Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Time

I love Christmas Time.
I love my Christmas tree.
I love wrapping presents (ooh, I need to wrap presents!).
I love family time.
I love Christmas carols.
I love celebrating my Savior's birth.
As last year he was too little to do much, I am excited to really introduce things properly to my son this year!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Am I doing it wrong?

Am I doing it wrong?  This whole "mother" thing - am I scarring my kid somehow and not even realizing it?

I read some baby books when I was pregnant and in the early days and when my son wouldn't sleep for more than 2 hours at a time and I was at my wits' end trying to figure out how to help him.  

Then I stopped.

I find advice online sometimes, in fact that is how we finally got J to sleep through the night.  But I don't read it regularly.

Am I doing it wrong?

The books and articles say we should have at least a 30 minute bedtime routine for our toddler and an hour of wind down time is even better.  Our bedtime routine with pjs, diaper, brushing teeth, reading books and singing generally takes about 15 minutes.  Bath days are longer of course, but J usually only gets a bath once or twice a week - I don't think he needs it more often than that.

Am I doing it wrong?

I know everyone is different.  I know every parent is different and every child (even children of the same parents) is different.  I know we all have to make decisions for our own children.  But still I wonder:

Am I doing it wrong?

My child uses a binky (but only at bedtime), eats cookies (on occasion), watches Sesame Street (but only 30 or so minutes a day) and wears hats like no one else.  He signs and talks and screams when another kid plays with the toy he-was-going-to-play-with-he-just-didn't-know-it-yet.  He is a messy eater who generally eats about what I do which are not always the healthiest things I could give him.  He has long hair in the back because I haven't gotten the courage/strength up enough to finish the haircut I started, and his bangs in the front are a little too short because I was apparently enthusiastic about the haircut when I started.  He is adorable and funny and smart and dramatic and stubborn and he is growing up and I can't stop him!

Am I doing it wrong?  Will that question ever go away?

I love my son dearly and while I know that I (along with my husband) will ultimately make the decisions about J according to what we believe is right, I will always have moments (or days, or weeks, or...) of self-doubt.  And sometimes I just need to hear:
You are doing it right.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012


So it has been an incredibly busy week.  We spent Thanksgiving Day with my family which included breakfast, dinner and playing at the park.

Thursday evening we drove up the NE to spend the weekend with the Hubby's family.

While we were in NE, 3 1/2 hours from home, I got a call Saturday night that said my dad was in the hospital.  Fighting down my immediate urge to drive back that very evening (he was not, after all, in critical condition), we stayed until Sunday afternoon before heading home.  The Boy did not nap in the car as I had expected him to which caused the trip to seem longer than it actually was.  And when we finally did get home I had to wait until my sister had finished nursing her newborn before we carpooled up to the hospital.

Walking into his room the first thing I noticed was that my mom was sitting in bed with him.  It seemed the most natural thing in the world that instead of using the chair she wanted to be close to him, to give (and receive) that physical support.  I almost cried.

It is now Tuesday and my dad is heading home.  Want to know who's driving him?  That's right, my mom, who has been by his side ever since this morning and as much as was physically possible the last few days.

Sometimes my parents drive each other crazy (as is natural for people who have been together for more than 30 years).  But seeing how they care for each other is an encouragement that I take with me into my own marriage.  Love and commitment to the good of the other person is the basis for relationships that stand the tests of time, kids and hospital stretches.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Birthday thoughts

Last year for my birthday I posted a list inspired by a friend of mine called "30 by 30".  Today being my 29th birthday I figured I ought to update and see how things are going.

1. Read 20 new books (not including children’s books which I can easily go through 5 at a time)
- This started out really well and then my child went mobile.  I've done several but probably not 10 - which means I have some catching up to do!
2. Read 10 classics (I’ve realized how many of these I own compared to how many I’ve read and it’s rather embarrassing)

- Um. Yes. I am behind.
3. Finish organizing old photographs into albums or scrapbooks
- I'm very close!  Well, much closer than I was which is happy.

4. Get rid of all those shirts that I keep saying I might wear someday but never do
- Did a little bit but the full culling has yet to happen.

5. Learn to follow a sewing pattern
- Not a pattern yet, but I am learning more about my sewing machine and trying new projects.

6. Learn to walk on 5’ peg stilts
- These have not yet been completed so I have not had the opportunity yet.

7. Try 50 new recipes (this so far is going better than I thought it would, but I don’t know how that’s going to change when I have a toddler)
- Still going well, although some weeks are better than others.  I am sure I have hit nearly 50 already so now it will be how many total I can do!
8. Design and create my own costume

- Done!
 9. Learn to crochet
 - I completely forgot this was here.

10. Direct Godspell
- I thought I had my chance this spring but things did not work out.  We shall see what the future holds.
11. Perform in another stage show

- Technically this did happen - I played drum for a dance show out at festival.  Not exactly what I meant when I made the goal.
12. Take a dance class

- Not even close yet.
13. Learn 3 swing dance aerials to do with my husband

- This sounds like fun, I should do this.
14. Simplify my life by getting rid of STUFF– I’m not sure yet what measureable to put on this to know whether or not I have succeeded

- It has begun.
15. Take walks at least 3 times a week – not sure how I’m going to do this in the winter time, maybe become a mall walker mom during the cold months?

- Walking more than nothing but less than I would like.
16. Set up a will/custody documents for J should anything happen to me and the hubby

- This would be a nice thing to have.
17. Spend time at least once a week with a friend

- Yup.
18. Maintain an active prayer journal

- Completely forgot this was here.  I should do this.
19. Lead a Bible study

- Not yet.
20. Read through the Bible completely (haven’t done this since Bible college and it needs to happen again)

- Did part of this with my husband, need to keep working on it on my own.
21. Buy a house (yeah, I’m not totally optimistic about this one, but I can try)

- Working on it.
22. Memorize 30 Bible verses

- If I keep up with the Bible Study memory plan at church this will be done.
23. Memorize 3 sonnets

- Nope.
24. Get to know the ladies at my church better (ie: be more sociable)

- Working on it.
25. Clean out the garage enough to consider getting a deep freeze

- My husband is amazing with the work he has put into our garage but the lead we had on a deep freeze has dried up.  We will keep looking.
26. Consistently maintain an active blog

- Not as consistent as I would like.
27. Stick with cloth diapering

- Not a problem.  We use disposables occasionally but for the most part the cloth diapers are working out wonderfully.
28. Teach a sign language class

- Oh, this sounds like fun!  Have I done it yet?  Not in a loooong time...
29. Travel to a state I’ve never been

- Well I went to CA...technically I have been there before but I was just a toddler and I didn't remember it - does that count?
30. Feel organized – if only briefly

- Not really, but some days I feel hints.

Today was my birthday.  I am 29.  More on that later.  It is late and this old lady is ready for bed.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Cheesy goodness?

Growing up, my mom made the BEST scalloped potatoes: cheesy, soft potatoes accompanied by ham and, later, broccoli.  I could never understand why she added the broccoli - I felt it interrupted the basic purity of the dish.  

(Now that I am a functioning adult with a husband and child to cook for I understand the need to get veggies in whenever and wherever possible.  I don't always succeed, but I understand why they are important.)

Last night I made...a dish.  I hate to call it scalloped potatoes but that is what the recipe I used called it.  Um.  Well.  Instead of making up a cheese sauce and pouring it over the potatoes this recipe told me to layer the potatoes, cheese, cream (milk) and butter.  I figured they would meld in the oven and become something similar to the creamy goodness I knew as a child.

(Minus the broccoli because Dear Hubby won't go near the stuff.)

When the dish came out of the oven (after having been left there an extra 25 minutes because the potatoes were still raw) my hopes of creamy childhood goodness were dashed.

Nothing had melded.  Everything was still separate.  The cheese was mostly melted but it refused to adhere to the potatoes.  The milk was still...wet.  I thought it would absorb or evaporate or something!


Next time I try scalloped potatoes I will look for a recipe that makes the cheese sauce up ahead of time.

Come to think of it, perhaps I'll just ask my mom.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Family, food, fun, trauma

This past weekend was filled with family, friends, food and my son face planting on the concrete outside our front door.

Let's start with Friday: J spent his first night away from Mom and Dad with his Aunt Abby.  Apparently it went exceedingly well because she offered to have him over on a regular basis.  I could get used to a night alone with my hubby once in a while...

So The Man and I went out and stayed up late and slept in till 8:30 on Saturday morning (yes, with a toddler this is sleeping in for us).  I was just waking up when my dad called.  Hubby and I got dressed and met him for breakfast in a little diner where we were the youngest people in the room.  Then it was over to my dad's house so Hubby could help him with the car and I went clothes shopping with my mom and sister.  Hubby and I did grocery shopping and headed over to Aunt Abby's for lunch and to meet back up with My Boy.  

All this and it was only 1pm.

Home again, home again - Hubby worked on organizing the garage while the boy napped and I puttered around.  The garage looks FABULOUS.  I am so proud of all the work My Man did in there!  

We were supposed to go see a show that night but I had such a terrible headache my dad convinced me it would be a bad idea and fed me chips and cheese and a margarita instead.  It actually helped a lot and I was able to go to bed Sat night without my brain pounding out my ears.

Sunday morning we had our usual couple of people for breakfast and just as we were about to leave My Son pushed up against the screen door as is his wont.  Except this time it hadn't gotten latched and he pushed straight through and went down a step face first onto the concrete.  We were late to church.  He looks like he got into a fight but he is alright and probably won't scar from the episode.  I was very concerned at first because he scraped up around his eye but the eye itself was fine which was a relief.  

So then after all that my family (mom, dad, 3 sisters, 1 brother-in-law, 2 nieces and 1 friend) joined us in our little house for lunch.  It was wonderful and loud and I loved it and I loved when they all went home and we sat in the quiet and watched Doctor Who while J slept.  Then we got to see more people for supper and friends joined us after for games and my sister stayed late and talked and I went to bed happy and exhausted.

I love my family.  
I love my church. 
I love my friends. 
I love food.  
I love how our bodies are designed to heal after trauma.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Perfect weekend

This past weekend was superlative.  Exemplary.  Perfect.

It was our first weekend without festival commitments and we got to spend just about the entire time together as a family.

Saturday morning we went to the pumpkin patch with my sister and her family.  My nieces are the most adorable little girls I know and they love hanging out with their cousin J.  My sister is one of the most active pregnant ladies you could meet.  She is due in less than 2 weeks!!

J adopted a pumpkin.  He flopped on in and hugged it and stood up then bent down and cuddled it again.  Then he tried to pick it up.  So we took it home.  I think I will call it Jasper.  Or Corinth.

Saturday afternoon J slept off the morning's excitement while Shelbs and I worked on decluttering the garage (a long term project but Shelbs got so much done and I was so proud of him!), cleaning the kitchen and doing laundry.  It felt good to be productive and it was lovely to be productive alongside my husband.

Saturday night Shelbs took me out to the ballet (thanks to my good friend who agreed to babysit at the last minute!).  It was a beautiful time for just the two of us.

The next morning we started our Sunday breakfasts again.  This first time back we spent with a sister who has become a friend and a friend who has become a sister.  I love starting Sundays with this fellowship with people I love!

Then church for the first time in almost 2 months!

We got to have lunch after with my parents, friend and another sister, and then relaxed for a nice chunk of the afternoon before getting things ready for my sister and her family to join us for dinner.  We had a wonderful time (and yummy soup) with this family who is so important to me (and I got to see them 2 days in a row!!).

Then Shelbs and I played a video game together and hung out before bed.

It was more than lovely.

It was perfect.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Times They Are a Changing

In just a few more days my weekends will go from this:

To lots more of this:
And this:

And some of this:

It's not that I don't love performing - I do. In fact, the little boy who came up to me after a show last night to get his picture taken with me, who told me I was his favorite dancer, he is the reason I love performing. It is fun to make people happy, to see someone smile because of something you did. 
But these festival days take me away from spending time with my boys.
My house is a mess.
I want to go apple picking.
I want to lounge around in my pjs on Saturday mornings like normal people ;)
Which is why I am glad the festival season is just that - a season. For the past month and a half I have been waking up by 5:45am every Sat and Sun (and Labor Day and Columbus Day) to spend the full day outside, rain or shine, hot or cold, and entertain people. It has been fun and stressful and exhausting and a wonderful learning experience.
And it is almost over.
I get to go back to church.
We can start having people over again.
I. Am. Excited.
Also tired.
Which reminds me, I should go do dishes.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Quiet Book

My niece's birthday was a couple of weeks ago, and I finished her quiet book in time for the party! :D

This was very exciting for me, so I'm going to show off pictures of how it turned out.  For some odd reason the first picture insists on being vertical, so I apologize about that.

I used some leftover yellow fleece for the cover.  Perhaps not the most hardy of fabrics, but it was a bright, pretty color that I liked, I already had it, and it didn't need any sort of hemming.  I found a children's belt at the thrift store and wrapped it around as fastener.  It is sewn in at the spine.  The inside pages are about 8"x8" so the outside might be about 9"x9".
The first pages are the "fabric doll" (think paper doll) pages.  I dearly love how the wardrobe turned out.
 Using felt for the doll and the clothes meant (again) no hemming, but also felt sticks to itself enough that I didn't feel the need to add velcro to them.  I used fabric paint to add details.
Next we have the clock with pipe cleaner hands.  My niece is 2 so this wasn't the most exciting page ever but I'm hoping her mom will be able to use it with her later on to practice telling time.
 I LOVE the finger puppets I found for Noah's Ark.  They go in the zippered boat and can "swim" in the water pocket.  I bought a package of 10 for about $3 on Ebay and will be using the other 5 for my son's book.
 The pocket contains felt toppings and the slices are velcroed to the book so they can be removed to be "served".
Not the most exciting pages.  I was trying to be educational.  Um.
 The pocket contains numbered squares to match with the ones on the pages.  Maybe a little later on she will be more interested.  Or not, time will tell.
LOVE how the crown turned out!
 The jewels have velcro on the back which sticks really well to the felt.
The last page is simply a pocket with a $1 photo album stuck inside.  I wrote a little letter for her which begins the book and then filled the rest of the pages with note cards and colored paper so she can either make her own book or mommy can put pictures in for her later.

I finished an awesome craft project! :D  I'm so very excited about this, but it would not have been completed without the aid of my hubby and my friend Stacey who were both wonderfully supportive and helpful when I was trying to get it finished at the last possible moment.  Thanks to you both!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I do not have a title for this post

My hubby and I got to go on a date last Friday.  It has been too long since we have been out just the two of us.  This was what the sky looked like as we headed to Le Bronx (which has wonderful pizza and calzones). 

I ordered a calzone.  When it got to me it had black olives in it, I know not how or why.  So I very nicely took it back up to the counter and asked for it to be remade.  The staff was very apologetic and got right on it.  While we were sitting and talking and my hubby was eating and I was waiting the manager came out and apologized again and offered me salad and offered me dessert and finally I said I would take a piece of carrot cake so he would feel better and because I love carrot cake like no one's business.  If I had been thinking I would have taken a picture of the cake because it was beautiful.  But I was hungry and it was yummy and I was eating and didn't think about pictures.

Yesterday was international Talk Like a Pirate Day.
 If you dressed up like a pirate you could go to Krispy Kreme and get a free dozen donuts.
 There are still 5 donuts in a box on my table.
 I am congratulating myself on my self-control.
 If I stay too long on the computer my self-control might fail.
 I have had one this morn, I do not need another.
Perhaps I should do something useful, like take a shower.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Being a mom is weird

Our Renaissance Festival season started Labor Day weekend, which meant an entire 3 days of being away from my son.  I got to see him in the mornings when I woke him up to feed him and by the time we got home at night he was already in bed.  I missed him dreadfully.  The first day, Saturday, was the hardest.  I thought Monday would actually be the worst in terms of missing him, but Mon we were dealing with heat exhaustion and dehydration issues and in between helping people get sent to the hospital I was trying to make sure I did not fall under the same problems.

Did not have a lot of time to go about missing my son.

Which I promptly felt bad about when I thought about it later.

My friend says that the festival weekends for her were a break from her son so that when she went back to him at the beginning of the week she felt rejuvenated and ready to spend quality time together and not just time.

Am I defective?  First, I feel guilty for leaving J and miss him all day long.  Then I am distracted by performing and work and everything and feel guilty because I didn't miss him as badly.  Then, when I do get home to him and we have all day together, I get frustrated because he has trouble napping and I hand him off to my husband when he gets home because I have run out of ways to entertain a tired, teething, tantrum throwing toddler.

Oh yes, the toddler tantrums: where J lays his head down on the floor - sometimes with his bum still in the air - and cries because I won't let him play in the garbage (or some other such thing).

Last Fri I taught J how to sign "Thank you".  Because I wasn't with him practicing all weekend I did not have high hopes when I told him to say "thank you" on Tue.  But he did it!  And will do it consistently!  He doesn't usually do it on his own, but anytime I tell him to say "thank you" or ask him "what do you say?" after I give him something he will bring his tiny little hand up to his mouth like he is blowing kisses.  Sweetest. Thing. Ever.

Speaking of, when he's in the right mood he'll give you kisses.  He'll say "mmm" and bring his face in towards yours.  Makes my heart melt every time.

He will bring me books and occasionally sign "book" when he wants me to read to him.  We have reached the point where he wants some books read over and over and over again (haha, drove my mom crazy on Sunday when she was babysitting for him).  I give up after the 3rd time and switch the book out for something else.  He's not always happy about it but we don't usually get tantrums there.

I love my son.  I love spending time with him and I love watching him grow and develop and change.  I'm so thankful for the opportunity to stay home with him during the day.  And I guess I'm thankful for the opportunity to see what it would be like to be away from him everyday.

But I'm glad that my weekends will once again be free come the middle of October.  I'm ready to go apple picking!

Monday, August 27, 2012


We are in a time of transitions.

The beginning of weaning is going on.  For the last 3 days J has nursed only in the morning and evening.  Let's see if this holds.

We are trying to see if J is ready to combine his morning and afternoon naps.  Saturday was a very long day for him and he ended up sleeping late on Sunday morning, which meant he didn't get a nap before church.  Well, he made it through church and most of lunch before needing to be put down and then slept for 3 hours (a complete combination of both naps!).  This morning he didn't sleep quite as late, but enough for me to decide to give the single nap another try.  We had mixed results.  J and I went over to visit my sister and her girls in the morning, which did mean I got to keep J up till after his morning nap would have ended.  He went down (fussier than usual due to tiredness and the fact that I didn't nurse him I think) and slept well - for an hour and 1/2.  Which meant I ended up putting him down again just a little bit ago.  How late he sleeps in tomorrow will help me decide whether to keep trying for a single nap or go back to 2.

Festival is about to start.  Which means the hubby and I will be busy every weekend for the next month and 1/2.  Which means J gets to spend Saturdays with Aunt Abbs and Sundays with Nana and Papa.  Which means I won't get to see my little boy hardly at all on the weekends.  I'm dreading it already :(

J is so close to walking on his own.  I will cry when he steps out hands free for the first time.  I will cry even more if it's on a weekend when I'm not there to see it.

I love this child.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Water fun

We finally visited the spray park last week!  J and I met up with my sister and her girls and one of our friends with the children she nannies.  Lots of wet fun ensued!

 My pregnant sister, Dee, and my beautiful nieces.
 Got it!
 No, I got it!
 I don't got it...
 Snack time!

We had a lovely time :)