I Might Rethink The Felt

Wow. William has only worn his new felt shoes two days (Sunday and today), and already they're pretty much trashed. So much so that it's downright funny. They look like the equivalent of shoes an adult has had for five or more years.

And just to remind you, in case you missed the photo on Sunday:

I don't really mind, the shoes only take about 30 minutes to whip up. But now I have a better idea of their best use. Make a pair custom to match a particular outfit he's going to wear when going out, and he just wears them then. And then I'll make a new pair for the next event, until I run out of felt. He did get a compliment on them at church on Sunday. And today he wore them around the house, and wore them out.

The kid doesn't even walk, wait, he doesn't even sit up or crawl! How can he wear out shoes? He can reach his feet, that's how. Terry likes the shoes because the laces provide a built-in toy for William that he can't drop. William will grab ahold of the bow (I tie it in a double-knot so he won't untie it), then play with his shoe. Yank the laces. Rub his feet together. Whatever.

Which has made me realize why this sort of shoe wouldn't be so great for an older child-- the whole laces thing could be a strangulation hazard. If the kid is old enough to untie knots, he could pull the laces out and I guess get them wrapped around his neck since they're way longer than the 6" maximum all toy strings seem to be. I could make them with elastic instead of laces, but it still might be longer than 6", although not if I only made two four lace holes instead of six. Velcro is compelling from a safety standpoint, but I can't imagine they'd stay on his feet very long. Don't kids just pull the velcro open and take off the shoes? I like the idea of using a button, but again there's that choking problem. I might try snaps.

And my perception was correct, his feet DID grow longer from when I made his first pair. But since this pair molded to the shape of his foot, I'll use them to adjust the pattern accordingly.

I'm not sure what material I'll use next. I'll have to change the pattern if I must accommodate edges that ravel. But I have some ideas. I might try leather, but that'll have to wait until I get up the the fabric warehouse past Ruckersville, they're the only place I know that carries leather pieces. My sewing machine purportedly will handle leather, although I haven't tried it. Now's as good a time as any to find out.


  Back To Dr. Phil

I started re-reading my Dr. Phil book, the Ultimate Weight Solution, and there was a whole bunch of stuff that I forgot.

I had to take a few minutes to figure out how I got from being stable at my goal weight for four years to where I am now, the same weight I was when I started the Dr. Phil method in 2003.

It didn't take me long to figure out what happened, and I'm surprised I hadn't put it together before now. Dr. Phil's method is only partly changing what you eat, it's also about changing what you think. And I had it down, I used to make all "healthy choices" and stayed slim. Where along the way did I lose that mindset?

When I got on the prescription drugs, that's when. Ritalin not only sped my metabolism up to the speed of a normal person (it is naturally pathetically slow), it also suppressed my appetite. So I could maintain my goal weight without making healthy choices. Since I was only eating healthy for aesthetic reasons, not actual health reasons, it was easy for me to go back to my laissez-faire ways.

And when I had to get off the speed when I got pregnant, all the weight I lost originally in 2003 came back right away-- before I was supposed to gain weight from being pregnant, I was gaining weight. From this perspective, I didn't really gain 52 lbs from the pregnancy. I gained 16 pounds from going off the meds, then I gained 36 pounds from the pregnancy.

Regardless, I hate the way my joints creak under the extra weight, so I'm getting back on the Dr. Phil bandwagon. Since I can't get back on the ADD meds until I'm done breastfeeding, and that's probably another 6 months at least. And I can lose a lot of weight in 6 mos the Dr. Phil way, so I might as well get in gear and just do it. I have enough large clothes to get me through the winter, hopefully by spring I'll be back into the size 8s and 10s I have packed away. Eh, I haven't worn them since summer 2007, they might not be in style when I dig them out next year. I've already started pulling out sweaters from winter 2007 and they're partially felted or pilly or otherwise unwearable. Unwearable by me, that is, I can probably craft them into baby clothes. William isn't as picky about that sort of thing. He spits up over all his clothes whether they're nice or not.


  Making Baby Food

Since William has been eating baby food like it's going out of style, Terry prodded me to make some more. So yesterday I read through the baby food cookbook, and got a bunch of ingredients at the Whole Foods on the way home from Bunko.

Everything for the first two "stages" of eating seems pretty straightforward. I'll be using a lot of grains that I don't ordinarily use-- quinoa, barley, millet. The only thing that I thought was odd was the baby stock.

Traditionally, one makes stock with chicken, carrots, onions, celery, and parsley. And whatever else you want to throw in for flavor, I forget what other herbs are in the traditional recipe, I just use what I have on hand.

But the baby stock calls for asparagus, leeks, and sweet potato. Those strike me as bizarre ingredients for stock, but I'll give it a try. At least for the baby stock the vegetables don't get tossed at the end, you can use them to make baby puree.

I made more baby oatmeal this morning. We're out of raisins, so I added banana. William likes it. Maybe I'll add applesauce to the next batch-- he's got enough of the banana oatmeal to last two more days, then I'll have to make more.


  We Definitely Have A Bear

Terry first spotted a bear in our yard a couple weeks ago. He was all freaked out, and getting on my case for not being more worried about it. He asked our friend who runs the wildlife center what to do about it, and didn't like his answer: the bear poses no threat to any of us, we should just take a picture if we see it again. That's what I thought. We hear about problems with other wild animals, but I don't recall anyone have a problem with bears.

Terry is not good at identifying animals, so I wasn't completely convinced he actually saw a bear until I saw it, too. Although the first time I saw it, it was out on Jones Mill Road next to our neighbor's farm. All I saw was its backside, since it was afraid of the car, and it was running down the road ahead of me. I thought it was adorable! It doesn't run that fast, I had to practically stop the car to let it get away without giving it a heart attack.

Today, the bear was running away from my car again, but this time in my own driveway. He started running just as I was rounding the corner away from the house, and I didn't see where he ran to hide. I'm guessing it's the same bear, we've been here six years and it's the first one we've seen, so unlike deer, I don't think the woods are crawling with them.

The bear is between three and four feet tall when it's on all fours. I'd guess it weighs in the neighborhood of 300 pounds or so. It's got gorgeous black fur. It would probably make a great rug if you were into that sort of thing. We prefer a more formal traditional decor in my house, I bet Terry would have nightmares if I came home with a bearskin rug. I don't have any place to put one, anyway. Maybe if we built a cabin, but why would we need a cabin?

I got sidetracked, didn't I? I really don't want anything bad to befall the bear, the thing about the rug doesn't occur to me when I actually see it since it's pretty cute alive. Of course, that is my opinion now, when the bear hasn't done anything to make me mad. If he dents or scratches the car or something worse I might change my tune. But I suspect the bears around here are the peaceful eat-nuts-and-berries type of bear, not the break-into-the-house-and-raid-the-refrigerator bears like they show on those animal shows on cable TV.

I keep forgetting to charge my cell phone, so the camera on it doesn't work, and I haven't had William in the car the two times I've seen the bear, so I didn't have my camera with me (I take it with me when Will is around, in case he does something particularly cute). I will continue to keep my eye out for the bear, and hopefully I'll get a picture of him next time.


  Sorority Life Costume Contest

One of the things I like about facebook is the games. Terry can't understand why I like most of them, they don't require much thought. But I think that's the point. When I want to take a break, I don't necessarily want to challenge myself very much. So I play Sorority Life.

I won't get into the gameplay details, but the basic gist is that you have a sorority girl character, and you throw parties and accumulate clothes and accessories and move up through the levels. I've been more into the pirate game (very similar, just different graphics basically), so I haven't logged into Sorority Life in a while. But I'm glad I took a few minutes to read the game news when I did-- they are having a costume contest. Anyone can submit images of Halloween costumes, and the winner gets 200 brownie points. This is meaningless in the real world, but it's a big deal in the game.

Inspired by William's cute tiger outfit, I made one for the avatar. Wish me luck!