So did I mention that my baby spits up? There are many words for this: burp, spit, spit up, puke… you get the idea. Whichever name you like, it is a total mess. As a mother of three, with two kids who didn’t spit, I didn’t understand this element of parenting. It is part preparedness and part spontaneity at all times. You learn the signs and you learn the best way to hold the baby, as well as where every type of towel resides all over the house.
In addition, you learn the value of a burp cloth. I had been given burp cloths with the other children and found other uses for them… rag for wiping down counter, lovey, face wiper after spaghetti, but never spit up. Now I get it. Now I am a pro. Now I know burp cloths and understand the merits of what makes one good and what makes one great. There are many burp cloths out there. From plain old dish rags to embellished treasures, I believe the magic lies somewhere in between. Having a background in clothing production, I am a self-proclaimed stickler for details. I notice the small things and there is a part of me that is always ready to give my feedback:
Absorbency is paramount: I believe that cloth diapers reign supreme in this category. Most other cloths allow the spit to just slide right off.
Style details: The importance of this has to do with the fact that it will be your primary accessory for quite a long time (the doctor tells me 12 months is totally possible – yikes). This is your chance to add that splash of color that you might not feel bold enough to wear on your own! Go for it.
Attractive from both sides: Sometimes its important to be able to flip the thing over or find another corner. You get my drift. Life moves fast, you’ve gotta be ready for anything.
Through months of daily product testing and market research, I’ve found that there might be some room for improvement in the category of burp cloth. I’ve come up with a solution that incorporates my love of style and cool fabrics with the function of a truly absorbent (read: boring) diaper. I have been having fun experimenting with this and have been so inspired by the incredibly fun fabrics from a local business, Drygoods Design in Ballard, WA. (Check out this site if you have a hankering for some great fabric: http://www.drygoodsdesignonline.com/.) I’ve come up with some winners and we are getting plenty of use out of each and every one I crank out. If you come over for dinner sometime, feel free to hold the baby ~ we’ll arm you appropriately…
Inspiration comes in all forms… in this post you will see what actually inspired moving the sewing machine out of its box. Today we celebrated one of my dearest friends and the upcoming arrival of her first baby. K has applauded all of her friends’ babies in the last few years and today we got to return the favor by honoring her. K is a planner and appreciates both parties and details, so it was clear we needed to raise the bar. Teaching myself to sew in a month seemed like a good idea at the time… Debatable, but fun! Keep in mind I am 5 months postpartum and possibly a little cuckoo.
I was in charge of decorations and focused my energy on creating custom onesies and burp cloths for the new babe. We displayed these with hand-decorated clothespins and lots and lots of polka dots… my favorite! As the party neared, I thought about sewing place mats and a runner for the table and quickly became overwhelmed, so came up with a pretty creative solution (if I do say so myself) and used wrapping paper to create our table top decorations. It worked beautifully in a pinch – lots of pop, plus I can use the paper again. It was a lovely day and I believe K felt celebrated and special – total success!
So the moral of the story is that K and baby have been my inspiration (muses?) and I thank them for all the fun that I have been having over the last weeks! And now, anyone for some place mats?
It rained, and rained, and then it rained some more…
Thankfully I am married to an ingenious man who built tarp city in our backyard. Note to self for future parties, May is not a reliable month in Seattle for backyard barbecues (oh well, chalk it up to optimism)!
I think we did provide a first to our good-natured party-goers – I’m sure no one had participated in pinata thrashing in the pouring rain before Sunday (still fun)!
The party was a success in that the birthday boy was thrilled to have his friends over. Cupcakes were consumed. The food was a hit, as we served Copper River salmon, hand delivered by B from Cordova, Alaska! What a treat.
The day has arrived! Today is my son’s 3rd birthday party. Weeks of planning, preparation, and agonizing over internet photos have come to an end and I am excited to celebrate with our friends and family.
In my last post I did not mention my hopes for this blog. Over the past five years I have been figuring out my roles as mother, wife, etc…, but had placed the role of “creative force” on the back burner ~ this was true with the exception of “the birthday party.” I found that “the birthday party” was a palatable enterprise because it was a contained event, did not need to be duplicated, and still supported the above mentioned role of “mother.” Now that I am beginning to feel inspired to be creative in other areas of my life, I will remember “the birthday party” as something that reminded me that (as tired as I am sometimes) the creative spark is still inside, waiting for its time to shine!
I grew up in a house that truly celebrated birthdays. It was a day to feel honored and special. My mother would set the scene with some fabulous theme and my grandmother would bake the cake. Her beautiful creations live on in my memory from checkerboard and rainbow interiors to a three-foot bright green crocodile that supported my Crocodile Dundee themed party. As I frost my son’s cake today, I am thinking of the women who raised me to appreciate hard work and beautiful things.