Category: life

Cosleeping

We cosleep. This wasn’t the plan necessarily, but it also wasn’t not the plan. We’re solidly Team Whatever Works, which depends on the kid, the day, how everyone’s feeling, and a billion other things. Cosleeping just works for us and Oliver.

Recently though I feel like we’re sharing our bed with a burgeoning acrobat! Tonight he’s hell-bent on sleeping with his feet on me – my stomach, chest, or head. How is this comfortable?!

One day though I know he’s not going to want to sleep in Mama and Daddy’s bed, so I try to cherish these little moments. I love his sweet snuggles and snores. So I’ll take the occasional kick to the head. 😉

Terrible Twos

We’re going through a few huge milestones as a family right now. We’re almost (so close, really!) finished with our house remodel. Hubby and I both have been doing CrossFit for a few months now, and we’re really noticing some wonderful changes. We’ve been talking about maybe trying for another baby by the end of this year. And our sweet, darling Oliver is turning two in just 4 days.

 

Somehow he got the memo that being two brings about expectations of him being terrible, so he’s decided to express those behaviors early. 🙄 Give Mama a break, kiddo.

In the last week he’s started throwing toys and fits, hitting dogs and people, blatantly doing the exact opposite of we tell him, and not sleeping. Every 5 minutes we’re getting him out of something he shouldn’t be in, or taking something away, or dodging a miniature tractor flying through the air.

On top of that, he’s decided suddenly that he cannot sleep without Mom’s boob planted securely in his mouth. This is problematic for Mom, as you can imagine, as logistically it’s hard to sleep like that and psychologically oh my God kid you were sleeping just fine without me a week ago what the hell is happening?!?

I know this phase will pass, as have all the others, but it’s so hard when you’re in it. It doesn’t help that he doesn’t have his own room right now. It doesn’t help that we are so close to being finished with our remodel we can almost taste it, but we still have a to-do list several items and at least a few weeks long. It doesn’t help that the world has its own stressors we’re also dealing with. It doesn’t help that we’re on day 5 of this and holy cats I just want to go to bed now and sleep for 12 hours. It doesn’t help that normally he is such a sweet, easygoing kid, so it makes these trying times even more frustrating.

But I just got him down for a nap and successfully left the room without waking him up. I’m going to eat a cookie and drink some water and take an Advil, and I’ll be good to go when he wakes up. Because he is my sweet boy, and I love him more than anything.

Homestead – Year One

This year was our first foray into homesteading. We tried a few things, had some successes and failures, and learned a lot. I’m hoping to get a fall garden started here soon, but we’re also neck-deep in remodeling our house so that’s been taking priority.

Jác built his mother and me some garden boxes early this year. We filled them with soil and waited a few weeks.

I was antsy to get started so I planted early April. That was a mistake. We had a frost mid April, and I lost my pepper plants and most of my marigolds. I replanted and ultimately had the following: 2 Zucchini plants, 2 Squash plants, some Onions, a red Bell Pepper and a green Bell Pepper plant, 2 Sweet Banana Pepper plants, Oregano, Dill, and a bunch of Marigolds. (The Marigolds look pretty, the chickens like to eat them, and they’re a natural pest repellant.)

My MIL planted at the end of April (some Spaghetti Squash, Bell Peppers, 3 different kinds of tomatoes, Sweet Banana Peppers, onions, and tomatoes) and her garden shot up like a rainforest! We’d never grown Spaghetti Squash before, so we had no idea what to expect. It needs a freakin trellis! Or maybe to grow out along the ground like pumpkins. The plant itself was our first major surprise, and eating it was another one – it’s delicious!

Maybe because of the frost, or its location on the property – for whatever reason, my garden took much longer to get started. While my MIL’s was growing like crazy, mine was stunted and looked like nothing was going to happen. The Dill and Oregano were the only things that looked healthy. My Marigolds look dried out, and the Squash, Zucchini, and Peppers just looked like the plants I’d bought for weeks. I’ve never had much luck with plants so I was beginning to get dismayed.

But sometimes you all you need is a little patience. My garden eventually got going and ended up looking really great and produced a lot of veggies. I guess I’m a master of Dill – it grew bigger than my toddler! I now have a giant jar of dried dill from my garden. I gave bunches of it away to friends. Next year I think I’ll plant it in its own pot. My oregano, too, grew quite large and is actually still growing nicely. Since the rest of the garden is about done, I may transplant the Oregano to a pot and see how long I can keep it going. The chickens love Oregano and it’s healthy for them, too. The Squash and Zucchini plants, too, were excellent. We harvested so many squash and zucchini that I gave some away to my neighbors, put up 10 pint ziplocks worth in the freezer, cooked 2 giant batches of sautéed squash and zucchini over the weeks, and I still have a basket-full of the vegetables that I need to put up soon. Only 1 of my banana pepper plants produced – a total of 3 peppers. My bell pepper plants grew but never produced. I grew medium-sized onions – the rest got shaded out by the squash plants (oops!).

My MIL’s garden produced a ton of tomatoes, 4 or 5 spaghetti squash (definitely growing these again next year), some onions, but also no peppers. And her squash plants didn’t really produce either.

Next year we plan to combine efforts and make a single, bigger garden. We also plan to till a few rows for some things (zucchini, squash, peppers), and use boxes and pots for others (herbs, primarily). I want to make a couple smaller boxes to put around the chicken house for oregano, marigolds, and mint. The soil around there is a bit sandy, and the only thing that’s growing there right now are some weeds and a rosemary plant.

Take a little trip to Waxahachie

Back in May, we visited Waxahachie, TX for a wedding. I was pleasantly surprised at all their cute downtown area had to offer! There were plentiful antique and pickers’ shops and lots of yummy smelling places to eat. We went during Cinco de Mayo, so there were lots of people out and live music playing. It was super enjoyable and we definitely plan to go back!

Places we loved:

Chaska House Bed and Breakfast – We stayed in the Hemmingway room! It was quiet, comfortable, and had some great collections to look through. The owners are super sweet and the breakfasts were delicious! Let them know if you’re bringing a little one, and they’ll make sure breakables are put away.

College Street Pub – It’s small and dark inside and they’ve got a nice patio in the back. They have local craft beer, yummy food, and a bar cat.

Farm Luck Soda Fountain – In downtown Waxahatchie, we stopped by to cool off and get a snack after walking around the square. Great sandwiches, ice creams, and fancy sodas!

Farmhouse – A cute shop we happened upon in downtown Waxahachie. They have home decor, soaps, postcards, gifts, and YARN! This was a happy surprise. I hadn’t intended on doing any yarn shopping this trip, but when I happened upon this beautiful booth by Ewe2Yarn, I knew I couldn’t go home empty handed. I’ve already knit up a couple hats with her beautiful Alpaca, Merino Wool, and Silk blend yarn.

Brain on Vacation

I’ve knit about 15 of these market bags, it’s the Ilene Bag on Ravelry. I’ve been using Sugarwheel from Hobby Lobby; it’s a soft, colorful yarn that’s perfect for these.

IMG_20180610_101723 copy

IMG_20180610_104750_140

Then I switched yarn and lost my mind. I found Sinfonia on clearance for $1.27 and picked up 3 skeins. It’s great! Mercerized cotton, bright colors, clearly durable. It’ll be nice to have some bright solid options, I thought.

But something happened to my brain when I switched yarns, and I CAN NOT figure out how I’ve been finishing this damn thing. I’d made some changes to the handle construction, but after knitting 15 of them, suddenly I can’t remember how I was doing it. I ended the pink bag with a Purl bind off. That clearly wasn’t right, so I frogged it and ended with a Knit bind off. That seemed right, but when I went to add the handle, the bind off was so tight that I knew I’d done something wrong… or maybe it was the yarn? Honestly I don’t know. I gave up trying to figure it out and just made it work, but it’s definitely not like the other 15 I’ve knit. It’ll be fine – no one’s really going to know the difference except me – but I’d like to remember what I was doing.

IMG_20180719_082029

I’m reopening my Etsy shop. There’s nothing there right now, but I’m hoping to get it up and running this weekend. Or maybe next week. (Update: I listed some things!) Life with a 2-year-old is hard, guys. Anyway, you’ll find lots of these Market Bags and a bunch of other things once I get around to taking pictures and writing up descriptions of them all. I have SO MUCH cute stuff.

.

.

OMG. You know what? I’d been knitting the bags top-down! I was casting on at the top and finishing at the bottom, then picking up stitches from the top to add the handle! No wonder it wasn’t feeling right! Sheesh. Mystery solved.

.

.

.

And now I’ve somehow messed up the handle. I swear, this bag started out wrong and is determined to end wrongly. It’s probably because it’s pink. I don’t care for pink, but it was on clearance… I’m going to make it work.

Hangers

At some point, we had an overabundance of hangers. I think this happens when you move with all of your belongings into a house that still contains 50+ years of stuff. We had enough hangers that they were taking up more room in the closet than our clothes were. I remember sorting the hangers by color and condition, throwing out any that didn’t quite fit with the rest either because of their shape or color. We were left with mostly black and white hangers with a similar width and shape. There were still too many, so I put the extras in a guest bedroom closet.

A few months later, in an organizational craze, I bought wooden hangers for all mine and my husband’s pants, and a few wooden hangers for his button up work shirts. This worked very well, although now I’d freed up more plastic hangers, so I put the extras in the guest closet with the others.

I write all of this to explain my current confusion. Having just completed all the laundry in the house, I find myself with 2 pair of pants, a dress, and 3 shirts that are hangerless. There are simply no hangers for them. Somehow we’ve lost 2 wooden pant hangers, and my stash of plastic hangers in the guest bedroom is gone. I am CERTAIN we aren’t using all those hangers because they wouldn’t all fit in our closet. Seriously, where do these things go?!

Now I must abandon the Great Hanger Search for The Mystery of the Poop Smell, as my toddler has awoken and I’ve discovered his room smells like poop, even though there are no dirty diapers in there.

Ah, the adventures of adulthood.

Becoming a Process Knitter

I love Process vs Product Knitting from Knit-Purl discussing different motivations behind knitting (or really creating anything). Product knitters knit for the item itself – the final product is the motivation as it’s something they want to wear or use. Process knitters knit for the knitting itself and are less motivated by what the finished project will be.

I’ve been almost solely a product knitter. I knitted cute hats that I wanted to wear, bags I wanted to take to the beach, and shawls that I envisioned myself wearing but never quite mastered.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been knitting for over 10 years, or maybe it’s because I have a baby now and anything else takes so much more effort, but suddenly I don’t care so much what the end result is – I just want to knit. I have such a big yarn stash, most of it bought for projects I can’t remember, that I just want to get it OUT of my stash and INTO something finished.

This has been such a freeing evolution in my knitting. Because I don’t care what the end result is, I’ve been knitting things I never knit before, learning new techniques, and finding new things to love. Previously, deciding what to do with a few skeins of yarn took hours of searching through Ravelry patterns, hemming and hawing about what something would look like when finished or how it would fit. Now I just make sure I have enough yarn and I cast on! Suddenly knitting is back to being purely enjoyable and relaxing. Knitting is truly self care again.

Consequently, I’m going to have a shit-ton of knitted goods to sell at the Farmers’ Market this fall.

We want to start a farm

DSC_0600

I am from this land. I never lived here as a kid, but our son will grow up on his great-great-grandparents’ land. Right now most of it is pine forest, but once it was a thriving farm. My grandfather raised sheep, pigs, and horses out here. My great grandparents grew most of what they ate. In the forest, in between the trees, you can see the little hills in the ground that used to be old gardening rows. This land is meant to be farmland.

Now that we have a baby boy, our main priorities are spending as much time with him as we can and taking care of our family. We already went through a major lifestyle change moving out here… why not fully embrace it? So I think we’re going to start a farm.

Our plan is to start small with yard chickens and a kitchen garden, but sooner than later we’ll expand the garden and possibly raise some Nigerian Dwarf Goats and maybe sheep. Heck, maybe I’ll learn to spin wool and start making my own yarn.

We’re bringing farming back to this land. We’re growing these roots.

Working from home with an 8-month old, crawling baby

7:45- Diaper change. Poop. Baby hand in poop. Redirect hands, baby foot in poop. Hogtie baby (not really). Poop removal. Doorbell rings. Throw onesie on baby.
7:53- Answer door hold half-dressed baby. Give directions to employee. Phone rings, try to answer but it disconnects. Finish giving directions.
7:56- Disinfect changing table. Finish dressing baby.
8:00- Call disconnected call back. Get updates from second employee. Redirect baby from dog bowl 6 times.
8:12- Carry baby into office, grab laptop, carry baby and laptop into living room. Baby spits up on self, Mom, and laptop. Wipe down baby then laptop, forget about spit up on self.
8:17- Redirect baby from dog bowl. Reply to email. Redirect baby from lamp. Write quote. Redirect baby from power cord. Finish writing quote. Baby is eating fur. Remove fur from mouth. Baby tantrum. Office phone rings. Answer phone with crying baby sitting on the floor. Get updates from customer. Redirect baby from dog bowl.
8:26- Baby crawls down the hall, contentedly sits in front of mirror to look at himself. Bring laptop into hallway and sit next to him. Finish sending emails.
8:37- Relocation back to living room. Baby is playing with a toy. Check voicemail on office phone. Baby is playing with a shoe. Order supplies for upcoming job. Baby is playing with office phone. Office phone is ringing. Remove phone from baby (cries) and apologize to whoever baby just called.
8:45- Time for baby’s nap. Sit and rock him for 15 minutes. Put baby in crib.
9:02- Make 2 chicken salad sandwiches. While eating, notice something white on shirt – discover it’s not chicken salad. Create invoices. Answer phone – sales call.
9:32- Baby is awake. Pick him up and snuggle him for a bit while he wakes up. He yawns, rubs his eyes, giggles, and spits up on self and Mom. Clean up baby and self. Redirect baby from dog bowl. Text MIL for reinforcements.

Happy Anniversary Jác!

One year ago today, Jác and I went on our first date. We’d emailed a couple times, but hadn’t actually met in person.

He arrived right to the restaurant as I got to the front door. “Are you Christin?” “Yep.” We both smiled.

No more than 5 minutes later, we’re geeking out about Star Trek movies and trying to remember, “The one where Data dies – was that Insurrection? Or Nemesis?” I pull out my phone to check my Netflix queue, because I’d just been watching it the night before. (It was Nemesis.)

We both ate Caesar salads with tuna – not because either of us were on a diet, we just both really love their tuna… and it’s especially delicious on their Caesar salad. We each had a goblet of Thirsty Goat – a local beer.

We connected immediately – so much so that I told him about my “backup escape plan” to meet my roommate and friends at the Whip In after our date.

“It’s just something I do, in case the date is terrible.”
“I see.”
“You should come along, if you want.”
“Really?”

We’ve been together ever since.

The very next day, I joined him to his best friends’ house for a cookout. The next weekend we drove to Dallas to meet his mom. A few weeks later, we were driving to Alabama to meet my entire family.

This year has been all about getting to know each other. I’ve shared lots of new beers with him, and he’s shared lots of new food with me. I’ve learned way more than I ever realized existed about beards, and I’m sure he feels the same way about knitting. We moved in together. We mourned together in the wake of tragedy. We lamented about lost jobs and bad jobs and stupid people. We struggled through the stress that is learning to live together and compromise when you’re both independent, intelligent people. We celebrated over new jobs and new opportunities, interviews, good people, good grades, good stories. We watched a lot of movies. We played a LOT of games. We bought a rug that really brings the room together.

On November 2nd we got engaged. He called both my parents beforehand. He proposed in his Star Wars shirt in our living room with our German Shepherd in my lap. He gave me his mom’s ring, which he’d been holding onto since ACL. We’ll be combining his grandmother’s and my grandmother’s rings into my wedding band.

Jác- I love everything about our lives together. Happy anniversary!