Category Archives: family

Musings on Career Choices

Musings on Career Choices
Musings on Career Choices

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.

“A Year of Love”

“A Year of Love”

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?

Crocheted Yoshi

Crocheted Yoshi
Crocheted Yoshi

Okay, y’all. I am pretty proud of this particular crocheted cutie.

Internet, meet Yoshi!

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Okay, you cannot tell me that this not-so-little guy isn’t adorable. And perfect to make for any of your Nintendo geeky friends/family members. This particular guy was made for my brother Stephen’s birthday last week. When we were kids and played MarioKart 64, we would always fight on who got to be Yoshi. When we went back to Utah in June, the old N64 got dusted off, and the battled continued.

Some things just never change.

Anyways, I had already started on this Yoshi for him by then, but it just confirmed what I already knew: Stephen was gonna love his green Yoshi!

I based this Yoshi on the free pattern you can find here. Overall, I thought the pattern was well written, though I felt it pattered out a bit at the end where I could have used a little more help with assembly!

Supplies I recommend:

  • Acrylic yarn (I used mainly cotton, and didn’t love it) in
  • your yoshi color (green) – about about 275 yds since you use quite a bit!
  • boot color (orange),
  • red (for the spikes/saddle),
  • white (tummy/cheeks/saddle).
  • (I also played around with the saddle and made it brown with a red stripe… because I felt like it.)
  • Size G crochet hook (I used an I because I tend to be a very tight crocheter)
  • White and black felt for the eyes (or just have white felt and improvise with a permanent black marker…. I may or may not have done that.)
  • Tapestry needle to sew allllllllllll the parts together. (And there are lots and lots of parts.)
  • Glue for gluing the felt eyes on to your Yoshi
  • Polyfill
  • Patience (lots of it.)

Be prepared for the assembly part-that is where patience comes in handy. It. Gets. Old. Fast. I like to assemble as I go because it makes the assembly time at the end seem not so bad. The way this pattern is written, all but the ball of Yoshi’s head are assembled at the end, and I wanted to pull my hair out because I was so sick of trying to put him together.

But when it is all said and done, you end up with this cutie! He even can give you a little thumbs up if you position his arm right!

Yoshi Collage

Some things that I did that vary from the original pattern:

Legs:

(Makes two,in your Yoshi color)

Round 1: 6 sc into magic ring

Round 2: 2 sc in each st around (12)

Round 3: sc in next st, 2 sc in next st, around (18)

Round 4: sc in next 2 sts, 2 sc in next st, around (24)

Rounds 5-7: sc around (24)

Round 8: *sc in next 2 sts, dec over next 2 sts* Rep * 4 times. Sc in next 8 sts (20) ***

Round 9: *sc in next st, dec over next 2 sts* Rep * 4 times. Sc in next 8 sts (16) ***

Round 10: Dec 4 times, sc in last 8 sts (12) ***

Rounds 11-14: sc around (12)

Fasten off- no need for a tail because you will be attaching to the boots.

*** (I reversed rounds 8, 9, and 10 in the second leg- when you stuff them to put on, it creates a “mirror image” effect for those of us who are kind of perfectionists about that sort of thing)

For the saddle, I added an extra row an extra row of white single crochets since I didn’t like how small it looked on the back. If I could go back, I would have added an extra row of brown SCs, then the red slip stitches, then done the white. By this time though, I was ready to be DONE with poor Yoshi.

If you have any specific questions on what I did differently than in the original pattern, feel free to ask in the comments. I change up the saddle, the spikes, and would do the boots differently if I were to do this again any time soon! 🙂

A very special birthday

A very special birthday

Just recently, my very favorite girl in the world turned one year old.

SAMSUNGCan you believe it? I feel like she was just barely joining our family. (We never could get an answer from the doctor on why she was on the smaller side or why it was “critical” to induce. I suspect it had something to do with the doctor wanting to be paid for being on call that night.)

Anyways, we were lucky enough to spend Evelyn’s FIRST birthday with many of her extended family and some friends, and it was a wonderful day! We did a “Whoo’s Turning One?” theme, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

It started with these cards I designed using my Cricut cutting machine.

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I made this cute little gift/decoration for Evie a few weeks before hand to go with her party theme:

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I made treats and decorations and thank you bags:

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My mom kindly lent me her kitchen for a few days as I worked on Evie’s cakes. (Yes. Cakes. I know I am crazy, thank you. Jared also reminded me of this often throughout this process. “She’s only turning one!” He said. “She won’t ever remember this!” He said. Pshaw, party pooper!)

First, I baked some colorful “balls” that went inside the cakes:

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Then I made the cakes themselves, Evelyn’s mash cake and the cake for everyone else, the day before and of. I am pretty proud how they turned out!

SAMSUNGEvie’s owl mash-it-up cake!

2013-06-28 13.51.56 2013-06-28 13.52.11The formal owl cake for everyone else (covered with homemade marshmallow fondant – which turned out to be a very fun learning experience that also tasted better than the store-bought colored fondant I purchased for some of the other parts of the cakes!)

2013-06-28 15.40.38Side by side at the party!

Then there was the actual party decorations and happenings.

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(Thanks Sarah for the cute sign!)IMG_2624

Evelyn by the month birthday banner!

2013-06-28 15.41.24Cute decorations and guests!

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The spread!

Evelyn had the chance to get sung to, “blow out” her candle, mash up her cake while on daddy’s lap, play at the park, AND open some wonderful gifts. She was a very happy and tired girl by the end of the day.

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How amazing it is to me that somebody who once was this tiny, five pound baby:2012-07-04 13.54.54-1

has turned into an adorable, healthy, happy, active, curious, bright, and beautiful one year old toddler.

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Happy birthday, sweet Evelyn. We ALL made it through your first year- and there were several times I doubted that I could do it! Here is the hope that we have many, many more we will celebrate together!

May-be a busy month

May-be a busy month
May-be a busy month

Yeah, I know. Lots to say, not enough time to type and post. Unless I decide to miss out on sleep. Or maybe a hot shower. And my priorities just don’t roll that way.

Anyways, May is a busy month in our household. The Man Of The Household has his birthday, and one of my brother’s birthdays. In the past, I was wrapping up the end of the school year, which was always…fun?

SAMSUNG(Showing Dad how to party on his special day!)

This year brought on Mother’s day and baby’s first swimming lessons AND first tooth, instead. (And then there’s the fact I take care of one small human, one tall human, 3 small dogs, and four chickens, too.  What? You can do all that and a full time job AND weed your garden every day? Show off.)

So fun times for us. The Little E turned ELEVEN months. (I get to be the Big E. Go ahead and laugh.)

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Seriously, where has this year gone? I’m pretty sure Evelyn just barely showed up in my life a month or two ago… and now she’s almost walking on her own.

Oh, and NOW she can bite. Baby teeth are like little razors. I think I would be extra grumpy if that sucker was breaking through my skin, too. But since Evelyn’s always pretty grumpy, fights going to sleep, drools, and gnaws on everything, it was still sort of a surprise for that cute tooth to poke up Tuesday.

She also did a GREAT job in the pool. She had no problem going into the pool. She is such a water baby. Which was great when she had 45 minute class four evenings a week for the past two weeks. I think it wore me out more than it did her!

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(Hey Mom! I’m all dressed up! What’s the surprise?!)2013-05-20 15.58.55

(Inner Baby Model: Yeah, I know I look good. How YOU doin’?)20130520_175816

(Mom, this is AWESOME! It’s like my bath, but A WHOLE LOT MORE room to splash!!!)

You know, I had a whole bunch more to talk about, but I just looked at those cute pictures of pool-ready Evelyn and with a big smile on my face, completely lost my train of thought. It was a busy month, but full of good things. So on that bombshell, I think it’s a wrap.

Just look at that cute little smile and think happy thoughts before you go to bed tonight.