Hopeful Thoughts

A Plug for a Friend

Kevin Roden for Denton City Council

I’m not into politics AT ALL! But, a friend of ours is running for city council in District 1 and we are totally behind him. We want Kevin Roden in office. For Real. Vote for Kevin.

Never Assume You've got Any Part of Parenting Figured Out: Sleep Revisited

I’m going to have to be more careful when I offer advice on my blog. Kids live to make liars out of us. Especially mine! He refuses to follow any kind of regular pattern, and don’t ever expect him to fit the profile of any book you read.

Most recently, we’ve faced problems with sleep YET AGAIN, just a matter of weeks after I posted my sleep solutions tips. Grayson figured out how to get out of his swaddle wrap and refused to sleep without his arms tucked inside it. This posed quite a problem. His source of sleep security was gone, so what were we to do? We had to find him another way to feel secure.

Our solution has been for him to move into the bed with me, and for my husband to sleep on the fold out in the living room. Obviously my husband and I would prefer to be sleeping together, but this arrangement is allowing all three of us to get the sleep we need. Grayson feels secure, I’m not losing even more sleep by waking up completely to walk down the hall every time G wakes up to nurse, and my husband is not worried he’s going to roll on top of a baby…or that his wife is going to go crazy from sleep deprivation! It’s actually working out great for all of us.

G is sleeping so well, that I suggested to my husband that we might be ready to move him back to the crib. He responded that we should just keep the status quo for a bit longer, since we were all getting the rest we needed. Quite honestly, I’m not ready to change things yet, either. I actually kind of like to snuggle with my fuzzy headed little buddy! I also love knowing where he is and that he’s OK.

One day, this will not be practical. Whether it’s back to the crib or to a toddler bed, he’s going to have to have his own sleep space. But, for now, we’re happy and rested.

Yet again, I will say that you have to do what works for YOUR family. What we’re doing is not what’s best for everybody, but it’s what is best FOR US.

How to Make Your Own Nursing Pads

A few weeks ago my mom was telling me about my friend, Ginger, who was asking about where to get some good nursing pads. My sister had picked up some organic ones for me while she was here when my baby was born, and mom wanted to let Ginger know where they’d come from. My response was that the organic ones weren’t actually my favorites, but, in fact, I was more likely to wear the sets I had made from some scraps of flannel and terry left over from previous sewing projects. I agreed to send Ginger the directions.

I never posted about this particular project. Nursing pads seemed a bit too personal. However, at Ginger’s encouragement, here’s the “how to”.

Supplies needed:

Circular object in the size diameter you desire for your pads (Mine was about 4 inches, but I decided this was a bit too small), another circular object that is a bit smaller in diameter than the first, cotton flannel, cotton terry (if desired), white thread (a good one that won’t shrink in the wash)


Begin by washing all your fabrics hot to make sure that your final product won’t shrink. Cut circles of flannel using the larger diameter object as a stencil to trace. If you want a thin pad, layer three of these together. If you want a more absorbent pad, cut a circle from the terry cloth in the smaller size and layer it between two pieces of flannel. Pin as needed.

Sew across the diameter of the circles 4 times as if you were slicing all the way across a pizza to create 8 “slices”. At this point, you can sew in darts. Stitch two on opposite sides of the circle. This creates a more cup-like shape.

Finish by doing a wide zig-zag stitch around the edge of the circle. I also did this on top of the darts to help them lay flat.

Wear your pads with the darts facing in so that you don’t get lines under your clothing.


Do you remember your first car?

Mine was a 16 year old Toyota Corona (yes, a Corona) station wagon with a manual transmission and a matt grey repainting job that my father had done in our carport one year. (He hung plastic all around the exterior sides of the carport and we had to use the front door for weeks! ) Most kids would have scoffed at having to settle for this, but I was thrilled to have something to drive at all. I also really liked the power of the stick shift, even in an old car! It got me to school, home from practices, to my piano lessons, football games, and even back and forth to my summer job at Camp Don Lee a couple of times. So many fun high school memories!

However, it was OLD, and I was heading off to college. My parents wanted me to have something more reliable, so they bought a used 1980-something Mazda 626 from some church friends. It was Champagne with burgandy interior. It was a good little car, and it got me back and forth to school for the first two years, but it wasn’t really anything special. The summer before my Junior year, I let a camp friend borrow it to go to the doctor, and he rear-ended a little old lady. It was never the same after that. Far from the reliable car that my parents had hoped I’d be able to drive back and forth to college an hour and a half away.

But then, out of nowhere, my dad got a call from a man he’d known since before I was born. He was getting rid of his 1986 (I think) Chevy Cavalier and wanted to give it to me! There’s a sweet story behind why he did it…a sort of pay it forward kind of thing. There are lots of stories I could tell about that car and how many times it left me on the side of the road. There’s also a silly story about how I got engaged, but all for another day! I wish this man could have lived to see how that car impacted my life!

I graduated form college in 2000, and had driven 3 different cars over the 6 years since I got my license. So many memories! But none of these cars meant as much to me as the one I got in April of 2001.

I had my first job. I was on my own. A real grown up with my own life and my own bills. I decided that I was going to buy myself a car. My aunt works for a pre-owned dealership, and she tracked down a gently used 1996 Camry. I saved my money, I lined up my financing, and I bought my first car! 36 months, 7.25% interest, and just over $7000 financed. I was so excited! My parents had always owned REALLY old klunkers that dad kept running by spending his weekends doing constant tune ups. My 5 year old car was the newest, nicest thing I’d ever driven.

This one was special because I worked hard to get it. I was the one responsible to make the payments and set up the insurance. It was a right of passage for me. I was a successful adult because I could buy a car.

I would drive this car halfway across the country twice to visit my future husband. It would take me back and forth to my teaching job for nearly 8 years. It would take me to pre-natal visits, and my baby to check-ups and play dates with friends.

My pretty “new to me” car, didn’t stay that way. The dash lights quit working over 8 years ago , so I had to learn to monitor my speed by feel or the light of my cell phone. The interior lights soon followed in failure. The plate around my stereo controls wasn’t properly attached after installing an after-market CD player. The CD player itself hasn’t worked for the last 8 years. We noticed nearly 4 years ago that the car made clicking noises when turning and found out that the CV joints on all four wheels were going bad and could give out any day, leaving me stranded. The brakes were repaired last summer, but I was told a couple of weeks ago that they need work again. I can’t even remember how long it’s been since my wiper fluid system worked. The timing belt needs replacing. The paint is chipping off and the car is beginning to rust. There’s a giant dent in the front passenger side that smashed the headlight. Finally, I can’t forget how hard it’s been to go to any drive though because the driver’s side window gets stuck every time I power it down.

It’s basically falling apart and unsafe.

So we decided that we needed to replace it. It’s taken us awhile to save up the money to buy something newer, but this weekend, we did it. And in doing so, we traded in the Camry for a tiny $500. The car that meant so much to me turned out to be worth so little. It made me a little sad to say goodbye, but we’re happy to be providing a safer vehicle for our family.

Some Thoughts for Today

It’s beautiful out today. I’m so glad I was texted by a dear friend this morning to go for a walk to our town square where we had lunch outdoors at a local Mexican restaurant. Grayson loves walks, and he loves his stroller.

After returning home, there were a couple of happenings worth noting.

I have officially ordered G’s new car seat. We’ve had a love-hate relationship with his infant carrier. The convenience of leaving him in the car seat while he’s sleeping has been a plus, but it’s gotten SO HEAVY that G’s little 5 foot tall Mommy simply can’t take it any more! We settled on the Britax Marathon 70 in Onyx. Should be here before the end of the week!

I also ordered a new Baby K’tan carrier. I LOVE my old one, but the more I use it, the more I realize the sizing is wrong. So, I posted the Small one on Craigslist last night for $40. (They run $55-$65 new).

Just as I was ready to take G next door to the sitter for tutoring, I realized he had pooped! So, I was finally able to try out my newly installed diaper sprayer. It works GREAT! I am going to have to get a little help adjusting the connection between the hose and the spray wand, as I ended up with a puddle in the floor. Otherwise, it is the PERFECT tool for the job. It was so easy to use and it cleaned all the solids out of the diaper without splashing into my face or the floor.