Velocitoddler || Unisex Baby and Kids Clothes || Made in USA

clothing for young terrestrials

Living with a Toddler

Fav Kid Books Ages 2-8

Living with a Toddler, Family/LifeTabatha HansenComment

Reading together is one part of our daily life that we don’t screw around with.

It puts our kid to sleep, it puts us to sleep, it connects us to drawings on a page, which translates to empathy/connecting us to humans we don’t know. Most of the books we’ve come across aren’t well-written, published for a quick-fix of Peppa Pig or a rehashing of a poorly structured kids show. I call these “crap books.” Our kid calls these “crap books.” We acknowledge that they foster a sense of feeling good real quick by showing us familiar characters and plots we already know. “Crap food” fosters a sense of feeling good real quick by spiking our blood sugar and making us feel warm. “Crap TV” lets our brains do minimal work for maximum feeling of oozy puddle body. It’s important to occasionally indulge in all of these things, if no other reason than to not make our kid feel like she needs to rebel and grow up to indulge all the time to spite us.

When we go to the library, Iris gets to come home with one crap book. All other books are mom-approved. We go to the library to restock every couple of weeks, and we have an agreement to read any book that is enjoyed as many times as she likes. We have had a solid six months of this, and there are few books that make it on the “repeat” list. Since summer, we’ve read a couple hundred picture books. Surprisingly, no crap books have made it on this list. We read two books/day from May-August, and currently, we have been working through long, science-y non-fiction books about bats and bee populations dwindling.

Quick note: We read books that feature a single character with the pronouns “they/them.” Try it sometime, you’ll find it a good segue into gender when your kid eventually starts asking questions.

Quick note: We read books that feature a single character with the pronouns “they/them.” I could dissect my reasoning, but maybe I’ll leave my griping to another post another day or find someone else who has already articulated this specific gendered problem with children’s lit because today I feel good and these books make our family and our kid feel good. Main goal here is to not associate “genders” with “interests” and most kids books are written with our society’s gender “rules” right up front.

Behold, our favorite kids lit since 2014!

Waiting for High Tide  by Nikki McClure. The kid finds a barnacle and puts it in their eye while exploring a beach. Ages: 3-8 Years

Waiting for High Tide by Nikki McClure. The kid finds a barnacle and puts it in their eye while exploring a beach. Ages: 3-8 Years

Ooko  by Esme Shapiro. A fox wants to be loved by humans—or at least they think they do until they get a chance to play with one. Ages: 3-7 Years.

Ooko by Esme Shapiro. A fox wants to be loved by humans—or at least they think they do until they get a chance to play with one. Ages: 3-7 Years.

This is Not My Hat  by Jon Klassen. Tiny fish takes a bigger fish’s hat and is pursued. Ages: 2-8

This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen. Tiny fish takes a bigger fish’s hat and is pursued. Ages: 2-8

We Found a Hat  by Jon Klassen. Two turtles find a hat in a desert and don’t know what to do. Ages 2-8.

We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen. Two turtles find a hat in a desert and don’t know what to do. Ages 2-8.

Say Zoop!  by Herve Tullet. His entire collection of books are created for kids to interact with, some have no words at all. They were our kid’s very first books, and we have worked through his whole collection. This particular book was a perfect transition book into teaching reading. It introduces the idea of shapes and symbols representing sounds. Iris started learning to read at three, and I think it was because of the way Tullet is able to help kids make that connection. Ages NB-5.

Say Zoop! by Herve Tullet. His entire collection of books are created for kids to interact with, some have no words at all. They were our kid’s very first books, and we have worked through his whole collection. This particular book was a perfect transition book into teaching reading. It introduces the idea of shapes and symbols representing sounds. Iris started learning to read at three, and I think it was because of the way Tullet is able to help kids make that connection. Ages NB-5.

I Don’t Like Koala  by Sean Ferrell. A kid tries to do away with a weird stuffed animal. Ages 2-8.

I Don’t Like Koala by Sean Ferrell. A kid tries to do away with a weird stuffed animal. Ages 2-8.

Robo-Sauce  by Adam Rubin. Kid finds out how to turn everyone into robots. Ages 3-8.

Robo-Sauce by Adam Rubin. Kid finds out how to turn everyone into robots. Ages 3-8.

Frog and Toad are Friends  by Arnold Lobel. If your kid doesn’t come from a queer family, this is a good way to start the conversation about people of all genders being together. This convo should start around age 3, with simple words phrases like, “People of all kinds are friends and love eachother. Not just ___ ____ like ____ ____.” Ages 2-8.

Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel. If your kid doesn’t come from a queer family, this is a good way to start the conversation about people of all genders being together. This convo should start around age 3, with simple words phrases like, “People of all kinds are friends and love eachother. Not just ___ ____ like ____ ____.” Ages 2-8.

The Dead Bird  by Margaret Wise Brown. Kids work together to figure out what to do with the little critter. Ages 4-8.

The Dead Bird by Margaret Wise Brown. Kids work together to figure out what to do with the little critter. Ages 4-8.

And Tango Makes Three  by Justin Richardson. Based on real-life penguin dads who finally get to take care of an egg. Ages 2-8.

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson. Based on real-life penguin dads who finally get to take care of an egg. Ages 2-8.

Ballad  by Blexbolex. A story in pictures, with words sometimes, sometimes not. Ages 3-Adult.

Ballad by Blexbolex. A story in pictures, with words sometimes, sometimes not. Ages 3-Adult.

The Little Lost Bat  by Sandra Markle. A bat loses their mother, a mother loses their bat. Bat adoption, weeping, breastfeeding—human parenthood fears in a story about bat adoption, which happens in bat populations all the time. Ages 4-9.

The Little Lost Bat by Sandra Markle. A bat loses their mother, a mother loses their bat. Bat adoption, weeping, breastfeeding—human parenthood fears in a story about bat adoption, which happens in bat populations all the time. Ages 4-9.

What are yours/your kids’ favorite books/favorite kid books? WE LOVE BOOKS AND LOVE RECOMMENDATIONS. Do share. :)


I have a crush on Kristen Stewart and Other Thoughts that Happen Late at Night

Life Outside(ish) Baby, Living with a Toddler, Pregnancy/BirthTabatha Hansen2 Comments

It's eleven at night, a time that has shifted in purpose over the last few years. Right this moment, I'm claiming it to write about the cache of topics on my brain. I hear that the brain can only prioritize four things, so here are the four that spark the brightest: 

Iris' Toys

fullsizeoutput_4c9b.jpeg
fullsizeoutput_4ca1.jpeg

It's unbeknownst to me why this is at the top of my priority list. I don't have clear intentions for this thought, what's happening mostly is that my kid has toys that I like a whole lot and I'm thankful to get to be a parent so I can play with her toys. My favorites are her Gameboy, her magnets, the perler bead monsters, and miniature food-shaped toys. 

Having A Second Kid

I'm back to myself, which I didn't realize I didn't have until I went through a solid year of self-loathing at 28. We've been trying to get pregnant for nine months, now, and I've had three miscarriages so far. I might have something living inside my body, I might have something trying to live that's going to die because my uterus shuts the whole thing down. Parts of me wish I kept a pregnancy blog so I could tell the difference between PMS and early pregnancy. Parts of me know I'm not so thick when it comes to my own physiological awareness but I like to pretend I am so I can sit up for hours poring through pregnant lady threads like I haven't been through miscarriages six times before. 

Eventually Screenprinting

I designed a print that says "Binary is for computers." I drew it, I just need to print it. I don't have the money to print it, but spending the money I don't have to buy screenprinting supplies might mean an item I can sell at a lower price point that's speedy to make. It also might mean I am drowning in giving myself more tasks when I want more time and want others to be doing the tasks. I need to write down a three-year plan to move towards manufacturing. I need to give myself a solid hour of creation time every day, it should be in the morning when I'm snuggling Iris. 7AM-8AM? Sounds to me like screenprinting is like making croissants, so I need less vacant hours to schedule in piecing this shit together. I can't bring myself to buy new ink for my printer, so getting myself to get a screenprinting system together is unfathomable. Unless I write it down. Right here. And then fill out my damn planner that I've been avoiding out of terror of progress. 

Help I'm Poor

Oh yeah! This one. End of first year of the shop being open, we made 24,000 but had 23,000 in expenses so this last year we dug pretty far into credit cards because usually I bring in about $5,000 to help with groceries throughout the year. It hurts my head and heart and entire body to consider how much I need to work to be able to make enough money to pay myself minimum wage. All I could think this last year is that I would have been able to pay down an entire credit card if we didn't have the brick-and-mortar. We still have a year and a half on our lease, though, so until then we'll definitely be open. The little shop is the cutest shop. Might transition back into the house afterwards and work solely online and force myself to go out in public to stave off depression, revise our biz model, transform. I am in love with the idea of a family business, but I'm also in love with the idea of having a few kids and homeschooling them and I don't know if I can be a fucking superhero and do that. Iris works at the shop with me every day, but I can't imagine slinging another tiny person to my back and chugging along. Chug. Chug. Ug. 

Woah. New top of the queue items: 

I Have So Many Crushes: Kristen Stewart. I'm super crushing on her right this second. Dreaming of Christian Bale. My own sexuality seems like something I shouldn't have to analyze too much because I am married to a woman, but there it is, all the time, every day. 

I'm An Actor and that's Confusing: Confusing because I am getting alright at working on mini scenes for under-fives and also because I'm moving towards working on things I enjoy and sort of align with me. Except for a Lifetime movie I didn't know I worked on. 

The Farmers' Market and the Shop are both on Saturday: We need to be open Saturdays so I need to have so much goodses. 

I'm Watching Movies and TV Shows Again: Right now The Clouds of Sils Maria. Just finished The Handmaid's Tale. Last December I watched approximately 50 movies for nominating SAG movies. Watched Easy. Black Mirror. 

And next four? 

My brother is still sober! Parenting two siblings: My little brother has 90 days clean today, he is living with us, and I'm fucking thankful he's still around. A few months ago, my sister's boyfriend killed himself with heroin after decades of sobriety (we didn't know he had a past until after his death). I miss him, we spent the last year with him and it's hard for me to enjoy reading Harry Potter news and even thinking politics. He was so fucking smart and bizarre and depressed. This relates to my brother because he was involved with scoring for Adam in the days leading up to Adam's suicide. Drake is here, and I don't know how much guilt he has over Adam's death but I somehow feel responsible simply for not inviting him over to dinner more. Also, my 16-year-old sister is living with us. She dropped out of high school in September and I helped get her enrolled in an online school. She's with us 3-4 days a week working. I had to teach her how to write a 5-paragraph essay, she'd never written an essay before in her life. 

My home is artless: It is, mostly. So many blank walls. Do I create the art? Am I too paralyzed by self-doubt to do anything? yes yes yesy yesyesy esys eys

My hands are guitarless: The calloused parts of my hands are hardened from fabric, not strings. I'm not particularly skilled, but maybe I'm actually not bad or maybe this comes back to the self-doubt thing

I miss making music: It's true. I'm working on singing less off-key. 

Anything left? 

I will not touch my cervix: A thing hard to do when you know your cervix slides up really far in your body the moment you are pregnant but you are trying to not think about pregnancy because you're probably going to miscarry. 

I am crushing on Weird Al today: Crushing on everyone today. Crushing on all my friends, on everyone I see on television. Wanting to kiss every human I interact with. 

Women have mental illness, too: A woman soundlessly mouthed a stream of words at me while shaking all the garments in the shop, unfolded things, hit things, folded things back up, eyeballs making direct contact with my own for a solid five minutes before she walked out. I saw the Octopussy woman at the grocery store a week ago, which confirmed that she is a real living being. She was my first customer. She asked for my name. I responded. I asked for hers. She said, "I go by no name." 

Kristen Stewart is my favorite actress: Tonight, anyway. Am currently crushing on her voice, her subtlety, her face, her eyes. 

Down the list! 

I have a crush on Kristen Stewart: Yea

Gun Violence.

Living with a ToddlerTabatha HansenComment

I knew that school was going to come up immediately. I knew that I'd look down into my kid's face the day they were born, fall asleep for a quick nap, and wake up to considering their education, setting screen-time limits, dealing with sweets binges and wondering where the time went. 

That nap is over. Iris is turning four in May, and I say goodbye to each day as she falls asleep, still in our bed, sometimes on the lateral edge instead of center. Right now, her face is turned into my thorax, her arms crossed over her belly and I see a drawing she did on her left hand of her friend Olive. I see the sheen of her rainbow stud earring. Her face still has the smoothness of childhood, plump and a little sweaty. Recently, she's rejected all clothes that aren't at the height of comfort. No overalls, no linen, no jeans. She's wearing soft slouchy pants and a matching sweater in a brown that might actually be green. It's called "timber." She measures in at the 25th percentile and for having a tiny, portable babe I am thankful. 

Tonight, I go to sleep with mass shootings in my brain. Some days, Iris asks when she is going to be old enough to be able to go to school. For the last year, I've told her we do home school. I didn't know if that was honest at first, because the thought of having a break from her every day was a nice thought. I imagined myself packaging her up and sending her away and reconnecting at the end of the day. I began learning about the schools in our state. I considered how fucking glad I am to own a business so she can go to work with me every day, and then wondered if she would have as hard a time in school as I did. My brain moves quickly. I became bored easily. I skipped kindergarten, jumped into 1st grade and worked with a 3rd grade mathbook. I got in trouble frequently because I was bored. Some days, I think maybe I want her to go to a regular school. Other days, like today, I don't want her in school until she's in college. Our cultural treatment of adolescent males coupled with ease of weapons accessibility is going to continue to combust into mass shootings until gun reform happens. That might not ever happen. 

As Iris gets older, my body feels greater pain for those parents whose first graders were mauled down, their small bodies slain to rest in puddles of blood next to their sparkly backpacks, their carefully bought school supplies, lunches from parents, scribbly drawings and six-year-old sprawling handwriting. I don't want Iris in a public school. I don't want Iris in public spaces. We leave anywhere and I immediately plan for what we will do if someone starts shooting. I go to a small, local coffee shop and think, "Not even here is safe." This isn't part of the conversation I imagined having with myself when I got pregnant. 

Iris is three. She can read. She can write. She builds with legos. We visit museums. We go to the farmers' market every Saturday to work. She eats up facts and her vocabulary is not dissimilar to my own. She's got two moms. Her other mom is an engineer who works with surgeons, so Iris knows her bones. She knows her tools, how to use a drill. This kid is my favorite person on the planet and most days I think sending her to school would be a disservice to her learning, that if she stays home we get to keep doing what we're doing, and she will be old enough to go to dance class, nature camps, farm camps, science camps, museum trips, aquarium overnights, to volunteer at the zoo or the animal shelter, to have dedicated time with her moms to talk about problems in our community and what she can do to help. Days like today, I think sending her to school is instead risking her life. More dangerous than driving a car. Is it? What are our odds of being killed with a gun these days? 

I don't want to post a single picture here. I don't want to scroll through my last three years and wonder what photo would be the most appropriate in a bit of writing where at the back of my mind is the thought of my daughter killed in a school shooting. If I think about this a minute longer I will start to visualize exactly which image would hurt the most. It's probably the image I don't have a photo of, the visual of my beautiful sleeping kid holding her stuffed crocodile as I type this and think these wrecking thoughts. 

I'm so sorry.