Immigration Attorney Denied Hearing Delay Brings Baby to Court

Posted by on Oct 17, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Immigration Attorney Denied Hearing Delay Brings Baby To Court This attorney’s baby was only four weeks old, too young to start daycare. Her husband is in trucking and was gone. She asked for a continuance based on her maternity leave, and it was denied. She went to court with the baby. She told the AP, “I was in a state of panic. I didn’t know what to do with my baby.” Immigration master calendar hearings can take hours to get through. The hearing is scheduled at a certain time, but so are many other people, and so even though you may have been scheduled for 9AM, you may not be heard until 11:30. Or later. Or maybe not at all. The baby cried in court. The last time I had a baby, I was working at a nonprofit clinic. I made sure to request continuances for some of the clients whose interviews or court hearings were scheduled during my maternity leave, and had several attorneys lined up to take my place at others. I didn’t have any problems when I asked for hearing continuances. I thought all would go back to normal after my maternity leave was over. Instead, I ended up with a baby who wouldn’t take a bottle. This meant that leaving her for more than an hour or so was really an impossibility. For the most part, I was able to find other attorneys to cover for me when it was necessary. After my baby started eating baby food, I was able to leave her for just a couple of hours at a time so that I could attend an interview with a client. When she finally started to take sippy cups at a year old, I heaved a sigh of...

Read More

Switching to Cloth Diapers For Potty Training

Posted by on Mar 9, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

When I looked in to cloth diapers for my oldest 7 years ago, the cloth diapering world was a lot different. It wasn’t nearly as big or trendy as it seems to be now. It wasn’t as mainstream and practical, either. There were only a few reliable choices, and everything seemed really expensive. Disposable diapers were cheaper back then, too. I did the math and it would have cost me more money to cloth diaper back then, unless I went with prefolds and homemade covers (and the prefolds that were readily available were Gerber). I had never head of a Snappi diaper fastener, flushable liners, or a diaper sprayer, either. The cost of a pocket diaper back then was at least $15, and still went up over $20. For one diaper. You need like 30 cloth diapers or you’ll be running out and buying disposables while you wait for the diapers to dry…at least if you’re like me. You have to factor in the cost of buying soap and heating and using water, and drying, too. Back then I could easily get a jumbo back of Pampers or Huggies diapers for around $3-$4 on sale, with coupons. I stocked up on cheap disposable diapers and never paid anywhere close to retail. If I had to pay $6/jumbo pack I thought it was insanely expensive. As time went by and I had more kids, the deals on disposables became harder to find, and I got a lot busier, and pretty much the best I can do is order diapers in bulk from Amazon and use our Prime membership. I think it works out to somewhere around at least $8 for the equivalent of a Jumbo pack. Back then, I was still in law school and I wanted to save money. I quit teaching when my oldest was born and we were down to one income until I passed the bar. Cloth diapers weren’t going to save me money back then, at least not the ones that would be pleasant enough for me, my mom, and my husband to agree to use. So why did I get it in my head to revisit cloth diapers? There are a lot of reasons for me to not cloth diaper. I don’t have time for cloth diapers. I already have way too much laundry. I prefer to minimize my close contact with poop. Here is the reason I am switching to cloth diapers: Potty training. Using some cloth diapers is what finally worked for the last kid, so we’re doing it whole hog for this one. Also, I switched over the cloth for swim diapers and they’re much nicer than the disposable swim diapers. I just want to contain the wet and minimize the amount of times I have to use my carpet cleaning machine. The children have seen the carpet cleaning machine enough times that they have named it “Big Boy.” I suspect that potty training when you’re a working mom is harder. I finally really pushed potty training with my oldest when I was on maternity leave with my second born, because before that it was impossible to have my oldest establish new potty habits because no matter how hard I tried, things were different with me than without me. My second born was much easier to potty train because I only worked part time, but there were still a lot of interruptions in the routine. I am still going to have to deal with interruptions in the routine because I still usually leave my kids one or two days a week...

Read More

DIY Anna Frozen Cape

Posted by on Mar 5, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

PrincessSpitfire pretty much wears a princess dress every day. My mom buys most of them at Goodwill. Seriously, people just donate these dresses that their kid clearly didn’t even wear more than once. Princess LIVES in these dresses. She wears several of them every day. I don’t really care what she wants to wear, except that these princess dresses do not provide much warmth, and it’s like 15 degrees outside. There is snow on the ground and she’s twirling around in a single layer of satin. She refuses to wear a shirt or pants under any dress, reasoning that real princesses do not wear pants or a shirt under their dress, and thus, neither will she. I bought her the Anna princess costume from the Disney store, and she firmly believes that since the dress kept Anna warm in the snow, it will also keep her warm in the snow. Daily, it disappoints her. She weeps when I am leaving for work on the days when I work out of the house, because this  means that she will have to put on something other than a princess dress so that she can go to my parent’s house. Before I became a mother, I could never have imagined the weeping over princess dresses. I was happy to wear hand-me-downs from my brothers, myself. Anyway, this has made leaving for work into a big production, with a lot more drama than I like in my life. All part of life as a working mom. When I left the kids with my parents 40+ hours a week, there were hardly ever tears…now when I leave them once a week, there is major weeping going on from PrincessSpitfire. Ugh. Finally, I found a solution to the dress issue, so that has provided at least a little relief. I was able to convince her that although princesses do not wear Land’s End purple jackets, they do wear capes. I copied the Anna cape from her costume and made a couple of long semi-circular capes out of blanket-type material and satin. I made sure to include the white fake fur, because Princess informed me that princess capes HAVE to have white fur. This cape was well received. I just finished a second cape that’s backed with satin and uses a rainbow blanket binding for the neck area…no white fur since I didn’t buy enough. I’m holding my breath that it will be accepted. Since I made PrincessSpitfire a cape (two capes…), TheBarbarian has decided that he also needs a cape/cloak/Jedi robe. Now I’ve got to make one of those post haste or have to deal with super jealousness. And this is what took up two evenings and an early morning, all time that I would have spent working if my sewing skills had not been urgently needed for some princess...

Read More

Babywearing at Disney World

Posted by on Feb 25, 2014 in Blog, blog2, Kid Stuff | 0 comments

We recently got back from a trip to Disney World. My littlest is almost 2, so she was “down” more than “up” this trip, but there was still a lot of times when she wanted up. When she was little, I carried her all the time, mostly in a wrap. When I took her to work  with me in my old office she would nap in the wrap, wake up and play in the wrap, then fall asleep in the wrap again. Those days are long gone. It’s kind of nice to work from home and be able to put her in her crib for a nap, but I also miss her being so little sometimes. She doesn’t fall asleep on my back very often any more, so this was probably the last time. She was worn out from a huge day and passed out at her usual bedtime, but we were still in Epcot. It doesn’t hurt that I love everything about this baby wrap. It’s Didymos Pink Wool India. I have it in Turquoise,...

Read More

Family Photo Drama

Posted by on Jan 27, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

I like to get a lot of family photos. After having the third child, most of our family photos get taken in the basement with a cheap light setup and a decent camera. My photoshop skills have become adequate, so I can fix small lighting errors. I can’t go to the actual professional photo place very often because of the impossibility of getting everyone ready and not in a crabby mood at the same time.  Actually…I haven’t taken the kids in since Sirenita was 6 months old. That means the last time I went was over a year ago. This is some kind of record for me. This is why I haven’t been back. Since Sirenita was 6 months old and we hadn’t been to the portrait studio since just after she was born, I figured I’d better get in there. (I took TheBarbarian almost monthly during his first year. Don’t get me started on having no baby photos of the third child). Portrait Innovations is pretty close to us and can usually schedule us in the same day, and I usually spend around $100-$150 there, for a boatload of pictures. This time, somehow they must have thought that I have $$$money$$$ because Portrait Innovations tried to get me to spend $600 on photos that were #1, not that great, and #2, for no special occasion. $600! I can understand this amount of money for actual skilled professional photographers. These people are not on that level. Can I admit that I didn’t pay $600 on my own wedding photos? And my wedding photos were done by a fantastic professional photographer, and they’re really well done. Portrait innovations was already on my “naughty list” because of how they treated my kids last time we went. I’ve been there lots of times before and it was always good, so I was willing to give them another shot. After Sirenita was born, ALL I WANTED was a family photo. Sure, I’d buy pics of baby Sirenita by herself, and more of the other kids, but the family photo was most important. I told the photographers that what was really important to me was to get a picture of all five of us because Sirenita was a week old. The photographers wasted a bunch of precious non-crabby-children-time with solo photos of SpitfirePrincess and TheBarbarian. The solo photos were horrible because the photogs did not know how to work with children (seriously, who tries to spend several minutes posing a one year old?).  I tried to tell them that my kids were not going to pose, but they assured me that they “do this all the time.” I knew then that the pictures would be horrible. We did one family pose that last time, and it was a horrible mess of a photo. I looked at the photos on the giant tv and wanted to cry (at least I have the excuse that I was a week postpartum). I could not bring myself to buy even one family photo. There wasn’t one that I wouldn’t have felt humiliated by having someone see it. They were that bad. We looked like stray toys randomly strewn over a bench. There were some pictures of the kids that turned out ok, ONLY because I had finally intervened and told the photographers what to do. I didn’t want to be a bossy lawyer, but it’s not like I could just go back a week later to take Sirenita’s “one week old” baby pictures! I think by then Spitfire and TheBarbarian had exhausted them, and they were willing to...

Read More

Babywearing – A DIY Mei Tai Pattern with Padded to Wrap Straps

Posted by on Jan 7, 2014 in Blog, Kid Stuff | 0 comments

I have referred to babywearing in an older post. There are lots of ways to wear a baby, and if I didn’t babywear I would never be able to finish all the things I need to do. So, I really want a “Wrap Conversion Mei Tai” (AKA WCMT) but the cost of these things….holy cow, I am way too cheap to spend $500-$1000 on one of these things. I use these carriers as part of my work and casual wardrobe – that means I like them to match my clothes and look great, and so I have had somewhere between 10 and 35 of these at any given time. There is a huge subculture of moms who basically buy, sell, and trade these carriers around with each other. I feel like there is a place for expensive carriers, if that’s what people want, but I was raised without much money and this doesn’t fit with my lifestyle. I also feel like beautiful babywearing should be financially accessible to all families. So, I’ll provide a tutorial for how to convert any fabric, or a woven wrap, into a mei tai. This is not the tutorial. This is a mei tai that I made using stretch denim and basic cotton decorative fabric. I wanted to do a basic version before chopping up my expensive wrap.  (((UPDATE: If you want the tutorial for the Wrap Conversion Mei Tai I made after this, and the free printable pattern, go here: I have never actually used a mei tai, but I’m curious and figured I’d do a wrap conversion on a size 7 Gira I have. I used a variety of sources to cobble together a pattern, and this is the mei tai I came up with (using a heavy stretch denim and a decorative fabric). I am experienced with sewing and making my own patterns, so that is what I did here, but I have never made a baby carrier before. I have excellent equipment, and I felt like I pushed it to the limit with the layers on this denim-based mei tai. The finished size is body 18″ by 18.5″ wide, not including the waist. The skinniest part of the carrier body is 16″. I have a long, skinny 22 month old, and a three year old. I thought about making the seat a little wider for my 3yo, but then it might be a bit too big for my skinny littlest one. I made padded to wrap straps that unfurl. I think I am pretty happy with the way they turned out. 1. The layers of the rear waist, 3 layers of polarfleece and two layers of denim (3 layers of polarfleece may be one too many): Half inch seams on everything except hood: The front waist ties (will make these half the width of the wrap next time, probably, but these feel comfortable: The layers of the waist with the straps tucked in: All sewn except for most of the top (I will cut the padding a bit shorter next time, I do not want as much padding where the waist attaches to the body): Turned right side out after sewing: The seat darts, put these on all three layers. I only made them one inch seat darts, but perhaps should have made them two inches and widened the pattern. I’m generally happier without seat darts in an SSC, so I’m not sure. I didn’t feel like making straps for my prototype and I had this giant rickrack lying around, so I used it. I covered the ends with ribbon...

Read More