mamma. engineer. redheaded girl. wanna-be hippie.


I’ve decided not to renew my hosting this year.  After all these years it seems weird, but there you go!  I hardly update anymore and I’m feeling uncomfortable with blogging about the kids as they age.  I might scale back and look into some free hosting, and I still own the domain name but if things are down that’s why.  It was just too much money to spend for something I’m not contributing to.  So, find me on facebook?

handmade::my hearts

Inspired by a doodle-heart embroidery on pinterest, I decided that it would be cool to do up one for each of my kids as a valentine day present.  I was right.  It was cool.

my hearts

oh, I’m so humble but I am so, so, so very pleased.  Like ginormously pleased.  This is something I actually designed (rather than just copied) and then did the embroidery.  It was such a great project because it was relatively fast, and I learned some new embroidery skills.

heart be callum

AND IT WAS FREE.   I definitely made some mistakes, or rather, I was just lazy and in the end it showed.  Claire’s heart is bigger, because I just sort of free-handed them where I probably should have used a template.

heart be claire


Callum was all pratical because the intent was that they would be valentine gifts, but then that didn’t happen.  (WHAT? shut up).  But then I decided they can hang on my wall all damn year.  So there Mr. Pratical.  I should have embroidered that on his heart.

heart be anna

I am itching to make more.  Anyone want one?



what i would tell myself

This video produced by Nummies is making the rounds again – it’s the video where they asked mothers if they could go back to right before they had their first child, what would they tell themselves.

It made me think of what I’d tell myself, which I noted wasn’t in the video.

1. I’d tell myself that breastfeeding isn’t the end all and be all and your children will be healthy, brilliant and thrive if you “fail” and give them a bottle.

2. I’d tell myself that while it is true that once you’re a parent you’re on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – something I was told, repeatedly – your partner is not.   It just is.  I don’t know why.  That isn’t to say that Steve is some sort of old-fashioned ass.  He’s not, he is a fine man actually but he’s a father and  I’m a mother.  I have no better explanation.

And yes, that will be irritating.

3. The days you stop and breath and wonder at your children will be good, no matter what.  Even if you just wonder for a second.  The days you don’t stop, the days you go-go-go and try to do it all and be it all and meet someone else’s deadline are going to suck serious ass.  Stop and breath and then say no to people. This will probably piss them off.  oh well.

But still do the dishes because if you don’t, you’ll have a lot of ants crawling on your counter and that’s just nasty.

4. Turn off the TV.  Your kids will be calmer and happier.  Really.  I know this now because I have done 5 years of research on those same kids.

5. You will not change.  Parenting is not as hard as everyone says it is if you stop and enjoy the awesomeness of your kids instead of trying to make it into a competitive sport.  You will still knit and embroider and read.

brain dump

Anna these days is pure delight.  She is so willing to do everything and be everyone’s little helper (slave).  She has also taken to cleaning her own bum.  She’s not yet 2.  I appreciate the thought there anyway.

She is all smiles and waves and just starting the NO! thing.  So not completely unreasonable just yet.  She gets so excited to see my Mom that I am usually doubled over laughing by the time my Mom walks through the door.  Talk about a welcome!

Today she walked into the living room, asked for her milk and to have a nap.  I know, right?  Kid is brilliant.

She didn’t sleep, but whatever.  She played in her crib for over an hour.

Today she also saw Claire sleeping on the couch (Claire is the second victom of the latest bug running through the house), went upstairs unprompted and brought down Claire’s blanket, doll and pillow.

Claire, in return, told me that she was grateful that she had such a great sister tonight during “Grateful Time”.

“Grateful Time” is a moment before bed where we do some deep breathing (ohmygod, people, this is so damn cute.  The three of them sit in front of me in the hall and do the breathing.  It takes every ounce of willpower I have to not laugh.  Every night.  Deep breathing is suppose to be calming so laughing would not be wise).  After we breath, we all take a moment to say what we’re grateful for.  Anna usually says “Grandma” or one of her friends.  She’ll often launch herself at me and say “I LOVE YOU”.  All in all the kids do this exercise really well, most of the time.  Steve seems to struggle.  Then gets pissy when I start listing off millions and millions of things he could say he was grateful for.  I will never understand why this is so hard for some people.   Who live in Canada.  With healthcare.  And food.  And roads.

I started ”Grateful Time” because I know that if you write down what you’re grateful for every day it can have a hugely positive influence on your life.  I heard (read?) that if you did it for just one week, you feel better for 6 months.  This was scientifically proven.  Since I am surrounded by (and married to) folks who walk a thin line between happy and sad, I am really sensitive about it, and desperate to impart whatever happy-inducing habits I can in the kids.  This is my start.  Up to this point my hope was that they just inherited my good happy genes, but decided that I couldn’t rely on that alone.

I think if I come back to this space more fully, I need to give up the hope that I’m always going to post a picture.  That is what usually trips me up.  I don’t want to spend that much time transferring, resizing and uploading the pics.

But I love pics.  bah.

I am planning a (joint) fairy party for Claire and a friend.  It’s going to be EPIC.  Because woah.  Fairies?  They just scream handmade craftiness.  Love it.  Love it.  Love it.

handmade :: letters

Last year for Christmas I had planned to make the kids these letter for their doors.  I didn’t get them done in time for that Christmas, but I did get them done in time for Easter!

the c unit

At least I’m blogging about them BEFORE Easter shows up on the 2012 calendar.  I’m totally patting myself on the back right now.


They were inspired, or rather blatently copied from Inspire Me Crafts.  I have no idea how I stumbled across them before Pinterest.  These days I’m not entirely sure how I survived without Pinterest.  Pinterest is so damn awesome.  And so damn addicting.

I bought the letters from Michaels over three coupon cycles because I AM CHEAP.  Then I made myself use my stash scrapbook embellishments because I’m not allowed to buy anymore scrapbook embellishments unless I start, you know, scrapbooking.  Its ridiculous, I have an ENTIRE bookshelf full of scrapbooking supplies.  Ask me the last time I made a scrapbook.  Actually don’t ask me.  I have no idea.  I barely remember my name.

Having children is hard.

Maybe I need to make one for my own door with my name on it.  Then I wouldn’t have to remember my name, I’d just have to read it off my bedroom door.


It was a little painful not to have the option to just walk into a store and buy co-ordinating paper-ribbon-lettering but I lived through that ordeal and the kids do not seem to care that I “made do” with sub-par material.


Sorry for the crap photos.  Its a dark hallway at the best of times, and REALLY dark in the winter and I am far to lazy to take them off the door and move them to decent light.

I’m also far too lazy to fix Anna’s ribbon on hers.  Lazy is hard too.

I also don’t know why I have to have the kid’s names on their doors, this has to be my what? Third name installment?   It’s a little weird.


handmade::to market, to market

Last year I had planned to make my bestie a market bag.  I had found this orange hemp yarn (Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy) at a local shop on crazy sale and scooped it up.  I mean it’s orange!  And hemp! And awesome!  After some debate on what to do with it, I finally settled on a market bag.

It’s the free pattern Everlasting Bagstopper from Knitty, and is seriously easy.  So easy.  You can knit this bag in a day if you’re a superstar knitter.  If you’re not a superstar knitter you can knit most of this bag in a weekend, then get to the last 10 rows and put it in a basket.  Then move it to a bag.  Then back to the basket.  Then the bag.  Several months later pull it out and look at it.

Put it back in the bag and wait a few more months.

Then pull it out and finish it in half an hour.  Now put it back in the bag.  A month or so later, take it out of the bag and put it in the basket.

A year past the the Christmas you were originally going to wrap it up and give it to your friend, take it out of the basket and spend 15 minutes sewing the handles on.

to market, to market

Then keep it because you love it.

ANYWAY.  It knits up super fast (if you’re normal).  My handles are a thrift store find from a few years ago - embroidered fabric ribbon that was in this huge $3 bag of lace and ribbon and whatnots including the owl and bird ribbon on the kid’s nature bags (which are still in heavy use, I need to make one for Anna).  I love how that thrift store ribbon is perfect for the color and style of this bag without any planning or forethought on my part.  It’s like the hippie universe aligning.

to buy a locally raised, grass-fed, free range chicken

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