Thursday, January 31, 2013

A treat for me

I recently got a check from the last commercial I shot. Most of it went into savings. I took a little bit out for a few treats for me.

Treat #1: Manicure

Backstory: I got a set of Incoco nail appliques in one of my first Birchboxes ever. I decided to share them with my sister, Liv, since she is super awesome. Over Christmas she had the Incoco nail polish on and I was so jealous, so I went online to order my own.

Last week I applied the color Runway (seen below). The application was actually really easy and I did it with Jo running around. I had a little trouble filing off the excess paint -- I couldn't get a smooth line at the top of my nail. But then again I'm a huge perfectionist. I think I'll look for tips online. One thing that I love is that the polish goes on sooooooo shiny! It's supposed to last for up to 14 days. We'll see.

Day 1

So, the verdict. This stuff is so great! Seriously. The polish actually lasted 8 days with minimal chipping at the tips of my nails and I was typing and washing dishes and doing laundry and more. The only reason this manicure lasted 8 days instead of 14 is that I started picking the polish off. I'm a picker. It's a nervous habit.
Days 2, 5, 8
And I ordered a bunch more.

Here's my new fave:

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sleep is for the weak?

I love sleeping. I really love sleeping. Back when I was single (Nick's definition of single = before kid) I reveled in going to bed late and sleeping in. Like sleeping in until 10am on weekends. I used to need at least 9 hours of sleep a night to function well during the day (10 was preferable). Sleeping was my favorite.

Wow, has that changed.

Don't get me wrong, I still love sleeping, but I'm learning to get by on less. Jo has never been a great sleeper. It's not a huge deal to me since overall she's such an amazing kid. It's just a pain as we continue to adjust to her ever-changing habits. I've learned to survive on as little sleep as possible between her late nights and early mornings.

Jo has never slept all night. And by "all night" I mean all night-go-to-bed-in-the-evening-and-not-get-up-until-morning. We put her to bed in her crib and she usually wakes up a couple of times before Nick and I go to bed. Jo has a hard time putting herself back to sleep and we aren't using a cry-it-out method so either Nick or I have to get her back down. It's not really an issue between 8pm-11pm. It just takes some of our time. Fine by me.

The hard part is when she wakes up after Nick and I have gone to bed. It seems like it's much harder for her to fall back asleep during these later wake-ups. Plus Nick and I tend to be groggy or cranky from being woken up. Usually at that point I just bring her into bed with us and nurse her back to sleep. That always works. Always. And she just nurses off and on throughout the night. Easy peasy.

But now we're starting to night-wean. I'm ready to be done nursing. We had a good run, but it's time. So the night-weaning changes just compound the non-sleeping issues since Jo really has come to expect that when she comes into our bed at night that she gets to nurse herself back down. It's a comfort thing. I get that. But I also know that when Jo spent the night with Grandma she didn't have any problems falling asleep on Grandma's shoulder. So I know it can be done.

So what are we doing? Well, Nick has been amazing and has taken the "early" shift between 8pm-midnight getting up with her most nights. The idea being that since she can't nurse with Nick she'll get used to going back down with just a little parental help. Overall it's been up and down. If Jo really doesn't want to go back to sleep Nick's fail-safe has been to sleep with her on the couch. For some reason being wedged in between Nick and the couch instantly puts her back to sleep.

When she wakes up again after midnight I take her into bed and she nurses. At least that was the routine over the past few weeks. The next step is to cut out a few more hours of nursing. If we can get to 3am with no nursing, that would be swell. Then we'll go from there.

The past few nights have been really hard. Jo has woken up a number of times and after her 11pm wake-up she just doesn't want to go back down. Last night Nick was up with her for an hour on the couch and then I took over for another good hour. This was all between 11pm-1am. You'd think she would be tired enough to just sleep.

Perhaps the universe is taking care of me: I saw this article about sleep, gratitude, and parenting in my Facebook feed today. After digging around on the Evolutionary Parenting site I like this article even more. Good timing, right? I also recently joined a group on Facebook that supports the "Wait It Out" Method where the group description is:
"Wait it Out" is defined by each family. Some of us co-sleep. Some of us do no-cry sleep training. Some of us swaddle. Some of us nurse our children to sleep. Some of us use pacfiers. Some of us formula feed. What we all have in common is that we don't believe that babies need to be "trained" to sleep with tears.
This group is great for support when things seem rough. Like this week when I haven't slept much at all and things seem really hard. And when Nick is frustrated and when I'm frustrated and we're both tired and cranky and nothing seems to be working at night and we're living on coffee during the day and we all have bags under our eyes (even little Jo). It's nice to know that others struggle with this too. And we all make different choices based on what is best for our families.

I have to remind myself to be patient. It doesn't help me to get frustrated and it certainly doesn't help Jo. I have to remind myself that we can't push. We can't make Jo sleep. She WILL eventually sleep all night. Night-time parenting may always be a part of our routine, but it will certainly evolve. She WILL eventually sleep in her own bed. We'll get there.

In the meantime, Nick and I just splurged on a new king bed. If we're all going to be up in the middle of the night we might as well have a big bed to play in, right?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Zulily Alert - Pears & Bears

I haven't posted anything from Zulily in a while and was delighted today by these lovely little dresses by Pears & Bears. The vintage styles for little girls (and boys) are so sweet and the colors are perfect for Valentine's Day coming up. Although I would dress Jo in red all year long. In fact, I would probably wear these dresses too. Matching mama/daughter outfits!!

Light pink & red bow dress | Red geometric dress | Red corduroy dress
Pears & Bears founder, Kayce Hughes, got her start at Ralph Lauren. Now she has seven kids and an amazing clothing line. Yay!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What's up with your show?

That's what a lot of people are asking me right now. Well, thanks for asking. Let me give you an update.

My theatre company, Akvavit Theatre, is fortunate to present Chicago premieres of 3 of Jon Fosse's plays: A Summer's Day, Autumn Dream, & Winter. This is a big deal. Jon Fosse is a contemporary Norwegian playwright who is well-known and frequently produced everywhere except the United States. He's never been produced to Chicago. We commissioned three new American translations and are producing the three plays as part of a triptych we're calling Gjenganger: 3 plays by Jon Fosse. I'm even in one of them. Hooray!

We've been in full-force fundraising mode and just launched our Kickstarter as a way to help raise money. There's a pretty sweet video so definitely check it out even if you can't give at this time. Just so you know, producing a full-length play in Chicago can cost anywhere between $10,000-50,000 (that's a storefront budget, not a Steppenwolf budget). That money goes to paying for rehearsal and performance space, hiring designers & crew, buying costumes and set materials, getting marketing materials, and so many other things. Most of us don't even get paid for the work that we do. If we do, we don't get paid much. Anyway, if you feel so inclined and are able to give, every dollar helps. Tusen takk! (that's Norwegian for thank you!)

We just started rehearsals for all three plays (with three directors and three casts) and will open February 28th! Stay tuned.

Just for fun, here is a promo pic for Winter (the play that I'm in).

Monday, January 21, 2013

Gross? Part 6 (really gross)

Last night Jo pooped in the bath. It's happened before. I guess she just gets so relaxed in the tub that it just happens. Who knows?

Gross, right?

Fortunately Nick and I were both home so I grabbed her out of the tub and Nick said he would start cleaning. (Have I mentioned how much I love this man? Nothing says love more than offering to clean a tub filled with poop.) We're out of paper towels so Nick put on rubber gloves and got a plastic bag. Well, the poop started dissolving and was impossible to even pick up which meant we had to wait for the tub to drain before Nick could clean it.

This is probably really grossing you out right now, right? Just wait.

The drain in our tub has always been slow. You know where this is going by now, right? The drain clogs. It just stops. There is poopy water standing in our tub. We don't want poopy standing water in our tub and it's not going anywhere. So Nick decided to get a plastic cup and scoop out the icky water into the sink so he could at least clean the tub. We stayed out of his way. I felt kind of bad that it was such an ordeal, but he volunteered. 

It sort of makes me want to get a little mesh scooper thing like we had to get for our home birth tub kit. It would certainly make things easier for him in the future.

At least the water that stood in the tub overnight was clean. And the sink, tub, and floor are nice and tidy too. We're still figuring out how to get the drain unclogged. Gross.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Friday, January 11, 2013

My Toolbox

I was looking at the tools I use all the time when I sew and thought I could share with you. If nothing else, it allowed me to take inventory of the items I have.

1. I use tape mostly to tape patterns that I rip. It happens -- especially when Jo accidentally gets into my sewing room. I also use tape as a stitch guide if needed. Or to tape notes to my patterns. I do that a lot. See item 9.
2. This is the Gingher scissors I got from my costume shop supervisor (Jan) at Gustavus when I graduated. We used snippers like this every day. The ribbon is for draping the scissors around your body so you always have it. So smart!
3. My Clover bias-tape maker is awesome. I can make bias-tape that matches (or contrasts) whatever I'm working on.
4. Tape measure: I like to measure things. I like to be accurate.
5. This is the best seam ripper in the world! It's ergonomic so it's super comfortable to rip seams. I tend to rip seams often when testing out a new pattern. If I make a mock-up I can rip the seams out and use it again as a pattern.
6. Obviously, there is a lot of cutting involved with sewing projects. I usually cut a bunch of things out at once, so this Fiskars scissors makes it a little easier on my hand since it is spring-loaded.
7. Seam gauge: I like to measure things. I like to be accurate.
8. Pins! I prefer these ball-point pins. Bright colors are the best. I (usually) always see them before sewing over them.
9. Sticky notes are great for sticking notes on things...hehehe. I'll write a note and stick it to a pattern or a piece of fabric. I'll also tape the notes on just to make sure they don't fall off. Or I write notes to myself.

What are your favorite crafting tools?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Grandma Charlotte

My Grandma Charlotte loved to knit. Seriously. She also loved to shop at steep discounts. She let us watch all the tv we wanted and put bananas in our cereal when we stayed over. She wore all sorts of bright colors and had an AMAZING shoe collection. Grandma Charlotte isn't with us anymore. She never had a chance to meet Jo (which is sad for me), but I think it's pretty awesome that Jo can wear a sweater that Grandma made. It just fits.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Late Christmas Prezzie

I just got this in the mail and I love it! It's from my awesome brother.
It's so cute and pink and it's just what I wanted.
And it comes with a little snipper scissors and a tape measure. Yippee! I'll let you all know how it works.

Thanks, Geir! You're the best little brother in the world.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sneak peek of a wing collar

My mama gave me a vintage boy's shirt pattern over the holiday. I've been meaning to make more little boy clothes for Lilla Barn and I thought this would be a good start.

The pattern is super cute, but the instructions were missing. So I made them up! It's true! Here's a peek at what I made. I'll be posting a tutorial soon.

And it has a wing collar......

Friday, January 4, 2013

Gross?? Part 5 (maybe)

I just opened up a jar of peanut butter and didn't realize that it was super runny. It spilled all over my lap. Now it looks like a baby pooped on my dress. Nothing new.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A happy accident

I am still learning how to use my camera on the manual settings. I have no clue how these happened, but I just love them (I probably should have taken a look at what the settings time). I love the contrast with the radiator cover and Jo's onesie. I love seeing her sweet profile.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

For Keeps

Jo had a pair of Keep shoes that we somehow lost. I have no clue where they are and I loved them so much.  Seriously, I am so so sad. Of course I got them on Zulily a long time ago and now they are out of stock. I'm actually willing to buy a new pair at full price since they were so awesome. Ta-daa!
Benten Purple Mayan
Of course, I can't just stop there. Here are few other pairs I'm putting on Jo's wishlist:

From top left (clock-wise): Green Benten, Ramos Guitar Strap, Ramos Tick Tock, Guerra Black & Blue Check

I also discovered that they make grown-up shoes as well. Yippee! I'm putting these on my list for Spring shopping:
The Homer Swiss Dot
Holy crap -- I love love love these:
Animal Collective

Keep is such a super cool company. All shoes are vegan and cruelty-free. The unisex styles are perfect for the whole family. Here is a snippet from their website:
Keep is a shoe company, an amalgam of interests, a way of being, a force, a language, a family and many other things.
All pics are taken from the Keep website.