Monday, May 26, 2008

My New Quilting Project

Since I am taking another quilting class, I am working on another project. The first quilt was technically a "lap quilt" for Darcy, and it's still not finished. The top is finished, it's been quilted, and I only lack putting on the binding. I want to finish it, but since I am in the middle of this class, I have to stay caught up with my current project. Having never sewed before, I really have to work diligently to keep up with the rest of the class.

This is a picture of what I am working toward. Of course, with my own stylishly selected fabric. It was very ironic when I went to pick the fabric for this quilt. With the first quilt, I was overwhelmed and didn't know where to start. I hadn't even decided what to do with it. With this quilt, there was no hesitation. A quilt for our bed. The hardest part was picking fabric that Brian wouldn't hate. He didn't have to love it, just not hate it. There was even a point in time during the selection phase that I wished I had more fabric to choose from!

Modern, whimsical fabric for this quilt:

The completed log cabin square:

It might look a little off; that's because it's sitting on top of another square.

One completed sashing (of about 60):

(Goes in between the squares.)

I should have taken a picture of the new sewing machine I want. I was having a terrible time with my other one (Wal-Mart special, $100). I thought it was my sewing. The lady that teaches my class kept saying it wasn't me and I didn't believe her. Then she brought a Baby Lock for me to try. Okay. I agree; it isn't me. This machine weighs less than 13 pounds and has 66 stitches, and it's electronic. I am hooked. Except Mother's Day and my birthday have already rolled by before I found out about this Baby. The lady who owns the store offered me a part time job to help cut kits. If I became a permanent, part-time employee, I could get a Baby Lock for wholesale. Wholesale! Not only would I get a discount on the sewing machine, but 25% off my fabric and they would pay me also! Except we don't live in the town where the store is located. But I'm going to talk to her again tonight what exactly she's needing and see if I could make it work.

I am having a flashback to about 11 years ago, when I came home from college and had to get a job because I had left school and was back home living with Mom and Dad. I started by applying at Kroger and by the time it was all said and done, I had 4 jobs and was working 90 hours a week. Someone would offer me a job, and I would try to make it work. What a crazy life that was.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Stuff Christians Like

I love how the blogging community works. You read one blog and then check out the blog of another person who left a comment on the first blog and before you know it, you have a "she told 2 friends" Breck-girl bloglist.

That's how I found this blog and now I am passing it on:

It is actually based on a popular Wordpress blog, Stuff White People Like. I had never heard of it or read it and can't comment on it, but this one is funny. The author highlights things that go on in the lives of Christians and our churches and for the most part, sheds a humorous light on them. Recent posts include a comparison/classification of Bible translations to GI Joe characters and a full on discussion on why many Christians have taken a "secret blood oath against the city of Las Vegas".

Definitely worth a look for a laugh.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

There is an ongoing battle at my house when the Hallmark Holidays come around. I can't speak for all women everywhere, but I love it when my husband takes the time to be thoughtful and deliberate, no matter the holiday. We've only been married for 5 and a half years so I can still remember when he was full of surprises, probably because he was wooing me and didn't have a job to divert his attention.

I don't like making demands on what I'd like to do for Valentine's Day (Hallmark holiday he'd rather not celebrate), our anniversary (holiday it's acceptable to celebrate), Mother's Day (Hallmark holiday) or my birthday (acceptable holiday). I really want Brian to take the inititive and come up with something fun, amazing, different and romantic. Also, I would like for him to arrange for the babysitter as well. Surely, that can't be too much to ask. What is he really doing at work anyway?

Brian really balks at celebrating Mother's Day. He sees it as some further government ploy to exercise control over his life. Who is the goverment to tell people when to celebrate mothers? And furthermore, I am not even his mother. Telling him, "Fine, we won't celebrate Father's Day. No ties or barbeque implements or special meals for you," doesn't phase him a bit. Why is that?

Why is it that fathers (even my own father) say it's okay to forget Father's Day, but not Mother's Day? [Except for Brian. He doesn't care about either one.] Is it because those guys realize that Mother's Day is important to mothers, even if they don't think they're important? And what about Father's Day? Why is it okay to skip that day? My husband doesn't care if we celebrate Father's Day, my dad said we didn't have to, even the pastor at church Sunday said during the Children's Sermon that it was okay to forget Father's Day, but not to forget Mother's Day.

What is the deal?

There are many days I feel unappreciated, etc., and dinner out on the day designated as Mother's Day doesn't do much to alleviate that feeling. Brian watches the girls all the time so I can do things away from home. I take quilting and scrapbooking classes, do accounting work, get my hair and nails done when needed, meet my friends for dinner or coffee. Maybe I'm just an ungrateful person who wants it all.

Even though Brian thinks government sanctioned Mother's Day is stupid, he took all 3 kids to visit his parents...alone. I stayed in Mudville so that I could have time to home, alone. And it was wonderful. I don't think this has ever happened before. I got to eat by myself at restaurants while I read a magazine. I didn't have to talk to anyone or referee the meal. I spent 3 hours at the fabric store picking out fabric for my new quilting class and getting a lesson on binding. Saturday, I slept in until 10 or so and then went to the used book store and the grocery store. Sunday, I made special coffee and my favorite blueberry muffins...just for myself. I had lunch with a friend who is expecting twins. I never even turned the TV on.

It was wonderful. I think we should do this every month.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Free Vasectomies!

Here in Mudville, everyone is very community-minded. I can't believe these things happen, but there are some people who are born here, grow up here, attend college here, marry here, work here and never leave here. NEVER LEAVE HERE!


About 2 weeks ago, the Mudville Optimist Club was advertising their annual auction and a list of the available items was in the newspaper in its own insert. It was actually quite lengthy. I thought it was really nice of all these businesses and individuals to come together and donate items and services in order to help the Optimist Club help youth. But I had to laugh.

One of the donated items....a vasectomy. It was offered by the general surgeon here in town who actually did Brian's hernia repair last summer. I just thought that was hysterical. There are probably not too many surgicial procedures that are considered elective, and I guess he wanted to contribute to a worthy cause. I just thought it was funny. I tried to find out how much the vasectomy went for, but that information was not available. The Optimist Club did raise over $45,000. Not too shabby.

A story about Dr. Erck:

Last summer when Brian had his hernia repair, Dr. Erck did the surgery. He was very thorough and explained things in great detail and gave us all the possible scenarios. When we were at the hospital and Brian was all hopped up on pain medicine, I expressed my anxiousness over not being able to supervise the washing of hands. What if the doctor and staff forgot to wash up? Brian, in his drugged state, thought this was funny and when the doctor came in, told Dr. Erck that I was concerned about his handwashing practices. He assured me not only would he be washing his hands, but he would also be wearing gloves.

I was instructed to return to the waiting room and informed that the scrub nurse would call me there and let me know when the surgery had started. When I received the phone call, she advised me the surgery had started and said, "Dr. Erck wanted to let you know that everyone in the room has washed their hands." Ha, ha, ha.

Fast forward a couple of days when a high fever necessitated a trip to the ER where Dr. Erck was waiting for us. We were directed to a room by a nurse and Dr. Erck stepped back to let us pass and I turned to him and said, "I hope this isn't a result of poor handwashing..." The nurse looked at me like I was crazy and I got the last laugh as Dr. Erck stammered, "But I washed my hands...."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Future Posts

Look for these posts in the future:
  • Why it might be okay for girls to go to college and pick their own husbands
  • My frustration with the homeschooling process
  • Happy Mother's Day to me
  • My new quilting project
  • Free vasectomies!

Our Diaper History

Strictly curious, I wondered today approximately how many diapers have been changed for this crew. (Disclaimer: I am in no way implying that I have changed all these diapers myself.) Supposing 10 diaper changes a day for the first 3 months of life and 5 changes a day thereafter until they are potty-trained, between the three of them, my children have warranted 11,620 diaper changes. (I am, of course, working on averages. There have been many instances when newborn babies pooped on 5-6 new diapers in the course of 1 diaper change...)

Other Facts:
  • We have changed diapers non-stop since the day Lily was born, nearly 4 years ago.
  • We are in Phase II of having two children in diapers at the same time.
  • We have owned and used 6 different diaper bags.
  • Assuming that all 11,620 of those diapers were purchased in a box of 150, costing $30 (from Sam's), we have purchased 77 boxes of diapers for a total of $2310. And there doesn't appear to be an end in sight.
  • We have completely destroyed one Diaper Genie and are on the 2nd one.
  • Brian is infinitely better at changing diapers on the run, or as we like to call it, "field dressing".

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Solution To The Problem

As previously mentioned, I have been struggling with things here at home. Being a stay-at-home mom is hard! I know I think my life is hard and then I talk to people who have more children than I do and realize their life is hard, too. I have a friend preparing for twins and I know her life is about to become harder. Reflectively, I have to wonder how much of my stressors are self-induced. Am I to blame for being frustrated? What have I done to make or break the situation? I'm of the mind that if I'm the cause of the problem, then I can also be the solution. While that may be true, to what end?

To solve my previous problem of how to get it all done, I devised a very complex schedule that provided time to get the house cleaned and everything done. (Of course, my children were being entertained by Walt Disney while the house was getting cleaned.) That worked for a week. The following week, chaos ensued again. The familiar feeling of failure was back like a bad habit. A friend of mine reported all I really needed was someone to come in twice a month and do the deep cleaning that seemed to evade me. What a brilliant idea! So I made the phone call and found someone to come in and do the cleaning for me. The end result of that phone call was a meltdown of gigantic proportions. The feeling of failure that I'd had trying to "do it all" was nothing like the feeling I had when I'd finally "given up" and accepted that I just couldn't do it and I wasn't even going to try anymore.

Where did I get such a convoluted idea of how to run a home? Who in the world told me that in order to be a good wife and mother that everything had to be in perfect order, perfectly clean? Or at least, on some obtainable schedule for being cleaned? And, do that at the same time as providing my children meaningful, Bible-based learning opportunities? In hindsight, I have learned that I am only one person!

That feeling of "gigantic failure who must call housekeeper" went away when the housekeeper arrived. With her helper, she cleaned more things, faster and probably better than I would have, even if I'd had the time to do it. And better yet, I didn't have the feeling of guilt I would have had if Brian had been helping me do the housework. What helps a majority of my guilt is knowing I am providing someone with a job...

There is also much freedom knowing I no longer have to worry about cleaning the house and using that time to grow my relationship with the girls. I think they would rather I sat down and played Mr. Potato Head or Play-Doh or colored with them instead of leaving them to do this alone while I mop the floor.

I still think that the floors need to be mopped and the furniture needs to be dusted at least once a quarter. I think I need to ensure this is somehow accomplished. However, even the Proverbs 31 wife had servant girls...she didn't do it all herself. So, for now, housekeeping is under control.