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The Aquarium and the Flowers

Posted by Elisabeth on April 1, 2014 in Evelyn, family, Jared, special events, think happy thoughts |

I know I mentioned in my last post that things haven’t been going as well as I would like for me, particularly emotionally, the past month or so. In an effort to keep with my resolution to stay positive about things going on in my life, here are two fun adventures we’ve had as a family recently.

The Aquarium

Recently, a new aquarium moved into town not far from where we live. Since this area is booming, and city limits can take take 45 minutes to get from one edge of town to the other in GOOD traffic conditions, we found this to be a bonus. So despite the somewhat inflated price, we checked it out. Some friends had gotten a family pass for half off and hadn’t used it yet, so we invited them with us.

The biggest bummer was that the day dawned very drizzly and wet, and since the aquarium is all indoors, it got crowded pretty quickly. (And that happens on Saturdays, right?) But Evelyn had a blast.

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She got to see exotic birds and fish, crocodiles and tortoises, touch small sharks, starfish, and sting rays, and called the eels she saw “dragons” and roared at them.

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The staff was super nice, and one guy even came out and told us to stick around for a minute because he was about to feed the eels, and the kids usually enjoyed watching that. It was pretty neat. Definitely worth the family pass if you are going to go multiple times with younger kids that don’t think they are too big for the experience. ;)

 

Bluebonnet Season

Hands down, spring in Texas is both the worst of times and best of times. Worst of times: ALLERGIES GALORE. Even if you have never had serious allergy issues in your life, there seems to be at least one thing here that ends up getting everybody at one point or another.  But the wildflowers that pop up EVERYWHERE- any field, along the side of the highways, even on the side of a busy intersection- are gorgeous. It’s hard to focus on driving because I just want to stop and smell the flowers!

We were kind of overwhelmed last year and only caught the tail end of the beautiful wild flower season here for Evelyn, and we were sort of bummed about that. We made a goal to be better this year. So when I happened across a list of some of the best bluebonnet spots last week, I was determined we’d take advantage of the sunny Saturday we had to go get some pictures!

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As you can tell, we weren’t disappointed. Evelyn was entranced by the flowers, but not enough to keep still for long. We grossly overestimated her attention span in competition to all that goes on at a busy park on a Saturday. Despite all that, I still think we got some cute pictures and some great memories. (All these photos were taken by the very persistent Jared.)

instagrambb.jpg (One of my personal favorites that I took with my phone of us trying to compete with an airplane for Evelyn’s attention. Clearly, we lost her attention, but still got a great pic!)

Hope you enjoy our family memories as much as we have trying to make them!

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A quick update…

Posted by Elisabeth on March 11, 2014 in anxiety, crochet fun, depression, family, pregnancy |

I haven’t been very active on here lately. I wanted to do better with blogging, but it just hasn’t been in my bandwidth. There’s been a lot going on, and with my energetic toddler, I don’t know how anyone has ever had the time and energy to get anything done with these crazy little cuties around.

But other than that, if I were to be completely honest with you all, I would have to say that I’ve been struggling with a big resurgence of my anxiety/depression issues, and just being able to take care of my family’s immediate needs has become a main priority. A lot of the remedies I would usually turn to aren’t as viable an option right now, especially being pregnant. And I know the pregnancy has it’s own share of contributing to the problem with hormone changes and pain issues. I’ve felt fairly isolated lately, and it’s been a really difficult time for me in those regards. However, I do apologize for not keeping up with this as well as in the past.

Things with BabyB v2.0 have been moving along fairly smoothly. In fact, a few weeks ago we found out that “it” is a HE. I felt pretty strongly all along that this little guy was indeed a guy, so it was pretty much what I expected. We were really fine with whatever the result would be, as there are benefits to having both another girl, or having a boy, so really it is just planning ahead now that is the fun part.

SAMSUNGThe “REVEAL” picture I shot the day we found out.

SAMSUNG

One of my favorite pictures from the ultrasound- he’s waving hi!

Anyways, that’s been fun. I enjoy being able to plan. The pregnancy has gotten a little more painful the past week with some lower back pain issues that we are working on resolving, but it’s hard to not tweak your back when you have an energetic toddler, right? So being able to sit and rest and dream up ideas on Pinterest of how we can decorate BBv2.0′s room has been a saving grace for my attention during this lonely time, and I am glad for the distraction.

I’ve also been working on a small crochet blanket for him the past few days. I am really excited about this project, especially because it’s the colors I’ve wanted for his nursery from early on, even before I knew for sure he was a boy. I was trying to think of ways to make them work if BBv2.0 had been a girl, so I am glad I don’t have to try as hard now!

BBv2.0Blanketcolors

The colors (in cotton yarn, as he’s going to be a summer baby!)

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The project so far, based on this Tiramisu blanket pattern.

 

I haven’t gotten too far yet, since thanks to the cutie pictured above, it took about 5-6 hours to untangle a yarn mess she created, putting me a day behind. (Bonus, it motivated my husband and me to FINALLY get a yarn swift to go with our winder so we can wind hanks/skeins here at home… yay!) I tried to get a stand alone picture of the project all morning since the light has been good, but SOMEBODY would not leave the blanket alone. She sees it and immediately wants to snuggle it. I may be making a second blanket here soon just for her since she has been so obsessed with this project.

So that’s what has mostly been up in our lives. Incubating baby #2, surviving Toddler #1, and fighting a battle with housework that if you came over, probably would look like we’re losing. ;)

 

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Musings on Career Choices

Posted by Elisabeth on February 4, 2014 in Evelyn, family, teaching |

It’s been a rough day in our household. It just hit 2:00 PM, and I have been ready to hand in my “Mom card” since at least 10:00 AM. Evelyn’s had a bad cold for the past week and a half, and mid-Saturday, it blossomed into her first ear infection. (Always, always, she gets over the weekend.)

To make it even better, we had a family here to look at our foster girl, Minka. (That’s a blog post for another time, I am sure.) While we were trying to finalize all the paperwork, Evelyn –who had refused to take a nap– charmed the family with her vengeful screaming for Mama. While that was normal nightmarish Evie behavior at 6 months, screaming for no reason and not napping at all is fairly odd behavior at 1.5 years. It wasn’t until after the family left later that afternoon that Evelyn started to poke at one of her ears.

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(Poor baby finally gave up during a boring movie with Dad Saturday afternoon..)

After a rather enjoyable night where baby Tylenol did nothing to abate the frequent awakenings and crying, we found ourselves in a weekend clinic the next morning. Ironically, once we got there, Evelyn was acting her normal and curious little self, and of course we wondered if we were overreacting and if we really wanted to pay the lovely price for having to go get doctor care on a Sunday morning (especially being out and about while most of the state was doing their last minute Super Bowl Party shopping!). After nearly 2 hours, we were reassured that yes, Evelyn definitely did have an ear infection, and we were perfectly justified in bringing her in when we did.

Now, not only are we dealing with the ear infection, but the lovely side effects of the antibiotics. (Yes, I have given her lots of bananas and pro-biotic yogurt, and no, it hasn’t helped with the runny output of the other end. I am not asking for other suggestions at this point in time because I cannot face going out with this bundle of joyful misery to buy one more thing that *might* help.)

To top it off, she refuses to nap today.

I’m writing this as I let her watch Sesame Street. That recommended “Less than an hour a day of television” that you hear about for small children? Yeah… That’s just not gonna cut it on a day like today. She’s sick, I’m tired, and we’re both needing a distraction that PBS can provide.

THANK HEAVENS FOR ELMO.

I never thought I would say that, but here I am, broadcasting that to the world. I’m expecting a Mother of the Year award coming my way any time now.

It’s days like today, and weeks like the last two, that make me wonder about what I am going to do with myself once this stage is gone. My teaching license expires this summer, and I am really debating with myself if I will bother to renew it. Not because I don’t plan on ever working again, but I am unsure if I can ever teach again. I’ve debated that before on this blog, so this isn’t anything new.

I know there are a lot of women who choose to stay home, or manage to secure part-time jobs/work from home jobs, but with the economy the way it is, and rising costs associated with having a family, I don’t think I will have that luxury. And for the record, my sweet husband does not put any pressure on me to work. In fact, the many times I have suggested it, he’s made it clear how much he loves how Evelyn has grown under my care.

Bu if I don’t teach, what WOULD I do, once Evelyn and her future sibling are older? I don’t know what I would be good at. Not that I was ever an amazing, inspiring teacher. I enjoyed working with my students, and I felt there were times I did a great job, but there was a lot that was frustrating to me about the systems in place. Especially that last year. That doesn’t mean that I don’t miss it, or have moments where I see something in a magazine or on TV that I think, “That would be so cool to share/use with my classes… If I were still teaching/”

I’ve toyed with the idea of going back to school to get a Master’s degree. I’ve always wanted to further my education, but with how much it costs, I don’t see the purpose unless I have a specific target in mind. And let’s not forget, one that could at least recoup the price it will cost to get the degree.

I like to do crafts and cooking and other small hobbies, and people suggest the idea of Etsy or other craft sites to sell what I make, but I just don’t see my work being good enough to really make any sort of a profit, even managing to equal out the time spent on making them.

So, what to do?

While not immediately pressing –Evelyn and her impending sibling will hopefully need me around for a while yet– I DO need to make some decisions soon. And none of those decisions seem easy.

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Baby Boothe v2.0

Posted by Elisabeth on January 14, 2014 in anxiety, Evelyn, medical/health, pregnancy, special events |

It’s been overall quiet on the blog front the past few months. Not a lot of brave new attempts at yarn projects or recipes or overall random musings from my brain. But there was a very valid reason!

I know I put this on Facebook already last week, but there’s SOMETHING about this blog that always seems more official. It’s a good place to put more details compared to just a short, “Hey, there’s a baby on board!”

We let Evelyn break the news.

BigSister2

It seemed appropriate, don’t you think?

As of now, I am about 15 weeks. Due date hovers around the second week of July, though honestly I have no clue what to expect, since I was not allowed to go into labor on my own last time. So, if I am being honest, I am equally anxious about what that might mean for this round.

Those of you who have read about Evelyn’s birth story (which starts here, if you want a refresher. I don’t!) know that I lost a lot of confidence in the hospital and doctor experience, so this time we are going a little more “natural.” Jared couldn’t be convinced to consider a home birth, so a middle ground for both of us was a birthing center with midwives that is also close to a hospital in case there is an actual need for additional interference. And we actually “shopped around” with a few midwives and doctors to find a group that seemed like a better match for us.

I’d post a picture of the one ultrasound we got, but it is from week 8 or 9, and it wasn’t the most high quality, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that the slight belly bulge is now more from growing another small human and not from over-indulging on goodies during the holiday.

I’m pretty sure I meant to say more during this post, but several interruptions and a walk to the mailbox later, I’ve grown sleepy and lost my train of thought. So, Baby Boothe v2.0, here’s the Elisablog welcome to the family post!

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“A Year of Love”

Posted by Elisabeth on January 13, 2014 in depression, Evelyn, family, Mosaic Reviews |

Something I wrote recently about my New Year’s resolution for 2014 was published over at Home & School Mosaics Blog today. Here’s some of it:

“How would you feel if Evelyn felt the same way about herself as you do about yourself?”

I had an interesting conversation with my husband the other night, in which he posed that question to me. For those of you who know me relatively well, I don’t try to hide the fact that I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for long periods of time.

One of the big side effects of my issue is that I put myself down. A lot. So often that I don’t have to TRY to slip in something negative about myself. It comes naturally to me to beat myself up mentally. It’s almost as if I am afraid my pride will get out of control if I don’t give myself a daily deluge of mental criticism and put myself in my place.

The night that this conversation took place, my husband, our 18-month-old daughter Evelyn, and I were hanging up Christmas ornaments on the tree. The majority of our ornaments are special to us – dated ornaments from each year we’ve been married, or gifts we’ve been given through the years, etc. A favorite is from when we went to Disneyland on our honeymoon. (YES, that is absolutely what I wanted, and my sweet hubby delivered, even though we were still poor college students!) While there, we got a picture of our faces pressed together with big smiles etched into a flat glass cutout of Mickey Mouse’s head.Family2013

For more, please continue reading HERE!

What are some of your new year’s resolutions?

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