Friday, February 26, 2010

baby legs and mittens

it's been snowing here. a lot. we love to play in it. one of the best things about it is being out doors and the distraction giving me a little freedom from the million questions and the mommy this and mommy that for an hour or three. that snowy solace was being interrupted by having to pull the jacket sleeves over the mittens every 4 seconds. for a skinny, string bean of a boy who's coat still fits with room to spare, but the sleeves are getting too short. not fun. for me or the boy. i mean you can't really enjoy building snow forts and snow furniture, a luge and having snow picnics when you have to stop every 4 seconds to get your annoyed mom to pull your sleeves down and re-velcro them. really now. so one of these days we were out there and i had an idea! i have a bunch of baby legs. they are great for that gap between shoe and pants when you're baby wearing. they're great for under pants instead of long johns so you can get them on and off with out taking pants off every time. they're great instead of tights so the littles can still run around without shoes and not slip. love em. and NOW they are also great for holding on mittens. wahla. i just put them on his arms, pull the end over the mittens and i NEVER fix them again! they get soaking wet and i think i may try to make him a pair for next winter out of something a bit waterproof. but they do the trick. snow solace once again!

rowan in his striped baby legs on his arms holding on his mittens

hazel in the snow and her sunglasses. she's 21 1/2 months old and she insists on choosing everything she wears. her baby legs are on under her snow suit. she doesn't like the snow in her eyes, she likes to wear a visor somedays instead of the glasses.

this moment

inspired by soule mamma's this moment

Sunday, February 7, 2010

purple butterflies

hazel, my baby girl. she's about 21months old. when i was pregnant with her i was petrified. my son of a handful. (a handful i LOVE and wouldn't trade for the world, but a handful nonetheless) he needs a lot of attention, always has. my pregnancy with him reflected his personality, so did his birth and up to and beyond his 22 months of life which is when i became pregnant with his sister. i was petrified that this second baby would take as much as the first; and i thought i would die. i'm not even being dramatic here, i really didn't see how i would care for 2 needy individuals myself and my husband. i also couldn't see how i could love another baby. everyone told me it would work out, it would take 2 seconds and i would never know how i lived without this second baby. my mom put it quite nicely when she said that it was like falling in love with the first one but this time rowan would be falling in love with us. ok, yea, yea, i still wasn't sold. then she was born, it was swift and easy going, just like her. (i'm not saying birth was easy! just compared to the first time....swift, definitely swift.) and i was in love, all before breakfast. and to top it off she is 180 degrees from her brother, so i did not die. phew. fast forward to this day right now and man what a moron i was, really? i thought i wouldn't love her? geeze this kid rocks. she is so cool and funny and smart and sweet and i can't even remember life without her. i can't even imagine life without her! she loves to try new things and be outside and i have visions of taking off to london with her, when she's older, for four days just to explore because i know she'd be game and an awesome time.

the pants, what does this have to do with pants? right, right, back to the two of her favorite things: russian stacking dolls and butterflies. so i was in the fabric store and i saw this material, she also digs purple although green is her favorite color, and i had to make her some pants. she loves them. i love her. i plan on embroidering her a little butterfly on a shirt to kind of go with. we'll see.

anyway i used advice from the creative family by amanda blake soule where she shows how to make kid pants out of an old shirt. i had made pants from hazel this way from some old jeans last april. well i say april, it took me 2 months to make these jeans. she says in the book they are 15 min pants... rowan helped, we had a blast. this is what started our sewing together.

hazel in april 2009, 13 months old wearing jeans made from my old jeans. the ones that ripped off me at the library. ok that's the 2nd time that's come up already in the short life of this blog. i may need to tell you all that story in detail...!

so there you have it. purple, shinny, shimmery, butterfly pants. and z says "my paaants! my paaaants! i loooove my paaants! thaaaank you mommy!" (she has a southern twang. i don't know how my kids have that? we live in jersey for pete's sake! rowan says L: ellllll.)

detail of the pants. so i'm really happy i made them but this is the wrong material for pants. she wore them all day and the seam split in the back even though i had reinforced it. there is no stretch and the material frays a lot. it was hard to work with.

ok so now the following you will probably only be interested in if you are related, so just an fyi gratuitous kid shots coming up. i haven't posted this for a week because i was waiting to get a picture of her in them. well it snowed and we were hanging out all day and i got 100 pictures of her in them. and rowan too. they are silly kids. i love them.

she adores him

does everything he does

playing "babies" that's what she calls her stacking dolls

she likes to be the "tiny baby" cause "she's so tiny!"

making "baby" shadows

so there you have it. purple butterfly pants for the happiest girl i know.

and one more pic of the king and queen.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

six degrees of righteous babeness

feb 2, outside the state theater in new brunswick

i went out last night. no big deal you say, but it was. i haven't gone out at night, by myself in almost 2 years. and the last time was for this same reason, but in nyack and with a bunch of other performers for a benefit. and i wasn't really alone, hazel was with me, in my belly. which is really cool, because i kind of had this feeling she was a she, and that she was a z, (that's what we call her around here and inutero she was baby z). and i was talking to her the whole way and she really enjoyed the music, she was grooving in there. we made a date to go together when she's like 10. but i don't know if she put it in her calender...

my kids like to go to sleep with me and hazel, is still nursing at 21mo. putting them to bed is usually a 2 person affair that i can do on my own, and i do when tom is out, but it usually isn't fun. or saturn, mars and jupiter need to be perfectly aligned. and for tom, he's usually my wingman, he'd never done it on his own till this night. and he took on this task for me. (which he totally nailed and even did the dishes by the way, holy awesomeness to come home to! thank you tom!) so i could go see one of my favorite artists, ani di franco. she's a folk singer, writer, activist, all around awesome woman, she rocks and inspires.

it was amazing. and not only was it a really cool boost to my soul to be in her presence but i was 6, yes SIX! rows away, smack in the center, perfectly lined up with this most righteous babe. she was singing to me i tell you, blissful. i really love her songwriting, singing, energy... she's great.

and to top off all her greatness when she gave birth to her baby daughter petah she did so at home with a midwife, just like me. (and our midwives are friends...cosmic) i didn't know that about her till almost a year after because i didn't even know she was pregnant. i had rowan and he was small i wasn't keeping up with much news. if i had known she was pregnant i would have sent her a copy of ina may. but she already had one, of course she already had one! i found this out because when i was pregnant for the 2nd time, my favorite parenting magazine came and there she was on the cover with her family. right on ani! i gave birth for the second time in my home with her and her family on my nightstand. i keep that copy in there, just for fun, universal, women connectedness...

so anyway last night rocked. it really did. life is good. as one of her new songs states, "if you're not getting happier as you get older, you're fucking up." yup, yup, true and check, definite happiness increasing with my age. she sung a new song about overexposure, "every time i open my mouth i take off all my clothes" and being frostbit from it, yeah, i can relate to that. she sung about being a new mom, freedom, politics, suffering, science, humanity, love.

she closed at 10:28, with 32 flavors, which i was hoping she would sing, because really, "i am a poster girl with no poster". i am, i really, really am. it was her last song and i stood to groove to it with the rest of the crowd, tears in my eyes. why does this woman elicit such strong emotion from me? maybe because she is so truthful, energetic, creative; she wears her heart on her sleeve, saying what has to be said... like someone i know.

"surround yourself with who you are and aspire to be, it makes being a strong, smart, talented woman easier in this world" (anonymous)

thank you ani!

Monday, February 1, 2010

1 year of knitting invisible nets of love

january 31st 2009 is the day i learned to knit. a wonderful woman named diane taught me at close knit yarns. i started making a scarf. this is how far i've gotten.
it's 10.5". i am the slowest knitter in history. i think the pattern was too hard for my first time. i am a very hands on learner, i'm ambidextrous, i'm a potter, a glassblower, an overachiever. i'm good with my hands soooo i think i fooled diane. she was impressed with how fast i picked it up so she said try this, you can do it. and it's true i can do it. just not quick, not at night when i'm toast, not when someone is talking to me, including the tv and definitely not a few knits here or there. (knits... what is it even called when you do like 2 little loops? a knit? a stitch?) i keep losing track and have to count to see if i am P or K. it is an easy pattern though, it's just ribbed, it was in a free book at the store. i'm using size 7 needles. i cast on 44 stitches. (which i don't even remember how to do anymore) and then the right side is K2, P1 (K2, P2) then last 3 are K2, P1, K2 then the wrong side is K3, (P2, K2)then last 3 are K3. i'm using cascade yarns 109 tweed orange LE.

so my progress is slow, yes. and my cousin tonya said to try something easier, she is right and i've been planning on starting another thing. i just have not got back there to have some one help me pick something out and help me remember how to cast on.

BUT i love the experience, i really loved sitting in the knitting store surrounded by all the yarns, and textures and women knitting. i love the feel of the yarn in my hands, it feels warm and safe and comforting. i love the orange. when i had my first baby, my son who is now 4. i had a bit of a rough time. my midwife, doula, lactation consultant and cranial sacral therapist saved me, us. i felt like i was falling. i didn't know what to do. these women banded together and caught me, helped me, taught me, supported me and my husband. they caught us. whenever i closed my eyes during that time i felt like they were this huge, fuzzy orange net. they were there so we wouldn't fall. this orange, the yarns, the circle of women in the knitting store.... it all feels very similar. i believe in circles of strong women supporting one another. i came across this quote during my second pregnancy and it reminded me of my warm, orange net of women. "i believe that these circles of women around us weave invisible nets of love that carry us when we're weak and sing with us when we're strong" by sark from "succulent wild women". so yes i've knitted 10.5 inches but it's ok. because i love it, i love thinking of the circles of women through history and i've loved holding that yarn. something about my studio calls me, the studio where i make glass and ceramics. but it's cold there. the place is cold, the materials are cold. i like the warm of the yarn. i like sewing and knitting in my house, near my family. so this scarf may be taking a long time, but it's changing things along the way...i may be transforming more then the yarn.