on around here. Like A  LOT. Ella will essentially chew on everything, anything and all things. She especially loved the beads Anneliese had so I thought I could do something wooden. And cute. So I made a necklace. No, not for her. For meeeee. Because since I’m usually holding her and she’s trying to chew on my face (no, really, she’ll put ANYTHING in her mouth) she can grab this. Alternatively this could be shortened and left in a string for her to chew on (or tied in a circle like a standard teething ring). Or she can just take it off me. (But in that instance I would remove the ribbon so she doesn’t swallow it cause she would TOTALLY swallow it)

Here it is:

Get this stuff.

~a piece of fabric at least 44 inches long (or sew some together to equal that length)

~beads: 1 inch (9 or more or less)

~ribbon: 2 feet

~scissors, sewing machine

FYI: This uses small beads. That are a choking hazard. See:

*Don’t worry we are going to take an extra precaution.

First cut your fabric into a 3.5 inch X 44 inch strip. I use a rotary cutter cause I’m cool like that.

Then, sew it using a 1/4 inch seam:

Then, just to be safe, cause we don’t want any baby to choke, sew it AGAIN at 1/8th inch. If you want to be really really sure sew it a third time:

Then turn it inside out (I used a safety pin) and tie a knot about 4 inches from one end:

And stuff and bead in there:

And tie another knot and do it again. (It’s helpful if you twist the fabric a bit before you knot it so it’s tight):

(zIt’s also helpful if you get a manicure before you post a blog tutorial that features your sad hands.)

Keep doing this until you have about six inches left. This for me was 9 beads. (Perfect cause 9 is my favorite number):

Then tie a length of ribbon about a foot long to each end and cut  off the excess ribbon/fabric (make sure and cut the ribbon on the diagonal or somethin fancy like that so it doesn’t unravel on you). It’s awesome that ‘fray’ is in because you don’t have to sew the ends. BUT if you want to, tuck the ends in and sew the ribbon inside. I did not.

Because I’m lazy.

And that’s it:

Like I said if you’d like to make this more of a teething ring then just make it shorter (5 or 6 beads probably) and tie the ends together.

I like it cause it’s cute (even if it is a little more than I’d usually wear for jewelry) and functional. And Ella, well she put it right in her mouth. Approved!

 

crafting , crafts , ella

This is an ode to Flashback Friday, which I do not usually participate in (because by Friday I’ve usually forgotten what day of the week it is entirely). I bring to you waaaaaaaay back Thursday.

I mean WAY back.

It’s meeeeeee.

Aged 6 months. And presumably not yet crawling. And nekkid.

And bathing beauty. What a glorious mustard colored bathtub we had. Did I OWN clothes?

Oh LOOK I did own clothes. Here’s me, 8 months, on my dad’s Harley. That’s how I roll yo.

And me and muh maw on the Harley. My mom was a hot-tay.  And a fashionista. Seriously. Look at those pants.

Also that bike is custom and my dad painted all that flame-y business. By hand y’all.

Here they are. In all their hairblowinginthewind glory. My parents are FAM-OUS.

Chopper magazine 1973:

(not really)

Happy Thursday y’all.

MEEEEEE , way back thursday

Warning: This post contains a curse word. It’s asshole. Apologies. Also I may or may not say shit, I haven’t decided yet. Oh and damn. Well there’s a lot of curse words in here. It’s that kind of post.

That’s right, I said it, the “g” word. Guilt.

You know you’ve felt it.

You felt it that time you bribed your kids with McDonalds because you just wanted them to let you get the shopping done and you would have given your left dang arm to get out of there alive. So you did it. Health be damned. And then, damn, I fed my kids McDonalds. Crap. They are DEFINITELY going to get heart disease. And it’s my fault.

You felt it when you gave your 3 year old  a sucker for pooping on the potty. But dangit if you didn’t want to change one more poopy diaper. You would have found that kid a pony if he’d have crapped on the toilet. And then, damn, I’m probably destroying his teeth. Great.

You felt it when you yelled at your kids for leaving their shoes in front of the door for the fortieth time today. But if you tripped on those shoes one more stinkin time someone was going to get something so much worse than a yelling. They weren’t even gonna need shoes anymore. And then, damn, I’m not supposed to yell. Perfect.

You felt it when you said your 13 year old was acting like an asshole. Even though he was totally acting like an asshole. You shouldn’t have told him he was. Even if he TOTALLY WAS.  Damn, that was harsh. Awesome. (This actually happened here like two days ago)

You felt it when you caught your 6 month old watching {WHATDIDYOUSAY} TV. And you let her. Because her watching Blues Clues meant you had five minutes to fold a quarter of a load of laundry. And HELLO you have four kids and you do 87 loads of laundry a week (ok it’s only like 18 but STILL). But now, damn, she’s probably brain damaged. Her IQ just dropped 10 points because you weren’t interacting with her. She’s NEVER going to get into Berkeley now and it’s your fault.

You felt it when you {ohmigawdgasp} got an epidural after you SWORE you’d do it all naturally. But holymotherofgod contractions HURT. Why didn’t someone tell you how bad they HURT? THEYHURTSOBAD. You weren’t prepared. But then, damn, what is everyone going to think? I’m a wuss. Outstanding.

Or when you got a c-section because you’d been in labor for 172 hours and The Doctor came in like the knight in shining armour that he was and said “I think we should….” and he didn’t even have to finish his sentence because if he had said “…jump off the Golden Gate Bridge”, you totally would have opted right out of labor to do it. You were that tired. But then, damn, you didn’t do it ‘natural’.  Fantastic.

You felt it when you were in the shower and the baby started crying but dangit if it wasn’t the first time in a hundred thousand days you were actually going to shower AND shave your legs and you had to because your husband was starting to mistake your leg for his in the middle of the night. SO you finished. You HAD to. But then, damn, are your legs more important than your child. You’re a selfish jerk. Shit.

You’ve felt it.

I’ve felt it.

And I want us to stop it.

I want us to. Stop. Feeling. Guilty.

OK You should feel guilty about some things. You should. You should feel guilty if you eat out every single day. You should definitely feel guilty if you haven’t hugged your kids in any amount of time you can remember. You should feel guilty if your kids think your pajamas are regular clothes and that you live on the couch (and you should get some help). You should feel guilty if your kids think ketchup is a vegetable (actually, that one is debatable). But you should definitely pick your guilt battles with yourself…

You shouldn’t feel guilty for eating a piece of cake.

Unless you eat cake for every meal. Then yeah, we’ve got a problem.

But when it comes to parenting… stop beating yourself up.

Example: I would NEVEREVEREVEREVER in a millionzilliontrilliongazillion years let my baby cry it out. (Also known as CIO in the Attachment Parenting community.) Never. Ever.

Ever.

Wellllll. Never ever until my 14 month old child hadn’t slept in 14 months. And therefore I’d hadn’t slept in 14 months. And 14 months is a loooog time. And I was working full time. And nursing all night. And I. Was. Exhausted. And when I say exhausted I mean tired to the point of hallucination. Tired to the point that I would literally rather have DIED than have gone one more night without sleep.  Then I might, just maybe stand by her bed and let that child cry. To sleep. Because I was out of options. And I truly and honestly didn’t know what else to do.

And I’d probably feel guilty about it. Perhaps I’d spend the rest of the child’s life feeling guilty about it.

Or I could just say to myself, “Self, you did the best you could. Forgive yourself and move on.”

Example #2: Perhaps you planned to breastfeed. Because you know that breastfeeding is hands down the best and most healthy choice for your beautiful baby. So let’s say the baby is born and he doesn’t latch right and your nipples are bleeding and you’re afraid he’s starving because all he’s drinking is the blood from your bloody nipple and you have no help, no where to turn, no one to ask. And you’re pretty sure your nipple is going to actually fall right off. And so, in desperation, you give your baby a bottle. Of FORMULA. {GASP} And that means your milk doesn’t come in. And the cycle continues. And the next thing you know it, you’re bottlefeeding.

Crap.

And you feel guilty. Because you should have tried harder. You should have pumped longer. Shoulda Shoulda Shoulda.

Or you can say to yourself, “Self, you did the best you could. Forgive yourself and move on.”

Here’s another example that I recently dealt with: I practice attachment parenting. I practiced attachment parenting before attachment parenting had a name and a book. It was what I thought was logical. Feed your baby with your boobs. Whenever they are hungry. Keep them close to you. Wear them. Love them. Guide them gently. Mother lovingly. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Logical. Right?

But then I found out it was a ‘thing’. Oh Attachment Parenting you mean. Oh yes. yes. MMMhmmmm. That’s me. I’m an Attached Parent. I do ALL of those things. I’m so super ATTACHED. I am The Attached Parent.

Wait.

{begin PG-13 section}

I want to have sex with my husband. Soooo I’m going to put the baby in her bed to start the night. Because I want to have sex. In my bed. Uh oh. Hang on. Let me go to the API website and check. Crap. That’s not bedsharing. WAIT. Does that mean I’m not an ATTACHED PARENT? Uh oh. I’m not sure. Let me think about this. Maybe we better put the baby in our bed and I’ll nurse her to sleep and then I’ll slip out quietly and put on lingerie and then we better just have sex on the sofa. Yeah. Ok. That’s fine. Cause the baby is in our bed. So I’m still an Attached Parent.

Phew. That was a close call. I almost lost my title.

WHAT?

My baby is sleeping safely, snugly and happily in her CRIB and then she wakes up and comes to my bed.

Oh and guess what… I have sex. With my husband. Like at night and everything. It’s cra-zay.

{end PG13 section}

I’m not saying I advocate CIO or bottle feeding (because I don’t). And I do bedshare. Because I’m a mammal and I think babies are meant to be close to their parents. When they need you. I think you should comfort your baby. If you can. And you should breastfeed. Unless something happens and you absolutely cannot. What I am saying is, if you did your BEST, the BEST you could, you should move on.

Move on.

We moms LOVE guilt. It’s our FAVorite. We feel like we have to EARN the right to be proud of ourselves. Like if I can’t blog and be an outstanding patient parent and be a super awesome sexy wife and sew a dress and be at two band performances and teach the baby sign language and do elimination communication and co-sleep and help with algebra and have an etsy store and exercise 3 days and cook healthy homemade food and bake a cake ALL. THIS. WEEK. Then I’ve failed. As a mother. As a human. And I’ve failed all the other mothers before me. And all of mankind. For eternity.

When did we decide success meant we had to be all do all have all know all?

Now. I think some guilt can be GOOD. When applied properly it is a good motivator and makes us strive to be better. I mean if you think it’s ok to feed your kid cake for breakfast every day then yeah, feel a little guilty and maybe pop some wheat bread in the toaster. But the problem with this overwhelming guilt is that is PARALYZES us. It may not seem like it but it does. It makes us feel like we are failing and thus it makes us afraid to further fail. And it stops us in our tracks.

So have some guilt. Just a little bit. But have cake too.

life’s too short ya’ll

j-diddle

mothering , self-love , serious stuff

Well here we are again. It’s Monday and me with no ‘real’ blog post. So more photos ya’ll.

A picture is worth a thousand words… or so they say. So here goes:

It rained. A lot.

There was a pile of babies:

There were sister hugs:

And brother hugs:

There were awards given to this guy:

A word about the Big Kids… I know it looks like I don’t love them because this blog is full of photos of Ella. It’s not true though. I DO love them it’s just that 1. many times they refuse having their photo taken 2. They aren’t always here 3. I am often hearing “I don’t want to tell you MOOOOM (or have you take my picture) cause you’re gonna put it on your blog.” That pretty much sums it up. They no longer live in a world where they are blissfully unaware of their lives being documented for the world to witness. Also aside from the 15 year who absolutely can’t see herself enough (healthy self-esteem we like to call it) the boys don’t really want to see themselves in photos.

Anyway moving on…

There was a concert:

In fact there was lot of music being played. Both on vinyl and live:

Sunday. I ran. If you can call it that. It more like a sad display of me trying to not A. Have a cardiac arrest B. Trip and fall on a public street C. Knock myself out with my own cleavage.

I survived.

Oh also there was eating. A lot. Cake. Omelets. Pancakes. Oh my. (You see now why I had to risk my life running).

Sunday there was Cost Plus. Oh the joy of it all:

I didn’t make much in the way of crafts… Because there was teething crabbiness:

Oh AND because Ella kept attacking my yarn:

There was precious little of this:

And therefore precious little blogging as well.

I don’t know how legit mommy bloggers do it. I just don’t have time for it all and blogging is item #87 on the list. And right now there is a baby trying to eat this laptop.

Until next time.

j-diddle

iphone photo monday

Recently (ok, today) the 11 year old got an award at school for something. I wish I could tell you what the award was actually FOR but to be perfectly honest I’m not really sure. And the reason I’m not sure is it seems like kids get awards for just about anything these days. Like if you showed up and didn’t punch anyone in the face… CONGRATS you get an award for Citizenship. You sir, are a good Citizen. Because you went to school and when some kid made a joke about yo mama you didn’t kick him in the man business. Well done.

Don’t get me wrong…. I’m a big fan of positive reinforcement. I firmly believe in Shamu Parenting. Serious. But COME ON. Must kids DO nothing to get awarded for just existing? Have we reached the point of such desperation that we now award people for just showing up? I made the honor roll EVERY FLIPPIN QUARTER When I Was A Kid. Most of the time with a 4.0. AND furthermore I never punched anyone in the face (ok once I punched Vernon Avila because he told the entire school I wasn’t a virgin after he kissed me inside a tractor tire. Which was NOT TRUE. Cause I was 8. Turns out he didn’t even know what a virgin was. And I only threatened to hit him with a rock. So… bygones.) Anyway I didn’t cut school. I came almost every day (like it or not, cause I had to be bleeding from my eyes to miss school). I even managed to get good grades while my mom was getting married and divorced and married and divorced and not even home… and you get the idea. And no one ever gave me any kind of award for any of that. My award was… wait for it… an EDUCATION.

While I don’t begrudge the kids their ‘Citizenship’ and ‘Merit’ I’m really just kind of jealous that those kind of awards don’t exist for adults.

For example:

Did you get out of bed this morning? Was it DESPITE having been up all night with a teething baby or someone with a fever or someone throwing up on you?

BAM. You get the ‘I Didn’t Want To But I Did Anyway’ award. Cause I’m THAT good.

Did your toddler poop on the floor? For the third time today? Or did your 12 year old spill yet ANOTHER glass of juice on the couch because he was watching tv instead of looking at his glass? Did your 15 year old take your blush? AGAIN? And through all of this did you manage to not scream? Or maybe you screamed, but it was just a little bit?

Oh SNAP. For you, the ‘I Can Get Through a Day Without Strangling Anyone or Running For The Hills Screaming’ award.

Did you look in the fridge and concoct something for dinner out of some tortillas and a couple of wrinkly apples and some half molded cheese? Because you wanted to get to the store but you just couldn’t on account of the fact that you couldn’t bring yourself to get out of your pj pants? Because of the aforementioned vomit/teeth/fever?

Well ALRIGHTY. For you, the ‘I Make Food Magically Appear’ award.

OK lets say it was a REALLY bad day and ALL you managed to do was keep the cranky baby fed and changed and you never got a shower or got to brush your hair or teeth but that’s ok cause the baby didn’t die?

AMEN sister. You get the ‘SHUT YO MOUTH HATERZ I kept the Baby ALIVE’ award. Well done. Mission accomplished.

I had a 10 and half pound baby. In MY KITCHEN.

I’m giving myself the ‘HOLY SHIT You Had a 10 and Half Pound HUMAN BEING in YOUR KITCHEN’ award. I deserve it. Totally. If that was all I did ALL YEAR, it really should suffice.

My husband? He worked 16 hours a day almost every day this week (and actually every day of the last 3 weeks). The majority of it away from his family, eating food he concocted in a microwave with two day old french fries and sitting in an office until 10 pm, usually alone, and he didn’t get any kind of award. (Though he did get his paycheck which is LIKE an award but somehow seems inadequate in the face of a zillion hour workweek.) What he got was hearing his crying wife say she was going to pull her hair out. Oh AND to sleep in an uncomfortable bed.

I’m giving him the ‘I Have No Idea What You Did But WOW You Did It’ award. You’re awesome honey. You survived.

And me? Well I kept the kids alive while he was gone. Despite getting very little sleep (see: teething up all night award), having a few moments of tears (ok maybe a few more than a few) and eating cereal for dinner. Twice. There should be points for all that too. Even though nothing earthshattering happened. I didn’t get the toilets scrubbed but I did mop twice because of Mange-y Dog hair. Oh AND I made the bed. THREE TIMES. Award for me.

I think you get what I’m saying. There are days when I get up and I have really good intentions. Like I MEAN to make a dress or headband. OR I WANT to bake something really yummy. Or some days I just aim to get my sheets changed. Some days I want to go shopping. Some days I want to write a blog post or call an old friend (you Holly).

Some days none of those things happen.

Some days I just keep the kids alive.

And some days, that’s enough.

Points for participation people.
For the love of motherhood,

j-diddle

children , mother , mothering , OVERACHIEVERITIS , parenting , whine