Thursday, January 15, 2015

Sick Days

We have started the year off with sick days. P has developed a deep chest cough this past week. She is a stubborn lass, which I am grateful for, as she is less likely to be a push over in her adult years. However, being stubborn also means she doesn't want to stop and be sick. Cough or no cough she was determined to go to school. Until Monday morning came along and her energy level was low,  her bed was super cozy and warm, and she had a cough that caused her head to hurt with every hack. I took P's temp, she felt warm. She had a low grade fever and a sick day.

Monday sick day with Roary. 

Taking temperatures has become a fun activity because P and J can take their temperatures independently. I recently received two Braun Thermometers to try in our home. The first one, from Influenster was the Braun Thermoscan which is a quick easy read in the ear. The second arrived from Klout and is the new Braun No Touch + Forehead thermometer. These are both super easy to use, they read incredibly fast, and are easy to read.

J taking his temp with the Braun Thermoscan. 

When taking temperatures we have a silly routine of using every thermometer in the house. This started because the Braun No Touch + Forehead thermometer was always telling me that Jack had a temperature. This thermometer also has color coded readings: green = normal, yellow = slight fever, and red = fever. Several readings on Jack's forehead have been in the red even though he had "normal for J" energy, appetite was good, and had no other symptoms that would indicate illness. We have quite a collection of thermometers that we have accumulated over the years. Three oral, two forehead, and one for the ear.

6 thermometers and 5 different readings. 
Once I took J's temp with all of these in an attempt to confirm a fever. The two forehead thermometers gave me the same reading: J had a fever. The oral thermometers were within +/- 1 degree of each other, and the ear thermometer was within the range of the oral thermometers but not an exact reading as anyone of them. Then I took P's temp with them all. She was cool to touch and I was not expecting a fever reading, she was my control. The forehead thermometers read high with the Braun No Touch + Forehead in the yellow. The orals and ear read within normal range.

I don't know why the Braun No Touch + Forehead reads high or maybe it is that the others read low. We do utilize more than one thermometer to confirm a fever but more than that we watch for other symptoms: energy level, appetite, complaints of being sick, etc... So far we have remained healthy this season except for P's recent cold battle this week but that has been minor overall.

*I received the Braun Thermoscan  free from Influenster. I received the Braun No Touch + Forehead thermometer free from Klout. All opinions are my own. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Visions of Sugarplums {Riley Blake Flannel Showcase Blog Hop}

My blog has certainly been neglected lately. We have been having phenomenal weather and so, we spend our time outside exploring soaking in all the vitamin D we can get before it turns gray once again. It turned gray this week and therefore, we are enjoying a pumpkin wonderland of autumnal bliss and making the final final decisions about Halloween costumes.

With both P and J in school this year I find myself with ample "me time" and I have been moping around deciding what I should do with myself. The answer is sew, sew, sew and this is my stop on the Riley Blake Flannel Showcase Blog Hop! They sent over a ton of the Home for the Holidays prints and I set to work and then enlisted P's help too. We made pillowcases. She has been asking to learn to sew and we fit it in here and there but I thought she would like stitching up some pillowcases for Christmas gifts this year. Friends of P, take note you may be getting a pillowcase this year.

We had a lot of fun matching patters and picking the trim too! There are an abundance of pillowcase tutorials out there, I used this one from Cottage Mama . It is very simple, quick, and there are great pictures too. This one uses the "burrito" method and gives instructions for the finished french seams.

P enjoyed her sewing session and I felt reassurance that she is growing into a well rounded young lady, sewing is a life skill and so, she will be able to mend the sail on the boat when marine biologist P  sails around the world studying the blue whale.

We added a ruffled cuff to one, P got to learn about gathering and pinning in detail. I am sure she will be sewing up her prom dress and/or those of her friends.

The rigorous life a third grader requires lots and lots of sleep. Fortunately, she is a heavy sleeper and I successfully snuck in her room without incident. She still sleeps with her arms up like she did when she was a teeny tiny P.

Please visit the other bloggers on the tour, you are sure to find something to sew up for yourself or a gift for someone special, there is even something for your furry friends too:

9/5 Riley Blake Designs - Flannel Play Dress
10/14 Sew We Quilt
10/31 Lucy Blaire
11/4 Riley Blake Designs Final Post + Giveaway

{This is a sponsored post. I received fabric from Riley Blake Designs in exchange for my post; all opinions are my own.}

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Riley Blake Flannel Showcase Blog Tour

It is officially September and therefore I have given into the call of fall. I attempted and failed at my first batch of pumpkin cream cheese muffins. They just don't fluff up pretty or more seriously, taste edible when I forget to add the sugar.

Fall brings on the flannel too and living in the Pacific Northwest we know a thing or two about flannel (the peak of the grunge era was just a few years ago right?). Beginning this month, Riley Blake Designs, is hosting their Flannel Showcase Blog Tour and Rose & Odin has been invited to join. I'm looking forward to sharing with you what I create with the flannel fabrics they sent over. However, I can only offer a sneak peak as my day is not until October 10th.

In the mean time, please follow along on the blog hop and all the inspiring cozy flannel goodness. 

Check out the Day 1 of the Flannel Showcase Tour. It is an adorable gingham dress and I think P absolutely, without a doubt needs this! Flannel Showcase Day One

Here is the list of the Flannel Showcase Blog Hop Tour: 

10/14 Sew We Quilt
10/31 Lucy Blaire

Friday, August 8, 2014

Request Denied

This past week I received 29 game requests from one person for a single game on Facebook. That pretty much pushed me into a rage.....STOP! STOP! STOP! ENOUGH OF THIS B%## S*%$!

I don't really want to unfriend this person but I really REALLY need these requests to STOP! So, I did a bit of research and found that you CAN block app requests on Facebook. YAY!

Here's how to do it in four easy steps with photos I took with my phone to illustrate it:

1. When you are logged into Facebook, at the very top right hand corner there is an arrow, click on it and it provides a drop down menu. Find "settings" and click on it.

2. Once you are in the settings mode, on the LEFT hand side of your screen, there is an option titled "blocking" click on it.

3. On the next screen locate "Block App Invites" then type in the name of the person who is the request offender. This will block ANY app invite this person wants to send you.

4. After you have blocked a specific person, you may also block the app entirely to prevent other request offenders, who have yet to surface, from sending you requests. Just type in the app you wish to block in the "Block App" section. I think I have 20 or so already blocked and the list is growing!

Blocking complete. This process only blocks app requests and apps from getting to you or being visible on your timeline. It does not block the person or any other post they may post on their timeline or yours. I hope this is helpful to you and will prevent some Facebook rage! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Baby Market

I am a birth story junkie. I hang on every word when women share their story of how their child made  their entrance earth side. I feel it is empowering for women to not only share their stories but also, to listen to other's birth stories as well. No one has the same story. Not one single story I have heard, read, or watched has been exactly like mine. That's the way life is. No one is exactly like me or you.

I have moved on from my own desires of baby birthing yet, somehow I found myself at a premiere baby/parent conference last fall. I had been psyching myself up thinking I would really, absolutely, without a doubt want another baby after attending. I miss breastfeeding. I miss baby wearing. I miss having a baby. I really do.

Spring of 2010 when J was new. 

Imagine how surprised I was when I was unmoved by fondling a newborn size cloth diaper.  I am so glad to have graduated to independent potty users. My breasts didn't ache at the cries of babies around me, no more let-downs. I didn't look at the latest Ergo Baby carrier and want to own it immediately and put a new baby in it just so I could kiss it's little sweet head as I go about my day. I was in shock. I felt no attachment to any of these items. These "hot," "new," "latest," "safest," and "most expensive" items on the market. Ok, I really want a Sophie Giraffe!

Even though I wasn't having let-down anymore in the milk sense, I felt an overwhelming sense of let down at the conference. I listened to the stories, I listened to the speakers, I listened to the Q & A sessions. I was completely awe stuck. That somehow having ________ makes a better parent not only that but the more ___________ a parent has the better. People would begin their comment or question with "I have the newest model of the _________ for my child and I was just wondering...." They didn't really have a question, they just wanted to share that they had the latest _____________. Lots of parent posturing was happening and it was really uncomfortable.

One speaker talked about birth. I was completely engrossed. Hospital births, home births, VBACs.....moms were sharing it was great. I love birth stories, I should have been a midwife! One thing that was common in every story was fear. Fear of failing at birth. Fear of a c-section. Fear of the baby not latching on. Fear of dying. Fear that your doctor will force you to have this, that, or the other for fear of your baby dying. FEAR! I had all those fears too, with both births.

The next session was to promote the best, most awesomely, wonderful, new, most expensive, and safest stuff parents NEED for their babies. Diapers, highchairs, bouncy seats, breast pumps, baby wearing contraptions, strollers, and carseats.

Carseats. The most safest model with the highest possible stars available was there and it was marketed this way: parents, you must get this seat because it is safer than any seat out there and without it your baby is at risk and could possibly die in an accident. Not in those words exactly but the message was there: FEAR. This carseat, which is rated the safest and happens to be the most expensive carseat on the market today was being marketed with FEAR.

It is the fear peddling by doctors that people complained most about when sharing their birth stories and it is fear that baby product companies are peddling to sale their stuff.

I get it. I want the best, safest, newest, most awesome stuff for my own children. I can't afford it. Does this make me a terrible parent because I don't have _____________. No. I also should not be told to be scared for my child's life if I don't have ______________.

I left the conference with this: if this carseat is the highest rated carseat, then all car seats should be as safe as that one no matter where a parent can afford to shop. That, the top rated safety carseat should be the standard.  The carseat is the most important item a parent buys but safety shouldn't dictate the price. I left the conference feeling like there shouldn't be this much polarization; that products don't make a better parent. All babies need to be in the safest, most secure carseat on the market not just the babies with parents who can afford it. There shouldn't be a middle or low standard when it comes to baby safety for any baby product out there. Period.

I miss having a baby. I really do. I don't miss baby product marketing. In my newborn exhaustion of sleepless nights and engorgement, I shed a lot of tears over not having the best most expensive ___________ for my baby but so far,  P & J are turning out great.  

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Mother Who?

I grew up watching the 4th Doctor zip in and out of time saving humanity with his faithful companion, K-9. That scarf! If only I knew how to knit I think I would only knit those.

I have been binge watching the new "Dr. Who" lately and just as the 10th doctor said farewell I had the revelation that, I too, am exactly like a Time Lord. In fact, all moms are Time Lords, only better!

I give you…
Mother Who

1. We have a heart for each of our children. I have two, just like the Doctor.

2. Our TARDIS has four wheels, loads of buttons to push, and gets to school, dance, library, swimming, and play practice on time. It holds more than it looks like it should and sometimes my passengers need to hang on!

3. We may not have a sonic screwdriver at our fingertips but we can pop Barbie’s head back on, French braid hair, make something out of nothing, cook, clean, fold laundry, wipe boogers off faces, and build a block tower all at the same time. We are masters of improvise.

4. We fight the villains, doing our best to keep the path of the future clear for our children.
Here are a few of the villains I have met up with along my parenting journey or expect to meet:
·      The Great Intelligence: All that unsolicited parenting advice from the so-called experts who like to tell you everything you do is wrong. (This villain arrives with the onset of pregnancy and they come out of the woodwork to hunt you down.)
·      Sensorites: The first few weeks post-partum. You are in a fog and you don’t really remember much of anything because you are so sleep deprived, possibly crying at every little thing, you go days without a shower, your boobs are sore and leaky, and then you just snap out of it.
·      Davros: In-laws.
·      Vashta Nerada: These are the creatures of the darkness. I eradicate these creatures every night when my children express a fear of the darkness and I look under the bed, or in the closet with a flashlight.
·      Cybermen: A 2 year old in a temper tantrum. This is a brain melting no escape situation. We must remain calm and wait for the monster to leave hoping it spares our sanity. P’s could last up to 45 minutes of non-stop screaming and we all survived.
·      Autons: Legos scattered across the floor, lying in wait to attack an unsuspecting barefoot pedestrian.
·      Silurians: Sibling fights. Sometimes co-habitation is just impossible!
·      Weeping Angels: When it is just too quiet in the house and you just closed your eyes for a moment.
·      The Rani: The “I know everything! Leave me alone” phase (does this every really go away?)
·      Daleks: When your child’s favorite response is “NO” what he is really saying is “EXTERMINATE” but in a much more adorable way, non-threatening way.
·      The Master: Puberty. Your child trying to establish her own identity while laying waste to everyone and everything in her path and blaming you. (I have yet to meet this one.)

5. Our children revive us, and regenerate us with their joy and unending hugs, kisses, and stick figure drawings of appreciation.

6. Our children view us as the cleverest and smartest individuals in the universe.

7. Like the Doctor, we do not do this for gratitude and thanks; remaining anonymous in our actions most of the time.

8. There is a small part of us that always wonders, wishes, possibly hopes that time will pass just a little slower with each breath our children take so we can savor each second and imprint these moments in our memory bank.

9. There is a guilt rubbing inside us questioning our responses to critical parenting situations maybe wanting to rewind and a do-over but we can’t go back, especially in our own timeline.

10. There is a time when we have to let go, and allow our children to forge their own path in the world equipped with the best tools and knowledge we have provided them with. They may become Mother Whos or companions but they will continue to fight for humanity and the future of the earth with love and compassion leading the charge. 

We are nurturers, healers, leaders, life-givers. We are so much more than Time Lords, we are Women and we are Mothers. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Union Jack Laptop Sleeve Tutorial

My current laptop case is boring black and I wanted a new one. So, I made one out of the Union Jack Fabric panel the lovelies at Riley Blake Designs sent over. I'm going to show you how to make your own too!


1 panel of Union Jack squares
1/4 or 1 FQ for the outer accent. I raided my scrap bin too!
1/3 yard for the lining and button loop
1/3 yard batting
Optional: 1/2 yard interfacing. I used Pellon SF101
1- 1 1/2" button

I have a MacBook Pro which measures 9.25" x 13".  The cutting measurements and instructions are for this size laptop. You will need to measure your laptop and add 1/2" all around. If your laptop is larger, a single Union Jack square will not be enough to cover the side and you may need to add an inch or two of a side panel.


From the Union Jack panel: cut two  complete Union Jack squares. Cut to measure 10 3/4" wide (you will trim up the length in another step) making sure the white boarder on the long sides are equal so your Union Jack will sit squarely on your laptop.

From the accent fabric: Cut two pieces that measure 10 3/4" x 5"

From the lining: cut two pieces that measure 10 3/4" x 15"
                          cut one piece that measures 2" x 5"

From the batting: cut two pieces that measure 10 1/4" x 14 1/2" (Having your batting a little shorter than your fabric pieces helps keep the seams less bulky.)

From the interfacing: cut 4 pieces that measure 10 3/4" x 15" and one piece that measures 2" x 5"

Cut 2 whole Union Jack squares. Each should measure 10 3/4" across, from short side to short side. 


1. Trim one short end of each Union Jack square to a 1/2 inch boarder from the edge of the print. With right sides together, stitch one Union Jack square to one accent piece along the short edge using 1/2" seam allowance. Repeat for 2nd Union Jack square. Press seam towards accent piece and topstitch. 

Trimming the boarder on the short side to 1/2" allows for the accent piece to be flush with the Union Jack design.

2. If you are using interfacing, iron it on now to both pieces of the outer and lining. If you would like to quilt your batting, do this after you have added the interfacing. If you are not quilting your batting then I recommend you baste your batting to the wrong sides of the lining pieces. 

3. Button loop: take your 2" x 5" piece, add interfacing if using, fold in half lengthwise, then open and fold each lengthwise edge to the center, then fold in half and topstitch the open edge. 
Iron your folds to keep them even and straight.

4. Fold one of your outer pieces in half lengthwise to find the exact middle. Then pin your button loop with the loop facing in to the right side of your outer piece along the top of the accent fabric edge and baste.

5. Trim from the bottom of your Union Jack outer pieces about 1/2" to 1" to even up with your lining pieces. This takes the white bottom boarder out for a cleaner match up when sewing the pieces together. 
Trim from the bottom. 
6. Using a 1/4" seam allowance and with right sides together, match up the bottom Union Jack markings of the outer pieces and sew only the bottom seam. Press seam open (topstitch if desired).

7. With right sides together, sew one lining piece to the top (accent side) of one side of the outer piece. Repeat for the other side. Press seams open. When fully laid out your pieces should be in this order:


 8. Fold in half, right sides together, lining up seams. Pin all around. Sew up sides and short edge of lining, leaving an opening to pull thru. 

9. Clip corners and pull thru the opening to right side. Sew up the small opening and put lining half inside the outer piece. Smooth out, iron, and topstitch all around the top. Sew the button on and your Union Jack laptop sleeve is complete.

The Riley Blake Union Jack Blog Tour is happening every Tuesday and Thursday in April. Please visit these other fantastic bloggers for more Union Jack inspiration:
Union Jack Blog Tour

Paula from The Sassy Quilter, Jina from Jina Barney Designz, Karin from Leigh Laurel Studios, Marni from Haberdashery Fun, Julia from My Fabric Obsession, Molly from Rose & Odin, Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl, Madame Samm from Sew We Quilt, Julia from Riley Blake Designs, and Ginny from Darling Adventures