Tuesday, June 30, 2009

July Scientiae: Mirror, Mirror

Patchi over at My Middle Years is hosting the July Scientiae, a round up of blog posts from fellow scientist bloggers, and her theme for the month of July is "Mirror, mirror on the wall." Now normally I don't participate in these things, but I figured this is a good excuse to reflect on life and who I am, seeing as how July may very well be the month that changes my identity forever.

She asks us to "Think about who you see when you look in the mirror. How do you see yourself? How do you think others see you? Who would you rather see? Some days it might be hard to even face the mirror, other days you might stare at your teenage self looking back at you and wonder what happened since. What do you think that person looking at you is thinking? What would happen if you could step through the looking glass?"

When I look in the mirror these days, I see grown woman who's finally got clear skin for the first time in, I don't know, say 24 years?! I also see a woman whose body has undergone major changes during pregnancy, namely, an evergrowing belly and chest. But I have not fundamentally changed. I don't view myself any differently, really. Some days, if it weren't for the mondo belly that is constantly on the move, having practice contractions, and kicking up horrendous heart burn and acid reflux, I wouldn't even believe I was pregnant. It is still a bit of a shocker that I am pregnant and will be a mom perhaps even sometime this month.

I will be someone's mom.

How will that change me? I have no idea. I can't predict that. Everyone says it changes you, but does it? Really?

I know the dynamics of the Field Notes' household will change. But I cannot imagine undergoing some radical or monumental shift in my own personality or identity. I'll still be Field Notes. The responsibilities will change, but not fundamentally. I'll still have to get out of bed everyday and tend to others' needs, clean house, stay informed, earn a living, pay bills, set a good example.

My whole life I have been preparing to be a teacher.

That is who I am. That is my identity.
Being a mother, a parent, is only a very specific kind of teacher.

Once upon a time, as a little girl, I would arrange my stuffed animals in a classroom and hand out papers, teaching them lessons. Later, as a teenager, I would teach my classmates and friends, and occasionally my sister when she'd have it. I actually made homework assignments and textbooks — not real, actual textbooks with hard bindings and all, but notebooks full of information and pictures — material for my 'students' to use to learn. I wish I still had the anatomy book I made. I remember being fascinated with anatomy and drawing colored diagrams for the book I made, complete with parts for the 'student' to label.

Eventually I became a college professor and got paid to teach! At some really, really top notch schools too. I loved teaching, but I hated some of the crap that went along with it, namely the expectation to publish, publish, publish and apply for grants and always be spectacular. Now that I've been on a break from all of that, I can see that I am and have been, much happier and much less stressed even though I have much, much less disposable income.

Will I ever go back to academia? I don't know. It might not be for me. But I vow to never, ever let myself believe that I am squandering my education if I don't.

I will always be a teacher; indeed, a great teacher.
Being a mother, a parent, is just a very specific kind of teacher.

And, it's exactly the teaching role I am looking forward to now. Bring it on!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Baby Book - Finished!

A couple of after-lunch hours here and there and voilá,
The finished 'high contrast' baby book:

The front cover crinkles when touched and so do all of the pages with ribbon loops hanging off the edges. There are 6 pages.

My initial thought on which grommets to use didn't pan out — they were much too small. But before I even figured that out, I had an absolutely hilarious failure of a time 'winging it' to set the original grommets on test fabric. Problem — I didn't save the instructions and couldn't figure out that it's essential to punch a hole first and *then* set the grommets. Ooops! I finally figured out the right way to do it after visiting the king of knowledge: Google. And, thanks to Dr. Google, I picked up a new tool and learned how to set metal grommets.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The New iPhones Rock!!!

First we dumped cable; then we dumped TMo. I still don't regret getting rid of cable. We never watch TV. And I doubt I'll regret switching over to you-know-who as part of the deal to get the iPhones. Mr. Field Notes and I both got the sooped up ones, the 32 GB 3GS.

We decided to get the larger capacity ones so we could shoot video easily and never really have to worry about how many songs, photos or videos are stored on them. The camera is suprisingly good. Here's a short video clip, one of the first we shot on the iPhone:

I've already started emailing my family photos and videos, so we can practice for when Baby Field Notes finally arrives. The camera and touch screen do take some getting used to, but is easy enough. And it is incredibly easy to email anyone photos and video taken completely on the phone. The only thing I don't like is that when I'm doing a gmail-based chat, the computer sometimes fills in words for me and changes spellings and entire words so I end up sending mangled garbage that makes no sense. I like chatting via gmail and Facebook to cut down on texting charges. The freebie games are pretty sweet too. "Paper Toss," a free game that involves tossing paper balls into an office garbage can with a fan blowing is pretty addictive. I think I've already given myself carpal, well actually forearm, tunnel syndrome at least once!

I even chatted via Facebook with a friend today while she was in labor. She certainly raises the bar for me! Not fair, not fair.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Etsy.com Peddles a False Feminist Fantasy — Well, does it?

I am sure this article has been floating around the etsy world for a while now, but I just discovered it and thought it was worthy of discussing. It basically makes the argument that etsy.com as company peddles a fantasy to women that they can start their own home business and quit their day jobs. It's a fantasy because vanishingly few are actually able to do this, according to data which etsy has gathered. The article also observes that vanishingly few men sell stuff on etsy. Why? Because they can't make enough money there. It's a valid observation and explanation.

You can scroll down to the bottom if you'd like to read the original article.

So here are my off the cuff thoughts on the essay based on my experience selling on etsy, paying attention to what other sellers do and say (in the forums especially) and seeing how my own small niche in its marketplace has panned out over time.

First off, I think the article is dead on. Yes, it generalizes about how many etsy women are basically SAHMs who are being supported by their breadwinner husbands. Truth be told, I am not so far outside of that category. But there are plemnty of women who sell stuff on etsy who don't fit that mould.

Why are male sellers not well represented on etsy? Sure it may have something to do with there not being a lot of money in it. Now, I am not a "top seller" by any means, and I have not quit my day job, but I have made at least as much as the seller highlighted in the article, so I consider that a tremendous success.

That being said, I do not make even close to enough to make what I do a full time job with health insurance, etc and not be dependent on a second source of income. So, yes, I think the etsy allure of a feminist dream is pure fantasy. However, etsy as a company does not sell it so much as the community (of women) wanting, expecting and asking how to realize that dream.

I have a hunch that most of the people who sell on etsy do not have a marketing or business background and so are unprepared for exactly how to make their arts & crafts a truly profitable endeavor. And most probably have no idea or do not accept the fact that it is difficult if not nearly impossible to make self-employment truly work, let alone operate a profitable business from home that is based on arts and crafts. Perhaps in the 'good old days' it was more possible but now with cheap, foreign-made crap ubiquitous, all it takes is our disposable culture to make it damned near impossible to sell handmade goods at a price the market will bear.

Why buy a $95 handwoven scarf when you can get a perfectly decent scarf for $10 at any number of Big Box stores? And why buy handmade paper at $3 a sheet when you can get ten times as many sheets for the price by buying handmade paper that has been imported from Nepal? Sure, some people can afford the high-end handmade stuff that is Made in America. But there are not enough of them.

Figuring out what to charge for any given item is but one problem, but I see it as the biggest one.

The vast majority of sellers on etsy severely underpay themselves and undervalue their work. Prices are ridiculously low for the time it takes to make the items sold. Some women admit to charging only for the material/supplies! Many charge a modicum for their time. Perhaps they do this becasue they know the market will not support a higher price, for reasons I just stated.

But perhaps many women simply undervalue their time. It is as though that old shampoo ad motto never sunk in: Because I'm worth it!

This is a generalization, but I think men are less inclined than women to undervalue their time and so when they find out that the etsy marketplace (with its attendent competition with other sellers there and from brick and mortar stores) does not support the higher prices they set for their work, they ditch etsy altogether or find another venue for their work where they can get the price for their work that they demand. I'd love to see data on whether men start and then abandon etsy storefronts at a higher rate than women do.

When it comes to pricing on etsy, I think women are more likely to just lower the price of their work and accept less.

We have learned to do this our whole lives. I think if women demanded more for their work and set prices that gave them fair compensation for their time, prices on etsy would be higher. But the marketplace competition does seem to drive prices down, and without being able to mass produce more creations at a lower profit margin, the end result is that no one can make very much money there at all.

I've seen the going rate for certain things I sell cut in half when a new seller moves in who undercharges for (her) time. I know how long it takes to make the things and am unwilling to accept less for my time, so I just don't sell those items as much anymore. I'd rather do that than undervalue my time.


I am a feminist.

And I have a day job.

And I have no delusions about the chance of successfully working from home selling arts and crafts.

But, I still really wish women would demand more than $4 an hour for their time! It's a tremendous disservice to everyone.

Here's the original article:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Practice makes perfect.

Sometimes I will throw myself into a project without practicing first, figuring I'll nail it the first try. I do this all the time when giving a talk, and the vast majority of the time it works out really, really well. The first time I give a talk, it just goes better. It's not like a I don't prepare, because I do — I just never rehearse in front of crowd or even a person or dog first to practice. It's the same for most of my class lectures too. Maybe it's my enthusiasm for the topic the first time around that makes all the difference. This is not great when you have to teach a class over and over... and over. That's why it's important to constantly tinker with the subject matter and material so it's always fresh.

With other projects, I gravitate toward the same approach but sometimes have the good sense to actually do a real trial run. I am so glad I did that today with my sewing project. I had to fiddle with my sewing machine (I don't really know what I'm doing, really) to test out some stitches and adjust some nobs to see what they did..... trial and error style.

That's how Miss Yuki's new toy came to be. I knew I needed to practice stitching a sort of patch like thing onto something before I attempted something similar on the fabric book I am making and certainly want to get the new-to-me stitch perfected before attempting fabric alphabet blocks.

The Y on Yuki's new toy turned out well, I think, not that it matters at all to her, but it certainly looks extra cute hanging out of her mouth. I used scrap fabric from a blanket project, stuffing from old dead toys and a squeaker rescued from one of those mortuary toys. Yes, we have a mortuary for dead toys. This one will probably only last a week or so.... such is life with Newfies. They are very hard on toys but absolutely FLIP OUT for soft squeaker toys. So, I get many occasions to repair and sew new toys.

Poor Katy did not get a matching one with a big K on it... not that she noticed. Yuki actually shared this one enough to make Katy happy. And, truth be told, Katy would have rather been given a real bone.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Infant Visual Development - Supplies

The best visual stimuli for developing babies' vision are bold, black and white patterns with lots of contrast. With that in mind, and with my glasses slipped down to the tip of my nose librarian style, I selected fabric for my next sewing project.

Newborn babies cannot see much of anything which is why bold, stark patterns are best. If you have exceedingly bad vision (20/500), like I do, you can get a sense of what the world looks like to a newborn baby by looking at things with your glasses off. Forget about making out fine patterns — only the big shapes bordered by significantly lighter or darker shapes stand out, and even they are blurry.

I chose fabric that offered a decent amount of contrast but also had some variety in shapes - some circles, some lines, some squiggles. Different portions of the visual cortex respond to different stimuli based on how lines are oriented so it's important to represent a variety of patterns. I also tried to achieve a variety of textures because tactile feedback is important too, but being in a small town, I had to settle for what I could get. And, I am satisfied I got what I needed for these:

• 'taggie' blanket small enough to take anywhere
• fabric book
• blocks

The blanket will have 9 squares on the front and the red 'minky' fabric on the reverse. Ribbon loops and braids of ribbon will hang from the edges and maybe from in between some of the squares. I may put some cellophane in between the batting in some places so it crinkles when touched.

The book will be 6 inches square and designed to lie open flat. I may add some concentric circles in contrasting colors to the fabric that doesn't have much contrast. Concentric circles appeal to babies, as do simple faces, so I may make one of them too. On some of the pages I am going to put some cellophane in between the batting so there's auditory feedback as well as well as visual stimulation.

The blocks I will save for last and hope to make 6 so each side can have a big, bold letter or number on it in red, white or black felt — for learning the alphabet.

With the scraps, if enough is left over I hope to make some stacking rings. They, like nesting cups, are a good toy for promoting cognitive development. They provide practice in planning, ordering and discriminating sizes.

I think the White Stripes would approve of my fabric selection, don't you?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Arctic poppies!

Poppies rank high up, perhaps at the top, of my new list of garden favorites. Just like lavender and snapdragons, poppies grow extremely well in my yard. It has got to be the well-draining soil and sunny exposure.

This year, a California poppy plant overtook a lavender start I had planted in the front yard. The poppy plant grew and grew and got to be the largest poppy bush I have ever seen. It was at least three feet across and two feet tall. It was a giant. And I wasn't too disappointed it killed the lavender, after all, we have lavender coming out of our ears over here, so to speak.

And just within the last week, some arctic poppies bloomed and I see a whole bunch more buds getting ready to bloom. They started from seed from poppy plants I found growing over by the college. I used many of them in my papermaking. I always lose seeds off the surface of the finished paper so I collect them and toss them outside. In the fall I tossed a lot of different seeds in a blank spot right where the dryer vents out. The arctic poppies were one plant that took off there. It's so cool that one of the tiniest of the seeds I scattered, powder really, is what took off. The hollyhocks and lunaria are going great guns too, but I've grown them before so they aren't as exciting, or as pretty, in my opinion.

Arctic, or Icelandic poppies, are native to subarctic regions of North America and Europe and are a perennial, however as I learned today, they behave like annuals in areas with hot summers. It makes perfect sense. So, I'll be gathering seeds from them this year so we can have them again next year.

The trick with the arctic poppies is to sew the seeds where you want the plants to grow - they have sensitive roots so you can't ordinarily successfully transplant them unless you are a botanical transplant specialist, I suspect.

For some truly amazing close-up photos of poppies — to make you ooh and aaah and perhaps cultivate a love of botany — you simply have to visit this website: A Close-up View of the "Icelandic (Arctic Poppy) The photo of the poppy 'hatching from its coccoon' is my favorite.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Baby Birth Announcement: It's a Gorilla!

(Credit: San Francisco Zoo)

A baby gorilla who was born 6 months ago at the San Francisco Zoo has started making some appearances now that he's old enough.

He is way too cute. I don't think there's anything in the world cuter than a baby gorilla, that's my bias. Maybe my own little baby 'gorilla' will be cuter, but I doubt it. Is that mean? What can I say, I am biased I admit it: I love baby gorillas.

As with most zoo birth stories, this little bugger was rejected by his birth mama but another female stepped in to care for him. She carries him on her back in the customary "jockey style" position. The babies ride face-forward sometimes, other times facing the reverse direction. Whatever feels good and works. Having hair makes it easy to hang on to mom, giving her the ability to move around more or less unencumbered, unlike human moms who must use at least one arm to support a baby she carries.

Even though human ancestors lost their hair a long time ago, for whatever reason — it's still a mystery even though there are some interesting theories — human babies have retained the moro reflex.

Babies up to around age 4-5 months, in response to being startled by a loud noise or falling sensation, will extend their legs and arms with hands open then bring them back to their body with their fists clenched.

It's an obvious safety mechanism left over from the days when that sort of automatic response would have helped the baby grab mom's hair in an emergency - having to quickly flee a spot, nearly falling out of a night nest up in the trees, etc. I don't know for sure since no one really makes a big deal of studying such obvious things, but I'd bet all primates have this reflex as newborns.

The absence of it in humans, or presence of it but only involving one side of the body, is a sure indicator of neurological problems.

There are lots of other cool reflexes babies have only during their first few months of life. I'm looking forward to seeing them.

And, yes, I am a little envious of the whole gorilla-baby-can-hang-on-to-mom-but-human-baby-can't thing. It means I'll have to find a sling to wear if I want to have both hands free. Ideally, I'd have one I could use to nurse hand's free. Gorillas don't have to wear diapers either...
I'm just saying. Not really looking forward to that end of things. But, I have smelled gorillas, and as much as I love them, holy man alive - they freaking reek!

Let's just say they have a distinctive odor. But they are still the cutest little beings on the planet. Little Hasani, whose name means 'Handsome,' even has a baby registry at the zoo in case you want to send him stuff.

You've got to see the video of him with his surrogate mama for the first time. You can see her playing the airplane game with him - putting him up in the air with her feet and hands while she lies on her back. Chimps do this with their babies too. It aids motor development. There's a lot of continuity among species in early primate development.

Mama Gorilla Plays Airplane Game With Baby Gorilla

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Container Gardening Avec Les Chiens

My mother in law came to visit for the weekend and wore me out! Actually, I think it was mutual at one point, but she's still standing while I ... am ... not.

Our big success was Container Gardening With The Dogs. Yuki came outside to supervise the entire thing, but I hope it wasn't because she was eyeballing which ones to uproot later. Fingers crossed she won't revert back to her old shenanigans! She did a truly commendable job of being companionable without being intrusive, which is to say she stayed within 2 feet of us the whole time, never stole anything, gave polite kisses, didn't knock over anything and actually curled up behind me to lie down once near the end. She was so well behaved, she could have easily passed for Katy, who was inside napping the entire time. Lazy bones had a good excuse though — she went on a giant walk the night before.

Just like usual, I bought more plants than I needed to fill the containers left over from last year so we had to root out the plastic ones from the garage. I also had to get 2 hanging planters of petunias. I love them and get 2 every year just to make the porch more cheerful. They usually bloom until October so it's well worth the cost.

Salvia, zinnia, snapdragons and some others I forgot the names of make up the rest.

Snapdragons are my favorite garden plant mostly because they grow extremely well here. Because Yuki destroyed most of my snapdragons from last year, the only ones I have growing now are either in their last year (perfect for gathering seeds for next year!) or got started this year from seed so they're really tiny. They will be amazing next year, as will the newbies who just moved in. The last few years I had red ones and also peach with yellow ones. This year and the next we'll have white, yellow and rose colored ones in addition to whatever takes from the seedlings.

I plum wore myself out! But, I did so in fantastic looking toes — we started the day with pedicures. Purrrrrrrfect!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Yuki's Path of Destruction: Ways to R&R puppy style

Ever since her first day home, Yuki had a fondness for the garden lilies. It's just not a fondness I appreciated very much. After the number she did on my garden last year, it's a wonder how I managed to have any plants come back this spring. But, the lilies grew back and Yuki's back at them. This time, putting her ever-so-cute-I'm-not-gonna-get-in-trouble-spin on things.

Caught messing around once more in the lilies, she hammed it up for me by sticking her nose through the porch slats long enough for me to snap a photo to share. It really was adorable, that face. She still got asked to leave, though. Which she did, thankfully, and without too much damage done.

She's been running through the lilies ever since she got here. This shot I took right before she completely disappeared in them around this time last year when she was just 8 weeks old and small enough to hide in the long green fronds.

Yuki loves to R&R in unusual places.

Under the dishwasher..

Wedged between the toilet and bathtub..

** On **
Mr. Field Notes (he assures me this is actually very comfortable). They've also been napping like this since day one with no letting up now that she's approaching 100 pounds.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Further Forays into Felt Food: Squid Dinner plus Veggies

I know, I know, it's poor form to ape other artists, but I had to try to make the squid I saw in my favorite felt food artist's shop on etsy. I am not selling it, so it's okay to plagiarize, right? Actually, most of the art I have ever made in my life is totally copied (sh! our little secret). I think most art at some level is.

The veggies are really easy to make yourself:
Green beans - piece of cake to make - just cut some green rectangles, roll tightly and stitch shut.
Cooked carrot slices - also easy - cut two quarter sized orange pieces and a long strand. Stitch the strand to one round doodad then most of the other. Leave a centimeter unstitched as an opening to put fiberfill inside, then stitch closed.
Green onion stalk - cut two of the cream pieces and two long green pieces about 1.5 centimeters wide and 10 inches long. Fold the stalks in half, pin, and machine stitch closed down the middle. Then stitch the bulb around the edges leaving space at the top to push the green stalks into the pocket and hand stitch closed.

The garlic bread and squid take a bit of fenagling but are relatively easy to make. It just takes a bunch of time to stitch the squid legs and the french knots used to make the pepper for the bread can be tedious. Two of the ten squid tentacles have little cups at the ends that were fun to make, and surprisingly easy to pull off. But, the squid 'legs' are enough of a pain that I would make them another way if I had to make another squid. One can always just buy one from GoBuggy on etsy, if she's got them in stock! Her store is very popular, for good reason. I think she's got the best Japanese felt food on etsy. But curiously enough, she hasn't done sushi. Hmmm. I'm eager to try that myself, in fact.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Ew! Newfie slobber goes everywhere.

When you share your life with even one Newfoundland you get used to slime, spit, slobber, drool — and all the places it lands. It starts with your lap. The cute puppies get a drink of water then head straight for you to show off how smart they are, having found the local watering hole. Then they move on to the couches. They make convenient napkins, just like pant legs. Eventually you notice the floors get their share of the drool too. More than their share. Soon you notice slime streaks on the walls. And every once in a while, you spot it practically on the ceiling.

That's where I found some today — a nice, big long streak of dried slobber complete with fur (a lot of it) stuck high up on the wall nearly at the ceiling above the bathroom door. Ew. Gross. Thanks guys. Did you have to put it so high up?

You can sort of make it out under the words in that photo. That grayish smudge is a ball of slimed, matted newfie hair the size of a quarter. A streak of dried slobber 8 inches long hangs down from it. Ew.

Who the culprit is I'll never know. Just a little present from one of them, thought I'd share. It's all part of the charm of having newfies. Since I had the camera out, I thought I'd take the opportunity to show off the other things now hanging on the walls. No, not cobwebs and more goofy newfie goobers, just good old-fashioned art. We finally hung our art, well, most of it.

Here's a little tour.

Some Japanese fabric (the so-called lucky cat you see everywhere in Japan). If you look closely in the background you can spot Yuki hanging out on the 'big comfy chair' watching traffic. I'm convinced she's got her own version of a trainspotting game going on given how much time she spends gazing out the window from that spot.

Of course, most days the window in front of her is so covered with her own nose print slime I doubt she sees much! I'd have to clean that window every day to keep it looking nice. Vacuuming once — sometimes twice and even up to four times a day — is about as much dog-inspired cleaning as I am comfortable 'scheduling' so the vast majority of the time, that window is ... dirty. But who cares. You make a lot of 'adjustments' to standards of cleanliness when you invite a big, black shagorrific dog (or two) into your home.

Moving on... on the wall in the living room containing Dirty Window we've now got some handy dandy shelves with real, handmade art on them!

The art is a series of three 14x14 inch custom pieces on canvas I commissioned from an artist on etsy.com. She did a wonderful job with minimal instructions to make a crow, bluebird and a green egret. The shelves are from Pottery Barn. I bought them, no kidding, in 2007 as a reward to myself for finally finishing some horrendous piece of statistical analysis for my dissertation. It took until now to finally deploy them. Delayed gratification.

More framed Japanese fabric from my favorite store in Kyoto: RAAK. They specialize in material for furoshiki - the cloth used in traditional wrapping of packages, gifts and lunches. RAAK is operated by a Kyoto-based textile company called Eirakuya, which was founded 390 years ago. A trip to RAAK is a must if you find yourself in Kyoto. They make just about everything out of their fabric — furoshiki, hats, wallets, purses, teddy bears and more. It's not cheap either (nothing in Japan is) so be prepared for a big bill if you go hog wild like I did.

I bought a TON (almost literally) of furoshiki cloth. I think it was my single biggest expense from Japan, but I knew I wouldn't be back for quite a long time so I allowed myself the splurge. The framed stuff isn't furoshiki, but I saw panels like this hung all over RAAK stores in Kyoto and thought a set of three would be perfect for the dining room. The choices were immense, and difficult, but in the end I chose these three for being iconic of Japanese culture and because they fit the color scheme of the dining room (red and black). All I had to do was find three that looked good together. Michaels craft store did the custom framing. They do a great job, but definitely wait until they have a good coupon. I used one that got me 60% off the entire framing order!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Kiwi Fruit: Making felt fruits makes you crave them!

On a previous post I mentioned that I thought having kids play with healthy felt food would encourage them to adopt healthy eating habits. I haven't seen whether that's true (yet) but I did find that making felt kiwis definitely made me crave them!

During grad school I made a fruit smoothie a day (just about), sometimes with yogurt and sometimes with banana and orange juice as the base. One of my favorites was a combo of orange juice, kiwi, strawberry and whatever other fruits seemed good at the time: blackberries, papaya, mango. They were so yummy. I really have no idea why I stopped. But I think it would be good to try one; I just think it would totally aggravate my pregnancy-induced heartburn. Still, kiwis are so good for you — high in vitamin C and potassium, plus fiber (which is also good for pregnancy). And, they are super refreshing during the summer heat.

I think I may send Mr. Field Notes out on a run to buy kiwis... but he's already scheduled to give Big Katy a bath this afternoon. I would scrub her myself, but I can't bend over any more and the thought of simultaneously bending over, shampooing her hugeness and keeping her in the bath tub is just too much. I can't even begin to think about how much of a royal pain in the keester she'd be to dry off. That's why Mr. Field Notes picked up that assignment. He he. Pregnancy has its perks.

And really, the thought of heartburn from that kiwi smoothie makes me just want to have a McFlurry instead. Would you believe that both the M&M and Butterfinger ones are loaded with heartburn medication? I didn't either until I started eating them..

I can always start eating kiwis again, let's see, around July 28 or so!

Besides the felt kiwis, I also finished making a felt sub bun, tomato halves, onion slices and two pieces of ham for it. Some of the goodies for the sandwich I made previously can be used on the sub, which means more versatility for making sammies. Next up: Green beans.