Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Finally, First Lost Tooth!

A sleepy Will showing off that he lost his tooth at breakfast today!  I was starting to wonder if that tooth was ever gonna fall out, or if it was simply going to take up residence with the adult tooth nipping at its heels.

Tooth fairy comes tonight!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Virtual Clutter is the Pits.

What is it about springtime that makes one want to cut through their clutter?  Seriously....I've been like this for a week or so and showing no mercy.  It's not just the house either, but email, Ravelry queue items, my "to-read" list on Goodreads....nothing is safe!

I guess just after a long winter, staring at the same projects, the same kidstuff sitting around, etc, going nuts with a trash bag (either in person or virtual) feels good!  I'm finding that once you decide what's important and what you want to spend time on, it's easy.  (Easier, I should say.)

This week:

Stopped reading "I was Told There'd Be Cake" halfway through.  Book jacket promised a "funny" collection of personal essays.  I'd use words like "ramble" and "boring."  Funny doesn't crack my top ten adjectives.  Life is too short to spend reading books that one is not enjoying.

In that vein of thought...why do I have 199 books on my Goodreads list?  I am never going to read all of them.  I'm kind of nuts about books....if I see something out there that interests me even slightly, I put it on there.  But surprisingly, I have a pretty hard and fast rule about not buying books unless they're something I love so much I'll read over and over.  Anyway....60 books off my reading list.

Also cutting back on the virtual clutter:  deleting emails and unsubscribing from newsletters and sales pitches.  My inbox feels so much lighter!  I also cut back my Ravelry queue to 100 projects and organized them by "quick" projects, "Gift" projects, etc.  And made a whole new category that just says "Yarn in House."  I've gotten acquainted with a whole bunch of "old/New" projects.

If I'd known how good this was going to feel, I would've done it ages ago.  I feel like I've lost ten virtual pounds.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Bear Sweater

Sometime in early 2013, I received an email from a friend...she had been perusing online and found a bear-inspired sweater that she fell in love with.  She purchased the pattern to make it herself and thought about it a lot, but it got put on the back burner due to caring for the almost one-year-old daughter that the sweater was for and running her own law firm.  Oh, have I mentioned that she doesn't know how to knit?  This was to be her first project.  She asked if I could make it and suggest a yarn?  This is a really old friend of mine so I was happy to do it.

Too bad we are both such procrastinators.  She sent me the pattern twice, because I kept losing it in my gmail.  Despite searching for the email by her name.  (I'm horrible about my inbox, it's always full and most of it is stuff I probably won't read anyway.)  Then I didn't hear from her for quite a while after I emailed her suggested yarns and colors.  So anyway, the "baby" is going to be two in July and I'm finally finishing her bear sweater, in the largest size that the pattern is made.  And it is so very sweet!

The body came together rather quickly but I'm not going to lie, those ears were not easy.  Well, I procrastinated again trying to figure them out, thinking that I would have to pick up stitches on the hood and knit them directly on.  I felt pretty sheepish when I realized that they are knit and then sewn on.  That ought to teach me to read the whole pattern before starting!  I also ran out of the sweater yarn and had to order more.  (Yarn is Knitpicks swish worsted, in "squirrel heather" with the pink accents in "carnation.)

This pattern is awesome, though.  You can customize it to a horse, bear, cat, dog....pretty much anything!  I would definitely knit one again.  In a smaller size.  :)


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

"Bringing it Down a Notch"

Poking around FB today...when I stumbled across an article called "Can We Bring The Holidays Down a Notch?"    It's all about how these minor holidays have turned into an all-out HUGE CELEBRATION for kids.  The author uses St. Patrick's Day as a prime example, where kids wearing green isn't enough anymore, they must build leprechaun traps, hunt for gold coins and dye all foods green.  WHAT??  

Yeah, I'm totally blogging about someone else's blog post.  Why?  Because I think the message is pretty important.  We live in a Pinterest world, where handmade Valentines with prizes (because in our school, candy isn't allowed) are expected, the Tooth Fairy pays $5 per tooth, the Elf on the Shelf tortures parents (and now there's a birthday one as well!)  Easter Eggs must be dyed in organic dye and then decorated with non-acid stickers and Halloween costumes are homemade and obscure.  We now celebrate the Hundredth Day of School like it's a major holiday and don't even get me started on Spirit Week.  

I don't live in this world.  Neither do my kids, and I don't think they're suffering.  Not once have they asked me when our Gold Coin hunt is going to start, or requested green milk.  (Say it with me:  Ew.)  We got a big box of store-bought Valentines and no one was worse for the wear.  My kids have never dyed an Easter egg.  In fact, when I mentioned that maybe we could this year, Will countered that he liked the plastic eggs just fine.  There is no Elf on the Shelf in our home at Christmastime, and I have zero interest in bringing one home.  Because that just creates stress around an already-stressful holiday season, most of which is stress that I/we created.  Adding on "remembering to move around an Elf nightly" to my list of things to do, and finding "naughty" things that I have to set up/clean up just might be my breaking point.  And forget an "Advent calendar" with a daily small gift at Christmas.  Whoever thought that idea up....ugh.  

Don't get me wrong:  I like Pinterest, I am looking for new things on there all the time.  And I love whimsy.  I like creating things with my kids, and celebrating holidays.  But when did it become such a competition, not to mention expensive??  And forget the whole Mommy Battle thing, between stay-home/working/work from home Moms....from where I sit it's all types of Moms agreeing over this.

I'm not looking to be a grinch, or to short-change my boys when it comes to fun and celebration.  Let's just agree to celebrate things joyfully without overburdening.  I'm on board!  

Monday, March 10, 2014

First Sleepover

About a week ago, we allowed Will to have his first sleepover.  He doesn't seem quite ready to sleep at someone else's house, but was thrilled to have someone sleep at HIS house!  He invited his friend "Sam" from his old kindergarten class, which was cool because they get along like peas and carrots and he doesn't see Sam all that often.

Brian and I picked Sam up on our way home from seeing "Man of La Mancha" at the local theater.  (Which we almost forgot about.....)  Spending just a few minutes with Sam made me realize why he and Will are such good friends.  Sam loves to talk, and he's right up there with Will on vocabulary.  We talked about Minecraft, something I know nothing about and Sam expressed his love for games like Angry Birds, informing me that "Bad Piggies" is a good game because it's also educational.  Brian had to agree with him, I know that he's a "Bad Piggies" fan too.

Sleepovers have changed a bit since I had one.  Instead of movies, they played games with swords and were really good about letting the Little Brother play, too.  Then they had a good time playing computer games, like "Let's type in a word and add .com to it and see if a real website pops up!"  followed by "Let's jump off the top bunk!"  Had to put the kibbosh on that.  The boys decided that instead of sleeping in the family room, we would make a bed for Sam on the boys' floor.  After chocolates and popsicles (the junk food piece of the sleepover still remains) they went to bed at a reasonable hour.  Will came out of the bedroom at ten, stating that he couldn't sleep, but Sean and Sam were passed out cold.  So I made a makeshift bed for Will on the floor next to Sam and all was peachy keen.

So first sleepover was a rousing success!  May they always be like this....though I think I got spoiled on the first one. :)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Let's Get Moving

In my annual New Year's post, I said that I wanted to spend 2014 getting healthier.  Let's face it....I'm not as healthy as one could be.  So in that end, I've done a couple of things.

I joined a yoga workshop.  I tried it out last year as part of my Day Zero list, and decided to make it a habit.  So every Sunday you can find me at a yoga studio 25 miles away from my house, stretching into forms like the Cat Stretch, Reverse Table-Top, Warrior and Child's Pose.  You can do a pay-as-you-go plan, dropping into classes and paying a fee.  But I know myself, and if I pay up front I'm more likely to go.  And yes, there are yoga studios closer to home; I chose this one because it's all plus-size women so I don't feel so self-conscious.  Additionally, the instructor modifies things for people like me with herniated discs, or other people with arthritis, fibromyalgia, etc.  I really am enjoying it!

Something surprising has come out of yoga for me....it leads me to want to do better in my quest for health!  I am making it a priority to add more fruits and veggies, and for the first time in my life I actually want to exercise more.  Most mornings I find myself doing strength exercises or a yoga pose or two while waiting for the shower to warm up.  It's only five minutes or so, but every bit counts, right?  And once all this damn snow melts I want to walk more.  I'm actually looking into my daily routine to find pockets of time for this already, there are two tracks here in town and I'm pretty sure that I could get around one a few times before work a couple mornings a week.  And this may be the winter blues taking again, but I want to be outside!  I've never been an outdoorsy type, so this surprises me.  The house that we bought came with a basketball hoop in the driveway, and I'm going to buy a ball and throw it around with the kids.  Again, not a lot of exercise but it is something!  And this summer, I want to go to some of the state parks, and maybe even try an easy hike.  If mindset is part of the battle, then I'm getting there.

I've also started seeing a chiropractor for the sciatica, which reared its ugly head in the past month or so.  Again.  I forget how much that pain hurts when I don't have it.  I never thought I'd want to see a chiropractor, I've kind of always thought of them as a bunch of hooey.  But I'm at the end of my rope...heat wasn't helping, ice only helped a little, and I can't take Aleve forever.  It was this before I decided that I would give in and get the cortisone injections in my spine, I wanted to be able to say I tried everything before it came to that.  So far, I've been to two visits and I'll admit, the first one was a bit scary.  But I felt SO MUCH BETTER after the first visit!  The night before I was in tears from the pain, and the next day I could feel it at the end of the day but it was much less intense.  So I think it's worth it to keep going and see how I feel before more medical intervention.  See that?  I'm eating my own words, and they don't taste that bad.

I think one of the reasons that things are going well right now is because I am not making this about weight loss.  Sure, I could still stand to lose weight.  But I'm not putting all of my focus on just THAT.  These two things  are a small contribution to the journey to health that lies ahead but for the first time, I feel like I am getting somewhere.