Thursday, October 27, 2011

While I wasn't looking

I haven't purchased yarn in over a year.  I'm not exactly sure of the last purchase, but thinking back the last memorable purchase was the beautiful teal sock yarn purchased for Inchie's baby blanket.  I bought it in May of 2010 well before Inchie was born. I love that yarn.  I love the blanket it is making.  I am tortured by this one stitch which turns three stitches into nine.  That stitch makes the blanket.  I'm so tired of that stitch.

And I can't recall a single yarn purchase since then.


I'm shocked.  I wasn't consciously on a yarn diet.  I don't have a yarn problem.  I have yarn.  I'm a knitter; these things go together.  I do remember dismissing a few purchasing opportunities under the oppression of unfinished baby blanket guilt.  You can't cheerfully work on a light hearted new project when there is a skeleton in your closet holding out a baby blanket you NEVER finished for your second born.  A blanket representing her status as a second class citizen...  There's just too much guilt.

But no new yarn?  None?  For 17 months?  Really?  How did I get here?

And worse...  How to I leave?  What purchase can live up to breaking a 77 week yarn diet?  Does such a purchase exist?


In fact, it will be the purchase to break the never ending baby blanket spell.  To show that blanket who's boss!  Times change.  Adding new yarn to the rotation will break the 3-to-9 star stitch spell.  The day will come when the blanket will come off its needles and be handed over to Inchie.  After 544 days, this NEW yarn will set me free!

And I solemnly swear to never make this mistake again.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Menu Plan Mondays: In Recovery

Last week was great.  The house was chaotic.  The schedules were loose at best.  I didn't make it to the gym one single day.  I filled my head with lots of fun techie dreams with little respect for reality.  Bean's birthday was celebrated multiple times with great enthusiasm and a touch of whimsy.  Inchie started WALKING.  The week was honestly a stellar success.

And if I hear myself say "Wow.  It's really been a busy couple of weeks" one more time, I may stop speaking entirely.  I'm beginning to feel like the Mom who NEVER has enough time and EVERYONE knows she never has enough time because she TELLS everyone she never has enough time.  First step to stop annoying myself?  Stop ACTING surprised that I'm busy.  It's not like this is a new thing.  The time has come to adjust and move on.

So how do I move on?  My approach has always been to do a little introspection (navel gazing if you will) and pick a few priorities.  Using those priorities I take a big black satisfying sharpie to my To Do lists and make some serious readjustments.  This week is one of those readjustment times whether I have TIME for it or not!

This week's menu:
(Me) Pumpkin Raisin Muffins & Blue Machine
(Hubby) Oatmeal, Bananas & OJ

LO Chili (and whatever else I find living in my fridge)
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches
Health Choice Entrees
Lettuce Salad

Monday: Chicken & Carrots in Cream Soup over Rice
Tuesday: Hot Dogs & Green Beans
Wednesday: Spaghetti
Thursday: Out to Arby's on the way to Choir Practice
Friday: Family Dinner
Saturday: Crock Pot Indian Food
Sunday: BBQ Chicken

Do you ever feel maladjusted to your everyday life? What do you do about it?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Three Years.

Smooth sailing is not one of the ways I would describe my first year with Bean.  She was healthy and happy, but motherhood just didn't click for me.  The first few months were a blur as she and I recovered from pregnancy and delivery.  I read books and made baby food and kept nursing long after it began making me miserable.  I was striving to make the right decisions for her and find confidence in my abilities as her mom.  She grew more independent and I began feeling more comfortable.

The day she turned one I had to take half a day of paid leave.  Of all the milestones she passed, her first birthday was not the one I expected to knock the air out of my lungs.  I looked into her smiling eyes and loved her so much it just about broke my heart.  I dropped her off at day care that morning with  my husband.  As I headed back to the car, I sobbed.  Our relationship had changed when I wasn't looking.  I was deeply in love with that little girl.

Now she is three years old.

I love her so much it still makes me cry on occasion.  While moments of doubt and disconnect still plague me, I love being her mom.  Her interest in the world reinvents it for me everyday.  She is the single most infuriating person in the world because I see so much creativity in her defiance.  From determining common words are pronounced a new and interesting way to following instruction at the very edge of disobedience, she's fascinating.  When I'm not watching, her wit and humor still sneak up on me and take my breath away.

With Inchie's arrival on the scene, this year hasn't been easy on my three year old.  But she's hung in there and made the best of it all.  Especially getting to enjoy double toys while Inchie is still too young to fight back.  Those days are coming and part of me (the totally crazy part) is really looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds.

But for now, Bean is three.  I've loved the past three years and hope to savor what ever comes next for us.  I love you little girl.  I love you to the ends of the universe.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I have a Kindle.  I LOVE my Kindle.  It has changed my life.  You think I exaggerate.  You are WRONG!

But seriously.  My Kindle has been integrated into my life.  It goes with me everywhere.  The amount of time I spend reading has doubled if not more.  I don't have to spend time choosing books for a trip; they are already with me.  The ONLY drawback thus far has been the inability to check out books from the library.

That restriction is gone!!!!

My local library uses Overdrive for electronic media and the Kindle is now a supported eReader in Overdrive.  After being on the wait list for 2 weeks, today I checked out my first book.  The book?  Forever in Blue by Ann Brashares.  Don't judge.  I have a thing for young adult literature.  I've read the first 3 books.  This book has been on my list for a while, but I haven't been ready to pay $10 for the electronic version of it.

With a few clicks the book was in my list of Kindle title on Amazon.  I turned wireless on my Kindle and waited for the book to appear.  The only strangeness was the it wouldn't download the book over 3G.  I had to hop on WiFi and everything worked well.  Thank goodness for free hotspots.

And now I'm reading no poorer for my need to devour the written word.  This is an amazing and long awaited development.  Stay tuned for my review of Forever in Blue.  Any guesses on which will take longer, reading the book or writing the review?  *smile*

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Mom Guilt

While attempting to write this post, I completely diverged.  Using the phrase Mom Guilt opens a whole can of worms.  Or can of words if you will.  There is a rant on that topic to follow soon.  For this post I'm simply referring to a pang of guilt I felt looking at this little girl.

Isn't she adorable?

This is Inchie.  She is my second born.  My baby.  I look in her face and see humor and mischief and love.  I also see her sister.  My Mom Guilt gong sounds.

This little girl doesn't know what life is like without an older sister.  She has drawers full of not-so-lightly worn clothes.  Her board books come pre-chewed.  Inchie's mom was Bean's mom first.  Inchie will spend her life changing that.  Try as I might my expectations are being established every day.  I have fight to see this little girl as herself and not her sister.  And she will never get the undivided attention her sister experienced in her first 2 years of life.

All these worries came to a head last weekend.  I bought the girls new hair barrettes.  Bean picked out two matching bows.  Inchie received two clippies as well, one matched Bean's and the other is a very cute little cupcake.  I gave them to the girls and went about my day.

Over the course of the next week, Bean did everything within her power to control Inchie's new clippies.  They appeared in Bean's hair.  Then I found them in her basket of hair ties.  Later she got them out and put them in her sister's hair.  That wouldn't have caused as great an issue had she not promptly pulled them back out.  Each time Bean was corrected she adjusted her actions to include her sister more.  And each time I got angrier until I heard myself screaming "Can't you just let her have this one thing!?!"  At a three year old.  Over a pair of hair clips.  I sent myself to timeout.

Yeah.  It's ridiculous.  I know.  That fact has not escaped me.  And my mom guilt has to be addressed.  But really?!?!?  When did I turn into a glass-half-empty kind of person?  What's up with the tale of woe over my baby?  I gotta snap out of this.  Inchie has at least one thing that Bean will never have, an older sister!  I'm not sure that all my younger sisters would agree, but I'm pretty sure an older sister is about the most awesome thing in the world to have.  Bean will also never be THE baby again.  We can't go back and I wouldn't want to.

But I can still look for ways to spoil my baby girl on occassion...  You know, just to alleviate the mom guilt.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Menu Plan Mondays: Flying Solo

Weeks like this one are few and far between at our house, but still fill my heart with fear when they do happen upon this. Maybe if it happened more often I would fear it less.  Some how I doubt that.

What is happening?  My husband in off schedule at a conference and I'm off schedule at off site training.  Both of these things combine to get the girls off schedule.  And life as I know it ceases to exist.  Cats and dogs living together.  Mass hysteria.  Add to that, Bean's Birthday Party is this weekend.  Yeah.  I'm nuts.

But I'm not weeping yet.  While I say this doesn't happen often, I do have to Fly Solo about 4 times a year.  Hubby works with the public and the public is not always available from 9am to 5pm.  Over the past few years, I've come up with a few coping mechanisms.

  • Lower my expectations.  There will be no overachieving this week.  Many things need to be accomplished, but perfect is synonymous with good enough right now.
  • Enforce what routine remains.  We have a bedtime routine.  Aim to keep it even if it is an hour late.  Clothes are picked out and bags packed at bed time.  Regardless of when bedtime is this makes getting out the door in the morning so much easier.
  • Accept help.  Every time I mention an upcoming trial, my best friend immediately offers to come over and lend two more hands.  On weeks like this, I make sure to say yes, loud and clear.
  • Embrace convenience.  The grocery store is full of frozen and prepared foods for a reason.  Some of them are very good.  Stock up!

This week's menu:
(Me) Broccoli Cheese Quiche & Blue Machine
(Hubby) Oatmeal, Bananas & OJ

LO Chicken Alphabet Soup
Lunch Meat Sandwiches
Lettuce Salad

Monday: Ham & Cheese Pita Pockets with Carrots
Tuesday: Mac & Cheese with Broccoli
Wednesday: Pita Pizza
Thursday: Out to Panera on the way to Choir Practice
Friday: Out for Bean's Birthday - Chick-Fil-A (her request)
Saturday: Peirogies
Sunday: BBQ Chicken

How do you cope when your usual routine gets turned on its head?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

So little time.

Today there's been so much to think about I find it overwhelming to try to pick a topic to write on.  Almost paralyzing when it comes to formulating this post.  However, the kids are asleep and I'm in front of my computer.  I'm determined to put something out there.  To you.

Days are flying by.  At work I'm running out of days to tie up my most recent project.  The next project has already spun up and I'm still pushing the previous one out the door.  I wonder if this is what parenting little girls two years apart will feel like.  There's so much to finish, but at some point I'm done.  Very soon it will stop mattering what's left on my list.  The work is released and had best be good enough.

Invitations went out this week for Bean and Inchie's birthday parties.  I've already determined that this will be the first, last, only year that they get separate full blown family & friends birthday celebrations.  I love planning these parties (evidence of my obsession can be seen here), but with their birthdays being 3 weeks apart my efforts will be better spent on combined parties in the future.  Just this year, I want Inchie to have what Bean has had the past two years.  She may not remember it, but I will.  So I guess the second party really is for me.  I'm not telling Inchie that.

Looking at the calendar, the birthday celebrations overlap with a girls weekend away and Halloween.  Then a family photo session. Thanksgiving.  Bean's first theater experience (Rapunzel).  Date to the Symphony with Hubby.  Christmas.  New Years.  Wow.  I'm going to stop looking at the calendar now.

At lunch today, my young co-worker talked about the zombie parents out there.  He doesn't want to be one.  You look in their eyes and there is nothing.  Nothing more than the next reaction to the events they can't seem to get in front of.  I don't want to be one of those parents either.  I understand the look all too well.  There's just so little time.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A New Love.

I have fallen hard.  The simplicity!  The freedom!  The imagination!  Each day I visit and explore and dream.  The object of my affection?

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