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