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.