I lead a fairly quiet life these days. Unlike the other moms in the neighborhood, I don’t continually run around between activities, support groups, and girls’ nights out. The other day I mentioned taking the kids to the aquarium to one of the other moms, and her response was, “I didn’t know that you left the house!” Ha ha, thanks.
There is some truth in that; my idea of a chaotic weekend is canning with my husband in the kitchen. I hate running around much, as it throws off my flow between chores, hobbies, and kids. I live in a mindfully crafted state of zen that keeps my natural inclination toward anxiety in check, and when it gets disrupted, oh boy do I melt down.
But sometimes it feels good to mix things up. Sometimes I like wrangling the kids from the dentist to the grocery store, or finding the balance between patience and rushing to successfully scoot them through the crafting store without any tantrums. Sometimes I feel like doing something different.
Just not every day.
I’ve had people ask me, “How do you do it with four kids?”
Woah now, let’s not go making assumptions; I wash my hair only once or twice a week. I can’t say I’m keeping up with the Joneses at all.
That said, I do vacuum every day and have time for hobbies, so I’m not a complete disaster.
I had to become comfortable with chaos, especially with my kids. They’re the hyper energetic sort that can run around nonstop at the park for a couple of hours, then beg to play with the potato pellet guns the second we get home. Usually my question for other parents is: how do you get your kids to stay still? I have a hard time getting mine to wear themselves out.
My youngest is ten months old, and she refuses to nap on her own. I know that there are lots of books out there to tell me what I should do in this situation, but I’ve been through this song and dance before. My babies keep growing up so that they aren’t babies anymore, and I always find myself missing the days when they were small and cuddly. I don’t bother with trying to put my youngest down so I can work on chores or whatever. Instead, I snuggle up comfy with her on the couch, and work on reading, writing, crochet, watching Korean historical dramas, playing Yoshi’s Crafted World, etc, while she sleeps on my chest. One day she’ll decide that she doesn’t want to sit still anymore, so I might as well enjoy it while I’ve got it.
The chores get done around the edges of everything else, and the older children are learning boundaries about when it’s okay to bug me and when they need to play amongst themselves. Most importantly, I’m happy with this arrangement.
And washing your hair less frequently is supposed to be good for it anyway.
That’s how I do it.
Our house is over a hundred years old. For most of its life it has been surrounded by big trees, until the previous owner, for reasons he never divulged to any of the neighbors, cut them all down a few years before selling the house to us.
Summertime is always a battle against the heat. Our largest window faces East, where the sun is the most potent. The grass always dies no matter how much I water it, and I’ve discovered that I can’t keep a number of our potted plants on the Eastern porch without them sunburning. It’ll be quite awhile before the trees we planted are big enough to offer a reprieve, so this time of year is spent on coming up with new ideas to protect the house from the summer sun.
This year I’ve decided to try reflective vinyl that mimics one-way mirrors (though I hope that it’s not so reflective that it causes additional problems outside). That means taking down all of my window decorations.
Last October I had taped up some fabric circles because I liked the way the sun shined through them, as well as some perler bead crafts that the kids and I had made. I know that it all would have had to come down soon anyway, because, as I’ve discovered, if the window decorations don’t melt, they will most certainly fade completely. But the thought that, come next October, I won’t be putting anything new up made me sad. I like my hodgepodge window decorations.
And, of course, there’s the faded paper flowers that I put up in the south windows right after we moved in, that will likely come down as well. Oh, my poor heart.
So what happened to me?
Funny enough, the reason why I stopped blogging had nothing to do with the internet.
In 2015 I mentioned that I was getting involved with the Mormon church.
At the time, my oldest was three-years-old and starting to express herself as an extrovert, making me feel increasingly guilty about my retiring ways. Across the street from us was a nice family with young kids, and they always seemed to exude energy and happiness that made me a touch jealous. They were — you guessed it — Mormon.
At first I planned on using the church as a means to socialize my toddler, but I got sucked in as well. Everyone acted so very nice and helpful in the very beginning, and I thought that maybe I could belong to a community for once in my life. It was kind of cool when people I barely knew gave us Christmas goodies.
I’m not sure when the bullying started, but by 2016 it was in full-swing. The women in particular made it clear that *I* was not acceptable to them — I wasn’t trendy, didn’t follow politics, and hadn’t earned a dime in years. Basically, I was not the image that they wanted me to be, and they let me know it. Combined with the religion element, it turned into a total mindfuck for me. Honestly, I feel a little embarrassed that I was affected as badly as I was, but they caught me at a vulnerable time in my life.
I wound up rejecting everything and retreating to my home and family while I rebuilt myself and my sense of identity.
I just didn’t want to be “out there” any more for people to judge. I had too much of it.
And yeah, it took awhile.
I suppose that since it’s a trend I started with my first pregnancy, I’m now five months into my second! Woo hoo for belated announcements!
Life has been pretty cozy lately. My daughter has spent the last month practicing being a big sister with her dolls, and we’re all very eager for the baby to arrive in April. We’re planning on going through some big changes before that event even happens, so 2014 is going to be a fun year.
I’ve decided to change the general focus of this blog, and use it more for journaling — that’s what I enjoy doing the most. I’ll still post about my sewing and crafting projects, as well as opinion pieces, but on the whole I want to write about my life the very most. It is an interesting life, and I am an ever-changing person.
I managed to get over a lot of my PTSD and bitterness during the end of 2013, and having a second baby to look forward to helped motivate me a lot with that. It’s very lovely to feel relaxed and happy more often than not! I am determined to always appreciate the knowledge that my experiences have given me, but I’m grateful to have overcome the negative emotions that accompanied them.
Here’s looking forward to an exciting new year!
My laptop seems to be on it’s last breath. In this journey towards the inevitable, I have learned that batteries can, and do, swell up and run the risk of exploding — when I told my husband that I suspected the bulge in the keyboard was connected to the battery, he was very quick to yank that thing out and deport it from the house.
This doesn’t seem to be my season for electronics. I have yet to buy a decent digital camera, and I’m not feeling inclined to get another laptop any time too soon either.
I’m 90% done with my long-line bra. Unfortunately, I have also discovered that the band is just a smidge too big, which has left me feeling quite disheartened about the project. At the moment I don’t really want to finish it. Instead I’ve started working on crochet again, and I think that I want to focus on working with yarn for the upcoming while. It certainly doesn’t take up as much space.
That’s where I’m at right now. Perhaps I ought to update more, but it seems that my mind is full of other thoughts that I’m not ready to share with the world just yet.
My baby, who shall henceforth be known as my toddler, has been on a destructive streak of late. I’ve been spending most of my time cleaning up after her, especially since she’s learning new ways to get into mischief every day (which is why I have decided to start calling her my toddler). It’s been a bit distressing, because I want to spend more time sewing and less time cleaning, especially now that I’ve got the itch to start another lingerie project. Oh lingerie, your siren call is too alluring to be denied.
In other news, I’ve been learning how to swim. Now that it’s the off season, my husband has been taking me to the pool so that I can practice Not Drowning without crowds of people around to witness it. I confess that I’m very proud of myself for doing this, considering how terrified of water I was just a short while ago. Now I can stand in it up to my neck without feeling worried in the slightest. Woo hoo!
I’m still getting ready for Halloween, but thankfully there’s just a little bit more to do before my toddler’s costume is finished. Just in the nick of time too, because the party with her cousins is tomorrow.