Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Needed: A Short-Term Home Based Hobby

Claire and I have been wasting the days away. I'm 12 days into my maternity leave, feeling great, and am perilously close to being bored out of my mind. Newborns sleep a lot. Then they eat, poop, spend about 30 minutes making absurdly adorable faces and movements and then they sleep again. I've written my thank-yous, done what I can do around the house (the pre-baby nesting kind of killed the house to-do list), and filled in the baby book. JP surprised me with a Kindle as a baby gift (I was so surprised and excited- it lets me read one-handed!) so I need to find some good books to download.

It's June in Austin so that means the weather will hover at or above 100 degrees for the next 3 months. Claire and I go on walks and spend some time on the back porch in the mornings and evenings, but in the middle of the day mommy can't handle the heat so we watch a lot of HGTV. Luckily, last Sunday was unusually breezy and cool so we headed to a nearby park to let Landon run around and let Claire nap in a new location.

Showing off his big boy skills.

Landon remains a very proud big brother. My favorite moment so far was probably Friday afternoon when Claire and I joined JP to pick up Landon from daycare. Landon bounced up into the backseat of the car, SO excited to find Claire sitting next to him, and exclaimed, "babyclaire, guess WHAT?!" and then told her all about his day. When we pulled into our driveway a few minutes later, Landon had slowed down enough to notice the one-sidedness of the conversation and complained, "Mommy, babyclaire isn't talking to me."

He has to give her a kiss and hug every night before he goes to bed and he usually plays near wherever she's sleeping so he can be on babyclaire watch. We are immediately informed if Claire moves, opens her eyes, or makes a noise. She doesn't do much yet, but already watching the two of them together is my very favorite thing.


  1. I got really into Geni.com when I was home with Eden at first - if you look at my profiles, almost all of them were done when I was home with a four week old baby!

    Yay for the Kindle - I love mine! Try out some of the newspaper and magazine subscriptions. The New Yorker is only $3/month and you get a new one every Monday. (I gave up on newspapers - I didn't read them enough.) But I get the New Yorker and the Economist (I think $11/month), and I always have something to read.

  2. I love how Landon and Babyclaire are getting along! Your story about the car conversation reminds me of a hilarious one that Charlie's day care teacher told me a while ago, back when Charlie was in the constant nonsense babbling stage around 13 months old. My husband speaks to Charlie in Russian, and the day care teacher speaks some Russian too, so she said something to Charlie in Russian. One of the older girls in the class said, "Why are you talking funny?" The teacher explained that Charlie speaks English and Russian, so she was talking to him in Russian. The girl said, "Charlie must have been talking to me in Russian earlier, because I didn't understand a word he said!"

  3. hahaha, that's cute Hanah! Landon's first daycare teacher (Maya) spoke to him in Russian and while I don't think he understood any of it, he did LOVE to hear her talk. She always made him smile and I swear at least half of it was the language :)

    And Shelley I love the idea of getting the New Yorker on the Kindle, I hadn't thought about that.

  4. I can't guarantee it'll be short-term (you might get hooked) but cross-stitch is an easy way to make an heirloom for your home.

    Lots of great Baby samplers, too!

    You'd be surprised at how modern and sophisticated it is, too, these days. If you're thinking of what you see at the craft store, think again!

    Two places you can check out examples of "smalls" (small projects finished as "things" other than book marks or wall hangings). Get an idea of your taste/what you'd like to make:



    Really inspirational Blogs:







    Okay, going to stop, but seriously my reader is bulging with them.

    Shot in the dark, but I'd think you might like to start with something from JBW Designs; she has some cute monochromatic (one thread=easy!) "French Shabby-Chic" stuff that I think would look cute in BabyClaire's nursery:

    Some examples of JBW from "Stitching Bits and Bobs":



    French Country Alphabet; any color that suits Nursery?




    But, if you do find your interest piqued, DON'T order from SB&B (They have terrible communication and hold orders for weeks and weeks while waiting on an out of stock item), instead just email Anita of http://www.anitalittlestitches.com/ at anita@anitalittlestitches.com.

    So many of these online outfits have ridiculous cart systems and terrible service. But you just email Anita what you want, she emails back usually in a few hours but not more than 24 with all the particulars. She almost always has discounts, and will "kit up" the stuff you need to go with a chart and sell it for a discount (she makes up a bundle of the called-for threads for you, and then you pay 80-85% of the single-skein price.) Reasonable shipping, too. I'm CERTAIN she'd be so helpful on making sure you have a needle and any other paraphernalia you'd need to start.


    "Oh, what's that? You say you were just joking about a home-hobby?" Ahem. I'll just go back to lurking peaceably over here. ;)

  5. I don't know if you have something like this in Austin, but here in Seattle we have MAMAS. Its the Mother Attorney's Mentoring Asociation and they helped me hang onto my sanity when my son was born. It was great to get together with other moms and yet still have things to talk about other than poop and sleep patterns. Here is our website - maybe there is a link to a national org or one near you? http://www.mamaseattle.org/

  6. Berit that is awesome! I actually did cross-stitch when I was little. I have a small one framed in the guest room at my parent's house :) I feel like that would be easier to attempt than knitting, which was also on my mental list of potential hobbies.

    And Greenergirl that group sounds awesome. I don't think we have anything like it in Austin but I'll look around. Such a good idea.

  7. One thing I love about my Kindle are the free books. They can be hit or miss but are perfect for me when I am on the exercise bike (and hopefully one day for when I am nursing a baby).

    As for a hobby, this might be a good time for you to spend more time with your camera. (Didn't you at one point get a fancy camera and take a class, or am I mistaken?) I, personally, hope to get into cake decorating when I have the time. I also have a running list of TV shows I'll watch on DVD when I have a baby.

    Of course, you could always post two or three times a day on your blog. That could fill some time.

  8. I spent a lot of time when Abigail was first born on scrapblog.com. I had a ton of pictures and would make collages all the time to use as headers on my blog. Then for Christmas I made calendars with a photo collage for each month of baby's first year to give to my mom and mother-in-law. They have a ton of cute "stickers" to use and you can export as jpeg for free and print them yourself to save money.

  9. You know I'll teach you to knit if you want. I promise it's not hard. I used to cross-stitch, but since taking up knitting have pretty much dropped it because knitting is more portable and easier to put down and pick up. And I like that I can watch TV or do other stuff at the same time.

  10. HA! Love that story... Oooooh Landon just you wait. She'll be talking your head off so you can't get a word in edgewise in no time at all. :)

    New hobby idea for you - more pictures of sweet babyclaire! :)

  11. Knitting is really easy to learn by watching you tube videos. And once you get going, you can make so many cool things.

  12. So glad things are going well!

  13. That is so cute! I am so glad to hear you are bored, if only because it makes me feel better about how I felt when I was home with Pumpkinhead when he was a baby. I was like, "Work? When can I come back?!?" Heh. I don't envy you those hot walks. Pumpkinhead was born in July so I remember that heat. I love my Kindle, too. What a thoughtful gift! I say forget other hobbies, catch up on your reading!!

  14. I really love reading about Landon's big brotherness. It is so, so cute. I don't know if you are into scrapbooking, but it is a very time-consuming, creative hobby that forces you to go shopping for cute things like paper, pens, stickers, etc.

  15. Landon is adorable.

    If knitting seems overwhelming, maybe try crochet-- SO easy. Also, with either knit or crochet, if you don't need any more stuff for your own kids, there are tons of groups that take donations of handmade items. I'm working on a crochet blanket right now for Project Linus, since I've already got more than enough blankets on hand for the upcoming sproglet!


  16. I third knitting. So versatile, can be easy but then can also be more challenging when you feel up to learning new tricks. You can make super fashionable things, clothes for the baby, things for the home, there really is no end. Plus such an amazing knitting blogosphere. I knitted a lot when my son was born, even though I generally prefer to knit adult clothes it was fun to make a few things for him while he was winy, and baby clothes knit up so fast.

  17. When you get bored, take some of the on-line CLE's!

  18. I do cross stitch also. I'm not crafty, so I like that it has a specific pattern for me to follow to create something beautiful, and doesn't require me to exercise my own creativity, like scrapbooking or other crafts. At the same time, this prevents me from stitching actual useful objects like pillows that need to be finished in some other way than following a cross stitch pattern. As a result, I end up doing large, realistic-looking designs that take a year or more to complete and can then just be framed and displayed. In the past I've done Dimensions Gold kits (see http://www.abcstitch.com/designers_php/designers.php?maincat=Dimensions&category=Dimensions+Gold+Collection&itemtype=). But for my next project I'm going to choose one of the fabulously gorgeous (and expensive) Golden Kite projects: http://www.goldenkitestore.com/

  19. It's not exciting, but if you cook and freeze lots of meals now it will make life so much easier when you go back to work. That, and catch up on all the fun reading you never get to do, the stuff my mother called "gripping drek".

  20. Blog on All Kinds of Pretty! Or have you decided to stop doing that?