8.22.2011

And She Shall Be Named Pop-Up Flower.

We had a giveaway on the last blog post.  It was a tiny little giveaway and maybe overshadowed by the tutorial, but thank you to all whopping five entrants.  :)

Honestly, and I'm not just saying this to say it, but I really did love every single name.  Maybe that's why it took me two days to pick a winner.  


But ultimately, I had to go with the Pop-Up Flower because that is totally what this flower reminds me of.  Those little pop-up books I read as a little girl.  

Thanks, Christina M!  I will deliver your Pop-Up Flower clips very soon.  

Be on the look-out for the next flower tutorial, coming pretty soon if I can ever get all my fall stuff put together and presented to you lovelies. 

8.18.2011

From the mouth of my two year old.

I should really be sewing because we're UNVEILING OUR FALL LINE NEXT WEEK (woot!), but my little 2.5 year old, Benjamin, said some of the cutest things today.  I've had so many people tell me to document them, so I'm finally doing it while it's fresh on my mind.



And because of course my kids are the funniest/cutest/enter other positive attributes here, I just know you care, too.  Right?  ;)




Today, Ben was flailing his mini flashlight around and smacked his baby sister on the head.  I didn't have a chance to say anything before he looks at me, says, "My hit sister with flashlight.  Uh oh.  Oh no," then proceeded to kiss her and say, "I'm sorry, sister.  I'm sorry my gave you ouchie.  I love you."  Melt. My. Heart.  Right?


So I'm all, "Ben, that is so sweet of you!  She forgives you."


His response?


"Thank you SO much, Mommy!  THANK YOU!"


Ah!  Melt my heart times two!


Tonight, while we were in the car, he sees a water fountain.  He says, "Oh what a pretty water fountain!  Big fountain!  Big like our house!"


I'm like, "It IS a pretty, big water fountain, Ben!"


Then he just hit one out of the ballpark with, "Pretty like mommy pretty!  Mommy hair so pretty!"


Swoon.  I love my boy like mad.


8.16.2011

Tip Tuesday: Quick & Easy Iced Coffee

I'm sure this is already some bloggy thing I don't know about so I won't pretend like Tip Tuesday is my idea.  But I will try my hardest to keep it up every Tuesday!



Some Tuesdays I may be flat lazy but I will at least link to other cool things I find in bloggy land.



I really extra special love iced coffee.  My great pal just hooked me up with a Starbucks gift card which is one of the best presents a tired mama can get because I can't justify making Starbucks a normal part of my life right now, financially.



Some days I don't even have the time to get out of my PJs, much less drive to the closest Starbucks (which is too far away, thankyouverymuch) to use my gift card.



So I have started making my own iced coffee.  I played around with several variations, but usually it was just:



1.  Brew really strong coffee


2.  Add ice to a cup


3.  Add hot coffee to the ice unless I was smart enough to think about it beforehand and have cooled down coffee which happens exactly never.


4.  Top off with sugar and half & half


5. Be sad with the watered-down results



The following method isn't original to me.  It's courtesy of my brilliant sis-in-law, whom I had the pleasure of spending a week with last week at a cabin in Minnesota where we somehow got to discussing coffee.  I don't think she's a big coffee drinker (Christina?), but when I mentioned getting frustrated with my watered-down coffee, she was like, "Why don't you make coffee ice cubes?



Wow.  Coffee ice cubes.  How did I not think of that?  How have I never heard of that until now?  I'm sure many other people use this method, but since it's never come across my radar I thought it was share-worthy.



This is the lazy girl's guide to iced coffee.  If you want an awesome but a little more involved recipe, you can't beat P-Dubs here.  But if you are short on time like I always am and don't think ahead enough to accomplish her version, here you are:



Brew coffee.  Make it really strong.  I took this picture as though you would have any idea what this even means.  All it does is prove that I'm a lazy coffee pot cleaner.  But whatever, pretend with me.  That's a lot of coffee to 4 cups of water.  Maybe 2.5 times the amount of grounds I'd typically use for 4 cups and as it is, I make my coffee strong on a daily basis.



 



Pour some coffee in ice cube trays.  Freeze.



I know.  I'm blowing your mind, right?




When those are done, pop a few into a glass.  Two or three if your coffee is room temperature, more if you forget this step like I always do and have scalding hot coffee.




Add your coffee.


 



I fill my glass about this full but that's just me.  If you like a really strong coffee flavor, fill it fuller.  If you like a creamier, richer iced coffee, add less.



Add your half & half.



Also, WE HAVE TRADER JOE'S NOW!  I wanted to break out in an all-caps celebration really quickly because this has been something I've dreamt about forever and a day.



 



Then add sugar.  Or Truvia in my case because I'm working with some baby fat still.



As much or little as you want.  I definitely never claimed this was rocket science.




Stir.  Take a drink.  Enjoy.  When your cubes melt, your coffee will just get yummier!




For a mocha-like treat, add a little chocolate syrup.  Mmmmmmm.


Ah, see?  I knew I wasn't the resident blog smartie who developed Tip Tuesday.  Enter Tip Junkie's Tip Me Tuesday.  LOVE that blog!

Tip Junkie handmade projects

8.08.2011

TUTORIAL: The...something flower.


GIVEAWAY CLOSED.


Here, you can go ahead and name it.  I don't know what to call this one.  The Big, Puffy Flower?  The Flower My Husband Thinks is Obnoxious?  The Large One?  Hey, whoever comes up with the most clever name by 6:00 p.m. August 20th wins a small assortment*!  Cool?

I have seen so many variations of this type of flower floating all over the place, so forgive me if you've seen this before and you're bored.  Go eat some cake or something and come back for the next tutorial soon.

This flower really isn't difficult AT ALL.  It's done in a jiffy and you'll want to make 8000 of them to give to everyone you know.  If you knew 8000 people, that is.  And yes I said jiffy.  Didn't I say something else weird last week?

Grab those annoying leftover fabric strips you always end up with.  They won't be annoying after you learn this!  You also need some sewing scissors, some felt, a hot glue gun, a fabric marker and some circular objects to use as a tracer (or a compass if you're a Bomb Mom like that).


Now find something to trace with.  You'll want your circle to be about the size you want the finished flower.  I just grabbed my pen holder and that did the trick.  Trace circles onto your fabric strip.


You want seven of them.


Here's the part where I decide to go ahead and cut out my small felt circles that I'll use to attach The Crazy Large Obnoxious But Insanely Cute Flower to.  I usually cut out a couple of felt circles so that I can use another to attach the CLOBICflower to a clip or pin or headband.

Do you see why I need naming help?  I am no good at these things.  No good.

I am clever at drawing circles, though.  I rustled through my sewing shelves, pulled out this bottle of fabric glue and it ended up working out to be the perfect size.



Okay, now grab one of your circles and fold it in half like so:



Then comes the REALLY TRICKY PART so pay very, very close attention.

You're going to fold it in half...again.


And then grab it like I did above so you're holding the little pointy end. Do that for all your pieces.  Then chop all your pointy ends off.  That part is kinda fun.


Now grab one of your little felt circles, smother some hot glue on it (can you "smother" hot glue?) and attach your first four pieces down like this:


This is the part where you pretend not to notice my ugly hands.  Sorry, they're vital to this project or I would omit them for your sake.

Take your remaining three pieces and smoosh 'em together like this:


Then "smother" some more hot glue on the ends of these three pieces (What a sophisticated and brilliant writer this woman is, you must be thinking) and if you're feeling extra cautious, in the little hole where you'll be putting them (see below), then hold them in place like this:


I let it dry for a little bit and then, voila:


Oh, I kid, sillies.  I'm not that style-challenged.  We're not done.

Now you need to spread out those middle three pieces like this:


Oooh...ahhh...pretty.


 Then you can sew it/pin it/velcro it/snap it on a dress like this:


Or turn it into a ginormously adorable headband for your baby girl like I did.  Just don't expect your husband to come home that night and say, "Why, darling, what a beautiful bow you've crafted our daughter!  I just love it!"  Instead he'll snarl or snort or roll his eyes.


Check back soon for the tutorial on this fabric flower:



*I hereby reserve all rights to choose the cleverist name because, well, I can?  I can also make up words like cleverist.

8.07.2011

To all my fellow moms:

So earlier today, I braved myself up (is that a thing?) to write about breastfeeding.



This is something that really scared me.


Why?



Because we women can be very mean and vicious and judgmental with each other.  In all honesty, I probably deserve some of the judgments that are handed to me because I used to be quite judgmental myself.  God humbled me, though.  Before Ben was born and I was pregnant, I had the grandest intentions for him.  Plans to breastfeed exclusively, baby wear around the clock, let baby lead our schedule, co-sleep and everything else that the Attachment Parenting movement represents.



Then, as I said, God humbled me.  I thought I had supply issues (in retrospect, I don't believe I did because Ben was growing just fine, but we mothers worry ourselves to death so Ben became largely formula fed), I hated babywearing (I have a bad back), my husband didn't like co-sleeping and I quickly realized that I did NOT enjoy baby-led schedules and it just didn't work for our family.  I even went the way of Cry-It-Out in desperation when Ben was waking umpteen times a night.



Talk about a total turn around and a total humbling.  I ate every last word I had so assuredly declared.  I was exactly the mother I had intended not to be.



It was then that I realized that I have no place to judge.  I have no idea what each individual mother is going through.  I have no idea what life situation they're experiencing, what issues they may be dealing with or what kind of child they have.  Sure, some parents are quite successful and happy practicing Attachment Parenting and that is awesome by me.  Some people prefer to take a more Parent-Led approach and you know what?  That is also fine by me.  Short of abuse or neglect, I think parents should be free to lovingly parent the way they see fit for their own children.



And who the HECK do we think we are declaring that we know what's best for a child not our own more than the mother of that child?!



But the problem?  The problem is that we are a blogging/techy/always-connected society now.  It has never been easier to anonymously judge someone else.



And boy do moms judge each other!  Why are we so quick to bash someone else's parenting choices?  Why are we tearing each other down?  Behind that blog post you're spewing hate at or that avatar on the message board you're bashing is a real human being.  One with feelings.



Criticizing fellow moms is not only damaging to that mom, it's damaging to the child(ren) of that mom, as well.  Because an insecure mom cannot be the mom she could be with security and confidence.  It truly does take a village.



Support and criticism can actually be tough to differentiate between.  A mother encouraging another mother to breastfeed can actually cross the line into passive aggressive criticism.  I've seen it happen many times on message boards and facebook.  A mother who is struggling because her baby is waking every hour to eat and she just can't survive one more day posts in desperation on a message board.  She's just looking for one person to give her permission to feed her baby a bottle for one night.  Or perhaps even once EVERY night.  She's looking for permission because we've made breastfeeding the only option.  We've bashed each other for making any other choice so many times that this mother is convinced that giving her baby one bottle will make her so shamefully horrible that she's not worthy of her child anymore.  Sounds extreme, but I promise it's not.



And instead of giving her permission, the other mothers assure her she can just keep pushing on.  They passive aggressively remind her it's the only option.



The 2008 Chelsea would have done exactly that.  I might not have even been passive aggressive about it.  I might have come right out and said do NOT give your baby formula.  But praise God for showing me how selfish and ignorant I was.



Another mother found offense in a post I wrote earlier today that I promptly removed.  My post was basically just a "Here's what I wish someone would have told me," post.  I wanted to tell my story of believing that I had supply issues without any valid proof other than my own insecurities and paranoia.  Instead of listening to what the scale was telling me (my baby was growing!), I went the way of formula and was pretty devastated about that because breastfeeding is something very important TO ME.  I love to breastfeed my babies and I love the resulting bond.  I love being the sole source of nutrition and staring at my daughter's fat rolls and knowing they came exclusively from me.



I wanted to tell that story as someone who has lived it all: the devastation from inadequate supply, the exclusive formula feeding, the exclusive pumping/feeding expressed milk and now the exclusive breastfeeding without supplementation.  My only point was to encourage a mom who might believe she has inadequate supply but who desperately wants to keep breastfeeding that she should!  As long as baby is growing, don't give up if you don't want to.



But instead, I hurt someone else.  I don't believe there was anything hurtful in my blog post, but I realized that she was hurt because other women have hurt her and judged her because she has true low supply and has had to supplementThat realization really hit me because this whole idea that we should be supporting our fellow moms instead of tearing each other apart has really been heavy on my heart lately.    



To that mom, I apologize.  Because even though I think my post this morning was pretty innocent, I have certainly done my fair share of judging in the past, so I am indirectly responsible.  To any mom I've ever judged or scolded, I apologize.



I am a better person today than yesterday and hope for more tomorrow.  Every day I learn and grow and let God lead the way.



As one mom to another, please, I beg you, think before you criticize the next mom who does something differently than you.  Whether it's vaccinating or co-sleeping or breastfeeding, we all have our own opinions on what's best for our own children and we should be allowed to practice those without fear of persecution.



8.04.2011

Hi, we're the Hibbards.

Here to officially introduce you to my family, in case you don't know us.



My great pal Lizz is a photographer and she snapped us some pictures.



I love them.  And her.







 















Do you love the burp rags piled up there on the right and the general messiness and disheveled-ness?  For some reason, I love that most about this picture.  It's just real.  It's just us.


Nice to meet you.