Monday, December 17, 2012

Fun Holidays Times

This year, for Christmas, Michael is 4 years 10 months and the twins are 3 years 11 months.  Unlike most of my friends, whose kids have "gotten" the idea of Christmas and Santa, my kids are just getting the whole idea this year.  It's pretty exciting to see them connect things more and more (not just Christmas but a lot of different things).  This year, we are talking about Santa, and I am trying to introduce the Nativity idea.  I grew up a pretty strict Catholic but once I went to college, even though my roommate went to church every weekend and holy day, I pretty much stopped and became that Catholic that went to church on Easter and Christmas.  I want to share Santa with my kids, but I really want to start talking about the other reason we celebrate Christmas.

This year, like the past 3 years, we went to our towns Holiday Stroll.  The kids saw ice sculptures and had fun watching a juggling act.  This year we went later than usual so we missed out on a good amount of things (I think).

Ice Sculpture at The Holiday Stroll Wakefield 2012

We made our Santa Plate for cookies for Santa and ornaments for the Christmas tree.

We drove around and saw Christmas lights.

And I'm trying to have a some what handmade Christmas.  I'm, as usual, definitely behind.  I still have  lot to sew, and I'm not really sure how I'm going to get it all finished, but it will get done.  If I have to stay up really late, it will get done.

1 Christmas stocking complete (I have to finish 2 more and hope that I can do 2 more after that)

Eva Rose's hand sewn Christmas ornament (I still need to make the boys and maybe one for Tom)

1 of 2 completed pillow cases.  I still have 1 more to sew, but it is fully cut out and pinned.  It just needs to be sewn.

I still have PJ pants to make, but that should be simple.  The other 2 stockings just need to have the cuff embroidered and then sew the cuff on.  I have to finish the boys felt ornament.  Then there are all the crazy started projects to finish.  I had wanted to knit some washcloths, but I have a feeling that there is not enough time!!!!  I always think that I have plenty of time, but there is just too much to do and not enough time.  I do want to make sure that we have some fun traditions, and that includes being totally excited for the holidays, Santa, Jesus, gifts, Christmas lights, town events, and handmade gifts.  One day I'll figure out how to get it all done.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Monday, October 22, 2012

Time For Me

I love being with my kids, but I also love trying to make sure that I do things that I love for me!  One thing that I love to do is craft.  I love to just absorb myself in being creative, no matter what kind of crafting it is.  I do have favorites, but pretty much any creative outlet is fun for me.  I try to tell my husband that we both need to find time to be creative (his is mainly woodworking and mine is anything from sewing to knitting/crocheting to paper crafting).  I am trying to do more than pin things on interest and watch youtube videos!

One of my twin mom friends has me a little obsessed with English Paper Piecing.  I saw a post she did on hexagon quilting and from there on, I have been obsessed.  I started learning all I could with hexagon quilting.  I put together a hexagon quilting kit.  I bought and made templates.  Now I have moved on from hexagon paper piecing to different shapes.

I am still obsessed with leaning different things about English Paper Piecing.  I really want to learn the history behind it, especially now that I have been actually doing it.  I have also started to become obsessed/addicted to youtube craft videos, including English Paper Piecing!

One of the things that I love about paper piecing is that you can take it with you.  There is also the newness factor of trying and learning a new craft, but the biggest thing is the portability of it.  I love that i can take it with me where ever I go.  I can do it while the kids are playing outside.  I can do it while I watch TV.  I could take it in the car while my husband drives.  I love that you can buy the templates already made, you can buy acrylic templates, or you can create your own.  So far I have either created my own of I have bought acrylic templates.

I haven't started yet, but I am little obsessed with the whole dresden plate template.  I have bought one and plan to use it soon, but just haven't found the time yet.  I guess in general, I am starting to get a little obsessed with the whole template things.  I am totally loving listening to youtube craft videos while I drive, while I lay in bed, or even while I half listen to TV.

I guess I am just a little obsessed with crafting again, and I am loving it!  I just wish I had more time!

English Paper Pieced multi shaped hexagon

English Paper Pieced multi shaped hexagon

English Paper Pieced multi shaped hexagon

Card I made from a youtube tutorial

Spiderman card I made from a youtube tutorial

 My first paper pieced hexagons

Monday, October 1, 2012

Feeling Like I Should be Doing Better

I just read one of my twin mom's blog posts and was commenting on a post when I realized that a lot of my comment should just be a blog post of my own.

I don't have any where near the schedule that she has, but it reminded me of some of the feelings that I have been having.  Right now, the two pressing things on my mind are Michael's Autism diagnosis and my breast cancer gene mutation.  I don't perseverate on them, but I often think about what I am doing and am I doing the best for both of us.  I also have been a little down on myself with making new friends, but that is something that I am going to work on and let go of for now.  I have a couple of different options to help increase the likelihood of meeting people that have similar interests so I will work on that and stop driving myself crazy.

I often think about Michael and his Autism diagnosis.  Sometimes I look at him and how he acts and  think, "maybe he doesn't have it", and then often soon after that, he does something that conforms that he has the right diagnosis.  A lot of this denial is probably due to other people (family and friends) questioning his diagnosis.  I think a lot also has to do with his diet and wether or not we have been good at following the right diet for him.

My friend's post made me think about school as Michael gets older.  Right now he is in a very small pre-school class through the public schools to help with social skills.  I am really happy with the progress that he has made.  This summer, we also had him evaluated for sensory processing issues.  What we found out is that as part of his PDD, he has a difficult time regulating stimulation so we have to ensure that he has active periods throughout the day (his classroom is great with this).  I am a little nervous as technically he should be going to kindergarten next year (I know that i is a long way away), but I am afraid that he won't be ready and that he won't be able to handle a school setting where he has to sit still and not have as much opportunity to get out his energy.  From talking to his preschool teacher, they have a lot of physical activity within the classroom as part of their regular day, and I'm not sure that this is what kindergarten will be like.  I also know that the schools have decreased the recess time, even in elementary school.  For my son, this is not a good thing (personally, I think it's not a good thing for any child) as he needs time throughout the day to get rid of his energy or he gets overstimulated and acts out inappropriately to decrease his stimulation.

I know that I have not been good with our diet since the beginning of summer.  Personally, I stopped running as I hate exercising in the heat.  One would think that our diet would be better with the better weather, but we all ate junk food and myself and Michael have paid for it.  I am working on getting better at planning healthy meals and getting exercise back into my life (I started running again and hurt my back).  I do well with packing healthy lunches and breakfasts for my husband, but I don't follow through for me.  I do pretty well with making sure that Michael has what he needs (not always) and also the twins, jut not good with myself (I give into cravings way too often).  Given my breast/ovarian cancer gene mutation and the fact that I am not having prophylactic surgery, I need to really get my eating, exercise, and stress levels under control.  The BRCA2 gene comes with other increased cancer risks too (ones that you can't fix with surgery), so it's really important to get and stay healthy and lose weight as well.  As of right now, I am going to start doing the right thing.  I am going to start eating right, exercising, doing yoga, making time to create, and making sure that I am doing the right thing for my family, especially Michael where he has a few different needs than the other two kiddos (we all need to eat healthy, but Michael restrictions that need to be followed).  By needing to cook and eat healthy for me and Michael, the rest of the family will be healthy also!

So, after writing this I have conformed to myself that yes I could/should be doing better.  But, I am aware that I could and should be doing better.  I am making the decision to make sure that I start doing the right thing and keeping us all healthy.

I'm very happy that I read my friend's post and put some of my feelings down.  It almost feels like it is a little more real and I am a little more realistic about what I need to do.  Sometimes, when I ruminate things in my head, I don't see the big picture I just focus on the problem not what to do about it.  I have seen a huge change in Michael when He eats right and I need to make sure that I continue to do the right things for all of us!


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Life After Having Kids

Having three kids in 10 1/2 months has been a crazy but awesome ride.  Before you have kids, you think you know it all.  Then you have kids and, at least for me, everything I thought I knew was totally turned on it's head.  So many of my goals with having kids have not been met, natural childbirth, breast feeding, etc.  I now realize that as natural as somethings are, there are things that get in the way.  It doesn't make me a failure, it just is a learning experience and just a different way of doing things.

One thing that I truly believed would happen, is that I would all of a sudden have all these new mom friends, especially having twins.  Even though I have met a lot of great people (since having kids), I haven't formed the friendships that I had hoped to form after having kids.  Maybe it's just too soon.  Maybe once the kids are in school.  Michael is in school, but the kids in his class, like him, have developmental delays and I don't know if that makes a difference, but he has not made the friends that I had hoped.  I did miss a birthday party this summer for one of the little girls in his class.  I was horrified that I didn't see the invite until school started in September.  I would have loved for him to have gone to the party.

Life is crazy with 3 little kids.  It's definitely getting easier with them getting older.  I have more free time that I can do other things instead of having to do everything thing for them.  They can play by themselves more often when we are at the park and, at least for my twins, they find friends to play with.  Michael is a little different story.  He tends to play by himself not really interacting with other kids, even when my husband and I intervene and try to initiate interaction.

I have talked a little here about how I am disappointed with the amount of comments that I get on different social media sites.  I just want to make sure that I am really appreciative of anyone that takes time to read wether they post a comment or not.  It just frustrates me that I comment n other peoples posts on different social media sites, but it doesn't seem to be reciprocal.  I wouldn't mind so much, but certain people comment on other peoples posts.  I think, at this point, I have resigned myself to the fact that they are just not going to comment and I need to let it go.  I am going to keep posting on different social media sites and if I get comments, awesome!  If I don't get comments, no big deal!  Maybe one day something will resonate with someone and they will comment or maybe what I write will resonate and they won't comment, but it will make a difference for someone.

I am going to keep trying to meet new people, broaden my social circles as best I can and I'm sure in time, I'll meet more people and have friends who I have things in common with.  I would love to have more friends who create, so maybe I need to join a guild or something similar.  I tend to be more introverted and shy.  I like small groups, not large groups.  I like to have a few really close friends not a lot of acquaintances (which is what I feel like I have now).  I need to be better at talking to people and socializing.  It's not easy (given that I'm a social worker, you would think that talking to people would be easy), but it's something I need to do!


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Summer's Coming To An End!

It's Labor Day weekend and that means, my husband goes back to school, my son goes back to school, and we get back to a routine.  I love Fall!  I love the crisp clean air, the cool nights, the fun fall things that we do, but I love having my husband home during the summer!

This summer we have had a pretty quiet, but fun summer.  Overall, the weather was really nice.  We had some days that were uncomfortable hot, but for the most part, the days were enjoyable!

Enjoy some pictures from our summer fun!

We celebrated 5 years of marriage

waiting for fireworks

waiting for fireworks

waiting for fireworks

me and my hubby

playing at the beach 4th of July

learning to swim

Ran our first 5K

playing at the park

playing in the sandbox

amaranth from our garden grown from seed

blueberry picking

Hanging in Newburyport

Museum of Science

The Basin Franconia Notch New Hampshire

Making soap

North Conway Railway

Family Portrait at The Basin

Flying airplanes

York Beach

The Park
Michael's granny square afghan

Poppy cat for Michael

Poppy cat for Michael

doll bed, quilt, mattress, pillow, and quilt, as well as a rag rug for Eva Rose's Doll

Rag quilt for Thomas and Eva Rose

We didn't do crazy things this summer, but we had a blast.  I loved being able to share time with our children and  not feeling like what we did had to be some crazy commercialized summer.  I love being able to look back at our pictures and remembering the fun times that we had.  We may not have a ton of money to do crazy expense  things, but we are able to spend good quality time and create loving lasting memories for our children.  I am so thankful that my husband is able to spend time with us.  I love being able to spend time creating things for my children and creating memories for our family!  As happy as I am to be getting back to a routine, I will miss our summer fun and lazy family days.  Here'd to next summer!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Michael's Update

We had a follow up appointment for Michael today for his PDD NOS.  Overall, he is doing great!  We don't have to go back until December.  She wasn't quite ready to go to 6 months, but almost.  We talked about how to help Michael with his social skills and the doctor said that we should prep him with stories of what you do at the park, i.e. play with other kids, introduce himself, etc.  She also said to go up to kids with him and help him introduce himself.  We went to the park after his OT appointment and it wasn't really planned so we didn't start this today, but watching Thomas play with other kids was amazing.  He just went up and started playing with them.  The funniest part of this is that Thomas was the one I was concerned about with making friends.  My concern was that since he is so quiet, he would be lost in the crowd and not make friends easily.  I was concerned about Michael since he tended to play by himself, but this was something that we were aware of even before his diagnosis and one of the reasons that we had a feeling that there was something going on.

After the doctor said that me and my husband should help Michael with his social skills by introducing him to other kids, I almost immediately got this feeling of anxiety.  I am not the most social person, with lots of fears of talking to people and being assertive about going up and initiating conversation.  The funny thing is that I am a social worker by profession.  My job requires me to talk to people.  The thing is, I much prefer talking one on one with people, not in groups.  A lot of me fear surround me being afraid that people will reject me if I attempt to communicate with them.  A lot of this fear goes back to being a kid and not being one of the popular kids, actually being one of the kids that used to get made fun of.

The funny this about all this is that I have been trying to write about not having people make comments on things that I post on the web.  I get very few comments on my 2 blogs, varying amounts of comments on Facebook, little to nothing on instagram or twitter, and the same on anything else that I may have forgotten.  I can't figure out if people aren't commenting because they are too busy, because they don't like what I write, they don't like me, or that they just don't comment.  Unfortunately, my mind tells me that it's because people could care less about what I have to say, and that would be because they don't like me.  More than likely it's because people just don't have time.  At least I hope that it's just because they don't have time.  There are a few people who I have thought that I was friends with, but it just doesn't seem like I am really am.  I know that part of it is probably my fault since I tend not to do things outside of my family.  I just wish I had a better feeling about how people feel about me.  At this point in my life, it would certainly help me with my confidence in helping Michael.  It would help my confidence if life in general, which will in turn help me with all my kids.

Sorry for the poor me thoughts on this post, but I just needed to get it down.  I am hoping that I can get over this little to no comments thing and move on and realize that it is nothing more than people just not having time, not that they don't like me.  It will certainly help me to move on and get over it!


Saturday, August 4, 2012

My Newest Crafting Experiment

I finally started to attempt to make soap.  I was a little fearful, partially from others telling me how dangerous it could be and partly because of my own crazy mind, though I think others remarks had helped to make my mind worry more than it would otherwise.  I also have this crazy fear of failure in anything and everything I do.  I like to be perfect in everything I do, and I have a hard time remembering that most of the time, it takes a lot of practice to get things perfect, even close to perfect.

I finally made the decision to go ahead and try it.  How hard could it be?  I definitely made sure that I researched and read up on making soap in a crock pot.   I watched many a youtube video on crockpot soap making and finally decided that I was comfortable attempting it.

I made sure that I had my iPad right next to me with a youtube video going.  I made sure that the kids were all in bed and fast asleep.  I made sure that I had gloves and vinegar in case I spilled the lye.  I didn't spill the lye.  Things went well and I had soap the next day.  I learned that there are better lye calculators than others, or at least there are many lye calculators and people have different feelings about the different ones that are out there.  Personally, I like for all the info that I get and as a new soap maker, I really appreciate what it gives me.

I learned that there are many different oils that can be used and different outcomes.  My first soap was pretty soft and then once I found different oils, I found that you can make a harder soap right from the start.  My most recent soap consists of olive oil, coconut oil, and crisco, yes crisco.  I'm not really sure how I feel about crisco, but it seems to work well.  I now plan to try Walmart shortening and see how soap with that vs crisco is.  

I love making soap and plan to continue making it, experimenting with different oils and scents.  I may, at some point, attempt cold process, but that takes a little longer before the soap is ready.  I can't wait to learn more.

I have been pretty productive this summer.  I could always be more productive, but I am happy with what I've done.  I still plan to try to make some things for my twins group and hope that I can finish a few things to donate for them to sell at our national convention.  I also hope to start creating more for charity and maybe become part of a specific charity, Enchanted Makeovers.

A few picture of my soap and other projects from this summer!

First soap ever in the mold

first soap out of the mold cut and drying

rag quilts for the twins

doll bed, with quilt and rag rug

soap for Michael's teachers in the mold

soap for Michael's teachers cut waiting to be wrapped

my new pincushion

mixing my latest soap

latest soap at trace

soap cooking in the crockpot

soap almost finished cooking

soap molded and cooling. Can't wait to cut it tomorrow!

This is jut a few of the projects that I have completed and have been working on.  I have a few other things in process and can't wait to find time to finish them.  I can't what to get things organized so that I can have more time to craft rather than finding where to craft, a place to craft and then remembering to clean up!  Loving being creative!