Friday, August 28, 2009

One Car Family

We have talked a lot about being a one car family. Right now it's not possible, as we live too far away from Brendan's work so he can't bike or take the bus. And we live too far away from any stores for me to be able to walk there. Before we moved here, though, for three years we lived about five minutes away from his work, so he biked every day, or on really crappy days I took him and picked him up. Today he grabbed my keys by accident, so I am without a car and unable to leave the house! And it got me thinking how much I depend on having that car, and how I need to get over it. We would really love to have only one car, but I know I am the one that feels she should have one at her disposal. I feel kind of bad about that--I'm so selfish!

Anyway, today Brendan called and said he had my keys and I panicked. Even though we had nothing going on today, I felt like I was stuck at home and couldn't go anywhere and of course that made me want to go somewhere. But then I took a deep breath and realized it was raining and my plans had been to sew and bake bread, neither of which necessitated me leaving the house. So...I made three dresses and did two loads of laundry today by noon! It was kind of nice knowing I was home, we were going to have to make it work.

I also started reading the Little House books last night. I haven't read them since I was a kid, but man, they are great! I'm excited for Ingrid to get a little older so I can start reading them to her. I'm reading Little House in the Big Woods right now and it's all about them canning food and smoking meat and getting everything together for the winter. And I just feel so cozy reading about them making paper dolls and making bread and churning butter. They don't need two cars in the Ingalls family! And they live in the middle of nowhere! Obviously I'd have a tough time adjusting to life as a pioneer, but for a little bit while I was reading it it sounded so nice. Then I thought of depending on Brendan to shoot my food and the daydream crumbled. We'd starve.

But to get back to the one car family--I really think we can do this. Depending on where Brendan gets a job, we will try to look for a place close to his work, hopefully close to shops and things as well for me. And I will have to try to be okay with the times he needs the car and I'm left at home. It somehow just seems like such a big deal to me and I have to get over that. It's really not! There are days I never leave the house, weeks where I don't use the car for two or three days in a row. But the knowledge that I *could* use it if I wanted keeps me from hyperventilating.

Does anyone else have only one car, and if so, how do you deal? Or do you think you ever could do it? For us it just makes sense, as Brendan is at work all day and I only really use the car for errands and running to play dates. I feel like we could make it work. I hope we can!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Baking Epiphany.

The past few days have been downers for me, I don't know why. I was really unmotivated to do anything, I let the house get a mess, there was no food in the pantry or fridge. I was sick of watching Ingrid, I didn't want to do anything with her even though I knew she was bored and that's why she was acting out. I just felt...blah.

Then yesterday morning we got up early and had a playdate with our friends Jami and Ben. I made a loaf of banana/zuchinni bread and after I put it in the oven I had this strange feeling come over me. I had missed baking! Making that loaf of bread suddenly made me feel more peaceful, ready to deal with a toddler, and reminded me I like my simple life. How can that be? It was like something clicked and I remembered why I like to be a stay at home mom and what kind of life I want to lead.

I admit, I get carried away with daydreams. Lately I've been getting a lot of people wanting to trade things for the dresses and owls I make and I started thinking of how nice it would be to have a little sewing room where no little hands could pull things off tables and get into the felt scraps. I started getting irritated with Ingrid for being the curious person I usually love that she is. I started wanting her to need me less so I could get on and do my own thing. That simple act of making a loaf of bread put me back into reality--I am at home with a one year old. I have a home to take care of, a dog that needs walking, a toddler to keep entertained, and some fresh air and sunshine that need to be taken in. Perhaps in a few years there will be time for hard core sewing, but for now I have to take advantage of what I have--an adorable daughter that wants to play!

So the rest of the day went smoothly. We went to our friend's house, we came home and Ingrid napped. I got three owls cut out to be worked on after Ingrid went to bed. After naptime we spent the afternoon outside. And I was really in tune and happy to be where I was. Thank god, because I really hate feeling cranky and crabby!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Miss Sassy Pants

Ingrid has started a new phase where she likes to say nonononono and shake her head and look at me while she does something I've just told her not to do. I know it's a common phase for a toddler and that every mom goes through it so I have to ask the experienced moms--how do you keep your sanity???

Up until now it has been easy to care for her. I let her explore and do what she wants within reason, I don't pull her away from everything, I try to let her figure things out for herself. And when it was time to go or we had to move on to the next thing, she came willingly. Now it is a fight to get her to listen. When we come in from outside she throws herself out of my arms to climb the stairs. You would think that after weeks of me herding her inside before she makes a break for the set of stairs going up another flight that she would understand she's not allowed to go up there. But no, every single stinkin' time we come in she bolts for the second set of stairs and screams bloody murder when I pick her up and set her in front of our door. Then she refuses to come inside, so she sits and screams in the hallway, filling the entire apartment building with the sweet sweet sounds of a 15 month old. You're welcome, neighbors!

Yesterday was very trying for me and I admit, I yelled. I don't want to yell, I don't want to be mean mama, I don't want to be telling her no to everything. I hate when I hear moms saying no-no to every little thing their kid wants to do. Kids need to explore, to touch things (within reason) and I know they are just naturally curious. But can you please not be curious about our new Wii system which you already managed to almost break? There's nowhere else for me to put it, I cannot keep it out of your reach so you are going to have to learn how to stay away from something so inviting.

I think that's my main thing--I have set up our house so she is free to go where she wants. I never had to tell her no before, really. But now she's so mobile and growing ever so much taller that she can get into new things, things I can't move out of her way. Things she has to learn she can't touch. So how do I go about doing that without yelling no at her all the time? Especially when she's sassy and yells back at me "nonononononono!" I don't want to teach her to yell, I don't want to speak to her with a mean voice. I want to be loving and gentle and yet I find myself getting so irritated that I yell "Jesus Christ, kid, you are driving me nuts today!! Go find a book to read!" (Yes, I am available for the Mom of the Year award, thanks for asking.)

Help me, fellow mamas. How do you tame the sassy one year old? Or how do you tame the sassy part of yourself?

Monday, August 17, 2009

New Addiction

A couple weeks ago while browsing through blogs, I came across an ad for I went over there to check it out and now I am an addict. Have you ever been there? It's amazing--it's a bunch of ladies posting things they want to get rid of, like baby gear, kids clothes, handmade items, house goods. I had a box of yarn to get rid of and I've been making felt owls, and for that I got a new Maya Wrap ring sling and a hand crocheted bib and hat for Ingrid! Today we have to send out three packages of random things, like old onesies and a bottle brush we never used, and are expecting 2 handmade bibs, some clothes for Ingrid for this fall, and a toy car. Just for sending out our old stuff!! I am in love!

I found a woman who makes purple pocket diapers, people that hand knit sweaters, and this lovely lady that makes the cutest coats. She's got a daughter Ingrid's age and is 8 months pregnant, though, so we're going to wait until spring to get a coat from her. She's just the slightest bit busy at the moment...

I think my favorite thing about being a mom is the sense of community I've found there. We are all in this together, we all go through the same things, and it seems like we're all pretty much there to help each other out. When I was pregnant I got so many free things from people, we didn't have to buy much for Ingrid for the first nine months. I thought people must be so generous, we were so lucky. And we are lucky, and they are generous, but now I realize--no one wants that outgrown stuff laying around the house and they are glad to get rid of it :)

Anyway, just thought I'd share. It's seriously the best place, I am so glad I found it!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I'm Still Me.

My friend Mirabelle came to visit last night. She was driving from Montreal to Milwaukee and stopped at our house for a night. We got to hang out today until she had to be on her way which was so much fun! We've been friends for a long time and she is just the most honest person ever. She is great person to just sit and drink coffee and chat away the morning with. Especially since we haven't talked in a few months, we had tons of catching up to do.

After chatting about old friends and old problems and new things going on in Milwaukee and elsewhere, we talked about what I've been up to lately. I didn't think it was anything special--I hang out with Ingrid, I bake bread, I sew things. Pretty boring stuff. But she said she was really happy for me because I sounded really content and happy and she was glad to hear I was still me and not some robot stay at home mom.

Ahh, the robo-sahm! It was one thing I NEVER wanted to be!! I always always always wanted to remember who I was as a person. I used to be fun! I used to be a punk! I used to stay up past 10pm. Wait, no I didn't. I never could stay up very late :) But I didn't want my life to revolve around babies. I love babies and I think about having another, but I don't want my conversations to all be about poop or teething or sleep deprivation. Yes, I love to talk with other mamas about stuff like that because it is my life, but I don't want that to be the ONLY thing I talk about. And I worry about that sometimes, like when Brendan comes home and asks what we did that day. Laundry, cleaned up the kitchen, bought groceries. *yawn* I love my days like that, but it does sound boring. I want to make sure I'm still an interesting person, you know?

So anyway, Mirabelle was excited I was doing crafty stuff and connecting with other people. She said she was glad I was still me. And that made me really happy. I'm glad old friends that don't have kids and therefore don't think about diapers and stuff all the time can still have a conversation with me and still think I'm interesting!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

New Baby!

Congratulations, Mary Anne! I just saw on your blog you had your little girl :) I'm so happy for you and your family. That tiny baby all swaddled up in a hospital blanket is the sweetest sight ever!! Damn you, though, you're seriously making me want another kid!

Monday, August 3, 2009


Today I'm going to go look at some more diapers I found on craigslist. They are FuzziBunz sized diapers in assorted colors, apparently. Why am I so excited about this? Why was last night like Christmas Eve? I can't wait to go to this lady's house and look at her used cloth diapers and see if they're ratty or pretty and worth the $10 a piece she wants! How ridiculous. The diapers we got originally are fine, they work, we have covers for them, so it's hard to spend money on other diapers when we don't really *need* to. But the lure of pretty colored pocket diapers is just too hard to resist. I never ever thought this would become as addictive as it has! Why is that? Does anyone ever get addicted to disposable diapers?? Absolutely not! They bitch about how much they cost, how they had to run to the store at 7pm because they didn't realize they were out, they complain about leakage and rashes. And here I am thinking "I should get some diapers in colors that match Ingrid's BabyLegs." INSANE! But I suppose I could be addicted to much worse things, huh?