Thursday, August 29, 2013

The answer to "Where have you been?!?"

Miles is back in school, two days a week.

We are starting the process to (hopefully) buy a house at the end of the year.

My mother just had surgery - nothing major, but not exactly minor either.

Samantha is entering a stage of severe ADD - nothing holds her attention for more than a couple of minutes, but she wants to be entertained CONSTANTLY.

I just finished up selling a consignment sale, and am gearing up to have a garage sale in a couple of weeks.

The dishes are piling up.

So is the laundry.

My floor needs vacuumed.

Miles needs a dentist appointment.

The craft room needs to be cleaned and sorted.

The garage does as well.

Festival starts this weekend, and though I'm not involved, I definitely need to find time to visit.

I'm swamped.  Love you all.

Friday, August 23, 2013

4 months (and a few days)

4 month milestones

  • Solid food.  She has had baby oatmeal, applesauce, and mashed banana so far.  Her favorite is applesauce mixed with a little oatmeal for texture. 
  • She is trying really hard to sit up on her own, but can't quite balance, yet.
  • Incredibly talkative.  She coos when she's happy, grunts when she's angry, and makes gurgling noises when she is hungry.  My favorite, though, is her laugh. :)
  • LOVES her big brother, and adores cuddling him and holding his hand.
  • Tummy time has gotten easier/better.  She will now stay on her tummy for all of three full minutes before screaming! lol
  • She's awake for MUCH more of the day.  One day, she was only up for about an hour to an hour and a half at a time.  The next, she was awake for several hours between naps.  
Love this girl!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


It's 4:45 pm and I just ate for the first time today.  And it was a bowl of cereal snarfed in less than five minutes while hiding, crouched on the kitchen floor so I didn't have to share it.

It's been that sort of day.

Sam has a cold.  Miles is just getting over his.  Patrick and I are showing the signs of coming down with it.  Sam suddenly stopped sleeping through the night a couple of days ago, so we did, too.  Miles is feeling very needy and attention-hungry.  Sam only wants to cuddle, and won't nap unless I'm holding her.  Miles has decided that naps are for losers.  I have literally been "on" for eight hours straight.  Every bathroom break was taken at the last possible moment to the sound of screaming.  Every time I sat, I was immediately covered in children (and snot and drool).  Every time I stood, I carried a cranky baby with me and listened to Miles ask me, once more, to come play trains. I am typing this while Samantha whines next to me, because nothing I can do makes her stop.  I have given in and handed Miles my phone to browse YouTube, and he is squeezed in on my other side.  Even in this moment of writing, there is no quiet, no release.

I am exhausted, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Don't offer me platitudes.  Don't bother telling me this will all be over soon.  I know it will.  And days like this will not be missed.  I guarantee it.

We will all be okay.  We will get through this, and soon.  But for right now, it kinda sucks.

So, don't be surprised when I don't answer the phone.  I just don't have the energy or the time.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

10 by 31

Yesterday, I reviewed my 30 by 30 goals.  It wasn't an utter disaster, and I learned a lot.  That means, I'm ready to set myself some new challenges, and start down that road toward 31.  This time, though, I'm heading for smaller, shorter-term goals.  If I do this every year, I will have made (and hopefully met) 50 goals by 35, and 100 by 40.  This could be awesome. :)

  1. Read at least 10 books.
  2. Try out two new crafts.
  3. Learn how to effectively use my fancy schmancy camera in manual mode.
  4. Try 2 new foods.
  5. Practice my crochet regularly.
  6. Continue searching out new experiences for my children each month.
  7. Continue to de-clutter our home.  
  8. Create a mural or other art project to display in our new home.
  9. Try new activities - for me.  I have a tendency to shy away from new social situations, and thereby miss out on fun things.
  10. Start and maintain a garden.

Friday, August 9, 2013

30 by 30: The Final Results

Okay.  Tomorrow is my 30th birthday.  Where am I on that 30 by 30 list?  Let's see:
  1. Read thirty books off of the list of top 100 banned books.
    • Fahrenheit 451
    • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
    • Catcher in the Rye
    • In the Midnight Kitchen
    • Brave New World
    • Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone
    • Of Mice & Men
    • Their Eyes Were Watching God (in progress)
    • Bottom Line: I did read more overall, but less than 1/3 of my goal for banned books.
  2. Make thirty crafts I have not tried before.  Bonus points if each serves a practical purpose. 
    1. Stencil t-shirts.
    2. Flower barrettes/headbands
    3. Girl's skirt from t-shirt
    4. Tree for stuffed animals for Miles' room
    5. Polka dots for Miles' wall.
    6. Silhouette art for my wall.
    7. Nap sheet and bag for Miles to take to school
    8. Crocheted hats for Samantha
    9. Crocheted headbands for Samantha
    10. Pillowcase dresses for Samantha & my niece
    11. Storage boxes for Miles' toys
    12. Steampunk Jewelry

  3. Choreograph a dance for my children's group.  All by myself.
    1. Finished!  It was performed at the 2012 Renaissance Festival.
    2. Bottom Line: Goal = Accomplished
  4. Take 30,000 pictures. 
    1. 7,000 as of August 2012
    2. Bottom Line: Honestly? I lost count after that.  I doubt I hit that goal, but I have used my camera a lot
  5. Cook or bake 30 dishes I have never made before.
    1. Homemade salsa
    2. Stuffed pork chops
    3. Weeknight chicken & noodles
    4. Chicken Noodle Soup
    5. Indian Chicken
    6. Bottom Line: Um, yeah... 30 new dishes was a little . . . optimistic.
  6. Watch 30 classic movies I've never seen.
    1. Movies?  Who has time for movies.  I think I've seen 5 or 6?
  7. Learn to knit or crochet.
    1. Hand-Knitting: Accomplished.  Not fond of it, but I can do it.
    2. Crocheting: Accomplished.  Multiple baby hats, headbands, and various accessories created.  Crocheted headband sold on Etsy.
    3. Loom-Knitting: In-progress.  Hated it.  Never even finished my first project.
    4. Bottom Line: I did it!  Goal = Accomplished!
  8. Take a dance lesson, or preferably, a dance class.
  9. Take Miles to a new museum/event/activity/experience at least once a month.
    1. August 2011 through March 2012: Don't remember what all we did, but I did keep up.
    2. April 2012 - WonderScope
    3. May 2012 - Floating Lanterns trip planned for Memorial Day weekend
    4. Lost track . . . but pretty sure we did it!
    5. Bottom Line: Goal = (Probably) Accomplished!
  10. Simplify my life by getting rid of things I do not need.
    1. Donated 4 boxes to Goodwill between Dec. 2011 and May 2012
    2. Gave away all maternity clothes after Sam was born.
    3. Still working on selling off/giving away crap, but  I have definitely done what I set out to do.
    4. Bottom Line: Goal = Accomplished
  11. Organize all of our household paperwork, and keep up on it.
    1. Bottom Line: Big.Fat.Fail.
  12. Start my own business.  Even if it's just selling a few craft items online from time to time.
    1. Etsy business established.  Hand-crocheted flowered headband sold, custom made, and delivered.  Positive feedback!
    2. Bottom Line: Accomplished!
  13. Finish illustrating the children's book I wrote in college.
    1. Bottom Line: Nope.  Still not done.
  14. Open a savings account for Miles.
    1. Bottom Line: Still need to do this.  And now, one for Samantha, too.
  15. Send birthday cards to everyone in my immediate circle of family/friends for at least one year.
    1. Bottom Line: Nope.  Not even one. :/
  16. Take Dominic through obedience classes.
  17. Decide if/when I'm going to go back for my Master's degree, and what I'm going to study.
    1. Decision is that I will decide later, when the kids are a little older.
  18. Audition for a musical.
    1. Nope.
  19. Quit my Festival job and become a full-time stay-at-home mom. Find a better balance between work and mommyhood, whether that means quitting my job or not.
    1. Quit the Festival.  Still working on Balance.
  20. Compile my music collection into one place.
    1. In-roads have been made.  Technology is fighting me. Boo.
    2. Bottom Line: Incomplete
  21. Get a digital copy of every important photograph I have, and store them in a safe place.
    1. Hahahahahahaha.  Totally forgot about this...
  22. Finish my digital family tree.
    1. Using, family tree is now accurate to at least three generations on every side. Not sure when I'll consider it "finished".
  23. Exercise every single day for at least 30 days.
    1. So far, twice a week has been my best record.
  24. Learn at least 30 new signs for use at Special Olympics.
    1. "How many tickets?" - Need refresher.
    2. "Which?" - Need refresher.
    3. "Where is your coach?" - Need to learn.
    4. "Which events are you competing in?" - Need to learn
    5. "What time?" - Need to learn.
    6. Responses to "What time?" - Need to learn.
    7. "Where is your interpreter?" - Need to learn
    8. "She's/He's not here." - Need to learn.
    9. "She's busy with her child(ren)." - Need to learn.
    10. "I don't know much sign language." - Need to learn.
    11. "Do you want:" - Need to learn
    12. "Stuffed animals?" - Need to learn.
    13. "Candy?" - Need refresher.
    14. "Ball?" - Need refresher
    15. "Puzzle?" - Need to learn
    16. "Necklace?" - Need to learn
    17. Bottom Line: Still have a lot of work to do.
  25. Learn to play at least ten new games.
    1. Um. No.  Didn't happen.
  26. Become more involved in the financial planning of our household.
    1. Downloaded an app to help track finances.  It was horrible, and reset to zero at the end of each month.  Trying to find a better one.
    2. Took over household expenses and budgeting.
    3. Bottom Line: Finally!  One I actually accomplished!!!
  27. Set up our wills, and arrange for custody of Miles (and now Samantha), should anything unfortunate happen.
    1. Nope. 
  28. Find a church where my family is comfortable, and become an active member.
    1. Nope.  Tried.  Failed.  Gave up... 
  29. Participate in a flash mob. - DONE!
  30. Contact at least ten of my teachers from elementary, middle, high school, and college, and tell them how they have influenced my life.
    1. Mrs. Alexander - Freshman & Senior College-Bound English
    2. Mrs. Heath - Kindergarten
    3. Mr. Simmons - Middle & High School Gifted
    4. Bottom Line: 3 out of 30.  That's 10%.  Fail. :/
So, where does that leave us? Well, I tried a lot of new things.  I pushed myself.  But in the end, my goals turned out to be a little ambitious.  To be fair, I didn't know we were going to add to our family when I wrote these.  Had I known, I might have cut myself a little slack.

Am I disappointed that I failed so many goals?  A little.  But the goal of this was to make me try things, and I definitely did that.  So, in the end, I consider this a success.  Maybe my 35 by 35 goals will end with better results.  Only time will tell. :)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Thirty Years

One week from today, I will officially be 30 years old.



It sounds like I'm freaked out by it, and I guess I am, a little.  I didn't think 30 would get here so quickly.  30 seemed so far off, even a couple of years ago.  I'm mostly freaked by the fact that time has flown so quickly.

As for the actual number?  I'm actually kinda happy with it.

I am (almost) 30.  That means I'm officially an adult.  No one can discount my thoughts or opinions just because I'm a "kid" anymore.  30 is like this magic number that everyone actually recognizes as 'adulthood'.  It's nice, especially for someone like me.  My mother always said I was "born 30 years old" - others told me I have an "old soul".  Now, finally, I feel like I've grown into that, and like - finally - my same-age peers are on the same page.

No longer am I the "stick-in-the-mud" if I don't want to have a water-gun fight.  No longer am I "putting on airs" when I use big words.  No longer do people try to force me to try something I don't like or don't want to try.  I have finally reached an age where people accept what I am.

Overall, though, I just feel good about my age.  I've finally settled into my skin.  I'm comfortable with myself and who I am (for the most part).  Long gone are the years of trying to decide if I should try to fit in, the years of trying to decide exactly who I am.  I am me.  I have my faults, sure, but I've started to figure out what mine are, and what to do about them.  I can finally look myself in the mirror, see the dark circles under my eyes and the mussy hair and smile, because they belong to me.  I am a person who is loved, by my husband, my children, my family, my friends, my God - and finally, I have learned to love myself.

So, I say, "Welcome, Thirty.  I've been waiting for you."