Friday, April 11, 2014

Kid's Clothes Week: Day 2

So, I am a couple days late in posting about my KCW Day 2 sewing adventure and I am sure you thought I was once again a KCW drop out! Fear not, my faithful readers and read on....

On Day 2, I sewed up the Prefontaine Shorts by That Moxie Girl . These are the perfect shorts for J. He only wants to wear shorts and with pockets to fill and an elastic waistband for enhanced independence when needing the potty, I could not resist the challenge!

I had grey knit interlock on hand but wanted accent fabric for the pocket linings and the back pocket. I didn't want make a run to the fabric store so, I "shopped" the box of baby clothes I am saving for absolutely no reason other than I cannot part with these items I have deemed "special" and "must keep" even though we have no plans at all to have anymore children.

I uncovered a wealth of knit onesies and rompers. I chose a sea creature romper that was P's when she was a tiny baby and an orange striped Halloween onesie that P and J both wore for their first Halloween. I cut them up without hesitation. These were going to be the cutest pockets ever!

I made the bigger of the between sizes options for J. So, it looks like he will be able to wear them everyday until he goes to college. He really likes these shorts despite the bagginess. I could have easily made the smaller size and he would still have room to grow. I mean: I will be making the smaller size too because he wears them everyday!

It turns out our little town is just south of Prefontaine's hometown. So, J and I day tripped to test his new shorts out on the original track and then went in search of Prefontaine landmarks.

The Coos Art Museum has a permanent gallery in honor of Prefontaine including the running shoes he wore when he broke his first record in 1971. Marshfield high school has a "Pre Lives" logo on the school marquee. We stopped by the Coos Bay Chamber of Commerce to inquire further.

Here is an excerpt of the conversation I had with the women working the welcome desk:

Me: Other than the memorial outside and what the museum has, are there any other memorials around town dedicated to Prefontaine?

Woman: No. Well, unless you wanted to run, you know he was really into running. I guess.

She really didn't want to speak at all about Prefontaine and made it clear from the beginning and it was a bit uncomfortable. So, J and I made a quick dash back outside!

We spent the rest of the afternoon running and digging for worms. These shorts are perfect for both activities and any other romping around your little one likes to do too.

The Prefontaine shorts are a bonus pattern for the current pattern bundle offered from Perfect Pattern Parcel which is only available until the 18th!

Prefontaine Shorts in action! They are fast!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Kid's Clothes Week: Day 1

I have joined in the madness of Kids Clothes Week. It is a really simple idea: sew clothes for your kids 1 hour a day for 7 days. In previous years I have been a KCW drop out but not this week! I have plans and new fabric and loads of notions oh, and that new serger I got for Christmas too!

Today I stitched up a pair of Hosh Pants by Lou Bee Clothing for P. I had some metallic stretch denim that was just begging to be made into pants. They sewed up so super fast! I measured her after coming home from school and she was wearing them at dinner.

Since P is a "leggings and dress" kind of girl, the Hosh pants are perfect! They are slim fitting yet are sewn with a stretch twill or denim which makes them a bit more dressy or at the very least not so like pajamas. I suppose I will need to sew up some khaki ones for her to play golf in too. 

The Hosh Pants pattern is currently being offered as part of the Girl's Essential Spring Wardrobe bundle from Perfect Pattern Parcel. The bundle is loaded with girly cuteness ready to challenge your creativity and refine your sewing skills.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Ultimate Blog Party #UBP14

The ladies behind 5 Minutes for Mom are throwing the Ultimate Blog Party and you're invited! Yes, if you have a blog you can join the fun and there are prizes too! Link up your blog post about the party over on 5 Minutes for Mom, join in on the Google+ Hangout on Monday (April 7th) evening, Twitter party  on Tuesday (April 8th) evening, and did I mention prizes! Yes, make sure you enter that too!

Ultimate Blog Party 2014
Here is my introductory post:

Hi, I'm Molly of Rose & Odin. We are a family of four with two cats named Roary and Ulla-Bulla, and one hamster named Pearl. We live on the south coast of Oregon but are originally from Colorado. We sure miss Colorado a lot and all our wonderful friends.  Having an ocean view makes it hard to leave. Also, we do not miss snow one single bit.

My blog name is the middle names of my children. I started blogging a few years back. As much as we love our ocean view and don't miss snow, one thing we really miss is people and having options for anything from shopping, to play groups, to a variety of fabric stores, to restaurants, to..... I could go on and on and on. It is isolating here and I left a lot of friends in Colorado when we moved. I thought they might like to read about our adventures and it also has helped connect me with a community of fantastic crafters and sewists.

I write mostly about our family life sprinkled with crafty/sewing posts and if I get lucky, a sponsored post too. My goal this year is to write more frequently and regularly. I would like to grow my blog and even make some money from it through advertising and sponsored posts. I have run into stumbling blocks when assessing  the probability of this:

1. I live in a far far away place that makes it inconvenient to get to a conference/meet up/event. Face to face networking is not happening!

2. I don't have a huge amount of page views or a ton of sponsored posts already and this has made it difficult to get my foot in the door.

So, I'm going to BlogHer this summer in San Jose and hopefully I will gain a ton of knowledge about the blogging world and how to branch out and expand my blog. I am at a point in my parenting journey where I can focus on myself, even if it is a little bit at time, and it feels great!

A few of my favorite things: Beer, chocolate, spicy asian food, baby animals (even alligators are adorable when they are little), VWs, cruiser bicycles, hiking, traveling, sewing, natural products, Danskos, coffee, equality, smiles, and rainbows.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Enthusiastic Confessor

"Oh, my God, I am heartily sorry....."

Every time P has recited the Act of Contrition I still hear the words that I learned..... The modern way starts like this: "My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart...." She has had the prayer memorized forwards and backwards since last fall and the day of her First Reconciliation had finally arrived.

When I was nearly 8 and made my First Reconciliation, we were living in England and I attended a Catholic school. The church was very ornate in its architecture and had the communion rail where everyone sort of just flocked to the alter without much order. The confessionals were small rooms lined with dark wood and smelled like a mixture of stale incense and starch.

We memorized the order of the confession, (old version of) the Act of Contrition, and got to choose between a face to face or a screen. We all chose the screen side where you kneel in a little room on the other side and just see the outline of the priest flickering in the candle light. After going to a face to face I realized the screen side was a bit more terrifying.

After I transfered to public school, my visits to the confessional became less and less until it was time for my Confirmation. As an adult I rarely find myself attending a penance service. I would venture that this is rather common for adults since we don't like to talk about our faults outright and seem to find an endless way to justify our wrongs.

P made it through her First Reconciliation with ease. Not visibly nervous she walked in with a smile on her face and came out smiling as well. We had spent the afternoon reviewing the order, talking about right and wrong, and practicing the Act of Contrition. She nailed it!

She asked me if I was going to go to confession too.

The moment of truth.

Yes, I was.

Our Pastor is a really animated, enthusiastic, affirming young man. Of course all of this made me extra nervous.

One big breath, then like I had rehearsed with P, I followed the order and laid out my faults.....

I expressed concern that I sometimes I get snippy with my children over petty stupid stuff that didn't matter much.

He launched into the most amazing parent pep talk ever! He told me I am doing a great job, that he can see that I am a great mom because of the way P is and how I am with J and his energy, he said that I am really relaying the importance of faith to P because she carries herself with confidence during church related activities.....He told me to continue to do what I'm doing as a mom and always remember that leading by example is very important...

His hands and arms are very animated while he is speaking to me and I am feeling great! I am getting my own personal homily and I, too, am nailing confession!

He finishes and is preparing to do the absolution.....I am so pumped up on confession and parenting right at that moment.....He raises his hand to pray over me and


I land a high-five on his open palm just as he begins the final forgiveness act.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Union Jack Blog Tour!

I have been chosen to be part of the Riley Blake Designs blog tour for their new Union Jack fabric line. I am thrilled! Each Tuesday and Thursday during the month of April, there will be an inspiring tutorial using the Union Jack fabric. My day is April 17th but be sure to check out the other bloggers on the tour too! If you love all things British then follow us on this tour!

Click here to see the list of talented bloggers on the tour:

Riley Blake Designs Union Jack Blog Tour

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Spring Breakers!

It is spring break. Since we already are living the beach life, P, J, and I hightailed it out of our town quicker than if there was a tsunami coming and we headed inland. We drove to where sidewalks don't end and traffic lights reside at most intersections, we drove to where there actually is traffic. We drove to my parent's house to spend the week.

Pearl came too. She was my copilot for the journey. At one point she was stretched out flat in her little tunnel, her eyes closed and her nose stopped twitching. I pulled over just to make sure she was still alive. Much to my relief, she was. I positioned a towel over her cage to keep the sun out and set the vents to blow in the cage with cool air. I'm not taking any chances with Pearl in my care.  Last  week Roary flipped her cage off the shelf. He was more surprised by the fall and therefore too stunned to snatch up chubby Pearl for a mid-morning snack. P was more traumatized than anyone.

The sun was shining and we listened to these three songs on repeat for the 3 1/2 hour drive: "Let it Go" from Frozen, "Shine Your Way" from The Croods, and "Pick a Little Pickle" by The Okee Dokee Brothers. If you haven't heard The Okee Dokee Brothers yet you are missing out. Maybe it's because they are fellow Coloradoans too and I miss CO a lot but these guys are really worth checking out if you like music and have children but don't want to listen to annoying kid's music. (They are worth checking out even if you don't have children too.)

We arrived at our destination for the week and Gree-Gree made homemade peppermint ice cream with P. Then there was a viewing of Frozen on the big screen in Poppo's upstairs theater. I was informed prior to the movie starting that I was not allowed to sing "Let it Go" along with Elsa during the movie. That was an "only in the car thing" and only if P says it's OK.

Just prior to our departure the mail arrived and J received a delectable box of sporting goods from family far away. We loaded it up too and brought with us. Here J is practicing his 3-pointers early Sunday morning. March Madness in the house, especially when this happens before the sun rises.

We attended mass with my parents Sunday morning. It is always a treat for them to show off their family and it is especially important since P will be making her First Communion this spring. Mass doesn't come easy to a four year old and we spent the hour with God outside picking daffodils and searching for bugs.

A gentle reminder upon entering.

We took advantage of the fantastic sunny weather and spent most of our time outdoors. P and I took a little hike around the common grounds of my parent's neighborhood and were able to spy a woodpecker and several pairs of mallards on the creek. We took the bikes to the park downtown and rode around dodging pedestrians. We blew bubbles and skipped rope all afternoon.

The rains arrived on Tuesday and we ventured to the mall for some shopping and then to see The Muppets. It was hysterical. Unfortunately, like Mass time, a movie is difficult for a 4 year old to sit through as well and J spent the hour and a half coming up with excuses to leave the theater in order to run up and down the hallway.

The rains continued for the remainder of the week. We attempted swimming at the community center but was told the pool was at maximum capacity and it would be a minimum of 30 minutes before we could swim. We left. P and J were sad. They were won over with the promise of a trip to Build-a-Bear later in the week and ice cream.

Spring break is coming to a close. We will head home and sing in the car, play i-spy, and tell stories. Then back to our routine and anticipate another over the river and through the woods journey back to Gree-Gree & Poppo's to create more happy memories.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Birth of Piper Rose.

May 17, 2006 at 6:00 pm my water broke. I was now at the threshold of motherhood; the final trial was now set in motion and afterward I would be rewarded with a babe in my arms.

I was ready and smiling. I phoned the midwife. My instructions were: eat, rest and call back when my contractions have been two minutes apart for an hour OR in twelve hours. 

It was twelve hours later when I phoned again. The contractions had been somewhat frequent but had not progressed. 

I was admitted and asked a bunch of irrelevant questions and I was checked. The nurse looked puzzled and asked: "are you sure this baby is head down? You are only dilated to MAYBE a one."

My heart sank. Since the time I was 32 weeks pregnant I have been asking my midwives, at each visit, about the baby's position. I had a very large, hard part of the baby stuck under my right rib and this part of the baby stayed exactly in the same spot until the end. 

Three of the four midwives in the practice agreed that this hard lump was the butt. (The fourth midwife was at my delivery and we had not had an appointment with her after 30 weeks.) 

I just felt, all along, that this lump was indeed the head but it was my first pregnancy and these ladies are skilled in feeling babies in bellies. I did not argue and was reassured that the baby was head down and there was no reason for concern or to think the delivery would not go smoothly. 

The nurse brought in an ultra sound machine, scanned the lump at my rib and then politely excused herself to call in the OB. 

The OB came in and scanned my belly. There was the head, right under my rib. 
She took my hand, I began to cry, she said: "We are going to have to do a c-section at this point. Your water has broken and there is no way to flip your baby. You will be holding your baby within minutes."

I was shaking and crying.

My midwife arrived. She hugged me and said: "It will be ok. This is the safest option. You will be holding your baby very soon."

I phoned friends and my sister-in-law. My parents were with me as they had driven in from Oregon to be here.

I was then descended upon by an assortment of technicians and nurses. The anesthesiologist arrived detailing everything she would be doing. The OB had a form for me to sign. It listed all the possible risks associated with c-sections. Including death.  

I walked myself down the hallway with my medical team entourage. Nick was suited up. My brother called just then to say he loved me.

I entered the surgical room with the midwife and anesthesiologist. It was freezing cold. I took a deep breath. Then I was lying down under glaring lights with my arm strapped down and my lower half numb. I was unable to escape this fate. 

Nick had arrived at my side and Paul Simon was playing on the stereo. The dividing curtain was up, I was helpless and I began to cry. This was humiliating and degrading. It was 7:00 AM.

At 7:09 she was born. I just caught a glimpse of her over the curtain and she was gone across the room. Out of sight and out of reach. Several nurses wished me congratulations and a few said: "Don't worry, her head will look fine in a week or so." Wait, what was wrong with her head?

She was given the all clear and Nick was able to bring her over to me.  A hat was on her head. She looked perfect and was very alert. Still strapped down, I was unable to touch her. I was stitched on the inside and stapled back together on the outside. We moved to the recovery room but not before one final dose of something nauseating administered through the line in my spine by the anesthesiologist.

The recovery room was a swirling vision of haziness. There were a lot of people and beeping things in the room. They measured and weighed her then placed her on my belly. She wriggled her little body up and latched on. I was dizzy and happy but mostly dizzy. They wheeled us to our room. I fought sleep and nausea desperately trying to focus on the little warm body that was laying on my chest. I was starving. I kept thinking: "If only I could eat a sandwich I would feel better." I wanted normalcy. I wanted to be coherent. I wanted to relish every second of this newborn's first day. My newborn. I talked the nurses into letting me eat a popsicle.

I threw up on my baby.

They took her away for her first bath and dosed me up on anti-nausea medicine. I fell back asleep. Off and on throughout the day I would be given more anti-nasuea medicine and then fall sleep. I would open my eyes to see either Nick, my mom, or my dad holding Piper. Keeping a vigil at my bedside. It was very comforting. I don't think I would have faired so well if she had been whisked away to the nursery.

It was not until sometime in the evening when I was able to eat again and the numbness gone. I was awake and I was determined to not miss anymore.

The next day one of the midwives stopped by. She said: "Sometimes a baby will just flip at the last minute."

This baby never flipped. Her head, from being under my rib for so long was rather flat on top and had the appearance of a bicycle helmet. She also had severe hip dysplasia in both hips which required her to wear a harness and be followed by an orthopedic surgeon for several months.

She had a heart murmur which was audible until she was three. She failed her first hearing test at the hospital.

During the midwife's visit to my room I made it very clear I would not take any medicine that would make me loopy or require someone else to be present when I held my baby. I was in full mama mode and it was this that allowed me to focus on my baby and heal. I was given 800mg Ibuprophen every six hours and sent home with a prescription for Vicodine just in case I needed something stonger. I ripped up that scrip when I got home.

The staples were removed, I was mobile, and I was a mama. We were released from the hospital with only a two night stay. We picked up Guinness and some mint chocolate chip ice cream on our way. I was so anxious to be home, to heal and get to know my new baby.

I was not bullied or pestered into a c-section. It was simply a matter of the risks out weighing the benefits. There was no one skilled at vaginal breech deliveries at the hospital. We were living in northern Colorado at the time of Piper's birth. We are now in Oregon and recently, Oregon Health Science University has implemented a program for vaginal breech deliveries.

My risks for future vaginal and c-section deliveries regardless of baby's presentation have increased. Even if my water had not broken and they were able to turn her, I would have most likely ended up with a c-section due to the fact that her head was so misshapen because is was under my rib for so long. I am not angry because I had a c-section. I am upset because I spent 8 weeks asking and inquiring about breech presentations and what-ifs. Only to have my momintuition shut down and told I shouldn't worry and that was a butt under my rib. If they had discovered she was breech I could have tried many different exercises or even moxibustion to flip her weeks before labor began and possibly avoiding a c-section. I was mentally and emotionally unprepared for what unfolded at my delivery. It is still a source of sadness for me.