5 Things I wish I knew about babies, before I had one

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If there is one thing I know about people, it is that they absolutely LOVE giving advice. Whether you want it or not, they are around every corner to give you some more advice that you don’t want, and most of it I have found out that you don’t even need, or use. In short:

People who talk a lot, say nothing. People who think they know everything, know little.

I don’t mean to sound harsh; some of the time, the heart and good intentions are there, but there are other times, where people just want to know everything and be right. Those people are the ones you subconsciously tip-toe around talking about your baby for fear that they will feel the urge to interject. And those people suck. Get away from those people. FAST. The truth is, no one will ever know what is best for you and your new little monster better than you and your partner will. That being said, here are FIVE THINGS I WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER OFF KNOWING ABOUT HAVING A BABY.

  1. WASH. THEIR. NECKS. Frequently. Especially if your baby is formula fed like mine. They spit up and it gets all in their necks, and before you really know what’s going on, BAM: it smells like your baby is smuggling super aged cheddar cheese.
  2. BABIES MAKE SUPER WEIRD NOISES. I don’t mean the adorable coo’s, because we all know those will happen, and then we will melt to the floor and turn into a mushy puddle of feels. I mean the other noises. No one told me that my baby would sometimes sound like she swallowed a squeaky toy when she was sleeping! No one told me that sometimes before crying, she will make this sort of……revving cough noise? To get herself going.
  3. TRY NOT TO JOIN A MOMMY GROUP unless it’s with friends that you can stand, that aren’t fucking mental. I was added to quite a few on Facebook, and let me tell you, the anxiety you can get from them is unnnnnnnreal. Being a new mom, most of us tend to be pretty insecure, and being in the wrong group will not help that. You will read what they are doing and if your parenting doesn’t seem to be matching up with theirs, you will think you are doing everything wrong, when you are doing just fine. I am now only still a part of one, and the girls are there are pretty cool. No one comes off as judge-y, which is unique in a mommy group.
  4. BABY POOP ISN’T AS GROSS AS YOU THINK IT IS, and it will come in many different colors. This is coming from someone who will plug their ears and “LA LA LA” their way out of a conversation about bowel movements and toot jokes. It is by far my least favorite bodily function to talk about, but somehow the baby poos don’t seem to bother me in the slightest. I’m not so sure about breastfed babies, but with formula fed babies, get used to poo that very strongly resembles whole grain mustard, in both sight and smell for the first couple months. Also, they toot louder than all get out.
  5. BABIES LITERALLY NEED 1/4 OF THE SHIT YOU WANT FOR YOUR SHOWER. At first, anyway. Here are some examples:
    1. A MILLION STUFFIES. Sure, they are all so dang cute and it’s hard not to buy them. But after like 3, they tend to be overwhelming.
    2. CHANGING TABLE. Just a table for changing. I got one, and though I am grateful to my mom for providing it, a functional dresser with one of those box thingies to go on top would have been a better option, especially if storage space is limited.
    3. ACTUAL SHOES.  WHY?! Potatoes don’t need shoes.

TL;DR:

Babies are weird. Don’t be afraid of them. Don’t let people tell you what to do. Except clean their necks. Please refer back to number 1 on the list.

The most frequent piece of garbage advice I got was, “sleep when the baby sleeps.” Let me tell you, that is the biggest crock of shit ever. If you always slept when the baby slept, you would probably end up in a coma. Babies sleep insane amounts. Of course sometimes your naps with align with theirs. Don’t fight it, because you are a busy new mom who needs her sanity sleep. However, try to take some of their sleeping time to take care of yourself. That is DEFINITELY something I wish more people would have told me. You are just as important as your baby, and a happy mommy, means a happy baby. Always.

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Happy baby & mommy:penny4

More happy baby, because look at that faaaace:happyswingbaby

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Pi Day Scandal

I missed it.

I MISSED Pi day. I love every March 14th, because I LOVE pie. I love pie crust, I love pie filling; I just love pie. It’s a day when a thing two things I enjoy mesh with a thing I despise, and I love it. The thing I despise? Fucking math. If it’s not sewing math, I don’t want it. I’m not even amazing with sewing math, I honestly just sort of…wing it? Most of the time. The clothes look nice and fit me, so who gives a shit?

Anyway, I missed Pi day.

But, I’m a new mom now, so……………….

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I did, however, make up for it. With a super delicious BLUEBERRY CREAM PIE, about a week later. This year I cheated and used a ready-made pie crust, because, new mom, remember? It came out pretty great though, store-bought crust and all. Check it:

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MMMmmmMMmmMMmm…streusel-y goodness. Who doesn’t love a good sugar-butter-flour crumble? Probably just people who haven’t had it yet. So, babies.

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Anywho, here’s the recipe:

Filling:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1⁄2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen. Note: an entire bag of frozen blueberries from Aldi is the PERFECT amount.
Streusal-y Topping:
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Roll that store-bought pie crust out into a deep dish pie dish. Cover those edges with foil to keep from burning, or let them burn and then take them off like I did, because I was out of foil.
  2. For the filling, combine the sugar and flower together. Using an electric mixer, beat (into the dry mix), the sour cream, egg, vanilla, and salt on medium speed for maybe five minutes, or until super creamy and you can no longer see any trace of sour cream. Add blueberries and mix on low until combined, so like 10 seconds. Note: I like to mix instead of fold because I like some of the berries to smoosh. Pour batter into pie crust and bake for 30 minutes.
  3. For the streusal: crumble the flour, sugar, and butter in a bowl. Some people use a fork, but I prefer to use my fingers because I feel like it gets the job done a million times better. Also, everything is better when you get extra handsy. Consensually, of course.
  4. Take the pie out, crumble topping over as evenly as possible, and replace it in the overn to bake for another 15 minutes, or until the topping is a pretty golden brown. Let sit until cool, and then enjoy. Share if you want, but you don’t have to. I did, and I regret it.

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Oh, the Scandal I’ve mentioned in the title? Not an actual scandal, but I DID start the series over again after realizing there were like 4 whole other seasons since I last watched, and let me tell you, Fitz is still a mother fucking baaaaaaaaaaabe.

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Don’t worry, Liv. I got you too, boo.

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Something a little different, in Just a few words, because I don’t like to get sappy on the internet.

We tend to reflect on our lives, only when a tragedy occurs. Today is no different.

While celebrating the life of a dear friend’s recently passed husband, I thought about a lot of things. While they prayed, I was able to make a mental list of them:

1. Everyone needs to drop the whole act of self-proclaiming themselves as something awful. “Bitchy”, “cold-hearted”, “hates people”, etc. Most of y’all are probably really nice people, with good personalities, I’m not sure why you’d want others to think differently.

2. “No new friends” is stupid. Find people worth it, and love them with your whole heart. I have my people, but the opportunity to meet new ones is always out there. Yeah, some people do suck, but the majority of them do not. Trust more.

3. Be nicer. Seriously, since when is it ~*~sooOOOoOOO kewl~*~ to be so mean? You rarely ever know the people you make fun of, you don’t know what they’ve been through or what they deal with. Being mean and rude isn’t cool; It’s annoying. Cut it out.

4. Do more. This is me, absolutely. Yeah, I do a lot around here, but I want to doooooo morrrrreeeee. I want to go places, experience things, and learn more. Maybe even refer back to number 2 and meet more people.

It was never a secret about how much she loved and adored her husband. They were best friends, partners, lovers, and each others intellectual matches. Everything he went through, she went endured with him, until the very end.

Sitting in that church today, listening to all of his friends and colleagues talk about his personality, compassion, charity, and richness of life, reminded me of my pappap Denhart. They were very much alike from what I could tell, and I thought about how much better of a place the world would be, if we had more people like them in it. I want to be one of those people.

Though it may seem daunting that even terrible loss like this can happen to even the best of people, we have to make our lives a lot more worth living.

If you are reading this post and thinking “man what a dummy, who cares?” then you can go ahead and re-read number 3.

Loose seal! Watch out for loose seal! “I don’t care about Lucille! She lies!

It’s been 46 days since I’ve posted, I’m pretty sure that makes me a blog slacker.
It’s not that I haven’t wanted to, it’s that I’ve been busy with other things, namely creating and working because a blog don’t pay the bills.

Well, not MY bills, anyway.

I’ve got something new for you.
‘You’ a.k.a. me, because no one reads a neglected blog.

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I have been trying and trying to name this b-word, but I can’t, for the life of me, come up with any puns.
This is a first, and it had better be the last.

I am so incredibly proud of this dress, it’s ridiculous.
It is by far some of the best work I’ve ever done.
This is dress number 3 using Retro Butterick B5748.

I’m sure you’re “all” wondering, “what happened to versions 1 & 2?”
They are waiting to be photographed. I actually made this Lucy dress for my girlfriend Bekah over at Flamingo-a-go-go, but since I last measured her, her chest has grown. Other than that, it would have fit perfectly, since we have about the same size waist. Maybe I’ll sell it, maybe I’ll keep it. Who knows?

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The bodice is definitely the easiest one I’ve ever constructed, no princess seams, just bust & waist darts. Don’t get me wrong, princess seams ~*~4lyfe~*~, but I do love me an easy, breezy 5 minute sew up.

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Pattern matching is for the birds.

You may have noticed that the quality of these pictures are amazing. A really nice employee of mine let me use her super expensive camera, which I am now obsessed with, to make my pictures suck less.

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Needs a li’l ironing, but I’m feeling particularly lazy after this last week.
OH! I also got a *new to me* serger, from a friend of mine who was no longer using it. It’s a Husqvarna Huskylock 901, and it’s glorious. Unfortunately, I received it after I had pretty much completed the dress, but I decided to try it out on the lining fabric, and apparently this is what love feels like.

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Understitch on point. Fleek? Isn’t that what the kids are saying these days? Words, whatever.

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Due to lack of fabric, I opted out of doing the full circle skirt that the dress suggested.
Ok, I had enough to do it, BUT, she would have been upside down on most of it.
So instead, I decided to try something new, that I’ve seen on some actual vintage patterns; I gathered the back and sides, leaving the front flat.

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Oh so close there with the accidental match-up.

I am still super keen on invisible zippers, so I will put them in everything. The zipper is a little wonky at the waistband, but it’s nothing too noticeable once it’s on an actual human.

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I guess it’s true: I love Lucy.

Oof, that was a terrible ending.
So, I’ll just mention that the next version of this I plan to try out tie straps, and make it a cute vintage-ish summer dress, because it’s hot AF in Florida.

If you’re ever feeling down, bring the sunny side up. The hard times will be over easy.

If there is one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s that everything changes.
Hair.
Shifts.
Sewing plans.
As much as I try to be a well-organized person, I just can not seem to get it together. I guess that’s not a horrible thing, though, when inspiration hits and all that.

Or should I say EGGSPIRATION?!

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Yes, yes I should.

I previously wrote about my Kimspiration to make this dress, and I followed through with so much eagerness, that I made two.

I learned a couple of things about myself with this dress pattern.
1.) I am DEFINITELY a waistband girl.
There is just no reasoning with a dress without a waistband. Unfortunately for me, most dress patterns lack this feature, so I have to add my own. Luckily, it’s a pretty simple thing to do. When I first started making skirts way back, there were a couple blog posts on how to insert a waistband, but I can say with absolute certainty, that the “Perfect Waistband Tutorial” from the ladies over at By Hand London was my favorite.

2.) I’m not ready to give up circle or dirndl skirts.
The Pattern featured an adoooorable tulip skirt, which I love. However, I am not ready to make a skirt that doesn’t hide my pooch belly as adequately as the former. I will get there, though. The pattern also had somewhat of a full skirt for an option, but I had bought this fabric so far in advance with no real project in mind, that I just didn’t have enough to do it.

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I am also now in LOVE with invisible zippers. After about 1 or 2 tries, (who am I kidding? I’ve failed invizzy zips around 5 or 6 times), I have finally got it down. The one on the dress above was hand picked, because I was deathly afraid of my new zipper foot, and ruining the dress. Hand picking also allowed me to pull in the top of the dress a little more to control back-gape.

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WAISTBAND

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Blue Dress/White Dress, anyone?

I hand stitched down the lining and hem on this dress, which is crazy relaxing. Put a little Louie C.K. on the TV, pour myself a small glass of wine peach moonshine….perfect.

As if I couldn’t be any more EGGstatic, I had to make another one, and fast.
So, I popped myself on over to Joann’s to participate in their 60% off Easter fabrics sale, 2 days before Easter, and procured this sweet pastel dream:

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I’m not usually one for all pastel everything, but I couldn’t help myself. If there’s one day of the year to be covered in baby colors, it’s Easter.

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I made this hem a little shorter, but I’m still happy with it.

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So, funny story about this wasitband. If you can’t already tell, There’s a little secret hidden. See it?
There’s a little free advertising for Joann’s any time I wear this dress. Great job, Jen. You win.
Also, pattern matching is for the birds. Nope.

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Desperate to find a color that wasn’t hot pink or muslin and lured in by the giant sale sign, I wandered over into the bottomweight section and found this really pretty purple….stretch denim. Oops. It’s pretty heavy, but I like the way it makes the bodice feel more structured. I won’t do it again, simply because Florida weather.

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I was brave enough to use my invisible zipper foot this time! …..For the fashion fabric, not the lining. I still hand picked that sucker, as well as the hem. This time with Maron on the TV and some water in my glass.

Side note:
maron
I’m now obsessed with his too-old-to-be-hipster self.
Don’t judge.
Don’t.

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Back to the dress.
I love the sweetheart neckline, they have always been my favorite.

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Excuse the poor quality, as this was taken in my extremely poorly lit hallway.

Paired both dresses with Pinup Girl clothing cardigans, this one with the Ice Blue, and the other with Mint.

My search for the perfect cropped cardigan came to a grinding halt when I found these, and they come in EVERY COLOR I COULD EVER WANT. I bought those two, as well as a black. There will be more in my future.

I have so many more plans for the Kim Dress, but there may or may not be a detour to hang out with Gertie.
I can’t fangirl By Hand London all the time, right?
Maybe.

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Side Side note:

Happy Riot Grrrl Day.
The impact that this term and way of life has had on me, starting at my formative high school years and on through my adult womanhood, is immeasurable. Kathleen Hannah and the ladies of Bikini Kill, as well as other visionaries such as Sleater-Kinney, Bratmobile, Heavens To Betsey, Babes in Toyland, etc, saved me. They have helped mold me into the strong, independent, thoughtful, and confident woman that I am today. Teaching me that there will always be obstacles, and always a way to overcome them, is definitely a lesson that I hope to share with other young women in the future. Love yourself, love other people, be happy with who you are, and who you will grow into be. I could write a dissertation on the subject, but for now I leave you with a song I have stuck in my head at least once a month.

Sick girl naaah nah nah naaaaaah sick girl

So!

After my wisdom teeth got removed, I came down with an epic flu. Some may say it was the flu of all flus. It was an absolute nightmare.
Immediately following the flu, I got a sinus infection. I have taken so many medicines in the past month, that I better not get sick ever ever ever again. I was out of work for a week. Sounds nice and all, but you wanna know what the worst part is?
I couldn’t do ANYTHING.
No sewing.
No knitting.
No Painting.
No cooking.
I’m pretty sure TV and the internet fried my brain. I got to watch a lot of old shows, thanks to the antenna that my roommates boyfriend got us. my favorite hours were I Dream of Jeanne from 2-3, and Bewitched from 3-4.

This past months creativity suffered not from lack of inspiration, no, no, I had plenty of that, but instead from lack of energy. I have a million ideas I’ve put on paper, that I am just itching to execute.
Now that I am well, the WP Art Festival is over, and I have hired on a pretty great staff, I can finally incorporate some home crafting back into my life.

To keep my spirits up, and to not feel like I was a boring mass of normal person, I did find one way to be creative.
Lipstick.

I have been a lipstick addict since high school. I have always loved it, it makes me feel beautiful. Now that there are SO MANY PEOPLE who feel this way, there are crazy amounts of options out there for me to collect. My personal favorite lipstick finish is and always will be matte.
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However, sometimes I like to play with shiny ones.

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Purple

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Another purple.

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Tropical ombré

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subtle red and pink ombré

SO MUCH FUN.

Everything I use is NYX Cosmetics. I absolutely love their stuff. Beautiful, affordable, diverse.
As subtle as it was, I think the red and pink ombré was my favorite of last week.
I will wear pretty much any color, with the exception of coral and stripper pink, but I always feel the best in reds. Who doesn’t?
ALL HAIL RED LIPSTICK.

Wisdom Teeth Lend No Knowledge

But they do offer you something!

Pain and agony. Seemingly endless pain and agony.

One day you’re eating large, full bites of the most delicious food, and yawning like a normal human being, then the next you can barely open your mouth, and feel like the only solution to your agony would be to just rip out all of your teeth and invest in dentures early.

Of course, reality eventually sets in once you are sat in the oral surgeons office, deciding how you want to present yourself while they yank teeth out of your skull, and then gleefully take all your money for it.

So, after about a week of terrible pain, not being able to open my mouth more than a quarter inch, and a quick visit to the other side of consciousness via IV drip, I am down two teeth and up a cheek bruise. WOOP.

They prescribed me pain pills to help with the horribleness, and reluctantly I’ve taken them. I like to stay away from things like that, but I could barely make it a minute without wanting to die. Since I’ve been on them, I’ve been pretty out of it, so I decided to stay away from my sewing machine, for fear of stitching my finger to something.

I’ve been pasted to the couch and it’s the worst. Not working and not doing anything was giving me cabin fever, so I decided to pick something creative up that I could do while I was here. I know I know, I knit and crochet as well, but have you tried counting rows on pain pills? Yeah it’s practically impossible.

I found my sketchbook from high school and decided I would try my hand at drawing. Which quickly turned to painting. So, after I threw away all the crap I did when Slipknot was the only band I listened to, I sat down and got to work.

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I was waiting for my roommate to get her butt out of the shower so we could have ice cream and watch the new episode of Bob’s Burgers, so I decided to draw this QT.

Then I decided to futz around with paint

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…….and then I dripped some paint and added a heart

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The next day I put it on wood

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Once it was all over, I had the itch to do another.
I tend to do this thing, where I find something I like to do, and then I do it a lot. Constantly. I also seem to rotate creative projects, so I guess I am currently into painting. That and if I lean over my sewing table too long, my cheeks swell up into full-blown chipmunk mode.

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They’re pretty simple, but I don’t really mind. One day I hope to get a little more detailed, but for now they suit me just fine. I know exactly where they are going to go on the wall.

Note to self: I like the wood from JoAnn’s more than I like the wood from Hobby Lobby.