Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Baby Comments

I read a very good post yesterday that I saw on many friend's pages, fluttering around the internet, about an expecting mom and the negative comments she's gotten about her first pregnancy.  It begins by talking about how 9 out of 10 people who approach the happily pregnant mom have something negative to say.  As I read the post by Courtney, at Women Living Well, I found myself reflecting on my experience over the course of my four pregnancies, both the experiences while pregnant and while braving the supermarket and streets with little ones in tow.

To be honest, I don't remember getting negative comments when I was expecting Sadie.  Sure I was ready to be done hearing "you're about to pop!" when I was around six months along, but it was just before the recession and the economy was still booming along on those creaky, about to collapse sub-prime mortgages, so the tone of society in general seemed a bit more optimistic back then.  Besides, I was living in a place where 26 wasn't young to be pregnant, although when we visited the city to do some shopping before Christmas, I realized that I basically looked like a teenager when my age was compared with the average ages of the stylish pregnant women I ran into at the stores.

The really odious comments started when I was pregnant with Christian.  We had passed the socially acceptable "two child" mark.  Three was apparently distasteful.  I was asked if my husband would get snipped in the grocery line by someone I'd never spoken to before.  People wished me luck on having that boy so that we could "finally" stop "trying."  They inquired as to whether we would "try again" if this was another little girl.

There were people that said:  "Oh I'm so sorry!" when they heard the news delivered in an obviously over joyed tone.

When we lost Christian in the second trimester all those comments continued to ring bitterly in my ears. They, along with the ever so common "well it was probably for the best... there was probably something wrong with the baby..." comments seemed to swirl around in my thoughts at random times, mixed in with the sadness and sickness of those days, which were already difficult to bear.

And yet lately I've found my reaction changing in a way that surprises me at times.

It began near the end of my pregnancy with Patrick.  It was after I'd spent those four days at the end of my pregnancy at the hospital, and so Nani was out visiting and for the first time in over a year I found myself out occasionally by myself or with Paul, unaccompanied by the princesses while we ran quick errands.

This time I did experience the negativity apparently directed at first time moms.  People would gleefully tell me in the check out line about the horrors of baby-hood that I was about to experience.  I would find myself smiling though as they spoke of the long sleepless months ahead, until they'd say: "this is you first, isn't it?" and I would say those shocking words: "Oh no, I have two at home who are two and four" which to me didn't seem all that mind blowing at all, but which, from the reactions I received, apparently was (sometimes I'd throw in "yup, my hands are full!" just for good measure).  "We've been lucky though."  I'd say.  "Our girls go in their rooms at bedtime and sleep all night.  I used to have to wake up our second to eat when she was a newborn.  But who knows if this one will be a good sleeper or not.  We'll have to wait and see."

This response seemed to shock and astound.  It was followed by silence.  I was supposed to be horrified and dreading sleepless nights.  Often times people even seemed a little disappointed.

When I went into the doctors office for Patrick's appointments once he arrived, I found myself greeted with disbelief.  "Having a new baby is hard."  They would tell me.  "Oh he's an easy baby."  I would say and eyes would widen in disbelief.  "He sleeps and eats and hardly ever cries.  He's just as snuggly as can be."  No one really seemed to believe me.  "My first was hard."  I would assure them.  They'd look at me as if watching for signs that I was about to crack and burst into tears.

I've wondered myself if Patrick and Mae's baby-hood was easy because they were easy babies or because I was a much more relaxed as a mother.  I have no idea what the answer is (Sadie had reflux... and reflux was not easy... although it would have been much easier I imagine if we'd figured out what it was much earlier...).  Sometimes I imagine it's a little of both.

For me at least, there's been a learning curve to motherhood.  Putting someone else first all the time wasn't an easy adjustment.  I'd never changed a diaper before I had Sadie.  I hadn't held a baby for more than a minute or so.  I'd read a lot of books but that was pretty much it.  If the doctor had said "having a baby is hard" when Sadie was six months old I would have nodded with sleep blurred eyes in agreement as if it were the set in stone truth for every single baby.

Sometimes I feel like having a toddler puts it in perspective.  Mae is a mischievous whirlwind of wonderfulness.  Making sure she survives the day and doesn't free climb the mantle to base jump off of it, is my challenge.  Patrick?  He's can't crawl yet.  He stays where I put him.  Every time I look at him he smiles at me like I'm  the greatest mom ever.  He's a piece of cake.

Maybe someday we will be blessed with another baby who needs to nurse every hour, never sleeps, and screams like a banshee with colic for no apparent reason.  It happens.  We lived through it once and it was so incredibly worth it for our beautiful laughing girl.  However I would be much more proactive since I now know that isn't just "how all babies are" at trying to find out why our little one is so uncomfortable.  After all, Patrick is that baby if I have anything dairy.

As for the comments?  They're trickling off.  In part because I'm not pregnant and maybe in part because Mae Bae has a sort of feral look to her, with her perpetually disheveled hair and wild laughing eyes, and so people give us a wide berth even when she's quiet and still.

And to all you mom's enduring those comments in the supermarket check out line or at the bank tellers window at the bank... hang in there.  Whatever the world tells you I can promise you this:  It's worth it. It's so, so worth it.  It isn't what the world calls "easy."  But most things worth having aren't.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Another Patrick Smile

He has grand dreams of crawling some day soon... he's not quite there yet, but he'd really like to be tagging along after his sisters.

Not to much longer Patrick...

Oh and see that Bunny behind him?

They were fighting all day long.  Apparently the bunny took exception to being chewed on...

Monday Morning Early Bird Super Sale

After one of those oh-my-goodness-not-so-fun-surprise law school expenses this past week I decided to host a super sale on my blog page.  These items are all still full price in my shops, but you have the chance to buy them here with a huge discount!  100% of these items are made and ready to ship so they'll be on their way to you right away if you order them.

If you'd like to purchase something from the sale email me at thiswomansplace@gmail.com and I'll let you know if you were the first email and send payment information to pay via paypal.  Only one of each item is currently available.

First off is this stunning snood.  It is one of my all time favorite sewing creations.  The lace is just lovely.

I'm offering it today at more than 50% off for $40.  To see the snood from other angles check out the listing here:


Next up is a real pearl necklace.  It's made with hand selected freshwater pearls and Czech glass amethyst beads.  And it is $40 today for a savings of $35.


This is a real amethyst Seven Sorrows chaplet.  For more information on the chaplet check out the original listing here.  Today, as part of the sale, it's available for $22!

This is one of my more masculine rosaries.  It's made with hematite beads and has a nice weight to it.

Today it's also only $22.

This beautiful rosary has tiny Our Lady of Guadalupe beads.  It also has a lovely weighted feel in our hand and today is on sale for $30.


This large rosary would be perfect for a special occasion like a wedding!

It's marked down $20 and could be yours for only $30 today.

I went through a veil making phase before deciding that it was best to focus my energy on snoods.

I'm offering two of my veils, which are still in stock, at the special price of $18 each (they are rectangular mantillas, because I love rectangular mantillas).  If you'd like more information or pictures click here or here:

This is the item I'm most excited about offering here today.  It's one of my quilts.  I'll be posting more quilts towards the end of spring, but I thought I'd add this one to my sale.  It approximately three feet by three feet and is perfect for snuggling.  Patrick has a version in blue and I recommend washing it in cold water and tumble drying it on a low setting.

It's marked down $10 and I'm offering it for $50 this morning!


 Let me know if you're interested in any of the sale items.  I'll be marking them as "sold" once they've been paid for.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

What I Wore Sunday

The day started with another bath in the stock pot to at least momentarily de-Vaseline the Vaseline/Crisco baby... and I've noticed that he seems to have Daddy's hair.  When it's just been washed and is clean it curls!

Mae wore a dress that was mine when I was little, with stretch pants, cowboy boots and her cardigan.  In this picture she's examining the cardigan making sure every. single. button is buttoned perfectly in an attempt to find something to collapse on the ground to cry about (sometimes when the buttons are buttoned but don't look right we cry about it too):

I'm wearing a scarf in my hair that (if memory serves) was my grandmother's, a maternity shirt that came in a huge box of maternity clothes that I got second hand (I think it probably ended up costing about 50 cents), a cardigan that I think I got at Old Navy around the time that we got married and a skirt that I bought for $1 at a garage sale (that still had the tags on it).

Can you tell the kids were thrilled to run outside after we got home from Mass to be in the picture that I'd forgotten to snap earlier?

Mae did really well for most of Mass and then completely fell apart as we were walking back after receiving communion, knocking her Mass grade from a solid A to a C- (C- bordering on D for an idea of how bad the outburst was... which required instant removal from the entire building).  She was wheezy though... which is likely why I'm not giving her a straight F for the morning.

And here's a bit of sibling cuteness that I snapped after Mass.  For some reason I really like this picture.  They are both awake:

For more What I Wore Sunday head over to Fine Linen and Purple!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sadie's Saturday Morning Nun Talk: Volume 2

This week the nun discussions turned in a new direction.  Sadie wanted to see every picture of every order of nuns that we could possibly find.  We poured over the pictures of the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters (because they wear pink).  Mae was down for one of her rare naps, Patrick was alternating between playing on the floor and napping, and we sat down with the computer and began watching YouTube nun videos and searching through nun pictures.  After pouring over pictures of pink habits there was a particular order that she began obsessing over.

"The light blue nuns!  What are the light blue nuns called?  You know, the one's that we see walking out of the cathedral sometimes."

Now after a few dozen google searches and visiting the diocesan website and lots of helpful suggestions on the facebook page where I asked if anyone had any guesses what order she was talking about and then watching a YouTube video that showed what looked to be hundreds of orders with Sadie saying, "nope, that's not them" after each group wearing blue I was fairly certain that the answer was "diocesan sisters" since they talk about them on the diocese's website (unfortunately no pictures), we've seen them at the cathedral and we can't find any orders that are even close to the same light blue but not pale blue or turquoise or royal blue color.  She finally said "yes that's them!" about an order with turquoise habits, and, after two hours of searching I gave a little cheer, even though I knew they weren't the sisters we'd seen walking out of the cathedral.

I asked her if she wanted to be one of the light blue nuns, after about an hour of nun pictures, and she said something like: "No of course not. I want to be a Carmelite." in a tone that conveyed that my question was rather ridiculous because the answer was so obvious, how could I even think such a thing, even after an hour of searching to find out what they're called.

Then there was her evangelization morning as we went to ballet shortly after I wrote the last post.  I'd brought along a book to read, and that book had a snake on the cover.  "Uh oh." Sadie said shaking her head.  "The snake."  Of course there was an apple too, so she knew what snake it was.  The talk turned to the statue of Mary with her foot on the snakes head, and then there was something about the snakes brains getting squished out, which she thought was quite funny.

We got to ballet and got out of the car and she was very serious and said:  "Mommy, you need to show all the other Mommy's that book and tell them about it because not everyone knows about God." She has been very into "not everyone knows about God" after watching Song of Bernadette, because that's my answer when she asks why they would threaten to lock Bernadette up for having conversations with the Blessed Mother.

Inside I gave an internal wince and a "yeah right" in my head as I pictured how that would go over.  We walked into ballet and found out that it was the day the parents got to watch in the class room and I slipped my book into the ballet bag and Sadie apparently inspired to make up for her mother's shyness skipped in a large circle around the room a few times and then skipped right up to the Mom with the I Heart Planned Parenthood bag and said:  "I want to be a Carmelite Saint when I grow up!" (because sometimes she uses Saint and Nun interchangeably) and then went back to skipping.

Now to get her ready to go to her last ballet class of the season.  I can't help but wonder what she'll come up with today...

Friday, April 26, 2013

Sadie and Mae's Big Surprise

I just took my boots off and complained to my mom on the phone that it was "hot" here today.  Then I got online, entered our zip code, and found that the temperature topped out at 59 degrees today.  So... I'm taking after Sadie with the delusions of it being way hotter than it actually is (and yes, I am enjoying it!).

An email arrived today, that made the girls' whole week.  Actually, it may have made their whole year.  You see, the email said that I needed to go to Toys R Us to pick up a package that Nani and Grumpa had shipped for the girls.  This is what followed:

Paul set out the pieces of the fort before going back to study:

And then I got to work:

There was a struggle over the steering wheel as I was trying to fasten it in place:

I got this far on my own (or kind of on my own... since I had a lot of help!):

Paul came down from studying and squeezed the ladder and slide into place.  

And it was time to play!

There's an area underneath for hiding:

A window for playing Rapunzel:

 Two climbing walls on either side of it for our little climbers: 

There was a competition over the slide:

Sadie climbed  the wall about 50 times:

The sliding fun went on and on:

Then Mae decided to go back to playing in the dirt:

You can probably guess what Patrick was doing
(this was before he and Giraffe had their disagreement):

Mae tried to eat a pine cone.  Chasing ensued:

And Sadie joined in the digging fun!

What a day!  

7 Quick Takes Friday: Super Mae Edition

--- 1 ---

Yesterday morning Sadie looked at me and said:  "Mommy am I exasperating?"

No idea where she picked up her latest vocabulary word, but it sure was funny to hear her say it!

--- 2 ---

I have been racing around making up orders and shipping and quilting.  I am going to be taking two weeks off after the craft fair, for my first time off in a year (does sewing in the car while driving cross country count?  Because that was the last time I "took time off" and I guess I was still hand sewing and knitting and needle felting pretty much non-stop).  My plan involves sleeping... and catching up on sleep... and maybe sleeping a little bit more.

You see, since all three kids are good sleepers, it's always tempting to tumble into bed when they go to bed at 7:30 and get a solid 12 hours of rest.  At least, it's tempting when I'm staying up until all hours obsessing over the number of quilts I've made and how many is "enough" for a craft fair that has an expected crowd of 60,000 people... which alternates between a panicked "what if I don't have enough quilts" (what a problem that would be!) and "what if none of the quilts sell at all!!!!"

Right now I have 22 quilts quilted.  In my fantasy world I make another 28 before the craft fair in mid-May.  I will be adding quilts to my shops when I get back from the two weeks off.

On the other hand, if you're planning any shopping, now is a good time to order, because I am finally catching up on the Easter headcovering rush that came in!

--- 3 ---

I think I've finally mastered buying apples for my apple devouring children.  At least I think I have.  I bought 24 large apples this past week.  Now, usually, they eat at least that many.  It's unbelievable.  Sometimes I run out on Wednesday and food shopping is on Friday and there are apple hysterics from the little one, because she neeeeeeeeeeeeds apples like they're some type of tiny toddler drug.  But, if I buy 5 lbs of oranges and give Sadie an orange a day (or two... or occasionally three or four), the apples actually last all the way until Friday.  And we had a few left over.  And I dried a few too.

Oh and Mae doesn't get oranges (as in, neither do I give them to her, nor does she understand that they are for eating).  She thinks oranges are for throwing on the floor and stomping.  So apples it is.

--- 4 ---

Yesterday after putting Mae to bed I found myself thinking:  "She had a good day today.  She acted like a tiny person and not like a little monster bent on destroying the word..."

--- 5 ---

Every time I see predictions of 70 degree temperatures on the news I'm instantly suspicious because right now in my mind 70 degrees means thunderstorm and water creeping across the basement floor.  We survived flooded box room #3 (it doesn't even phase me now, everything is out of the way).  And I'm wondering if the waters have fallen back below the water table for the rest of the spring season...

--- 6 ---

Mae already set off the security alarm this morning.  She didn't even press the button (which she actually hasn't done in weeks, thank goodness, now that I think about it).  She was jumping up and down in the living room and apparently it made the alarm system think someone was breaking into the house.  I guess that's what happens when you live with a two year old Super Girl.

--- 7 ---

And a formerly unpublished Patrick smile to brighten any day!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

{phfr} Patrick Smiles Edition


Can mud be pretty?

I think so.

This is one of those rare moments when Mae isn't a blur of motion.  And as I searched for "pretty" pictures I'd taken this week my eye kept coming back to them:


Happy is always easy.  He has got to be one of the smiliest babies on the planet:


More Patrick cuteness for funny.  He doesn't fit easily into the sink anymore and it's nearly impossible for me to find time to go upstairs when he's awake to give him a bath in the baby bath.  

Poor kid.  It's not like he gets a ton of baths.  Per doctor's orders to avoid soap we mostly spot clean, but his hair badly needed to be de-Vaseline-and-Crisco'd and so I had to find a way to make it work yesterday.  The stock pot was perfect.

This was his all time favorite bath time ever.  The stock pot was definitely a win!


Poor Daddy.  Doing yard work with such good helpers.  There's hardly anything for him to do!

Or any space to scoop up everything when little hands are grabbing the shovel/rake/whatever he happens to be holding at the time:

For more {phfr} fun head over to Like Mother, Like Daughter!

Theme Thursday: Sky Takes

When I saw these weeks Theme Thursday theme I jumped up and down (okay, internal jumping up and down, because there's just no energy to spare for real jumping up and down at the moment), because I just knew I'd taken an awesome picture of a bird in the sky this week that would be perfect.  And look!  Look!  Look!  The sky is blue!  Flawless blue.  Perfect blue.  Which if you read Cari's post you know is not the norm around here.  Three times I looked outside yesterday and saw snowflakes.  So this blue made me very, very happy when it was here for that single solitary glorious spring day.  

But then I went and looked at the actual picture and was like:  Hmmm... not quite the spectacular piece of photography I was hoping when I saw it on the teeny tiny screen of my not so awesome camera.  Will it be better if I crop it in?  No.  No it won't.  

But come on you guys!  The sky is blue!
 So I decided to cheat a little and show you my favorite sky pictures ever taken on my camera (okay, my good camera, a couple of cameras ago).

First, one of my favorite Northern California skies, from a place I will be standing in a little over a month:

When I saw this one I had to add it.  This would be the sky on the day that Paul proposed, down in Marin County.  He's probably going to claim he took it.  He probably did.

And the sky above the Nini and G.G.'s orchard on the most beautiful of cloudy days in Nor Cal:

Hopefully those last three made up for my abysmal attempt this week.  That camera.  Can I blame the camera?  Okay, it might not be totally the camera's fault...

Anyways, for beautiful sky pictures from Theme Thursday visit Cari's linkup over at Clan Donaldson!