Monday, December 14, 2009

Yes, I have big feet.

I have size 10 feet. It's the biggest size that a lot of women's shoes come in, although in recent years you can actually get 11s and 12s from some stores. Now, since the population is getting taller, there seem to be more and more women with size 10 feet. This means there are never enough size 10 shoes to go around.

So, I can never buy shoes on sale, because by the time they are on sale, they are always sold out of my size. In fact, I often just can't buy shoes, because apparently they only get one pair of size 10s in of any given style. It's my theory that there are always a couple women with size 10 feet that work in every shoe store that get first dibs on those.

Anyways, whenever I see a pair of shoes I like, I ask the salesperson if I it comes in a size 10. Almost every time, they respond with "the biggest I have this one is a size 8.5?" (or 9 or whatever smaller size it is). Then, they look at me expectantly, like they're wondering if I'll take them up on their offer. Umm, sure, why don't I shove my giant foot into your too small shoe? I might hobble around and cripple myself, but what the heck.

I mean, I know people wear too small clothes all the time (that's another topic), but shoes? Seriously, is there anyone that can wear shoes that are actually 1-2 sizes too small?

I think I need a job in a shoe store.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Where we are now

Well, loyal blog reader. It's time for an update. I'm afraid there will be no pictures today since I am upstairs typing on the laptop. All the pictures are downstairs on our desktop.

It's been over 6 months since I posted and a lot has happened in that time.

I took a trip in the spring to visit my grandparents. I brought the kids, but left my husband at home to work. It was a wonderful time and I feel so lucky that my children got to meet their great grandparents. Spud missed Daddy and got pretty needy and clingy while we were gone. I learned that while I can deal with the kids on my own, I don't like doing it, and prefer to have him around.

Then we moved. There were things we compromised on when we bought our last house. Mostly the location. We bought in an area of the city that was lower priced so that we could have a detached house with a bigger yard. That came at the price of being on the opposite side of the city from the mountains. We realized that wasn't a compromise we wanted to live with anymore, so we put our house on the market and started looking in a town outside the city.

We ended up buying a lovely house with lots of windows and vaulted ceilings. Compromised a bit on the yard, but after some serious landscaping work, it will be really nice. We have a peekaboo mountain view from our front window. (The full mountain views are on the other side of the street and have a much higher price tag). We're across the street from the pathway system and a 2 minute walk from the river.

On the same day we took possession of our house, my little girl turned one year old. So, technically, that means Sweetpea is no longer a baby. Interestingly enough, I was willing to call Spud a toddler once he was that age, but I'm not quite there with Sweetpea. Perhaps it is because Spud is still a toddler now, but they are at much different points. Perhaps it is just because I know Sweetpea will be my last baby and I'm not quite ready to let that go.

In the last few months, having my kids so close in age has gotten easier and easier. In that first year, it seems like only a crazy person would have 2 kids 17 months apart. As they get older, they're playing together more and more. Don't get me wrong. It's not all roses, but it is nice to have them close now. They're both interested in similar activities so it's easier to keep them both occupied with the same thing. Like every parent, I'm hoping they'll be close as they grow older. I don't think the age gap is a determining factor of that though.

A few weeks ago, I recognized the third anniversary of the due date of my first baby. It's funny to think that Bugaboo would have been older then either of my living children are now. But Bugaboo is the baby that remains eternally a baby.

My business has been growing and evolving. I've started focusing more on craft fairs and less on my etsy store. I've realized that I like making the items and selling them, but I'm not so keen on packing them up and going to the post office. For now, I'm keeping the etsy store, but I'm also considering other options year round.

I'm also thinking about branching out with what I make. Already, I've started making tutus and boy are they cute! I'll try to post a picture of Sweetpea in one soon. I have a few other ideas for things I'll start in the new year. Look for some sewing - including some fabric toys. That's right, something for boys! Right now, my craft shows and Christmas sales are keeping me busy.

The thing is, it seems like everyone and their dog has started making hairclips. I actually know of at least 3 people that have bought from me and have recently started making and selling clippies themselves. I can't fault them. Everyone gets their ideas from somewhere, but it's becoming a saturated market and I'm wondering if I should open up my options a little more. After all, with their rise in popularity, it's only a matter of time before Walmart commissions a factory in china to make them.

Christmas is coming. I've never been much of an early shopper, but running a craft business has had me thinking about it for months already. I'm not done my Christmas shopping, but we're getting there. I don't think pictures with Santa will happen this year. Sweetpea was rather terrified of him at my husband's kid's Christmas party. I think we'll hold off on scarring her.

Well, loyal reader, how's that for a lot of information, but not a lot of depth?

Back again

Boy, have I ever been neglectful of this blog!

Well, now that I am probably down to about 1 loyal reader, I make this pledge to you. I will update my blog more often. I'll shoot for twice a week, but will accept once, okay?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Public breastfeeding

Recently a Calgary woman created a lot of press with a campaign intended to force the city of Calgary to clarify their stance on breastfeeding at and around public swimming pools.

I am not looking to discuss the swimming pool issue at this time, but, this issue brought into the limelight something which I consider a far bigger issue. Breastfeeding in public.

For various reasons (that could be a completely different blog entry), Spud was a formula fed baby. I fed him wherever we were. Unlike many formula fed babies, he was never on much of a schedule, so he was still demand fed. While I occasionally felt like I was judged for giving him formula, I never hesitated to pull out a bottle when that was what he needed.

When Sweetpea was born, I fought harder to breastfeed her, and after some challenges, was successful. If anything, Sweetpea has been fed whenever, wherever to an even larger extent. With Spud, I barely got out of the house for the first month. With Sweetpea, I had to get out for the sake of Spud, so she became well travelled from the very start.

Early on, I used a nursing cover to feed her under. I was more comfortable with it, and it helped me to get past the early stages of breastfeeding. Somewhere around the 3-4 month mark, I stopped using it. Like most babies, Sweetpea likes to look around and be aware of her world. The nursing cover became a bigger distraction as she would alternately try to play with it or get it off her head.

Now, at 7.5 months, the nursing cover is a distant memory. I require one hand to keep Sweetpea latched on, one hand to keep my breast in place for her and 1 (or 6) hands to keep Spud from running off, climbing inappropriate things, or taking other children's toys. If you've done the math, I'm already short a few hands, so using an extra hand to keep a blanket over the head of a baby that doesn't want it there just isn't going to happen.

Now to the main point of my post. I thought that public breastfeeding had gained general acceptance. I'm not naive enough to think it doesn't bother anyone, but I thought that it had reached the point where those people would simply turn their heads, and carry on.

Apparently not.

There are nearly hundreds of comments following these stories.

Aside from the comments specifically about the pool, the comments following are largely vilifying public breastfeeding. If they are in support of it, the writer is often very clear that it is only acceptable when covered up.

Comments like this:

"Do it in the changeroom or lobby covered up"
"I'm a woman and think breastfeeding is appropriate in your own home on your own terms or anywhere in public UNDER A SHEET!"
"We don't need to see breastfeeding in public thank you very much. For the sake of the public, yourself, and your baby, practice a little discretion."

One person even claims that babies prefer blankets over their heads:

"Infants like quiet and a blanket over their face when feeding."

Not any baby that I've met.

Another common theme is even more offensive. Many people seem to think breastmilk fits into the same category as urine, feces, and snot.

"urinating is just as normal as breastfeeding, but you don't see people sitting down on a mall bench to do it."
"Proponents of the breast feeding in public brigade always defend themselves by claiming it is 'a natural function'. Well, so is defecating, but I wouldn't do that in public either."

Last I checked, breastmilk was a food, not a waste product.

There is another theme that shows just how little some people know about the actual process of breastfeeding:

"I am actually disgusted by women who feel it is ok to "whip it out" at any location."
"don't expect me to have to see your breasts flapping in the wind and not say something to you."

I don't usually present a moving target when I am try to feed my daughter...

On a more serious note though, when a baby is breastfeeding, there is actually very little to see. Far less then there is to see in a bikini or even many low cut tops. In fact, I have been in public places and been halfway through a conversation before somebody notices that I am feeding my baby at the same time.

It is largely accepted that breast milk is the ideal food for a baby. It is also natural and has been the way to feed babies for centuries.

So why lack of acceptance of public breastfeeding?

In the past years, it has been largely publicized that "breast is best". Companies that try to stop mothers from breastfeeding find themselves the target of "nurse ins", where dozens or hundreds of mothers come together and breastfeed on the premises of said company.

This brings attention to the issue, but I wonder if it has actually succeeded in bringing understanding. I wonder how many people are offended by the "idea" of a woman breastfeeding in their presence but have never actually dealt with the "reality".

I also wonder what needs to happen to change the public attitude?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Someone is having a laugh

For Sebastian's birthday, he was given a very cool new toy. It is a set of thing-a-ma-jigs that fit together. I'm not even sure what they are called, but they are a lot of fun and very easy for a toddler to use.

They also ended up being something that Spud and Sweetpea both enjoyed and played together with.

However, my husband pointed out a couple of the shapes. Do you ever wonder if toy designers are having a laugh at our expense?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Clingy or Cuddly?

I have 2 children that are fairly clingy children.

As a baby Spud always wanted to be held. It was pretty much the only way he would sleep and whenever I put him down, he would wake up and start crying. I hear people talk about how their baby cries all the time unless they are held. That was true of Spud. Except he didn't cry all the time. I held him. I would spend hours with him on my chest surfing the internet or reading books.

At night time, it would take me a long time to get him settled enough to sleep. This was back when I was still very opposed to co-sleeping. So, I would sometimes sit with him for 30-60 minutes after a night time feed until he was in a deep enough sleep that I could put him down. Even then, it was still iffy as to whether he would sleep on his own.

Now when Sweetpea came along, I was a little more prepared for this, and it was a good thing because, if anything, she was more clingy then her brother. I couldn't just let her lie on my chest while sitting around, but I did put her in my wrap from the very start. This left me with free hands to deal with toddler Spud. Spud still wanted his Mommy though. I became very skilled at contorting my body in such a way to be able to breastfeed Sweetpea while still cuddling Spud.

Now there are times where I find this dependance on me exasperating. When I leave the room and Spud bursts into tears. Or I hand Sweetpea off to Daddy and she starts to wimper. Sometimes I feel like my personal space is constantly invaded. Who am I kidding though? When you become a mother, you give up all rights to personal space.

It also goes against my parenting philosophy to just put one of my kids down and let them deal with it or work it out. I realize one argument is they need that to become independant. I side with the other side of the argument. I believe that human touch and contact is a need. When my children want to be held, there is also a need to be held. Because of this, I will do what I can to accomodate that need. If I allow them to learn that I am there for them when they need me, they will gain the confidence to venture further out on their own.

Hence the reason I spend so much time with two children attached to me.

It has gotten gradually better though. Since Sweetpea started crawling, she's liking being put down more. And Spud isn't clingy all the time. Mostly when his teeth are hurting, he's tired, or we're in a new place.

And, I consider the fact that they are going to become more and more independant as they get older. Then the day will come when one of them pulls their hand out of mine while we are walking. Or they'll get embarrassed if I hug them in front of their friends.

Suddenly, the cuddles don't seem so clingy. I don't mind so much that Sweetpea needed to be in the wrap to fall asleep. I find it endearing that Spud grabs my hand to put my arm around him.

It's a oft quoted phrase, but they are only little for a short time. I'm going to take my cuddles when I can.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My newest item

So, I haven't been adding alot of new things to my store lately, but the wheels have been turning and I've had some things in the works.

My newest thing: Mini clippies!

I've had people mention that they find the full sized ones too big for little baby heads. I've wanted to do it for a while, but shied away when I found instructions on how to make my own smaller clips. Basically, it said to cut down the regular ones, but be sure to fully line because of the sharp edges! Now, even though I do fully line my clips, that was enough to scare me off.

Until I found a source for little clips! Now, I have these small clips, and they are still safe, and BOY are they ever cute! See the final picture for a size comparison.
Stay tuned for more new items coming in the next few weeks!