Saturday, April 12, 2014

At 12 months

Age: One year old. Golly! What strikes me most is that 1 year went by. A whole year! And we kept this little person alive for a whole year...!

Growth: Like a weed. Now that she is in her "clingy" momma stage and I have to carry her around everywhere I am sure that she weighs at least 25lbs. Best mode of transportation? The Ergo carrier on my back. I finally figured out how to effectively get Audrey on my back without dropping her!

Milestones: Creeping mostly. She can now turn around when creeping and lean on the couch.  Audrey also likes to push chairs across the kitchen and roll around on the couch. Audrey also has 3 bottom teeth and 2 large top teeth. She went through a phase of biting mom while nursing but has gotten over that.

Food: What she isn't throwing down at Carlie she is eating. I absolutely love her "yucky" face which seems to come out when she's eating textured foods (broccoli and whatnot).  She usually makes a face then proceeds to eat it anyway. What a champ.

Sleep: Urgh. Don't get me started. bleh.

Diapers: A year in cloth. And it was AMAZING!!  I wish that more people jumped on board with cloth.  Sure the poop is disgusting (when swishing out poopy diapers in the toilet Audrey thinks I am playing and wants to join in!) but it is so worth it!  I love all of the WAHM (work at home mom) cloth diapers I own and my diaper business is my frenemy (since it takes up so much time and makes me exhausted but on the other hand is so much fun!)

Breastfeeding: This is still happening as well!

Audrey's favorite activities: creeping, crawling, turning the xbox on (I promise that we don't watch anything, she just likes the button), randomly calling relatives on the home phone, raking the lawn, chasing chickens, wearing a hat, going on walks and runs, being cute.

Audrey's least favorite activities: napping, sleeping all night, when momma wants to go to the bathroom on her own, when momma wants to walk into the other room, when momma isn't paying 100% undivided attention on her.

Events this month: Not much, went to a board retreat and couple of meetings.

How's momma? I am so tired! Mostly from staying up late sewing cloth diapers but also because a co sleeping 1 year old tends to roll around ALL NIGHT LONG!  So I haven't gotten much sleep lately. I plan on catching up now and will take an afternoon nap when Audrey takes hers.  I can't believe that it has been on year already! So pleased with how Audrey is growing and developing. She is finally starting to become her own unique person and I cannot wait to help her find out who she is!

That said, my husband and I are going to limit Audrey's internet exposure from here on out. Although you will see her occasionally in the future here on the blog and I going to limit how much.

take care, I'll be back soon!

shelby  g

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Around the Farm

Surprisingly things are warming up around the homestead. It finally smells like spring! The water is bubbling in the streams, I sink into the mud in the chicken run, and I ran in a short sleeved shirt today. So lovely! Here's an update on what is going on 'round here.

:: On Wednesday we had the weirdest blizzard in the world. Although it was predicted that we would get 1-2 feet of snow we luckily received less than 6 inches. Wind, on the other hand, gusted up to 120mph knocking trees over, killing power, and mostly served to convince us Downeasteh' that we would never, ever, see spring.

:: Family photo with our budding toddler.  This almost 1 year old is full of personality and fun to be around. She is now suffering from attachment issue with momma and will scream if I'm out of her sight. 

:: The next stocking of the Meanie Greene Cloth Diaper Etsy store will be on Monday April 7th at 1pm EST, 10am PST.  I'm curious to see how it will go. I would say 60-75% of those who purchased a Meanie Greene at the last stocking were content and I suppose those are good odds.  I cruise the forums (which, as you can imagine, causes some paranoia which my family has to endure!) and have found that those who didn't love the fit on their baby sold and I am confident that the diapers will eventually make it to someone who loves them!

:: Springtime bleh as the snow begins to melt. Happy to see the garden again! The asparagus is in it's 3rd year so we should be able to enjoy that this year. I have purchased all the seeds for the garden and cannot wait to dig in.

:: The Christmas wreaths have been taken down!

:: Carlie is so SO happy to have warmer weather. Looking forward to walking in the woods when the snow melts more. 

:: Audrey is not a walker yet so there is no need for shoes. I am looking forward to having her run across the lawn soon catching fireflies and hunting for chicken eggs in the grass.

:: The chickens. Some of them look a little rough around the edges but they have loved this warmer weather.  I am pretty sure that there is nothing to forage but they keep themselves busy scratching around on the lawn all day.

Hope you are all well! 

shelby g

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Noses Against the Glass

Around here we have had our noses pressed up against the windows hoping for warmer weather. It appears to be melting despite the freezing temperature (right? that makes sense...only in Maine) and we have mud in the chicken run, a good sign of spring loveliness.  Also the chickens have begun to venture out of their run to the wider world of what is currently snow free lawn. Audrey enjoys watching the chickens roam about and as soon as we teach her to swing a big stick to ward off our rooster Cornelius, Audrey will be out there roaming with the chickens as well.

While Audrey and I were away in Virginia we our big, beautiful, Black Star hen became egg bound and died. Jeff helped her through the last day, allowed her to stay inside near the warmth of the woodstove. Since there is very little to prevent or heal an egg bound chicken Jeff did the best he could making her comfortable. I hate losing chickens, especially when they have already survived a long, cold winter.  Although she was grumpy in the nest boxes when we would retrieve eggs she was still a beautiful bird with plenty of personality.  That brings our chicken death total up to 4, over the past 2 years, leaving us with 20 chickens remaining (which is plenty!). I am trying to talk Jeff into allowing 3 more laying hens when we purchase our meat birds, but I am not sure he is convinced. We have a surplus of eggs as it is, but I love these birds! 

have a great day! I am still on nonstop cloth diaper sewing mode but hope to take a break soon to sew up some spring outfits for Audrey and I. Matching? Perhaps!

shelby g

Thursday, March 13, 2014

At 11 months

Hi, me again. Obviously I am still busy with diaper orders or I would be blogging more! I am almost done with customs from the last stocking, but that means when I am done with those I have to begin the next stocking! It never ends!  Also, Audrey and I decided to get away for a few days and visit friends in Virginia. Yes, we flew. It was awesome and I would take Audrey on another plane trip in a heartbeat!

Age: 11 months

Growth: Audrey is well over 22lbs and appears to be growing in length as well. She's been wearing 12 month clothes for over a month now (partly due to cloth diapers) and I even pop her into 18 month clothes from time to time.  My friends in Virginia kept referring to Audrey as a "toddler" which means she's *almost not a baby anymore!

Milestones: Audrey likes to stand and creep along furniture. She hasn't independently stood yet or taken first steps but I believe that she will soon.  She likes to say "hi" and "bye" and also wave.  We think that she can also say "Kitty" for real now, but it is hard to tell because everything she says sounds like kitty.  Audrey also have a 4 teeth! She is working on her 2nd top tooth as we speak.

Food: She has basically ingested everything including peanut butter (powder in a smoothy).  So far we haven't noticed any allergies pop up. And Audrey is also nursing like a champ, which worked out wonderfully on the plane (although I fell asleep, as Audrey feel asleep, on the way home and I may have exposed my boob to the whole plane... oh well!). Specifically Audrey seems to love eating bananas, avocados, nitrate free hotdogs, potatoes, broccoli, and anything mom appears to be enjoying.

Sleep: Still sleeping half the night in her crib and half the night next to us. She doesn't like to nurse as much at night now and around 4am flips on her belly to sleep for an hour or two. Since she is very mobile she tends to wake me up in the morning by crawling over me.

Diapers: Still rocking cloth. Audrey traveled in fitted hybrids with a PUL waterproof cover and we used AiOs and a few pockets during our visit to Virginia.  They worked out great! We traveled with 12 diapers and 2 fitteds and I washed twice.

Audrey's favorite activities: Plane travel, visiting Teig and George in Virginia, playing on a large plastic activity toy (which was borrowed from a neighbor in VA..., no we do not want one!), eating, creeping along furniture

Audrey's least favorite activities: sleeping through the night, getting her diapers changed, waking up too early in the morning

How's momma? I am great! I loved traveling with Audrey. For travel I also took the jogging stroller and my friend and I (along with Audrey) got some long runs in. The weather was in the 70s in VA so I am feeling refreshed and ready to get to work on diapers and cleaning the house.

have a fun day! It is snowing here in Maine. Hopefully this is the last storm of the season (but likely not!)

shelby g

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Meanie Greene Stocking


I am almost without words.

The Meanie Greene Etsy store was stocked with 46 diapers (all in one, pockets, fitted and a few newborns). Some were artsy diapers (Klimt and Botticelli) and a few were of the Grumpy Cat plus 10 custom spots. I added bum ruffles, searched the internet for interesting fabrics and diaper cuts and spent hours photographing and editing diaper images.  The work paid off. My shop sold out in about 10 minutes on Monday, February 24th after spending weeks sewing until midnight or 1am.  I truly felt like it was Fashion Week! And I am happy that my customers were receptive to some of my experimental designs and colors. Although I still have a pile of customs waiting to be completed my mind is already racing towards the next stocking which will be at the end of March.  I am well stocked with spring prints, soft cotton velour, and new knits.  I love the relationship I have with my customers, I help them collect cloth diapers and they help me collect more fabric. 

What did I learn. I learned that for every 1 diaper sold there are at least 3 customers walking away empty handed.  I learned that Etsy might not be a good shopping tool since items can't be saved in shopping carts and many customers had items swiped from carts because others checked out faster. Some people were upset, one gave The Meanie Greene a 1 star review on the Meanie Greene facebook page.  But others kept it in perspective and to quote a customer, "All's Fair in Love & Fluff".  I will consider switching over to Hyena Cart... but I am unsure.  I kind of liked the frantic-ness of the Etsy stocking and to hear everyone's feedback about what they were able to get and what they lost.

What I am happy about. I am happy that the Meanie Greene has customers. Many of them were returning customers which means they were happy with their first diaper purchase. Although I use these diapers for my baby and know they work well I still worry about my product. Anyway, for now, The Meanie Greene is my creative outlet and I am glad that the online cloth diapering community is receptive to my ideas. 

well I am off! My house is officially the messiest house in the world and my husband comes home tomorrow!

shelby g

Friday, February 21, 2014

Spring is around the corner!

I can tell.

Sewsters around the world have been emailing me for the Ms. Eliza Bennet Tutorial!  Three years have passed since the pattern was created and I am so happy that there is interest in it still! People usually start emailing me around mid February and then continue through the summertime. Since I haven't changed the pattern sizing, I haven't been able to wear the original for over a year! I decided to try it on the other day (I didn't have a chance to iron it!).

As soon as I have The Meanie Greene Etsy store stocking completed I hope to make this top out of jersey knit. When I put it on it felt a little constricting around the arms and since woven cotton fabrics don't have much stretch I feel like this issue would be fixed with some soft jersey.  We'll see!

have a great Friday!

shelby g

Monday, February 17, 2014

Winter Birds

While all the smart birds flew south for the winter, the chickens stayed. They are much, much too fat to fly.

Winter has been wonderful for these chicken. Most of them made it through their first Fall moult with brand new, shiny, dark feathers. There are some that are still gaining new feathers, but overall these birds are looking good. Jeff built a larger coop for them this past summer and I believe that they are enjoying the extra space (especially when it is cold and snowy!).

And my parents (who own a lovely horse farm complete with rolling pasturelands and an indoor riding arena) dropped off a partial roll of hay for the birdies to munch on.  The hay was much too dusty for the horses but perfect for the chickens, especially when I need to lay down hay in the pen. They are dainty birds and do not like to have cold feet. 

The chickens are laying anywhere from 10-15 eggs a day, so as you can imagine we eat a lot of eggs.  And sell some to local stores and community members. My father, who is a vegetarian, seems to eat at least a dozen or so a week so he is a frequent customer (buy 5 get 1 dz free?).  When winter started the egg production dwindled down to 5 or less a day. This bummed us out so we added a red light to the coop to trick the chickens into believing that it was springtime.  It definitely worked!

If anyone out there is thinking of buying chickens online for the springtime, do it now! We are buying local meatbirds this year and not going the route of large chick factories (like Murray McMurray). We want to support local business instead (even if that local business gets their chicks from factories at least they will receive a piece of the pie if we buy from them).  I am bummed not to get an order of adorable, peeping, chicks in the mail this spring, but I'm sure we'll be plenty busy and probably won't notice.

Take care, stay warm!

shelby g