It's ok to not feel ok

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It's been quite a while.

You might recall that right before my sudden sabbatical that I was one sick mama. That's putting it mildly. I haven't sewn since December, and the only reason I did then was because my morning sickness had not yet made an appearance. I was kind of pleased at the time, thinking I might get lucky and escape it altogether. That was most definitely not the case. Calling it morning sickness is the understatement of a lifetime - I couldn't make it more than two days without a surprise during my morning ablutions, usually teeth brushing, though it occasionally ruined my morning shower as well. Even now that it is almost gone (I still have my moments, but I function significantly better), I still cringe going into any bathroom because I have made such bad connections with the space.

Now that I am feeling so much better, I have finally started to move into the "nesting" phase. Buying baby things is definitely on my mind and I have started to enjoy watching and reading birth stories, like I did with Micah. I recall watching A Baby Story almost every morning before work when I was pregnant with him, filled with the excitement of new life and a new journey, and absolutely no fear. My pregnancy with him was textbook - mild morning sickness, no pain, no Braxton Hicks. I was happy, glowing and filled with joy. I made the incorrect assumption that my labor and delivery would be no different, and so I didn't even make a birth plan. I told my midwife that I just wanted to go with the flow rather than try to stick to a plan that would likely get blown to pieces anyway, and she told me that was an excellent way to look at it. It gave me peace and would allow room for decisions that would make labor easier. If you are a follower, then you know exactly how that went. I may as well have had a plan!

This time around, I still do not have a birth plan, but I do have a choice that will dictate my entire labor and delivery experience - I am having a scheduled c-section.

If you spend any time at all on birth forums or websites dedicated to maternity and labor, you will have likely heard some of the statistics about cesarean deliveries. Just this morning, I read an article encouraging mothers to take a rest period after they have a baby, rather than feel compelled to bounce right back like you hear so many celebrities do. Many cultures have a mandatory convalescence spanning anywhere from 20 to 60 days, yet for some reason here in America, we are convinced that we should be back to our "normal" lives within days of giving birth. If you have ever had a baby, you know how unrealistic that is, and unfortunately you have to experience it to fully understand what your own personal limitations are. Every body is different, and you can take me as a prime example - every midwife tells you that when you go into your labor, your body will know what to do. For me, that was not the case. My body understood contractions, but nothing else. I never dilated, and my body rejected all pain relief options. I am certainly not the norm, but it needs to be understood that labor will never be what you imagine it to be, and women need to understand that sometimes things are out of their control.

That said, the amount of websites out there with statistics on cesarean deliveries NEVER point out that some of those deliveries are not by choice. They like to make it sensationalist because that sells, and many reading will assume that there are at least 33% of women out there choosing a c-section just for the sake of convenience. While I do know that some women do this - though I can't imagine why anyone would think major abdominal surgery is easier than pushing out a baby, considering healing times alone - a big chunk of that number is also people like me. Women that cannot have a baby naturally despite their best efforts. Women that have pre-eclampsia, women that push for hours but have hips too narrow, women that never dilate, women that have severe anemia. I know the numbers are climbing every year, and unfortunately, that is also because many hospitals try to coerce women into repeat c-sections to avoid the possibility of unproductive labor or complications from a previous surgery. While I get the concern, taking away a woman's rights to make money is beyond ridiculous.

If I had any pull in the blogging community, I would use it right now. I would use it to tell women that is ok if your labor and delivery did not go as planned, that it's alright if you spend your maternity leave resting and bonding with your child rather than cleaning or working out, that it should be rule (and not the exception) that your husband/SO/family help you when you need it without begging. Giving birth and raising a child should be a gift rather than a chore, and if you need to pretend your kitchen sink isn't overflowing to embrace that, then so be it.

The joys of pregnancy

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I haven't blogged in awhile.

Normally, I blame this on laziness and a lack of good topics at the time. I have a hard time coming up with stuff to write about. I am not one of those lucky people that can pull brilliance from thin air, despite how much I wish I was. But this time, I have a new reason.

This pregnancy makes me hate everything.

When I was pregnant with Micah, it was the "honeymoon" pregnancy. I wasn't too sick, I wasn't too tired, and I was HAPPY. I had the glow. I loved every second, every new trimester was a bit of glee, and I was counting down the days to meet my new baby.

With this pregnancy, I am SO sick. Miserable, except when I am asleep. I am tired, literally all the time, but if I sleep too much, it makes me incredibly groggy and lethargic for the rest of the day. I am so happy that my first trimesters end is in sight, so this will end. I am not counting down the days until I meet the baby (well, yes, I am - I can't wait for a new bundle to love), but instead I am counting down the days until this agony is OVER.

I have no energy whatsoever. When I get home in the evenings, I park on the couch in a position that makes my stomach feel less like exploding, and stay there until bedtime. I pass out instantly. I can't walk any distance without constant gagging. I can't brush my teeth properly without throwing up. I have taken a mere handful of photos in the last five weeks. I have yet to sew a single thing for this baby even though that was something I was super excited about when I first got my positive test. I haven't even bought any fabric, which is a sure sign I am uncomfortable.

My mouth tastes like something died in it from the reflux, which in turn makes all food taste weird. Muted or disgusting, no matter what it is. The only thing that actually tastes like it's supposed to is pickles. They are my very best friend. Water is revolting. Soda is acid. I found a few things that would work to hold the nausea at bay, and in a few days, they would stop working. I have tried just about everything available - I even bought a pair of Sea Bands, and they work miracles when they are positioned correctly, but they are so easy to put on wrong that I often find myself miserable with sore wrists. I have missed three days of work in one month from this, and my FMLA is not going to kick in until my first appointment, which they didn't schedule until February 12th. So I have to just continue to do my best to suck it up and thankfully my boss is kind. I wish I could sleep through the next few weeks.

That said...this pregnancy is exciting in a lot of ways. It will be our last baby so I have gotten a few patterns for fun baby things, like newborn moccasins. My mom is crocheting the most adorable pair of baby Converse ever. I am planning on sewing a gender-specific slipcover for the swing and bouncer once we find out what we are having in April. (I turn 20 weeks the day before Micah's birthday, so I am hoping to schedule it for that day so we can take him. He's very excited. HE WILL BE FOUR OMG.) I am using my bonus to buy all the baby seats so we can get exactly what we want. Micah even used a bit of his Xmas money to buy the baby a pair of elephant-print gowns. My mom has nicknamed this baby Start and now everyone is doing it. My family can hardly stand it they are so excited. There's a bit of silver lining in everything, I suppose.

I am still looking forward to the end of this first trimester.

Moxie Monday is here!

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Moxie Mondays: Flash giveaways on Instagram hosted by @thatmoxiegirl || #moxiemondays

I am so excited to announce that I am cohosting Moxie Mondays this week! Moxie Mondays are a fun 24 hours of awesome flash giveaways on Instagram. It's easy to enter and you get to meet a new community of friends to add some creativity and spice to your Instagram feed. Plus, hello, the chance to win handmade prizes, crafting supplies and gift certificates. You don't need a blog to play, just Instagram on your phone!

Here's how to play:

1. Follow this week's hosts on Instagram:





2. Leave a comment on each host's giveaway image. (Tag a friend for an extra entry!)

3. Repost this week's Moxie Monday graphic on your Instagram with the hastag #moxiemondays and tag @thatmoxiegirl to enter the Mystery Moxie Giveaway.

On Tuesday morning, your hosts will randomly select winners and tag them in a comment.

It's that easy. Mondays just got so much more awesome!

Moxie Mondays: Flash giveaways on Instagram hosted by @thatmoxiegirl || #moxiemondays
Interested in cohosting a Moxie Monday? Shoot an email to Jill at


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One of my favorite things to read are the posts from Young House Love about funny things their daughter Clara says. She is a few months older than Micah and they both say really similar things. I bet if they ever met in person they would get along famously, since they are both talkers and movers. Plus Clara is seriously hilarious.

So because I have been having a hard time coming up with things to blog about (being so violently ill with this pregnancy has really been a buzzkill for my sewing), I thought I would begin a Friday blog post about Micah with all the awesome things he says or does every week. I am always meaning to write these down someplace and never get around to it, so this will be a great way to log them. Once the new baby arrives and starts talking, we can add him/her to the post. I can hardly wait to hear them chatting together.

Micah reaches out and very gently pokes right above my belly button with a sly grin.
Me: What was that for?
Micah: I was just poking the baby.
(The sibling rivalry is starting already?!)

Micah, talking about my Dad: He used to be a policeman, but then he grew up to be a Tata!

Micah: When you put on headphones to listen to music, it goes down to your heart. And it stops beating, and starts dancing.

Me: What do you think mommy is having?
Micah: A boy. Or a girl.
He gets an amazed look on his face and his eyes get all big.
Micah: It could be ANYBODY in there!

That last one still cracks me up.

It was a very merry Christmas!

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The year is almost at an end. I still can't believe an entire year has just blown by. How did it go by so fast?

We have had a great year, all things considered. And the month of December was especially nice, with all the family gatherings, special photos and good sales for some preliminary items in Sunshine Stars.I could not have asked for more...well, except one thing.

I made this after finding a version on Pinterest but discovered the shop that made them was now closed. I couldn't track down the owner so I am hoping she doesn't mind that I made this just for my husband.

And yes, it does mean we are expecting baby #2! We are super excited! Just like with my son, we had been talking about it and trying to decide when, and suddenly I'm pregnant. We obviously have no choice in the matter! I wasn't sewing when my son was born so I am really excited to make baby clothes. I am already picturing the footie pajamas and onesies in fun colors. We won't find out what we are having for at least three more months.

When we told my family, I made Micah this shirt and walked him into the room and let them all figure it out. Not everyone got it right away, but my mom read it once and yelled, "You're pregnant?!" She's probably more excited than we are.

Only Child, expiring August 2014.

This year, we got a couple of fun photo shoots in for both us and Micah. I actually won a little photoshoot from the talented Hartsock Photography and Micah got some seriously fantastic Santa photos as a result. I am really hoping they do this every year, because the Santa they chose was amazing (a real beard!) and they got me the photos within minutes. I absolutely loved it.

I'm THREE, Santa!

And just for family photos, I asked around to see if any local photographers wanted to do a trade - I get photos of their family, they get photos of mine. It couldn't have worked out better, because one of them is absolutely fantastic. Micah is even wearing two handmade things by me - his hat and duffle coat.

Our wedding anniversary was also on the 14th, so I made my husband this.

My little fledging attempt at Sunshine Stars also made a whopping 30 sales just in December alone, for hats with ears and scoodies with ears and pockets, as well as simple cotton and lace scarves. To say I was busy would be an understatement!

But I did have time to make Micah some fun Christmas pajamas!

December has been busy, fun, and exceptionally wonderful this year. I can't wait to see what 2014 has in store!

How was your Christmas?

DIY Christmas ornaments for kids

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Can you believe that Christmas is 16 days away? I always feel like it sneaks up on me. I had every intention of making an advent calendar this year, and completely spaced it thanks to all the business I've gotten at my shop. (More on that in another post.)

I put up our little tree, which is just a tabletop version. It's white with pre-strung white lights and I wrapped two blue garlands around it. Simple and easy, which is what we wanted when we had a busy baby and cats in the house. Now that all the cats have been rehomed and Micah is going to four in four months (WHAT!?), I should probably make some ornaments for it. I like the idea of making making ornaments to add every year, so I decided to make a little collection of fun ideas from my beloved Pinterest of ornament ideas for kids to make.

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Personalized name mugs

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I'm sure you've seen those Sharpie mugs all over Pinterest. In case you haven't, here is the one that I liked the best.

I kept looking at them, wondering if I should make one for my parents for Christmas. Half of the pins on Pinterest have comments on them about how the Sharpie didn't work though - they would wash them, and the Sharpie would just wipe off. The heat of the oven was often pointed to as a culprit, but also the quality of your mug. Cheap mugs worked better because the glaze was more permeable. Or maybe you should use a certain type of Sharpie, the kind meant for porcelain. Or maybe you should glaze them after, just on the part that's painted so they are still safe to drink from. So many opinions!

So instead of trying the Sharpie at all, I went to Michael's and bought a six pack of paint pens, the kind you shake up like spray paint and then press the tip to get the paint flowing. Then I bought five mugs, also at Michael's, that were meant to be painted and even came with a tiny brush and a few paint pots. At $1.99 for each mug and $5.99 for the pens, a pack of stickers in letter shapes, and a 40% off coupon at the register, I spent less than $16 on the whole lot. Not bad for knocking out five Christmas gifts at once! And they hold up in the wash and the microwave, too.

And they came together super fast. I stuck on a name, tapped around the letters with a different color paint pen, and in less than five minutes they were dry and completed. The stickers I chose were not the best choice - they were 3D, which I thought would make them easier to trace around, but it also kept them from laying flat enough so the paint bled underneath. I just went in with a white paint pen (thankfully already in the pack) and colored over the bleeds a bit. It didn't make the edges sharp and crisp like I wanted, but it did give them a pretty marbled look I had hard time capturing on camera. And best of all? My recipients loved them. We had an early Christmas with my moms family since they were in town from Kansas and wouldn't be back for awhile.

Have you ever tried this particular project? How did it go?