Thursday, August 8, 2013

Our Big Latch On Shirt Fiasco

          At last year's Big Latch On (the second one I participated in), I noticed a few moms and even some babies that had cool breastfeeding advocacy shirts on. I thought this was a great idea and wondered why I didn't think of doing that myself. I decided that I wanted to have cool shirts for me and the boys to wear this year. I was going to order a set of Supply (me) and Demand (the boys) shirts from Mestina's Chic Boutique but ended up having to spend the money on something else. I resigned myself to not having shirts again this year. Until I went on Facebook and saw all the pictures being posted by girls in one of my mom groups of the shirts they had made or bought for themselves and/or their children for the event. On Friday, my husband, Dan,  checked with a print shop near his work and they wanted $45 for my shirt and $35 for the boys'! I also checked with Wearing Is Caring, since I was informed that they have a new breastfeeding design. I am not fond of the "Keep Calm..." stuff going around but she also had the International Breastfeeding Symbol. However, it was just too late to order from anywhere (for a reasonable price) being that this was the day before the event. There was no way she could get me a shirt printed on time.

          Since most of the girls I knew were making their own shirts to save money, I thought maybe I could do the same. I had considered it when I realized that I wouldn't be able to order the shirts from Mestina's and we even had some iron on printer sheets but our printer was low on ink. After realizing that I would not be able to buy a shirt, I decided to give making my own another chance. I posted in the mom group and asked if anyone could help me. A really sweet girl named Yadi, who had made really cute matching shirts for her and her daughter, responded that she could make the iron on patches for me for $5 a sheet. She also told me Michael's had some plain shirts on sale for about $3. I got super excited! Daniel helped me choose which variation of the International Breastfeeding Symbol to use and what text to put on the shirts. We ended up going with the tandem nursing symbol for all three shirts. For the text, mine would read "I make milk for two, what's your superpower?" and the boys' matching shirts would read "I <3 My Mama's Milk". 

          We were meeting my friend Ashley at the children's museum that afternoon for a meeting and then to let the kids play a bit. I also had to pick up my sister from her friend's house afterwards and let my boys nap. Ashley decided that she wanted to make shirts for her and her daughter as well so we messaged Yadi what she wanted on hers. We decided the best plan would be for Ashley to meet with Yadi to pick up the iron on patches while I picked my sister up from her friend's house. We would then meet at my house to have a snack and let the kids sleep. From there, we would head to Michael's and buy the shirts and go eat at Sweet Tomatoes, then head back to my house to iron the patches onto the shirts and maybe do some crafts with the kids. Or so we thought.....

          On my way to pick up my sister, I got a call from Ashley. She was lost and couldn't figure out how to get to where she was supposed to meet Yadi and her phone was dying. She had no car charger and would have no way of communicating with me or Yadi. Ashley wanted to go home and charge her phone but Yadi was about to head out to meet her and I had to very tired and cranky kids in the car. Ashley did find her way and made it to the meeting lace but then her phone died. Yadi couldn't find her in the parking lot and we had no way to contact her. My boys ended up falling asleep in the car and, after turning down the wrong street myself, I finally picked my sister up and headed home. I was glad to receive a call from Ashley saying she bought a car charger and was able to find Yadi. We met at my house and took the kids inside once they woke up. We had some snacks to hold us over until dinner and headed out to buy our shirts. However, it was pouring outside! I mean like torrential rain! We couldn't take the kids out in that, we would all be completely soaked and freezing at the store and restaurant.

          We headed back inside to wait it out but soon it was after 9pm and Michael's closed. We ended up going to Walmart, where we thought it would be easy to find shirts. Well, it wasn't. We almost left with nothing. All the kids were tired and hungry and fussing a lot. Daniel kept running away through the store and started screaming loudly when I made him sit in the cart and we couldn't find plain, light colored kids' shirts. Finally I found baby blue t-shirts for the boys and Ashley got her daughter a white camisole and on we went to the women's section of the store. After searching and trying several shirts on, I decided on a white scoop neck shirt and Ashley got a white tank top. I wanted to match the boys but they didn't have blue in my size. Plus the white shirt seemed somewhat see-through so I ended up getting a white tank top to wear under it. Because it was so late, we decided that Dan, who met us at the store, would just buy some stuff to cook at home and we would just go to Sweet Tomatoes the next day after the latch on.

The boys' shirts
         When we got back to my house, Dan made us some really good mac and cheese. He also volunteered to iron on our patches since he had used that type of paper before and we hadn't. He did my boys' shirts first and they turned out awesome! My shirt was next and it was looking good until he peeled off the backing on the text and realized that he had ironed it on upside down! My shirt was ruined and I was disappointed but also tired and hungry so I just figured I'd wear a regular shirt. Well, my husband felt really bad and he wouldn't give up. I made a new design and he went to Walmart and bought two new shirts (in case he messed another one up, lol) and headed to Kinko's with the iron on paper to print the design. It turned out that Kinko's didn't have the right printers for that paper and couldn't do it (not to mention the weird looks he got for what he was trying to have printed!) so he decided he would just buy new ink since we need it for other things anyway. Well, they didn't have the right ink for our printer either so my husband headed back to Walmart and bought the ink there.

         We thought everything was great until Dan tried to print and our printer wasn't working. It kept saying it was out of paper even though it wasn't. It turned out that there was a crayon stuck in it! Well, then it wouldn't suck the paper in properly and the ink was getting smudged, I'm not sure how many pieces of paper we wasted! At this point, we gave up. Then Ashley said if I emailed her the design and gave her a couple of the iron on sheets, she would try to see if her printer had enough ink to print them for me and then come bring them to me really early the next morning. My husband finally got back to finishing the other shirts. Ashley's and her daughter's shirts turned out great too. I was still the only one with no shirt and Dan felt bad. He decided to try once again before Ashley left since she would be taking our last two iron on sheets. He found another crayon jammed in the printer (thanks kids!) and removed it. Now our printer worked just fine! He was able to print out my design and even made a really cool one for himself with his company logo, stating that his company proudly supports breastfeeding! Ashley and her daughter went home at around 2:30 am and Dan finished ironing the patches on our shirts. Then I finally put my boys to sleep (they refused to sleep while we had company!).

My good shirt
Dan's shirt
          The shirts turned out super cute but the patches were pealing off of mine the next day. Yadi's shirt was peeling too. I think our big boobs were stretching it because the kids' shirts are fine. They probably won't last us very long after we wash them but I still love them. I am very, very grateful to my husband for going way out of his way to make sure I had a cute breastfeeding advocacy shirts for the Big Latch On this year. He said he will buy us screen printed shirts with the same designs for next year since these will most likely fall apart in the wash. It was super sweet and shows how supportive he is of my breastfeeding the boys! I made sure to tell everyone who asked about my shirt that my husband was up until 2:30 am making it for me.  I am so thankful to have such a supportive husband!

Us wearing our shirts
(although Joshua is blocking Dan's patch)
This is a bad picture but you can see Dan's shirt better
(this is Daniel saying "cheeeeeese!!!!")

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