Sunday, April 29, 2012

Oh yeah, totally normal..

I mentioned on a previous post that I've been perusing chinese shopping websites to try and see what's available out there ( and tell myself to breathe that i'll find what we need). My stumbling upon things that I am looking for is pure luck, since most of the sites are written in chinese characters. I have found everything from electronics, to bottles, diapers, linens and vitamins.

My family has been helping me stock up on clothes for Sal. He's already got a closet full over there, but, I'm pretty sure I have enough new clothes here to send another suitcase over. My sister and I loooove to shop! And here I thought baby boy clothes weren't going to be much fun...I die over anything striped, nautical or has pictures of trucks. Really, I do.

..and thank goodness we've been stocking up on baby clothes, because well...

Apparently, this is totally normal.

Yes, split pants.

Sold that way.

On purpose.

One of my evenings of perusing lead me to baby clothes on the site. This is where I learned of the chinese split pants..called Kai Dang Ku.

It'll be a sight to see, but at least I have been forwarned and won't be surprised . Okay, even being forwarned, I will probably still have my mouth agape..bare butts. I mean, c'mon. I'm a sheltered American. Cut me some slack.

As much as I want to try and embrace parts of the Chinese culture, I can honestly say that this will probably (99%) not be one of them. 

I've seen what Sal can do to a diaper..I certainley don't want to see what he could do while riding on my shoulders diaperless.

Can you imagine?


Keys to the future


We have them.

In our posession.

The keys to our future.

Countdown to rice, noodles and all things foreign is officially on.

36 days.

How will we roll? The stroller debate

One might think that with an impending move, that I'm super focused on  dotting all of our i's and crossing all of our t's as we close up shop here and move abroad. Thankfully, my ol man has us covered ( bragtime: I really really love that he is even more organized and my favorite word, "me-ti-cu-lous" than I am), so I can focus on what's really important.... STROLLERS.

Yep. That's what's most important in my world these days. Browsing the internets during my  nursing sessions every know, inbetween texting Amy with the usual.." How's naptime going for you?" "I put him down five minutes ago, can I claim a naptime victory?" followed by " Nap Fail.He's up again!"..My ipad browser is currently overloaded with websites dedicated to strollers and stroller reviews. I just can't decide what kind I want.

Do I go with a bare bones umbrella that I don't care if it gets jacked? Or do I fork out money on a hi-falutin-bells-and-whistles ride like the Uppababy VISTA and install an alarm system and GPS tracking for when it ultimately gets stolen? There's probably a whole stolen stroller ring out there these days...just like the bike rings in Davis, where I sadly had 3 bikes dissapear.

I asked facebook friends what they're pushing these days, and many good suggestions were made. The Uppababy VISTA was by far the fave, followed by a BOB jogger ( too big for China), the Britax B-ready and a few others like Teutonia and CitiJogger Select.

I'd like to keep our pricepoint under $400, which apparently isn't very easy when stroller shopping. I am amazed that some of the systems cost upwards of $1000 dollars.. For a stroller, really?! Those wheels better be made of gold, and seats of imported italian leather for that much money.

Britax Bready

In the lead right now, is the Britax B-Ready. It's just under $400, and I  like that it is adaptable for a growing family. It is also available by brand name in China. None of that off label $h!t. The citijogger select also offers the same type of options, and looks to be a bit more compact than the Britax, but the reviews aren't as good. It rings in at $500, but has better tires for different terrain.
 My stroller use will be primarily sidewalks and streets, and since it's China, with a zillion and a half people, I'm thinking the more compact, the better. The citijogger is the most compact one that I have come across.

I've also searched on the website and which are both chinese shopping sites, and found a couple contenders there. There's a whole off label stroller business over there, but from what I have researched, the prices aren't  that much different for the off labels than they are here for real thing ( with instructions in English)...Consensus is that they run about 20% less than the US versions, but who knows about the quality of fabrics etc til we see them in person.

Either way, we'll check out what Chinese brands have to offer...These two are my favorite thus far.
Vigorkids "viki" stroller. My top chinese contender.
Goodbaby citi. Second Chinese contender

I'm really antsy to get him into a real stroller, that can face every which way. He is such a social butterfly, and really loves to see the World around him. Unlike me, a wallflower, I think my son is going to be quite gregarious. He has a smile for all the pretty ladies, and is quite taken aback by what the men are doing. Last week I visited my mom at her work, and he stared ( quite creepily might I add) at the man sitting behind my mom eating ribs for lunch. We all laughed, but I had to tell him that staring is creepy, lol.

Sal, don't be that guy.

I think that once he can see what's up ahead in an upright stroller, our outings will be longer and more pleasant. He's a pretty good sport in his keyfit carseat, but I'm sure that staring at the sky waiting for a bird to fly by gets pretty boring after a few minutes...We've tried the Bjorn, and as I said in my previous post, it hurts my back after a while..

I'm curious as to what feedback my readers have on stroller likes and dislikes. What are some must have "options" or "bells and whistles"? Anyone wanna share what stroller NOT to get, so I can cross some off the list?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Forget the 5lb bass..We have a 13lb boy

Have you ever heard the Robert Earl Keen song, "five pound bass"? It's one of NZ and my all time favorite songs, and today I went skipping around the house with Sal in my arms singing the song but substituting 13 lb boy for the 5lb bass.


THIRTEEN pounds. Holy moly!

Time to bust out the next size of his diapers.

I love guessing what he will weigh when we go in for his well baby visits. I was spot on with my guess this week. He is growing like a weed...gaining a pound and a half and growing just under an inch since his last check 4 weeks ago. He measured just under 25" today.

He was unbelievably cool, calm and collected . He spent most of the appointment sitting in NZ's lap, smiling and gnawing on that fist of his. ( forget pacifiers...he loves his hands!). We saw a different doc than usual today, and he complimented us on how mellow Salvatore was during his exam. It was a stark contrast to our last visit in which Sal screamed to the high Heavens through most of the exam. The only tears today came with his shots---and c'mon, you gotta admit, that's pretty traumatizing to a little guy. He was quite the trooper.

Without further adieu, our 13 lber...

Friday, April 27, 2012

Morning routine

Every morning, we wake up to the sound of a little boy babbling away in his bedroom. As soon as he locks eyes on us, he gives a smile that will melt a million hearts.

Hi mom! I'm ready to hit the floor running!

After we unswaddle him, he does his signature stretch to ready himself for a tough day of playing under his jungle gym, taking walks in the stroller, and swinging in his swing while singing songs with his mom.

Ahhhhh, free at last, free at last!

Life is good.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

#operationwearmyjeans: weigh in

Well, despite doing better with consistent walking and better food choices last week, I can't claim any lbs lost since last week. I guess the good news is that the scale didn't go up--but...still....I was hoping for at least a pound to keep the motivation going. I guess for now, I'll have to use my two sizes larger than usual shorts as a reminder to stay motivated.

No workouts for the week. ZERO. Zilch, Nada. My exercise consisted of walking on the treadmill every night after Sal was down for bedtime. I would have liked to have taken him on walks since it was gorgeous out--but for some reason he screamed everytime he had to go anywhere in his carseat. I tried the baby Bjorn for a short walk while my sister was here, but it really put pressure on my already sore back. I don't think I will be logging any long walks on the beach with him in the bjorn.

My goal for next week is to keep up the nightly walking and eat more vegetables.

Easy enough, right?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Naps are for babies. Other babies.
It seems, that after 3 months of trial and error of just about everything under the sun, that I am finally figuring out this whole baby thing a bit better. I know it's bound to change in the next 5 minutes, but over the course of the past 4 weeks, we've been trying something new to encourage consistent sleep times, and for the most part--I see improvement. Hallelujah, says the flustered mom!

Call me naieve, but I had this notion that newborn babies slept ALL the time...took naps that lasted oh, say, more than TWENTY minutes. I was wrong. Oh.So. Wrong.

Sal quickly became our little cat napper, and would not stay asleep more than 15-20 minutes during daytime naps. I was at a loss. I tried to let him CIO ( cry it out), tried consistent naptimes ( timing being my choice), and feeding him to sleep. It's a bit embarassing, seeing as I majored in human development with an emphasis in child development, and I couldn't get my cranky sweet boy to nap when clearly he was tired!! I guess all knowledge goes out the door when it's your child--all you want it something that WORKS! Like. N-O-W. Screw Pavlov, and Erikkson and Freud!

I read the Baby Whisperer. No dice.

Watched the Happiest baby on the Block video. It helped with calming techniques.

Pulled out the hairdryer, turned it on in his room. He'd fall asleep. Turn it off. Baby wakes.

Asked my sister-in-law advice. Asked friends for advice. Tried and tried and their different methods, and just threw the towel in--that's it---our kid just doesn't sleep durig the day.

He's a superhuman. With meltdowns. At 5 o'clock. Every night.

Parenting fail.

My house was not getting cleaned. Take out was being ordered for dinner--and this wasn't how it should be..I mean, I'm a stay at home mom and wife. Surely I should be able to get stuff done while he naps. Oh yeah--minor issue--my baby doesn't nap! Nick was getting home to a frazzled wife, cranky kid and lukewarm takeout. Totally not what I had planned when I dreamed up this whole stay at home wife and mom thing. I felt horrible.

At our most recent pediatrician appointment, we spoke to her about his lack of daytime napping. She left the room and promptly returned with a book for me to read. Oh great--another book..and just when will I read it when my! Thankfully, that afternoon, Sal did take a 1 hour nap, and I skimmed that book quick-style. I got the jist  of it. It made sense...

What was the book, you ask?

"The 90-Minute Baby Sleep Program" by Polly Moore PhD.

It describes the normal sleep/wakeful cycles of humans... and suggested taking note of what time your baby wakes in the morning. It then states that 90 minutes after waking, baby will be primed to sleep again. Yeah right, I thought! It says to look for cues such as fussiness, yawning, rubbing eyes about 60-70 minutes after the last waking..Sure enough, at 70 minutes, out came the yawns..So I swaddled him. I put on white noise in his room and drew the shades. I rocked him. He fussed, and cried, and just when I was about to call bu!!$hit on Polly Moore and her PhD, Sal was lights out. Asleep. I looked at the clock, and wouldn't you know. It was exactly 90 minutes from his previous waking. I kid you not.

The rest of the day, I was a slave to the clock. Sal was going down 90 minutes after every waking, but still only sleeping 20 minutes at a we had LOTS and LOTS of naps the first week of trying this method..but, I saw hope. He was going down for short naps, and by week two, at least one nap a day was over an hour.

I've stuck with it, and we're finishing out week four. He is now sleeping at least 30-45 minutes per nap, with one longer nap during the day. Sometimes it's morning, sometimes it's late afternoon. We stick with this 90 minutes from wake schedule as best as we can, and I've become a bit of a lunatic racing home at the 70 minute mark when out and about just to keep him on schedule. The few times we've missed the window of opportunity, he proves the theory true and doesn't go down until another 90 minute wakeful cycle has passed.

I feel a lot better. For one, he's getting more sleep. Secondly, I am able to keep up with housework, get a workout in ( most days) and cook meals. I am happier when my ol man gets home, and don't blow his phone up with a zillion " HE isn't sleeping..Why isn't he sleeping?! I need him to sleep!" texts a day.

So it all boils down to the fact that I thinkSal is  just like his mama. He ( along with most babies) does better with a consistent schedule. I have never been a fly by the seat of my pants kinda girl--always needing time to warm up to new situations, and being most comfortable when I know what's going to happen. I just didn't know HOW to develop a schedule before reading the book and understanding how sleep/wakeful cycles work.

His nighttime routine has been like clockwork since early on. In bed and asleep by 7:30 every night. Nick does a dream feed ( Sal stays sleeping through the feeding) before he goes to bed, and we have an early morning feeding around 4:00 a.m.. Don't hate us--we realize we're lucky to sleep through the night. I won't complain about getting up at 4:00 a.m. at all.

It'll be interesting to see how his little temperment develops..will he get his pants in a bunch like I do when something doesn't go as planned? Will he organize his crayons in rainbow order? Or will he roll with the punches and always have a plan B, C and D when plan A doesn't work, just like his dad?

Only time will tell, but until then, I recommend this book to any new parent struggling with naptimes like we have been. It may not be the answer ( is there ever ONE single answer?No), but it sure helped us out and we're all happier for it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I [heart] my sister

Let's play auntie!
Sal and I were lucky enough to have my sister spend her vacation time with us while NZ was overseas. It was really nice to have an extra set of hands willing to do anything from changing diapers to consoling a distraught backseat driver ( OMG, You put me in a carseat, you mean mean mama!), for a few days. I even managed to  hack mow the lawn. I never ever mow lawns, and I don't know WHY I thought it was a good idea, but now I remember why I DON'T...that shhht ain't easy!

Lovin his Auntie
Sis and I had a chance to hit the mall, and Sal was on his best behavior. He scored a few outfits, and we had fun just walking and hanging out together for the afternoon.

I got you piggy!
Lots of time was spent playing on his jungle gym, which he is so freakin cute under...He is thrilled with himself now that he can grab the piggy, and sometimes his wild left hand can nail the zebra too.

We did many loads of laundry, dyed some onesies and playpen sheets avocado puke Amazon Green , took a walk and watched way too much daytime TV. I introduced sis to my guilty pleasure, Make it Or Break It and helped her eat broken cookies bag some of her cookie orders.

With our time in the USA running out, I can't help but get emotional thinking about saying goodbye, although, not forever, to my sister. She has been a tremendous sister, aunt and friend throughout the years of  trials and tribulations on our way to becoming a family of three. It's like she lived it with me ( as did a few close friends and fam members, I love you guys too), and Sal is a very special boy to her. I'd trust my sister with him any day. She shows him such love and patience ( which was nice when he flipped the ef out in his carseat one afternoon, and I about joined him with the tears), and is really good with photo documenting. She never leaves our house without leaving at least 100+ photos of him and all his cuteness.

My sister and I weren't always BFF's..In fact, I am pretty sure we had a strong dislike for one another for a while there. Being 6 years younger, I ALWAYS bugged her and her friends, and tried to embarass her in front of them. I would beg to spend the night with them, and they would end up saying yes, only to pull my tooth or something.

It all changed when our parents divorced in 1996, my sister and I grew super close. No one else in the world could comfort me the way she did, and visa versa. We went through the sadness  and the whole "I can't beleive this happened to our family" disbelief together. A few years after our parent's divorce  I encountered a divorce of my own-- capped off with an eating disorder as I muddled my way back into the world. My sister was always my first call. She never ever judged. She was just There.

..and it makes me sad to think that in just over a month, I won't have the luxury of having my sister show up on my doorstep to hang out for the day. I know she'll still be there, via Skype or a phonecall, but it's not the same. I'm gonna miss the crap outta her.

This move is a good thing for us, exciting and adventurous, but I really, really wish that we could pack my sister up and bring her with us. I'm thankful for each and every day I get to spend with her, and hoping she gets her passport and brings her butt over to China before too long.

And with that sappy post about my wonderful sister, a few pictures that she took of Sal...

..Thank you sis !

( now get that passport, pronto!)

Friday, April 13, 2012

#operationwearmyjeans: food is fuel

Oh my goodness, what 9+ months of eating whatever my heart desires does to erase everything I ever knew about eating healthy. I mean, if I didn't know better, I'd laugh at myself if I ever claimed to have trained and competed in fitness competitions ( Thank goodness I have photgraphic proof!).

Proof! 2007 USA championships

My lifestyle lately is a 180 from where I used to be.

I used to eat 5-6 small meals a day. And I never, ever skipped breakfast. Protein was the key to every meal, and I could pass the middle aisles of the market with ease ( the middle aisles of supermarkets are usually full of the boxed, packaged, processed goods, whereas the outskirts of most markets are where the fruits, veggies, meats and dairy usually are).

So, what happened to me?

Could I really have reversed everything I ever knew and practiced in a measly 9 months?

The answer is no.

What I am lacking and need to find, is the willpower to say no. To be stronger than my boredom and laziness. I need to remember that food is simply fuel.

Yes, FUEL.

The better the fuel, the better your body runs, the better you feel, and the better your jeans look the next time you put them on.

This being said, this past week can go down as a fail in both diet and exercise. I managed to log about a mile a day on the treadmill after NZ got home from work, and squeezed in two workouts, but other than that, I didn't get out and about to walk with Sal as much as I had hoped. Between the weather and his lack of napping this week, I really couldn't find time for myself until the evenings, and by then, the diet damage had been done. I considered jelly beans a meal one afternoon. Washed down by a diet pepsi...Yeah, I know better.

And for that matter, it's in my best interest NOT to step on the scale until next week. I've got the fire under my butt to get meals prepped this weekend, and to stick with them next week, and double bonus, my sister is going to be coming to camp Zentil for a few days and I know she will walk with me and Sal everyday that she's here ( mall walking totally counts!)...Having a partner makes it easier to stay accountable.

So, my goal for next week is not a number on the scale, but to remember that food is fuel..and get back in the mindset that I should choose nutrition over ease.

Guess who's 3 months old?

I used to laugh when people would tell me not to blink once I had a baby to care for.

Now I get it.

He grows and changes right before our eyes.

His likes and dislikes change from day to day.
Some days he's a sleeper, others he's an insomniac.
Some days he's crabby, but most days he's nothing but smiles.
Some days he likes to fall asleep in his swing, others he wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole.
Some days he likes tummy time, others he'd rather play under his jungle gym.

One thing is for sure, he loves us.

His little smiles have turned into ear to ear grins, and we're pretty sure he's working on his first giggle.

His favorite time of day is bathtime with dad--we're looking forward to when he can actually sit up and play in the bath, and many times we use bathtime as a way to soothe him when he's fussy before bedtime.

Bedtimes are a phenomenon...he goes down, without fail ( knock on wood) by 7:30 every fact, this week, bedtime was between 6:30 and 7:00..Daytime--well, it's a work in progress. I'm trying to abide by the 90 minute baby sleep program, and it has improved daytime naps, but there's still work to do.

I've got myself convinced that he is the ONLY person that enjoys my singing voice, and I will work it till he's old enough to be embarassed by it. Right now, Itsy Bitsy Spider is the chart topper, with Farmer in the Dell as a close second. It may actually eclipse the Itsy Bitsy Spider this week for the number 1 spot. Who knows? The suspense is going to kill you, I know..

Hi mah! My hands can grab toys! Isn't that neat?!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Harness Covers

Houston, we have a slobberer.
The most recent casualty?

Our poor carseat harness covers.
They get spit up on and slobbered on daily.

Assuming this whole slobbering mess is going to stick around a while, I combatted it by making some shoulder pads to switch out whenever they get wet & smelly.

Baby slobber smells, just sayin.

They are simple to make, using scraps of fabric that many of us have laying around.
-   8.5" x 11.5" polar fleece
-   17" x 23" cotton print
-   8 inches of Velcro
-   Velcro glue
-   sewing machine
-   scissors
-   thread
My measurements are for a Chicco Keyfit carseat, but I think most harnesses are the same width.

CORRECTION: cut (2) from fleece. Cut (4) from print.

A popular question

Aside from the " Are you getting ANY sleep?" question, ( the answer is YES!  He's been a great overnight sleeper since early on), the second most popular question I get happens when I introduce him to people.

For instance, my exchange with a female grocery checker this morning...

Checker looks in and sees Sal's shirt..: " Sal", is that his name?

Me: "Yep,  short for Salvatore."

Checker: " That's different. It must be a family name."

Me: " Nope. "

Checker looks dumfounded: "'s just that you don't hear of many babies with that name."

I'm thinking to myself--okay, lady, you have made it completely obvious that either A) you grew up under a rock, or B) you wouldn't name your kid Salvatore. My guess is that it is more likely B than A, and I'm okay with that.

So, to answer the second most popular question---Is his name a family name? The answer is no.
It's  likely that somewhere in one of our family trees full of Italian decendents, that one of us has a great uncle Salvatore or something, but he certainly wasn't named after anyone in particular.

Simply put, we wanted a traditional Italian name ( NZ and I are both at least a quarter Italian, if not more),  spelled the way it sounds, and won't sound silly when he's a grown man conducting business. None of this, "Hi, my name is Blue Ivy" bull$h!t.".

So, there you have it. The story behind the man, the myth, the legend-to-be, Salvatore.

Exciting, right?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter 2012

Happy Easter everyone!

We spent the day out in the yard, watching dad/NZ do yardwork.
It was the first time Sal's been outside to play, aside from going to the park with his cousins.

I think we will spend more time in our backyard from here on out.
He loved it, and I got a bit of Courtney from the Bachelor would say, " Winning".
Watching dad prune back the overgrowth
I love NZ in his cowboy hat. Swoon.

Tummy time outside is twice as fun!

Enjoying the backyard sunshine

Saturday, April 7, 2012

#operationwearmyjeans: Favorite Apps

I've mentioned as my go to workout site, because of it's quick workouts, and the ease of being able to do them in the living room with little equipment needed. The workouts do incorporate sandbags and dip stations and bosu type balls, but let's be honest, my weak butt isn't anywhere near swinging sandbags, so I improvise by copying the movements without the added weight. Someday I will get up to the sandbag swings WITH sandbags ( when I did these workouts in the past, my husband's old Engineering textbooks thrown in a gym bag worked quite well as a sandbag), but for now, I simply do the movements, and it seriously kicks my butt. For dips, our coffee table edge works well, and for the bosu ball, I do the exercise without the ball. So, I'd say, don't let the lack of equipment keep you from trying the workouts. Just modify them like I do, and you'll still be crawling to your water jug at the end of 12 minutes.

I do have 2 free apps that I have found very helpful in my #operationwearmyjeans mission.

fitday  mobile
One is called "FitDay mobile", which allows users to input their activity level, exercise, food intake and weight and keeps a log for you. It has the ability to show you your caloric breakdown in terms of fat, protein and carbohydrates. I used to be a HUGE calorie counter, and I have little interest in falling prey to the calorie wars in my head again, so I just log my eats into fitday and try to come in around 1700-2000 calories a day since I am still nursing. The graph shows me what percent of my daily intake was fat, carbs and protein, so that I can try to stay heavier on the proteins and lighter in the carb department without freaking about every single calorie.

The other app I LOVE is called "Seconds Free" . It is an awesome timer app for any sort of interval workout you may get into. You can set timers for rounds of exercises, with beeps during timed exercises and rest periods. It also works for HIIT ( Hi intensity interval training)  and circuit work. I love that I can audibly hear when a interval is over rather than constantly looking at a stop watch.
Seconds free

My weekly weigh ins are going to be on Fridays ( before I have an "anything I want" day on Saturday). As of this Friday, I have lost 1.5 lbs toward my 14 lb goal.. I am also finding that I am able to do some "boy" pushups again, but still switch to girl/knee pushups during many of my intervals. Form is key, and I rather do perfect girl pushups than hurt myself struggling through boy ones. Hopefully by the end of next week I will be able to do at least one round of boy pushups.

Has anyone else tried the videos? If so, what's your favorite one?

Friday, April 6, 2012


So, I told myself that I wasn't going to stress about the 40 lbs ( yes, F-O-R-T-Y!!.. i'm only 5 foot tall on a good day) I gained during pregnancy--that I, the queen of calorie counting and regular exercise, know exactly what it takes to lose it. And of course, I would do it. I wasn't going to use Sal as an excuse. No way, Uh-uh.

But OMG--apparently, having a baby makes regular exercise a luxury.

There are days in which I am so busy shhhhshing and changing diapers and rinsing bottles and playing with the boy, that I pop whatever is closest into my mouth and call it lunch. Who cares if it's half a sleeve of Ritz crackers?

I've avoided scales, and had only been weighed at my 6 week post-partum visit up until a week ago. At my 6 week visit, I had already lost 24 pounds, and my Doctor was very happy with the progress, as was I. I sat there thinking to myself, as she released me for regular exercise...this whole losing the baby weight thing is going to be a cinch now that I'm free to be active again.

But, my jeans, although they could be zipped up, looked like I was baking bread over the waist band. I ended up going out and buying a "big" pair a week or so later, just so I wouldn't feel like the Michelein man every time I bent over. The big pants were not one, but TWO sizes larger than my norm. I swallowed my pride, and paid the lady at the counter, praying these jeans would be falling off me shortly.

Well, a month has passed since that purchase, and I was brave enough to weigh in last week. I had halfway expected the scale to reflect a significant amount of weight loss, since I had been back to walking at least 45 minutes 3-4x a week with Sal...surely, since I added exercise, the weight should have melted away.

Such is not the case.

A measley 2 lbs lower than I was at 6 weeks post-baby.

And then..when I weighed myself again 2 days later ( to add insult to injury, maybe?), I was UP two lbs...meaning I hadn't lost ANY weight between weeks 6 and 10.

No bueno.

So, I vowed to myself to get back into structured workouts, not just walking. I have been doing's short workouts and mash-ups in the comfort of my living room, in ugly leggings and oversized T shirts, hoping none of my neighbors can see my feebile attempts at a "real" push-up. They're perfect for me, because most of them are bodyweight only, use very little props, and are between 12 and 20 minutes long...which is perfect since the boy tends to be a catnapper.

I've also commited to going back to cleaner eating during the week, meaning that breakfast is egg whites and oatmeal, lunch is a chicken breast, a potato ( or rice) and veggies, snacks are cottage cheese and fruits, and dinners are sensible. I realize since I am still nursing that I can't go gung-ho on the clean eats, but I can definitely stop lying to myself about the amount of processed crap I've been calling food.

I've got a friend, Amy ( and new mom) on board with me as we tackle #operationwearmyjeans, and I invite any other friends who are determined to get back into their cute jeans to join us. We can keep each other motivated. I admit, I am coming off of a year long hiatus from the gym...When first pregnant, I just had no motivation to go--I'd rather sleep..Then as pregnancy progressed, I got put on restriction, which included no workouts.

So, needless to say, I have a long way to go, and my goal is not only to lose the remaining pregnancy weight, but also regain some muscle and endurance. I've got 14 lbs to go..So who's in with us?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Name badge

With the help of my silhouette SD machine, iron-transfer paper and some white fabric backed with iron on adhesive, I created a name badge onesie.

Isn't it cute?

Dyeing fabric

Dana over at MADE 's recent post on dyeing onesies inspired me to try it myself. I have a bunch of white onesies just waiting to be made unique. If you recall this post, I made iron on appliqués for a few of them.
To dye the onesies, I first washed them to rid them of the packaging starch. Once finished, I left the onesies damp. While the wash cycle was going, I dissolved a package of "Bahama Blue" DYLON dye in 4 cups warm water as directed by the package. I also filled a home depot bucket with a few gallons of warm water from our bathtub.

I'm fairly accident prone so I decided this needed to be an outdoor project. Next to a hose. On the grass. The last thing we need is a turquoise patio.

I added 4TBSP of salt to the bucket of water and then poured the dissolved dye into the bucket and mixed it with some tongs to assure it was mixed well.

In went four onesies and some muslin fabric ( I let half the muslin hang out of the bucket...trying for an ombré swaddle blanket). I stirred constantly for 15 minutes and removed my first onesie. I rinsed it in cold water and threw it in the washing machine to sit while the rest marinated in the dye bath a while longer. I removed the second one at a half hour and also pulled about 6 inches of my submerged muslin end  out of the dye bath to try for the gradient effect.
L: 15 minute dye bath
R: 30 minute dye bath
The remaining two onesies sand muslin stayed in an hour thanks to an 11 week old who refuses to sleep anywhere but on me in the afternoons. With daytime naps being a constant struggle, I often give in just to ensure he gets at least one good stretch of zzzzz's. He's a real cat napper, napping no longer than 45 min at a time. This is why quick projects like this tend to be my cup of tea these days.

My favorite thing about the dye bath is that each onesie came out a unique shade of the same color. Some vibrant ( the ones that basked in the bath an hour) , and others very light ( the one that dipped in for just 15 min).
Ombre effect dyeing technique= success!
 Similar to Aden and Anais swaddle blankets
 for a fraction of the cost

Once all your fabric is dyed, rinse in cold water and then throw it in a warm wash cycle. I like to throw in old towels to absorb any dye that may escape. To be extra careful not to have my next load tinted a special color (er-- turquoise in this case), I run my washer on its cleaning cycle afterwards.

I took it one step further and added some swag that I had printed onto iron-on adhesive paper.
Aviator glasses
The sun never sets on cool
Showin some Big Wheel love
It's an easy one afternoon project, perfect for baby shower gifts or your own little one.

Everything but the kitchen sink

And so goes the packing of our first bag of belongings to China. All of Salvatore's "too big" clothes, winter jackets, hats, toys, children's books ( I read that books written in English are hard to find there), wipes, burp cloths, crib and changing pad linens, cloth diapering supplies in the next size up, formula, bottles, pacifiers, OTC children's meds ( not that we can't find medicines in China, but I'd like to be able to read the dosing instructions..we don't need any accidental overdosing due to my inability to read mandarin), shoes, toiletries and not pictured....a bag of cat food.

I told you I packed everything but the kitchen sink into this bag (=

Monday, April 2, 2012

Ruffle Butt Onesie

Once upon a time, I lived in Oregon. Fresh out of college, I took a job as a preschool teacher at the local YMCA. It was there that I met a couple of girls who quickly became my friends. Through the beauty of myspace, and now facebook, we all still keep in touch, even though I have been back in California since 2001.
Jennifer is having a baby girl any day now, and I have been fiending to make something girly. Don't get me wrong, boy stuff is cute too, but there is something extra adorable about girly fabrics and bows and ruffles and such.
I just packed this up and shipped it off along with a changing pad fitted sheet, a burp cloth and a few lap pads.

Baby Mia, the World awaits your arrival!
Here's a link to the tutorial I followed over on the Crap I've Made blog.