Video Submission

I was going to wait til the contest was over, but something tells me I don't really need to worry about it (no, not because I am going to win, but rather, because I don't think anyone is going to "steal" my idea...duh!! ha.). This is the video that Tray, Sage, Fern and I made to enter to win a new sewing machine. Pretty fun! I did all of the editing, and it was a good learning process. It felt good to have a challenge in front of me and a need to think creatively again, including a deadline.

Now, back to that dress I started making:


hardcore hubby

Running to the post office on the bike, comes home looking like this.
"the ground hurts"


life right now

hmm, well, this photo sums it up pretty well. let's hope it works:
I made a dress form, in order to make some clothes. On the table behind it, you'll see a pile of clean clothes waiting to be folded and returned to their rightful place. Also, you'll see 2 books. One book is about breastfeeding, the other about sewing. The breastfeeding book was found in the library today as I browsed the parenting section (Browsing made possible by hubby's day off). Nursing has been tough lately. While it's only 8 PM as I type, I am exhausted as Fern was up a lot last night. She has been biting a lot, as well as pinching me while she nurses, and she is still refusing formula or breastmilk from any cups or bottles or straws. I feel like our nursing relationship is beyond 'on the rocks', and all I want is out. I am resentful most of the time of her nursing, and have ceased to enjoy what should be special time with her. I screamed so loud this morning when she bit me that I felt like I woke the neighbors...and I feel like it just puts me over the edge on most days. But, I am trying to accept that, maybe this is where God has me right now. Maybe this difficult relationship, this trying time, this struggle of wills, is where I need to be. Maybe there is something to be learned here, and certainly something to be gained for both of us. I hope that the book helps in some way. Dr. Sears both rubs me the wrong way but also appeals to a part of my heart.
The sewing book is awesome so far, and I greatly anticipate sewing some clothes for myself soon, and getting experience sewing 'big people' clothes (not baby clothes!). Hopefully "Big Mama" (what we are calling my dressform) will be helpful in fitting.
And yes, the laundry got folded. AND put away! That's a miracle.
my life



Some things I have been working on:
handmade leather shoes for Fern from a recycled ("upcycled"?) jacket
recycled leather shoeshooks for clothes and treasure boxfirst embroidery

life back home

Adjusting to life, once all the stuff is put away and the laundry is finished, is a mix of fun and sad. I hate leaving Northern Michigan, coming home to the thick, dark air of Philly (which is even more obvious when you fly into it).
Yesterday, as I was driving the kids home from the suburbs, I realized how "hard" you have to be when you live in the city. I am always on guard here: looking out for crazy drivers, driving defensively so that I don't get cut off, locking my car doors, locking my bike on top of my car, looking both ways before driving into intersections, and just constantly surrounded by harsh living situations and potential crime. It is exhausting.
I long for days in the country, where I can leave all my stuff in our yard and not worry about it, where locking the doors of the house is optional, where we own some green space and a garden, where my girls can spend time outside just exploring without having to get in a car.
It was really nice to come home to OUR home. It's not our dream home, but it's home. I know I will miss a lot about the city.

In completely different news, I went for a bike ride in the suburbs yesterday, and it was SO HARD. The hills are pretty intense near Tray's work, and I pretty much stayed within a 3-4 mile radius. After 12 minutes, I was exhausted. Because of Tray's work schedule, I will only get one swim workout in this week, which is not great since my next race is in like 2.5 weeks.
Here's a picture of Sage and I from the other day. not mommy's eyes



Vacation has taken on a new meaning since having kids, as anyone with kids understands. It now involves a lot of mental strenth to persevere through the tough moments and lots of energy to make the memories happen. After getting burned HARDCORE when we went to Family Camp the first year, when Sage was 8 weeks old, I realized fully that vacation is different. Not necessarily worse, or better, just different. My own desires and goals and attempts are now secondary or tertiary, to those of my kids and husband. Once I was able to let that sink in, I was able to approach vacations with a much more rational mindset: don't expect a pre-kid vacation! Tray insisted that we fly this year, and rent a car, so I submitted, and I expected a challenging trip. He, however, expected smooth flying and smooth vaca. The first two days or so took a little adjustment on his part, and it was tough for me to enjoy myself when he was kind of miserable. After all, it is my family's "thing", and I can see how it would be tough to try to enjoy yourself.
It is important to remember that, even if you think you're taking a shortcut, things are still tough. Flying was not easy in any sense of the term, but it was quicker than driving 20 hours.

Here are a few pictures:
crazy faceour cabindaddy and sage 2marni, judy, and fernwalking the trail
What a treat to be in the woods, under tall, old pine trees, surrounded by old friends and my family, soaking in the smell of green. Hearing birds, water lapping, streams flowing, and children playing. I loved every minute of it. I wish I could say I was happy to be back in the city, but landing into this smog and dirt, I can't wait until we can live out in the country, or at least some small town!
ps-Fern and I took another trip to the ER,...another ear infection. But she's golden now.


4.5 weeks

til my next tri.

hair, wrap, and gear

I cut my hair yesterday. It was liberating. I have been wanting to do it lately, purely out of frustration with my hair being in my eyes all day long. Usually it is the last straw (both kids going crazy, me being super hot, and on top of it all, HAIR IN MY EYES). It's really nice to have it out of my eyes.
I made a this for a friend's birthday, and I am pretty happy with how it came out. I made the bias tape and I love the colors. I am not one for picking out color well, but these ones are good together. Maybe because they're all by the same designer!!?! Ha.
gratitude wrapgratitude wrap
Lastly, Sage is pretty into my workout equipment. I am signing up to do another triathlon, so I am gonna kick up my training as much as I can. I got out my swimming gear yesterday and she was playing with it all.
sewing equipment


Triathlon extended review

Lois and I had such a blast yesterday! We rode our bikes to the event so that the husbands could gather the children and supplies at their leisure (!) and meet us there. It was so fun riding in, and we were so anxious and excited and nervous the whole morning. We got in the river for a warm up, though short, just to get a feel for the water. It was so nice! Then we waited for what seemed like eternity for our swim heats to leave. By the time my heat left, I think all of the elite racers had started their run (the last leg!). I really had fun at this event. I felt really good mentally almost the whole time. Lois was able to calm me down after Fern refused to nurse right before the race (which meant she was going to be going like 6 hours without nursing, and that I would race with full breasts...ugh). Once Lois calmed me down, I was able to get in the zone. During the swim I really tried to keep my cool. I wanted to not look up to much (wasting energy and speed) and not worry too much about swimmers around me. I just tried to focus on my technique, and using just enough energy that I was moving quickly but not burning myself out. I felt like my transition to the bike was kind of slow...I should've gone through the steps while I was swimming to remind myself. I got hungry before my swim heat left, and that worried me. I knew I had a gel packet, and two water bottles of carbohydrate drink, but I also knew that the first lap of the bike is filled with excitement and just getting your bearings being on land and getting a feel for the course. I drank a little bit on the first lap and then ate the gel as I was finishing my first lap. It definitely helped. There is always a fine line of over-hydrating vs. under hydrating. I know that when my stomach is full of fluids, I get cramps and feel sick while I run, but I also know that you are supposed to take enough fluids with your gels. I wanted to go fast on my bike ride, but I also wanted energy in my legs for the run. Running is my weakest link. Anyways, the transition from bike to run felt faster, and my run went really well. I was able to do my goal of running the whole thing...NO WALKING!!! I had bad cramps in my upper abdomen for the first half, but I just focused on small accomplishments (a technique I learned the day before...just focus on getting to the next light post, then set a new goal) and I also pretended I was on the training run I usually go on, visualizing, "Ok, that next light post/sign is like Poplar St., and the next goal will be like Brown...etc. etc.) and that was really really helpful. Also helpful were the people cheering, saying things like, "The beer is so close! You're looking great 1202 (my race #)!"
Overall, it was awesome. I am really glad that Lois and I trained for a tri together and I was so proud of her, seeing her on the bike course and seeing her on the run course I got so giddy. I am sad I had to leave so fast (Tray had to work at noon!) and I couldn't see her cross the finish line or hug her! What an accomplishment for another mama and I am so proud of her hard work and determination, especially with her swimming. Let's do lots more Lois! Olde Kenzo!


Fern updated

Fern is doing well. I think the antibiotics are already helping, though I am still giving her ibuprofen/tylenol as needed.
Lois and I have our triathlon in like 18 hours. WOH! Exciting! We just went to the information session and registration, and it was fun and exciting. Also super nice that I left Sage with Jesse and he handled the three kids great! I am super impressed. He didn't seemed phased at all when we came back, even handling TWO two-year-olds who are both learning to potty train, and a 16 month old!! I am pumped for the tri tomorrow and I think it's going to be super fun, and it looks like tomorrow's high will only be like 84, which to me sounds GREAT.
Not much else is new...I am still recovering from the other night's lack of sleep it feels like. I feel like I am dragging hardcore and am going to nap for a bit while the girls are down.
In potty news, Sage seems to really like being potty trained. I am excited for her excitement.
Oh, and before I forget about that (poop). Is there anyone out there with a baby that is like 0-6 months old that is interested in trying cloth diapers? Fern has grown out of her size smalls, and I would love to not only get someone else into cloth diapering (or at least try it), but also get some feedback about what they do/don't like about my diapers. Get back to me on that via the comments. I would give away the used ones and if then be willing to discuss prices on some more new ones. Thanks!