Monday, April 30, 2012

Army crawl

Yep, Jo started army crawling last week. It was slow at first, but now she's just scooting around like crazy. She is also extremely disinterested in her toys. She'd rather play with the computer, or Nick's school books, or the ironing board. It's like she has a sensor for everything babies aren't allowed to play with. And she does it all with a smile.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Pears? Maybe?

So we tried to feed Jo pears on Sunday. She wasn't quite into it. She'd rather play with the bowl that the pears were in. And then she gagged.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

An abundance of mamas

I joined a new mom group back in January facilitated by Chicago Volunteer Doulas. We started off talking about our birth stories and our hopes and dreams for our babies and our changing relationships with our partners and friends. We still meet weekly and talk and laugh and watch our babies grow -- we have created our own community.

This week it was warm enough for us to meet at a park and go for a long walk. I was lucky enough to snap a few shots of the babies.

Jo is just hanging
Aleah and Looey
Benjamin -- he had just gotten shots
Ohlen - cheesing for the camera
Eliana made an appearance
Jo also got to swing for the first time. I think she liked it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 Alert - Interweave sewing & crafting books

Interweave has a bunch of awesome sewing books on today.

Get your craft on! I just love the cover of Sew Wild. It reminds me of the work my mama does.

Photos from

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My new toy

My mama sent me this Clover bias tape maker. I love it. I've been making my own bias tape for all of my sewing projects and it takes so much time to cut and fold and iron and fold again and iron and fold again. This bias tape maker makes it all so much easier.

You can see how nice the single-fold bias tape is that I made (using a lovely print by Lotta Jansdotter). I rarely make the double-fold bias tape because I like to be able to adjust that last fold if I need to while I'm sewing.

The only thing I don't like about this little guy is that it makes both sides of the fold even. I like to have one of the folded sides a bit shorter than the other to make it easier to catch the underside when stitching in the ditch. Maybe there's a trick that I don't know about? If you know, please share. Thankyouverymuchandhaveaniceday.

Monday, April 23, 2012


Jo officially has one tooth coming in on the bottom and one almost in on the top. She was chewing on my finger last week and I literally stopped the conversation I was having and said, "I found a tooth!"

This explains why she has been a bit on the whiny side the last few weeks, hasn't been sleeping well, and maybe why she's had an off-and-on fever.

So far no biting...

I haven't posted a pic of Jo in a while, so here you go.


I started a new Twitter account so I can tweet about babies and theatre and Chicago and breastfeeding and my Etsy store and crafty things and more! Check it out here.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mama Friendly Review - The Tasting Room

Now that I'm a mama I'm always aware of how baby/mama/family friendly public places are -- especially restaurants. So after getting kicked out of Hopleaf last week I was a bit hesitant to bring Jo with me to The Tasting Room last night. One of the ladies I was meeting called ahead of time and made sure it was ok, but there was a part of me that didn't believe her. As I walked in with Jo strapped to me I was half expecting to be told, "No children," again. But sure enough, there was no problem at all. Jo was even on her best behavior.

First of all, The Tasting Room has a parking lot, which is amazing. I don't want to have to scour the streets looking for parking with a baby on board. It was 6pm on a Wednesday so the place wasn't crowded at all, which meant that it wasn't too loud. The food we ordered (small plates) was easy to eat with one hand. And no one blinked when Jo was squealing (with delight of course). If they did I certainly didn't see it. 

The only down side was that the sink in the bathroom didn't have a stopper so I couldn't really warm up the bottle I had brought with. Jo did just fine with cold milk. Not a huge deal at all.

My grade: B

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Home Improvement - Lessons Learned

As I've mentioned before, Nick and I are getting our place ready to sell. We need more space. We're trying to be as proactive as possible. So we've hired a real estate agent who suggested staging our condo to make it look amazing. We hired the stager that she recommended and the work was done yesterday. Nick and I were both underwhelmed with the staging and a bit frustrated with the staging company in general. Here are a few things we've learned:
  1. First come to terms with the fact that your home is no longer your home. This is a big one.
  2. Always ask to see pictures of previous projects the stager has done.
  3. Always ask for references. Call the references.
  4. Always ask to see pictures of the furniture the stager plans to use in your home.
  5. You may not like the furniture/art that the stager uses. Decide whether that's a big deal to you.
  6. If you want to be involved in the staging (we did as we are still living in our place) make sure you communicate that with the stager.
  7. Only allow the stager to do their thing without you if you trust them implicitly. 
  8. Make sure the contact person you have had with the staging company is present on the day of the staging. If you don't, a team you have never met may show up and start handling all of your things. This may not bother you. It bothered us. 
  9. Communicate with the stager if you have had any recent work done so they don't damage anything that you may have to re-repair or repaint. Ask that if they make any holes in the walls that they repair and repaint them.
  10. Your home is a super personal thing. If things don't go as planned, try not to get super emotional.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Baby Bar

Nick and I were cleaning maniacs today. He did the windows and I did the floors. We vacuumed and cleaned the kitchen and washed the rugs and scoured the bathroom. Our place is finally ready for the stager who comes tomorrow. Woohoo! So after a long day of working and cleaning, Nick wanted to go to Hopleaf for a celebratory beer. Does Nick ever need an excuse to go to Hopleaf? Short answer: no.

So we took a family walk, bought dish soap at Walgreens, got ice cream (for me), and then headed into Hopleaf, where we were instantly stopped by the bartender and told, "No children." He was scowling and he said it in a way that sounded like, "Are you seriously trying to bring a baby into Hopleaf? I can't believe you're even trying to bring a baby into Hopleaf. Seriously, people. There are no babies in Hopleaf." I was quite peeved -- not only at the policy, but also at the attitude we were given. 

I felt discriminated against. Sometimes parents want to go have a beer and have to bring the baby with. It was, in fact, a family outing. Parents are people too. I can't believe I just said that. 

So I know not everyone wants to have kids running around or babies screaming while they have fun adult time, but Jo is super well-behaved. And we're in Hopleaf quite frequently...or rather Nick is in Hopleaf quite frequently. And I've taken Jo into other bars before (before you judge, these other times have been during the afternoon and I've only had one drink). I'm still annoyed. 

It it's a legal thing, that's fine, I get it, but drop the 'tude. If it's a management thing, that's stupid, oh yeah, and drop the 'tude. I know my complaining isn't going to change anything. My boycotting certainly isn't going to slow their business at all. So yeah, not much we could do except go somewhere else. Which we did. And I had a lovely Basil Hayden on the rocks. Yum. And Jo was adorable and lovely and flirted with the bartender. 

Friday, April 13, 2012


So I'm sticking with the pig theme here. My grandparents were pig farmers. We spent a lot of time on the pig farm. Pigs are cute. Especially this one from Lovi (a super cool Finnish design company). And it's interactive since you get to put it together.

On for 21 more hours.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Well, nothing like a well-baby visit to our family doctor to bump up my confidence. Today was Jo's six month check-up and it couldn't have gone better. Here are a few things our doctor actually said today:
  1. Wow, look at that baby! She's amazing.
  2. She's so social. Look at how she looks at me and smiles.
  3. She's got such an amazing grip. She's so strong.
  4. Speaking to me: 
    1. Look at how skinny you are! Most of my moms aren't even close to their pre-baby weight after six months.
    2. You have the strongest biceps from picking up this baby all day. 
    3. You have done such a great job. This is truly a labor of love and you're doing it. Good job, kid.
  5. Speaking to Jo: 
    1. You should come back and show all the other six month old babies how to behave at the doctor. 
    2. Take care of your mama now!
I know you're waiting to hear the highlights:
  1. Jo weighs 20 pounds, 14 ounces and is 27 inches long. This is about the size of a normal 12 month old.
  2. Jo is extremely coordinated for being such a big baby. She can sit up and balance on un-even surfaces. Our doctor was super impressed. I thought this was just normal.
  3. Jo got her second shot today. The first time she looked at the nurse and smiled and didn't even notice. This time she actually giggled at the doctor after he gave her the shot. Seriously, this kid cracks me up. She's so brave.
I left the appointment this morning walking on air. I'm sure the doctor tells all the mamas that their babies are amazing, but secretly I'm believing that he doesn't. Nick and I are so lucky to have such a fabulous daughter. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ugh. Routine disruption.

So we have contractors in this week to fix some cosmetic issues in our condo and do some re-painting. Needless to say, Jo's routine is completely disrupted. We've had her on a pretty consistent nap routine until today. Now she won't take a nap and it feels like all I've been doing is holding her. Aaaagh! I hope she at least crashes tonight so I get some decent sleep.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Ok, at first glance, I was like, "These onesies are kind of cute." Then I read the So Rad product description. Genius. They are also on Etsy, which is awesome!

Here's the deal:
  • Bamboo and cotton make for a super soft onesie.
  • Long sleeves can be pushed up.
  • Tighter sleeves mean you can get a sweater on with no problem. No bunching!! Bunching is so annoying. 
  • Flap snaps in the front for easy access and extra hip-ness.
  • Made in Canada. Cool.
  • Their product descriptions are cleverly written.
  • Do check out their kimono onesies too. Easy on, easy off.

Also on the mini social today.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Apple-bottom leggings

That's what Sooz calls these leggings from Grandma Annie. From the looks of it, Jo is quite happy with them as well.

Photo by Sooz and her phone

Friday, April 6, 2012

Six Months

Yes, Jo is officially six months old today. Wow. Here are my favorite things that she's doing:
  1. Sitting up
  2. Rolling over both ways
  3. Squealing and screaming (which is especially delightful at 6:00 in the morning)
  4. Getting into a semi-routine with sleeping and naps
  5. Showing interest in eating real food
  6. Cuddling - this one might be my super-favorite at the moment

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Getting my groove back

After months of feeling like I've been flailing around, I think I'm finally in the swing of things. It feels good. I'm used to running around in a bunch of different directions. I thrive on that. During my pregnancy I couldn't do this. I certainly couldn't balance everything once Jo was born. I could barely handle just being a mama for quite a while.

But now I think I've found my groove. Don't get me wrong, it's still hard. Being a mama is one of the hardest things I've ever done, and so is trying to balance being a mama and being a woman/artist/wife/friend at the same time. But I'm happy. I'm having fun. I feel good. I wish I had more time to do it all, but I'll take the time that I have. 

Here's what I'm up to:

Lilla Barn - I'm so proud of the work that my mama, sister, and I have put in to get this shop up and running on Etsy. I'm still working away. I love picking out new fabrics (you should see my stash) and I have a pile of sewing projects I can't wait to tackle.

Akvavit - This is my theatre company. We do Nordic theatre. It's awesome. Things are really cooking this year. We have a new website about to launch, a new expanded artistic ensemble, and lots of productions happening this year. I'm up to my elbows in grant writing, which I'm actually enjoying, and I'm cast in the summer production of Kokkola. Rock and roll!

Other things - So I'm working on this side project. Actually it is very much in the *idea* phase. It was born one night at my ladies-reading-ladies book club. It involves Alan Rickman. And awesomeness. More info soon.

Nick and I are getting our place ready to sell. Anyone want a 2bedroom/1bath in Andersonville?

And yes, I'm still working at GasPedal and, but from home. I love this job.

I still find time to walk to the Swedish Bakery almost every day for a treat. Yay!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Space Girl

My mama made this amazing little frock for Jo. It's the universe...on a top. Jo loves it. So does Grandma Jackie.

Please ignore the water bottle and cords in the background. Thankyouverymuch.

Monday, April 2, 2012