Archive | July, 2010

Spotlight: Heart Tugging

31 Jul

Keeping perspective in the blogging world.

Teaching respect, self reliance, and love through knitting.

What I wouldn’t give…

The Schros have really put my life into perspective. Same age as Aaron and I, similarly spaced children. We have so much. Please pray for Katelyn and the girls as they face a new way of life.

A “New” Dress

26 Jul

My fabulous aunt sent me a few dresses when I was pregnant with Miles last summer. They were perfect for uplifting my exhausted pregnant spirits — cute, fashionable and NOT maternity clothes, so I could wear them after the baby was born!

I love the feel of knit material as a dress. The soft fabric is so inviting. It’s like wearing pajamas in public without feeling slobbish! The only drawback I had to wearing the lovely blue knit dress is that the straps were ultra thin and my bra straps showed no matter what I did. If I layered a tank top underneath, I couldn’t nurse Miles. Quite the loose/loose situation. Well, not a total loss. I wore it at home the month or so after Miles was born while the weather was still hot, but that’s about it.

So it’s sat in my closet this entire summer, unloved and unworn. For a couple weeks, I’ve had an idea forming in my mind. A picture of what I could make the dress look like if I had the guts to break out the scissors. Finally, I worked up the courage to do it. After all, I wasn’t wearing it the way it was. If it didn’t turn out, there’d be enough material left over to make Ella a sun dress or swimsuit cover up. There would be success, no matter what happened. That thought is what booted my fear out the window and I hid in my partially finished sewing room for a couple of hours and channeled my inner Marisa and got to work.

Before

This is what I had to work with. Lovely blue knit dress from Old Navy, courtesy of Aunt Tammy.

First cut is the scariest

The hardest part — the first cut. I used a safety pin to mark where I wanted the hem to be.

Insert about an hour and a half of me hand stitching alternations. I could have broken out the sewing machine, but I felt like I had more control using a hand needle.

The material for the straps were cut from the side seams of the skirt length. I felt the seams added stability to the straps to prevent them from stretching. These were sewn around the existing straps. I’m all about not burning bridges. I may want to shorten them some day or some such nonsense.

I then cut two strips of material from the hem of the skirt length and gathered them into a ruffle to tack along the neckline. A little bit of flare never hurt anyone, right?

After

This is the final product! Hooray!

The skirt ended up a little shorter than I anticipated. I think what happened is the weight of the length of the skirt stretched it out some, so when I cut it free, it bounced up a bit. Oh well. I just won’t be wearing it to the park to chase the kids. That’s okay.

Thursday Thoughts

22 Jul

There have been moments where I’ve questioned our choice to sleep with our children in our bed. To be completely frank, it’s hard. This set up has been the only way we’ve stayed sane with Ella’s sleep struggles. It has allowed us to meet her needs without having to get out of bed, which provides a small hope that we would be able to go back to sleep quickly. I’ve always been a bit jealous of friends who talk about how wonderful cosleeping is and how it encourages their family bond with night time snuggles and early morning giggles. For us, bedsharing was out of necessity and desperation, not happiness.

Then a couple weeks ago, something changed. I woke up with a strange feeling, something I struggled to identify. Finally, I pinned it down. I felt rested! Refreshed! I was actually ready to get out of bed instead of fighting sleep as I tried to roll out!

Then I realized everyone else was still sleeping. Did you read that? Everyone else was still sleeping. At 7:00 AM. Miles, Aaron, and Ella were still fast asleep. Even though I had to desperately use the bathroom, I refused to get up and run the risk of waking someone. So I laid there, luxuriating in the fact that I was the only one awake. At 8:00 AM, Miles opened his eyes with a smile and promptly sat up. His giggles woke Ella, who kissed Aaron to wake him up. We all talked and laughed together for a good ten minutes until someone’s limb ended up in my bladder and I had to break the spell to make a dash for the bathroom.

I got my wish. By following our instincts and meeting Ella’s needs, we got to celebrate as a family the huge milestone of sleeping past 5am. I am so incredibly thankful it happened this way. It’s a moment that I hope never to forget.

Countdown

21 Jul

IMG_8830

The countdown beings. Today, my son is 11 months old. In one short month, we will have a 1 yr old on our hands.

He’s into everything. Climbing, pulling, crawling, running, walking. Nothing is safe. He knows no fear with his love of water, heights, and power outlets.

Oh Miles. You are going to be the death of me.

I love you.

Wordless Wednesday

21 Jul

Splash time

Taken by his daddy.

Intention

20 Jul

I’ve been learning a lot about intention lately. Expectations. Positive vs. negative energy or thoughts. If I’m expecting something to be hard, difficult, and just generally bad news, the likelihood of that becoming a self fulfilling prophecy is pretty high.

I’m not saying you should live with your head in the sand, fingers in your ears, while singing “Everything is going to be okay”. Not in the slightest. But instead of stopping at the acknowledgment that things are going to be hard,  I insist to my inner pessimist that we’ll make it through and make the best of it.

Finding something to laugh about is less stressful than crying. When I was blocked from going to the farmer’s market because of a local 5k race, turned down a one way the wrong way to try and get home, then had Miles explode out of his diaper in the carseat all while battling a migraine before 9am, I could have broken down into tears. Instead, I laughed. A good contagious laugh that had Ella going in a few moments. Later that evening, after Aaron got home from work, I did take a long shower and cry out my stress, but in the middle of it all, laughing was much easier than crying.

The only way I was able to laugh instead of breaking down into hysterical sobs was because I started my day out with positive intention. When Ella woke up for the day at 4am and introduced me to my migraine, I really wanted to crawl back under the covers with the Wiggles entertaining the kids for a couple hours. Instead, I took a deep breath and said, “Today will be a good day”. That was my mantra and along with constant prayer, I had it on replay the entire morning.

If I hope to have grace in trying times, I need to practice now with the little things. Without practice in the small things, Life Changing Events will be unmanageable. So for now, I will practice with migraines, lack of sleep, and one way streets.

Weekend Adventures

17 Jul

This I love about the weekend so far

♥ Sleeping until 6:30 with both kids.

♥ Finding lots of tasty produce at the Farmer’s Market.

♥ Helping out some local college students putting together a documentary on locally grown food.

♥ Enjoying a late breakfast at a local cafe.

Things I’m looking forward to this weekend

♥ Playing in the splash pool in the backyard.

♥ Church on Sunday.

♥ Making fresh blackberry cobbler

♥ Maybe a dinner picnic at the park.

♥ Air Conditioning. 🙂

What about you? Any adventuring planned for this weekend or things you are looking forward to? Nothing is too small — even a glass of homemade lemonade is worth mentioning!

Wordless Wednesday

14 Jul

Getting her party on

PARTY TIME!

Getting her party on.

Monkey See, Monkey Do

13 Jul

Slide Time

Miles saw Ella climbing the slide from all the way across the yard. Before I could blink, he was over there and copying big sister on a slide just his size.

Like sister, like brother

Slide Time

I wonder what sort of shenanigans they’ll be getting into together a few short years from now…

Ouch

12 Jul

I’ve spent the last few days limping. Saturday, I stepped wrong on the edge of a pot hole (darn depth perception!!!) and twisted my knee. Badly. Thankfully, I had the foresight to plan my running route by a friend’s house and she gave me a ride home. Ice and ibuprofen have been great buddies of mine. At the chiropractor today, my knee was adjusted (who knew such a thing was possible?) and a significant amount of pain is gone. Now my poor knee simply feels swollen and stiff.

I’m planning on holding off on the C25K program until it doesn’t hurt when I walk for at least 24 hours. I kind of want to cry a little, to be honest! I was doing so well, keeping up with it and going out even if I didn’t have the energy. Now, after just one freaking week, I’m back on the couch.

As I was bemoaning my fate to myself on Sunday, I had a moment of inspiration. If I can’t physically exercise, I can exercise control over what goes into my body.

Now, as an exclusively breastfeeding mother, I’m a bit leery of dieting in general. Every ounce of breastmilk requires about 20 calories from your body. I need to maintain my health and calorie intake to maintain the health of my son. I know of a number of weight loss programs that are breastfeeding compatible, but those all cost money and I’m not terribly interested in spending extra right now.

For this upcoming week, my goal is to eat strictly vegan. This means no dairy (we’re already dairy free, so no big deal), meat products or eggs. A truly vegan diet also doesn’t permit honey, but I’m not going that far. I need honey in my chai!

Aaron is a dedicated carnivore and a hardcore bean hater. Ella? Well, she eats (and hates) whatever Daddy eats (or hates). I couldn’t handle a week of cajoling my family to eat. I need support, not resistance. So today, I made a couple pots of soup, some grain based salads, muffins and other breakfast foods and put everything portioned out in the freezer.

Hopefully having everything laid out will enable me to stay strong and stick with my plan, while still cooking our normal meal plan for the rest of the family. I figure that if I can make a grilled cheese sandwich for Aaron without caving (one of my most missed dairy foods!), I can handle this for a week. Just one week.

Right?

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