Thursday, April 10, 2014

So it's been awhile…BABY PICS!!!

Since I last posted, life has changed drastically!  But let's start further back.

The second half of my pregnancies, life seems to go in slow motion.  I'm antsy to meet the baby, I get reclusive, and then whatever form nesting takes during the pregnancy takes over.

This time? My nesting was my kitchen.

Seriously - I reorganized my pantry, stocked up on bulk goods, made everything from scratch….reread that - made EVERYTHING from scratch.  I've developed some favorite recipes, but my favorite thing to come out of that was sourdough bread.  I'll revisit that another day.

After all that kitchening, I twiddled my thumbs and tried not to go crazy waiting on the baby.  That took awhile -  this one was 8 DAYS LATE!

Meet our new little one - A GIRL!!!! Little Miss E.



We didn't find out gender ahead of time, and I tell you, we were COMPLETELY ASTOUNDED to have a girl.  If you want a birth story, let me know - here's the long and short of it.

My water actually broke this time - first time with any of the kids.  We stayed at home for a few hours, and headed to the hospital around 1 AM.  I needed IV antibiotics, so they barely got 2 doses in before E was born just after 6AM.  Of the three, her labor was the shortest by a longshot, at 9 hours.  Unfortunately, it was still back labor.  But, for the first time, I FINALLY got my natural labor.  I think that's why it went faster this time...

So in short, please forgive my need for being a hermit, closing out the world and living within my tiny little bubble.  But the outcome has been fabulous - and once I get back on my feet, I'll be creating again.  In the meantime, enjoy some beautiful photos taken by Amy Gritton Photography. FYI - if you live in the Austin area, I really recommend her!


Right now it's a blur of, "I'm supposed to be doing something, but my brain hurts and I forgot" and ,"Momma!" and crying.  But I'm already getting antsy, needing to keep my hands busy in a creative way.  Needing to create an identity again that isn't "mom" related.

Thanks for sticking around - see you soon!

Jess

Monday, October 7, 2013

Unplanned break!

So with Mr. A in year-round school, he has a 2 week break every 9 weeks. Which is fabulous in so many ways - time for travel, seeing friends, and getting over school burnout.  What I didn't factor in was time for blogging!

So please excuse me for my unintended absence. I'm sure it'll happen again, knowing me.

During the past two weeks, it's been stay home days, travel to Arkansas and back, stomach bugs, very sick dogs, and cooking.  It's been a very busy time, but very therapeutic after just ending work at the end of August.  It was nice to catch up on things and get a grip on life again.

I am finally (!) getting back a little bit of my pre-pregnancy energy/mojo back.  So I've been crocheting, gardening, shopping, sewing, cooking, and baking as much as my body allows.

Speaking of the pregnancy, we're now just over 20 weeks in, past the half-way point.  We had our big anatomical ultrasound, and everything looks great!  Those scans make me so nervous - I just don't want anything big to be wrong!  I'd tease you about finding out the gender of the baby, and how you don't know...but we don't either!  We decided not to find out this time.  And since I can only come up with girl names (seriously, why are boy names so tough?!), I assume it must be a boy.

The OBGYN's nurse is sure it's a girl, and claims to have a near perfect track record. We'll see about that.  I bet her a fancy cupcake she's wrong. :)

In other news, I now have Mr. C home with me full time.  I can't afford to send him to school without me working, so we're going to be hanging out together a lot more.  What this means for the blog is some inconsistent blogging and projects - but I'll be here.  And hopefully with something to show for it soon!

Sorry for no pictures to share - too busy to think about them!

Oh - one last thing! If you somehow haven't heard yet, there's a fabulous pattern sale going on - the 2013 Sew Fab pattern sale.  I say fabulous because it's a great deal if you sew for kids. And perfect for Christmas sewing ideas!  It's 26 patterns for just under $30!  If you are contemplating sewing, this is a great way to get some patterns in your collection.

You can find them at many blogging sites, here's one.

The patterns are on sale only through tomorrow, so don't miss out!  I got mine and finally downloaded all the patterns today. I'm super excited about quite a few of them.

Cheers!

Jess

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Kindergarten bullying????

I kept meaning to write a post about the weekend...and things just kept snowballing.  Somehow, I go to write that weekend post - on Wednesday??  I told you it'd take awhile to get the hang of things again.

It's been a bit of a rollercoaster week, with one of my least favorite problems cropping up - bullying.

I'll be honest - I expected some bullying at school this year...but being Kindergarten, I didn't see the extent of it coming.  I wasn't as prepared as I wanted to be to address the subject with Mr. A.

Preschoolers bully. That's just them testing their knowledge of the world. Things such as , "Those are girl colors!" and ,"Your shoes aren't (this brand) so they aren't fast!".  Talking about these types of things was hard last year, because you don't like to see your kid upset over something another kid said.  But they were just words, and generally, the preschoolers did a great job of keeping the physical stuff down.  If someone got hit, they simply chose not to play with the offender anymore.  No big deal.

But I learned this week kindergarten brings out a new level.  Apparently after the preschool level stuff, you develop some manipulation skills.  I hadn't prepared my kid for that.  We talk about telling people if you don't like how they're acting, or telling a grown up if there's a problem.  But not about what it means to be a friend in kindergarten. And where to draw the line.

This isn't a story of rampant abuse, or bullying to extent that is newsworthy...this is a story about preparing your kids.

Mr. A has a friend at school, who he calls his best friend.  We'll call him Juan. I really like Juan, and he and Mr. A play well together all the time.  They enjoy the same things, buddy up for things, and I hear all about it.  School started in July for us, so this was the end of July, all of August, until now.  The past couple of weeks, I've noticed a change.  First it was , "Me and Juan aren't friends anymore, he didn't want to play with me".  That's pretty normal kindergarten drama.  We talked about the meaning of friendship, and that friends don't always have to play with each other.  No big deal.  The next day, they were friends again, as expected.

Then I begin to hear that Juan is having behavior issues at school - the kids all have a behavior chart, and Juan is getting to the point of having to visit the principal.  At this point, my guard is up, and I'm worried about Juan, and what changed in his life.  Not too worried with Mr. A. They're friends, they'll work it out.

But then Mr. A won a special award at school for good behavior.  That set something off with Juan.  When he won the award, Juan apparently scratched at him, jealous that Mr. A got the award and he didn't.  That wasn't okay.  Then I saw Juan hit Mr. A coming back from lunch one day, when I went to volunteer at the school.  Something wasn't right, so I mentioned it to the teacher - mostly my concern for Juan, but also because now my child was being negatively affected. We talked briefly about it, and then I asked Mr. A if he  had anything he wanted to talk about. He said no.

That very night, Mr. A comes to me while I'm cooking dinner.

"Mom, Juan says I can't tell the teacher he's hitting me and being mean, or we can't be friends. I really want to be friends with him, so I can't tell."

The second I hear that, my hackles are up.  No one, not even a kid, abuses my child, in any form, and then manipulates them into keeping quiet about it.

Once I calmed down a bit, we talk about what real friends are. And that real friends wouldn't do that.  And that he needs to talk to his teacher.  But I can see he won't, because he's so scared he'll lose Juan as a friend.

Thankfully, I can talk to his teacher via email, and sent her a description of the situation and my concerns.

So we're working on the best way to resolve the issue for the time being.  I'm hoping it will resolve without negatively affecting Juan...again, I do like the kid...but I draw the line.

I've tried to do some research on this age group, but it seems not much concrete research has been conducted on kindergarten bullying.  But here's some resources I did find that may help others.  Some are stories, some are tips.

http://kindergartenbasics.blogspot.com/2012/08/stop-bullying-it-starts-at-home.html

http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/social-emotional-skills/bullying-and-teasing-no-laughing-matter

http://www.education.com/reference/article/kindergarten-bullying/

http://www.whattoexpect.com/blogs/mylittlemonkeys/dealing-with-child-bullying-in-kindergarten

http://jasonrenshaw.typepad.com/i_am_dad/2011/03/when-bullying-starts-at-kindergarten.html

Additionally, there are plenty of message board posts and blog entries telling a very similar story.  I tell the beginning of our story here, because I wasn't aware that it would reach this level at this grade, and I want others to be better prepared.

My question to you - have your children faced this kind of bullying and manipulation at this age?  How were you able to resolve it?

Here's to a better second half of the week!

Jess

Friday, September 13, 2013

Big news! Sewing for another (tiny) person!

Good morning everyone!  I have been away from here for so long, it took me two weeks to get it together enough to be able to write a decent post again.  I had forgotten the amount of work that goes into a post.  Making stuff, photographing it, writing about it intelligently. Well, sometimes. :)

If you follow me on Facebook, you know the past few months have been CRAZY busy.  I took a seasonal job in February and finished August 31.  That meant both my kids went to full day "preschool" for the first time, which they loved, but was so hard for me to share my kids so many hours.

During those months, we traveled to Virginia to see my bestest get married, went on a couple of camping trips, celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary, celebrated Mr. Tupelo's 30th birthday, celebrated the 3rd birthday of Mr. C and the 5th birthday of Mr. A....and sent summer out with a bang, early.

We found out in early July Mr. A got into a charter school that runs year round, and that started July 22. So I had just a few weeks to get ready for that and cope with my big boy getting bigger every year! Luckily, he loves his new school, and I LOVE not paying for full time child care for one kid.  Very happy with the arrangement so far.

To top all that off - BIG NEWS.
We found out in June we have another tiny person on the way! So on top of all the crazy of working full time and having kids, I've just been exhausted! So I hope you can at least somewhat excuse my absence.  Life is mad - but we're really excited to add to our family.  We're hoping we get to meet our new little person around Valentine's Day 2014!

As I've finally had some time to myself since work ended, I've been able to get more things done. Mostly, make sure we all eat better and have a cleaner house, but when I have the energy, I've been crafting again.  It's been a long time since I picked up a crochet hook or drug out the sewing machine of choice.  And I'm rusty, but so happy to be back.

First sewing project back? Minky/flannel baby blanket. I've been itching to make something for the new little one, but I haven't had the time or energy until recently.  Once I finished work, I dug through my stash and found some things to put together - and I am in love with the fabric and the combination of fabrics.  The flannel is a Michael Miller print called Zoology - it's still available online in some places.

I think it's adorable.  And honestly, I only HAVE to make adorable things for this baby - because we are still swimming in blankets from when the other two were tiny!


I made it on my much loved Goodwill Elna.  Still my best Goodwill find ever, and worth every cent I paid for her.  She's missed me though - and really deserves a good thorough cleaning and oiling.


I've missed blogging - I love sharing my successes and failures, our trips, our news...  and I'm thrilled to be back in some capacity.  It's going to take some time for me to get into a routine again, but I'm no longer dead to the world.  

Thanks for stopping in!



Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ah, the blog!

Hellloooooooooo whoever stuck around and is still reading this somehow!

I'm proud to announce I'm back!  Back from where, you ask?  Well, things were going along here pretty smoothly until I got a J-O-B in February. Which has been awesome. But, as a seasonal employee, I'm now done, over, through.  And back to "normal" life.  I'm not sure what that means. Especially since I have an interview in the morning for another job.  I'm just riding the train to wherever it takes me.

But for now, I'm home again. And I've missed it.  I've missed the opportunity to do the dishes. The time to cook a real meal - not scramble one up.  The time to watch a show on TV and not have it take up ALL of my free time.  I'm really happy to be back.

What it means so far is wake up early, drive one kid or the other or both to school, come home, clean, and rest on my stinkin' laurels to my hearts content for a little while.  Being a full time employee and a mom of 2 kids is not the easiest thing I've ever done.  It's taken me a week to even to to where I WANTED to type again.  Ha.

So what does that mean around here?  Well, I'm hoping a few things.  I need to start some new sewing projects. Share my new kitchen obsessions.  Tell you all about how year round school works for us.  Share soooo many things.  So, while I work to get my feet back on the ground, bear with me a bit as I just share some personal things and life stories until I can get some projects going again.

In the meantime, I'm crossing my fingers about my interview tomorrow.  Planning dinner for tomorrow night, or the next time I feel like cooking. Tossing another load of laundry in.  And just being happy being home.

I've missed you guys!  I'm here, and I'll be posting again soon!