Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday!

Luke napping in the soaker I reviewed for Melanie!  (link coming soon!)

Monday, July 19, 2010

PurlyQ Custom Knitting & Hand dyed Yarn Review

Recently, I had the immense pleasure of working with Allison of PurlyQ!

Here's a little bit about Allison:

Tell us a little about yourself & your family. (names, ages, etc.)
My name is Allison. I'm married to my super geeky computer programmer Wesley and we've got our sweet little Olivia who will be 3 in September 2010.

Tell us about your business(es).

Hopper Graphics offers professional graphic design at WAHM rates. I do offer design services to local and other non-WAHM businesses, but the non-WAHM rates are not nearly as low. My list of services include:
Business Card Design
Animated Graphics
Invitations and announcements
Graphic images (signature button, banner, avatar, etc)
Brochure Design
Hyenacart Designs (and Congos)
T-shirt designs

PurlyQ offers handpainted yarn and knit children's clothing.

What inspired you to open your own business?I got my BFA in graphic design hoping to freelance. Setting my own hours while I've got little ones seems so ideal to me. I love that I can be creative and artistic and get paid in the process :-P

With PurlyQ, it was a little bit different. 2 years ago I would have never thought I'd be dying yarn or selling knits. I started knitting for my daughter. Knitting (for me at least) is extremely addictive, so after I had made 4-5 pairs of longies for Olivia, I needed more to knit. I tried a sock...bad experience. Scarves and baby blankets are OK, but I wanted to keep making longies. I thought about knitting and selling, so I started checking out hyena wool prices. I didn't have the funds to have ANY expensive wool in stock...I could have gone with YYMN, but I really wanted to dye my own.

I used a mixture of graduation and Christmas money to buy my first box of dying materials, and I've been hooked ever since 

What’s your favorite thing about what you do?I love that both of my jobs are things I love to do even in my spare time. Loving my job is something I've always wanted, and I truly do love mine 

Do you also work outside of the home?
I did for a few months after graduation. It was extremely overwhelming to do that job, 2 WAHM jobs, all the housekeeping, the main source of childcare for our daughter, playdates, cooking, etc. I managed to hold it together for about 4 months. I went back to school 2 weeks after my daughter was born, and the 4 months working as a WOHM and WAHM at the same time were far more difficult!

Do you have any advice for other moms who are thinking of starting a work-at-home-mom business?
Be patient! Sales are slow at the moment, so don't go in expecting to make a lot at first.

Don't do tons of giveaways...from my experience they gain a tiny bit of exposure, but unless it's something you're not able to move that well anyway you'll just hurt yourself by giving away a lot of items. One or two is perfectly fine.

Don't work for nothing. This perhaps is the biggest issue with a lot of WAHMs. Don't price yourself way below your competition to get sales, because ultimately you just hurt yourself. You work hard and deserve to get paid. Working for free gets old really fast and you will burn out.


Allison and I did a trade on for custom knit shorties for Luke.

Allison was very sweet and easy to communicate with.  She answered all of my questions and really helped me feel at ease with the trade.  Allison knit the shorties quickly and shipped them directly to me!

I chose Allison's "Nessie" colorway because it was in-stock at the time.  It's a bright green, turquoise-y blue, and yellow colorway that is perfect for a boy but could also be made girly depending on what tops it is paired with.

The shorties are made exactly to the measurements I requested and fit Luke perfectly!    I love them!  The knitting is SO nice---its even, tight but still stretchy, and just gorgeous!

The hand-painted dye job on the yarn is also great!  There is little to no "pooling" of the colorway and what is there looks as if it were intentional it is so subtle!  I did have some minor bleeding the first time I washed the shorties, but I've since learned that scented wool wash can cause dye to bleed.  I will be switching over to unscented wool wash as soon as I finish up what I have on hand.  The color isn't bleeding any more and I would not consider this a flaw at all...I'm pretty sure it is my fault!

I've been able to find 2 or 3 tops that really match this colorway and look nice on Luke.  Some moms only use hand made or custom t-shirts with their woolies, but we just cannot afford that!  I try to shop sales and clearance for Luke's "new" clothes so we've been pretty lucky!  (Custom shirts can cost $15 and up!  My tops were all less than $5 each!)

Here are some action shots!!

Just about 9 months old:

8 Months Old:

7 1/2 Months Old:

7 Months Old:

(can you believe this picture is from May 14--look how much he's GROWN!)

If you're interested in custom knits or hand-painted yarn be sure to check out Allison in all of the following places!


Late Night

It's 12:45 am & I'm still up. I should be asleep.  

Tomorrow I start babysitting a beautiful little 18 month old girl.  I'll be watching her Monday-Friday from about 6 am until 4 pm.  So, my days are about to get very interesting!  It's a decent pay though & I'll enjoy having a play-mate for Lucas.  (Plus, any money I earn on my own helps when I'm justifying my cloth diapers/wool/birthday spending...not to mention Halloween & Christmas coming up!)

First I had to get all the dishes done & pick up the house!  We don't want the day-care family to see our house all kinds of dirty right?

So, this evening, since Tim & Luke went to bed I've finished up 2 loads of laundry & folded them.  Here's a "Diaperswappers style out-of-the-dryer-ready-to-go" collage.  Click to make it larger.  Bottom left--my diaper stash all clean & ready to use, only 3 diapers are dirty right now, one of which is on his bum.  Top left--first load of laundry, included some regular towels, a blanket, booby pads, wipes, and a lot of diapers.  Top right, 2nd load of laundry--just a few diapers, wipes, some clothes and crib linens.  Bottom right--out of the dryer pictures for both loads of laundry.  

I also heated up the yummy crab cakes I made for lunch & left over corn from Friday for myself for dinner.  For dessert I made myself a super delicious smoothie.  Strawberries & bananas again....

And, since Luke's room is all clean & fresh, I took pictures of his nursery the way it looks right now.  We'll be changing things around in about 2 weeks. 

I edited these pictures while I was pumping, so now it's time to head to bed!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday Update- 9 Months Old Week 1

Sunday July 18
Happy 3/4 of a year Baby Boy!!  I cannot believe my baby boy is 9 months old!

Luke can crawl on his hands & knees.  Creep--holding onto furniture & walking around.  Wave bye-bye, give baby kisses (mouth open) and smack his lip to make a kiss sound, and laugh great big belly laughs.  He enjoys his mardi gras beads, koosh ball, play kitchen, bouncing, and so much more!  He loves music and especially likes it when I sing Jesus Loves Me.

Here's a list of what we've fed him & his reactions:
Organic rice baby cereal--hates it
Steamed butternut squash--too mushy
Steamed broccoli--can't even pick it up he hates the texture
Baby food sweet potatoes--hates it
Baby food peas--hates it
Whole & Pureed bananas--hates it
Whole & Pureed mangoes--hates it
Pureed Banana/Mango mix--hates it
Organic Toddler Mum Mum Rice "Cookies"--loves them, but might be having a diaper rash reaction
Homemade "Donuts" (fried dough)--loves them, but alas is allergic
Fresh Blueberry rubbed on his lips--hates it
Mashed grapes (frozen in a mesh feeder)--hates it

Right now we are battling an awful diaper rash.  It started with the donut on Wednesday or Thursday, but it keeps flaring up with every bowel movement.  I'm sure its food allergy related, probably too much acid in his stools or something, but its a pain, because I know he's uncomfortable from it, but I can't get it to go away 100%.

Luke cut his first tooth last week & is working on his second bottom tooth this week.

He weighs about 17 1/2 lbs and wears a size 12 months.  He mostly wears his wool shorties with cotton t-shirts.  He sleeps in either wool pants & a long sleeve shirt, fleece pants & a long sleeve shirt or a fleece zip-up sleeper.  We don't have a lot of pjs for him, but I do try to bundle him up at bed time.  (We turn the AC down, because Tim & I both like it cold.)

We're well into planning his first birthday extravaganza and his first trip on an airplane!

Sunday Update-Last week as an 8 month old!

Wednesday July 14
I babysat Carolynn and Ashley on Wednesday.  It was trying but good for the girls to get to spend some time with Luke.

  Tim was late getting home from work, so I was late heading out to Bunco.  However, we found our way & got to Tabitha's house well before we actually started playing the game.  Luke and Lily played together for quite a while & it was nice to visit with some adult women for a while.

Before the game was over I had a headache, so I wasn't my usual bubbly self (ha ha--me bubbly! that's funny!)  But, I enjoyed playing just the same as ever!

I didn't "win" any of the prizes though, so I got 2 "booby" prizes.  I won a Virginia Beach shot glass & then traded Melanie a necklace for a minkee hat.  The hat is so soft & fluffy!  Melanie was the host & she always has something for everyone in her prizes!

Luke & I drove home around 10 and went straight to bed!

Thursday July 15
Thursday was a GREAT day for us!  We had therapy in the morning, and although we were running late & Luke was tired he did REALLY well!  He even got on his hands & knees and crawled for Miss Kerry!  Yay Lukey!  Miss Kerry said he'd be a pro at it by the next week, but Luke decided he liked crawling & mastered it by that evening!

After therapy, we went to the bank, a scrapbooking store, Chic Fil A, and Party City.  Luke napped through the bank & All About Scrapbooks.  I got $15 worth of scrapbook stuff for his birthday.  I also picked up some stuff for his birthday at Party City.

We went home for a few minutes so Luke could nurse & nap a bit before heading out to pick Tim up from work.  It was too late to go home, so we went out to dinner at Ruby Tuesday's before church.

Luke played in the nursery at church while Tim & I went to our Sermon Study small group.

After small group, Luke & I went to Tom & Peggy's house so he could nurse.  He nursed for a long time & napped but didn't go to sleep for the night like I'd hoped.  Tom picked Tim up from church & brought him back to the house for a bit, so it was almost 10 before we headed home.

Friday July 16
Friday morning started out nice & slow with not much of anything exciting to note.

 Around 12:30 Melanie & her kidlets showed up to get us to go to the park.  I finished getting us ready & then we headed out to Fun Forest at the Chesapeake City Park.  It was HOT!  Luke ended up in just a diaper & we all glug-glugged down a lot of water!

After a couple hours playing at the park we came back to our house.  The kids watched t.v. on Netflix & played Wii while Melanie & I hung out, did housework, and took care of Luke.

We decided that I'd babysit for Melanie after Rob got to the house so we all started preparing for that.  (I owed her a babysitting session for the awesome knitting she did on Luke's shorties.)

Tim came home, Rob got to the house, Melanie & Rob left, and I cooked dinner while the kids all played Sorry.  I made homemade nuggets for Tim & I, organic frozen nuggets for the kids, mashed potatoes and corn for everyone.  It was a super yummy dinner!  After dinner I had to feed Luke, so Tim & the kids watched Richie Rich.

  Then when Luke was down for the night (@ 7:30!!!) I cleaned up the kitchen before making smoothies for everyone!  I added Peach Schnapps to mine & Schnapps & 151 to Tim's.  They were SUPER yummy!

Melanie & Rob got back from the movies and took their kidlets home, then our little family headed to bed.

Saturday July 17
Yesterday was a lazy day for us.  We didn't do much other than housework and an afternoon trip to the grocery store.  We had pizza (cheeseless for me) for dinner & watched some t.v.  We also got a lot of housework done!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Luke Crawling

Wow--when did uploading videos get so easy?

As requested--a video of Luke showing off his beginning crawling skills!

2nd Tooth


Luke was up ALL night--we didn't sleep for more than an hour & a half at a time.  It was pretty rotten.

He's been drool-y & fussy today but I didn't put 2 & 2 together.

THEN he got a runny nose & the light bulb went off in my head---check his mouth silly Mama!!  Sure enough, the 2nd bottom tooth is all grey & puffy!  (for the record he got the right one first, this is the left one)

He'll be 9 months old tomorrow.

Friday, July 16, 2010

100% Boy!!

Luke is ALL BOY!  He is learning to crawl and walk simultaneously....which means he is bumping into a lot of things!!

One of his favorite things to do is crawl to the coffee table (which is now covered in a thick comforter), pull up to standing, and then drag everything off of the table....sometimes onto himself!  He even gets mad if there is nothing left for him to pull down!  (The only thing EVER on the table are his toys.)

Here's a few pictures of the "shiner" he gave himself yesterday morning.

Friday Fragments!

Here's a new weekly meme I thought I'd participate in (thanks to Melanie for doing it faithfully for so long!)

Friday Fragments--brought to you by Mrs. 4444 at Half Past Kissing Time! 

Basically, Friday Fragments is where you post all your little tidbit stories--that weren't big enough news to get their own post during the week.  The funnier/cuter the better!

So for me:

Tim got a bonus at work!!  Woot woot!! It's not a huge one or anything, but it did come in the form of American Express gift cards--which will be SO helpful/handy on our coming trip to Colorado!


We are going to Colorado for a week.  It will be the first time I meet MOST of Tim's extended family & the first time in 4 years I see the ones I do know.  It'll also be the first time I visit a state that isn't on the east coast.  I have NEVER gone into our great country!


Luke will not have a seat on the plane.  It sort of upsets me, but at $350 a ticket it just wasn't worth it, since I know I'll nurse during take-off & landing anyway & he wouldn't have been in his seat.  


I really really want to just sit at my computer & work on my blog..I have all these posts floating around right now...but I also have a MOUNTAIN of clean laundry to put away & an avalanche of dirty laundry to wash!  (not to mention vacuuming, dishes, dusting, beds to make, etc....)


Luke learned to crawl on his hands and knees.  OK, that one did get a post of its own, but it's so fun I had to share it again!!


Carolynn's cute thing this week is that when she wakes up--the first thing she says is, "Can I go play with Lukey-Poo?"  How cute!!

Aloha Friday!

In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day to take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So Kailani at An Island Life started Aloha Fridays in order to take it easy with posting too.It's easy to play along. I ask a simple question and you give a simple answer!After you answer my question, post a question on your own blog and leave your link over at An Island Life. Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

My question this week is:
Do you have a favorite memory from your birthdays as a child, if so, please elaborate?  

If not, have you done something to help make your children's birthdays memorable?  

And I'm playing along with....
Melanie from Smellyann Strikes Again (and Fishing and  Wishing)

"Would you ever do something like this 

to your car??"

Well, sort of.  Tim and I have actually looked into getting our car "wrapped"--as in putting giant decals designed to fit our car specifically on it...for pay from companies that want "traveling billboards".  The last time we checked there weren't any local companies, but I've seen more 'wrapped' cars lately, so maybe someone is doing it here now.  

First up--answer my question as a comment to this thread, then head over to Melanie's blog to share your answer to her question!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Major News Alert!

We have up-on-all-fours crawling now!  Woot woot!  Luke crawled the length of the bed this morning (and busted his face on the end table).  Then he crawled at therapy!  This evening he crawled all the way across Tom & Peggy's living room!  Way to go Lukey Poo!!

Luke is still waving bye-bye, kissing, and clapping---when he wants to!

Trust me as soon as I can I'll try to get these new skills on camera!

Spasm Update:
Luke is allergic to the donuts that we both love.  Yesterday morning he woke up with bloody poo.  Tuesday he had been really spasm-y and cranky.  He probably had over 90 spasms on Wednesday.  I called the doctor & they think he is probably allergic to the wheat in the flour.  It's a devastating revelation.  (with this wheat "allergy" we suspect there may be a basis in celiac disease--does it ever end for my child?)  Luke had about 30-40 spasms today.  He is on Prevacid now & has to have Mylanta every 2 hours, including over night.

Birthday Party 101-An Introduction

Our first decision was to decide how BIG we wanted this thing to be and who were we going to invite.  As we compiled a guest list of just family, family & close friends, family +close friends+ church friends+ extended family...we realized we were going to be having a LARGE party!  Our guest list contains over 50 people with about 1/2 being immediate family! 

Wowzer...throwing a huge first birthday is a serious undertaking!  It is not for the faint of heart!  I started dreaming of Luke's first birthday around about the time he was 2 weeks old!  Hee hee...but I truly started planning at about 6 months old.  We want this to be an amazing birthday that truly honors our son's first year!

This one is easy enough, we just picked the Saturday closest to Luke's actual birthday.  Fortunately for us, it doesn't conflict with any holidays & our venue is available.  (October 16--in case you didn't get a Save the Date & wanted one!)

So, our venue was the next decision.  Finding a party spot for 50+ people, compatible with a one-year old's birthday & our budget was difficult.  I called lots of places...such as the recreation centers, Kangaroo Jacks (and other similar locations), Chuck E Cheese's, bowling alleys, and our church.  A lot of them were promising but only the church gymnasium really fit the bill for what we're looking for.  We'll have PLENTY of space, a PA system to run music through, a slideshow screen for showing baby pictures, tables, chairs, a set-up/break-down crew, and a safe, familiar location.

For us, the motivation is to get all of our friends & family together to celebrate & reminisce about our son's amazing, trying first year of life.  We can look forward to many more years of celebrating and watching him grow.  I want it to be a BIG special event because I want to show how much this little person has changed our lives.  To me there is no question as to WHY Lucas deserves an over-the-top party.

Ah, that is the most important one right?  Well, that's where I hope to go with this little series of posts.  Come along with me as I plan, create, and throw Lucas' Amazing First Birthday Bash!  Hopefully you'll come away with ideas for smart party shopping, creating your own birthday magic, and making your little one's day special (no matter how old they are!)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday!!


Ashley Nicole-9 years old
Carolynn Rose-3 years old
Lucas Wayne- 4 days shy of 9 months old

Action Shots

Luke is awake today so I got some action shots of the diapers & pants we made him.

Knit Cotton & Bamboo Embroidered Outer (Embroidered by Glorimar from ZabiBaby)
Bamboo Velour Inner
Snappied Rita's Rump Pocket Fitted (altered pattern)

Isn't that the cutest?  Thank You SO much Glorimar!!!

Up next, Mommy Made Fleece Pants!

(with the ridiculously high rise up)

(with the ridiculous rise folded down--turned it black & white bc the picture was way blown)

And with a t-shirt on!

I think it's safe to say Luke LOVES his mama-made items!!

UPDATE on Sandifer's:
I also forgot to post yesterday, we started Luke on 15mL Prevacid 2x a day.  So far it hasn't shown to be helping any.  Last night was the first dose of just prevacid & no Zantac.  
All day yesterday & so far this morning, Luke has been having minor spasms.  He is pretty cranky/fussy and you can tell he is in pain.  

UPDATE on tooth:
Luke's first tooth broke through the skin 100% on Sunday.  It is slowly growing in now, but I think the worst pain is over. 

New Skills All Around

Today was a pretty good day for Lucas & I.

Tim was sick, so he stayed home from work to sleep.  That didn't keep Luke and I from keeping our sewing date with Carolynn's Mimi (Genia) though!

We got up & did our normal routine this morning, then around 11 we headed out.  We stopped by Rite Aid to get Luke's new Prev-acid prescription.  It cost $50!  Ay yai yai!  Well, we do what we have to do, right?  Hopefully this will be the wonder-drug that puts an end to Luke's spasms.

After the pharmacy we headed to Buddy & Genia's house.  Buddy watched Luke while Genia & I sewed and shared fabric stashes!  Genia was keen to unload fabric to me and I came home with more fabric than I left with!

At first, we finished up all of my small projects.  I had several 1/2 way done items that needed tweaking.

Up first, we took a scrap of bamboo terry (it used to be a shower loofah) and made a soaker pad!  It's 3 layers of bamboo terry, serged together at the ends only.

Genia helped me add a yoga style waist band to my double-felted recycled longies.  They are kinda goofy looking, but they will make BULLET proof pajamas!

Most sewing projects are easier & quicker on the Genia taught me how to work her serger & I actually serged the legs & waist onto these pants all by myself!  Our sharks came out upside down, even though we THOUGHT we planned for them to be right side up....but, they are PJ pants so its not like anybody will even see them!  The wool on these bad boys is THICK! 

Then we fixed up these fleece longies I had been trying to make...only we measured wrong so the waist & cuffs aren't snug like we intended...again, they are PJs, so its no biggie!  

They're not really wonky, I just didn't feel like smoothing them out for the picture.

After that, Genia serged off the snaps on 3 onesies & a gown.

Throughout the day, Luke was playing with Buddy in the living room.  I had to nurse him at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, and 4:30.  At 4:30 he finally laid down & took an hour long nap.  It was getting late in the day before we even started sewing a diaper.  I had the scrap from Glorimar w/ the Mr. Bubble print & embroidery all set & Genia had the perfect coordinating fabric.  We decided to use bamboo velour for the inner!
Genia made this diaper all by herself, trying to figure out the best way to construct the Rita's Rump Pocket pattern.  Unfortunately, she sewed the embroidery on the FRONT of the diaper, instead of the back, but it's ok.  We mostly use these around the house anyway & it CAN be put on backwards.

Luke and I had to go to church while Genia fixed the last 2 diapers up.  She also had to eat some dinner!

We had a good Vision Team meeting at church and made great plans for the coming months at The Gathering UMC.  

From there we went to Chic Fil A to grab some dinner for me and then headed back to Genia's to pick up the finished diapers!

Genia managed to finish the rainbow ooga booga diaper too!  It is lined with crushed velour & is SO divine in person!

Genia had also gotten several (I think I counted 10 or 12) diaper cuts cut out of some of her knits for me.  There is also the duplicate of the bamboo & print from the Mr. Bubble diaper.  I plan on cutting all of the diapers out & then sewing them up.  

So, it was a BUSY and productive day for me!  Genia taught me how to do the elastic & casing so I can make the diapers at home now.

Buddy helped Luke finish learning how to wave bye-bye!  It is so freaking adorable!  Luke also mastered kissing, complete with a nice "smack" and clapping!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mama's Idea of A Good Night

Step 1:

Daddy & Baby Boy both asleep....

Step 2:

Big tall, overflowing, Strawberry-Mango-Banana-Grape smoothie!  

Step 3:

Step 4:
Heading to bed myself before midnight!!