This song is from the mostly great (there are a few duds on there, sadly) Colours Are Brighter, an album of music for children. Laura says, "it's my theme song". That's her theme song, not mine.

But it's only January...

I was 6 months pregnant when Simon turned 3 last March. As I prepared for his party, I reckoned it would be the last time I'd ever have the time or energy for crazy things like sending out handmade invitations or hanging up paper decorations I had cut out myself. Surely I would be frequenting the party store from then on, I thought.

Turns out, I can still engage in crazy party preparations. I just have to start much earlier.

Last night I made hats for these friends of Simon's (can you guess this year's birthday party theme?).

These five are my favorite.

But I suppose it would be rude not to invite the whole herd.


Currently Occupying my Grey Matter

The blogging has really slowed down, eh? I know, I know. My mental space is pretty fuzzy these days, trying to figure some things out, on top of being completely knackered all the time. Baby Theo sleeps like a champ (thank you, Dr. Weissbluth), but Simon is still doing some uncharacteristic night-waking. I have no idea how to deal with it. I'm not even sure he knows that he's waking up. Last night he came in at 4:15 am (the third time that night) and I decided it was time to get tough. I told him I could not get up to put him back to bed. "Go back to your room, climb into your bed, and pull up your lion blankie, Simon. Mommy can't get up. Go back to bed." After a few minutes of whining, he left. On a hunch, I got up a while later and went to check on him. There he was, 4:30 am, lights on and playing in his room. What the hell is going on? I want to feel certain that this is just a horrible phase, but my confidence fades with each night that my sleep is pillaged by the new habits of this kid. SO TIRED.


Yesterday this baby hit the 7 month mark. He is beautiful, inquisitive, responsive, and so happy.
Despite having breastfed him exclusively for over 5 months, and continuing to nurse him as often as possible (read: as often as I can convince him to latch on), my milk is disappearing. Drying up. Going the way of the buffalo, etc etc.
Where did it go? I always thought that it was a simple equation: baby sucks, breasts produce milk. But, believe me, if that equation was mathematically true, I would have milk a-plenty. Instead I've got next to nothing.
My theory is that I lost too much weight. To me, my weight loss has felt painfully gradual, but maybe it wasn't gradual enough for my nursing body.
After trying and failing to breastfeed Simon, I feel grateful that Theo and I have had the success that we have. Still, I know I'm not ready to give up nursing him. I'm trying to decide if I can be satisfied nursing only once in the morning and once before bed, or if I should devote significant time and energy to getting my supply back up. The peanut gallery is open for thoughts from any current or former nursing mamas.


With the renewal of my obsession with all things crafty, I'm finding it hard to know how to order my days, how to spend my time. Every day when Theo takes his morning nap, I debate how to spend the time. Should I exercise, spend some quality time with Simon, or get craft-tastic? This is part of why I rarely blog anymore. I'm busy trying to do do do. I feel pulled in 30 different directions at any given moment. I have too many goals, too many ideas for improving myself, my family, or my home. And I can never decide which is most important at the time.

Some good friends of ours recently decided to homeschool their son. I've been guilty of judging the homeschool community in the past, due to interactions with a handful of homeschooling families as I was growing up. But I know that this couple will do it differently. I know they'll do right by their little guy. He'll be fantastically smart and comfortable in his own skin. The thing I still can't fathom about homeschooling is the TIME. The dedication of every minute of every day to one's child. I love my boys. Seriously, sometimes I think my heart will come exploding out of my milkless chest with love for them. Still, I need breaks. And I look forward to school as The Big Break. When the boys are in school, I 'll have so much more time for myself, my interests, my body. Until then, I'll have to struggle to order my priorities, and that's what keeps my mind racing these days.


So ends my rambling for this evening. Keep your fingers crossed for Simon's sleep tonight, would you?


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Goddammit. I'm not sold on the new Blogger, mostly because I've had a lot of trouble publishing photos, specifically posting from Picasa, which used to be fine. I could wait for Nate to wake up and fix this, but instead I'll just post the pictures here.

Sometimes I want to throw this computer. Did I mention that exhaustion tends to amplify my anger? Yeah, I'm not the most patient individual on 4 hours sleep.

A Quick Hello

Haven't checked in here for a while. I've been both exhausted and busy.

Theo is still not sleeping through the night. Some nights are better than others. Several nights this week I was up with him every two hours. Then last night he had a wonderful long stretch, 11 pm to 5 am. Thing is, even when the baby sleeps well, Simon picks up where he left off. Seriously, it's uncanny. Every single time I'm getting a long stretch of sleep, I wake up suddenly when I feel a presence next to the bed. Simon is standing there quietly. When he sees I'm awake he says, "Mommy, I need to go back to bed." What he means, more precisely, is, "Mommy, get up and tuck me into bed, please." Sometimes I can grunt and pat Nate's (empty) side of the bed and convince Simon to sleep with me, so I don't have to get out of bed. Usually, he wins out, and I get up, take him to his bed, and put his lion blankie over him so he can sleep another few hours before waking me up again.
I could write more about the details of the wee-hour nightlife in this house, but I'm boring even myself. Suffice it to say, between the habits of these two boys, I am tired.
Sleep, my long lost lover, when will you come back to me?

Here are a few pics of what's been keeping me busy. I've been making some collages, something I've always really enjoyed. They won't photograph for shit, but you can get a feel for them, at least. We really need a better camera.

I've been making a lot of things lately, with a goal of taking them to my old (Chicago) church's craft bazaar next December.
I like to have a specific, tangible goal, even if it's pretty far away. It gives me a reason to be creative, helps me make creativity a priority instead of a frivolous pastime. Now if only I could view laundry and dishes as frivolous activities. That would really free up some time to work on what I want to create. I guess balance is important, though.

This last one is for me to keep. It will go above my craft desk to remind me of my aim in making things. My biggest challenge as a crafter is disappointment when I'm unable to execute ideas exactly as I had envisioned them. If I can remember that the goal is just to make things, not to make them perfectly, the process is far more enjoyable. And really, if I don't enjoy what I'm doing, I may as well go back to folding laundry. Or sleeping.

Have a good day, friends.


One Thousand Circles and Happy Feet

I know, I know, three posts in a day! And with pictures! What's going on here? I should be totally spent after pulling the graveyard shift last night with Theo, but somehow I feel fine. It will probably catch up with me at some point, but until then I may as well keep on keepin' on.

Here is a project I've been working on for the past few days. I saw this idea for making garland out of old greeting cards in an issue of the now tragically defunct Martha Stewart Kids Magazine.

So, with the help of this little Fiskars gadget, I have cut out many, many little circles. This is another perfect project to do while watching TV. Those are my favorite kind, you may have noticed.

Finally, here are my feet, cozy in their new sunshiny shoes. I bought these with some of my Christmas money.

Aren't they lovely? I adore them, and I don't care what the blisters on the back of my heels have to say about it. They just need to be worn in. Then they'll be the most perfect, most comfortable shoes ever. They have to be. They're too beautiful not to be.

Gifts in Harmony

Here is Simon making use of two new Christmas gifts simultaneously. The easel is from Aunt Jessica, and the paint is from Godfather Paul. The bottle said washable, but these pants would beg to differ.

I swear I did not prompt him to take this Incredible Hulk stance.

I guess he's just a very angry little boy.

Night From Hell, plus The Shirt

Theo is sick tonight. In keeping with my resolution to get to bed at a reasonable hour, I "went to bed" at 10 pm. It's now 1:40 am, and I have probably been up with my baby 20 times in the interim. That's enough times to not really feel like I have gone to bed at all, but rather am working the night shift, just like my hubby. The only difference is that tomorrow, when he sleeps during the day, I will be "awake," caring for my boys. You'd better feel sorry for me. I know I do. (Also for baby Theo. Poor thing.)

Wanted to show you the completed shirt. When told to "look cool," this is the pose Nate produced. Spot on.

Another shot. Included here so you all can remember that your friend Nate is not a hipster creep, just a normal dude with a wicked awesome new shirt.

Here is a close-up. I'm not sure how well it translates through the computer screen. You might have to come visit us and view this masterpiece in person.
Please do.


All is Quiet

I love to spend a winter day inside with my family, never leaving the house, lounging around and tackling small projects. This New Year's Day was exactly such a day.

As we stumbled sleepily up to bed last night at 12:04 am, I declared that we had two goals for the next day: Nate was to put together some shelves in the basement, and I was to supply our bed with clean sheets. To my shock and great pleasure, we had both of these things done before 10 am. We went on to clean up many little messes, make brownies, take naps, and watch Lassie. I don't even like dogs, and that movie had me misty-eyed for two hours straight. Anyway, I am happy to start the year with the house a little more in order, a trend I can only hope will continue in 2007.

So many goals for this coming year. I want to read more, craft more, take more video of my boys, figure out who the hell I am and what the hell I believe about life, death, god, etc. Those don't sound too lofty, do they? Well, I'll just have to do what I can, realizing the same goals will probably make it back onto the list next year.

I have one other goal: to go to bed at a reasonable time, instead of staying up for hours after Nate leaves for work. And that is what I am going to do right now.

Happy New Year!