Just for Fun

Fun mommyhood tips just because. My stinker is 8 months and my life has turned upside down for the better. I would not change it for a thing but goodness gracious sometimes I just have to have that third cup of coffee, put Moana first thing in the morning or maybe three times throughout the day just so I can use the bathroom, maybe eat if I remember, or guzzle three water bottles down. Mommyhood is fun but crazy. The last two nights I have lost sleep because of teething and I feel like a crazy person. And in my crazed state I was thinking about all the things I have to do on a day to day basis to survive. These are my tips and I hope you enjoy them!

  1. Its okay if you have to put on Little Baby Bums on or Moana on in the morning so you can make that cup of coffee, sip it in peace, or use the bathroom alone. I usually try not to put a show on till the afternoon or evening but somedays its the first thing in the morning just so I can make a cup of coffee, and then sip it while its hot. Its okay your not a bad mom if you have to do it.
  2. Binky or no binky its up to you. Dont listen to people when they tell you that your child shouldnt use a pacifier. You know your child better than anyone else and if your baby likes the binky then let em. Before Syd I said I wouldnt give my baby a binky but then I had her and she likes the binky and it helped her go to sleep. And I had to do what I had to do to survive.
  3. If you have had puke in your hair for three days just put a headband on it and call it good. No one will notice or smell it unless its the sour kind of puke.
  4. If you can only shower once a week just change your underwear if you remember.
  5. Dirty clothes. Put them right in the washer if you have one. And if you start the washer try and remember to change them to the dryer so you dont have to re-wash them.
  6. Co-sleep. Crib. Do whatever works for you. Since day one my stinker has been in bed with me. I had to do what I had to do to survive and she was feeding every 2 hours and if she was in a crib I would not have been able to function in the morning. And now that shes teething shes feeding all through the night. IF you do co-sleep dont forget to cut their nails. Its the worst when they’re sleeping next to you and then they scratch you with their long toenails or long fingernails haha!
  7. Some days you will feel soo flipping crazy its not even funny. You will have crazy thoughts. And just feel horrible. Get outside. DO something to get you out of that funk because if not you will go down that rabbit hole of misery.
  8. When you’re so sleep deprived and your baby is crying all night you might get upset with her. Just remember its not their fault. Try and take a deep breathe. Its easier said then done but just know that you’re not alone. Many mothers have had those same exact thoughts and feelings. It makes me feel better knowing that there are other mothers out there who have felt this same exact way.
  9. Drink water. And lots of it. Especially if your breastfeeding. I got a super duper extra large water bottle so I could remember to drink water. Some days I remember and other days I have a pounding headache because I havent drank any.
  10. Get an instant pot because it will save your life. Almost all of my meals have been cooked in the instant pot and it has saved my grumbling belly. And make enough for leftovers. Or have really awesome friends who will make you meals and deliver them to you. Last semester I lost weight because I wasnt eating. I had homework. I was stressed. Was taking care of Syd by myself. And when I had free time I would sew because it saved me from going crazy.
  11. Have a Jenine. She saves me somedays well most days from going crazy. My husband works away from home and every 2 weeks its just me and baby. Jenine is always there when I need to talk to a real person. I can text her whenever and I dont have to bother my husband at work. Have a Jenine because it be can really helpful.
  12. Try and get out of the house once a day even if its just a short 5 minute walk. It’s helpful. Trust me.
  13. Dont buy them a ton of toys. All they want to play with is empty water bottles, the outlets, empty paper towel rolls, and cardboard boxes.
  14. If your stinker is teething try everything. If it doesnt work try it one more time. If it still doesnt work then you got lucky and have one tough cookie. Lets hope that you are tougher than your stinker and remind yourself that it is only temporary and you can do it. With Syd I have tried an amber necklace, frozen wash cloths, pressing on her gums, numerous teething toys, lavender oil, clove oil, oragel, toughing it out, and frozen moose jerky which worked for a time until she got sick of it haha. And tylenol worked but I didnt want to give it to her all the time because I felt like I was over-drugging her with it.
  15. My baby girl is one of the toughest sleep fighters I have ever met. I dont know how I got so lucky but instead of getting upset I just take it one nap at a time. Some nights she gets to sleep at a reasonable hour some nights shes up till 11. We are trying to follow a nightly routine but some days I am so exhausted and can barely take care of myself we skip it.
  16. Sleep regressions are real. I dont know when or why they happen but they suck. Syd use to sleep awesome through the night and then hit one of those damn sleep regressions and she has been stuck in it ever since. And again I just remind myself that this sleep deprivation is only temporary.
  17. Just go with the sleep regressions. Its too tough to fight them and try and get them on a schedule. Trust me.
  18. Get used to using the bathroom with your stinker ALLLLL the time unless they’re sleeping. Bring toes to the bathroom so they’re not pulling at your pants or sweats. And if your stinker is mobile you might want to get those handy dandy cupboard locks because they are going to pulling at them the whole time haha.
  19. When people tell me I have a cute little boy I just agree. I dont correct them and tell them that she is a girl even if she is wearing a camo fleece suit and a pink hat. Its not worth it to correct them because usually they apologize and maybe feel bad but its just not worth it.
  20. Hold them too much because they are only little once. It goes by way too fast. Way too fast. You cant spoil a child with too much love.
  21. Be patient. Dont forget about your husband, boyfriend, partner.  Get a babysitter and take your husband out for pizza and beer. Pamper yourself if you cant do it once a week try once a month.
  22. And most importantly take care of yourself because if you are starving, thirsty, sleep deprived, and then having to take care of your stinker it is not a fun combination. She can cry just its good for her. As long as she is fed, and has a clean diaper she’s okay.

Its been so fun being Syd’s mom. Some days I feel like a bad mom because I let her watch Moana twice but then I remind myself that I could be doing something worse like getting drunk. I am learning to navigate this mommyhood and it has taught me to be flexible, patient, and super duper extra loving. If you have any fun mommyhood tips I would love to hear what has helped you 🙂

I hope you enjoyed these!

And Syd says Hi! 🙂

Syd

And if you are thinking of nursing school do it before you have kids. Because holy cats in the hat it is crazy with a little stinker 🙂 But it is sooo worth it! We start third semester in less then 2 weeks and I know it is going to get unbearably tough but I know I can do it because its only 120 days of madness!

Massive Updates!

Where do I even begin!

Since my class in Homer I vacationed in Arizona to see the in-laws.

Snuck home to Bethel for a quick visit in November.

Taught a qaspeq/atikluk class in Kotzebue November 10-12th which was awesome! At 17 weeks isnt the easiest but thanks to Saima and Maija my rockstars I was able to push thru three days of classes 🙂

18 weeks we went to Seldovia and taught a make up class and qaspeq class. Seldovia is gorgeous and cant wait to get back there for a visit!

20 weeks we snuck away for a long weekend to Ketchikan for some serious Kai sniffs, good laughs with long time friend 🙂 and another successful qaspeq class! I will have to upload pictures later my computer doesnt seem to want to cooperate with me!

After Ketchikan we made another trip out to Bethel to teach a qaspeq class and a Christmas gift making class! And I was lucky enough to be home during wrestling regions and was able to watch my nephew wrestle!

Then one last trip we drove up to Anchorage to teach a one day class!

Whew! It was a whirlwind of travel, travel travel!

We are off to Bethel to start our next chapter, Nursing school! Oh yeah, and a baby. This should be a wild and interesting semester but I am ready for it!

Stay tuned!

Homer Qaspeq Class

Homer Qaspeq Class was a huge success! I had 9 gals taking my class and over the sewathon weekend 15 qaspeqs were made 🙂

I had a quick turn around from my Bethel trip I had one day to recoup, wash laundry, repack my bags and hit the road for Homer. Mac and I had a wonderful weekend in Homer with Christina and the beautiful weather.

Quyana Homer Campus for hosting me to teach a qaspeq classes. I am finally resting in Arizona in the hot, hot sun. And I will be back on the road shortly to Kotzebue, Seldovia in November and Ketchikan, Bethel and possibly Wasilla in December. And January I will be Bethel bound for the Nursing program 🙂 I look forward to this next chapter in my life and cant wait to zoom thru the next couple years of the Associates program and I can continue on with the bridge program.

I will be posting more photos of my past classes 🙂 Stay Tuned!

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Patricia’s beautiful traditional qaspeq 
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Emily’s beautiful modern qaspeq 
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Emily’s beautiful modern qaspeq with some twists 
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Leesa’s beautiful traditional qaspeq 
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Therese’s beautiful traditional qaspeq with some twists 
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Christina’s beautiful modern qaspeq 
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Linda’s beautiful traditional qaspeq 
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Christina’s beautiful modern qaspeq 

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Christina’s beautiful modern qaspeq 
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Christina’s beautiful modern qaspeq
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Emily’s beautiful traditional qaspeq with accent pocket, hood, and cuffs 
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Therese’s beautiful fish bag 🙂 
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Risa’s beautiful traditional qaspeq

Online Giveaway

To celebrate my new updated website I will be having an online giveaway to promote the new look.

I will be giving away a beautiful embroidered make up bag with this beautiful Art Gallery Fabric.

To enter the giveaway:

1. Like my Sew Yup’ik FaceBook page if you already haven’t

Double your chance and comment my Sew Yup’ik facebook post

2. And comment on this post your favorite fall time activity

Quyana and Good Luck!

I will be announcing a winner October 16th!

Just a heads up for those interested in taking a class. I will be teaching classes in Soldotna, Bethel, Homer, Kotzebue and Ketchikan. Let me know if you would be interested in taking one of the classes 🙂

Where do I even begin…

Its been a whirlwind of travels since July 23rd! Whew!

Where do I even begin?!

I quit my job July 21st and I was on the plane en route to Kotzebue to Camp Sisualik to be a camp counselor for a week! It was such an ahhmazing experience! Camp Sisualik is 14 miles northwest of Kotzebue and a former village and it is still currently a summer camp. It was such a wonderful experience! I taught the kids fish skin tanning. Taught them how to take a good Yup’ik hut maqii. We went out on a hike. Berry picking. The kids were able to check the white fish net. We played some native youth olympics. Made fireweed/bluerry and fireweed jelly. The students collected and made a traditional oil using stinkweed, fireweed flowers, and blueberry leaves. And the students got to just play! There were 10 girls and 6 boys from Kotzebue who made it to camp. Did I mention I was teaching the kids Inupiaq? Or what I learned from the book and shared with the kids. It was such a crazy, wonderful experience! I dont know if I would camp counsel again but it was one for the books!

After camp! I was home for an evening and then right back on the plane the next day to Nome to teach a qaspeq class to the students at the Rural Providers Conference. It was such a wonderful time! I was able to cenirtaq lots with family and friends. Berry pick. Fishing. Get some pro style pictures from my talented friend. And then I was able to share the art of cutting qaspeqs to 23 students from the Norton Sound region! It was such a wonderful experience! I also took the time to speak to our Senator Lisa Murkowski about the heroin epidemic affecting the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta. I urge you if you are concerned to call her office, send her an email, write a letter. Share your concerns with those who have the ability to make waves. Enough is enough. It it is time to take back our communities and protect our future generations.

After Nome! It was home sweet home. For about a week 🙂 I was able to work on some orders before I was right back on the plane heading back to Bethel to teach a class and get lotsa of visits in. I was able to squeeze in three maternity photo shoots! I am not an expert but I am able to point and shoot and try and find good lighting. It was so much fun! I am learning lots and definitely feel like I am improving on my skills. I was able to get out and berry pick for blueberries and tundra tea. And then I taught a class to 6 students and it was wonderful! Everyone was able to make 2 in the class and we had a blast! The weather was raining and windy so it made for a perfect day to be inside sewing.

After Bethel! I was home only for a day before I was right back on the plane the next day to Takotna to teach fish skin tanning at Spirit Camp. I was so thankful for Takotna Community Association for reaching out and making it possible. It was such a wonderful experience! There were 16 students from Takotna, 16 students from McGrath, and 4 students from Nikolai! I was thankful for my Soldotna friends for saving me halibut I was able to bring halibut with me for the students to tan. The water level was so HIGH the students werent able to catch any silvers. It was such a wonderful week with the students. They berry picked. Fished. Hiked. Fish skin tanned. Made survival shelters. Ethical wildcrafting. Knot tieing. Packed water. Chopped wood. Stacked wood. And so much more! It was such an ahhmazing experience! I am so thankful I was able to make it up there and be at my other other home 🙂 I hope to make it again!

After Takotna! Home sweet home! Whew. I am finally home, rested and ready to plan for the fall classes and trips. We are also in the process of home improvements which include painting, new flooring, and light fixtures. I am hoping to make it to new places this fall to teach classes! If you are interested in having me come to teach a class in your community please send me an email sewyupik@gmail.com

I will share more photos of qaspeqs and make up bags I have finished in the last couple days. But for now back to sewing!

Have a wonderful Saturday!

Choose to be happy and healthy!

End the cycle, here.

The cycle ends with me. I choose to stop the cycle. The cycle of generational trauma is on repeat. And WE need to do something to stop the cycle. Not the government. Not the schools. Not the tribal councils. But WE as a family. Community. It has to start in our homes. Aunties and uncles homes. Friends homes. And it needs to happen sooner than later before we continue to lose more of our family members to alcohol, drugs, suicide, domestic violence, and so much more.

As an adult child of an alcoholic, everyday is a battle. But I am dealing with it the best way I know how. It may not be the right way but it is the only way I know, and for now it has been working. For now. Growing up I never wanted to seek help because I thought I had it covered. I kept telling myself I was fine and nothing was wrong with me. It wasn’t until my later adult years I realized I wasn’t fine. I wasn’t okay. Something was wrong with me and I couldn’t figure it out. I was an angry kid, angry teenager, and it carried into my early adult years. I refused to deal with my emotions and I turned to alcohol and chew. But then there was a turning moment in my early 20s when I realized I didn’t want to be anything like her. And that’s when I knew. I knew that the cycle would end with me. I will refuse to be an alcoholic parent. I will refuse to be a verbally abusive parent. I will refuse to make my children live in fear, every single damn day of their lives.

I know that when the time comes for me to be a mother I will never, ever, ever put my children thru what I was put thru as a child, teen, adult. No child should ever have to hear those words, be treated with such hate and anger, or live in a constant state of fear. No child should ever have to put a restraining order on their parent. No child should ever have to be scarred for life for the hateful words that were spewed in a drunken screaming match.

 

But.

 

I am not bitter. Angry. Hateful. Sad. I do not feel like I am a victim. I am grateful. I am grateful for the person I am today. I am motivated, and determined. I have a raging desire to find my pursuit of happiness every single damn day. My childhood was a mess. But as an adult I have a choice to dwell in the past or make the best of every day. I choose to make the best of everyday. I choose to smile. Laugh uncontrollably. Cry when I feel a wave of emotions overcome my body. I am not ashamed anymore to show my emotions. They have been in hiding for 20 years. No more hiding.

 

So please.

 

Choose the path that is right for you. But please do not continue the cycle of abuse. You can stop it for your generations to follow. Think of your children. Grandchildren. Great-grandchildren. But mostly for yourself. Because in the end you have to live with yourself. Your mind, body, and soul every single day and you have to be healthy for you. Not for anyone else, but yourself.

 

But for me.

It ends with me.

I choose to be healthy.

The cycle ends here.

 

 

Fireweed Jalapeno Jelly

First the fun part is gathering the fireweed petals. Try and pick away from the roads so they are not super dusty or dirty. You just have to be careful of the bees I usually just talk to them and tell them to find a new petal. Gather enough petals to fill 8 cups.

Once you’ve gathered enough fireweed petals then you will put the 8 cups and I usually just add enough water so it covers the petal. I have read other recipes that use 4 cups or 4 1/2 cups of water so just depends on how you want to go about it. You boil the flowers until they are a whitish color.

Once the flowers are a nice whitish color then you strain out the flowers. I use a potato masher and mash the flowers down to get all the juice out of the flowers. Then you can discard the flowers and you should have a nice reddish juice.

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On medium heat you bring the juice to a boil then I add my 1/4 cup of lemon juice. And then I will start to add the sugar. There are different recipes that call between 4-6 cups of sugar. I had a lot of juice so I ended up using 6 cups of sugar. I will add the cups of sugar one by one until the sugar dissolves.

This recipe I used 4 jalapenos and 2 sets of seeds.

Caution! Use gloves when cutting jalapenos. I thought I could wing it and not use gloves and I am still feeling it on my fingers. Oh! And just a tip for you and maybe for me take your contacts out BEFORE you cut the jalapenos. Not After. Big mistake. My eyes are still burning from last night hahaha!

After I add all my cups of sugar I will let it come to a rolling boil. Once it does I then add the jalapenos and the two packets of Sure jell. I let that come to a rolling boil for a minute and then I ladle it into my sterilized jars.

There are a couple ways to sterilize jars. You can throw them in the dishwasher and sterilize them that way. I usually just throw them in two pots of boiling water on the stove top and then let them sit and cool until I ladle in the jelly.

I always garnish my fireweed jelly with fresh picked flowers. They look pretty when you open them. And they gel nicely in the jelly. If it sets the first time. Which unfortunately this did not set this morning after a hot water bath for 15 minutes. So I am going to wait a couple days and if it still does not set I will have to re boil it and add one more cup of sugar and one more packet of pectin. It is a hit or miss with fireweed jelly some years it sets overnight and other times it doesn’t set. There is an art to making jelly!

Happy Jelly making!

There are many different variations of fireweed jelly. You can add raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, or any other kind of berry. If I pick enough I am going to try and make fireweed spruce tip jelly. And one year I also made fireweed, cinnamon and all spice jelly.

May the jelly be with you!

Happy Harvesting! And always leave something behind for the plants or thank them if you have nothing to give them. If you have water give them a little water. And don’t over pick save some to grow next year.

Fireweed Tuesdays

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I finally got enough energy to finish two qaspeqs last night! Whew. I think I finally recovered from my whirlwind of a weekend.

Weekend consisting of fishing and berry picking, and berry picking.

And then this afternoon on my quick lunch break I was able to pick a bucket full of fireweed. I am hoping to make fireweed jalapeno jelly, fireweed raspberry and another variation of fireweed jelly before Saturday.

My next few weeks are going to be insane! I head to Kotzebue July 23-31 to visit with family and be a camp counselor at Camp Sisualik! Which I am so excited about!

Then I get home for a day and then head back the next day to Nome for 4 days to teach a qaspeq class at the Rural Providers conference.

And then I am home for about 10 days and then off to Bethel for a week!

Whew! I will be excited once all my travels are done. And I can finally relax and continue working thru my orders.

Life is wonderful! Especially when you fill with smiles, positivity and laughter!

Milky Chance Thursdays Kick Butt!

Thursdays are soo much better when they include Milky Chance, dancing tushies, headaches from too much smiling, achy feet from dancing like a maniacand ahhhmazing friendships.

I did the 4 hour road trip so I can catch this amazing concert by Milky Chance at Mooses Tooth. So WELL worth it! Although my head hurts from too much laughing and shitty grins. Calves hurt from dancing my birks off. Butt hurting from sitting in the car for 2 hours. And too many damn selfies!

Of course when I got home I had to snuggle with Mr. Mac! Its been three years since we got this cute Walker hound dog and I just love him!

Happy Thursday! I am off this weekend to venture out for berries, fish, tundra tea, blueberries, purple clovers, and much more!

Enjoy your weekend!