giant babies & knit dresses

i feel like i haven’t posted in forever. mostly it’s because i’ve been so busy looking after ramona by myself, traveling, etc. also, the T button on my laptop broke somehow. it still kind of works, maybe 40% of the time. so when i need to type a T, i either have to hit the T button a million times before it registers, or i have to cut & paste it from somewhere else. it took me forever just to explain that, because it’s all so T-heavy. if you see some random Vs where they don’t belong, it’s because i hit shift-V instead of command-V when attempting to paste. i did it three times in that sentence alone.

so! can we talk about my sweet little baby? she is now an enormous toddler. i swear, i dropped a baby off in boston last weekend, & when she came home, she was practically old enough to vote. she still crawls sometimes, but she’s walking a ton now. & she knows so many words! she amazes me with all the words she knows! this morning i was sewing, & she came over & tugged on my arm & said, “poop.” sure enough, she had pooped. (sorry if that’s gross. except not, because it’s only gross to people who don’t have kids & i don’t super-care what those people think of the stories i tell about my kid.) a little while later, she climbed into her stroller & said, “park! park!” when she plays with her blocks, she says, “block.” she points to my fabric bins & says, “box.” she points at my charlotte tattoo & says, “cat. meow!” she can say “snack,” “milk,” “down,” “up,” “walk,” “sit up,” “tired,” “duck” (which she seems to use for all birds), “shirt,” & so many more words. it’s amazing!

i also love watching her grapple with abstract concepts. i asked her if she could say “ramona,” & she said, “me! babe!” (i call her “babe” a lot). she pointed at a display of binders at the grocery store & said, “daddy!” (jared uses a lot of binders.) she can also make pig, horse, & goat noises.

taking care of her by myself wasn’t as hard as i expected it to be. i mean, i had to recalibrate my expectations to a certain degree. once i accepted that there were a lot of things that just weren’t going to get done while i was alone with her, it was easier to put my head down & focus on the priorities. i just wanted to keep her happy, fed, & clean, & keep up withe the bare minimum required to maintain the household. it was exhausting, & there were plenty of moments when i felt like my head was going to explode if i had to read “big red barn” one more time, but it was okay. it was actually kind of cool, because spending all that extra time attending to her helped me get to know her a little bit better.

then i packed her up & went to the airport to fly to boston. i was really nervous about single-handedly getting us & all our stuff through security & on to the plane. & iv was pretty hectic. our flight was delayed by half an hour, which was lucky, because it took forever to get through security & then our gate was changed to be clear on the other side of the terminal, & i had to change ramona’s diaper & give her some dinner & get milk for her, etc etc etc…i couldn’t have done it all with the original departure time.

we got on the plane, i got ramona’s car seat installed withe the help of a nice dad traveling with his slightly older kids, everyone was ready to go…& then the captain came on to say the plane was leaking brake fluid. we all had to get off & wait for a new plane flying in from chicago. we didn’t leave kansas city until we were already supposed to have landed in boston. we finally made it to boston at around 2am. ramona handled iv all surprisingly well. honestly, she’s a better traveler than i am. she just loves new experiences. i find new experiences unpleasant & discombobulating.

jared’s parents took ramona to yearly meeting (a quaker thing) the next day & jared & i had our first stomach flu-free baby-free time since ramona was born! we did all kinds of crap that is difficult/impossible to do with a baby in tow: we saw “jaws” on the big screen. we visited with a much younger baby who is struggling with his nap schedule (good not to have a noisy toddler with us for that). we played skeeball & air hockey. we tried on fancy, expensive jeans. we window shopped. we ate crab legs. we walked around on the docks in the charles. we laid in bed & listened to NPR. we drank beer.

then i flew home & had some baby-free time in kansas. i went out for drinks with a mom friend. i went to bingo twice (i won $50). i walked around the house in my underwear. i drank coffee without having to clean oatmeal off anyone. i ate cookies for dinner. i did whatever i wanted, whenever i wanted to.

& then jared’s brother, david, & his girlfriend alana flew into kansas city with ramona & i was reunited with my giant child. david & alana are staying in lawrence for the week. they got an airbnb a few blocks away & have been pitching in with ramona. it’s been really helpful because she came home terrified of baths. she used to love baths. not sure what happened there. so i’ve had to really work with her on her baths & coax her into staying in the tub long enough to get clean. she also refused to go into her crib one night. she SCREAMED like she was being murdered when i tried to put her in there. so i had to put her to bed in my bed, & it was all very exhausting. (eventually i figured out that she would go into her crib if there was a pillow in there with her. ???) she’s been waking me up every morning at 5:30am, usually by kicking me in the head & then going back to sleep. so it’s been helpful to have david & alana around to take ramona to the playground or whatever while i get a nap.

i also sewed two new dresses this week! i’ll post more about them once i get some photos. but one is a pretty heavy long-sleeved knit dress, so i might not get photos of that one for a while. i was just trying to get a jump on my fall/winter sewing. the other is a light jersey dress (a sewaholic renfrew with a circle skirt attached, basically). i expect it to get a lot of wear before the weather cools off. i just wanted to experiment with knit dresses a little more after the disappointment that was the blue floral jersey dress. i wear it a lot. it’s comfortable & great for hot weather. i think i cut a size too big because i didn’t know what kind of ease to expect from the pattern, & i also altered the bodice to be too long. the long-sleeved dress is the same pattern with a few tweaks & it fits better. still not perfectly, but better. the refrew dress is also a little jacked up, just because i’ve never made a renfrew before & didn’t know what kinds of alterations i’d need. but it turned out okay. & i still have more knits in my stash (thanks in part to a gift certificate to gather here that david & alana gave me for my birthday), so…more to come! i got an especially heavy, soft, snuggly knit at grey’s fabrics in boston & i want to make it into a long-sleeved cowl-neck renfrew dress. i’m just not sure i have enough fabric. maybe if i cut it all in one layer…

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.

2 thoughts on “giant babies & knit dresses

  1. Lilian decided that she was very enh about baths a few months ago. So weird, right? Bathtime used to be this nice part of the bedtime routine, and now it’s like pulling teeth to get her to go into the tub.

    She is also super into pillows now. She has been saying “I need” instead of I want, so we get a lot of “I neeeed pillowwwwwww!”

    1. after a rough couple of days, ramona is back into enjoying her baths. thank god, because it wasn’t fun trying to bathe a shrieking toddler. i think she just had some weird bath experiences while she was with her grandparents & it took her a little while to find her groove again. but i have heard plenty of stories from parents of older kids about how their bath-loving kiddos just flipped a switch one day & didn’t want to bathe anymore. so who knows?

      ramona still does not say “i want” or “i need”. (supposedly “i want” was my first word, followed quickly by “i need,” but i didn’t know any nouns to team with these phrases.) she just walks around all day saying, “cat! sip! pillow! blanket! shoes!”

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