Blog a la Cart

Month: March, 2012


Today, between this and this, THIS happened:

That would be the newest member of the Cart family.

A home. Complete with barn. And babbling brook. And kitchen garden beds. And breakfast nook. And prospects of chicken ownership. And swing set. And mountain views. And dirt roads. And everything James and I ever dreamed could be ours. And now is.

This is where our girls will grow up. And I cannot wait to share her with you.

We are officially Vermonters.

And it feels pretty awesome.

I know that I said that this was to be The Year of NO BIG LIFE ALTERING EVENTS, but isn’t that always when opportunity strikes? Like the year I declared I would be single and boy-free and then met a one James Whaley Cart the next day at his 20th birthday party. Sometimes declarations like this allow for the impossible to suddenly become possible.

I didn’t want to share what has been three months in the making until it was really real. But today, the keys were handed over. And we celebrated over champagne and pizza on the empty floors of our new home.

More soon. Now I must sleep and recover from this most splendid day.

Woven Ribbon Table Runner

After a whirlwind morning in the wake of this article’s launch, hopped up on caffeine and 2 hours of sleep, I (and 2 colleagues) pulled off a luncheon baby shower for Kaki’s fairy godmother on behalf of our office (the bigger shower is this coming Saturday). We kept it simple. Some playful pink and green balloons and cupcakes. Always cupcakes.

I whipped up this faux table runner with spools of 3″ ribbon to present said sugary goodness. Seven ribbons across, six ribbons down – woven between each other in alternating pink and green. While I don’t have a formal tutorial to show for it, it’s easy enough to do that I thought this photo might provide some inspiration for all you party planners out there.


You can find more pix of the affair on Instagram @igalacart

Currently Reading

I’m quoting myself being quoted on ABC News. It’s getting meta up in here:

I think it’s a great way to get some people’s attention and get people involved that otherwise might not be politically active. It’s so gimmicky and silly, but that’s why it’s great. That’s why people are talking about it.

Today is shaping up to be one pretty amazing day. All on the heels of a sleep-deprived, dependent-needy night. Kudos to you, March 28th.


Seriously. Can’t get enough of those baby blues.

High five, James, our genes mixed rather delightfully on that front.






Our Bazooka (Redux)

To break up some of the more serious conversation occurring on this blog of late, I thought I share yet another snippet of what pillow talk sounds like for me and James. Because who doesn’t find dialogue about poop funny?

Me: I find it sickeningly adorable that Sunny refers to her pee and poo as “peeps” and “poops.” “Mama, I need to poops!” Who knew making bodily functions plural would make them so endearing?

Him: Speaking of poops, you should have seen the coil she dropped in the woods yesterday.

Me: The coil she dropped? I… I don’t even know what to say about that phrase…

Him: Clearly, you did not grow up shitting in the woods with a bunch of boys.

Me: Dude, I went five days sans movement on my WOOLF trip (our outdoor orientation program during college). THAT’s how terrified I am of pooping in the woods.

Him: I’m going to glaze over how wildly unhealthy that is… It’s my mission that the girls know how to boldly poop in the woods. Sunny was a champion on Friday. I held her arms, she popped a squat, and built her mound.

Me: Built her mound? I just… wow.

Him: Unfortunately, the ground was only covered in dried, disintegrating leaves, so I carried her like a loaded gun, butt holstered under my armpit, back to the car to grab wipes from the diaper bag.

Me: That’s not the first time we’ve referred to her butt as a loaded gun.

Him: The metaphor clearly works for us.


I’ll be sure to pull this post out years from now at her high school graduation, or better yet, her wedding.

You’re welcome, sweetie.

My motivation

At least one of ’em, anyway, for all this talk of vaginas and girl woman power, is these two faces.

VJJ Follow-Up

It’s been satisfying and overwhelming to experience the response to this post.

Who knew a little plush uterus could garner such attention?

But that’s the point, right?

I received a number of emails this weekend asking me more about the project, including what I had said in my letter to Senator Brown.

Below is a copy of what I sent to the Senator. I was torn between sending a long winded document versus a short-and-sweet STAY THE HECK OUTTA MY BODY, BUDDY! And, P.S., encourage your fellow Congressmen to do likewise.

I tried to strike some middle ground between the two:

Dear Senator Brown,

I knit you a uterus of your very own.

Please stay out of mine.

What a woman chooses to do with her body has no business in the hands of the government or male legislators.

I urge you to remember that women make up 51% of the population.

We do not need government interference with our doctors or our healthcare.

We do not need government probing our vaginas to help us make decisions about abortion.

We do not need government to give us guidance about whether or not to take birth control.

We do not need misogynistic pundits calling us sluts and prostitutes.

We are over half of the population and we will not be treated as children or a disenfranchised minority.


Ashley Weeks Cart
Mother of two daughters, wife, Massachusetts resident, voter

So what if you don’t knit or crochet? Look what my friend Cortney made to send off to Senator Brown. I do love those googley-eyes! And speaking of Cortney, she wrote a comment on this post that had us all standing in applause. She nailed it. And I want to open mouth kiss each and every one of you that shared similarly thoughtful, brave responses. With consent. Of course.

Also, I encourage you to join the Government Free VJJ group on Facebook as the community there is regularly sharing great articles and information about all things related to women’s health and the government. It’s how I first saw this video.

Currently Reading


Sadly, the hoodie now occupies the same space racially that the mini-skirt occupies in gendered narratives that blame the victim of sexual violence. In a society that tells us that we deserve the violence because of our fashion choices, or that we need to stop “crying wolf” over racial injustice, or that we “complain” too much about racism, the tragic irony is that you ain’t even heard the half.

Perhaps this is why I never bought into the Mad Men hype.

Gloria Steinem calls it the Mad Men Effect: wherein a show is so steeped in nostalgia and impeccable set pieces that the sanctioned workplace and cultural misogyny becomes just another part of the artistic rendering of the era. Are we so bewitched by the clothing, flagrant indoor smoking and brown-boozed cocktails that we overlook politics and behavior that we would in no way tolerate in contemporary programming or—god forbid—our own homes and offices?

Government Free VJJ

Yep, that would be a plush uterus. That I knit.


I’d wager that you’re not in the least bit surprised when I say that this is not the first textile uterus I’ve constructed. While in grad school, I embroidered a series of “lady bits” for a project tackling the mnemonic process.

(Of course I did.)

I know that I said I was retiring my knitting needles for the season, but then this feminist, activist opportunity presented itself. And I couldn’t resist the chance to knit in the name of giving voice to my vagina.

And, I cannot even begin to tell you how much I delighted in announcing to a table of six of my male friends over breakfast Tuesday that I had spent my evening knitting a uterus. James simply nodded in confirmation.

Smart man.

Right now, in this country, is a very scary time for women. Not only as a woman myself, but as a mother to two daughters, I am particularly concerned. Daily I am rendered speechless, scrapping my jaw off the edge of my desk, by the debates I see happening re: Women’s Health and our bodies.

I feel like I’m living in Crazy Town. Or the 1920. But sadly, I must face the scary reality that a group of primarily white, conservative men is making decisions about what I can and cannot do with my body. And sending us back to the Middle Ages.

It’s time the 51% whose lives and bodies these bills and legislation directly impact stood up and spoke out.

Yesterday, in a strange moment of sanity and relief, Republican Congressman Richard Hanna spoke at the rally for the Equal Rights Amendment to this very idea:

I think these are very precarious times for women, it seems. So many of your rights are under assault. I’ll tell you this: Contribute your money to people who speak out on your behalf, because the other side — my side — has a lot of it. And you need to send your own message. You need to remind people that you vote, you matter, and that they can’t succeed without your help.

Dude, if one of those white, conservative men is calling it out, why the hell aren’t all of us who actually have fallopian tubes?

And so, I knit a uterus. And she is headed to my state Senator, Republican Scott Brown. A man who’s election resulted in the donning of black, in proper Weeks woman fashion.

I am fully aware that this little plush is a gimmick. But hey, if it grabs people’s attention and gets women involved that otherwise would not be politically active, then SO WHAT? Let’s gimmick away, shall we?

You see, this little handful of uterus is inspired by The Snatchel Project, a group of knitters, under the banner of Government Free VJJ, that are encouraging people to Knit a Uterus for a Congressman In Need. With the gift of said uterus comes the message: Hands off my uterus! Here’s one of your own!

We are women, we are strong, we are smart. And we have a sense of humor.

We do not need government interference with our doctors or our healthcare.

We do not need government probing our vaginas to help us make decisions about abortion.

We do not need government to give us guidance about whether or not to take birth control.

We do not need misogynistic pundits calling us sluts and prostitutes.

We are half of the population and we will not be treated as children or a disenfranchised minority.

I don’t want my daughters to think I sat idly by while their rights were stripped away. No, Mama put her knitting needles and voice to work. Who knows what could happen if we all exercised that freedom?

And may I gently strongly recommend this read calling for the voice of physicians in these debates? Yes, yes I may.

When the community has failed a patient by voting an ideologue into office…When the ideologue has failed the patient by writing legislation in his own interest instead of in the patient’s…When the legislative system has failed the patient by allowing the legislation to be considered… When the government has failed the patient by allowing something like this to be signed into law… We as physicians cannot and must not fail our patients by ducking our heads and meekly doing as we’re told.

Because we are their last line of defense.

And on that note, a happy uterine weekend to you! If you want free patterns so you can knit your own uterus or vagina or cervix, head on over here.

Photos: Courtesy of Ashley Weeks Cart
My Ravelry project of this pattern, Womb.

Week 31

Sweet lordy, we’re behind. But I promise I shot these images last Saturday. Pinky swear, even.

Now why don’t you come over and we’ll braid each others hair and gossip about boys?  Sunny will join us. Because she now only functions with two braids firmly planted on her head. But James isn’t allowed, because he pulls. And it hurts. Silly boy.

So, it’s busy. I’m currently writing this with Kaki latched to the right boob, feverishly pulling my much shortened hair (still long enough for tug-o-war, apparently) and pinching and gripping any loose skin within reach (re: my now very saggy bosoms). When she isn’t fitfully sucking and biting and grabbing and expressing her general discomfort and frustration with teething, she’s spending her time in plank pose, trying to figure out how the hell to propel her body forward without once again landing squarely on her head.

Also, we’re on the verge of some very exciting news.

And no, I am not pregnant, MOM.

If all goes accordingly to plan, I’ll share the happy announcement here.

If not, you can come over and we’ll braid each others hair and drown our feelings in tubs of Ben and Jerry’s.

Sunny is gunning for the latter scenario. Anything in the name of ice cream.

Courtland: 31 weeks
Addison: 34 months