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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Not A Vacation

We had a good time at Big Basin, but all told our first family camping trip was not exactly a "vacation." Certainly not for S or me. The kids kept us thoroughly busy, and by the time we got home on Saturday afternoon, we were exhausted. I was too tired even to blog about the trip -- which is saying something!

The pluses: nobody got poison oak, the tent cabin worked out well, the campsite was gorgeous, weather was almost perfect, our excursions (Santa Cruz and a little hike) were successful.

And, most important of all, we laughed more than we cried -- in fact, the crying was confined to the kids; this is not something I take for granted, given my anxieties about into the trip!

I was most concerned about how the kids would deal with the nighttime stuff. We'd planned to put BB in her pack 'n play, like we did at Nana J's, but there wasn't really room in the tent cabin. So we set up the kids' sleeping bags side by side on the second double bed, perpendicular to the 'normal' direction for sleep.

It worked out pretty well, all told. The kids really fought sleep on the first night, and woke multiple times (BB was especially upset and had trouble settling in the middle of the night). The second night, it wasn't nearly so bad. Perhaps if we'd stayed another night, they would have crashed immediately and slept through the night. (Perhaps if we'd stayed another night, we'd still be there, since S and I would not have had enough energy to drag ourselves and all our stuff out of the woods!)

We really did try to do with a minimum of "stuff," though it was a far cry from being able to carry all our supplies on our backs. (In truth, S and I have never been especially efficient campers. Car camping is definitely more our style.) We ended up bringing a second tent, which was a good call. We set it up on Saturday afternoon and the presence of a new structure to explore headed off major meltdowns for both the kids, especially BJ. He settled right in to read.

The kids needed their "friends," of course, and were each allowed to choose four to bring. BJ's choices:

  • Magenta the dog

  • an as-yet-unnamed stuffed frog. He calls it simply "baby frog" and insists it is the offspring of the famous Mickey Doodle, the purple velvet stuffed frog which we purchased years ago on a whim because it matched our purple velvet fainting couch. (Yes, for the record, once upon a time our style aspirations were high enough that we had a purple velvet fainting couch in our living room.) The purple one is important enough that even BB knows its name, so it was surprising that he'd choose to bring the green frog instead.

  • Stuxey and Little Skeeter, his two fake snake pals

BB chose four characters from the Hundred Acre Wood set: Pooh, Rabbit, Roo, and Tigger. (Apparently, we should have squirrelled Kanga away somewhere to have on hand, because much of her fussing on Thursday night had to do with asking for Kanga.) She clutched one or more of them through much of her time at the campsite, which is unusual for her; she doesn't often seem to need this sort of attachment object, so she must have felt a little overwhelmed.

Certainly she had on her serious face for much of the time.

Perhaps this was because we hadn't been there for five minutes before she'd been knocked down the stairs to the tent cabin, which resulted in the cut above her right eye. The door situation for the cabin just wasn't designed with a toddler in mind -- much less a toddler with a three-year-old brother who would come barrelling out of the door, heedless of his sister's presence right on the other side.

Even so, playing "in and out" with the door was easily one of BB's favorite activities.

Both she and BJ kept telling us how much they liked being at Big Basin, which definitely helped keep things in perspective. BJ wanted to "go on adventures" and find hidden animals. This would be well and good, except for the fact that he wanted to find an animal for every letter of the alphabet -- from ant to zebra -- and he wanted to find them in alphabetical order. That's my boy. As you might imagine, there was much talk about the importance of one's imagination when having adventures in the woods.

Part of the appeal for BB was the opportunity to have some new words to use, words like "fire pit" and "pinch" and "camping."


On Friday morning, we headed over to Santa Cruz, with the idea of doing the boardwalk and perhaps playing a bit on the beach. When we arrived about 10 a.m., only to discover that the rides wouldn't open until 1 p.m., we hastily rearranged our plans and I made a desperate, silent plea to the Almighty Napping Gods that BB's usual noon nap wouldn't cause too much trouble. Apparently, They were listening, because we were able to stay until 2 p.m.!

BJ and I played in the sand, while BB and S came and went between hanging out with us and walking the Boardwalk. BJ even got his feet and hands wet; he's come a long way from last year, when our one and only visit to the beach resulted in his sobbing declaration that the ocean was "too wavy." BB did NOT like the feel of the sand on her feet, so she didn't want much to do with making sandcastles and the like.

She was happy for S to carry her, though, and most of all she was interested in the merry-go-round. She asked S about it for nearly two hours. When it finally opened at noon for testing, she was delighted. Turned out she didn't want to ride it, she just wanted to watch it go round and round; when it opened at 1 p.m. for riders, she was completely content to sit with S and watch BJ and me take our turn. S was sure to take a little video, and BB has already asked to watch it several times on the computer. (Talk about your instant replay childhood! But I'll resist the urge to go on a "kids these days" rant -- this post is already long enough!!!)


After the merry-go-round, we decided to push our luck and let BB and BJ do a kiddie ride. BJ chose the little boats, which they had all to themselves. BB all but fell asleep on the ride (which tells you all you need to know about how exciting it was) but even so they seemed to enjoy it.


They are still talking about it, days later, so that counts for something.

After letting the kids look longingly at the rides they couldn't yet ride, we headed back to the campsite. That night, we built a campfire, cooked hot dogs, roasted marshmallows -- after all, we had to be sure their first experience covered the basic camping cliches. Neither kid wanted much to do with S'mores, though they deigned to taste the marshmallows. So I got to eat a lot of chocolate.

There weren't many moments for peaceful contemplation of the wonder of the woods -- that sort of magic wasn't part of this trip at all, in fact. I admit that I missed breaking bread with reverential quiet in the truly awesome cathedrals of trees. "Reverential" and "Quiet" simply weren't applicable terms this time around. But it was equally magical to snuggle up with BB in my lap as darkness fell, watching the fire leap and dance and hearing her chatter about the "Fire pit! Hot! Fire! Mama make! Hot!"

On Saturday morning, we broke camp and then drove to the welcome center, where we did the loop trail among the redwoods. BB was still largely in carry mode, but BJ walked the entire half-mile trail. He loved reading the signs and pointing out the numbered posts which marked points of interest.

He also wanted to know, "Was the 'Father of the Forest' really a boy?"

And, "Was the 'Mother of the Forest' really a girl?"

We'd done this trail before, but it was pre-kids, so I looked a little more closely at the 'Mother' tree this time around. I have to admit that as a mother myself now, I was struck by the possible symbolic significance of "her" hollow center. If "she" wasn't fenced off, you could walk right inside and look up into "her." And yet, she thrives.

Yes, that little dot is a small hole through the opposite side of the tree -- you can look straight through "her." It isn't often these days that I get glimpses of poems that want to be written, but there was definitely one flitting around the edges of my attention when I paused to take these pictures. (A poem that will probably never be written. And that, too, has symbolic significance for this mother writer. So it goes.)

We hunted in vain for banana slugs. Thankfully, the kids weren't too disappointed. They played with sticks and that seemed to suffice.

After all, what's a good hike in the woods without a good stick?

By the end of the hike, we were all pretty tired. I found myself wishing that there was somebody who could carry me. Lucky BB!

I think it will be another day or so before all the gear gets put away and we start to feel rested again. But it was worth it, definitely worth it. These sorts of family excursions are the kinds of traditions I hope to continue through the years.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Happy 19 months, BB!

Golly but my little girl is growing up so fast -- today she is 19 months old!

Took the kids shopping this afternoon to prepare for our upcoming camping trip. We are either crazy or brave (or both) to take a 19 month old and a 3 yr old camping. It's only for two nights, and only about an hour away, so if it's a disaster we can head home without too much trouble. But we're nervous nevertheless.

I just hope that keeping track of them in the woods is easier than it was running herd on them at Big 5 today. Easily the most stressful, frustrating time I've had shopping with them to date. And I had S there for backup, too! Even so, I could barely keep up -- they were chasing each other, running in the aisles, getting into the ball displays, giggling hysterically, hiding in the clothing racks.... I felt like one of "those" moms, the ones with the wild looks in their eyes and the even wilder children. And we were only there for about 20 minutes!!!

Thankfully, we didn't break anything, and we even found the items we were shopping for. (Camp stove, propane refills, waterproof matches, biodegradable soap, and a whistle.) I just kept reminding myself how grateful I should be that I wasn't having to run this errand on my own.

In other weekend news, we had a lovely time with the amazing Tia M yesterday afternoon and evening. We went to our favorite park, read a bunch of books, and the kids really enjoyed her company. Here she is all snuggled up with the wee ones, reading to them in Spanish.

Being her usual thoughtful and creative self, she'd brought over a charming book she'd written, all about the nature preserve where she works. BJ is utterly fascinated by it. I read it to him three times today, and S read it at least twice. BJ is especially amused by the pictures she included of herself at work at the preserve. Thanks, Tia M! You're the best!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Features -- it's what the popular kids are doing!

When I originally decided to run my featured interviews, I didn't think too hard about which day of the week to choose. Attracted to the alliterative potential of a "Friday feature," I mostly chose it on a whim.

Turns out there are LOTS of wonderful folks who also do featured Etsy interviews on their blogs, and many of these also post on Fridays. And today it was my turn to be featured at the blog of the ever-gracious, always-helpful Stormy Designs! (Yes, the same wonderful and generous person who is responsible for the new design of my blog, which I still just love!)

Thanks, Stormy!

Preschool Prep and BB's First Haircut

After months of anticipation, BJ will start preschool in eleven days. It will be the first time he's spent any significant amount of time away from his parents, and because the program we like best doesn't do a morning only session, he'll be gone from about 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I feel really good about the facility, and the time to focus on BB will be wonderful -- but even so, I worry. I'm concerned that it will be tough for him to be on his own for 8 hours at a stretch after being home with the family all the time. (Ahem. How did my baby get big enough for PRESCHOOL??? Sob!)

So this morning, I went with him to spend a few hours together at the school. He could hardly stand still, he was so excited. He was grinning so hard, I thought he'd bust.

When it was time to actually go in, however, he got a little anxious, and when we walked into his classroom, he completely froze. I herded him into a corner, plopped down, and cuddled him in my lap. He stayed there for a good twenty minutes, with his face buried in my throat and his back to the room. No crying or fussing, just the shutdown routine that I've seen before when he's feeling overwhelmed. I rubbed his back and told him it was okay and reassured him that he could take as long as he needed.

I was pleased to see that his teacher, Ms F, didn't push herself on us or on him. She said hello when we first arrived and then checked in with me several times from across the room, making eye contact or just small talk, but she completely respected BJ's need to take his own time. One more reason that I'm really feeling good about this school.

After a while, one of the aides came over and mentioned that they have a reading corner, and would we like to see it? BJ nodded into my neck, and we went hand in hand to check out their books and the cozy little nook where the kids can flop down to read. Another little girl, J, joined us while we read a few books, and BJ started to warm up.

By then, it was time to head outside, and BJ did worlds better on the playground. Interesting to see that he was so much more comfortable there. I think in part it was because he'd warmed up a bit, and also because he's more used to interacting with larger groups of kids in a playground setting, given his experiences at the park. We played outside for an hour or so, he befriended two more kids, E (a very sweet little 4 year old girl) and D (a 3 year old boy who will be moving up into BJ's classroom this fall).

Then we went to Sweet Tomatoes for a special Mommy and BJ lunch. As soon as I reassured him that there would, indeed, be Jell-O for dessert, he was great. It was such fun to be out, one on one. It still astonishes me how having two kids makes spending time with just one of them feel like such a breeze. How did I think it was so frickin' hard back when I only had one? And yet, I did. I sure did.

In other news, yesterday BB had her first haircut. We'd managed to make it through most of the summer with the one buzz that I gave BJ, but it w
as getting pretty raggedy. I didn't want BJ to go to preschool with a bad buzz from mom. BB's hair needed serious taming, too, -- we're planning to grow her hair long, without bangs, so I'd been holding off as long as we could. The rats nests and poof balls that she'd get going were just ridiculous, though; even the magical California Baby detangler wasn't taking care of things enough. So in we went.


I was really nervous about going by myself with both kids, especially during the week before back to school, which was sure to be busy. But we snagged two appointments at the same time, and I was able to stand between the two little toy car styled barber chairs and do what little kid-wrangling was needed. Which was, thankfully, very little.


Note the blue lips, which are the result of the blue raspberry lollipops that the kids chose at the end and munched on the whole way home.

BJ was needing more attention at the end of his haircut, so I wasn't fast enough to stop them from putting glitter gel into BB's hair, along with the alligator clippie. I'd heard that this was standard procedure with a girl's haircut and vowed to decline it -- does a toddler really need glitter in her hair??? -- but ah well, one more example of how the standards and the reality don't always match up. Best of intentions and all. I'm learning that letting these little things go is part of what motherhood is all about.

BJ and S will spend another morning next week at the preschool for some transition time, and then my little boy will be on his own. It may well end up being more difficult for me than for him -- perhaps that, too, is what motherhood is about. Wish us luck!

Friday Feature -- Retro Family Works

This week's Friday Feature is fellow Etsykids member Linda of Retro Family Works. As a child of the 70's, I'm absolutely nostalgic about her clothing. And she's currently having a clearance sale, so you can find some fabulous deals!

Tell me two (or more!) interesting things about you.

I am a wife and mother of 4. The youngest is 4 years old and the other three are young adults. I work full time outside of the home in addition to my Etsy shop. I have wanted to have a children’s clothing shop for years and have been sewing since I began making my own clothes at age 8. The opening of my Etsy shop last January was the beginning of fulfilling a creative dream.

What do you sell in your Etsy shop?
In my shop I sell children’s retro clothing mostly made from patterns from my extensive vintage collection. (Please don’t ask how many I have.) I plan to begin offering some clothing and accessories for adults also. I use some vintage fabrics but mostly I sew using high quality modern cottons and linens.

What inspires your creations?
My creations are inspired by vintage patterns from the 50’s through 70’s. Right now I am most influenced by the fashions I grew up with--the simple and fun designs of the 1970’s era.

Tell me a bit about your creative process and/or how you learned to do what you do.

I learned to sew from my mother. She patiently stood by while I made all the typical novice mistakes and she never complained about the many time she had to rip out an errant seam and steer me back in the right direction. Without a close relative to support your fledgling efforts at sewing--you will surely have a more frustrating and longer learning curve!

My creative process begins in three basic ways: The first is by seeing a great vintage design and the challenge of turning into something that would appeal to today’s consumer. The second thing that gets the process going is when I see a great fabric and envision it as a completed garment. My third route to creativity is to see a handmade garment another craftsperson has made and think of how I could adapt it to my own personal style.

What is your favorite item in your shop (currently for sale or previously sold)? Why is it your favorite?

My favorite item in my shop at the current time is actually a sold item. It is a simple peasant dress with little flutter sleeves that I made using a late 70’s sewing pattern. I used Michael Miller’s Dandy Damask in a lovely shade of cotton candy pink with contrasting pink and white polka dot sleeves. The combination is so refreshing and sweet yet fashionable too.

What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?

Three words to describe myself (and this is definitely the most difficult of all your questions) would be:
family-oriented, inspired and methodical

What do you like about Etsy?

Etsy is a great place to open a shop because of the supportive atmosphere among “Etsyians”. This is especially evident when you become a member of a Street Team. Everyone is so helpful and willing to offer hints on ways to promote your shop . Also, Etsy is a wonderful place to find inspiration since there is an endless supply of creations from some of the most talented craftspeople and artists to be found anywhere.

Another thing I like about Etsy is the customers you get to work with. I have met so many truly kind and generous people--most of them are working Moms like me! The feedback alone is a great source of happiness to me and my customers come up with some very creative suggestions for garments that I would not have thought of otherwise.

What makes your shop unique?

My shop is unique in that I do mostly one of a kind items and special orders. I do not mass produce many items of one style like some shops do. This allows me the opportunity to produce items that keep me and my customers happy. (And I don’t get bored making the same items over and over again.) The other unique aspect of my shop is that I am almost obsessed with making reversible items. I have made reversible pinafores, jumpers, scarves, halter tops, aprons and dresses and plan to make more as I find new ways to make two outfits for the price of one!

What advice do you have for other folks selling or buying on Etsy?

My advice for sellers on Etsy is that you should not get frustrated and discouraged when sales are less than brisk in the beginning. It takes time to make a name for yourself and your wares. Don’t be shy about promoting yourself and constantly try to improve your shop through better photos, descriptions and incentives for buyers to seek out your shop. My advice to buyers on Etsy would be to appreciate the creative aspect of Etsy and understand that the people producing items for their shops are pouring their heart and soul into the endeavor.

Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations?
Right now I can only be found on Etsy but I would like to have my own blog someday with links to Retro Family Works.

For more Friday Feature interviews, click here.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

First Mama's Magic Studio Treasury!

Like many Etsy sellers, I get a little obsessive sometimes about checking my "views" on the items I have for sale, and when I noticed that these earrings had suddenly received about 100 views, I figured something was up. A little clicking later, and I see that I'm in this treasury!

It's the first one for my new shop, and the curator isn't someone I know or someone from one of my Etsy teams, so it's especially exciting to realize that mystringtheory just stumbled over my shop, saw these earrings, and liked them enough to include in the treasury. Yay!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Going to the Birth & Baby Fair? Getcher Free Pass Here!

I'm so excited to be participating in the upcoming San Francisco Birth & Baby Fair sponsored by Maternity Xchange. The fair includes workshops and demonstrations in addition to shopping and other great resources, and I'll be there with my Baby Friendly Beads. I'll be sharing a table with another SFEtsy seller, the amazingly talented Nicky of "wee san francisco" who makes beautiful paper art for the nursery.

The fair will take place on Saturday, September 6th, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Fort Mason Conference Center. This is a fantastic event for new and expecting parents in the Bay Area. Admission is usually $5, but I have a limited number of free and discounted passes available while supplies last. If you’re interested, please email me with your mailing address, and I'll put one in the post for you!

Etsybloggers Featured in the Storque!

I'm very happy to share the news that the Etsybloggers are in the spotlight at today's Storque (Etsy's blog/newsletter/zine). One more reason that I love being on this team! Yay Etsybloggers, and special thanks to joey & aleethea for being such a vital and vivacious leader for the team.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

BB's 18 Month Checkup

Good report at the doctor this morning -- though BB, uncharacteristically, put up an enormous fuss about standing on the scale and getting her height and head measured. The vitals: 25 lb 4 oz (60%); 2' 8" (52%). She's following her brother with the familial macrocephaly -- head circumference of 51 cm, which is way off the charts.

Dr Y was very impressed with her verbal skills; the Kaiser 18 month checkup handout says "Your child may be ready to say 15-20 words." At last count, BB 's vocabulary was well over 100 words. She's also starting to say the alphabet -- often when she sees the written word, she'll sing-song, "A B C D" -- and she's counting, too. Though she always skips the number 5.

Frankly, it's a minor miracle that she's counting forward and saying the alphabet starting with A. When she first started these little tricks about a week or two ago, she consistently counted backwards from 10 and started the alphabet at Z. This is thanks to They Might Be Giants -- BJ loves the "ZYX" song, and even sings it to BB as a lullaby, so she was hearing it pretty often -- and also our habit of counting down the end of a "turn" when there are sharing issues, starting at 10 and going to zero. Because she was hearing the numbers and letters backwards a lot more often than forwards, it's not surprising that this is what she'd mimic.

As soon as I realized this, I set about correcting the situation, so there's been a lot of counting and singing of the ABC's in the past week or so. She'll still do them backwards, but not as often. Let's learn everything forwards before we go flipping everything around, shall we?

Baby Friendly Beads In Action

It's always nifty to hear back from my Baby Friendly Beads customers, and I especially love pictures of my jewelry being put to good use. Recently, Cathy at Creative Construction posted and included a great pic of my nursing necklace in action. You can take a peek here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Dress Up Art Safari

This afternoon, we had a rousing game of dress up, which morphed into a game of safari when BJ put on the pith helmet. He arranged our collection of jungle animals on the floor, announcing that he would be the explorer and BB would be the artist. It was her job to draw the animals that he found. When BB wouldn't play along, he took it upon himself to draw them.

He was really anxious at first, wanting me to help, but I kept encouraging him and eventually he grabbed a marker and headed to the whiteboard of the easel. He wanted to know what shapes to draw for the body and the heads (I told him to draw ovals) and how many legs to draw, but the rest is his. He was quite clear about putting in two eyes and a bellybutton, and the results were a mighty fine giraffe and tiger -- his first-ever recognizable drawings of animals! Here's the giraffe:

Here's the tiger (with BJ also taking a "picture" with his Lego camera). He told S at dinner that he'd drawn a Four Stripe Tiger. Indeed!

Dress up generally has been a popular activity lately, especially with BB. She recently discovered the joy of sunglasses, which reminded BJ that he also likes to wear them.

And of course wearing our big shoes is always fun for her. She will often clomp around, delighted with herself. This is usually accompanied by her repeating "Too tight! Too tight!" I swear she knows she's being funny.

BB is also officially hooked on "California Baby" detangler. As her hair has been getting longer, it's become a daily ritual to spray and comb out the rat's nest that develops at the back of her head. She's actually letting me do some fairly cute stuff with her wisps of hair!

She also now demands the bottle of potion several times a day, presses her nose to the nozzle, and blisses out on the perfume. Both S and I checked the ingredients to be sure she wasn't doing herself an injury, but the stuff seems harmless. Of course we are highly amused, given that she is in fact a California Baby herself.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

BB's First ER Visit

Yep, that's a scary title for a post -- let me say, first off, that BB is fine. We got off easy. Thank heavens.

It happened Friday afternoon, about 4:30. I was leaving the library with the kids. As we entered the parking lot, I had a tote full of books on one shoulder, the diaper bag slung over the other shoulder, and a kid's hand gripped in each of my own. BB chose that moment to decide to lay down on the asphalt. She did this odd twisting motion as she stopped, and just as the words were leaving my mouth -- "You're going to hurt yourself!" -- I felt something "pop" in her left arm. And she started wailing.

I scooped her up, got both kids and all our stuff to the car, and tried to calm her down. She settled a bit after I buckled her into the car seat, but I just knew something was wrong. After getting home, she howled again the moment I tried to move her arm while getting her out of the carseat. I couldn't get her to stop crying; she just clung to my neck with her one good arm and sobbed. "All done arm!" she kept saying. "All done!"

Luckily, S was due home at 5 p.m. so I decided to hang in there and wait for him instead of dragging both kids to the hospital. Of course it was the rare time he was 5 minutes late, and you can imagine how long those 5 minutes were! BJ was totally wonderful and calm while we waited. Concerned, but apparently confident that I had the matter under control, he took it upon himself to construct a sign on the doormat. Using various letters from the puzzle, magnets, etc, he spelled out "NO CATS PEOPLE ONLY WALK." Seems he's taking things to heart about keeping the cats inside.

When S (finally!) got home, he couldn't calm BB either, so I headed to the ER. Getting her into the carseat was agonizing. She cried so hard on the drive to the hospital that she finally fell asleep, something that almost never happens with her. I felt about as awful as I've ever felt since becoming a mother; even though I knew it had been an accident, my heart was breaking!

I suspected nursemaid's elbow, based on our friend T's experience with Z, who'd had it happen about a year ago. And sure enough, as soon as the triage nurse heard my description of what had happened, she confirmed my suspicions. "Don't worry," she said. "We see this all the time. She'll be fine."

Happily, Kaiser's care at the ER was both compassionate and efficient. I didn't even have a chance to sit down in the waiting room before they'd whisked me and my sobbing baby into a secondary waiting room, where we were the only patients. I stood and rocked with BB for about 10 minutes, and then a very kind doctor came in, heard my brief description, and agreed that it sounded like nursemaid's elbow. Dr. N was called away by a page before he could pop it back in, but five minutes later he returned and did a very quick manipulation of her arm, and BB immediately calmed down.

Dr. N was pleased and reassuring, saying that he was pretty confident that he'd felt the elbow pop back into place. He gave me a handout -- yes, nursemaid's elbow is common enough that they have an actual handout printed up, with information and care instructions -- and then they asked me to stay for a while, just to be sure that BB was okay. Within minutes, she was wanting to hop off my lap and explore the waiting room. She had to check out all the chairs and play peekaboo with the blanket I'd brought. She was very interested in whether or not the chairs were rocking chairs and insisted on sitting on every single one, just to be sure. When they wouldn't rock, she asked, giggling, if they would "Scoot? Scoot?" Hearing that giggle was balm to my heart.

This injury, a partial dislocation of the elbow, is pretty common in little kids. Apparently their elbows just aren't strong enough to withstand much tension, especially if twisting is involved. The doctor said it was named for the tendency of nursemaids to yank a kid's arm to pull them out of the way of a horse or carriage. It can also happen by pulling a child's arms through the sleeve of a shirt (instead, you should pull the sleeve over the arm) or swinging them around by the hands or forearms, especially if all the weight is borne by one arm. There is a slight chance of spontaneous reinjury, so we're to watch for that, but odds are good that she'll be totally fine.

Dr N. returned about 15 minutes later, agreed that BB was completely recovered, and reassured me again that it wasn't my fault. A smiling BB said "Fank You" and "Bye Bye!" much to his delight. We were out of the hospital in just over an hour, and we were home again by 7 p.m., in spite of Friday night rush hour traffic.

So many ways in which it could have been so much worse. A thousand thank yous to whichever angels were watching over us all.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Feature -- EBlankies and Tskirts

This week's Friday Feature is a fellow Etsykids member, Eileen of eblankies. She also runs a second shop, Tskirts.
I am green about her gorgeous sewing room -- not to mention her amazing sewing skills! The very thought of working with minky fleece makes me anxious! But boy does it feel nice.... I can almost sense how snuzzly and cozy her blankets must be, just by looking at them.

And her skirts look amazing!

Tell me two (or more!) interesting things about you.

I'm a retired Traffic Signal Electrician who quit work outside the home to home school our two kids, K-10 (both are in college now), and make a sell custom bras. Now I'm making blankets and TSkirts.

What do you sell in your Etsy shop?

I have my eblankies shop for luxury blankets, and my TSkirts shop for unique skirts made from tshirts.

What inspires your creations?
I love to facilitate comfort. I make my blankets to serve a purpose in addition to warmth. They truly have a way of making you feeling very, very loved.

Tell me a bit about your creative process and/or how you learned to do what you do.
I grew up in a houseful of five girls. My Mom sewed nearly all our clothes. We couldn't help but learn to love to sew and create!
I've always had a fascination with fabric combinations, and love to experiment with texture, color and construction. I scour the internet for unusual fabric and vintage inspiration. I love film noir and the fashion from the 30s, 40s and 50s, and incorporate vintage details whenever possible. My eblankies are silky, soft and always have satiny trim, so replendent in the 30s.

What is your favorite item in your shop (currently for sale or previously sold)? Why is it your favorite?
The Cherry Blossom Coral Red Black Asian Inspired Zen eblankie was one of my favorites because I love the color combinations. The tie-dyed velvet minky really accented the subtle corals and made the asian print "pop".

What 3 words would you use to describe yourself? Nurturing, silly and curious.

What do you like about Etsy? The unending stream of creativity.

What makes your shop unique? My blankets are have the power to hug you and make you feel loved. I'm totally serious!

What advice do you have for other folks selling or buying on Etsy?
Just explore! There is a wealth of information for the business end (it really helps if you implement the ideas, too). As a buyer? I've had nothing but wonderful experiences, and spend far more than I make! As mentioned earlier, the range of creativity is staggering and there is definitely something here for everyone. So start shopping :)

Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations?

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