Thursday, December 27, 2012

I want to bake my cake, eat it, and make sure there is enough for everyone else too.

**I will return with an annoying amount of Holiday project posts next week. I have it circled on my calendar. Jesse, wonderful, thoughtful, Jesse got me a laptop for Christmas and on the calendar I have a day set aside to finally sit down, just me and my laptop and learn and play and post. Until then....**

I like working. I love working actually. I have had moments in my life when I'm not working and they are freeing and fun...for awhile.  What always happens is instead of the crazy productive person I think I am going to be when I have all the free time I could ask for I turn into a sloth. A lazy, daytime tv watching, vegetable. I think I have always been this way.  Give me an inch and I will take it put it on the shelf and sit down for awhile. I need schedules, I need routine, I need a time to get up and a time to come home, I need a deadline. I know this about myself, I know how to nurture this. And I learned, when I was pregnant, how to create schedules even when I wasn't working as much. But something, something lately, has changed...

For almost ten months of our beans life I only worked one day a week. This was perfect. One day a week I got to put on nice clothes and talk to grownups for 8 hours and then I got to come home and snuggle and for the rest of the week I got to do my other job and do it fully and with total focus. But I still had that thought in the back of my head...that need to work more. To create more strict schedules, to come home at the end of a day. So in October I picked up a few more shifts. It immediately was overwhelming. My work is not hard. So it wasn't that. And I still on average only pull a 25 hour work week. It's retail, can be demanding at times, but more often than not it's tedious and boring. My three days a week feel like full time. For the first time in my life it isn't causing me to be more productive in my other aspects of life. For the first time in my life my work seems to be taking away from my productivity. I get home from work and I want to snuggle and go to bed. On my days off I don't know what to do. I don't want to start a project I am just going to have to put down. All I want to do is stare into my beans eyes and get on the floor and play with her. I want to watch her little growing body learn new things, move in new ways, discover new toys and new games. I want to read to her, I want her to pretend to read to me. I don't want to do anything more than sit and just watch her because when I am at work all I can think about is all the growing she is doing without me. This isn't what I was expecting. At all. I have dreams of being a working mom, going off for my busy day and rushing home to make my family dinner, do some laundry, have amazing adventures on the weekends, and be a strong working woman role model for our little girl. Breaking news! This isn't reality.

When I do have a successfully full week, filled with adventures, and crafts, and a clean house and a full work week...blah blah blah. At the end of that week you know how I feel? Tired. And worse, I feel like I missed out on hanging with my kid. I don't know how to balance everything. That is the reality. I feel a little lost, like I am in a very new territory and I'm not doing a very good job navigating it. How in the world does anyone do it all?

I am not going to compare myself to other moms, out of house workers or stay home moms. It's a dangerous road to get on and it does none of us any good to do this. That isn't my problem here. I know they are out there, the CEO's with the clean homes and happy children. And the perfectly managed homes of the stay at home moms. I know this, but we are all different so I don't worry about that. When I do start to worry about how I stack up it's fleeting. I know too many other mom's to know that this isn't reality, that the internet and the blogs aren't the reality for most mom's out there. That we shouldn't hold ourselves to a Pinterest standard. But I do have my own standards and when I feel I am falling short of those...that is when this anxiety hits me...

Some of this is the Holidays. I have a bad habit of saying YES to everything and everyone. This isn't anyone else's fault but my own. I hate the idea of disappointing someone, this is true, but the disappointment is usually invented in my head. Most people are understanding, most people don't say yes to all of it. I do. Because a part of me loves all the crazy that comes along with the Holidays. It's the same reason why I always loved to work. That feeling of fullness is so rewarding. A full calendar, a full house, a full tank of gas and a long drive to see friends and family. No matter how exhausting, I find it exhilarating. Until it's over and I realized that the amount of time I sat down on Christmas day was exactly four hours. The four hours it took me to drive to and fro from one Christmas party to the next. And no, I wouldn't take it back, and the gatherings last weekend and the one's coming up. I wouldn't trade those for the world. Friends and family are very very important to us. And I know that this will be temporary, it will pass. The other side of it, the new thing, is that bean doesn't stop what she's doing, she doesn't stop changing and growing, just because Mommy is busy. And this breaks my heart. I don't want to be so busy trying to live up to my own standards that I miss out on the rest of this amazing world.

So where do I go from here? How do I learn to balance this all? Not to mention actually hang out with my best friend, my husband, my Jesse. He must miss me as much as I miss him. Is this just the way it goes? Is this why there are so many book and songs and poems about the fleeting moments of childhood. It's not that as adults we miss our own childhoods, it's that as our time moves faster and faster the older we get we are missing out on the the kids around us. While their days are still forever long and filled with adventures we, as adults, can just blink and we've missed it. It's a whole new ballgame and I am struggling to learn the rules. I can only hope that I'll pick up enough of it to fake it better in the future. Because right now I have no chance of being called up to the majors...

I think this is weighing on me right now because we are on the verge of a very big project that is going to take so much more of my time. I am nervous that I won't know how to balance everything. So I am really thinking about it a lot. I think this is good, instead of pretending we are fearless let's just all talk about our fears. Is following my dreams going to be too much of a sacrifice for my family or is it all going to be worth it? I think it will be, I think that we will figure this out. I think that having a mom that follows her dreams, that kind of role model I hope will be just as important as one who packs her lunch every single day. Oh man, I hope.

A haiku for my bean:

I have ideas
For how our future will look
For now let's just play.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

House of Christmas Cards

PROJECTO NUMERO...TRES? Christmas Cards!!!

Oh hey! Merry Christmas guys! Here's another project I put together this year, and now that most of you have already received these suckers I can post about them.  Here's the deal, every year I make our damn Christmas cards. EVERY YEAR. One year I told Jesse I was just going to buy them, I believe this was last year WHEN I HAD JUST HAD A BABY. He looked so heartbroken, and actually SAID he wanted me to make them again. WHAT???? What a jerk. And a sweety. Apparently this means something to him. Blah blah blah. So yeah. Every year I spend more money on crafty supplies than I would on buying a box of letterpress ready made Christmas cards. It seemed ridiculous this year. So I decided instead of throwing more money at supplies whose leftovers would end up being hoarded in a box somewhere, I decided this year to use all these leftovers! LEFTOVERS! Fancy huh? Turns out I have a whole bunch of stuff. And it only takes a very small amount to actually make cards. So expect even more recycled cards in the future! Maybe some Valentines? Or easter? Or arbor day?

STEP ONE: Decide on design and create a rough draft. (That's Jesse's great aunt up there, we had no tiny family pix to use on this template)

STEP TWO: Cut all the strings. It was a lot of strings. I made a cardboard template that was the length i needed the strings to be and just wrapped and wrapped and wrapped for 35 times (I needed 70 lengths of string). I then just cut at the rounded edges and viola I had 70 pieces ready to use. Did that make any sense?

 THREEEEEE: Cut tiny little flags! Using good old fashioned elmers glue attach the strings, you can then just slide the flags under the string onto the still wet glue!

 A work in progress!

 STEP FOUR! Admire your work thus far!

(to be continued...)

Friday, December 7, 2012

You guys, I love candy canes.

On the second day of christmas...

I'd like to call this Inspira-post:
Birdhouses as Winter Cabins!


Why My Dad is Awesome!

Holiday project post number two is really not much of a project, well it WAS a project that my Dad did, last year. Project number two and I'm already stretching it? Jeesh. This isn't going to last long, tomorrow I'll be posting about how much I like candy canes and calling it good. Dude, but candy canes really are so good.

Let's get on with it! Last year I kept seeing these cool tree silhouettes, some out of wood, some out of metal, some painted, some natural. All of them I wanted. I found some that I really liked in a magazine, but they were very expensive and I just couldn't justify it so I did what any daughter of a woodworking dad does; I sent my Dad a photo of a picture in a magazine of these laser cut out trees. And whaddya know! I got myself some handcrafted, one of a kind, wooden tree silhouettes! They were gorgeous and went up immediately, I think. I don't remember Christmas last year very well. Have I mentioned that we had a one month old? 

They really are beautiful and since last year was such a fuzzy mess, I have been waiting all year to be able to put them out again and really enjoy them. This year they became center stage on our woodland mantle. Apparently donkeys, lions, and moose all live together in my imaginary Christmas forest, as do giant birds who live in giant bird cabins in the snow. Heck, it's Christmas, it's magical, anything can happen.

So as I said, project number two wasn't so much a project as being inspired by one piece of decor and running with it. The snow? It's a garland I got at Big Lots years ago. It hasn't made it's way out since the Fire and Ice party of '07. It's nice that it joined us this year. And there is one little bean who very much enjoys saying 'night night' to her magical Christmas Donkey, Lion, and Moose.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Projectile Christmassing.

Let's see how many empty promises I can make on this little bloggy blog. My new one? I am going to post ALL my holiday projects. From decor to food to crafts. No really. I am...c'mon give me another chance. I've changed, I have, I mean it....

So the reality is that Bean is not going to remember this Christmas. She won't, she'll enjoy looking back at the funny pictures and her mom's ridiculous bun (omygawd only old ladies wear their hair in buns moo-oom), but she won't have those honest to goodness tradition making memories. I mean, the weird part is that WE are going remember this Christmas so well. This is going to be her first real Christmas. Last year she was just one month old when Christmas hit. It was a festive, love filled, blurry, stressful holiday. This year feels so relaxed and so Christmassy. And I hope this feeling of calm is one we can make a tradition. Can you imagine? Calm Christmas' being the tradition. HAHAHAHAhahAhAh. This year is a fluke, I know it, I am waiting for the other candy cane filled shoe to drop. In the meantime I am going to enjoy this feeling, and I will try to remember what it feels like in Christmas' to come.

The relaxed feeling may come from my out-of-character early prepping for the jubilee. I know it is only December 5th (edit-it's actually the 6th, but I wrote most of this post yesterday), but my brain keeps thinking it's Christmas Eve. Seriously. I don't know what is happening to my inner clock. I calmly collected all I needed to make our Christmas cards last night, and even finished the first step. No rush. No panic. Just really thought it was somewhere in late December, when I usually start my Christmas cards. I am not going to complain. Whatever strange universe star alignment that is occurring that is making me 'on top of it' this year I am welcoming with open arms. Oh, and just so you know, it only applies to Holiday things. I'd forget my own ass if it wasn't attached. I've left my wallet at home too many times to count. I've missed appointments. Lost keys. Walked from one room to the next only to turn around because I couldn't remember why I left that room in the first place. (Edit-adding this in just to really drive in the point of me being a nut job in the rest of my life: I just left the bath running, it overflowed, and flooded are bathroom. I am not kidding. There is a load of towels on spin cycle in our washing machine right now so full of sudsy lost bubble bath water. Grrr) So what little organization I seem to have regarding this Holiday season I am going to embrace the crap out of and get. stuff. done.

Project Numero Uno:

Simple yarn and pom pom garland.

And by simple I mean SIMPLE.

Take a real long strand of yarn. Get yourself some craft pom poms. Tie said yarn around said pom pom evenly spaced. Hang from fireplace/tree/dresser/ceiling fan (every time I write ceiling I have to recite "I before E except after C").

Feliz Navidad mis amigos.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My own definitions...


Traditional definition: Done, produced, or occurring every day or every weekday.

My definition: Done, produced, or occurring every once in awhile, whenever there is time, maybe every month, maybe not, depending on the amount of stuff going on, sometimes never, hopefully more often.

Blogging daily. HahHAHAhAHHAAHahhaha....

...well, I tried. I really did.

Absent Minded Professor

Friday, November 9, 2012

33 is a magic number.

I spent my birthday doing exactly what I wanted to:
Cake for breakfast.
Funny cards from my mom.
Red Robin with my Dad and brothers.
Afternoon at the Aquarium with my little girl.
A night out with my friends.
A pedicure.
A football game with my husband.
I am so grateful for my life.

Why can't men witch have babies?



Wanna hear that again, same time next year? I thought so. Should I also go on and on about how important halloween is to me? As I do every year. As it is every year. But really, you guys, I love this silly holiday. I stay up late making costumes. I decorate my house. And, it turns out, at least for her first Halloween, our Bean is a big fan too.

I decorated late one night. So it was like Christmas morning for bean when she came out to the living room. She laughed and pointed and immediately figured out what were Jack-o-lanterns, what were pumpkins, and what were bats. She had to say goodnight to the Jack-O-Lantern every night. And today, when I finally put him away for next year...well, she gave him a kiss and a hug. Her mother's daughter, for reals.

Another sign that we have a little Hallowbaby on our hands? She never once tried to take her costume off. The whole three hours she was in it. Happy as a duck in water. Did we mention she was a duck?

Story goes as this, Lyla's first word was Duck. I had started off the season trying to decide between lumberjack and chimney sweep for our first Halloween costume. We then decided she should pick her costume, as much as a ten month old can. So it was between Duck, her first word and her favorite book character, or Monkey her favorite stuffed animal. We wandered into a consignment store a month before halloween and this duck costume flung itself at us. And thus it was decided. "Duck!" "Duck!" "Duck!"
I was feeling a little bit weird about not making her first costume, so to dissuade the guilt I decided to throw a bow on it to match Dimity Duck, a character in this great book. She loved the book, she would point out the duck on every page and giggle when her pal Frumity Frog surprised her from under a lily pad. This little bow, and a stuffed frog turned our little ordinary duck costume into a literary character. Maybe next year she'll go as Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird, or maybe Ponyboy from the Outsiders.

With her duck farmers in tow, and meemaw the Leprachaun Mayor (oh where are THOSE pictures??), we headed off to fairhaven to brave the elements and get this Duck her first Trick or Treating experience. She was happy, and cozy, and after some time in the bookstore she was ready for home. All in all it was an amazing family Halloween. 


 Oh, but wait. This holiday isn't just for the kids now is it?

Things got real weird once the sun went down and Brad and Angelina showed up. It was just all so vivid. And so strange.

XOXO, until next year my little goblins...

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Some brains just work that way...

I am taking today off.

In my place I give you this:

This makes an excellent lullaby, btws.


Monday, October 29, 2012


Here is the thing: baby girl hoodies are awful. Mostly, sometimes they are ok, but mostly blech. I wanted a cool shirt or sweatshirt for Beans first Halloween. I saw some skeleton hoodies at Target, but the girl ones were pink and sparkly, it was weird. So I grabbed the boys version (black with white bones, doy!) and brought it home! I was fairly excited for my little punk rock baby. Her dad had other plans though. He really likes a little pink on his baby girl and thought this was too, too, boyish. So I came up with a solution, I had seen versions of this sweatshirt with a little heart on the chest, and I thought a little pink heart would make it just enough girly for her dad. I took some scrap pink fabric we had laying around and hand stitched a little heart on the chest. Now she is the perfect combination, a little bit of pink for her dad and a little bit of punk rock for her mom.

...and a little bit of kiwi lover.

...and a little bit of ghost too!
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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Curioser and Curioser

Lyla Jane is turning into a kitten.

A curious, curious, kitten. A kitten that wants to pull and tug and open and touch and throw and poke at everything.

Or maybe she is just turning into a...toddler.

Either way, she needs some new stimulus. Some new adventures.

Now, we pull out pots and pans, we play with paint, we play with water, and we do what we can to nurture her curiosity with what we have in the house. But at some point you hit a road block and a little inspiration is really helpful. A girl can only sit in front of a cabinet and open and close it for so long, you know what I mean? Unless you are on some sort of drugs. And then you could probably do that forever. But I'm not sure she's into that sort of thing...also babies shouldn't do drugs, doy.

Thank goodness for this website, Hands on, as we Grow.

Ton's of activities and projects for all ages. I just focused on the multisensory ones right now because they seemed like they'd be able to keep a kitten pretty entertained. Since that is what we are dealing with here...

So last night I sat and cut some fabric scraps into ribbon. I stuffed them into two of her old bottles she doesn't use anymore and I let her go to town. At first she just played with the bottles, banging, rolling, chewing. And then she discovered the fabric, and sat and pulled out each piece one at a time. It was pretty awesome to watch.

We also filled some small bottles with food coloring, water, and some soap! She loves to shake the crap out of them, she loves to crinkle the bottle. Later she might enjoy watching the bubbles settle. For now she just likes the funny sounds and colors.

 While going through my fabric scraps to make ribbons I found this set of sample fabrics I had ordered when we were thinking of getting window treatments made. This fabric is cool because it was already cut into little squares and it's all different textures. Bean is asleep right now, but when she wakes up I'll see what she thinks of these. I am imagining some throwing and a lot of chewing. But I think it's good for her to play with the different textures.
We are just going to spend our Sunday overdosing on multisensory activities. If next time we see you we pet you and hug you, it's not the ecstasy. It's just our curiosity.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Our little big girl.

My little big girl turned 11 months old last week. Which means in less than a month we will have a one year old running (RUNNING) around the house. So here is the deal. I wrote the following list for our bean in honor of her hitting the eleven month point. All of these things are but a mere fraction of what we love about our little girl. I mean, they tell you that you don't know love until you have a child of your own (which here is the thing, you know love it's just like a whole different love, not that people who don't have kids don't know love, that is just dumb. That being said, we didn't know this kind of love, this kind of love is a whole different ball game). Our love for this person, our Lyla, only gets stronger every day. And like, the pride you feel for the things she does, that is an amazing feeling. The pride. We just die everytime she learns something new, or figures something out on her own. To get to watch her, to be a part of her growing up, we just feel so lucky.

Ah, but with all this growing, all this pride also come a whole new bag of emotions. This little girl started walking fairly early (all us Flores kids do I guess). The pride we felt was astonishing, a little misplaced, as every kid is different, this isn't really something to, like, boast over. But we were proud none the less. And now, you guys, she is trying to run. And she is running away from us. And with this new power has come the power of want. And want is pretty powerful, especially when she can't have. Oh yes. Whining. Tantrums. They are just mild at this point, but you can hear it, you can see it churning behind her eyes. She wants, she can't have, and this really annoys her. Right now this is relegated to us taking away the dangerous things, or moving her to change a diaper or put on clothes. Little things, we'll get a whine or a few tears. With some distraction she is over it. But it is also happening when she wants so badly to be able to do something by herself that she hasn't figured out how to do yet. Like climbing up on the couch, into the tub, reaching something on a counter. She gets frustrated, with herself, and this is new. And this will be interesting. We are watching this person emerge from her baby cocoon. And she is figuring it out. And we are figuring it out. And it is pretty cool to see her personality become so much stronger. We are a little scared, not gonna lie, about how to nurture this. How to discipline this. It's a lot man. So truthfully, eleven months is both spectacular and terrifying. Do I have to even say that it's all worth it? I mean, duh, have you seen her smile? Erases a million tantrums, in a second. Which, come to think of it, could be a very dangerous tool should she learn how to use it....

For our Lyla Jane, eleven months old, here are eleven things that we adore about you:

1. Your laugh. You will laugh freely and often. You laugh at things that are funny. You laugh because other people are laughing, which when the grown ups are laughing at a very grown up thing and you chime in, great comedic timing baby girl. You laugh at mommy and daddy. You laugh at strangers. You wake up laughing some days. This kills us.
2.Your shyness. Baby girl, you aren't really shy. You can be kind of a ham actually. But, when you meet new people, or are in a new situation you slow down. You get quiet, you look for me or daddy just to make sure. It takes but 10 minutes before you are comfortable, but for those ten minutes your quietness, your caution, are amazing to watch. It's like we can see what you are thinking. It is a very thoughtful moment to catch you in and we love it.
3.Your appetite. You would eat and eat and eat all day long if you could. For such a little babe you sure can scarf down. It may be genetic, but it's probably just because you are growing like a maniac! Yesterday you had two dinners, one with daddy and one when we went out. You ate mashed potatoes, ham, and spinach with daddy. And at the restaurant you ate a corn tortilla, beans, rice, and chicken. And not just a little bit, like, a lot. I also nursed you in between. Which means you had three meals within two hours. And you were very happy about this. So far you love all food. I hear this may change when you start practicing your ability to make choices, but for now you will eat anything. Although you have your favorites, one of which is the all powerful banana. Which btws, you ask for by name, "uhnana", we also adore this.

4. Animal sounds. This just destroys us, you have us in giggling fits when we ask you what a horse says, "naynaynaynay..." you say always as you run away. But the real killer is your squirrel sound, you make this clicking noise with your tongue and your teeth when asked what a squirrel says. We die. Every. Single. Time.
5. Your face.
6. Your baby bum.
7. Bathtime. You love the water. Sometimes you will go into the bathroom and just look longingly into the bathtub. You like to put your toys in first as it's filling up with water. And then you lift your leg like you are just going to hoist yourself into the magical bath. You aren't quite there yet. whew. You also like to drink the water, you like to stick your face under water, and go 'swimming'. We call it swimming, you lie on your belly and move around the whole tub. Just recently you discovered the drain too! We keep you in the tub as the water drains and you frantically try to 'save' your toys from going down the drain, until you realize they aren't going anywhere and then you just wave bye bye to the water.
8. Playing chase. You trying to run is like, the cutest thing to us. Arms hanging by your side, hands flipped backwards slightly behind your back, waddle, waddle, waddle as fast as you can away from us. We adore this now. Pretty soon this is going to exhaust us.
9. Your love of books. Granted, half the time you love them just for chewing. But the other half of the time, the times when you go get a book all by yourself and bring it to us and then try to sit on/in our laps and are quiet and still from start to finish. This is what we adore. You are a mover. You are a physical little girl. And these moments, that you choose to sit with us perfectly still. These are some of my favorite times.
10. Hugging Panda. You HUG PANDA. Do I need to say more? ADORABLE.
11. Hugs and kisses. Your idea of a hug is resting your head on us and smiling. It's a very specific smile, only used when hugging. I mean. Holy heart melt. And your big fat open mouth tongue out kissing! Swoon! Although, hopefully these will be reserved just for us until your 30. Ahem.

This list, and this probably could go without saying, could be a million things long and it still wouldn't be long enough to fill with all the things we adore about you. Thank you bean, for letting us be your parents, we love you immeasurably.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Kept her in a pumpkin shell.

Finally a little Halloween spirit here at CasaIrlanda.

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