Super-simple embroidered dishwasher magnet

After a couple "ack, you put dirty dishes in with the clean dishes!" episodes in our house, I decided to make a clean/dirty magnet for the dishwasher. My first attempt involved felt, a Sharpie, and magnet tape. Well, Sharpie ink bleeds all over felt, and the magnet tape wasn't strong enough to grip through a layer of felt, soooo onto attempt #2, which thankfully has been working quite well.

Get it:
Disappearing-ink pen
Embroidery needle
Embroidery thread
Strong magnet
Regular needle & thread

Do it:
I cut a rectangle out of yellow felt. (I would suggest using a darker-color felt, though, to eliminate show-through, which you can kind of see on my "dirty" magnet, above. Black felt with white thread would be cute, and you could use chalk to write your words.) On one side I wrote the word "clean," and on the other I wrote "dirty," using the disappearing-ink pen. Then I embroidered over the ink, using a very simple backstitch. This was my first embroidery attempt, and it was surprisingly easy!

After finishing the words and rinsing off the ink, I used some regular thread to stitch the magnet into place, basically making a little thread "net" attached to the back of my embroidery. I probably should have taken a photo of that, but rest assured, any method (no matter how ugly) of getting that magnet in there will work. You could also glue it in, if you're into that (gluing was my original plan, until I opened up my brand-new glue gun and read the tiny print that the lead contained in its cord can cause birth defects...wow, thanks, idiot glue gun makers! Grrr...).

Once the magnet is securely in place, hand-stitch or machine-sew the edges of the rectangle closed. I used white thread, but you could use a contrasting color or even embroider around the edges if you're feeling it. Other cute options include embroidering little pictures (angel/devil, sun/moon) or attaching ribbons, etc. to your sides. I skipped the fancy stuff in the interest of actually finishing the project.

And there you have it—successful embroidery and household harmony in one blog post. Don't say I never gave you anything, people. ;)

American Pregnancy Association: Induction "at the doctor's discretion"??

Here's what my most recent pregnancy newsletter from the American Pregnancy Association had to say under the heading "What should you plan for this week?":

Your healthcare provider will discuss the following possibilities:
The possibility of going past your due date
Induction (at the doctor's discretion)
Cesarean Birth

Ick. Here's what I wrote back to the APA (though I think my email is hanging out somewhere in cyberspace—anybody know a valid email for the APA?):

Hello, Your newsletter contains misinformation. Induction is not "at the doctor's discretion." Induction, like all medical decisions, is the decision of the patient, who gives or does not give her consent to all procedures after being adequately informed by her medical care-giver. This is informed consent, and it is the law. You should correct this information in your future mailings.

The language surrounding childbirth continues to exhaust me. A coworker asked me a couple months ago, "When will your doctor make you induce?" Ummm. What? No one makes me do anything. I am an adult, and I make all of my own decisions, and that certainly includes decisions about my health care. I continue to get inundated with the I word, the further past my (estimated, guesstimate) due date we go.

Personally, I consider even "natural" induction methods a form of intervention, and I'm not interested. (I just happened upon this great article on the subject—I love the peaceful parenting blog!) The baby will be born when he's physically ready to be born—that is how it has worked for, oh, eternity after all. So no, I don't want to push on my ankles or drink castor oil or whatever else supposedly gets labor going, thank you very much.

Grow, baby, and don't come out till you're big & strong. You are lucky to have patient parents, and we're ready whenever you are. :)


Dear Ina May,

I love you. If all I had done to get ready for childbirth was read your amazing book on the subject, I would have been the most prepared, positive, calm future mama the world has ever known. Instead, I made the mistake of talking to people, taking a childbirth class, and reading other books. Not that those were bad, but they have tended to feature a bit too much Cesearan/episiotomy/pain talk and nowhere near enough discussion of orgasmic birth. Your book, in contrast, gives all these wonderful firsthand stories of positive (even if not 100% positive), realistic experiences from women who trust their bodies and the process. It was inspiring and confidence-building, and I've read it twice so far. Thank you.