Friday, May 29, 2009

thank-you bag

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, the girls and I whipped up a couple of drawstring bags, one for each of Rye's teachers. I was inspired by the bags in Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing, although I did not use the pattern in the book, rather I just cut a couple of rectangles and sewed my own little version together.

Since I only had about an hour parts of the bag turned out a little bit wonky, but perhaps that just adds to it's charm. At least that's what I'm telling myself today.

We stuffed them full of homemade cookies, and notes and drawings from the children, and presented them along with some flowers from the garden. All in all, I think it turned out pretty well. In fact, I'm thinking of sewing up some more little bags just to keep on hand to use for last minute gifts. I always have the intention of giving handmade, but sometimes I just don't have the time. This way, I can still give a little handmade and tuck a store bought item or some yummy baked something inside and voila.

By the way, this was my first time using Heat 'n Bond to applique the initial onto the bag... can I just say I love that stuff? It made the letter look so crisp and neat! I definitely see more applique-ing (is that a word?) in my near future.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

mamas, please read this post

" "Death by hyperthermia" is the official designation. When it happens to young children, the facts are often the same: An otherwise loving and attentive parent one day gets busy, or distracted, or upset, or confused by a change in his or her daily routine, and just... forgets a child is in the car. It happens that way somewhere in the United States 15 to 25 times a year, parceled out through the spring, summer and early fall. The season is almost upon us.

Two decades ago, this was relatively rare. But in the early 1990s, car-safety experts declared that passenger-side front airbags could kill children, and they recommended that child seats be moved to the back of the car; then, for even more safety for the very young, that the baby seats be pivoted to face the rear. If few foresaw the tragic consequence of the lessened visibility of the child . . . well, who can blame them? What kind of person forgets a baby?"
~ The Washington Post, 2009

What kind of person forgets a baby? A person like me. A person like any one of us.

I've heard of these tragedies where parents have accidentally forgotten their children in cars, with horrendous outcomes, but I must admit, there was always a small, tiny portion in the back of my brain protesting: "But I'm a good mother! How can anyone really ever forget about their child?"

Today I found out.

Today was a day like every other school day. I gathered the girls and Jack, and we drove to pick up Rye at kindergarten by 1:30. We were actually running a few minutes late, because Piper was tired and fighting me the whole way. We got Rye, and I noticed Piper was almost asleep, but probably needed a few more minutes so I decided to drive through and get an iced tea and go home. By the time we reached home, both girls and Jack were asleep. The outside temperature felt like mid-80s.

It's not uncommon for some or all of the kids to be asleep when we get home. I usually take them into the house one by one. I got Rye settled inside the house, went back for Apple, who was awake, got her settled inside, and went back for Piper. I knew Piper was exhausted, and that she'd stay asleep, so I immediately took her to her room and put her to bed, and then started helping the older kids get a drink and a snack. I got myself a snack. I started listening to Rye's funny school stories from today. And then I looked around.

It just hit me. Where is Jack?

Immediately, I ran out to the car parked in the driveway. It had already been probably somewhere between 15-20 minutes that we had been home. I have never been more scared.

Jack is okay now. He's safely sleeping and has probably forgotten the whole incident. But I will never forget. I will never forget his red, sweaty face and body, and his almost resigned moans. I can't help but wonder what could have happened if he'd stayed in that car for even 10 more minutes.

There are many articles on the subject, but the reason I like this Washington Post article in particular is that it really shares with us that this is a phenomenom that really can, truly, happen to anyone.

I am taking what happened today to be a wonderful gift, a lesson, urging me and my very busy brood to slow down. I am hoping you will all think about my story, and the infinitely more tragic stories of those who have lost children, as you buckle up your little ones this summer.

Friday, May 22, 2009

something new

A few of you have noticed the new "Shop Whole Grain Baby" icon in the sidebar to the left, and have probably been wondering if I am (redundantly) linking to my etsy shop.  

Well, I'm very excited to give you a sneek peek into the creation of the website we've been working on for a few months!  After (much) urging, primarily on the part of my husband, and much researching, we will be experimenting with maintaining our own site, as well as the etsy shop.  

This was a very difficult decision, particularly with the desire to be cost and time effective for a small home-based business like this one.  One of the things I love about the new site is that fact that it is sooo user friendly for the customer, and therefore, for me!  I think it's going to save tons of time emailing back and forth, clarifying sizes, payment issues, etc.  And along the lines of payment issues, one of the biggest requests I've had from customers is the ability to enter a coupon code for discounts, in lieu of the emailing back and forth (etsy-style) and then have to offer the discount as a refund, or spend (precious) time creating special reserved listings.  All of this is eliminated with the new site!  The ability to just enter a discount code upon checkout and automatically receive the savings I think will be a huge improvement!

The site is still bare-bones at this point, as we add items and work on layout, but it is live.  We anticipate on adding at least 5 (new!) items to the new site over the next 5 days (that will not be added to the etsy site), so I'd love it if you'd stop by and check it out!  And just for following this blog, enter the code PLAY15 and receive 15% off your total order!  (Since the site is still new, if you have any issues with the discount codes please let me know.)  I'd love to hear all of your feedback as well, or any suggestions!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Memory Jog

Did you ever participate in a Jog-A-Thon when you were in school perhaps? I know I sure did! But I don't think it was quite the event it is at Rye's school, complete with tres chic Jog-A-Thon t-shirts and a groovy tunes to motivate the runners to keep going!

Look at how hard these kids are running! I was so impressed by all of their persistence (and sheer energy!)

Look at this face! I'll think I'll start calling him Rye Prefontaine.... a future Olympic gold medalist, maybe?

Of course no event would be complete without spectators. While the girls and I cheered, high-fived, and ate lots of Cheez-Its, Jack ate lots of grass and squealed with excitement.

Finally, the running was over. Time to cool down and head over for some refreshments.

The girls were so tired you would think they were the ones who actually participated! Luckily my double stroller can easily accommodate three, so not only did Rye get quite the workout, but so did I. What a win-win day.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

i got it from my mama

mother's day
Hope everyone had a wonderful (and relaxing!) Mother's Day! We spent the weekend in a little cabin in the Yosemite Mountains, and I can't think of a better way to celebrate this special day than to sit on a porch all day and watch my little ones come and go.

We had grand plans of hiking the falls, exploring the meadows, and sniffing out animal trails, but most of the plans were vetoed (by the smaller Jensens) and we mainly stayed close to "home" this year.

There were creations to be built.

There were stories to be read.

There were quality outings with Grandma.

There were games to be played.

There were sights to be seen.

There were babes to be snuggled.

Happy Mother's Day to all.