Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Happenings

Worst. Blogger. Ever.  Thank God, I don't blog as means to make income or I would starve.

I thought I would stop by my space here and update life. It's kindly crazy at the moment. Who's ready for winter to end? Everybody? Yeah, me too, we're just coming off of 20 inches of snow last week and it is snowed a couple inches twice since then.

Home: We are in the process of getting our house ready to go on the market. We have been meaning to do this for 4 years now but are fantastic at procrastination. It is time now. My daughter starts kindergarten in a couple years and we need to be settled in our new place by then. We just arranged to have every single floor (except for one closet) in our house replaced. It was not cheap but after years of living, and kids, and pets, it was not an option. We are replacing the carpet and vinyl on our main living area (kitchen, living room, dining room) with hardwood and I can't wait. We're working on a few other improvements too, Naturally, we are kicking ourselves for not doing this stuff sooner so we could actually enjoy it. The new kitchen faucet that my husband installed yesterday, cheap and easy. Why did we wait?

I don't know,
but things are moving and we hope to get it on the market at the beginning of April. Hopefully, it will sell quickly and we can start on the fun part,  house shopping.

Family: My son, who has a parylized nerve in his left eye that limits it's movements, is starting to favor his good eye and is at risk for losing accuity in his weak eye. So, we get the lovely task of patching his good eye for two hours a day to make him use his weak eye. Ha. Ha. Hahahahahahhahahah. I don't know if you have ever tried to patch a 2 year old's eye, but I don't recommend it as a good time. So far the longest we have managed to get him to wear it is about 20 seconds. If anyone has any experience with this and knows a good trick, I am all ears.

Health: Very quietly, I will mention that I have been on a weight loss path and have dropped 7 pounds since mid-January. That is all I will say for now.

Career: Nothing to report here. All of my focus is on the first three things.
Tin Can Knits Barley

Life: I was on a knitting kick for a while and worked my way through several of the patterns in the Tin Can Knits Simple series. Including the hat pictured. I am very much a novice knitter but I enjoy it and it will be something I can do when my sewing machine goes into storage. Speaking of, I am back on a sewing kick now and just completed Style Arc's Slip-on Suzie (sorry about the bathroom selfie) and am currently working on a muslin for McCall's 6696.

Style Arc Slip-on Suzie in ITY knit from G-street fabrics
I have sewn quite a few items in my current wardrobe but the craptastic winter with it's early sunsets, have hindered my photo shoots.

Anyway that's what I am up to. I'll be posting before and after shots of the home improvements. Should be fun!

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Elephant in the Room

If you go back through the archives of this blog, you will see that time and again I have posted about my attempts at weight loss. If you look at recent pictures in this blog or my Facebook page, you will see that any and all efforts have been abandoned.

I'm still fat. News flash.

I have been on and off the wagon several times over the last few years. After a decade spent running and fastidiously watching my diet, I just can't get it together long term. The problem: Happiness.

When I was younger and single, I put way too much weight on my weight. I was convinced that I had no chance at happiness unless I was thin, toned, with hair and makeup that were just right. It wasn't particularly rational but I never claimed to be without issues. So it was that fear of unhappiness that drove me to run further, go to the gym daily and count calories mercilessly.

Then I got married and had two babies and find myself fat. And Happy. And that's the problem, I'm happy and just not driven to lose weight by fear that 5 extra pounds will doom me to a miserable life. I am fat and I am loved. I am fat and I have friends. I am fat and I love myself. I am fat and wake up each day thankful that I am so damn lucky.

But alas, I want to stay happy for another 60 years. And I do want to look better. I want to rock the clothes I sew. So I have to keep trying to find that spark. Find that moment that will send me down the right path. Right now I am doing things right. I won't be talking a lot about it because, I've been here before. If something significant starts to happen, I'm sure it will become a topi
c I bring to forefront a little more.

We have gotten back in the gym. That helps. Until now, our gym membership hasn't been used to it's fullest. Dropping my kids in the kid's area resulted in one happy kid and one kid who cried himself sick. It's hard to motivate yourself to the gym when that is the result. So my husband and took turns and it mostly just didn't happen. A few weeks ago we decided to try it again and hope that Landry took the (pretty awesome) Kid Zone a little better. He did. He went in a never looked back. He loves it. My daughter loves it and there is no better motivation than taking your kids somewhere that a) they love b) costs no additional money and c) wears them the hell out.

So now they are my little personal trainers. Begging to go to the "play place" all the time. As cold weather approaches and indoor activities are needed this will be even more crucial.


So that's my weight update. I may talk more about it. I may not. I may ride this train to a more healthy size. I may fail. I don't know. All I know is that today, I am trying.

Friday, November 8, 2013

5 years and a lifetime to go

Five short years ago, I put on a beautiful white dress, got a smashing updo and made my way down an aisle lined with family and friends to meet up with a handsome man in a tuxedo. On that night we said our I do's and started our lives together.


 I haven't regretted it.

My husband wasn't the only guy waiting at the end of the aisle that day. In addition to becoming a wife I also became a stepmother. And, on November 7, 2008 we became a family.

 I don't really write about my stepson. He is old enough that his privacy dictates that. He is old enough to tell his own stories. Second, being a blended family has enough challenges that it doesn't need me sharing the gory details with the world. But when I speak of my family, I mean all five of us.

Back then we were three. We added two more to make things complete. And then we were five.
 Five years and one day ago, it was just me. And now I have all this. Life is good



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

That chill in the air

Image from Naper Design
Like practically everybody else in America and some parts of Canada, I love Fall. I love the cooler weather, the colorful leaves. I love football and pumpkin everything and holidays. But my favorite thing about the end of summer is the end of that feeling that you should be outside doing something. Outside enjoying the weather. Ignore the fact that 95 degrees and humid is not at all enjoyable, you should be at the pool. You should be at the beach.

No, in the fall and winter it is perfectly acceptable to spend the entire day at home, inside, reading a book; making the aforementioned pumpkin treats, napping. The reality is that with two small kids, I can't spend an entire day reading or napping but at least I don't feel so bad about not having them at the playground the whole time or worse, the pool.

We are prepping for Halloween around here. My daughter, 3.5, wants to be Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony and preparing her costume was no small feat. A purchased costume would not work because in

addition to be ugly the colors aren't right and worse, the cutie mark is wrong. Caroline would not stand for that. So I had to make one from the ground up.  I made blue leggings and a blue long sleeve shirt, and ears, and wings, and a cutie mark. My mom is making a rainbow mane and tail. I'll post pictures when she has it all on, she is really so excited.

I was uninspired on a costume for my little guy so he is going as a Raven's football player. He will be tackling those bowls of candy, for sure.

We are also trying to get our house ready to go on the market. It is a lot of work because it needs a lot of updates, carpets, lights, paint and I don't know how people do this when they have small children and a husband who watches football all day on Sunday's (part of our pre-marriage agreement. Don't worry, there is plenty of give and take in our marriage and he is happy to give me my time). To say nothing, of trying to keep the house clean when tornadoes live there.

What else?

Reading: We Are Water by Wally Lamb. I am a huge fan of his books and I just started this one, it will take me forever to get through but will no doubt be worth it.

Listening: A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy. I have ever read any of her stuff but the library had slim pickin's. It's OK so far.

Watching: Hot in Cleveland. Really, I'm just killing time until Downton Abbey is back. Must resist reading spoilers from England. Why in this age of Twitter, etc do they torture us by showing it in England first?

Sewing: A lovely wool skirt to be worn with tights and boots. I love you, Fall.

Eating: Zingerman's Chicken. Perfect for Fall. The bread. My God, the bread.

Working: 32 hours a week instead of 40 (sigh of relief). Back to work from a 2.5 week furlough during the government shutdown which was, I confess, glorious. (before you hate me, know that as a contractor, I did not get back pay for the time I wasn't working)

So that's life around here right now. We are loving fall and I am one of those people who actually really does love the holidays. Even more so this year since my parents moved to town.

I hope you are enjoying Autumn. Stay inside. Read a book.





Tuesday, September 10, 2013

How to survive the horrible 3's

My daughter is three and a half. When she was two, I was a smug as they come. Terrible 2's. Not my little angel. We didn't have tantrums. I had no reason to use time outs. Even with a new baby in the mix, she was sweet and good tempered. She communicated well and was really just a joy. I was smug.

Karma is a bitch and my smugness has come back to bite me in the ass. I now live with some one who can be just as sweet as that two year old but who can also be reduced to a sobbing mess because her cereal is too pointy. Yes, that has really happened.  Just this morning, she was furious at me because I said good morning to her stuffed cat, Douglas. Every night, I am required to give Douglas a goodnight kiss but saying good morning to her (Douglas is a girl) is a horrible thing to do because, "Don't say that. Douglas is a toy!"

It is like living in a mine field. You never know where to step or what to say. So I thought I would share a few of the ways, I am coping with the horrifying threes.
1.
 2.
 3.
Yeah, I've got nothing else. 

If you haven't yet experienced the Threes, be afraid. Be very afraid. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A House Divided





Way back a long time ago, I went to a wonderful little college known as the University of Tennessee. Every Saturday in the fall it turned into a sea of Big Orange as the glory of SEC football descended on the land. Like any good college student I was in the stands, decked in orange, cheering for my school. Our football team was good. They weren't great. But still it was an awesome experience.

And then one year, we got a new quarterback and suddenly we were great. His name was, maybe you have heard of him, Peyton Manning. To say having Peyton Manning as the QB of your college team is awesome would be an understatement. I instantly became a Manning fan. When he went pro, I stayed a Peyton Manning fan and though I wasn't a huge pro-football fan, the Colts were my team of choice because of there quarterback. 

Fast forward 10 years and I met my future husband and he was (is) a huge Baltimore Ravens fan. Football meant so much more to him than it did to me and I became a Ravens fan to support him and join in something he loved. I cheered for the Raven's every game, even when they played the Colts. But in my heart I still cheered for Peyton too, and could never really be disappointed when the Colts beat the Ravens. 

As the years have gone on and I have gotten more and more into NFL football, it has been

 harder and harder for me to not express my true team colors. I tried to have family unity. We are all for the Ravens!!! While on the inside I was conflicted. When Peyton changed teams, I found myself suddenly caring about the Broncos. 
Last year when the Ravens won the Superbowl , I decided that since my husband got that, I could have a year or two of openly and proudly cheering for my favorite player to win it all before he rides off into the sunset. This announcement was not greeted with enthusiasm by the husband but he has been more accepting than I would have ever dreamed. He draws the line at any Broncos gear for the kids though. I can accept that, they have plenty of of UT stuff.

So, tonight when the Broncos meet the Ravens, I will be on one side of the couch cheering the Blue and Orange and my husband, will be on the other side cheering for the Ravens. Our friends and family are shocked and disappointed at my betrayal but I have to go with my heart and finally say it out loud. What we can agree on? Guacamole in the middle!

Go Broncos!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

First of the first days

This morning, remarkably quickly after she came out of my womb, my Sweet Caroline went to her first day of preschool. School! What the what!?!!? How did we get here? But here we are and my big girl is now part of a class and requires a backpack. A backpack that is as big as she is.




Last week, the preschool had a day to meet the teacher and then and there Caroline fell in love with her classroom and the teacher. All weekend she would ask me, "remember when we met Mrs. S?" She was almost as excited about the day as I was. We started counting down the number of sleeps left until preschool started. 5, 4, 3, 2 ,1 and suddenly it was this morning and we put on her new Oliver and S Family Reunion Dress (post about that to come) and her new light up princess sneakers. Because it was a special day, she allowed me to put her hair in ponytails, a treat for me indeed.

Then she endured the picture taking.



When I dropped her off, she had no nervousness or fears. I didn't expect any. She has been going to daycare most of her life so she is accustomed to being away from mommy. No tears from me either!!!! I snuck one more quick pick as I walked out the door.

2.5 hours later I was greeted at the classroom door by Caroline wearing her backup clothes. Oops. Well, we won't dwell on that. She was happy and super excited to go back tomorrow.


I won't make the mistake of letting her have a drink on the way then.