Monday, May 23, 2011


Today I talked to my baby cousin Colleen. She's 24, has a degree, and works full time but to me baby always comes first. We grew up like sisters, spending countless hours on the weekends and over the summers doing nothing and everything together.

She's on her way to Europe for a few weeks and wanted to say bye before she left. It's a bit of a habit that we have, even when life has gotten in the way of regular calls.

For just a moment I was wistful for my single days. I had been talking to my mom, lamenting the fact that this was my first time without a valid passport since I was 18. That's not so bad, but there is no need for a passport anywhere in on the horizon, when the phone rang.

My old passport is well worn and full of stamps. Ten years ago this month I got on my first plane to Europe. Two weeks of learning about social justice in Ireland. That trip kicked off visits to 25 countries over the next 4 years. Trips where I learned about the world and myself at the same time.

In those trips and resulting tales I inspired Colleen. After my mom she was the most interested in my pictures and stories. When Coleen started planning her first semester abroad she called me full of excitement. We talked packing, itineraries and hair. I visited Nice through her stories and photos. Then she thanked my for getting her inspired about studying abroad. And helping her mom to see that she would come home in one piece.

Now she's on another trip, making memories, ready to take pictures and bring back stories. I am excited for the experiences she will have.

I love my husband. My son. Our home. My life overall.

I also don't spend money I don't have.

But there was a little piece of me that wanted to jump on the plane with her and spend three weeks exploring.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Each day you manager to get cuter. And your personality explodes.

I was trying to explain your temperament to some ladies at a conference last week. We use a video that goes through temperaments- flexible, fearful and feisty. My dear, though i didn't want to admit it, you are feisty. I was originally going to say flexible, but you are flexible until you're not getting your way. Then we're all in trouble.

This is especially fun when paired with your 2 favorite things to go after- cords and plastic bags- and your newfound mobility. The rolling got us into a little trouble. But this week your Dad and I realized we are skewed. As if to celebrate your eight month birthday, you started army crawling on Monday. It's not all that efficient. Or graceful. But it gets you places.

The extension cord you Dad has been using for his computer has been your favorite goal. On Wednesday I grabbed a few things for dinner from Target on the way home. I absentmindedly put the bags down and then put you on your play gym 3 feet away while I grabbed your dinner. In less than 2 minutes you had grabbed a bag, turned it upside down and were vigorously shaking it. When we take these things away from you we get thrashing and tears. But we need to if you're still going to be with us long enough to read these posts.

You are getting stronger when standing. You look for every opportunity to pull up and then do your head banging bounce.

In the early morning when I bring you into our bed in the hopes of a little more sleep you look at your Dad and start babbling. Loudly. Definitely a trait you got from him. But you are excited to see him. I smile with my eyes closed, waiting the requisite 5 minutes before I ask him to please take you downstairs. The key seems to be gently getting you into bed already asleep with crossed toes.

In the past week food has also clicked for you. You've also done ok with cereal, but veggies and fruit were hit or miss. Maybe the ear infections played a part. You've averaged a tablespoon or so of solids until the past week and now you're eating three that and looking for more. So far we've covered sweet potatoes, butternut squash, green beans (your previous fav), bananas, mangoes, plain greek yogurt (wish we had recorded this one- best faces ever), carrots and applesauce. I think we should do tofu next. Dad does not like this idea.

Your father and I can't wait to see who you will become. It's exciting to see your personality forming. I will always cherish your newborn days (and that lack of mobility thing) but I'm so excited about what's to come.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sewing machine love

Baby D is doing better, which means mama has time for crafting. Too bad the sewing machines are all temporarily out of commission. Yes machines plural.

Machine A was left in the basement of the house we moved into when i was 15. It's lived in Pittsburgh, DC, and Denver since then. I'd fiddled with it a few times here and there- all unsuccessfully. When I was pregnant and the sewing bug hit full force I took it in to see what was wrong. I can't remember the details, just the $165 price tag.

I went back and forth. I can get a new machine with fancy stitches for that much. But it's a solid machine with metal insides. I was talking to a coworker about this and another offered her grandmother's machines, leading to machines B & C.

Machine B- A Montgomery Wards machine, circa the 1980's. It does the basics well. At least until I took the bobbin casing apart to clean it and messed it all up. I only ever work on it when I'm ready to sew- aka impatient.

Machine C- is an old Necchi that has 10 or so programmed stitches. It does the basics just fine, but with a squeak that made me fret a bit. I oiled all of the visible parts, but didn't want to unscrew any panels (see machine B's story). In one of those round about conversations with the maintenance guy at office 2 he shared that he used to be a commercial sewing machine repair person. I asked about the squeak. He offered to take a look.

So right now the closest to working machine is sitting in his shop. Half naked and soaking in oil.

Baby shoes, a tshirt tote, my first quilt (getting the layers together) and so much more are ready.