Monday, January 31, 2011

My Own Sweatshop Is Just Around the Corner

My own childhood taught me that the whole purpose for children is to be the parents' personal slave army.

I fully intend to continue this cycle of power and servitude.

This was Saturday, also known as slave day (or the day we do all the chores around the house).

We started with some chillin'. I love my man's hair in this picture. Looks like a tiara!
Oh, and Joci insisted on putting on some of my Christmas socks and a shimmery cardigan on top of her pajamas. This girl has style.

She did her "homework" and "read" books. And neatly put them away when I sang the "Clean Up Song."

Next, we worked on life skills like drinking from things other than sippy cups.

So proud of her accomplishment. Also, she has a Cheeto face.

MUCH time was spent wrapping and rewrapping her baby perfectly.

I cleaned out my closet and dresser and got rid of all my clothes that don't fit, no matter how much I think they'll fit again someday. Sad that I still had stuff from my freshman year in high school in my wardrobe. I got rid of 2 overflowing laundry baskets-full. Joci bagged them all. And then pushed the bags out to the front room for me.

Pulling clean clothes out of the dryer.

And taking the damp, clean sheets out of the washer and placing them in the dryer.

Back upstairs, she unloaded all the clean laundry onto the piano bench. Her way of "folding" it, I guess.

Getting ready for bed involves putting on random big people socks.

After all that work, I think she earned a little play time.

Seriously though, Jocelyn loves nothing more than helping out. If she sees me heading downstairs with a basket of laundry she cries, whines, and pleads to come down with me. She loves it. And I love her. Happy world.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

We're Off to See the Op'ra, the Wonderful Op'ra of Vegas

This June, Justin and I will celebrate our ten year anniversary (awww!). We decided to go see The Phantom of the Opera in Las Vegas.

I have seen Phantom as a girl in Salt Lake at the Capitol Theatre. Justin has never seen it, but is familiar with the music and story. Anyway, we are really excited to see the Vegas productions of it. We want excellent seats so we dropped some ka-ching and got seats in the best section. The website actually assigned us front row seats, which I feel are too close. So I called the box office to see if I could change seats, which I can. But now I am really conflicted about where to sit!

The section we are in is called the Golden Circle (click here for an interactive view). It has rows A-T. I was leaning for maybe E or something in that ballpark, but I asked the man on the phone at the box office what he recommended, because they often know. He recommended row P, which is actually the 14th row. He said that is where the chandelier falls down and we'd be right under it and see it all. Which is exciting...but maybe 20 seconds of the show. I still want to be able to clearly see the actors, see their expressions, costumes, etc. Do I trust the box office guy? Do I trust my blind inclinations to sit closer?

So my question is...have any of you seen Phantom in Vegas? Any ideas or advice? Where should we sit?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Can't Afford to Adopt?

I received this question via FormSpring a few days ago:

What would you say to someone who is infertile and cannot afford to adopt?

First, I would give that person a hug because she would need it! I don’t know anyone who gets this kind of news who just happens to have $15,000 sitting around to adopt, so I think a lot of those wanting to adopt find themselves in this situation. I would talk to this person about some options that can help financially—the first being foster care. There are many, many beautiful, wonderful children waiting to find their forever homes and the government subsidizes a lot of the costs. Heck, I’ve even heard of people who come away with money (though, that’s not why you should do it!). I would direct this person to check out Matching Mondays on The R House blog. Every Monday, Mrs. R features waiting children—she’s even facilitated an adoption or two!

Secondly, I would talk to this person about ways to afford adoption. The government refunds up to $12,500 of adoption expenses. That lessens the burden a lot. But that refund only comes at tax time so you’d have to find a way to finance it up front. Here are some other financing ideas:

  • Would you be willing to try alternative medicine for fertility treatments if regular medicine isn’t working or you can’t afford them?
  • Ask your place of employment for assistance—even if they don’t offer it as a benefit, it doesn’t mean they won’t help
  • Adopting a child with special needs often comes with a lot of government aid and subsidies for the adoption itself and for care of the child. Look into this.
  • Fund raisers—have a garage sale, sell something at a craft fair, sale things on eBay or Craigslist. Places like Dominoes Pizza have fund raising options if you sell their coupon books…things like that.
  • Is it possible to get a second job?
  • Can you finance the adoption upfront and pay it off with the tax credit later? Have you looked into personal loans? 401(k) loans? Credit cards? By the way, I am not an accountant and cannot give financial advice. Be very careful in your decision to finance.
  • Grants—there are a lot of adoption grant programs available. Just do an internet search and see if you meet any of the requirements
  • Shop agencies. We worked with two different agencies—one had a placement fee of $10,000 while the other’s fee was $28,000.
  • Look into independent adoption. A homestudy is still required, which is several hundred dollars, but then you are on your own to find your own birth mom through pass-along cards, blogs, websites, letters sent hospitals, schools, etc. About half of all the adoptions in the US are independent adoptions, so it really can happen. You’ll also need to pay legal fees for a lawyer. But you may only end up paying $3,000 compared to $10,000-$20,000 for an agency.
  • Are you religious? Many religions have subsidized adoption programs.
I would remind her to never give up hope, because it can be so discouraging. When we adopted, it was probably the worst possible time financially for us in the past ten years of our marriage. But we survived. Things shouldn't have worked out, but they did and things going well for us now. Hopefully our next adoption won't bleed us the same way, but as they say, if you wait until everything is perfect, it will never happen. God has a plan for all of us. It requires sacrifice and faith, but doors will open. The best wisdom I could hope to impart is to stay positive.

Do any of you have any suggestions for someone in this situation?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Journal Jar: Superstitions

It's been awhile since I have done a journal jar post. Time to get on it. :)

What are some of the superstitions that you remember growing up with?

Superstitions from my childhood were mostly kid stuff. My siblings and I would hold our breath whenever we passed a cemetery. My mother thought it was so funny to drive very slowly so we were gasping for air by the time we could breathe again. Whenever we went under and underpass, we would close our eyes, plug our nose, adn hold our breath as if we were under water. When crossing a train track we either had to touch a screw or lift our feet and cross our fingers (I still do this!). We would also honk when we drove over a cattle guard to keep the trolls from slashing our tires.

Wow, lots of car stuff.

Let's see, what else?

This was more of a game than a superstition but after a bath, I would rush to get out of the bathroom before all the water drained out of the tub.

My sister Julie introduced me to the legend of Bloody Mary. To this day, I still cannot be in a dark bathroom.

Don't step on a crack or you'll break your mother's back. Who didn't do this as a child?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Justin's First Acupuncture Session

You said you wanted alternative medicine updates.

Last Thursday, Justin and I both went for acupuncture. It was Justin's first time. He was a little reluctant. Not so much about the needles or about Chinese medicine in general, but he was nervous that the guy would just be a quack. After our appointments, Justin's review was that he had never been so relaxed as during the session and then afterwards he felt very energetic, sharp, and focused like his senses were in overdrive. He also experienced the buzzing feeling during his session. He says he'll definitely go back.

I had a very stressful morning and a two-day-old migraine. It took me a while to feel really relaxed during my session, plus it was freezing in there. I finally drifted off to sleep during the last ten minutes. When Jerry came in to take the needles out, he noticed that my hands were balled up. My thumb was tucked in and all my fingers were wrapped around them. He asked me why I was holding my hands like that. I just do, especially when I sleep. He was giddy with disbelief.

Jerry told me that he had never seen an adult hold their hands like that before. Apparently by holding your hands like that, you "protect your ch'i" and prevent it from flowing out of you and prevent negative energies from flowing in. He said that is how qigong (pronounced chee-gong) masters hold their hands on purpose. Jerry said that babies hold their hands that way all the time (we've all seen that, right?) because they intrinsically know how to protect this "gift from heaven." He was just blown away that I hold my hands that way all the time, especially when sleeping.

He also said that when there's tension and negative energy in a room, just hold your hands that way and it will help protect you from that negativity. I have yet to experiment with that.

Like I said before, it took me a long time to relax and drift off to sleep because I was fighting a two-day-old migraine. When my session was over, my migraine was gone.

As far as the herbs go, they are as disgusting as ever. Taking them with orange juice is the best. The one difference I have noticed is that I seem to have more energy. Ever since a few weeks before Christmas, I have been on a horrible schedule of not going to bed until midnight or even 1 a.m giving me about five to six hours of sleep. Normally I can do this for two, maybe three nights before I just collapse on myself. Normally I have a super hard time waking in the morning and will be pounding Diet Pepsi all day. My eyes will be hella puffy in the mornings too. I have not broken this unfortunate habit and I feel normal. No extra caffeine. No puffy eyes. No afternoon dragging.

Oh, another thing I have noticed that may or may not be the herbs is that my complexion is looking good. I started going to a dermatologist last spring and I have been taking antibiotics ever since. Well, my prescription ran out in mid-December. I have been too busy/lazy to refill it. I've been worried, anticipating a big breakout which is what has happened the two other times I have let my medicine lapse. But my skin has held steady.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Double Coupon Thursdays

I recently found out that my local grocery store Broulims doubles manufacturer's coupons up to $1.00 every Thursday. And there's no limit!

I basically went through my little coupon portfolio and found all the $1.00 coupons and pretty much used them all. I got a majority of things on sale too. I'm still new to this whole couponing thing, but I'm still pretty excited.

My total was $118.53. Sales knocked off $22.55 and coupons knocked off $30.00. I ended up paying $66.88. I saved a total of $52.55 or 44%. Not bad, especially for not having to drive twenty minutes to Walmart and brave the souless hordes that frequent there.

I think Thursday shopping trips are a new tradition.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Miraculous Sight

This is seriously worth documenting.

At 5:44 p.m. on today, January the nineteenth in this the year of our Lord 2011, I saw this:

If you don't live north of the 40th parallel, you might not get what is so cool about this picture. I will tell you. Sunlight. Actual, vitamin-D infusing sunlight. Hallelujah! I totally get why the weird tree worshipping pagans of yesteryear celebrated all the soltices and stuff. It is a big freakin' deal when the sun comes back out.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Twenty-One Months

I share my house with a tiny little creature who is sometimes a cuddly mass of cuteness and sometimes a histrionic terror. But I love her either way.

She is 21 months old today.

Today during bath time, we practiced counting. I started her off.

Me: One
Joci: Two, bree, Yellow
Me: Four
Joci: Bubble
Me: Five
Joci: Ix
Me: Seven
Joci: Eight

Who knew yellow and bubble were in the basic digits. But they are.

drinking lotion, a favorite pastime
"Kaa-yee! Poppit!"

She disciplines the dog! When we eat in the dining room, we always tell our dog "Katie, carpet" to instruct the dog to sit on the carpet instead of begging right under our feet. We now have another pair of eyes keeping watch over our disobedient dog.

"Stop it!" A new phrase she says when Daddy teases her too much.

Today, she got a balloon at daycare. It was her best friend all night - although I was afraid that with all the body slamming and biting, it wouldn't make it through the night. Such a fun yet vexing toy. Every time it slipped out of her grasp and bopped up to the ceiling, the house would fill with blood-curdling screams until I placed it back in her chubby, sticky hands.

the beloved balloon

She loves her new sing-along DVDs she got for Christmas. She always asks for a "show." She opens the DVD case, opens the DVD player, removes the DVD - and she needs help getting her DVD out of the case and into the player. She then shuts the player, pushes play on it and watches it. And when it's over, she turns it off. She's awesome.

When I take a picture, I can tell her to say "cheese" and she actually looks and the camera and basically smiles. The evidence is below! Yay!

Joci has comfiscated this scarf, which was knitted for me as a Christmas present by a woman I work with.

Every day is a magical discovery. I am so glad to be this beauty's mother.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Ties of Family

I have rediscovered an old history!

My Aunt Vicki got me into it about then years ago. About five years ago I did a lot of research. My computer containing all that info crashed - but luckily Justin was able to extract the family history files onto his portable hard drive - where they have remained.

At the library a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to the young adult historical fiction section (one of my favorites) and discovered a series called The Royal Diaries which are fictionalized diaries of women of history. I grabbed Cleopatra because she's cool and Eleanor of Aquitaine because I am a descendant of hers. I finished the Eleanor book yesterday...and being curious about my relationship to this mighty queen of both France and England and the mother of King Richard the Lionheart and King John (think Prince John from Robin Hood) and other notable figures, dug out that portable hard drive.

Eleanor of Aquitaine

I was up until 3:40 a.m. (I admit it, I was way too tired to get up for church - shame on me. But in my defense, I was doing family history!)

All day today, whenever I've had time, I've been researching, finding names, and filling in blanks.

There is one line on my mother's side (the one with Eleanor of Aquitaine) that gets scrambled in Greek mythology. What do you do when all the research shows that the mother of Tros King of Troy is a water nymph and his father is Zeus??? :)

And there are lines that go back as far as Abraham in the Bible.

Cool stuff.

Finding a royal line helps so much because they kept good records. :) But I find myself more curious about the unknown names. All I can do is read between the lines to extract what I can about their lives.

Jane Taliaferro - what is your story? You were born in Virginia, in 1670. You must've grown up in a brand new colony that your parents helped settled surrounded by hardship and death. You married a man who was born in Scotland. He also died there. You gave birth on a ship sailing from Scotland to Virginia shortly after you were widowed. What took you to Scotland? How terrified you must have been to cross the Atlantic alone and heavy with child. And, sadly, you died back in Virginia, before your son was even a year old.

Adrian Swift -  you were born in New York City in 1846. You were wounded in the Civil War. Did you fight as a Union soldier? Did you believe in your cause?

So many stories, so many questions. I stare at birth dates, death dates, and locations. If I am lucky, there is some tidbit of information.

I love family history. I find it so intriguing and I truly am experiencing Elijah's promise in Malachi 4:6 of having my heart turned to my fathers. I find a lot of comfort, pride, and joy in my ancestry. However, I worry about my daughter. How will she feel about genealogy? Will it upset her? Will she love Hays/Zierke genealogy and accept that even though she doesn't share a bloodline, the love, guidance, and true heritage of family is hers? Or will she resent it? Or want to search the genealogy of her biological bloodline?

Only time will tell.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dear Teenage Lara

Dear Teenage Lara,

As a twenty-nine year old woman (so old! I know) with a fairly happy and put-together existence, I feel it is my responsibility to do all I can to persuade you not to do some of the lamest things you’ll ever do. Or to maybe give a heads up about some things you should know. Maybe, just maybe, there will be a wrinkle in the space-time contiuum and you'll read this and do a few things differently.

Writing down your crush’s wardrobe and hairstyle every day on your personal calendar pretty much counts as stalking.

On your 18th birthday, do not come home from school and complain about how bad your day was and how you want nothing more than to lock yourself in your room for the night and not see anyone. You’ll only make your mother feel bad because there is a surprise party waiting in the basement.

surprise face - much like present face
Also, yes, I am aware that I dress like a sitcom dad

Always knock loudly and repeatedly before entering the boys’ bathroom in the upper gym to get wrestling supplies—there is a deaf guy on the team and you will walk in on him.

Be kind and gentle to Coach Neal. Show him more compassion than you feel he deserves.

You are obnoxious. Just be aware.

Remember when you were so desperate for Barry Webster to notice you in middle school? Having Brian Danielson start a rumor that you are in the hospital after a suicide attempt is a really, really bad way to get his attention. However, it is a really, really, really good way to upset your mother when she gets phone calls from other kids’ parents asking you how are.

Remember how you met a tall, relatively good-looking kid from Bonneville at a stake dance and you were so excited that he was taking an interest in you? Don’t tell him where you live or he may just hang out in front of your house all weekend while you hide then when you finally cave and open the door to him, he will lift you off your feet in a bear hug and not put you down until you ask him four times. It will be weird and scarring.

Please, please, please, please, please, I am begging you, please do not wear ties, especially on picture day. They do not make you look mature and sexy and sophisticated. They make you look like a confused transvestite.

Don’t leave Vanessa alone in the Proclamation studio that Saturday when you’re working on your English projects. But if you do, call the police immediately after that guy exposes himself to her. Don’t wait to finish your school project because she says it’s not a big deal and you’re almost done anyway.

The Junior Miss Pageant is a bad idea. Choosing mime as your talent is an even worse idea.

Tampons colored with red lipstick hidden in lockers is not a prank that goes over well with the principal.

You'll have to wear a back brace for a couple of years, but thank heavens baggy grunge clothes are in style. Kids will call you Grandpa Butt. It's really not as scarring as you might think. But DO NOT wear sweat pants over the slick, plastic back brace. They will slide off you and you will unknowingly moon the entire drama class and that will be scarring.

Don't eat Oreos when you have braces. Or at least don't talk to that hot Danish exchange student when you're eating Oreos with braces.

Formal school dances suck. Get over the idea of a perfect prom.

It is totally acceptable to spend 80% of your senior Commencement in the bathroom (see above).

It’s okay to take it personally when your voice teacher “fires” you, but take that anger and find a new teacher and try harder. You have a nice voice inside you – a solo quality voice. It would be totally cool if you could find it before the senior musical.

When Alex Hardy asks you to the dance, no matter how rude it is, break your other plans and go with Alex. I can’t guarantee you’d have more fun, but I bet you $5,000 it won’t be any worse that what you end up doing.

It’s not worth your geometry grade to ignore and shun Mr. Leppert because he teased you—plus, he’ll never realize you’re giving him the cold shoulder anyway.

Isolating yourself at parties like a wounded bird does not make the cute boy miss you and want to find you and comfort you. It makes you look like a dramatic, self-involved twerp.

Don't think your life is over when you haven't written a book by the time you graduate. You will eventually write a book (shameless plug - Oceanswept by Lara Hays available wherever digital books are sold) and it will probably be better than what you would've written in high school. Probably.

When you’re a freshman, a really cool junior guy is going to ask you to explore that old condemned school OE Bell that is rumored to have a bunch of satanic graffiti in it. You’re gonna say yes, but not tell your parents about it because you’re afraid it might be a date and you’re not 16 and you’re gonna ask Vanessa to cover for you and say you’re at her house. She will refuse to cover for you and tell you you're on your own. And then you will feel so guilty that you’re gonna bail on that guy at the last minute and loose some major cool points. He will never ask you to do anything again. Heads up—it’s not really a date, it’s a huge group of kids. Your parents would totally be okay with it if you told them. And the school’s not really satanic or condemned. It’s actually an office building now. But you will learn an important lesson from your friend—at first you might be mad that she won’t cover for you, but then you realize that she’s a true friend because she’s an honest and good person all the time not just in front of your face. Because people who lie for you will lie against you. And she never will.

Don’t worry when “Mr. Fine” picks your best friend over you. You’ll have your retribution in a year or two when he falls asleep lying on the couch behind you and you fart on him.

It is scientifically impossible to put a swimsuit on while you’re swimming in water. And it HURTS when your friend pulls your nekkid self onto the floating dock, scraping off the top three layers of your boob skin. For these two reasons, do not skinny dip in the middle of Blacktail Reservoir.

On the other hand, it makes a fantastic story. Go for it.

Don’t try so hard. Don’t fear rejection so much. And realize everyone else is too busy obsessing about what people are thinking about them that no one is really thinking all the bad things about you that you fear. Middle school really, really sucks and high school is fun. Mostly. But in ten years, you’ll see that life doesn’t end on graduation and there’s way more fun to be had after you toss your cap in the air. You’re hotter and funnier than you realize. But also dorkier.

- Your current self.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My Rage Against Stupid People

Once upon a time, there was a man and a woman who couldn't have a baby. They tried many things and saw many doctors. They were blessed with the financial means to try everything. When nothing worked...they turned to surrogacy. They found an egg donor and two embryos were created in a petri dish. The two embryos were implanted in two other surrogates, whom they'd carefully selected. Their two babies - a boy, and a girl - were born five days apart. They have kept very open relationships with the egg donor and the two surrogates. They have a happy family and they are living happily ever after.

True story. Read it here (warning: it is LONG).

My reaction to the story is that I am happy for them. I believe families are built in different ways. And all the people involved in this unconventional situation seem to be really happy about it all, and I think that's really the key in a somewhat bizarre situation.

I'm sure I am biased. I have a less than "normal" situation. Another man and woman placed their child with us to raise, to be her parents. And we accept this child who has no genetic connection to us and open our home, our finances, and our hearts to her. We keep in touch with the man and woman. Phone calls, emails, texts, visits. Yeah, some people can't wrap their heads around it.

Jocelyn with her biological parents and biological sister

all out together

Back to the article and my point. I couldn't help but read the comments at the end of the article. And some of them just made my blood boil. Here are a few:

An egg donor and two surrogate mothers, somebody please explain to me how these are "her" children?

The world is already overcrowded. If they want children, there are plenty to adopt.

I don't actually go so far as to say it should not be allowed, but in a world with a population approaching seven billion, it is immoral.

People need to take no for an answer when nature says no.

If you cannot have children accept it and move on. There are too many people on the earth so it is a good thing that some cannot reproduce.

Get a grip on those hormones. Buy a dog. Volunteer. Adopt. Big Brother/Sister. Swim. The world doesn't need your desperation progeny..

playing God!!!! If you aren't meant to have kids, you aren't! move on!! Get an orphan!

They go around the will of God and then play God! How about saying a prayer instead!

Before I really start, I just want to say that I am not expressing my opinion about surrogacy in this post...this is more of an infertility rant.

Okay, the gloves are coming off now. Ready?

(On a side note, I tried to comment on the post - which trickily limited me to 150 characters - and then I was going to have to sign up for an account and I figured no one would really hear/care about my opinion hidden in the hundreds of comments, so I decided it would make a good blog post. Voila.)

What is the deal with this population thing? I have heard it before in reference to infertility in general. Like infertility is nature's answer to the world's population. I don't believe it for a second. If natural selection were really at play then intelligent, educated, financially capable people would be more fertile than uneducated, simple-minded, financially incapable people. And that's just not true. The opposite seems to be.

(Okay, I am bound to offend someone. I apologize in advance. This is a rant.)

And what's with the deity issue? As a very religious person, I believe that God expects us to do what we can for ourselves. He is a God of miracles - and I believe medicine is a medium of His miracles. It's pretty lame to say "just say a prayer." Oooh, that just offends me as a Christian and as an infertile woman.

If it's "immoral" for someone who has to go to lengths to have children because of the world's population, how is it any less immoral for someone who can easily have children to do so? I don't know, but this argument only seems to come up in fertility treatment discussions. I guess we should all be like China and regulate the size of families.

And infertility is a disease. I've never heard someone tell someone with kidney failure and seeking a donor to "accept it and move on" or that it's nature's way of dealing with the population or to stop "playing God." But to solve all the problems of overpopulation and nature's solution, instead of limiting the birth of babies, instead we should just euthanize all people before they go on Social Security and drain our country of its finances. Better yet, we should stop all cancer research, stop vaccinating, and stop giving transfusions, and oxygen in the ER. Actually, why do we even have ERs? Saving lives is actually probably against God's plan and against nature's intentions for the population, too. When nature says no, we need to accept it. (please note the heavy sarcasm.)

The emotional (and biological) need to have children is strong, natural, and sanctioned by God. It is a right thing. There are many ways to make families - and while one way may be right for one family, it might not be right for another. The answer isn't always "just adopt." Like that's the easiest thing in the world. Like it's the obvious answer for everyone. It's not a catch-all solution. It's not always the right fit. And frankly, not all people have the mettle to be adoptive parents. Especially those people who are obviously too selfish to ever hope to fathom the understanding, compassion, and long-suffering any member of the adoption triad must have. Plus, that kind of retort is just really disrespectful to the institution of adoption in general. Consider me offended.

Oooh, I wish I were a virtual Hulk that could turn green with anger and knock some sense into all these selfish simpletons - or at least knock them out.

Okay, I know I've said some ragey things and I am sure I am going to get flack in the comments...but please be respectful and tactful. If not, you will be deleted.

Okay. Phew. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Why I Blog

Ten reasons why I keep coming back to this thing...

10. It gives me an unfiltered writing outlet. Sure, I write at work, but under a lot of constraints and by the time my work is edited and rewritten, I sometimes can't even recognize it!

9. I can share the menial little bits of my life with friends and family

8. I can share pictures with my friends and family

7. I get to keep up with friends and family, too!

6. I can be a better adoption advocate
5. My life and memories are better chronicled since I am no longer very good at journaling

4. I can make myself look better than I actually am - hahaha

3. I get some weird validation from knowing others read my words, connect with them - and I theirs

2. I have discovered great craft/cooking tutorials and the like - things I could never do otherwise

1. I have made some amazing friends that I wouldn't know otherwise!

Why do you blog?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Guest Post: Tie Onesie

I am really excited for this guest post. I adore Meagan from Life Simplified. We became good friends when we worked together and I've missed her since she moved away. Boo! But now that she's a stay-at-home mom, she does the coolest crafts and projects. And all the stuff she does is way cute and pretty simple. She has graciously shared this tutorial with us. And in the future, I may even have a give away from her darling etsy line MeaganMakes.


I have seen cute little boy onesies that have ties sewn on them and I have thought over and over about how cute they are. Well I finally did it and it is surprisingly simple! All you need to know sewing-wise is how to sew a (relatively) straight line, and you can match your boy's onesie to your family's outfits for family pictures, or just have a cute tie for church, parties, etc.

  • Onesie
  • Fabric for Tie
  • Thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • iron
  • straight pins
1. Cut out tie.

I have never sewed with a pattern, I'm just weird that way, I eye-ball most of the things I make, along with a rough guide. That being said feel free to find a toddler's tie or something to go off of. First I cut a rectangle and placed it on the onesie to find out how long I wanted it (be sure and remember to leave allowance for a seam, I did about a half inch). Then I folded the rectangle in half, hot dog style, and cut the shape of the tie out. (Folding it in half keeps the tie symmetrical.)

2. Iron seams

When working with small things it is easiest to iron the seam down so you don't have to worry about it unfolding and having to rip and restitch.

3. Pin tie to onesie

It is a really good idea to pin the tie so you don't end up with a cute but crooked tie.

4. Sew

This can be really tricky, especially if you are doing a small onesie. You will probably need to take the storage compartment off your sewing machine so you can move the onesie around in a smaller space (like you would hemming pants). It is easy to accidentally sew the front of the onesie to the back, so take your time, it's worth it.

5. Try it on!

It's finished! I hope that you had a great time making a cute onesie AND that you brag to all your friends that you made this adorable outfit!


Thanks for sharing, Meagan. Oooh, I wish I had a little boy to make this for. :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

20 Month Joci Update

Time for a Joci update.

She is darling. But that's not news. She is saying so many things that my vocab page at the top of the blog is so outdated it's pathetic.

Joci loves to identify colors. Half of what she chatters on about is pointing out what's yellow, blue, and purple. She's started to hate brushing her teeth - it's a battle.

Right before Christmas, Justin took Joci out in the snow for the first time. She adored it and played in it for 20 minutes. She would throw snow up in the air (but she never ate it) and she would flop on her face.

I've learned that that I must say okay too much because Joci is now adds it to the end of almost everything she says. Like this morning when I got her out of her crib, I asked her if she wanted to get out and she said, "Out. Okay." I will ask her if she wants a piece of string cheese and she'll say "Cheese. Okay." It's cute.

She started saying people's names, though I'm not sure she makes the connection with the person.

During December, she definitely got to the point where she would identify and say Santa. However, starting Christmas Day she started calling certain Santa representations Grandpa. We don't know which grandpa she thinks it is - one of her grandpas has snowy white hair and the other one has a bushy mustache. Kind of funny.

She got a play bowling set for Christmas. I will set up the pins for her and help her get her fingers just right in the ball. Then she crouches down and gives several false starts and then knocks the pins over either by just kicking them while holding the ball or by tapping each pin with the ball. She has yet to learn that you are supposed to "throw" the ball at them - and let go! She calls out each color of the pin before she knocks it down. I have a video of this I need to upload and post.

Things she says now:
  • Wash
  • Cheese
  • Christmas
  • Alright
  • Paige
  • Afton
  • Beautiful
  • Downstairs
  • Garbage
  • Pink (finally! You think she would've got this one before black and gray)
  • Story
  • School
  • Daycare
  • And more that I can't even remember!

P.S. Stay tuned for a really fun guest post from Meagan from Life Simplified.


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