Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Farewell 2008

What a happy little creature!

I was able to get a little bit of sewing accomplished.Now if I could just find the natural light to take pictures- I think it is supposed to snow.

Yesterday, we had planned a walk to the park across the street, but by time we had lunch- took a family nap ( including the kitties) it was just too chilly. So we ran a few errands then came home and had a Kashi- thin crust pizza for dinner (which was pretty darn yummy). I was saving it for a celebratory dinner for tonight- but that didn't exactly happen.

So I think I'll make some kind of winter soup for tonight, then tomorrow we'll have black-eyed peas & collard greens for New Year's Day. I haven't been eating a very good diet,I must admit. Which is a problem because- I'm still breastfeeding. I mean I'm not eating like Buddy the Elf, but I am certainly not back to the normal "me" foods. Part of this is due to IBS, which I am still experiencing in different forms. I'm hesitant to eat certain things, yet I'm not eating crucial things. Today though, I'm going to make an apple crumble with the remaining apples and use the sweet potatoes for a mash. I'm going to plan our dinners for the next 2 weeks or so- then when we go food shopping on Friday it will all be somewhat organized- somewhat.

Here is a sweater handed- down. It had some stains on it- but fit Hazel perfectly, so I just added some kooky- free form appliques and two blue buttons. She looks pretty cute.

Well as everyone gears up for the hustle of the New Year, I'll leave you with an excerpt from A Child's Calendar By John Updike-illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman. I read this to Hazel a lot while in my tummy and plan to read it even more now that she's out!
First snow! The flakes,
So few, so light
Remake the world
In solid white.

All bundled up,
We feel as if
We were fat penguins,
Warm and stiff.

The toy-packed shops
Half split their sides,
And Mother brings home
Things she hides.

Old carols peal.
The dusk is dense.
There is a mood
Of sweet suspense.

The sheperds wait,
The kings, the tree-
All wait for something
Yet to be,

Some miracle.
And then it's here,
Wrapped up in hope-
Another year!

Happy New Year all- be safe & have fun!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Self Portrait as a Mother

Self Portrait as a Mother, originally uploaded by hobocampcrafts.

So I'm still listening to Christmas music- like it is my job and I gt paid for it. I usually stop after New Year's and start around October/ November... sometimes even August if I'm feeling especially nostalgic. Every year we download some new holiday songs and old favorites we just don't own. One of my latest favorites is Frosty the Snowman by Fiona Apple. She's just so awesome and although her version is similar to the original her little spin just rocks!

Now I know why getting a chance to take a shower as a new mom is golden. I've been lucky that Zach is around and that I have had some help from my mom. But when I'm alone I have to wait till H falls asleep- which today was around 11ish. So this shot was taken before my bath. I wheel her bassinet into the hall so it is half in the bathroom with me. Sounds crazy I'm sure... but it works. Then the kitties fight over who will sit underneath it.

I was able to cut some coffee cuff "guts" out today. A deal was made with Zach for tomorrow- I'll have extended studio time for the day! He'll take care of Hazel and I can put my headphones on and work on some new pieces for the shoppe. What a lovely deal.. hey wait he didn't shake on it though!

The girls came by and we chatted for a few hours- it was nice of them to come across the county and one passing over state lines to see us. Hazel spent the night on Jaime's lap- but of course as everyone left she woke up.

I'm so tired at this point. Up since 4:30 with no shut eye. I hope tonight is a little better.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy Feet

Happy Feet, originally uploaded by hobocampcrafts.

These little socks just make me smile. Zach's father sent them to us. Every time I put them on Hazel I just smile.

Not much to report. I didn't get any sewing accomplished this weekend, but I did clean up my work station. Monday a few friends are coming by to pay H and I a visit.- So I wanted the apt. to look half way decent.

Tonight we gave H her first real bath. Complete with a hair washing and all. She did great- aside from the clench fist in the air the entire time.. Bath Power anyone?

I'm hoping to find time to cut out & pin together some coffee cuffs new for the winter. Zach will be back home- this being his last week so I want to take advantage of that.

We received so many awesome holiday gifts- I'm in awe. But the holiday goes by so fast, the snow has started melting and turning to a dirty slush,our poor little tree has become so brittle- the branches are all sagging over and it has lost it's luster up close. Thankfully there are more wintry days ahead- I so look forward to the snow. Our next purchase or maybe we can make one(?) will be a bird feeder for outside the window. The cats love watching the birds and we get a wonderful group of cardinals and bluejays.. so feeding them is ideal.

Well I should try for bed- then I'll be up around 12:30 with a hungry little one.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


All things have a rhythm- sometimes the hardest part is finding it . H is coming on her 1- month birth-aversary, which I can't damn believe! So many things have changed- but some have remained the same. There are new challenges and worries and moving from coupledom-familydom. But I like the thought of us moving- graduating to a different level of what feels right for us.

Other changes or talk of change has been discussed with my sewing machine and new life path ( mama) in mind::: I've been contemplating changes for hobocamp- one even being a possible name change. I've always loved being associated with Strangers W/ Candy show- which is where our name originates from- but lately I've been thinking a switch might do us all good. New year- new designs-new, well new!

So I'm throwing ideas around- bouncing them off of my partners in crime. I'll let you know when we've made any decisions.

Our Christmas & Christmas Eve and thereafter was a whirl of friends & family - sweet treats-yummy foods- and of course beautiful gifts. This being Hazel's first Christmas our families really treated her lovely. A mixture of handmade baby gifts, beautiful classics and new favorites. We even received 2 parcels from lovely- talented Etsyians,
Pollyanna Cowgirl and
Orangutan Belly filled with gorgeous goodies!

With the new year on it's way I've purchased our black-eyed peas and collard greens
(for a prosperous-good luck year)- and Hazel has a fabulous sparkly sweater to wear thanks to Grandma T.

In the last month here is what I've learned:::::::
- wait till you hear a few squirts- if you change the baby's diaper too fast- there could be problems!

- breastfeeding does come easier when you just relax and don't think of it ( although I still have much difficulty)

-using formula won't make me a terrible mother nor will I have a terrible child

- going to bed at 9pm with my newborn and my husband IS quality family time

-always carry plastic baggies in your diaper bag

These are just a few things I've picked up over the last 4 weeks.. more to come I know.

A few pictures of gifts, our growing girl and such~

Monday, December 22, 2008

Two Steps Forward- Two Steps Back

I sound like a Paula Abdul enthusiast- believe me at one time in the early 90's I was. These days you can find me dancing to Harry Belafonte's "Jump In the Line" attempting to make a newborn slightly giggle.

The Abdul reference is due in part to my breastfeeding woes. Things were getting a bit better and then terrible pains on Thursday+ a midwife visit= yeast and possible mastitis. So on the antibiotics I go- then I was getting mixed messages about bfeeding. The pharmacy said do not breastfeed- and my midwife said it was A-OK. I ended up just giving H formula for the duration of the weekend and getting a 2nd & 3rd opinion as well. So we hopped back on the breastfeeding train and will continue the caboose of formula. How is that weird analogy for ya?!

The blanket of snow we encountered this weekend was warmly welcomed by the Oats. We strolled through our little neighborhood- blinded by the snow- but happy to see it.

Last night H's sleeping pattern threw me- big time. Instead of waking at 10ish and staying up till 4am- she fell asleep around 12:30 and let me sleep till 3:30! Wow was it that evident that I was so sleepy even to a 3 week-old?

:::: Happy 3 Weeks Hazel Juniper:::::

Today in the brief nap time I had- I was able to finish a special gift and organize the others. I'm so grateful for Zach having the rest of the week off- or working from home. I appreciate our team effort for baby Hazel. One little baby- wiping us both out but loving every minute.

:::::::a budding friendship::::::::

holiday merriment::: Z modeling the too-big elf hat for H:::::::
Well I'm off to attempt holiday cookies, a few more handmade gifts and maybe some shut-eye?
the oats

Friday, December 19, 2008


OK I couldn't resist the cuteness, that Papa Oat took last night. After rising to go over the GW around 6 am ish to get to my uncle's funeral on LI- then getting stuck in rush hour traffic on I-95 on the way home- with terrible pain in my right breast- this face just about sums it all up.

It was wonderful to see many family members I haven't seen recently- but the reason we were gathered is what hung on on our shoulders like bricks.

Friday morning was spent calling doctor offices- running to the midwife before the snow fell and hanging out at CVS for my prescription. But now we're all home- The snow is still falling and I love it. The cats are at the window watching the kids play outside- I'm sporting my cozy snowmen flannel pj bottoms and a cozy baby dressed in a soft little sleeper for cuddling.

::: A day of Firsts:::: First snow of the year::: First Baby and Papa::: First in our new Family:::

While Papa & baby are slumbering- I'm going to try and bake some cookies and listen to Christmas music~
Be Well

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Go To Sleep You Little Baby

Lately, all I can sing is the song "Didn't Leave Nobody But the Baby" by EmmyLou Harris, Allison Krauss and Gillian Welch from the O'Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack. That entire soundtrack is amazing- I hope Hazel will be able to appreciate old-timey music just like her parents. Especially b/c of her name. We named her after Hazel Dickens the wonderful old-timey banjo-picking musician. It just so happened that my father had an Aunt Hazel who he and his siblings were very fond of.

Today we visited the pediatrician's office - just for a weigh-in and H has gained 7 ounces since she was last weighed- totaling 7 pounds 6 1/2 ounces- she met her birth weight and gained 2 1/2 more ounces. The doc was very happy. H's stump on her tum-tum fell off as well.

During her morning sleepy time,I was able to work on a gift for someone who I know reads this- so I can't say much more. In the shop we added a new tote::::

I love the color! Gia Hottie is so wonderful! I still need to watch John Adams.

Breastfeeding is still happening and maybe getting a little easier if I dare to say at times. But we still have an order of Earth's Best organic formula on the way.

Tomorrow we'll be on the road for most of the day and Friday Z will be home with us. I'm so happy for the three of us to be together in our cozy little home. I do hope it snows on Friday- just like the weatherman promised.

I'm looking forward to :::::

Receiving holiday cards in the post~

Christmas Eve with my family this year~

Seeing all of the kids open their gifts~

Dressing Hazel(for Christmas Eve) in an adorable party dress my sister got her~

Snow, snow, snow

The next season of Damages and Law & Order w/ Jeff Goldblum (sorry had to have a tv show on the list)

Have a wonderful one- as the days pass I hope you're getting closer to the holiday magic!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Long Week Ahead

Thursday in the wee hours we'll be en route to Long Island as my Godfather and favorite Uncle passed away on Saturday. I hate to bring a newborn into such a situation- but there really is no better way. Zach will have H in the sling while I am able to visit with family. We will miss him dearly- he had piercing blue eyes- just like my dad does and a sweet smile to match. I'm happy he was able to see my cousin down the isle this past fall (the wedding I had to miss due to my IBS).

Sometimes I wonder if I am the only mama to not want to take a nap while baby naps- so I can make sure she's still breathing and everything is working. This sounds crazy- I'm sure.

Monday we went on our first stroller walk around the neighborhood. The sidewalks were a little rocky and at some points there were no sidewalks at all and I needed to push her up a mound of grass, but H didn't seem to mind.

Yesterday she was 2 weeks old and the already, slightly stubborn girl(she could get this trait from either one of us) decided to celebrate by not sleeping a wink! Luckily Papa Oat was working from home today- so we both shared the midnight- 4 am feedings.

Our decision to order a batch of screen printed Milkshake shirts has been a success. We have only ladies sizes left at this point. Perhaps we'll have to revisit another limited run again in the spring.

We were featured Craft Friendly- Southern Illinois Blog yesterday- how exciting!

I keep saying how amazed I am that Christmas is next week. I guess because just as I feel I am getting ahead- how ahead can one get when it is next week? If I were finished in June- saying I was getting ahead may be more accurate. But it is what it is. Some decorations didn't make it up, some projects never created, some things completely lost!

Tomorrow I am solo with H. I'm growing more comfortable- but still scared like hell over every little cough-spit up- heavy breath. I suppose it does get easier?
Hope you have a great day!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Jonas Brothers & Other Matters

I'm too old to *like* the Jonas Brothers, but I do know of them. When I first became pregnant- I let my hair grown longish ( the longest it has been since forever)- but then w/ my tummy issues I just didn't want to deal with it- so I got it chopped to a pixie. Now that it is growing again, I have my natural hair color which I haven't had since I was like 10.. plus a few grays. But the style- the cut- the look is very young boy band and the Jonas Brothers came to mind. How ridiculous I am! I think it is time to pull out the henna and the red nail polish and shine myself up a bit for the holidays!

On the Christmas front, We have gift bags left over from my shower- which are housing the various gifts we've made/purchased. Two boxes one headed to Maui (happy birthday Max!) the other for the US VI. Jasper still insists on checking on the tree daily and drinking the water- along with his partner-in-crime, Hermione.

On the baby front, Hazel is doing well. Yesterday was a bit of a crap shoot- as we've been searching for Earth's Best Organic formula- but apparently it sells out quickly. So a jaunt to Amazon is needed. The preemie clothing my mother bought us- she has already outgrown and she's slowly growing into the newborn stuff. Today she is 2 weeks old-hooray! We're so happy to have her here!

The holidays are gaining on us- enjoy and stay crafty!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Mrs. Saturday Night

So this is motherhood. A quick hot bath- accompanied by Jasper perched outside the tub, while I read Parents magazine. A papa who was so beat- he fell asleep feeding H in our rocker and a pile of adorable board books (thank you friends)and a stack of freshly-sewn breast pads. I realized I needed to get serious with the breast pads- when I sent Z to do laundry and he came back with only 1 pad. Rocks in my bra- you say? Luckily a plethora of baby washcloths were near by. Needless to say I'll be sporting some sweet pads now- made from various flannels and cotton batting.

Christmas is so close- with orders still coming in- I've been trying to find time to work Hobocamp as well as snuggle with Hazel & Zach and finish gifts.

Then there are all those thoughts of freshly-baked cookies?! that Zach assures me we'll have plenty of time to make. But who can focus, when this cuteness is in the house? I could stare at her all day and I'm sure she hates the noise my camera makes when trying to slyly turn it on. We're blessed and so happy for our little family.
Have a great day

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Still deciding what to get your loved ones for the holidays? Snuggle Bunny BABY!

I love these photos- Zach looks like one of the American Apparel models- kinda uninterested and possibly in his underwear lol!

The holiday on Etsy is being good to us- and in return I am trying to get orders out in a more timely manner! No sleep- till Christmas? Well actually tonight- Zach will be working from home tomorrow, so I should be able to get some shut eye.

Yesterday, I came to peace with something that has been haunting me since Hazel arrived. My personal journey with breastfeeding. Since I became pregnant- even before that actually- I wanted to be a breastfeeding mama. Just grab the kids and go and when they we're hungry- just feed wherever. Then my reality set in. Seeing all the nurses tell me something different while in the hospital, meeting with 4 different lactation specialists and trying to make sense of it all- has been emotionally draining. Worried about night feeds b/c I am alone and can't really get the right latch. Hazel sensing my lack of confidence and apprehension. Feeling like I am a terrible mother because I've been supplementing with formula. It all came to a head yesterday, while my mom spent the day with me. She was very supportive and made me realize that I am a good mother- regardless whether I breastfeed or not. It was an ideal I've had and thanks to my sister-in-law and a new friend in the Etsy world- I feel more confident about my decision. I am going to continue to try and achieve that "perfect latch" that we have not yet found- but I'm not going to sweat it. Using an alternative organic formula along with breast milk is what we're going to do. Right now Hazel has been able to go from breast-bottle in no time flat. I know the idea of breastfeeding is very sacred and nurturing- but so is having Zach able to feed H too. Him being a part of her nourishment is a beautiful thing. It also takes some of the pressure off of a new mom who isn't haven't an easy time. I feel that H knows when I'm relaxed and when I'm not. She reacts to it and such a small person shouldn't be feeling my anxiety. So- I just wanted to share what we've been going through- amongst the Christmas decorations- two bewildered kitties- loads of tiny socks and receiving blankets.

Happy Thursday xo

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Our Own Pace

(Boy how I wish these came in a size 10!)

So today I met with another lactation consultant. I think it went very well and really felt as if we made some progress.Although now Hazel seems to be pulling off very soon into our last few feedings. It is all so new. I think I'm still getting use to the idea of who she is and that we won't brake her when we pick her up or position her for a feeding. The part that makes me scared and a little sad is that now- Zach won't be feeding her and I know he enjoyed giving her a bottle and connecting. The scary part is that I'm her main source of nourishment. But I know we'll get the swing of things.

Aside from baby,baby,baby- there was a little gift wrapping and putting presents under the tree. We ran some errands and will be settling in for a possible good TV night and some quiche for dinner. I made the quiche during my 12-hour- at home- labor stint on Monday- between my contractions. (then froze it). A stop at the post to mail out some of my embarrassingly -behind orders and finding a Garfield Christmas on TV. I had no clue till I was discharged that they ask you don't drive for 6 weeks! For real? No Wait, Really? Well I'm trying to stick with it. I did break down and drive to the pharmacy one night and was sorely sorry.

Tomorrow marks the first day back to work fr Zach. My mom is going to come over and help out and Thursday will be my first actual alone day with H. Then he'll be taking days off and working from home till the new year- so I'll have him around on a more regular basis.

Our advent stockings have been a source of little giftings each day and sometimes more than one a day (when I can't wait till the next day for Z to open his). We want to get a camcorder- so this year - that is what we're giving each other. We also started a new tradition of making each other an ornament.

(the pink one was made for Z by his mom- when he was a kid,the purple from me for Hazel and the brown one from Zach for me)

Well have a great Tuesday/Wednesday xo

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Daze

:::: hermione and the baby socks:::::::

I feel like I've been in one. I must admit- our baby is on her way to being 1 week old and I can't even believe how time has flown. I am also in awe of Christmas being 12 days away. Hazel bean is sleeping on my lap as I type one-handed. We're on the couch after a brief cluster feeding- 5 minutes here- 10 there.

Papa Oat is asleep (he was so beat)- he's been my rock- through my emotional roller coaster and just letting me be. His family's visit was nice. It had been a while since the siblings were all together and won't be till next summer when it will happen again.

:::: a wee new one in the house ::::::::::

Today we have our first Dr. appt. where H will get her first shot. This whole business makes me nervous. We are also planning a trip to get the Ergo carrier and more 7th Gen or Earth's Best diapers. I haven't started cloth diapers yet- we wanted to wait till she was a little bit older. I've been neglecting certain things in order to figure out being a mom (which is understandable- I think). So I need to pack some orders and get them out ASAP. I hope my customers are not too upset!



Sunday, December 7, 2008


Bundled for the Doctor:::::::::::::::::::::::::
This little girl has the softest cheeks and I can't help but just caress them like 50X's a day!
We've been home from the hospital since Thursday. As we were getting ready Wednesday night- a nurse commented that the baby looked a little yellow.. She's doing well- but had a slight case of jaundice. Her doctor is not very concerned and she's been showing great progress- so things should be back to normal for her very soon- whatever "normal" is for a 5-day-old baby.

I must be honest, I've been somewhat of an emotional wreckloose. Thank God for Zach. During pregnancy- my hormones weren't that crazy but since I've given birth- I've turned a little.. crazy?! Just a little anxious because our breastfeeding plan hasn't worked out quite as well as I had hoped. We've been having slight latching issues ( when it is just us or Daddy helping) when I'm with the lactation specialist- of course there is no problem! So between the latch and jaundice we've been supplementing with formula for the time being. Every bottle we give her I feel like a little piece of our bonding is out the door. But I'm trying to stay positive and will be meeting with the LC on Monday again. I know we CAN do it! We just need some practice- like trying anything new.

Zach has been amazing,he's the serious poop-inspector. Cheering Hazel on for dirty diapers ( which is essential when a baby has jaundice- to get it out of her system) he fills out the chart religiously and smiles with each dirty diaper.

Hazel is so sweet and calm for the most part. She really only cries if she is hungry or has a dirty. We are just in love with her little faces- too funny. I've switched all of my baby pictures from Flickr to private for friends & family. So if you can't see them and we are not friends- shoot me an email.

Today Zach's sister from Hawaii will get to meet Hazel- which is something I'm so happy about. H will see her cousins- whom she won't get to visit often and her proud Grandparents and a wonderful uncle. How lucky she is to have this instant family ready to love!

Our little shoppe is doing well with the holiday rush. Still making our handmade Christmas gifts. I'm just trying to find balance between it all. I don't mind the sleepless nights - so far. We've done a lot of team feeding rather than taking turns.. but tonight is our first relay. Zach and H are asleep as I wrap some early Christmas treats for our mid-morning- arrival of family- listen to Christmas music in a sandwich of H to my left and Jasper to my right.

We picked our little tree out yesterday from the local fire house. I love that this is an option.. giving back to the community. The kitties are still very excited by it. Both sitting under it like presents. I love keeping it on all hours- as long as the tree is on- there really is something magical.Then with our tiny snowfall last night- it was a perfect Christmasy night. I even slept in a silly over-sized thermal nightgown of Zach's lol.

Well I hope you're all having a great weekend- bundled in the magic of the ones you love and the holiday bustle.
Thank you for all of the lovely comments!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Welcome Hazel Juniper!

Welcome Hazel Juniper!, originally uploaded by hobocampcrafts.

After 23 hours of labor, we welcome Hazel Juniper Oat. Born 1:59 am on December 2nd. Weighing 7 pounds 4 ounces, 20 inches. Just gorgeous and we couldn't be happier.
Thanks for all of the kind wishes and support!
M & Z & H

Monday, December 1, 2008

The The Face of 13 + Hours of Labor at Home

It started at 3 this morning. I waited till 12:30 to see my midwife- when we arrived I was only dialated 2 cm. So I was sent back home- where we ate a burrito- some milanos and other deliciousness- your probably not supposed to eat while in labor.

We'll be calling her back in the next hour or so and hope we're ready to go. In between contractions I can do things like email and blog- but once they've started I am in so much pain I can't move! Crazy!

be Well and we'll share the end result ASAP