Monday, June 17, 2013

Homemade Baby Swing and a Happy Father's Day

Remember what it was like before kids? Back when you were sipping wine on your white shag carpet? Back when your stereo/DVD player/martini glass collection sat serenely exposed among your knickknacks and sharp cornered end tables?

Then one day BAM! You have a baby shower and suddenly you are surrounded by pastels and plastic and giraffes (MY GOD THE GIRAFFES!). You put locks on your kitchen cabinets. You put locks on your toilets. You move everything important at least three feet off the ground. You live without a coffee table FOR THE NEXT SIX YEARS because practically every adult you know has a forehead scar from an encounter with a coffee table when he/she was a toddler. You learn to hold your beer between your feet while reading bedtime stories (you gave up on martinis long ago). You special order a deluxe flame-retardant padded hearth cover for your fireplace and then watch two head injuries occur before your very eyes because BOYS WILL BE BOYS and boys will always find a way to hurt themselves.

By the time you have your third baby, you have given up on any sense of home decor. You have resigned yourself to the fact that all gender neutral baby items will be covered with giraffes. You have practically decorated your home in giraffe at this point, so what's one more zoo themed baby item going to hurt?

And yet, there is a part of you who screams out I FUCKING HATE GIRAFFES! 

(Or maybe that's just me.)

At any rate, Clementine needed a swing and I was not about to bring ONE SINGLE MORE pastel/plastic/FUCKING GIRAFFE piece of baby gear into my house. Period.

(My students always wonder why I won't be Facebook friends with them until after they graduate from high school. Newly friended former students, THIS IS WHY. FUCKING GIRAFFES, MAN!)

Anyway. Here's the tutorial Brent and I used for the swing. I wish I would have scaled it down quite a bit. The instructions call for 16 inch long dowels and I think I'd try 14 or 15 next time. Also, I found some of her sewing instructions to be a bit confusing, but that could just be me. I blame the giraffes.

And then there was Father's Day. Before I post millions of pictures from our day at Agrarian Ales (again!), I feel the need to clear up a misconception that I've inadvertently been perpetuating with this blog. People often wonder how I "do it all." The answer to this is simple: I don't.

I mean sure, I cook and sew and get crafty (baby swing!), and photograph and blog and run and WORK A FULL-TIME JOB. But I certainly don't do it all. Not even close.

This guy right here? He does way more than I do.

Some of you don't know that Brent quit his day job four years ago to be a DAD. Yup, that's right. He traded in his messenger bag for a diaper bag. He swapped coffee dates for play dates. This man changes diapers, returns library books, and drives kids to school and soccer for a living.

While I am at work, Brent's at home slinging peanut butter sandwiches, balancing a baby on his hip, tying a shoe with one hand and signing a reading log with the other. He builds sandboxes and playhouses and blanket forts. He fixes bike tires and puts bandaids on skinned knees. He bakes cookies and plays Pokemon Monopoly on rainy days. (Note: Pokemon Monopoly=worst $2 ever spent at thrift store. EVER.)

So don't give me the credit here.

(Jack, 2009)

(Sawyer, 2009)

(Jack, 2010)

(Jack and Sawyer, 2011)

(Clementine, 2013)

So happy Father's Day to the best dad I know. Back in 2004 when we were drinking martinis and enjoying the supreme luxury of a coffee table, I had no idea. No idea.

(My brother said he wanted to be in more pictures with the kids. Be careful what you wish for, Nick.)

And happy Father's Day to my dad, Doug, who is the second best dad I know. This coming from "the second prettiest little girl in the whole world."


  1. Preach on and screw the giraffes. What an awesome swing! I am pinning this post so I can maybe one day tackle it myself (or I should say make my husband do it). Does your son wear that caboose shirt as much as mine? I have gotten to the point where I hide it b/c the neighbors probably think it's all I own. Way to go to your husband! It takes a special breed of man to endure kids day in/day out (not trying to be sexist, it just does). That's great you've got that kind of support!

  2. OK - I'm in! Love your humour - loved the post.
    Greetings from Switzerland!

  3. Such a sweet post! I must say moms do a lot but I too feel the same way that my hubby does way more sometimes. I also LOVE that swing. I wish we could pull off something like that, but sadly I can't McGyver anything that would be safe for my child to use. :)

  4. Adorable swing and baby! You are blessed with a wonderful husband!

  5. Fab post! I'm with you in that my husband does way more than me and I am far more demanding! Poor man with two daughters just the same he doesn't know what hit him! The swing is great - it's missing something though - I know...giraffes!

  6. I'm smiling at your comment about the giraffes. Around here it's plastic cars in abundance...