Sorry about this stupid nav tray -- I hate it, but maybe you love it and then I'm sorry I said I'm sorry.

Anyway. Here's a collection of work and projects from science writing to poetry. 

A note about the blog title: in math and physics, the prefix eigen means one's own. It comes from the german, but mostly I always liked thinking about a particle's eigenvalues, and thought I might apply the same thought to my excursions.

Batch of cutie training pants

Batch of cutie training pants

So our kid is a Very Big Boy — always has been. From 10 days on, he’s been in the above-99th-percentile sort of range for size (at that point in the long tail of statistical distributions, I hesitate to pin it down, but we’re looking at the 99.6th percentile and above for both height and weight, as far as I have looked into it). Now this is all well and good, because he follows the growth curve nicely and has quite normal growth for his size.

However, it also means that our two-year-old is approximately the weight of your average four-year-old, and he is outgrowing his generously sized one-size cloth diapers.

Which puts me in something of a hurry to potty train, although I don’t feel super-strongly about it otherwise. It just feels like it would be weird to change to disposables this far into parenting our first child, and it wouldn’t be at all environmentally-conscious to buy new, bigger, cloth for a large toddler who is likely to potty train to some extent in the next year either way.

Now, my popsicle undies were very cute, and the child very enthusiastic about them, but they were a bit small and a bit less absorbent than I want. I know people do train with regular undies, but I like the absorbency saving me some level of messy floors.

Underwear drying on a clothesline, including three zoochini pairs.

Underwear drying on a clothesline, including three zoochini pairs.

We bought him three pairs of those very-cute Zoochini training pants at Superstore, and let me tell you, the boy loves them. He very excitedly will choose Froggie, Owl or Unicorn (pronounced gugorn), and make sure everyone in the house, including the cat, knows he’s wearing them. He’s even insisted on wearing Froggie pants to daycare and had successful dry days.

However, this is one of those times where I felt like I couldn’t justify 10 dollars a pop for toddler underwear when I could just make them myself, for the cost of my time, with scraps and old t-shirts. So I made 6 pairs of underwear in the course of a couple days! Then four more another day, to ensure orange unders could be had.

These seem like they’d be a super-super quick project, and they really don’t take long, but they’ve nevertheless taken a fair chunk of time. Part of this is that I’ve wanted to mimick the Zoochini animals and do a little applique, and part of this is just that sewing and trimming seams takes a lot longer than it might on a serger.

All of the animals and patterns I just drew up and attached — the first, Piggie, was the most elaborate, as I cut out the different body, head and tail bits, glue basted them, then sewed them on. I even hand-sewed the little details, like the eyes, mouth, and tail. After that one I realized that fabric marker would look just as cute as my beginner embroidery, and that the different layered pieces didn’t add much that couldn’t be achieved by marker or just machine sewing.

These underwear differ from the original popsicle ones in a couple of ways. I sized up to 4, and the bands are a bit smaller than advised in the pattern. I also changed the pad just a bit: I used one piece of absorbent hemp fleece cut to the regular size sandwiched around two layers of thin tshirt, both cut shorter on the front rise to eliminate bulk.

The ducky undies are for sure my favs: the fabric combo just reads super-super cute to me.

So… now we just have to do the potty training (and probably some more undies...). It’s going better at daycare than at home, for now. Wish us luck!

 Pattern: Stitch Upon A Time kids Scrundlewear, trainer option 

Size: 4
Fabric: various scraps and shirts, cotton and cotton Lycra jerseys, elastic from shirts

If there is a next time: Machine embroidery and simple designs are more my skill and interest level than complex appliqué and hand embroidery!

Hospital robe luxury

Hospital robe luxury