December 31, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

I don't usually do the whole new year resolution thing. The part of me that is jaded and cynical always pipes up and says "What's the point? You know you wont stick to them anyway, so why bother?" But this year I am just going to ignore that voice (or maybe stuff a sock in her mouth and shove her in a closet...) and make not just one, but several resolutions. Ok, so here goes (now where did I put that sock...)


1) Let go and let God- This needs to happen. All those little things that make me worried, anxious, upset, distracted, or over-controlling, I need to just let go of them and let God take care of them. This doesn't mean I get to stop doing laundry or dishes, nothing like that. It means I need to carefully prioritize everything, including housework, and do the task in front of me without hyperventilating, yelling, pouting, fretting, or freaking out about all of the other million and one things I have to do or think I should be doing. It means that when I walk into the kitchen to find that my toddler has drawn on the walls with a blue dry erase (or any variety really) marker I am not going to freak out and yell or show undue anger or frustration, but calmly take a breath, tell her no -we don't color on the walls, only on paper, and move on with the day without letting it color (no pun intended) the rest of the day with irritation. This is a big resolution but I think I can count on some help from Him with this one.

2) spend less time on the computer and more time on hobbies. My husband has a theory, after watching how frustrated/wound up/tweaked out little bear gets when she watches TV or plays with the Ipad, that media has the same effect on adults as well- we just don't realize it because we are generally in better control of our faculties and responses. Interesting thought and even if this isn't the case, I often look back at the end of the day and think "what the heck was I doing messing around on facebook for an hour after the little one went to bed? I should have been working on those socks I have been knitting..."

3) Implement a more structured routine for our days. This one is going to be tough. I am not really very good at this sort of thing because, if left to myself, I tend to just wander through the day from one thing to the next with no real planning or forethought. I have read "A Mother's Rule of Life" and, while I loved how structured and planned out all of her days were, I just wasn't able to do it all at once. I need to take baby steps, adding in maybe one piece of a routine a week, or month even. I tend to try and do things all at once and then immediately get discouraged and give up when it doesn't all go as planned right away. Hopefully if I incorporate new things into our days slowly I will have more success and not get so discouraged. The first thing I want to incorporate is a nightly prayer time with my husband, who is very resistant to this sort of thing. I think the night prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours might work well though. Wish me luck with this.

4)Stick to the no S diet. For good. Basically the diet is: no snacks, no sweets, no seconds, except on days that start with 'S' (Saturday, Sunday, and special days).

Well, that is it. No new year's resolutions for years and now I have 4. Wish me luck and say a prayer for me!

December 29, 2010

$7 well spent

I bought a breadmaker at the Goodwill this past weekend. The lady at the store couldn't tell me if it worked or not (or even if they tested these sorts of things) but said I could return it if it didn't. So I took a chance and bought it. After it's trial run tonight I am the pleased consumer of one very easily made loaf of homemade bread. I have made bread from scratch many times in the past but never so quickly and effortlessly. I literally dumped everything into the pan in the order set out in this book and turned the machine to the "basic meduim" setting. 3 hours later and we have a beautiful little loaf that tastes great and best of all required no kneading, babysitting, or other fussing from me, yay!

Need some inspiration today?

Go read this.
Or any of her posts. Some days when I read her blog I feel worse about myself and my lack of organization and routine and vision. Some days I feel much much better.

December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

That's right, it is STILL Christmas! We Catholics get to celebrate Christmas until Candlemas if we want to, and I certainly do! So let the holiday festivities continue and I hope everyone has had a blessed Christmas so far and will continue into the New Year.

December 16, 2010

To sleep, perchance, to..... sleep?

Ok so my sweet little bear has never been a good sleeper. Not since the second week after she was born has she been restful. She didn't sleep through the night until she was about 14 months old and still doesn't about 70% of the time. Normally (at almost 21 months) she wakes up about once a night, in the middle of the night usually, and falls back asleep within anywhere from minutes to 2 or 3 hours. She didn't start taking naps that lasted more than 30min until almost a year old. So yesterday, when she took a 2+ hour nap, my suspicions were immediately raised. I said to my husband yesterday: "she took a long nap today, something is up. Either she is going to get more teeth or she is going to get sick." You see, I am pretty sure when she does that (takes a long nap) it is because she is getting ready for a marathon of sleeplessness, usually because she is either sick or teething. Teething, especially, has been excruciatingly slow and painful for her. :( My husband simply laughed at me and said something like: "you mean she sleeps really good right before she doesn't sleep?"
Ha. Ha. very funny.
Last night she didn't sleep for more than 2 hours at a stretch (in fact 2 hours is a stretch...) Somebody say a prayer for me. And for little bear too.
I think I might go and read Simcha's post on the 5 stages of exhaustion again.

December 15, 2010

I drive myself crazy

about many things. About the house not being clean, about dinner not being gourmet, about how I forgot to brush little bear's teeth yesterday morning, and the day before that..., about how much clutter there is on my bathroom counter right now (seriously, you can wash your hands but that is about it), about what the maintenance guy is going to think when (IF!!!!) he ever gets here to fix the gas leak in our stove (that's right people GAS LEAK!!! since we moved in. NOT fixed yet. but that brand of paranoia is a topic for another day.) About how much money we spend at the stupid walmart when we were waiting for 3 stupid hours to get stupid tires on my husband's car so he wouldn't die on the stupid blizzard covered road. I digress... where was I again? Oh yeah driving myself crazy. Ahem. Anyway, I worry because I only have ONE kid and I am not so good at this housekeeping/homemaking thing. I want everything to be perfect, for her, for my husband, for guests, for me too. I want to bake an apple pie every weekend and cook a 3 course breakfast every morning. I want to vacuum every day and mop at least once a week. I want to spend hours and hours playing with my little girl and thinking of new, creative, inventive, and fun things to do with her to both stimulate her development and keep her entertained. I want my husband to come home every night to soft music playing, candles, a delicious meal and, a blissfully calm and sweet little almost-2-year-old who will be happy to sit on his lap while he relaxes from his stressful day. Meanwhile I am supposed to be ever smiling, peaceful and calm, happy to bask in the glow of my clean house and contented family. Yeah, right, whatever. It doesn't happen people. Not by a long shot. Most of the time I am relieved if the toilet gets cleaned approximately once a week, my daughter is not screaming when my husband walks in the door, and our house doesn't smell like the cat box (don't get a cat, they poop in a box in your house, they scratch walls, and they puke all. the. time. We have 2.)
Anyway, I am rambling too much when really the whole point of this post was to share with you all something I read today. It goes kind of like this:
"
The quote that I thought applied to my knitting said: "As the Amish make their prized quilts with an intentional flaw, a flaw must be woven in to remind us that only God is perfect."

Did you just read that?

An intentional flaw! Because only God is perfect!

Oh, did I need to read that!"

WOW. I really needed to read that today. First I cried, then I smiled. Do you know what this means? I am not meant to be perfect. I am not GOD and I will never be perfect, or do anything perfectly. This doesn't mean I don't have to at least try to be better, to be the best version of myself possible, or to be the person God wants me to be. But it means I can cut myself a little slack sometimes. What a relief. Now if I can just remember this the next time my inner grumpy obsessive compulsive control freak rears it's ugly head.

December 10, 2010

Bad Parenting Tip #1

If you decide, against your better judgement, to let your 20 month old "play gaaaymes" on your ipad so you can spiff up your blog and/or read other blogs and/or start dinner: you will probably regret it later. Oh and your husband will ask you, when he gets home from a long day and a long drive, wishing only to relax; but instead greeted by a hungry, overstimulated, frustrated, and tired little person asking Daddy for "UP-A-SIDE-OWN!", "up-in-ee-aayer!", "plaay gaaaaymes!", "wach junguh book!" (upside down, up in the air, play games, and watch jungle book)... "what happened to this child?"
To which you will answer: "Uh, I let her 'play games'."
Nevermind that dinner wasn't even done when he got home. But wait it gets worse. I made spaghetti.


Back! ...maybe...

Things need to be dusted off and cleaned up around here! I am thinking about doing just that and starting to blog again. I am feeling particularly inspired lately. Not because I have all of this wonderful wisdom to share but because, well, I don't.
You see, I like reading blogs about people who are normal, people who are like me. People that lose their patience, yell at people sometimes, get distracted and frustrated, don't vacuum or dust or clean their toilet every day (or even once a week at times... come to think of it when did I last dust anyway...) who struggle with meal planning and shopping trips with a little one (or more... gosh I only have one, how do some of you other women do it?), can't always think of fun/educational/engaging things to do with a toddler and subsequently turn on (insert your media of choice here, Raffi and Super Why are favorites around here), who want to be a whole lot better than they really are and are painfully and slowly trying to make their way toward heaven.
I also have been going through somewhat of a tough spot lately and reading other mother's blogs about how they sometimes lose it or have awful days has really helped me get through it. Well, that and the grace of God... So here it is, my own little imperfect corner of the web. I hope it helps someone else, if only by letting you know you are not alone.

May 8, 2010

Musings

I was thinking today about how flowers are testament to the existence of God. Such living beauty, existing for no other reason than to be beautiful, can only come from a perfect and perfectly loving being. Perhaps, even, they exist as a tiny reflection of He who created them, for surely their scientific purposes could have been served in a much simpler, plainer, and more energy efficient manner. No, I think they grow and live and exist in exultation of His glory and goodness and beauty, turning their faces toward heaven as if singing "Glory, Glory, Glory!", silently shouting of His most wonderful grace. To be such a flower, a fingerprint of The One Most High, existing only to please him, must be a wonderful existence indeed.

April 23, 2010

FO Friday

My latest Finished Objects!
Not much here because I haven't had much time to knit.
First we have a little cell phone cozy which was conjured up to use a small sample of lovely BFL spinning fiber that came with a drop spindle I received as a Christmas gift.

Next we have a little sweater I made for a friend who just recently had a baby. It is a little large (this is an understatement). You can see it being modeled here by my lovely little amazon of a 1 year old. She is off the growth charts for weight and height so I am thinking this should fit the little guy next year... or maybe the year after! :)



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April 15, 2010

Spring

Is here!And so are my new cloth diapers!!
The happy recipient (no action shots yet :( )

April 14, 2010

WIP Wednesday

So here are some projects I am currently working on:
First up in the spinning department is some lovely purple variegated wool that is destined to be my first pair of homespun socks.
Next we have some 100% silk on the drop spindle my sister got me for Christmas.For knitting we have: Baby Yeti
Some generic man-sized socks
And another little project I hope to feature on my FO friday post this week but it is a surprise for a friend so pictures later.

April 8, 2010

Back...

After my lenten hiatus from the interwebs. Look for more crafty stuff coming up soon!! ;)

February 11, 2010

MROL book study week 6


This week's topic was the fifth "P", provider. This is one of the areas I have totally reevaluated in the last few months and continue to assess. Since I began to stay at home full time I have realized a lot of things about being a good steward of our family resources. The biggest thing I have had to overhaul is how we spend our money, especially since there isn't much of that coming in lately. We pretty much went from spending whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted, to being on a pretty tight budget. Curiously enough I have found this to be less restrictive than I thought it would be. It feels more like a challenge than a hardship, if that makes any sense, and I actually kind of enjoy trying to figure out how to best spend the money we have budgeted for various things. This chapter goes far beyond simply living within your means, however. I also find I am thinking more about how to be a good steward of the physical resources around me, turning down the heat if we are going to be out all day, turning off lights in rooms we aren't using, cooking with the idea of creating as little waste as possible and trying to find creative ways to use up little bits leftover from meal preparation. Recently my thoughts have been turning to spring and planting a garden. I hope we are able to plant some fruit and vegetables this year which would help with the food budget. I have even considered going back to cloth diapers but haven't gotten around to that yet. I keep thinking of the last time we put a cloth diaper on DD after she hadn't been in them for awhile. She cried and cried till we took it off and it was barely wet... I think I will save that experiment for a day when I am feeling particularly patient. The biggest thing I have gained from this chapter is realizing that we don't need to be good stewards simply because it is the most efficient way of doing things, but because we are called to do so. Next on my list is to put our living space in order and give everything its own spot or "home" so that everything has a specific place. I am not sure if this will happen slowly, as an evolution, or if I will simply have to just do it in the space of a few days one weekend. I will let you know how it goes.

February 5, 2010

FO Friday

Well, with all the moving and whatnot, I don't have many Finished Objects to post today but I have two. One I just finished this morning! The first is a dress I started way back in June and gave to my niece for her birthday. It is still a little big yet, hopefully it fits her well this summer.

The second is this hat which I just finished:
I liked the pattern so much I made one for DH too (the other one went to my dad). Best of all I didn't have to buy new yarn, I just used the leftover yarn from the first hat. I am hoping I have enough left over to make a short pair of matching(ish) fingerless gloves for DH.

February 1, 2010

MROL book study week 4

Well I am a little behind due to all the moving and general busyness around here but I am still following along with this book study. Since I am behind I am going to post on last week's topic, the third "P", partner. What I am taking away from this chapter is the need to really LISTEN to my husband and not enter a conversation with preconceived notions about what he is thinking/feeling. I also am trying to do more things for him and for our marriage and not focus so much on myself. This includes penciling him and his activities into my master schedule (which is an ongoing work in progress) as well as allowing for flexibility so that I don't get irritated when things get off schedule. Also I am striving to make myself more... available (shall we say?) to him on a more regular basis. For more on this topic and the next topic -parent click the picture to go to Jen's (the hostess) blog.

January 9, 2010

Book Study -Mothers Rule of Life- Week 2


This week is all about Prayer. Daily prayer is something I usually strive for but I never sat down and thought about it in such a way that I would actually schedule it into my day. I have been doing this for the last several days now and it really helps! I scheduled 3 prayer times, morning offering (when I first get up, after showering), afternoon spiritual reading/reflection (varies according to the litttle one's naptime), and evening (post bathtime family Rosary). When I was pregnant with DD I used to pray every day upon rising and every night before bed and I am realizing how much I not only miss it, but actually need it to be the kind of person I want to be (and God wants me to be) throughout the day. I also find myself saying other little prayers and raising my heart and mind to God more often during the day when I do this. This reminds me of a series of posts over at Conversion Diary all about prayer and having hard stops throughout the day. Jen over at Happy Little Homemaker has also posted a link to a Mothers Liturgy of the Hours. Pretty neat! I haven't done anything else yet as far as making a schedule for other areas of my life although I have read the next chapter. With all honesty I really think that will have to wait till after we move and get settled since life is pretty focused on getting packed and ready for next Friday when we get the moving truck. Maybe not, I will keep reading, but things are pretty chaotic around here lately.

January 8, 2010

FO Friday

Well I have some Finished Objects to post from all the Christmas knitting I did. Mostly I knitted felted slippers for as many people as I could. I also knitted a hat for my father which didn't make it to him yet but will very very soon.

January 7, 2010

Book study -A Mothers Rule of Life


I started this book last night (a little late but better late than never!) WOW! That is all I can say, wow! I have needed to read something like this for a long time and I wish I would have even when I was working, it would have helped in so many ways. Anyway, I will try post on this every weekend (with the exception of the move weekend) in line with the schedule over at Happy Little Homemaker. I am a week behind but I will post for the first two weeks on Saturday.

January 6, 2010

WIP Wednesday

Well, I do have some knitting Works In Progress but no good pic's so I will post some spinning instead this week. I just got my new spinning wheel at the end of November and have been trying to scratch out some time here and there to learn and play with it. I spun a bit of Corriedale wool at first before I really could sit down and seriously start learning and it was lovely! I still love my spindles but, oh my! The wheel is so much faster and more relaxing. :) So here are all my current spinning projects:

First we have my spinning wheel project, 7 oz of Humbug BFL
Soft and lovely to spin, here is a closeup of the singles on the bobbinNext are my spindling projects, the first is some merino bamboo blend I got from Fat Cat Knits a looong time ago that I have been plugging away at, aiming for laceweight two ply so I can make an Ice Queen


The next is the Corriedale I have been spinning on my spindle but also tried a little on the wheel. These are slated to become some striped longies or maybe just pants, who knows by the time I am done with them how old miss Belle will be.
Well that is it for my spinning, I really need to take stock of my knitting and get it under control soon, my UFO (unfinished object) list is starting to get ridiculously long. Maybe I should start trying to finish one a month or something...