This is why

September 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

This is why

Before we had our first baby I was determined to not fall into any of those petty parenting cliches. You know like complaining about how tired you are, how you wish your partner did that gender typical task they never did in the first place, how fast your baby is growing and all that other stuff that is fodder for family sitcoms. I wouldn’t have told you that, but somewhere in my brain I was so sure that I was better, more sophisticated, or somehow exempt from feeling those things. I didn’t think that parenting would be easy, but I didn’t think that I would turn into someone that talked about every detail of my babies sleep and bowel movements in great detail, all day long. I wouldn’t be as frustrated as those portrayals of parenting.

I thought that if I loved my baby, and wore her in a sling, and slept with her at night, and inticipated troubling transitions, and used positive reinforcement, and talked with her respectfully…

Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t think that I was better than everyone else. I guess just thought that I was going to be so mindful, so educated and have so much time to focus my energy on being a stay at home parent that I could bypass the complaining and just gloat about how cute pudgy toes are and then discuss current events like a real adult.

 

It turns out that parenting is emotionally exhausting. Your baby turns into a preschooler when you look away and it’s damn hard being a parent and a partner. And then your little one cries on the first day of school and you feel responsible, for everything. Some days it’s hard to listen to your instincts and not second guess yourself. It feel contradictory to feel like you had a hard day when you wanted this job, and love being with your kids.

I don’t have any eloquent words to describe why it’s worth it and why I love being a parent and why I think we just might need one more baby. But it is. It’s worth it.

There is a lot involved in assuming and integrating your identity as a parent. At least it has been that way for me, and reading on the blogosphere I would guess for a lot of other people too. I’m sure it’s easier for some and harder for others. I thought that becoming a married person was an exciting and seamless transition into my identity. I didn’t get cold feet, or buyers remorse it just seemed natural.

And maybe that’s why I thought I would not be the mommy sitting around talking about how my kid is a stinker and my house is a disaster, still. I thought I was prepared. I thought that being a stay at home parent was the key to my happiness. I know you are laughing now. What was I thinking?

I love so much about staying home but I think I need something else in addition to maintain my balance. I’ve been feeling a little off and unable to find my grip. I’m going to venture into doing a very small amount of professional work and see where that takes me.

I think it’s part of falling off my high horse. It’s part of the journey of parenthood. And thank goodness for other mamas. Thanks to all you mamas out there. I’ve needed you these last few years.

Stripes

July 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

40 weeks

*yah, I’m not pregnant right now (this was almost three years ago now) but I like this photo with the belly and the stripes and I just couldn’t come up with another stripy picture. Blogging without an image just isn’t for me.

I think they say you should imagine the coldest day when the weather is so hot the sweat is dripping down your legs and you convince your kids to go to a park across town with more treeS because you can’t take another second standing in the sun pushing little sweaty bums on the swing. The mind is very powerful to suggestion. So browsing Ravelry for beautiful sweaters I should knit for myself is probably making me feel at least 5 degrees cooler.

Here’s to knitted stripes and thinking about cooler weather.

Caramel by Isabell Kraemer

Nova by Signe S. Simonsen

Lovebug Booties by Carrie Bostick Hoge

Daybreak by Stephen West

Staying busy

July 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

piggytails

Growing

mow

Trying new things

corn

Growing

lake

Going outside

dirt

Getting dirty

coop

Building

Watching the creative process

April 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

Art
When young kids first tackle the art process it’s all about the process. I love it. It’s what I love about creativity and art. I personally also love the feeling of accomplishment and mastery, but 2 year olds would rather peel the paper off crayons and put them back in the container.

I love showing toddlers the basic steps of a task and then watching them practice and learn about the new experience.
Wet the brush in water
Drip water into the watercolor paint
Pull the brush across the page
Watch the colors emerge and blend
Repeat many times
My jumping, stomping monster becomes methodical and focused.

Recently we moved into a new stage of art development. Bug sometimes draws things. Really they are not much more than things yet. A scribble that ends up with legs and googly eyes. A circle or a line described as a bird. But she’s starting to designate meaning to her visual expressions. The picture above is Louie from Ezra Jack Keats’ book Louie’s Search.

The artist in me is happy to think that she will enjoy the creative process too.

Easter garb

April 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

Armed with a hot pink cashmere sweater I was able to sew a few things for the girls the night before the big egg hunt at our neighborhood park. One petite sweater with a large turtleneck produced…
cowl3

…a cowl

cowl4

Notes: I sewed the  ribbing from the waist of the sweater to the turtleneck, and wha la! The perfect addition to a dress on a cool sunny morning.
bonnet2

…and a bonnet and a pair of pants for the littlest one.

We must have used up all of our charm and grace at the egg hunt becase on Easter day the cute outfits didn’t last long. Bug chewed on a glow stick (left over from egg hunt #1, a glow in the dark hunt Friday night) in the car on the way to my parents house. Of course we didn’t suspect a thing until she emerged from the car with a pool of neon on her dress and white coat, and (supposedly non-toxic) ooze dripping from her mouth.
We finished up the day with one last egg hunt sans any more candy or glowing ooze.

Something to love

April 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

Patchwork taggie
I was certain that we would be better at helping our second baby learn better sleep habits that we did with Bug. That wasn’t too demanding since Bug only slept for about 40-60 minutes at a time for the first year of life and was constantly attached me, more accurately the milk supply. So I was pleased when Little Bear accepted a pacifier to sleep and stunned when we were able to lay her down when she was tired.  I’m not saying that we are a total success, but has been easier this time around.

So in an effort to move Little Bear closer and closer to sleeping alone at night and for longer stretches (our pediatrician is good at concealing that surprised look that says, “your baby still wakes up 5 times at night?”) I have been sewing little things for the little one to love. Transitional objects you might call them.

But for now this is the plan:

Be more consistent with our sleep routine

Savor  snuggling with her soft, soft cheeks and those sweaty little curls she wakes up with

Try to remember despite how tired and grumpy I feel in the morning that this stage will pass, she will learn healthy sleep habits, and someday I will sleep all night long

Taggie

The patchwork taggie has dot minky fabric on the back and just a few ribbon taggies on one side. I found that our little ones preferred the real tags on toys more than the typical taggie with ribbons all the way around. This arrangement has been received well by our drooling critic.

The popsicle fabric is Poplin by Little Lisette and the others are from my stash, or scraps from the wonderful $1 scrap bags at a local boutique fabric store.

I had to include this last picture because when I sat her down for the photo shoot she discovered that she can scoot around on her soft woolie bottom by pushing her sweaty little toes on the wood floors.

Spring

April 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

Spring

Eggs, snow drop, tissues

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