Monday, July 27, 2009

Want to Know What's Amazing?

It's amazing what you can do with yourself when you are not obsessing over Facebook. I've recently taken a 'break' from facebook and while I was afraid I would go into serious withdraw, the reality has been that I've been feeling truly happy and free and living life. The irony is that I have my blog set up to update my facebook account automatically so some people may actually be reading this on facebook.

Recently, you see, my life went a touch topsy turvy. In hind sight I could totally see where it had all been building for a while, but of course in the throes it always seems so shocking when life changes out from under you. I took a long hard look at things and couldn't for the life of me figure out why I was continuing to invite things that mostly brought negativity into my life. So I decided the first step was to stop looking at facebook cold turkey.

I picked facebook because it seemed to be only adding to the stress in my life. Plus it had become an obvious time sucking obsession with me. I kind of anticipated it being hard to stop, but was really surprised by how wonderful it's been. Suddenly I feel like I just quit some kind of part time job where I felt the need to constantly read status updates from people I may or may not know very well at all.

So I've made a decision to do more living of life and I really like the idea of being constructive with my time right now. I've been feeling a pull to get out the old sewing machine for a while now and this seemed like the perfect time. I have some really cute ideas for things I'd like to sew that are just beyond my skill level, so I've challenged myself to make as many easy projects in the next 3 months as I possibly can with the goal being that 'practice makes perfect' and I will thus improve to the level I wish to be at.

All of this coincided well with a little girl's 5th birthday party in which we were invited. Since we are presently on a spending freeze due to the financial month from hell in June (doc bills out the wa-zoo), I turned to my fabric stash and my trusty bag tutorial to make this cute little tote for her.

It turned out ok for a rusty novice sewer. I painted her initial on the pocket and used some rick-rack from my stash for the straps and embellishment.

After that I got an idea for different pockets and decided to wing it. I think this one turned out ok for a novice sewer making it up as she went. I once again used scrap fabric and notions. While there are a few imperfections, I'm not going to beat myself up since it was made with practice in mind.

As it turns out, it is the prefect tote for carrying around a certain 4 year old's Bakugan collection. He has also now placed an order for a replica of Diego's Rescue Pack. I'll have to think on that one....

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Seasons of Life

"To everything, turn, turn, turn, there is a season, turn, turn, turn..."

This song has been spinning in my head the past day or so, and really the sentiment has been in my subconscious for much longer. What if I could look at life as if it was a big collection of seasons? Perhaps when a part of your life changes or you lose something dear to you it is actually a natural cycle passing through and leading you onto better things. I wonder why we, as humans, are sometimes very shaken by any change in our lives. I also wonder why we are so quick and easy to remember how we have been hurt by others and yet seem oblivious to how we have hurt others. Human nature confuses my logical mind and it seems especially stressful during these times of change.

I've spent a good portion of my life feeling such intense sadness due to 'endings'. When school was over, or the summer was over, or Christmas was over, or a friend moved away, or I moved away...and so on and so forth. Even the smallest endings like those of a beloved tv show going off the air could send my childhood self into nights of fitful sleep and days filled trying to conceal my quiet sobbing. I believe the pain comes from some very subconscious self-love issues I have surrounding the possibility of being rejected. I spent the greater portion of my life wishing I was someone very different than I am and after reading A New Earth last year I finally began my journey towards understanding how to embrace authenticity. Maybe it's time to dust it off and re-read it again.

I certainly am not going to say it's been an easy journey or even that I am anywhere near the end (or even the middle for that matter), but it is a journey I am very happy to be on. In my present life when I'm faced with change I try to remind myself, while acknowledging the emotions, that in the end of every season comes the beginning of another. Sure I like Spring a lot more than Winter, but without Winter I'm not sure I'd know how much I love Spring.

For several years in my late teens and early twenties I unconsciously decided to take the easy way out. It was much easier to use escapism to hide from my lack of self love or even self respect at the time. I embraced escape readily at the time whether through drinking, partying, boyfriends, school, or even, at times, sleep. As you can probably guess this didn't really help me progress in my quest for self love. In fact I eventually found myself in the ICU with the lowest self esteem I had ever experienced. After three days of blood transfusions and liquid diet I was sent back out into the world with a new goal. I think it was this pivotal experience in my life which taught me that a lot of the things that I want in my life might take hard work and even suffering.

It started out rocky, and I am always the first to admit that I am far from perfect, but here I am 9+ years later a much healthier women with a wonderful husband, children, and family life. I am thankful beyond belief to God for looking out for me throughout those "lost years" and getting me to the point that I am at today. And yet, still those old thoughts creep back in, and especially in the times of life's seasonal changes. I begin to hear the tiny voice in my head that says that "they deserve better" or that "they'd be better off without me", or that "I am a horrible friend/wife/mother/daughter/sister/niece/neighbor/fill in the title". I've learned several constructive methods for dealing with these times in my life, but I personally believe that there is no perfect and thus there is always room for improvement, so I keep trying. Ever since that time in my life I have always tried to strive for progress in my life and lots of times it takes writing things out like this for me to really be able to see things clearly. I would really like to write my thoughts like this more often, because it really does bring me closer to clarity.

I feel like I am now embarking on the beginning of a new season in my life which may involve professional help, metaphysical help, the support of true friends and most definitely a good bit of introspection and quiet meditation. I face this time with both sadness and excitement and hope that I am blogging in the near future about all of the wonderful progress I've made.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Part Two ; My boy wears a patch

Here is what he looks like now for 6 hours every afternoon. I'm not going to say it hasn't been a struggle.

It turns out that one of Curtis' eyes is much stronger than the other. In fact, the weaker of the two even 'wanders' on occasion. Because of this we need to cover the better of the two eyes thus forcing the weak eye to work and build the muscles bigger.

It's hard for him because he is stuck using a very blurry very weak eye. It's hard for me because I hate to see his beautiful face covered by this patch and the glasses. I just want to rip it off and hold him and protect him from all the things that hurt, but I know that this patch is what he needs. If he was to skip wearing the patch he would continue to favor the other eye to the point where the weak eye would eventually become usless and possibly even cross in completely.

So you can see why it is very important for him to wear his patch each afternoon, but I'm sure you can also see why it is not a fun transition for him and for us as his parents. We are keeping a sticker reward chart and trying our darndest to make it fun and put a positive spin on it, but I'd be lying if I told you I'm not hoping beyond hope that when we go back in September that they tell us it has healed and that we can go down to maybe 2 hours a day instead of 6.

On top of it all you might be able to see his fat lip in this photo too. Poor guy can't catch a break. While playing at the playground on a balance beam while wearing the patch he fell and busted his lip pretty badly. The lesson learned here was, no balancing activities while wearing the patch.

Tae Kwon Do

We recently won a free week of Karate Camp and decided to take advantage of it now while Curtis is taking a break from swim lessons. Unfortunately he had to have a little procedure done on a plantars wart on his foot and had to sit out these next three weeks of swim lessons. The fortunate part is that we got to cash in the free week of camp.

It's been an interesting time. There is a wide mix of ages at this camp and he seemed very shy the first day, but warmed up today.

Today he came home showing me the blocks that he learned and talking about a new friend he made, so that helps my heart a little.

My poor boy has gone through so much this summer already with the glasses, eye patch, foot procedure, that I really am struggling to see him process all of this. I am still hoping that he will grow to like the camp even more tomorrow and we will even consider signing him up for classes if he desires. Mostly I just want him to have a little fun outlet for the emotions that go along with all of these transitions this summer.

Friday, July 03, 2009

My boy has glasses

So the only bit of excitement we've had around here lately has been medical, unfortunately. The first bit of excitement was a shocking visit to the eye doctor. As it turns out, to our surprise, my boy has pretty poor vision. We were shocked because neither Curt nor I need glasses.

As you can see he looks pretty cute in the Spongebob bikini bottom blue glasses he picked out. I, as his mother, am still getting used to the change. It is pretty crazy how a pair of glasses can change the way a little boy looks.

He has taken to wearing them pretty well. At first he threw a small fit, but I think once he figured out that they actually helped him see he was really ok with them. I looked through them and can't believe he can see through them, but I guess that's because I don't need them, right?

So this may seem like the happy ending to the story of a boy and his glasses, but it is not. Please stay tuned for the next part of this story, which will be called My boy wears a patch.

Recycled Crayons

So, as I said, there have been some periods of boredom over the past week or two. I made a list of things to keep us happy, which we ended up going through pretty quickly.

One of the things on the list was making recycled crayons.

We took our big bin of crayons and went through and found the old nibs and nubs. We took the paper off and broke them into pieces before putting them into my silicon tray.

You put them in a low heat oven for about 20 mins until they are melted and then you let them cool.

They make pretty cool rainbowish crayons in whatever shape you put them in. It was fun, but, it didn't take up that much time and it didn't really occupy the boy as much as it did me. Guess we'll have to start brainstorming for more kid intensive indoor activities and crafts.

We've been kind of bored (in between freaking out)

These pictures were taken at a time when I had no idea how ironic it would be that we were goofing off with play glasses....