Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Potty Realism

I just realized I have come to a new place in parenthood:  the potty training no-judgment zone.  This zone is probably not new to many of you mamas, but I think there are some in the previous generation or maybe your friend across town, who are still in the "my kids were all potty-trained by two, no problems, so what's up with your little people" place.  These folks are well-meaning, and may even be telling the truth, but I'm willing to bet they have not had a challenging potty trainee or they are just leaving out the frustration.

When Monica was just over a year old, I remember talking to a friend about the potty training process.  She had decided that they were not going to set up a reward system with candy, stickers, or McDonalds' french fries.  Why reward a behavior that is not really a choice, i.e. people in our society are expected, from a social and hygenic standpoint, to eliminate in acceptable locations and receptacles.  Period. 

At the time, I thought, "Of course.  I'm just going to get this girl to go potty when I think it's time.  It's as simple as putting them on the potty every so often and,  by two-ish, she'll understand to eliminate there.  Who wants wet, soiled underwear, right?  Surely she'll learn quickly just because that's what we do; it's the routine."

That may work for some, maybe even many, kids.  But, I tell ya, some kids give you a rough go.  Some seem to hold on to dipes and purposeful pants pooping for years.  I've heard some theorize that this variation is due to parenting deficits and/or laziness.  While that is possible, let's not forget that you can't control you kid's bowels or their development in understanding urges.  Let's not forget that changes in the home can get in the way of maintaing and developing skills.  Let's not forget that taking too much responsibility for our kids' bodily functions can cause frustration or a false sense of pride. 

If you need to cut a hole in your kid's diaper and sit them on the toilet to poo, fine.  If you need to give out a jelly bean every once in a while to keep them interested in learning to use the john, what's the harm?  If you're willing the just wash out the messy underwear today because putting your kid on the potty every 30 minutes is exhausting, more power to you.

 And my friend who said there was no way she'd reward potty traning?  She has also reached the potty training no-judgment zone.  Kids will do that to you.  They keep you humble and honest.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sewing for Monica: A Sort-Of Simple Skirt

Here are the results for another MADE tutorial: A Simple Skirt

When I first skimmed this tutorial I thought, "Awesome. A sewing project that really will be one evening!" But, I double layered the skirt and used bias tape on the hems; these suggestions are in the tutorial, but they certainly took some of the "simple" out of the project.  However, I love not having to double roll hems, and who doesn't love a little extra twirl and flounce?

The black/white/yellow fabric is from the JoAnn remnant bin and the yellow polka dot fabric is from the JoAnn quilting cotton wall. This project would have been a lot more straightforward had I not sewn the skirt layers together in the center back hem. I *could* have left them sewn together but I think you lose flounce and it just bothered me to leave it. Separating the layers in the hem also caused some issues with the bias tape, but I corrected it and the stitches on the bias tape look more even for it. That correction took all of the "one evening" out of the project, but the fastidious craftstress in me is at peace now. 
I've come to realize that learning to sew and the too-cute results often take a lot more effort, patience and brain power than I thought they would. However, I still love it and find real satisfaciton from the creative process and the outcome. Maybe it is filling part of the challenge-in-the-workplace hole I sometimes feel being a SAHM. We all need an outlet, right?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sewing for Monica: Upcycling The Giant Purple People Eater Maternity Shirt

If you'll remember a few posts ago (and many moons ago), I turned a mens dress shirt into a sun dress for Monica.  Monica hearts that dress and has even christened it "The Square Dress".  When Monica names a piece of clothing, it is automatically inducted into her personal Clothing Hall of Fame.

So, in the name of thrift, challenge, and cuteness, I took on another mens dress shirt repurpose a la this tutorial by Dana at Made.  I love the cap sleeves and the extra styling at the waist! 

While on my quest for the perfect shirt at a thrift store, I came across a ginormous, deep purple, button-down maternity shirt.  It was a little different from the mens shirt in that it did't have the yoke in the back, had a much boxier shape and sported short sleeves instead of long sleeves.  The only differnce that made an impact on the project was the short sleeves.  The cap sleeves are cut from the dress shirt's long sleeves (which I didn't remember while out on my thrifting escapade), so I had to improvise with some very Vera-looking fabric from the JoAnns quilting cotton wall, which I paired with a coordinating quilting cotton for the waist band.

I should have taken a pic of the shirt at pre-upcycle because the massive shirt to cute little dress transformation is fun to see. If you really want to get the full effect of the transformation, click this link to a similar shirt at The Purple Store. (Who knew there was a store for people who really really want and love purple stuff?  Caitlyn...this is definitely the URL for you!) Here are the results:
Definitely peruse Dana's tutorials and patterns. So cute and fun. In fact, I'll have the results of another Made tutorial soon...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Happy Summer!


It's been a while!

Summer has been very full for us: lots of sun, fun, beaching, home improvement and sewing.  I *promise* I'll post more later (maybe later this evening...) but for now, here's a pic from a photog sesh in June in honor of my mom's birthday (which was in March...we like long celebrations!) 

We love you Mom! 

Like the pics? Check out Kelsey Marie Photography.