About the Author

Hobbies? Oh, yeah... I did have time for hobbies...

I used to have a pretty significant amount of time to devote to the things that make life worth-while. Now, as any parent knows, I get to do them a lot less, but these were my favorites, in no particular order:

  1. Crafty stuff. For example, as a Harry Potter fan, I was quite happy with the movie version, and absolutely loved the way they visualized the magic wands. And I thought, those look pretty easy to make... and they are! I made six wands for various family members. Want to make your own? Here are some instructions. It's very simple to do, even if you don't have a workshop (which we don't). All it takes are a small saw, some sandpaper, a drill, and a bit of time. And of course, chances are you came here for the baby-related crafts.

  2. Reading. I enjoy science fiction and fantasy, as well as an occasional historical fiction. David and I are currently on an Asimov kick; past favorites include Arthur C. Clarke, Gregory Benford, Robert Heinlein (mostly in high school), Sheri Tepper, and their SF kin. I also devour books on evolution and own a zillion of them, mostly thanks to my mother. I am an affiliate with Amazon.com, since I have been so happy with their services, and you can click on "Read and Play" for a list of recommended titles, but I also get far too many books from Edward R. Hamilton's Bargain Books -- they have a print catalogue, but the online search is much more efficient. Their prices really can't be beat! More recently, I've been downloading and listening to audio books -- this allows me to "read" once the kids are asleep without waking them up, since both sleep in the same room as me.

  3. Cooking. Admittedly, David is a better cook than I am, but I make a pretty decent casserole (family recipe, handed down for a generation...) and in the summer, we practically live on this version of tabouli. For special occasions, I like to make my mother's version of dolmades, which take forever to make but are SOOOOOO GOOD! I am, if I do say so myself, very good at making pasta sauce from scratch. It's easier than you might think, and the only special equipment required is a food mill. Try it sometime!

  4. pattern layout for pads Sewing. I'm a big woman (I prefer "zaftig" but that's a matter of taste), so I have a hard time finding clothes in the style and size that I like. To make up for this shortfall, I sew most of my outfits, and other stuff as well. Here, for instance, is a pattern for cloth menstrual pads that I made up myself. That may sound silly to some of you, but just think of all the disposable pads and such that women use each year -- by using cloth ones, you can save a lot of money and a little piece of the environment. They don't take too long to make, and can be reused practically forever, so I think they've been a worthwhile investment for me; I offer the pattern here no strings attached because I care about the planet and my fellow women. I also have a pattern for a breastfeeder's diaper bag/purse, which is smaller, more convenient, and a better "investment" than most diaper bags, because you can use it long after baby's out of diapers! I've sewn a few nursing things from Elizabeth Lee Designs, which I recommend that expectant mothers do *before* the baby comes -- it wasn't until he was 6 months old that I was able to sew clothes for myself again! I have been into quilting lately, too, though my projects are simple and fast so far.

  5. Music. If you've read the stories I wrote, you're probably aware that I have a fondness for classical music. And although I'm not a violin, I do play one on stage... I'm in the University of New Hampshire Symphony Orchestra, and have been since 1991. We've played practically everyone from Bach to Stravinski, and it's great fun! I didn't play during the 200-2001 school year because of Stephen, but hope to return this next season, as I have really been missing orchestra lately. David and I also have a decent collection of CDs: about 120 classical, and probably 240 or so rock albums. I especially enjoy Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd, but I've only been listening to rock music since Dave and I got together; most of that collection is "his".

  6. Charting my fertility symptoms. Okay, that sounds really strange, and it may be more than you wanted to know, but it's wonderful! I was on "the pill" for almost five years and was getting sick of the side effects, so I stopped taking it. Instead, I was taking my basal (waking) body temperature each morning, and also noting my cervical fluid and position; these are all excellent indicators of fertility. This meant that when I was fertile, we used condoms; when I wasn't, we didn't have to worry about it. And it made getting pregnant much easier -- I knew when I was going to ovulate based on my cervical fluid, so we could time intercourse correctly to conceive, and "caught" on the very first try with Stephen, though it took 6 months with Sophie. If you're interested in non-hormonal methods of birth control, I highly recommend the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler; this web site is pretty good, too.

  7. Being with my husband. This covers a lot of time, actually. We miss each other a lot when one of us is away, so whatever time we have together, we try to spend being very close. I think that desire is reflected in our wedding ceremony, which we wrote ourselves (well, David wrote most of it); if you're planning a non-religious wedding or know someone who is, this might help somewhat.

  8. Being an "attachment parent." Some of that is described, in purely speculative terms at first, on the baby future page, but now that I'm living it, I like it even better!

  9. Doing web design. Here is my resume for all to behold and look upon with wonder! I'm still happily working in the Space Science center, and have picked up a few freelance projects, too, all of which are detailed here.

  10. Playing with Stephen and Sophia!

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All content, barring that which is otherwise attributed, is ©2007 to Jan Andrea. If you wish to use my content on another page, please email before doing so, even for content with the Creative Commons licenses. Text/images used elsewhere must be attributed to me. Be advised that I will pursue copyright violations.