Thursday, 2 April 2015

April's learning goal

I spend a lot of my time getting excited about things to learn, but then I don't learn them because there are so many I don't know where to start. This year I've tried breaking my goals down into months. I try to do one skill every day or so for a month. This helps me decide if I really like it enough to stick it out for longer or if dabbling seems sufficient.

April is sewing. I have dreams of making my own clothes (blouses and dresses mainly) because everything I see these days is either yuck, beyond what I would ever pay, or "is this supposed to fit like this?" I know I have a lot of skill to acquire first, but I'm optimistic. At least, I was until yesterday.

This is the giant curtain I made out of a sheet to replace the vertical blinds in front of our screen door.

It was a little short.

Positive spin: the problem was in the measuring, not the sewing.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Not choosing anger

Never seen the movie but like the phrase.
Anger management has never been a forte of mine, but I never really thought it was a big deal. I thought I had a healthy way of dealing with it, like deep cleaning my closet or finally doing that mound of dishes. The problem was I kept letting myself get angry, and I liked it. My anger would fester, and I liked the adrenaline and the power. It gave me motivation to do things I had struggled getting around to. I didn't mind it and accepted it as part of my personality.

I didn't see my anger as a necessary fix until I had kids. Sometimes you can walk away from situations and cool off, but more often than not you need to be present because you can't correct young children ten minutes after they've done something wrong. They need to be instructed in the act. I can't just walk away when my son hits his sister for the umpteenth time. That being said, I can't explode in the moment either. It isn't right to force my kids to handle my anger for me.

My son thought it was hilarious the day I screamed into a pillow. I didn't know what to do about my anger. I don't want my kids see it, but it gets to that point more times than I care to admit. I never understood how people (such as my husband) seemed to always keep their cool, and I didn't believe for a second that it was a choice. But you know what? It is.

It wasn't until I read this blog post about anger that I finally got it. Just like all our emotions, we choose to feel them. I choose to love my husband. Yes, I'm naturally drawn to him, but it's my choice to act on it. Anger is something I'm also naturally drawn to, but I still have the freedom to choose it. Just because it's natural, doesn't mean it's healthy.
Saying anger is healthy is like saying infections are healthy.  
The fact is, dealing with infections is healthy, treating infections is healthy, preventing infection is healthy, eliminating infectious material is healthy.
-"Isn't Anger Healthy?" A Blog About Love
I was once a believer of healthy anger, but if you feed it by venting or violence, it will never go away and will actually escalate. (Read more about venting here.) I think sometimes we confuse venting with healing, as if dwelling long enough on the emotion will purge us of it, but it's only kindling to the flame.

I want my children to listen to me, not fear. There are hard moments every day, but I am the one who chooses to make them bad or good.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Garden update: dreams vs. reality

A photographer I am sadly not, but here is the beginnings of my pea plant.
Gardening is as full of the unknown to me as space sometimes: I get the basics, but does it all work that way, really? I mean, how crazy is it that you plant a tiny seed and in a few weeks you have food? It's a miracle. And I am of the black thumbs who believes it would take a miracle for me to actually achieve the status of "gardener." I am trying for the first time this year in real honest to goodness dirt, not just potting soil in a pot.

I keep having this vision of walking out into my little garden and being surrounded by snap peas, basil, tomatoes, and everything else I've planted this year. My own little Hoosier Eden is only a month away, right? So far, the majority of my plants have sprouted. I'm still waiting for the lettuce, green beans, and peppers to make an appearance. Meanwhile I'm still digging up my yard to get rid of all the rocks, dead leaves, and weeds, and hoping I don't find a dead body of some sort in the process. Anyone else watch too many crime shows and have that fear?

Thursday, 12 March 2015

How to start your spring cleaning

The beginnings of my garden. Grow, Arugula. Grow.
It's an adrenaline rush to feel that first hint of warm weather. The heat is already setting into southern Indiana, and I'm ecstatic for my first Hoosier summer.

For some reason the whole ordeal makes me want to throw everything outside and hose it down to wash away the winter muck. Sadly, I have to put on my big girl gloves and do things the "right" way. But I get through spring cleaning with these things:

Better Life cleaning products. I saw them once on Shark Tank and have never looked back. Their floor cleaner smells so good, I honestly feel I look as poised as Cinderella when she mops the floor. Plus, all their products are extremely safe, which is great because my toddler gets into the cabinet under the sink more times than I care to admit and sprays whatever bottle he can get to first. Luckily, it's always this one. has been so fun to try this year! The $0.99 sampler seeds are perfect for an average-sized garden. They sent some arugula seeds along with my first order, which is something I never thought to try. So far it's in the lead. They have so many fun things to buy. I'm particularly excited about this crazy broccoli.

That's all I've got. That's all I need (not counting snacks and jams, but everyone knows about those). Get ready, folks. Spring is coming.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Getting to know my children

The other day while playing with my baby girl, she responded differently to me. I can't explain the experience well, but it was like an understood exchange between us--a leap in cognitive development. And in that blip I was suddenly reminded, "Oh yeah, she won't always be a baby." It was thrilling. While I love her present baby stage, I was happy to be reminded that I am getting closer to knowing her a little better.

I often think about the future with my children. I get so excited pondering the things they'll accomplish. I'm not talking about being a star of anything but just doing things: tying a shoe, reading a book, taking a hike, cracking an egg, singing a song, etc. It's fascinating to witness my children just being. In that growing body is a person I've created but really have no idea who they'll become. I'm anxious to find out but am enjoying the in between process.