adventures with laundry & wind

i threw in a load of laundry this morning while jared was out with ramona. i went to switch it over into the dryer after ramona went down for her nap, &…it was all just sitting in a washer full of water. i tried to turn on the rinse cycle, but the washer just made a faint buzzing noise & wouldn’t do anything. i tried wringing out each individual piece of laundry & putting it in the dryer, but even just picking up such wet laundry was murder on my hands. i couldn’t even really begin the wring it out. & then i got nervous that it wasn’t actually clean anyway. so i loaded it all back into the hamper & went to to take it upstairs &…guess what? a hamper full of soaking wet laundry weighs like one trillion pounds. i managed to get it upstairs mostly by heaving & pushing. i ripped a strap off the hamper & wore some holes in the bottom in the process. i got the landlady on the horn, she sent over the handyman, he declared the washer deceased (R.I.P.), & she started canvassing town in pursuit of a new (used) washer for us. in the meantime, i had a cloth diapered baby running low on cloth diapers, so we took an exciting field trip to the laundromat.

i do feel fortunate that ramona is always up for new experiences. she doesn’t really understand that it’s boring & kind of scary to go to the laundromat. i brought one of her walkers & she had a great time just running laps around the washing machines for an hour while everything washed & dried.

the other night i woke up in a panic, thinking about how ramona won’t walk anymore. she walked for a while, & then she got an ear infection, & even though she’s better now, she pretty much will not walk. she can RUN with her walker, but that doesn’t really count. she’s been bear-walking a lot, which is a step in the right direction, but i wish she’d go back to normal-walking. she’ll be 20 months old at the end of the month. that’s pretty damn old to not be walking. i literally know kids half her age that walk more/better than she does.

but when i mentioned all of this to jared, he got kind of pissed & gave me a big lecture about how i shouldn’t pathologize ramona’s development, & there’s nothing wrong with her, & i shouldn’t compare her against other kids, etc etc. i wonder if he’ll still be singing the same tune when we need to start building her customized walkers because she’s 15 years old & still won’t walk without one. actually, i don’t worry that much. she has walked, i know she is capable of doing it.i suspect she doesn’t do it because she’s so much faster crawling or using a walker. i get it. i don’t like to do difficult things either. but still.

in the meantime, she’s picking up words left & right. we made a list last week, but she’s learned even more words since then. she has learned more songs too. she sang “head shoulders knees & toes” for like an hour this morning (complete with the appropriate motions). she sings “dads dads dads” (an original composition by jared) constantly. (sample lyrics: “dads dads dads/what’s the deal?/they don’t understand/how a baby feels.”) (also, the only part of this she actually says clearly is “dads dads dads”. she sings the rest according to the melody using babbles.) she can say “belly,” “bath,” & “bye,” & they all sound different (sort of). when i ask her to point to the kitty & she doesn’t see lula around, she points to my charlotte tattoo.

i wore my jellyfish sailor dress out on a walk the other day & discovered that i need to tack down the collar. i’m also not 100% in love with the collar. i made it the same way i made the collar on my mermaid shirt. it’s two pieces of fabric & lightweight interfacing. i maybe don’t like the interfacing? if i do another sailor collar, i think i’ll try it with no interfacing. even though it gets pressed after it’s sewn, i still feel like it looks kind of puffy & cartoon-ish. i know…i’m complaining that my jellyfish sailor dress looks cartoon-ish. kind of ironic. but still.

also, as much as i love the skirt & how twirly-swirly it is…it blows up in even the slightest of breezes! i have friends who wear skirts & dresses almost exclusively. the entire sewing blogosphere is FULL of women making these great swirly-twirly skirts & dresses. where do they wear them? how do they do it without being arrested for flashing the entire neighborhood? maybe it’s a lifestyle thing? maybe it’s easier if you’re just going from your house to your car to another indoor location (work, shopping, school, whatever) & back again. but if i’m outside, it’s probably because i’m en route to the playground with ramona. i don’t really enjoy being outside, but that’s where i end up a lot because i have a young child who is OBSESSED with slides. how do i make dresses fit this lifestyle?

ultimately, i think i need to experiment with sewing myself some shorts, maybe some pants, & some more skirts/dresses with straighter skirt shapes. &/or use heavier fabrics for the twirly skirts. my suspender skirt has a very full skirt but because it’s a lightweight denim, i haven’t had any issues with strong breezes. (yet?)

i think i mentioned that i saw a neurologist & got diagnosed with carpal tunnel? i wore the braces for a few nights & then i was like, “fuck this. i don’t have carpal tunnel,” & i stopped wearing them. &…my hands are KILLING ME.

i think my next sewing project is going to be a messenger bag, & this is part of it:


this was paper-pieced using a (free!) pattern i found here:

i think was my third experiment with paper-piecing? i’m getting better! there are a few teeny mistakes in this thing, but they’re not super-noticeable. i am thinking about embroidering the polka dots in the keyboard with letters, i guess to make them more keyboard-y. we shall see. my goal is to have the bag finished by the end of the month so i can use it as my carry-on when ramona & i go to boston.

also, my birthday is in two days! just in case anyone wants to buy me a serger or a subscription to “threads” magazine. …no one? huh. that’s weird.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

8 thoughts on “adventures with laundry & wind

  1. Ciara I deleted my facebook but I wanted to say happy birthday. And it seems important that even without FB I remembered it. And I will totally get you a subscription to threads magazine. ❤ send me an email so we can exchange updated contact info. n.mylastname AT gmail — xoxo Nicole W

    1. aw, sad you’re not on FB anymore. it’s like my primary way of communicating with people. but thank you for remembering my birthday! yours is august 15, right? i will email you shortly. maybe we can live like it’s 2001 & start emailing on the regs. we’d probably talk more that way.

  2. Regarding the upskirting-through-wind: I’ve used lead weighted tape, the stuff usually used for curtain hems, in the hems of dresses.

    1. do you feel like it works pretty well? i am realizing that lawrence is insanely windy. & that some cross-streets are worse than others. do you have a specific brand you recommend?

      1. It does work at keeping it down in regularly windy weather (I’m in Amsterdam btw) and makes sure that the skirt/dress sticks to your legs rather than to your forehead when it’s insanely windy.

        And I do always wear shorts/pantyhose/leggings (depending on the weather) underneath my dresses, but that’s more of a superstition thing that I will end up upside down if I don’t. 😀

        The weighted tape I get is just the generic one at the fabric store, the thinnest one, here they have it on a roll and you just ask for so many meters.

        1. thanks! i wound up wearing cut-off leggings a lot under my dresses recently. perhaps not the most sophisticated look, but it worked, & it was nice not having to worry about flashing anyone.

  3. I know I’m late to commenting… but I bet the ear infection knocked out Ramona’s equilibrium for a bit. I don’t particularly enjoy walking when my seasonal allergies make me all dizzy. I can imagine that she’d be like “efff this noise, I’m gonna crawl and not fall over.”

    Also, I totally wear bike shorts under skirts when it’s windy. Although that does kinda defeat the comfort factor of wearing a skirt in the first place…

    1. i think i actually find shorts more comfortable than skirts.

      ramona started walking again about a week before we left for boston. i didn’t bring a walker for her, so who knows? maybe she’s tooling around yearly meeting on her own two feet now & will come home an expert walker. i’m sure the ear infection set her back a bit, since it happened like a week after her first steps, before she could get comfortable with the idea.

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