8.27.2010

Worst Version of Myself

It goes without saying that a child can bring out the very best in a person.  They bring joy and help you see how patient and giving you can be.  What I didn't expect is the moments in which your little bundle of joy can bring out the very worst in you.  Henry hasn't been sleeping well and when I don't get my rest, I get down right mean.  It isn't so much with Henry.  Oh yes,  I have been frustated with him.  But, honestly, I kind of take it out on Jason. He is the poor thing that gets the brunt of my ill temper.  I can hardly help from being a total butt when I am tired.  We lived with my mom for a little while when she was undergoing treatments for her cancer. She said that she hated to call me in the middle of the night when she was sick because I was mean. Well, not so much mean, just not nice.  I was all business.  Your sick? Okay to the bathroom, let me clean up the mess.  Do you need some of your anti-nausea medication?  Here is some water. That was it.  No warm and fuzzies.  I am pretty sure that she left me to clean up messes and called other members of my family to have them comfort her.  It wasn't that I didn't love my mom, nurturing just wasn't something that came naturally to me. And it really didn't come naturally to me at 3 am.  I wasn't the person that knew just what to say to make someone feel better. I knew how to get things done and maybe make someone laugh.  But when you take away my sleep, I just get hateful.

Now, I will say that having a child really does change you a little.  When Henry came I really did acquire this new skill of comforting a little one.  Heck, I have even been known to pick up my friends babies when they are crying.  Crying babies used to freak me out.  And, I wonder if I had been a parent when we lived with mom if I would have been more nurturing.  Although, when it come to adults, I still often find myself at a loss for words in serious situations. I still fall back on making fun of things.  This, by the way, drove my mom a bit crazy.  Anyway, back to the mean sleep deprived Jaime.  I hate her.  She sneaks up on me and they next thing I know I am biting off Jason's head.  He is the only one I guess I feel comfortable enough with to be mean towards. And, I hate it.  Do you have those moments when you behave is such a fashion that you are totally upset with yourself?  You know that moment of self loathing because you weren't a very nice person? I suspect we all have those moments.  Unfortunately, I have had a bit more than I would like to admit this week.  Plainly, Momma is tired.  Honestly, I think this stage in Henry's development has been by far the hardest stage so far.  He has had mood swings and temper tantrums.  He hasn't been sleeping well.  I think he might be teething but I have given up hypothesizing. All I know is that I spent this morning in a very deep moment of introspection (probably brought on my sleep depravation, I tend to be a bit melodramatic as well as mean when I am tired).  Why is it that I am so mean to the person that I love the most?  If I can be patient with Henry why can't I be patient with Jason.  Am I the only person that has this problem?  I am trying to work on some coping techniques.  I am also working on taking naps.  I think naps might be the cornerstone of my solution.  I don't think Jason will mind a messy house if he has a nice wife.

In between bouts with Henry's ill temper I did finish my creative color challenge paintings for this week.  They are more like watercolor doodles.  I did them while watching TV and trying to get little bear to sleep. Usually, I have a plan in mind when I start a painting.  This week there was a theme in addition to the color.  It was "Into the Sea." While I love the ocean, I just have never been much for nautical theme paintings.  So, I had no plan and no motivation.   Anyway, this is what I came up with.  I am just glad I finished this week early.

I dedicate these to Jason.  The most amazing husband ever.  Because he loves me, even when I am not the nicest person.

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PS.  This post was written under the influence of antihistamines (season change, fun!) and lack of sleep.  I can not be held responsible for the rambling tone of this post.

8.24.2010

A few finished projects

Projects.  There have been a lot of them.  Too many to be exact.  I love the trill of making things but I hate when I am under a deadline and feel rushed.  The last few weeks Jason and I have bit off a bit more than we can chew and unfortunately we had a deadline which meant things have been totally silly.  I think this might have to do with Henry's current mood.  To be honest, we haven't really been able to spend much time with him at all of late.  We have just been maintaining.  I think he has sensed this and it has fueled his need to be clingy.  Because we have been so busy we have decided to make family time a priority.  No more big projects for a while. Sigh. Thank God.

But here a few things I can share.

My painting the creative Color Challenge last week.

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I am not totally thrilled with it.  I think it needs a little something else but at least it is finished, for now.

We finished closing in the door between our room and Henry's room. Can you tell where the door was?

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Nope, I can't either!  Yes, my husband is awesome. I am still trying to pull together the rest of the room.  You know finding the right bedding and such.  As I pull it together I will post a few pictures.  You can see a picture of this job in process here.  Let me tell you drywall dust is the WORST.  It is will be a while before we can even consider tackling something this messy again.

Off with the doors!  Here is our bathroom before:

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And after:

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We ditched the doors on the cabinets and couldn't be happier.  It was a bit more work than I thought.  It made a big mess and made it hard to use our bathroom for a few days, but all in all I am thrilled with the results.  I no longer hit my head on the doors and I think it makes the room look a bit more open.  This was also part of our Crap Reduction Initiative.  Because let me let you bathrooms are a haven for crap (pun intend).  I threw out countless half used bottles of lotion that I had for years.  Anyway, it is much nicer to be able to find what you need without having to dig through a bunch almost empty bottles of perfume. In case you were wondering, this is our one and only bathroom. Needless to say, Jason and I have a very close relationship.

We also moved and reorganized our closet.  I know that I took a before picture.  I remember taking it and thinking that I might not post it because it was so disorganized.  However, the picture is no where to be found.  Maybe I subconsciously deleted it because it was so messy. We had been using the closet in Henry's room.  We had it packed to the gills with clothes that we didn't wear.  We also had our dressers packed full too.  So, we got rid of about 75% of our clothes (and our dressers).  Seriously. We donated untold amounts to various charities.  We got rid of things were out dated and worn out.  Hopefully this will cut down on the clutter and keep me from looking like an old frumpy mom.  We were also able to fit 90% of our clothes in this armoire in our room:

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I thought about staging a picture of our new little closet with everything all color coated but that just isn't reality. This is what it really looks like. I am just glad when laundry is put away, I could care less about it being super neat. I am looking for some pretty matching wooden hangers though. I think they would make it look much nicer. The only clothes not pictured are a few things in some baskets on a book shelf in our room (socks and work clothes), our coats which are in the living room closet and our formal clothes (suits and dresses) which are in Henry's room still. I can't tell you how liberating it is to have so few clothes. And, laundry is a million times better. Hooray for less crap!

And lastly . . . here is Henry.

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He just wanted to show off his top teeth and how very excited he is to be learning how to eat with a fork and spoon. How excited and messy. It is very, very messy.

PS.   This month we have also built a desk from a door, repainted our bedroom and trim, created a DIY headboard, made a little creative nook for me, purged our bookshelves and started the process of refinished the fireplace in our bedroom.  Like I said, we have been too busy. I think I am going to take a nap now.

8.17.2010

Fine line between infatuation and frustration

Henry is going through this really clingy and whiny stage.  To be honest, it is totally annoying me.  I know I shouldn't admit to being frustrated with my child.  But come on, I can't be the only one. Right?

He goes from happy and cute,

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to slightly annoyed,
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to totally pissed in two seconds flat.

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This face is accompanied with the most obnoxious little whine in the entire world.  Not a cry because he isn't crying . . . he's just whining.  He grabs my legs and wails like he is being mauled by a wild beast until I pick him up.  He usually likes to do this when I am cooking dinner or trying to get out the door for work.  His timing is impeccable.  Inevitably he wins and I pick him up.  And this, this is what surprises me.  The moment I pick him up and he flashes me a sweet smile and snuggles me, I am completely enamored.  The annoyance slips out of my mind.  It is so odd.  I never really knew how interwoven love and frustration could be.  Although, more than likely I haven't even really experienced the real frustration of parenting yet.  The probably comes somewhere around 16.

All the parenting books indicate that it is normal for children to have seperation anxitey and clingyness at this age.  I struggle with how much to indulge it.  I don't always pick him up but I will admit there is probably a bit more cuddlling than there should be.  This is two fold.  First, he is so sweet and snuggly that I need to soak it up.  Every day he is growing up and I can already see the day coming when he isn't going to want his mommy to hug him in front of his friends.  I need to get my hugs while the getting is good.  Secondly, picking him up takes him from totally turd to super sweet in a moment.  I know it is selfish but picking up him is sometimes easier on me.  I realize this is terrible parenting principals,  but when he isn't crying my life is better.  I figure that this is a phase and I might was well make the most of it.  One day we won't be able to hold him.  At least this is what I try and tell myself when is yelling momma and yanking on my skirt.

8.14.2010

Red fabric lovelies

This week for the creative color challenge I decided to play around with fabric. I have been obsessed with fabric bows. Seriously.

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This isn't even all of them.  Here are my red ones for the Color Challenge. 

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I have so many bows that I posted a few extras on Esty.  If you are inclined you are more than welcome to take few off my hands.  Jason would appreciate it to quote him "what in the world are going to do with all those bows?" I suppose he should just be grateful we don't have a little girl.  I think that fabric flower obsession would be much, much worse.

PS. I hope to paint something again next week, maybe I will have more time on my hands. Maybe.

8.12.2010

I hate summer

Really, I do.  This is the first year that I realized it.  I love spring and fall. Truth be told, I am even a little found of winter.   But summer - oh gross, horrible, miserable, oppressive summer - I hate it.  You see, living in Tennessee means humidity and humidity means being miserable. When I was a kid summer was the pinnacle of freedom and fun.  As an adult, that magic is gone.  I am sweaty and tired.  I spend my afternoons hoping for fall.  On top of my general loathing of the season this last week has been silly.  We are in the middle of a little home improvement which translates into our house being a complete disaster.  For a few days it looked like it vomited on itself.  As with all large projects there were a few days in the middle where I questioned our sanity.  Now, that the end is in site I am starting to get excited.  As we get the details finished and pulled together I will start sharing pictures but for now I just want to say, i am still alive.  Hot and cranky but still here.

Oh, and summer make Henry cranky too. Which isn't helping improve my mood.  I can't wait to start seeing some pumpkins!

Talk you so you soon.

8.06.2010

Yellow, I lvoe you

I decided to participate it a little blog challenge. I never do things like this but I have been wanting to paint more and the Creative Color Challenge seemed to be the perfect motivator for me.  Committing to paint one painting each week for the month of August seemed like the kick in the pants I needed.  On Sunday of each week the host (I don't know her I just stumbled across her blog) picks a color and you have to create a work of art using only the chosen color, black and white.  There was only one color that I desperately wanted her to pick, and that was yellow.  I had a painting in mind that I wanted for our bedroom make over.  And, yes the first week the color was yellow.  I was so excited.  Then, this week happened.

This week was nuts and I am not really sure why.  Just silly. Everything we have tried to get done this week has taken much longer than we anticipated.  On top of everything taking forever, Henry has been super clingy.  I have no idea why, he has never been this way but for the last few days he just wants to be held. All. The. Time. The combination of this has had me a little stressed out.  I spent Thursday afternoon trying desperately to finish my painting. I wanted to finish it so I that I could reclaim my dinning room table.  We already had to eat Wednesday's dinner in the living room because you couldn't see the table for all my painting stuff.  I have a total hang up with eating dinner at the table.  So, I spent all Thursday painting like a mo fo.  At 4 pm I jumped up and ran to the farmer's market downtown to pick up some fresh veggies.  I got caught in a crazy thunderstorm and came home soaking wet at 4:15 pm with my veggies.  I walked in and had to suppress a scream.  I had miss-spelled love on my painting.  I came home to read a painting that said LVOE. I was so focused on the details that I transposed the letters.  I was so angry and frustrated.  I almost didn't even write about the mistake but then I thought what is the point of sharing your life if you aren't going to talk about the screw ups as well as the successes? Or, in this case, my stupid mistakes. Needless to say I was in the most despicable mood yesterday evening because of my oversight.  After a slight temper tantrum I set about fixing it.  It was a total and complete pain in the butt, but I did it. I woke this morning and starting working on the painting first thing and by 11 am I was done.

Once I finished the painting I managed to run a few errands, clean the house, play with Henry, meet our friends new baby, put away all my art supplies and make a totally amazing dinner. We won't. . . ahem . . talk about the three loads of laundry that still haven't been put away, the furniture that I am refinishing that isn't finished yet and the mess that we have in both our bedrooms because of out little home renovation. But, still this evening I was able to take a few moments to rejoice in the creation of my own hands.  And that, that is why I love to create.  I adore the feeling of looking at something and knowing that I made it. Me. My own two hands made the object before me.  It is such a deep sense of satisfaction. And, a few failures and delays along the way makes the success even sweeter.

And now, I give you my painting:
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Here it is with Ann standing beside it. I just wanted to give you an idea of the size.  It is quite large.  I plan on hanging it over my bed once we finish our little room remodel.

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The text is taken from Shakespeare's sonnet 116.  I know it is a bit over done, but I love the sonnet so much.  I wish I could say that it was because I was a student of classic poetry but it is because my mother's favorite movie was Sense and Sensibility.  Anyway, I love it and I just couldn't get it out of my head when I was working on the painting.


Oh, quick note of accreditation.  The trellis pattern on my painting was totally inspired by this piece of furniture.  When I saw it a few days ago I thought it would make a lovely background for a painting.

And, the post wouldn't be complete without a photo of my delicious dinner. Behold my galette:

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Isn't it lovely?  It was just was yummy as it looks.  I originally planned on making it on Thursday but it was delayed due to the painting mishap.  Better late than never.

I followed this recipe.  I am obsessed with this dough. I am already planning my next galette.

Hope you find a chance to create something lovely this weekend.

PS.  Yes, Jason won't stop telling me he lvoes me.

P.P.S.  If you would like, you can click here to see some of the other yellow works of art that were created this week.

8.03.2010

Update on our crap reduction

I mentioned a few weeks back that we were trying to get a handle on all the crap in our lives.  And, I thought that it was time for a little update.  I decided to update because I just returned from a little jaunt to Florida to visit my family (you can hear Jason and I both whine about being separated) and it was so nice to return to a house that was clutter free (almost).   Also, I just thought I would let the internet know that I was following through on my pledge!

My update on each area of our crap reduction.

We have a lot of crap.

We have been doing okay in this area.  I tend to be the person who gets on a kick and decides she is going to clean out everything all in one day. This is a terribly unpractcal approach that usally ends with a bigger mess than I strated with. So, this time I have taken the slow and steady approach. I have been tacking little areas of my house each week.  I have purged our clothes, cleaned out my kitchen, just finished the bathroom and now we are tackling our bedroom.  Jason has even got on board.  He has cleaned out our storage barn.  Which resulted in us finally getting our new mail box up. We have had this mail box for two years but never got around to getting it up. Shameful, I know.

The mail man was so excited that we got rid of our crappie, old leaking one that he went out of his way to tell me it looked good.  This is a sign that it was defiantly time for an upgrade. This mail box is a across the street from my house, incase you were wondering. That's not my house in the background.  I have also decided doing "second pass" is really helpful.  The initial purge of junk is hard.  But, once you realize you don't really need all that crap it is gets easier.  I am trying to revisit all the areas I have organized three months later to see what I haven't used and get rid of that.  This approach is working well, living with less is much more relaxing.

Our next big project . . .  the closet crisis of 2010.  Want a sneak peak?  Ta da!

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We (by we, I mean Jason) closed in the door between our room and Henry's and we are going to build us a closet.  Currently we do not have a closet in our room.  We have been using the closet in Henry's room. This, obviously, presents an organization problem.  Now we need to finish and paint, but it is exciting.  There were 3 doors into our second bedroom (now there are two).  We have a 100 year old house and the floor plan is a little odd. And yes, i have almost walked into our new wall three times.  I keep forgetting it isn't a door any more.  See the paint sample on the wall?  We are going to do a big bed room make over (since we have to repaint anyway), I am so excited.  I just hope it doesn't take us the rest of the year to finish.

We keep collecting crap.

Umm . . . we haven't done so good in this area. We have picked up a few new clothes for us and Henry in the last month or two.  Now, everything we bought has been cheap, thirfted or handmade.  But this isn't really helping our crap problem.  The reason that I justified getting new clothes is that I totally did a "What Not to Wear" closet invention.  I have gave away ton of clothes that were old. misshapen, ill fitting and out of style. That made up 75% of our closest.  Jason come home and was like "what I am supposed to wear?"  So, I have added a few things that are new and updated.  I am trying to do better, but this buying habitat is a lot harder to break than I thought it would be. I will say we have been doing MUCH better about NOT buying things we don't need.  You know, like picking up things just because it is on clearance.

We waste a lot of crap.

I am going to give us an A in this area.  We have seriously been doing much, much better.  Really. I always take my reusable bags on big grocery trips but I have been taking them on little trips to the store. Also, we have massively cut back out paper towel consumption.  For several weeks we didn't even have any in the house.  Which was great.  However, grandma came to visit and she picked up some.  It was a like a recovering alcoholic who decided just to take one little drink.  We guzzled up the paper towels and wanted more.  But, I haven't bought any and the cravings for them are almost gone.  What are we doing instead of paper towels you ask?  I have several old rags that we use to clean up dirty spills and we have been using dish towels and cloth napkins much, much more. Once you adjust to not having them, you start to realize that they are a massive waste of money and a source of lots of trash.

I am also slowly starting the process of "de-plasticing" (pretty sure that isn't a word) our lives.  We are cutting down on our ziplock bag usage and I am moving towards more glass and stainless steal storage and drink containers.  I am exploring several different options.  I am not getting rid of all our of plastic (I think that would be impossible with a kid) but we are trying to move to away from using as much as we do.  When I find some solutions that I work, I'll let you know.

And there you have it, I am standing by my pledge and I am continuing my attempt to come across as super strange to members of my family.

Waste less, create more.  It is my new mission statement. Now I am off to run to errands with my reusable bags  and baby in tow.

PS.  Jason's butt is still safe. Toilet paper still isn't up for debate.  Although, there are people who don't use toilet paper , there are also people who use reusable feminine products . . . .those are two areas in which I am okay with a waste. More like, bring on the waste because there is no way that I am going there.

8.01.2010

The Bachelor Life for Me

My Love

It is currently 8:30pm on a Saturday night and I am 28 years old, home alone, and bored about of my cranius maximus. Yes, I totally made that word up after spending at least 10 minutes trying to look up a cool word for "mind." See, you have that kind of time when you are bored and alone. Especially when you aren't used to it. My wife and child are currently spending some time with the family in Florida. Some of you (and you know who you are) may already be running and imaging all kinds of deliciously disastrous senerios as to why I did not join them. Let me officially say, no Jaime has not left me, no I have not left her, and finally no we are not in the middle of a separation. I wanted to clarify up front because all weekend I seem to be getting these awkward "Lord help them work it out" type looks everytime I tell some one that Jaime has "gone to visit family." I love my wife and, as of five minutes ago, she said she loved me, and of course I love my precious, currently very mobile, little boy. The truth is, remember back when we thought I was going to have a change in vocation? Well, the last two weeks before I was scheduled to start my new job, I burned though my vacation hours like a Metallica cd at church camp ( in high school, I personally trashed the Aerosmith: "Get a Grip" album 4 times in two years). So, the lack of vacation hours coupled with the fact that I just got "rehired" (though I technically never left), we decided it was best for me to stay back and work. I know its not quite as scandalous as me kicking Jaime out for getting "too friendly" with the milk man, but it's the truth.

To be completely honest, even though I was dreading being away from my family for so long, there was a part of me that was looking forward to having some alone time. Those of you who really know me would agree that I am not exactly a "social butterfly." The first couple of hours after coming home to an empty house on the first day weren't that bad (Jaime left Wed. morning). I came home, made a sandwhich, watched tv, and went to bed. Nice. By the second night I had become so restless that I couldn't really enjoy anything. Watching tv isn't the same without my best friend there, meals aren't the same without having to placate Henry by giving him small pieces of food off of my plate. Its just different. The alone time that I once treasured and fought so doggishly for in college, now serves only to remind me of how much I miss my family. It might be something like a "first timer" snorting a kilo of cocaine except I'm overdosing on solitude.

What happened? I think perhaps my self-centered little world has expanded with the inclusion of those closest to me and now without them . . . it is rather empty. Being with my wife and the one-day heir to my throne, have made my life so rich and robust that, even though it is still nice to have an hour or so to myself now and again, I simply am not "me" without "them." Now, as a matter of self preservation, I would like to say that as "sappy touchy feely" as this post is, I am not exactly falling apart here. I am a big boy capable of fending for myself (though it is almost 10pm and I still haven't eaten dinner because no one is here to fix it for me). Well, thats it. I love my family. The End.