Wednesday, September 30, 2009

new leaf

Oh hello there! Aaaaaaaand another month has gone by. September did its best to beat the life out of me (15 medical appointments, holy crap), and I am kind of feeling like I'm on life support right now, but I survived!

Unfortunately part of surviving was jettisoning unnecessary activities, and blogging sort of falls under that category.

Now that we are heading into a new month I'm trying to take control of this crazy train and steer it in a new direction. It is hard, oh so hard, but like it or not, I'm in the driver's seat. I need to put aside my feelings of inadequacy and victimization and sadness and try harder to be the best mom/wife/runner-of-the-household that I can be. That doesn't mean I won't have my days when I curl up in the fetal position and weep pitifully because my son won't eat, but it does mean I will get my butt into bed earlier at night and knit or read to calm down, then get a good night of sleep. I will rise earlier, get showered and dressed, and run the morning efficiently so we don't find ourselves still in pajamas at noon, zoned out in front of the TV, surrounded by dirty dishes and a messy house, and scrambling to prepare for a therapist's arrival. That just results in a lot of yelling and misery. Fall is lovely, and we will spend as much of it "out there" as we can, but hot on the heels of fall is a miserable Buffalo winter. I need to try to get a good rhythm going around here if it's to be at all bearable.

So! Onward!

AJ had a lovely birthday (which feels like it was just yesterday...people ask his age and I say he is one, but in two days it will be 13 months!) and received lots of snuggly winter clothes. Unfortunately it is all 18-24 months, so I am scrambling to put together some warmth for the near future without really spending much. Hello knitting needles! I have knitted long johns planned...oh look, there's the yarn and directions staring me in the face. He is currently wearing the little knitted pants my mom made last year:

and I got her to knit him another pair in the next size. I have another sweater I made for him that still needs buttons, so I'll get that together and post some photos soon.

Daughter has started swimming lessons, is reading and writing well above her age level, and has just about mastered adding 1. We will soon move to adding 2 in our homeschool repertoire. She is cutting and gluing beautifully, and her creativity is blossoming. Oh, how I wish I did not have to surrender her to the clutches of public school next year. Much, much more about that to come in future posts.

One of my new goals, which I hope to achieve through my new plan of being more efficient and organized, is to find those moments in the day where I can use my creativity. Some of the reading I've been doing lately describes creative endeavors as "meditation" for busy moms, and I could use that. If I keep up with things throughout the day, and don't end up with a huge pile of mess to clean up at naptime, I can use that time for myself. More happiness for everyone!

Along those lines, I have the very beginnings of a quilt started for my son:

Right now the poor kid is sleeping under his sister's baby quilt. And though we have no shortage of blankets and quilts around here, the boy should have his own. This is the most masculine fabric collection I could find in my stash, and I think it will work. All I had were fat quarters, so I will have to pull one of the solid colors to make borders and hopefully curtains/throw pillows/etc. to go with. Right now his bedroom is awfully sparsely furnished (crib, changing table, small side table with lamp) so one of my winter goals is to make it much nicer for him (at least I'd like to get a rug in there).

I have to much on my mind, and so many posts semi-composed in my head. But right now the kids are fighting over the dollhouse and the OT arrives shortly so I have to go prepare. At least the breakfast dishes are done...

Friday, September 11, 2009

8 years ago

The thing I will always remember is the terrifically blue sky. I never saw such a gorgeous day.

Blessings to the families and friends of the lost on this day.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009



We made it to one, big boy! The past 12 months have felt kind of like 12 years, but you are worth every second of it.

If we had known then what you would be today, well, as Daddy said last night..."we would have gotten a lot more sleep." Happy, happy birthday, my sweet, amazing boy.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

stream of consciousness

Sometimes I feel like I'm not very good at this job.

I mean, I know I am pretty proficient at the tasks associated with mothering small children. My kids are clean (most of the time), their clothes are clean and pressed, their beds get made, their teeth get brushed, they are served warm, healthy meals. I make medical and dental appointments and take the children to them, and I usually even remember to take something along to keep them occupied in the waiting room. They have safe car seats, lots of toys, limited exposure to television (other than PBS), and are encouraged to use their minds and hands creatively.

It's the other stuff I'm not sure about. The stuff that makes me feel like I'm not old enough to handle this job - things like calling up a neighbor or ringing a doorbell to ask if their little girl(s) would like to play with Daughter. I am not about to send my own child into the home of someone I've only just met, nor do I expect one of them to send their child(ren) here to play. But I can't sit outside all afternoon to keep an eye on Daughter and one or more children, either, because of AJ's schedule and needs. We don't have a sandbox or swingset yet, nor do our next-door neighbors (who have a 5 year-old girl). I'm not even that good at making friends for do I help my Daughter to do so?

I can't even get us off the stupid couch in the morning. How's that for sad? We're prone to slouching around in our pajamas for several hours because AJ has to complete his feeding and then take a nap anyway, so it's not like we're going to go out.

I don't have a whole lot of energy. I tend to get my tasks done and then don't feel like doing much.

And I just sort of always feel like there's something I don't know, but the other moms do. Like I'm...behind, or something. Am I the only one? No matter who is around, I feel young and inexperienced and left out. Is there some secret to feeling like a confident mom? If there is I certainly don't know it. There are times when I sit on the couch and look at my kids and think, what am I supposed to be doing with these children?

We have a playdate scheduled for next week with a girl I went to high school with. We weren't super-best friends, but that was a long time ago. I'm actually quite excited about this - getting out of the house! Talking to someone my age! Having a kid for Daughter to interact with! (He is 2 and 1/2 but that's better than nothing.)

I read a lot of what I call "pretty blogs." They are the blogs of the moms who have a really nice camera and they seem always to be capturing the beauty in life. With their kids! And often their husbands! And I am so, so, so jealous of them. I have major lifestyle envy when I read and look at their lovely photos. These women are my age, or often even a bit younger, and many of them have more children than I do, but they seem to have it so...together. And I realize that a blog post is just a snapshot, in the same way that a photo spread in Better Homes & Gardens magazine is not truly what anyone's house looks like, but the aggregate? These women have prettier lives than I do and I am jealous! I want to take my kids out to the places I see on the pretty blogs. I want to pick fruit with my kids, and cut flowers to put in mason jars, and sew adorable useful items out of vintage linens, and bake bread and go hiking and camping and get together with my like-minded bloggy friends and HAVE A PRETTY LIFE, DAMMIT! (Except for that camping part...don't know why I said that, because I never want to go camping.)

The point is that they DO STUFF. With their kids. Their well-adjusted, active, curious kids. I don't get the impression they sit around all morning watching PBS. Or maybe they do! After all, a blog is just a snapshot. Right?

I could do all this stuff, I guess. I could. I just don't know exactly how to go about it. My son puts me in an interesting and awkward position. He's a year old tomorrow...starting to push back against morning nap, so yesterday we blew it off to run some errands. By early afternoon he was a wreck, his therapy session was useless, and he crashed for almost 4 hours. Feeding him, as I've mentioned, is a bit of a task and not an easy thing to do outside of our home, and frankly, we have to be home every afternoon because of therapy. How do I make us a prettier life? How do I get us UP and OUT?

I keep telling myself "next summer" - AJ will be 18 months+, walking, I assume, and will need fewer naps and hopefully less therapy. But next summer is next summer. It is not now. This precious time with my little girl is fleeting, and it is going by so fast. I am keeping her home with me this winter, and I fear it will become just wasted time if I'm not very, very careful.

What to do? What to do?

I have to get myself up. I have to turn off the TV. I have to do this. Just not sure how.