Monday, January 30, 2012

Temper Tantrums

I know that children throw temper tantrums.  I understand it is part of expressing the frustration that is being a child and having to learn what you can and cannot get away with. 

However, while I consider this to have been a good weekend (we went to a birthday party, a play, and had fun relaxing at home) there was that twenty minutes or so, when I felt like calling my mother and apologizing for being a brat at times. 

Big L has anger problems some times.  She does not know how to express herself.  Unfortunately, I am the one she lashes out at.  Whether this is because I have failed to protect her, or she just expects more from me, I am unsure. 

This weekend though she would not go to her room, and I knew a melt down was coming.  For awhile now when she starts feeling like she is going to explode, I tell her to go to her room and she goes.  This weekend I had to carry her.  During this lovely trip down the hall she slapped me.  Now I will admit that I wanted to scream and yell at her right then, (i had just yelled at her to go to her room)but I knew that would be pointless.  Instead, I placed her in her room shut the door and walked away, calming myself as I stood at the end of the hall making sure she stayed.  She screamed and yelled, very mean things, for what seemed like forever. 

When she finally calmed down I poked my head in and asked if she was ready to talk.  We had the same talk we have had countless times about how i am not really mean, and how she is very fortunate to live the way she does, and how she was sorry she hurt our feelings and slapped me.  She cried quietly, and would not tell me what was wrong. 

Kids are hard.

Friday, January 27, 2012

{this moment}

 - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
Borrowed from Soule Mama, visit her site to share and to see more.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

music:: life

i have always been a big music person.  i sang for many years in choir, even in college.  i played piano, flute and bassoon.  music has always been my connection with my emotions.  over the last few years i have not felt very connected with myself. 

my children make me happy, i love them more than anything.  after all that has happened in life, i find it hard to let myself truly feel, to put those feelings out where others can see them.  i don't really want to be this way anymore.  i am in a fairly safe place in life.  excluding all interactions with big L's bio father my life is awesome and safe. 

of all things, girl scouts has made me realize this needs to change.  my girls love me, they love the time we spend together.  it is like having 11 other children.  i love them, and our time, but i need to be able to fully share the gs experience with them, which includes sharing and being close to others; developing close life-long friendships that you can depend on.  i am not sure how to lead them to this awesomeness when i have so much trouble with it myself, but i want them to feel safe sharing in our group, and with me.

i feel like i am only partially living life, like i am missing out because i am too afraid to fully feel all of my emotions.  i should not feel stupid when the beauty of the mountains surrounding our home brings me to tears.  life is beautiful, and so are most people. 

i am not quite sure how to fix myself.  what i do know is that years of counseling and drugs have done little when it comes to a long term solution, and i would like to do something that works for the long term, not just a quick fix.  i don't want to be that emotionally unavailable parent depicted in countless stories.  what i know after all this time, is that only i can fix this.  only i can change my attitude and open my heart.  no one else can help or show me how to do this. 

i think that music may be my way back to feeling.  over the years the amount of music i listen to has decreased in proportion to the amount of feeling i have been able to express.  i try to reintroduce it, but it hasn't always stayed.  the past couple days i have had a tune in my head, "sky", by Joshua Radin.  i am the first to admit that i am not real up on the latest and greatest in the music world.  i am not even sure why i have his music on my iPod, but i do, and it has been haunting all of my thoughts.  this morning on my walk, i decided to listen to music, and his songs are what i listened to.  while they are all a bit similar, what i like (from what i have heard so far) are the lyrics.  i am a lyric person when it comes to music, beautiful poetry is music, and when put with music is exceptionally emotive.  so i think this may end up being joshua radin week.  i have purchased a few more tunes, four was not enough, and so far i love it.  i may have even found little l's lullaby. 

since little l was born i have been looking for a song that could be all hers.  big L has two songs that she is sung before bed every night, but i have always thought that little l should have her own song or songs. 

i am feeling fortunate to live in a place and way that i can concern myself with the emotional cares of life, and not simply focus on the basic necessities.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Organization and Rearranging

As discussed earlier, we have been thinking of moving our rooms around.  This weekend, after a nice date night (first since the baby was born), we decided it was time to get moving.

Our chosen arrangement required that I empty and move almost every heavy piece of furniture I own.  No small task, but honestly it forced me to reorganize all of my things in a manner that will make it much easier to find and use them.  The initial result, however, was a little overwhelming.  There were piles of things everywhere, and a baby to keep away from them.

Further, we had to move all of the furniture around to move it out of the way for the furniture moving in.  It was like a big furniture dance.  The picture of my books does not do justice to the number of books I had to move.  I am so grateful my husband got me a kindle for the holidays, and i am truly contemplating only buying digital books from now on.  They are much easier to move.  Just don't ask me to get rid of the books I already have.
While moving I decided that all of may fabric that is waiting to be made into wonderful things needed to be reorganized.  It was a mess.  This was my fabric holder....I am not sure the play yard was meant to hold so much weight.  However, since little l refuses to be placed in it, other than for sleep when traveling, I guess it was good to have some use of it.
Thankfully, I have made a lot of progress over the last few days.  This is our new dining room.  It is much more comfortable than the way it was, and much harder to put things on the table that don't belong!  Now to finish the picture on the back wall the former owners left for us to complete.

I have not completely moved the children's play area out of the other room, I am still deciding how much should move.  I am happy to say that the cubby shelves we use now hold far less toys, and most of my fabric collection.  Goodwill here we come! In fact if you look closely, we have a whole row plus two of just puzzles and games, which we love to play around here, but couldn't see all of before.  Little l spent a good 40 minutes playing with the "kitchen" while I cooked last night, which was glorious!  The table in the corner is my scrapbooking station.  Can't ask for more than a dedicated table for scrapping.  The cupboards in the picture above actually hold all of my sewing and scrapbooking supplies, plus some girl scout and kid crafting items.

The last section to be completed is my desk, which is really my sewing area/bill paying area.  I have not completely decided how I want everything placed, so it is taking longer, plus, I have a lot of year end paperwork to go through......

I am happy it is almost done, but I am a bit tired, and don't want to rush through the last bit just to finish.  The goal was to purge while reorganizing, and you have to be in the right frame of mind for that.  It may take another week, but my hope is to be sewing a new apron to hold my clothespins by next week.  I am sure it will happen, maybe not by Monday, but before Friday at least!

Friday, January 20, 2012

This Moment

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
Borrowed from Soule Mama, visit her site to share and to see more.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Little l's habit...

Little l has a bad habit.  She picks up everything and puts it in her mouth.  Every little crumb, every thing that we drop, pieces of the grout coming out of one of our tiles, you name it.  

I don't remember having this much of a problem with big L, and when she was an infant, I had dogs and all that comes with that experience.  

I don't know what to do about l's issue, I know she will eventually outgrow it, but it worries me that she will choke.  Yesterday I was chopping carrot for soup and dropped two little circles on the floor.  I immediately looked for them to pick them up.  Finding only one, I thought maybe I was wrong about dropping two.  Twenty minutes later, I noticed that l was chewing on something, only to find my missing carrot.  Thankfully she did not choke.  

Other than trying to be careful I am not sure what else I can do at this point to protect her.  She just seems to like chewing on things for long periods, and she will chew on whatever she finds.  Our house is not dirty, but I do have a six year old fond of leaving crumbs everywhere.  What does everyone else do?  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Purging, cleaning and reorganizing

We have lived in our home for about a year and a half now.  I love my house.  It works well for us, but after living in it for a year, I have begun to rethink how I have things laid out.  In my opinion we have way too much stuff.  Big L disagrees, but she doesn't miss things when I purge toys from her pile.

We have a room that was added on to our home and is not connected to our heating/a/c ducts.  This is the room we currently spend the most time in.  I think this is a bit silly.  In the summer I am hot, in the winter I am cold.  While I like that the TV is in this room, and that it is the only room with natural light yearly 'round and day long, I want to switch things up.

Thus begun the negotiations.  I can't do this myself.  There is a lot of heavy furniture that will have to be moved, so my hubby has to be on board to help me.  What I want to do is move all the toys/crafts etc, out of what we call the "sunroom", and into the great room of the house.  The great room is currently a sitting area/dining room.

Pluses to making this move include:
1.  The ability to regulate the temperature in the room we will be spending more time in/not having to use the wall A/C in the summer.
2.  The children's toys will not reside in the same room as the TV.  We have been watching less TV lately, but I think we could reduce the amount further.
3.  The children can play while I cook, and my run when someone screams will be MUCH shorter, plus I will be able to see them from the kitchen.
4.  We can eat in a room that has windows, watching the weather/sunset, etc.
5.  I think it will be a more efficient use of the space we have.

The minuses:
1.  It is going to be a pain to move all of this stuff.
2.  I have too many books, moving them is a pain, but it is unlikely I will get rid of many if any at all.
3.  We may have to use lighting more throughout the day as the center of the house is only light at certain times of day, and those times depend on the time of year.
4.  Big L may notice if I get rid of as many toys as I want.  Mind you she rarely plays with these toys and I consider most of them junky, but you know.....  Big L is bordering on being a hoarder.
5.  It won't be as easy to dump everything on the dining room table.  Wait, that is a plus!

This is my currently very messy dining area.  Can you believe we find room to eat here?

So we have begun the discussion.  My hubby has remeasured all furniture and rooms, put all the numbers in his computer, and we will be playing around with the furniture configuration for a little longer, then hopefully the change will happen.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Making it a good day....with sewing and baking.

Yesterday morning was very busy.  I had a doctor appointment, big L had a dental appointment, and we had to stop at Costco on the way home because I did not want to drive all the way out there again this week.  I did not expect it to be a productive day other than accomplishing the above mentioned tasks.

I did not receive good news from my doctor, so off to the ENT I go. Normally this would have put me into a spin an I would have used it as an excuse to relax for the day.  While I have a horrible headache that does not seem to end, and a cough/sore throat that have been around since October I can't justify just sitting any longer.

So I got productive.  This weekend I decided the pile of scraps waiting to be sewn together to make a rag rug, a la, Amanda Blake Soule and her book Handmade Home, would be sewn together.  They are not equal, but hey, I am sure it will all work out in the end.  Okay, I HOPE it will all work out!
That project will be going forward with the help of Big L, so it is on hold for a few weeks as her schedule does not give us time for awhile.

I was going to make diaper covers this weekend, but it just didn't work out.  Instead my hubby and and I cleaned out our closet (really cleaned, he even took the boxes to Goodwill already), and I made bread and muffins.

Yesterday afternoon I decided I was going to take the leap and make the diaper cover.  So I started.....and FINISHED!!!!  I am not the greatest seamstress.  I would say I am an advanced beginner, but I did okay for the first try, I think.
I know, my legs need the elastic stretched tighter.  Working with elastic is new to me, so it is taking some practice, a little cursing, and a good stern talking to (the elastic that is).
One thing I like about making my own is I can combine the aspects I like from both types of diaper covers we use.  Little l is a big soaker.  When I use a G diaper, which has the center snap in liner surrounded by a cloth cover, she soaks right through.  When I use a flip diaper it doesn't always catch everything on the diaper, and I can't always get it to fit snug against her.
Did I come up with this all on my own?  Heck no.  I happened across it at Joanne's before the holidays and planned on making them before the end of the year (HAH!).  It is a line called Babyville Boutique. I like it okay, and if you have a coupon it is quite affordable, or at least less than buying a pre-made cover.

To top it all off Big L requested we make the cookie recipe out of the cookbook I gave her for x-mas.  How could I say no?  So we have pretty heart shaped sugar cookies in our home as well.  Yesterday was a great day.  :-)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Brain Freeze

I had about five different posts being prepped in my mind.  Unfortunately, I failed to write them I sit here unable to think of a thing to say.  I am going to blame lack of sleep. Little l is still not sleeping through the night, though does seem to be feeling better today (THANK YOU!).  I think my body has had enough and is getting sick so I will  I am sure that I will recall what I meant to write, most likely at 12:30 am when I groggily wake coughing.  They were really good ideas, i swear!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sleepless in our home...

I will admit that I got to sleep in yesterday, though that little bit of catch up was not much help.  Little l is sick again, and I am exhausted and not feeling so good myself.

While I admire my husbands work ethic, sometimes I just want him to stay home and rest and help take care of us when we are sick.  Alas, I am off to nap, for the baby seems to be resting for longer than 20 minutes now, and I am sure she will be up and going soon.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Errands with Baby...

The last time little l and I went to Costco it was a nightmare.  She kept trying to stand up in the cart, fussed unless I was holding her, no small feat when trying to push a very heavy cart. I swore that was it, never again. However, today I had no choice, we needed costco items, and my babysitter is sick.  Today I timed it differently, I let her nap fed her lunch, then loaded her up and off we went.

She did well this time, thankfully, other than the crying on the way home because she was tired.

I don't know how other mom's handle this, but sometimes I don't have a choice.  I have to take little l. Not sure what I will do next time, because sometimes we have to go at a specific time, so that big L can go for allergy shots. When this happens little l misses a nap and is difficult. Perhaps I will try to remember my wrap and just wear her from now on.

I guess I have learned to never say never.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year, New Budget....

I have always struggled with money.  I am not a good money manager.  HORRIBLE!!

Last year we tried to just keep track of money monthly.  It did not work that well.  It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great.

This year we are doing this a little differently.  Namely, we are going to talk about the budget a lot more.  Money will be tracked based on how we spend it.  Not whether or not we spent more than we made a month.  I am actually a little excited to see how much I can save on different categories.  Of course, I know that some categories will always be maxed out, but I am hoping to save in other areas.

Hopefully it works out well.  I think I mostly look forward to realistic conversations with my husband!  I am also thinking about using this to teach big L about money and budgeting. Her version will be smaller, but I think it is time for her to start learning about saving money to buy things you want.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A new school!!! Exciting!

Big L started her new school on Monday.  She came home so excited i was relieved!  I was a bit concerned that the switch from Montessori to public school would be a little bumpy, but so far so good!  I mean really good.  Her only complaint from yesterday was more of a statement than a complaint.  She informed me that she didn't get to pick her work, she had to do what the teacher had everyone doing.

She came home very excited because she made a lot of new friends, saw her girl scout friends and all in all had a good day.  She was so excited about the library, it is huge.  However, one of her favorite parts was the bus ride home.  It takes about 30 minutes for her to get here from school, even though we live a mile away, but she loved it!  Why?  She said she likes to be jostled about and not wearing a seatbelt.  hmph.  I loved it too, because;

Reason one:  I don't have to load the baby in the car, drive a mile to turn around and drive right back.

Reason two:  I don't have to deal with the zoo that is afternoon pick up at her school.  There are just a lot of parents trying to pick there kids up all at once, it is CRAZY!  Plus, the bus is a much more environmentally friendly method for pick up and drop off.  It is not one kid per car, there are quite a few kids on the bus.  My car's fuel economy suffers when I drive her to and from school.  Seriously, the hills here eat fuel quickly, so I am excited to see how much fuel I actually use (or don't use) with her riding the bus.

Reason three:  We get to walk to and from the bus stop together.  This may be my favorite part.  Monday, she talked non-stop about her day until we got home, this does not happen in the car.  I usually get the, "I don't know, I did nothing" today response.  While I will have to pick her up from the bus stop on Tuesday in the car, every other day we are walking.

Reason four:  After watching big L get on the bus and go in the morning, little l and I can go for our own walk.  I admittedly need to lose weight and get active again.  My health issues are screaming for exercise. This makes me get out there and do it.  No excuses.  Granted, I live in a very hilly neighborhood, so we are starting off slow and on the less steep roads, but I hope that in a month or so we will be climbing those hills.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Illness followed by illness

The past month has been a bit slow around here.  I have been sick off and on since October.  Big L got sick over winter break, shared it with her sister, who graciously shared it with mom and dad.  All in all, it has been a tiring month.  Add to that all of the holiday cheer and I have barely had time to rest let alone blog.

Thankfully little l is finally feeling better, and able to sleep through the night.  She was so congested my husband spent three or so nights sleeping upright with her.

Bronchitis is something we take very seriously in our home (not that you don't), as with two asthmatics it can quickly become a serious problem.  So our doctor had everyone except my husband on antibiotics (yes I know bronchitis is a virus, but the secondary infections are generally not).  Through all this we discovered little l's first allergy.  Penicillin.  A sick baby with hives is not a happy baby.  However, as I said we have all recovered, and started the new year, healthy (well most of us, hubby is still recovering), and happy with a lot of new exciting things to share.