Sunday, January 26, 2014

About Me

This is all somewhat random.

One reason I like to knit is because I am completely accessible to all my children. I can feel that I am being a good mommy and I am doing something I love all at the same time.

I'm a 'Janeite' - for 7 years running I read Pride and Prejudice at the same time every year, until it caused a neck injury. (long story, but yes, I hurt myself reading a book!)

I'm brave enough to be different than everyone around me, but still frail enough to care what people think - though I still do my own thing anyway :) I just end up feeling like I don't ever quite fit in.

I sometimes have a hard time forgiving.

I'm touchy about having a big family.  Comes from too many people's not-so-wonderful comments.  I'd love to say that it's wonderful all the time, just to make myself feel better about those comments, but it's not.  It's hard.  All the time.  But it's just one of those things you either get or you don't.  I wouldn't have it any other way.  We are having this crazy amazing family experience that I wouldn't trade for all the world. I think it all really boils down to the closeness of my kiddos to each other and the atmosphere in our home.

I sent my kindergartener to school once with no shoes on.  True.

I've had two of my babies born at home, two in the hospital, and one at a birth center. Not in that order. (Next one is a planned home birth.)

I can't stand the book, "The Cat In the Hat".  Why would anyone encourage kids to make a mess when their parents aren't home???  It just drives me crazy! I want to vomit at the sight of that book.

One of my biggest regrets in life is not keeping in touch with good friends over the years.

My house is usually messy - unless I know someone is coming over.

A lot of people who look at my blog ask me if I homeschool.  I have done a little, but never all my kids at once.  I appreciate those who do, but it's just not for me. Truth be told, I just need a break from the kids once in awhile in order to regroup and be a nicer mommy.  I have tried to take the things that I value about natural living and homeschooling and make them as available to my kids as I can.  Sometimes none of us fit exactly into a certain mold, we have to create our own. Our family is no different.   When my kids are 'home' I guard our precious family time fiercely, sometimes dropping out extra activities and electronics so that we can preserve our creative time together.

Guilty Pleasures:  Nutella, and Sausage McMuffins.

I am raising two very challenging children, one with High-functioning Autism, and one with a severe ADHD.  I used to be one of those people that didn't believe ADHD was real, and that all problems with children were due to bad parenting.  I am eating those words. 

It doesn't take much to make me feel happy. I really do live in-the-moment of things.  It's always something simple that does it for me. Kids laughing and playing, a relaxing evening, the smell of pines, Mt. Ranier, my kiddo's snuggling up to me, smells, sights, sounds.  I'm a stop-and-smell-the-roses kinda girl.  I notice things.

Greatness in my mind is being able to admit when you are wrong and apologize.  To be upfront and frank about your mistakes.  There is no dignity to me in 'saving face' or 'keeping up appearances.'  It is not a weakness to admit you are human. We have too much of a culture of perfection around us.

That being said, I do realize that blogs full of pretty pictures tend to feed that perfection complex.  Rest assured, we have enough ugly moments to fill a whole novel's worth of material.  I do try to share my 'fails' and 'bad mother moments' when I can.  But once you have older kids, posting about your life with them gets pretty complicated.  If I do post pictures or write articles about my kids it is with their assistance and permission.  There are some experiences, even negative ones, that you remember as learning experiences, and some that you need to forget, ASAP.  My blog is for me, a way of cherishing and celebrating all the beauty and the art that happens in my life.  It is a kind of therapy for me, as well as other bloggers, a bit like a gratitude journal, and a place to write.  It's up to you to remember that with my blog, and any other that you visit, that you are only seeing a part of the whole picture.

I am obsessed with the music of Rodrigo and Gabriella. Pretty much musical ecstacy for me.

I get the blues from time to time.  I don't know if it's depression or not.  I don't know if it's normal or not.  Not sure if it's seasonal or not. It might be fatigue?  I always manage to pull through ok, but sometimes it makes it harder to juggle all of the stuff I have to stay on top of.

I am a hopeless romantic.  I love sunsets, and starry skies.  I love fog, rain, forests, and moss.  I love oceans.  Pretty dresses.  Roses.  Serenity in any form. 

I love mowing the lawn.

I'm a sucker for funny movies like Dumb and Dumber or Tommy Boy or Get Smart.  Or potty humor. Anything that will give me a good deep belly laugh!

My faith is inseperable from every aspect of my life.  I'm everyday grateful to be a Mormon, or a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

With that said, I'll bravely mention that I bellydance.  Really.  And often vote Democratic.

Sometimes I feel like I am living a dream come true, with just a few bumps in the road along the way.

Sometimes I feel like I am living out a horrible nightmare with really good stuff happening once in a while. 

I am really awkward and weird about goodbye's.

I play the flute, have played since I was a kid.  I love the connection between just taking a breath, and producing this beautiful sound.  Sometimes I go out on the deck and play little concerts for the birds - though somehow the neighbor's peacocks don't seem to enjoy it.  Especially the high E flat.  That note really sets them off. Music is what makes my life complete. And knitting.  And chocolate.

My big soapbox in life is that so many women and girls think their value is mainly in their sexual appeal.  It really gets under my skin. Both genders have bought into this.  It is destructive on all kinds of levels.  I see it when women hide their breastfeeding baby away so they don't offend someone, where around the rest of the world it is just a boring baby feeding.  To me, it is a sure sign of a sexually (breast) obsessed  U. S. culture.  I see it in dieting teens, magazine-perfect images, pornography addictions, expensive wrinkle creams, and astounding rates of breast augmentation. I see it in the 'If you've got it flaunt it' attitude of women and girls all over the place. I could go on and on. I don't know the best way to fight it, except to raise my own girls, and my boys, to truly understand that the worth of a human soul is NOT attached to one's sexual appeal. 

Whew! And after that soapbox I'll share my most recent little happiness.  Magnetic Flames.  Oh yeah! I have wanted them for years and just got them for Christmas.  (Thanks, Eric) If you have to drive a banged-up mini-van full of kids while pregnant, you might as well laugh about it. And I will laugh whenever and wherever I can.  That is something I know how to do very well.  Here's my hot rod! The sight of those fiery flames never fails to make me smile. And, they occasionally help me locate my car in the parking lot.

Now you know all about me.  Tell me something random about yourself if you are feeling brave!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

I Finished the Slippers!

New Year's Eve and the following day was shared with wonderful family.  We had kids running around and playing games, good chili, and lots of happy noise. It was wonderful!

Sometime on the evening of New Year's Day I finished knitting the slippers.

I had big plans for December. I was going to install a mantle over my fireplace.  Decorate my house with fresh cedars clipped from my own trees.  Make more tree branch buttons for my knitting friends.  Bake French macarons (quite a process, but fun) for some special holiday deliveries. Put together presents for my kids school teachers.  Make gingerbread houses with my kids.  Oh yes, and sew a waldorf doll.  Really.

I didn't do any of those things.  I'm not sure that I normally would have, but my health did not permit me to do much through December. 

It's so hard to let go.  I was a little depressed about all the things I didn't get to do.

There was one thing on my list that I wouldn't give up on.  Those slippers.
By the time Christmas rolled around I had only been able to finish one pair.  I couldn't bring myself to give up, so I made no promises to myself, and set no deadlines.  I just kept going. 

On five pairs of slippers.

On Christmas Day while the kids were playing, I kept knitting.  On the vacation days to follow, when I was only feeling well enough to lie on the couch, I kept knitting.  When the kids all went to bed, I kept knitting.  I just kept knitting every moment I could....... 

It was wonderful, to have the hustle and bustle of the holidays over with and just one thing to focus on.  Good thing the knitting was pleasant as well.

On the eve of New Year's Day we sat together in the living room, and I pulled out each pair of newly-knit slippers!!  Each kiddo getting a pair in their favorite color.


Of course, If I am being technical about things we are officially short one pair of slippers. But maybe not until June, when our new baby comes. And by then I'll have probably knit all kinds of lovely baby things.  :) Some of my favorite baby knits are here among Ginny's wonderful baby layette.

The kids kindly let me take some pictures - which aren't the best I know.

I would get some more pictures, but well,

I can't easily get the slippers off their feet.

What kids want their Mama's hand-knit slippers? Mine do.

Lesson learned for me for 2014.  Sometimes you can't do it all.  Sometimes you have to adjust your expectations.  Sometimes you have to let go of your big plans, and deal with disappointment.  But some things, are worth the fight and the challenge.  And it's OK to finish late. 

Happy New Year! 

So grateful to be able to share today on Ginny's YarnAlong

December Loveliness