Friday, August 31, 2012

just say no

Sometimes you just have to say no, to people who are trying to give you child gifts. Almost everywhere we go random strangers try to give Judah gifts. If my "mommy red flag" is alerted I politely decline. Allot of times its just a little toy, the employees in the Sushi bar at Wegmans love to give him rice,  the police officer will give him a sticker and our friends at the post office always give him a sticker . Its random little gestures that are typically harmless. This week our family has been hit with a pretty bad cold/virus. Judah has an ear infection and I think I may have one before the weekend is out (every time I blow my nose my ear gurgles). When I took Judah into the Dr's yesterday she asked me what I was doing last Thursday or Friday of last week. Those two days would have been the days he got sick. We were not around any other kids, I took him to an empty park, the dump and our morning runs around George Mason. Judah wasn't in contact with anyone but Scott and myself. Then today when I stopped by the post office I remembered. Last Friday our favorite employee gave Judah this toy dog that was sitting at his window for months and this employee was sick. I'm kicking myself in the but because I should have known to wipe this toy down with one of my Clorox wipes in my car, but didn't think twice to do so since we didn't buy the toy at a thrift store it was a gift from our friend. I have to learn how to politely decline these sweet kind gifts people are giving Judah. Plus I don't want Judah to expect to "get something" every time someone is nice to him. 

The past few days we have been laying low. Reading lots of books. 

Letting Judah sleep as much as possible. 

Scott and I are drinking lots of Gypsy Cold Care (if anyone knows of a good natural remedy for an adult ear ache let me know!)

We are being careful about which tissues to blow our nose on. Since Judah now knows how to blow his own nose he likes to pull all the tissues out of the box, blow his nose on them and then put them back in the box. 

We have had a few Dr's appointments this week. Judah was confirmed for having an ear infection. I also saw the OB who delivered Judah. We laughed, cried, hugged and she told me that I need to get pregnant as soon as possible because my body's hormones may not allow me to have another child soon (talk about making me really cry at my appt)  

More book reading.

Judah will have spurts of energy but then will get cranky because he is so sick. 

Quick after Dr's appt. Starbucks stop for some drinks. 

The Dr's said Judah's ear is looking better. I'm more concerned about mine at this point since it sounds funny yet I don't want to pay the $80 co-pay to have Kaiser tell me that it may be nothing. At least its a four day weekend for my husband.

I know this post sounds all out of whack and I apologize for that. I hate head colds.  

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012


 Currently....borrowed the idea from Sometimes Sweet 

loving: That Judah is starting to be a little boy. Although I really miss his baby days when he was just the right size to fall asleep on my lap during the day and his tiny little fingers would grab my shirt. But he currently makes up for it at night. Since he is sick he wants to sleep next to us and I am in heaven when he cuddles really close and puts his hand on my arm while he sleeps. . 

reading: I'm looking forward to a women's daytime bible study I signed up for at Immanuel Bible Church. When I used to work at McLean Bible Church in the women's ministry one of my favorite days of the week was Wednesdays because it was "Wednesday for Women". We had several daytime studies going on and when you would walk into work in the morning you would also walk along side all these moms who came to church to do a bible study. In my heart I knew I wanted to do that once I became a mom and I am excited to start a study in just a few short weeks. We will be reading Colossians and Philemon, two very encouraging books in the bible. I know it will be good for me to hang out with a group of women while Judah hangs out with the children his own age. 

watching: Bunheads and re watching some Gossip Girl since its about to start up again. Bunheads sounds pretty cheesy but is a cute little show and Gossip Girl well that's just my guilty pleasure and the life of Chuck Bass is allot less stressful than whats going on in Greys right now. 

thinking about: I've been thinking about Judah turning two in a few months. With this comes the thoughts of maybe trying to have another baby. I would love to have another baby but I hated being pregnant, it was an emotional nightmare for me and I don't know how I could go through that again, or better yet put Judah through that. My counselor is encouraging me to try again, she keeps telling me I am a great mother and need more kids but I get this gut fear that it will not be a good pregnancy. Prayerfully this fear will go away soon. Maybe once we switch health insurance and get a better OB.

surprised by: Some amazing restored relationships and friendships. That I look forward to hanging out with people that I never thought I would want to be around. I'm really enjoying this season in my life. 

making me sad: Finding out that people want to copy and sell my work. I know copying is the biggest form of flattery but I was in tears last night because of this and couldn't sleep till well after 2 am. My shop and my work is something I hold very dear to my heart and when people who I thought are friends of mine want to copy my shop and ask for my help it truly breaks my heart. 

making me happy: That I found coconut creamer for my occasional coffee drink! Yes I am back on the coffee kick thanks to Scott's mom. I couldn't resist! Deep down I am a coffee drinker, I can't deny it, it would be like i am trying to deny something that is ingrained in my DNA. Okay I don't need to go that far but I really love coffee and now I can have some non dairy coconut creamer which is honestly better than the other coffee creamers I've used in the past. 
also Judahs sweet cuddles even thought he is sick
opening up our back windows and hearing the pretty birds sing
that fall is so close I can practically smell it
my husband giving me the best foot rubs
that I will be in Florida for a week in October
and finally that I have a new Nike sensor for my running shoes 

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

working for free?

Before I opened My Charming Colors I would have people email me and ask me how much I would charge for a custom order hat. After so many requests I decided to open the shop on Etsy so I could keep track of the order requests. At first I was really on the fence on what I should charge for my hats, I asked some of my blogger mom friends and we debated on what I should charge, honestly I was encouraged to charge more for the hats. I love to make them, they bring me so much joy and I get tears when a client emails or texts me a picture of them or their child wearing one of my hats. Its an honor and a joy to make these hats for people. I started charging only $10 a hat. But I realized after spending so much time making each individual hat that $10 wasn't going to cut the costs of making it. I was literally making hats for free, so I bumped up the prices to $12 for children's hats and $15 for adults, with a $3 custom order fee.

Now that its been a year I've been able to tweak my crochet skill and learn different styles of hats. Last week I was excited because I created a hat that no one has made before, the sleepy owl hat. After my first few fox hats I decided to tweak the ears so they have fuzzy tips and so they are more "fox like".

Also in the past I've made a dozen or so Dinosaur hats. To make a hat takes me an two - three hours depending on how much time I have. The additional features of the hats spikes, eyes, ears, bows ect can take me another two hours. Then I spend about an hour carefully sewing on each additional feature. I want to make sure the hat is perfect for the new owner so I pay attention to each little detail. In total I can make maybe a hat and a half a day. If its a good day I can make more. 

Pixie hats can take me a few hours to make since its a  lacy stitch. Then I carefully braid the ties so they match.

With a Hello Kitty hat not only do I have to make the hat, but since I don't like to use buttons on my items (choking hazard) I crochet the eyes, ears, nose and bow. Then I stitch it all together and add the eye lashes. This hat takes me several hours to make.  

I love the elephant hats. Next to the fox and hello kitty hats these are the longest to make. I have to use two different color yarns for the ears and crochet them in a way that they look like elephant ears with the curve at the bottom. I also have to make sure each ear is identical and that they are sewn on in a way that the hat looks good when the child or adult wears it. 

With the slouch hat I use three different sized crochet needles in making the hat. I also have to mentally count each row because if I miss a row I mess up the hat and have to start all over again. 

For each hat I use around $6 worth of yarn. I use more yarn with larger sized hats and I use different types of yarn with each item on the hat. For example the fox ears I use the $3.99 yarn for the actual hat, then I use white yarn for the mouth and ears. I also use the expensive fuzzy yarn for the tips of the ears and another color for the nose. 

Each hat takes me two - three hours to make, sometimes more sometimes less. If I am charging $12 for a children's hat that takes me two - three hours to make with $6 worth of yarn. That means I am making $2 an hour to create a hat. Etsy listing fees are .20 cents and they charge a percentage of the sale. Paypal also charges a percentage of the sale as well. Each hat that is purchased from my shop is beautifully wrapped and is mailed with a delivery confirmation. In reality I'm practically making my hats for free. 

I'm hesitant to raise the prices of my hats in the shop, but I might just have to in the fall if I want to keep the shop open. My goal is to make affordable charming hats for all to enjoy. I love making them just as much as you or your child loves wearing them. I just wanted to write this out because I get the occasional person who keeps saying they want a hat but scoffs at my fees. If I could make free hats for everyone I would. But I'm not a billionaire I do need the money to purchase yarn and to use for advertisement for my shop and or blog.

For now my prices will stay the same. 
$12 Childrens Hats
$15 Adult Hats
(if you would like to place a custom order its $3 extra per hat)

Hopefully this fall I will start to sell some of my baby blankets but haven't decided on a price for those just yet. 

also I post all my deals and new hats on my facebook page first

I also wanted to ask you all a question. What do you think would be a reasonable price for a crochet hat, shoes, scarfs or blankets? I would love to hear your feedback on this. 

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Monday, August 27, 2012

summer is not over

Last night I was catching up on facebook before we headed to bed. After reading a bunch of my friends updates I turned to my husband and said "School must be starting tomorrow, its the end of summer" but then I realized. Its not the end of summer for Judah and I! We still have lots of fun things to do.

This morning we headed over to the Reston Town Center to watch Mr Knick Knack. We were running late again. It takes me awhile to get Judah fed in the morning since he is getting pickier and picker with breakfast foods. 

If we arrive late Judah gets unsure of the crowd that has already formed around Mr Knick Knack and he will stand back and stare at him for awhile. 

The kids were dancing along. If your local (in the Northern VA are) Mr Knick Knack is by far one of the best children's shows. He has great songs and helps the children feel affirmed. He plays for free every Monday morning at the Reston Town Center until the end of October. 

Judah decided mommys lap is better than dancing with the other kids. I honestly didn't mind. It was fun singing along to BINGO and bouncing Judah.

We found some friends who shared their snacks! 

I think she is going to be Judahs future girlfriend. 

We ended up staying till the very end and Judah even got a sticker from Mr Knick Knack. He did better than he did last week when he just wanted to hold my hand and not move the entire time. 

He still prefers drinking his milk and watching the construction at the Town Center. 

We still have a few more weeks of summer and a few more years before Judah takes off for school. Until then we are going to make the most of each and every single day. 

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Friday, August 24, 2012

mornings with a toddler boy

Every morning
Me: Judah what do you want to do today?
Judah: BIG TRUCKS!!!
Me: What would you like for breakfast
Judah: Trucks!
Me: Judah look daddy is home!
Judah: Trucks!!

To say Judah loves trucks is an understatement. When ever I need a mini mommy break Scott takes Judah over to the local dump. They have an area where you can park you car and watch the "big trucks" move the trash. Since Judah has been asking me about trucks every morning for two weeks I figured why not take him over to the dump.

I sat him down on this huge dead flower pot and spent 45 minutes watching the trucks. They had dump trucks, bulldozers, big rigs, just about every truck you could think of. 

Judah was completely in awe of the trucks passing by. 

Afterwards I took him to a local elementary school that has a big playground and their own little garden. 

The elementary school is built underground while the garden and playground is on top. I kinda hope Judah attends this school one day. 

Judah loved the compost tank. After reading this one local blog last night I feel my heart really wanting us to one day buy land on a orchard and build a house. 

Judah tending to the garden.

Being a boy and trying to climb into the garden boxes. 

After several hours of watching trucks at the dump, going to barnes and nobles for a free color time and  running around a playground with a garden my sweet boy was exhausted. 

All the activities we did today were completely free, we even packed a lunch full of yummy snacks. 

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

being comfortable

Judah and I ran four miles on the W&OD trail in Vienna today. Honestly we haven't ran the trail in awhile because when I go alone with Judah the trail kinda sketches me out. Allot of random men walk the trail and some of them just give me the heebie jeebies. I always carry mace when I run. I wanted Judah to see the train and needed a change of scenery, so instead of our normal six miles we only ran four, two out and two back in. Afterwards I let Judah run around the train till he was exhausted. 

He now smiles when I say "cheese".

This afternoon we made homemade pizza and hung around the house till Scott came home. I decided to step on the scales since I haven't weighed myself in a few days. 

I am now 167! I'm slowly getting closer to my pre-pregnancy weight.

I know its not all about the numbers, but for the first time since Judah has been born I am starting to feel good about myself. I'm actually starting to wear skirts or dresses and don't mind getting the chance to dress up on a date with my husband. Before I would just cry because nothing would fit and I felt horrible about the way I looked. Now, I'm comfortable and confident with how I look. Its okay that I don't have my pre-pregnancy body back. I'm reminded everyday that this is okay when my son laughs with delight when he grabs my skirt while I am making him lunch in the kitchen. Or how he loves to pull on my braids and smile up at my face after one of our runs. He brings joy to my weight loss journey and helps me be a confident mama.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

driving myself mad

This past week I've been painting the main level of our home. I've been driving myself mad thinking of different color combinations for the walls. Judah and I practically made Home Depot our second home since I changed my mind a dozen times about the paint choices I've made. 

This was my original inspiration. We don't have good natural light in our entry and main hallway. I was going to paint the walls a nice grey and then use the stairway wall as a nice bright yellow accent wall and eventually hang up a huge mirror. I thought by doing this it would pull in more light into the area and make it look less cramped.

The first grey sample I brought home was called pencil and it looked black when I put it on the walls. Judah and I ran back to home depot and picked out the color below which is called sparrow grey. I also brought home several yellow samples to try out since I couldn't make up my mind one which one I liked best.

Judah helping me paint the walls with the samples. 

 I was determined to paint the hallway on my own and finished it during Judahs two hour nap. I really love how the sparrow grey opens up the space and gives it a nice clean feel. After everything is painted we are going to get some nice runner rugs and get rid of the carpet Scott had when he had the guys were living here. 

I painted the stairway wall with several different yellows. I really wanted it to work but the yellow didn't sit right with me. 

Then last night I decided to paint the walls with the same tiffany blue color I have in my main living room. Its funny how the perfect thing that will make your heart happy will normally be sitting right in front of you. I have an entire unused gallon of this paint in our basement and didn't need to make another home depot run. This morning when Judah and I walked downstairs the color made my heart instantly happy and I knew this was a good color choice for our home.

I'm going to eventually paint the railing white and I'm also on the hunt for a big vintage mirror to hang on the wall. 

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