WIPocalypse September

I’ve been delightfully busy the last month!

But first, Measi’s prompt: who is my favorite person to stitch for?  Myself :)  However, I do try to give some things away (especially Christmas designs) so that I’m not overwhelmed.  That’s why a lot of my projects are holiday themed; I don’t feel guilty about not displaying them all year round and can rotate pieces out to show others.

And now for the goods…
Fireman Sampler is done, framed, and ready to be wrapped for Christmas.

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Kitty In Presents is done.  He’s going to get mounted back in a nice hoop before he gets given away (“he” because it was inspired by my mom’s cat).

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Santa Sleigh ornament – I can’t remember if this was in my original list.  I found it when I opened a pattern book and it fell out.  When I started, only the red and yellow portions were done.

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And the infamous Christmas ABC Sampler.  Started here …

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Frogged out the angel that was one stitch too far to the right …

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And then made some progress …

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It feels really good to be crossing finishes off my list.  Now if I could just stop buying new patterns…

The Hard Moments

When you think about having kids, you don’t really have any idea what you’re getting in to.  We all know about the pain of labor and the sleepless nights and the assorted bodily fluids.  Everyone warns you about saving for college and fighting with teenagers and stepping on Legos and taking on too many after school activities.   You might even remember your own struggles with middle school or nightmares or feeling completely misunderstood by your own parents.

And then, without warning,  you have to sheperd your children through a death in the family.  Or hand off your 4 month old to a surgeon and go sit in a waiting room.  Or explain what it means that one of their friends is transgender.  You have to teach them the hard work of being human, of feeling vulnerable, of the sheer pain that comes with opening yourself up and connecting to someone else.

These are big scary ideas and emotions: shame, fear, anger, grief.  Messy. Complex.  Ugly, at times.  It’s hard enough for us, as adults, to comprehend and work through our own feelings – and at the same time teach our children how they should respond.  You’re at your worst, defenses down, confused and hurting yourself,  and then you have to take on their hurt, their confusion,  their uncertainty as well.  It’s not enough any more to handle your own chaos – you have a double portion for each of your children. 

And what if you get it wrong?  Because you will get it wrong even eventually.   How do you go back and explain,  apologize,  try to make it right?  What if you can’t make it right?

There’s no way to warn someone else, or be warned about it, before you become a parent, before you become responsible for another small life.  Despite the best efforts, the urgent counsel, the best intentions of friends and family, it’s an abstraction until it hits you. It’s a shock to the system – the sudden understanding of, “Ah, this is what they meant.”  And there’s no way through it but through it. 

The hardest parenting work for me, bar none, is the emotional work.  And it’s the part that you cannot get away from when you most wish you could.

Microblog Mondays 2

I have lost all my baby weight and 15 pounds on top of that. 

Next goal is 165 lbs, which is where I started my last job.

After that is 155, which is where I started my first job out of college.

Then 145, which is my wedding weight.

If I get to 141, I would be at a “healthy” BMI.

Good progress, but a long way to go still.

Microblog Mondays

  • My big kids start preschool tomorrow morning.  I’m excited for them – I want them to love school as much as I did
  • I’ve been pregnant and/or breastfeeding for all but 6 months since 2009.  One glass of wine and I’m well relaxed, two and I wake up with a hangover.  Light.weight.
  • Pinterest + me + a kid who wants a Halloween birthday = bad things.  It’s going to be an awesome party.
  • I’m ready for Christmas.  I bought a new tree and ornaments for the girls on Saturday.
  • Kill Bill is a classic pair of movies. 
  • Best facebook quote of the day: Fantasy Football is Dungeons and Dragons for guys more interested in rushing stats than slaying trolls.
  • Two more days and I’m through with this class.  So ready.

August Moon 14, Day 2: right now

My day breaks down like this:

430-515ish: nurse baby

515-530ish: awake, get out of bed, turn off alarm.  contemplate going back to bed, conclude that it’s not worth it.

530-600: weigh, shower, teeth, ablutions

600-645: coffee, cereal, pack lunch, pack pump parts, makeup, perfume, dress, out door

645-705: commute.  ESPN radio.

705-1100: work.  stop to pump around 900.

1100-1200: lunch.  run errands if needed.

1200-405: work.  stop to pump again around 200.

405-435: commute.  ESPN radio to start – I change it when Finebaum starts taking callers.

435-715: change out of work clothes.  cuddle kids. debrief Manly on the day’s activities.  make/serve/eat dinner.  nurse baby.  write if possible.

715-830: kids bedtime.  bath, teeth, pjs, potty, books, songs, tuck in, hugs and kisses, lamp on, music on, lovey found, door cracked, light off.

830-1000: catch up on dvr, surf social media, video games, chores.

1000: think that I should go get in bed.

1030-1100: actually get up and get ready for bed. teeth, vitamins, pjs, fetch baby.

1100: asleep (up 2x during night to nurse baby)

I spend so much time thinking about how I want my life to look – but this is the first time in a long time in a long time that I’ve documented how it actually is.  Between work and commute, I’m out of my house 50 hours a week.  That’s 42% of my available time between Monday and Friday.  Another 25% is spent sleeping (and that’s a generous estimate of 6 hours/night – it’s probably actually less) (and it should be 33% (8 hours/night) for me to actually be well-rested). That only leaves 25% of my time for everything else that I want or need to do during the week. 

It’s hard.  It’s a slog.  I continually feel rushed, stressed, and like I never have enough time to fit everything in. Each activity, each decision is a choice, a trade-off of something that I won’t get to do instead.  Who/what needs my attention the most?  And it’s almost always not me.  I end up stealing time from myself and consistently prioritize my own needs last.

What’s missing?  Sleep.  Exercise.  Time to sit and simmer and think without pressure.  I keep thinking, if I could only catch up!  If I can only …   But that’s futile.  This is where I am, and this is where I have to start working to align my actions with my values. 

 

August Moon 14, Day 1: intention

On Saturday, my email notification pinged on my phone.  I was in the middle of birthday party prep, but I always check to see if it’s something I need to read immediately.  When I saw it was from Sarah Kathleen Peck, I stopped to read it through – and I’m glad that I did.

“[Grace is] the softness to allow something good to happen to you, even in uncomfortable ways; the realization that the universe is far larger than we are and works in mysterious ways.”

Ooof.  That took the air out of me, reading that sentence.

Grace is an uncomfortable idea for me.  I grew up with in a church that pounded home, every Sunday, how undeserving I was of god’s grace.  How I was a sinner, and worthless, but for the mercy of the omnipotent creator … the one who made me that way in the first place.  If I sound bitter about it, it’s because I am.

Even with that, I have held on to the idea of grace.  I’m a statistician, so to me grace has become the idea that I was lucky enough to be born into this place, lucky enough to be born the person I am, lucky enough to have lived the life I live.  I don’t believe that any god put me here or decided my fate – this is just what it is.  I believe in the big bang, in evolution, in the inevitable death of the universe.  My life is simply a microscopic piece of the chain of events that links the beginning and end of time, there is no great overarching meaning to why I am here.  I simply am.

But grace.  To understand and realize that this life I have is a good one, that beautiful things surround me, that most people do not have even the chance to live the way I do.  And to be grateful for that.  To accept that I have a good thing, and that it is not my fault that everyone does not have these same chances, and that I cannot fix the injustice in the world, and that my guilt serves no one any purpose… that is grace.  To forgive myself, and to heal from the mindfuck that told me I was unworthy.  To believe in my own worth, and wholeness, and agency. 

That’s grace.

My intention is to explore this idea of grace, to explore how to be gentle with myself and extend to me the same courtesy and softness that I give to others.  To give myself the benefit of the doubt and assume good intentions with the decisions I make.  To act like someone that I would want to be friends with.  To make decisions that will make me the best version of myself.