Monday, February 25, 2013

Gotta Have A Gimmick

One of the things that I had no clue about before having Arthur was the whole concept of "Mommy Wars." I had briefly heard the term "parenting style," probably in a sociology course once, but it wasn't something I paid much attention to.
Now that I have a kid, it's hard to get away from all the varieties.

Attachement Parenting.
Crunchy Mamas.
Tiger Parents.

On top of all the blogs specifically designed for parents who follow the guidelines of all the different styles out there, I also have a whole lot of friends who have kids. And those friends (who I keep up with through social media) all have different ways of raising their kids. Those ways shine through in their updates, pictures, blog posts etc...

I find I have one of two reactions to almost anything people post about their kids.

Jealousy or Judgement.

Neither of those are emotions I particularly like feeling, and I'm pretty ashamed to admit it. Unfortunately, the truth is the truth. I either see something and think "Oh my gosh, how could she do that, doesn't she KNOW...." or I think "Look at her, she looks like such a perfect mom, how could I not..." My immediate reactions feed right into those "Mommy War" stereotypes we hear so much about. And like the articles I've read have told me, and the blogs I've read have explained to me, and the people I've talked to have sympathized with's because of my own insecurities about motherhood.

I don't feel that I look like a mom.
I can't keep my house clean.
I had a c-section.
Sometimes (a lot of times) I use disposable diapers.

The list could go on and on. I have to constantly remind myself that I don't have to have a "style." That I can agree with Dr. Sears on most things, but not have to agree with all the women on an attachement parenting site. That I can look up to my peers who I seem to think are doing a better job than me, and still recognize that they probably have their own lists. I can feed Arthur an organic orange and processed off-brand cheez-its in the same exact meal.

Yup, he's watching TV. 

Yup, he's wearing an old T-shirt as a Bib and playing while he should be eating. 

Yup, he's wearing daddy's socks, a too big sweater and a hat that still has the tag on it. 
Yup I let him wear that all day. 


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I'm Plucky and Adventurey

I really need to get better about blogging on a regular basis. Some people make schedules for their blogs. Some people post SEVERAL TIMES A DAY. Can you imagine?
Me neither.

We've had a pretty hectic couple of weeks (months?) over in these parts.
Not too long ago, Skyler convinced me that it would be great idea to try out for the local community theatre's production of "Pirates of Penzance." Keep in mind that I haven't done a show since I was in college. It's been...awhile. Let's just say awhile. I was feeling very, very nervous about the prospect of even auditioning. I was concerned about the strain it would put on our schedule. I was worried about the inevitable nights when Skyler would have a meeting and I would have rehearsal and what would we do with the baby? I was afraid that I had lost any talent or training I used to have.The thing is though, I love the theatre. I love it I love it I love it. And I've missed it a whole lot. It sort of used to be my life. Even though my life is now more about dirty diapers and dirty dishes and dirty dogs, I would really like it to still be about the things that made me who I am. I'm also aware, now more than ever, that I am an extrovert married to an introvert. Skyler would be happiest if we stayed in our house 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He wants and needs us and nothing and nobody else. That may be a bit of an overstatement, but not much. You know what? I love my introvert. But I also need interaction with other people. I NEED to get out of the house. As a stay at home mom in a town I don't really know, this isn't the easiest thing to do. We have our church, but that's only Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings. Most weeks for the last year that has quite literally been my only adult human interaction other than checkout ladies at the grocery store and the few hours everyday that my husband is home. It's not enough.
So, I auditioned. And then I got a callback. And then I got cast! There aren't a ton of roles in Pirates of Penzance for women. There's Mabel, the ingenue, a part is WAY out of my range. There's Ruth, who is an older woman (usually played by someone in her 40s-60s). Then there are Mabel's sisters, 3 of whom have speaking and singing parts. That's me! I'm playing Kate, who I've decided is the saucy sister. Besides the girl who plays Mabel, all the other girls are being played by high schoolers which has been interesting so far. It makes me feel old and young at the same time, if that makes sense. Many of the other roles are filled by members of our church, all people who are in choir with me, which is fun! It has definitely been a scheduling challenge already so far, however. Tomorrow I have to take Arthur with me to rehearsal for an hour which will be...difficult. Wish me luck!

In addition to rehearsing, I also had the challenge of preparing for the holidays in December. I made almost all of our gifts this year. I would love to say that was purely because I wanted to, but that would be a lie. I did it because we simply couldn't afford to do Christmas any other way. But you know what? Even with all the cussing, the cut fingers, the broken sewing machine needles, I'm really glad I did it. Between both of our families I ended up making 48 gifts, plus several batches of caramel, fudge and pepper jelly... and I didn't even finish! Some people only got a couple small gifts, and my goddaughter and her family didn't get...anything. I'm playing catch up on them now. Oh man.
Below are some of my favorites. These are links to the tutorials/patterns I used. I was silly and didn't take any pictures of my finished product.

I made three of these pacifier clips. Arthur has never taken a pacifier so I was super excited to do this adorable craft for my nephew and one of Skyler's baby cousins.

I made two of these purses, one for each of my sisters-in-law. I loved this pattern so, so much. I'm afraid that every woman in my life is going to get one of these pretty soon and I might have several!

I made this scarf for my littlest sister in law, in Alton Comet colors! I think (I hope) she liked it and it was one of the few projects that didn't make me want to throw my sewing machine across the room.

I made this for my father in law and one of Skyler's older cousins, both of whom travel for work frequently. The first one I made almost drove me insane, but the second one was a breeze. Next time, I will add a stiff interfacing and a lining or fabric cover cardboard to shore up the structure. It might also be better to use heavier weight fabric than what I used. I just used the manliest fabric I had on hand. 

I also made two of these, for my Mama and my sister. They were fun, but did NOT end up as cute as these. It was also hard to do for someone else's head and no measurements. 

So that was our lead-up into the holidays. Maybe sometime before the 4th of July, I'll tell you about our Christmas adventuring!