Monday Morning Blues

Blue is the color on my bedroom wall, tempered with grey. Chuggle puppies decided it was time for food, round about a quarter to six. They banged and smacked the bathroom door, until I opened it and set up the gate. Then they howled for their food. Cute little monsters.

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Making my coffee, I should have wakened the whole neighborhood. Anything and everything went wrong, and it’s a mess in there. Hubby managed to snore through it all.

Coffee in hand, I’m out here watching the sky and the clouds that promise mischief. The sun is barely peeping through. Blue sky, grey clouds. The last day of Holiday.

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I did not succeed in an unplugged weekend. But really, we did have fun. Lots of “Puppy Round-Ups”. We let the puppies out to play. They run, we chase and snuggle. I trim their nails frequently, and we work on getting them accustomed to everyday life. Tugging ears and tails, desensitizing them to rough play, followed by cuddles and baby-dolling them. (Laying them on their backs, tickling and petting them, so as to make them handier for vets).

We didn’t go anywhere or do anything strenuous. So why am I so tired? The weather is less than fabulous, chilly and cold. Thanks to a new drug, I’m not dying in pain at the quick temp changes. Everything just seems a little blue. Last day of Holiday. Last day with Sebastian for a few months. The last weeks of school for the twins. And Hubby has taken the week off, to help with all the ensuing madness, about to rain down on our heads.

There is so much for me to get done. I’ve been knitting, trying to finish projects. I got to the end of this one, and didn’t like it.

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It’s a t-shirt yarn floormat. Well, was.

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This is what it looks like now. The yarn is made from old t-shirts. White are hubby’s 100% cotton. Mine are the coloured ones, with 5% spandex. I will remake it differently. Here is a link to Releve Designs, where I learned how to cut the t-shirts down to yarn. Fabulous, low cost way to recycle. Back to the thinking boards, tho.

Today’s work- packing up my boy and working on the studio. Now it’s mostly organizing and prepping for work. I already have the ‘His and Her’ sock yarns, waiting to go…

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Unfortunately, I still have a mess to clean up…

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A little more coffee, then I’ll get started, while the whole neighborhood continues to sleep.

Taking a Few Days Off

I’m making a run to my bench today. With a four-day looming, packing a kid off and insanity sure to follow, I’m gonna run for a fix.

My intention is to make the most of this weekend. I’m going to try and unplug my family. Even if we just stay home, it might be good for us. The budget is limited, but we’ve got dry goods in the closet. A little baking and making, might not be a bad idea.

Then there is the packing. The washing. The double checking. The hugging and kissing good-bye. I’m looking forward to a little peace, and a little bit of missing my heart. He’s a good kid, all in all. Just crossing the threshold of learning to be who he is, and living with it.

Ah, and not quite last, and not the least, I have new pain med to try out. It might wrench the works, but I am hopeful it will allow me to work.

The biggest, last and final detail- my husband will be home all four days and then the rest of the week. Maybe we will actually get to spend some time together. Dreaming. Talking. Eating breakfast, just us two. Mending fences, building things. Just maybe. I’m a girl, I have hopes.

So I’ll see you next week, unless it all goes wrong.

I’m an optimist.

See ya next week.

Oh, and if ya miss me- Who is Jain Doe? check it out.

Teaching Pride and Humility to a Teenager- can it be done?

Some people do their jobs well. When a job is well done, it should be praised, right? That’s what we teach our children. Work ethic. When you actually get into the work place, though, it doesn’t go like that.

You are expected to do your job. Not for accolades, praise, or any other reason, other than you are doing what you get paid to do. Praise is/might be given for going the extra mile. Doing something extraordinary. Otherwise, you are just doing your job.

The problem is one of pride and humility. I have to practice ‘catching my teenager doing something good’. Sometimes it is very difficult. We’ve snagged a rough patch, a period of adjustment. We are trying to teach him work ethic, but it isn’t sinking in. I know what the problem is, kinda.

I don’t think you deserve praise for just doing your job. I don’t want praise for just doing my job. I want it for the extra mile. Right now, the extra mile isn’t much, but usually it is something that surprises my hubby or kids. Something that makes them feel special for my having done it.

But I don’t like getting praise for simple things. I do what I do, because it needs to be done. That’s what my kiddo needs to learn. Not all jobs are glorious, but they need to be done. Then you let the extra mile come out. I need to find where his pride is. What makes that kid proud? What makes him feel like he shines? Then, I need to get him there, often.

It’s going to be a challenge. His mom isn’t proud of much. Maybe that’s the problem. I am proud of my children. I am proud of the progress they make. I am proud of my husband, and his attempts to grow into who he needs to be. I am proud of the magic, that makes my house a place to just be. Strangely enough, I do not take pride in my knitting or my writing. They are all things that NEED to be done. I’m a perfectionist, and I haven’t hit the point at which I’m satisfied with what I am doing. It’s all a work in progress.

I don’t do humility. A thing is done or not. Very black and white, with little grey. I can’t teach humility, it isn’t in my vocabulary. But it is the opposite of pride. Call me a conundrum, because in order to teach something, you have to be able to understand and teach the opposite. Take pride in what you do, but be humble in accepting praise. It is an area I don’t do well in. How am I going to teach him, when I can’t or don’t know how to accept praise or encouragement? Maybe I will have to learn something, as well.

There is nothing like parenting a puzzle, and a mother’s job is never done.

At this point, I am going to put in one little thing. Thanks for reading. Reading what I write, and everyone else’s. I hope you find what you are looking for. Most of you provide good food for thought, the rest provide a feast. Everyone writes things that make you think, or smile, or shake your head. I’ve enjoyed reading yours, and maybe you’ve enjoyed(?) Reading mine.

Guys vs Girls

Ok, so hubby is in a snit. I tried to boot him out of the house for his own good, but he won’t go. The boys are in Saturday play mode, and due to a lack of practice, can’t seem to get with Dad’s program of cleaning.

I’m trying to be zen, but it is getting difficult. I just broke my favorite chair. I am not sure if I have the wiles in me, to further exacerbate his day, by sharing the news. I may have to get out of my pj’s for this one…

Earlier this week, a guy friend and I were talking about stuff. Marriage and kids and all the insanity. He’s remarried, with his hands full. I’m still on my first marriage, hands full, as well. So grain of salt in hand, we were both listening to each other’s issues.

One of his came out like this-
“On our first Christmas, my wife stuck me in the kitchen, and told me to make biscuits. I had a fever and didn’t want to.” Ok, grain of salt.

My response, “That’s not really fair. My hubby cooks, but typically I do the baking. Also, you don’t just make biscuits, they take years to perfect. I’ve watched my mother-in-law (with awe) make biscuits from scratch. I can’t do it.”

“Well, we did have a house full of guests. She put her boys to work too. She told me later, that if she had known I had a fever, she wouldn’t have asked”.

My instant urge to respond, ‘you poor, whiney butt!’ had to be suppressed. It was his point of view, after all, and I can kind of understand. I did ask, “So she was a bit frazzled?”

“Yes, she was frazzled,” and he left it at that. A story that could have been fantastic, died in the telling, lacking the humor it so richly could have been embellished with. He resented that task. That stepping into another role. (Yes, incomplete sentence and all.) Three years later, no less. The thing is, he’s a story teller.

My version from his view point, would have been something like this:

Our first Christmas together, my wife stuck me in the kitchen and told me to make biscuits. Our house was crowded and chaotic with guests. To top it all off, I had a fever. She was a bit frazzled, trying to make sure everything was perfect.

So into the kitchen she threw me, with a cook book and supplies. She sent her boys in, to do some prep work, while I had to muddle through the directions. The biscuits didn’t come out badly, and in the end, everything came out all right.

Later, she told me if she’d known I was sick, she wouldn’t have asked so much of me. She promised that she would take my temperature next time, before sending me to work in unfamiliar territory.

If he had been able to step out of his shoes, at any point in the last three years, into hers, maybe that little, tiny, moment of resentment, wouldn’t be there. Maybe, he was just having an off day or struggling to relate. No clue.

Back to my hubby. My desire to get him out of the house, may sound selfless. Don’t be fooled. It is selfish to the extreme. I have majored (not mastered) the art of directing my boys. I can clean in half the time, usually with less frustration. I hate it when he’s in a snit. It brings me down, when I am trying to stay up. After all, I have a cold and have had a very long week. If he could step into my shoes, he’d do me the favor of getting into trouble elsewhere. On the pretext of replacing my chair, of course 🙂

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Side note: Hubby got up at 10. He went back to bed from 12-4. Helluva Snit.

Toes

I’m painting my toe nails. Something utterly mundane. I’m hiding on the back porch while my kids romp to Saturday morning cartoons, my hubby sleeps off whatever it is the week threw at him, and the puppies are waiting for clean puppy pads.

Of course, in sneaking back here, I didn’t grab my glasses or contacts. I may end up with Picaso or Escher-esque nails. It is mellowing, tho.

The birds are alive with spring fever. The bunnies keep hopping near the fence line. The sun is warm, not yet toasty. The grass is growing, and I, in my pajamas, am lazing.

It’s only 10. I’ve already done the round of feedings. Cleaned off my work table and moved it out to the studio. I tried to make cinnamon rolls, but we’re missing too many supplies.

I refuse to acknowledge the waiting laundry. It’ll get done. I’ve already been up a while, and busy. I’m still coughing and honking. I also have two other honkers in the house. Spring cleaning and spring colds. Lovely.

I can only wonder what the neighbors might think, to see me out here, toes sorted out, messy yard, inactive. I heard one of them mowing. Good for them! I don’t look in their windows, they can not look into my yard. It makes no nevermind.

Everything else is buzzing, buzzing. Me and my toes, we’ll just sit a bit. Enjoy the flow of energy. Maybe I’ll soak up a little bit extra, to get ready for Saturday, part 2.

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Good Bye, Coffee Guy

Good bye, Coffee Guy. Sorry that I lied to you today. If it helps, it took hours to do. I hate lying. But, there are necessary lies. Best wishes for the greener pastures. Too bad we never made it to act iii.

All the things left unsaid when a door closes.

Boxes, boxes, Everywhere

… And no room to spare. My machines, except for one, are in their boxes. My yarn is (almost) centrally located. The book shelf has been cleaned off, but still needs dusting. I can barely move, in my workspace.

You’d think I was planning on quitting, at this state of affairs.

We’ve been cleaning the rest of the house. I can’t clean, if I don’t rearrange. I went to Target the other day, and picked up some cubes. I spent an evening drawing out floor plans and mockups of what my space could look like.

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This, is what I started with. ^

And this is what I have-

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It ain’t purty. By a freaking longshot.

My goal was to get everything moved today. By myself. Hubby moved the shelves, everything else is light stuff. Well, the machines are heavy.

Do you have a tissue? Let me see, sore joints, achy feeling, stopped up and/or runny nose- yep. I’ve either got a huge allergy flare up, or a cold.

All the cleaning, plus all the drama going on around me. All the life happening, and my body -the stress meter of my life- has given out. It’s succumbed to a silly cold. I could whine and say,”But I can’t get sick now!?!?”, or I can just let the stupid thing run its course. You know, take it easy, lie in bed.

Um, yeah…

Spring cleaning, particularly this spring cleaning is vital. We are trying to create a home that I am comfortable in. Sounds funny, doesn’t it? I have’t finished a project in months. I’ve started several. Some are just stitches away, but I can’t do it. I can’t get myself to finish them.

Yes, there are puppies, boys and husbands who interfere in my knitting. After all, it is all about them. Right? This house was laid out around their needs. My bedroom was full of toys, 2 different video game consoles and televisions. People coming and going, in and out. Therapists, respite care providers, maintenance men- they all got to hang in my bedroom. Yes, my dirty clothes in the bin and hubby’s lying on the floor, reaching further everyday towards the door. My privacy, my embarrassment.

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This ^ is the work table where I tried to knit, when the garage got too cold. As you can see, it is a huge clutter cluster. I got chased off of this, onto the computer desk. Which also started to accumulate clutter.

If you’ve read this far, hang in there. I’m getting to my point. I can’t speed up, or you might miss the weight, slowly moving up your shoulders. That feeling of not being wanted in your home. The fact that there was no room for me, in the House of Boy. Oops, I’m skipping ahead.

I tried to knit in the recliner. It’s comfy. It also seats me, two boys and two animals of your choosing. Things kept getting stuffed on my side table. My knitting basket got sat in, knocked over. My needles spread to the four winds of light saber duels. I found wrappers in my knitting, my back pockets, everywhere. (Sebastian has a hoarding issue with wrappers).

They chased me out of my home. I still leave between 4 and 5, and often don’t come back until 8. I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t feel wanted. My kids would want to sit in my lap, the one space that was me, and sometimes, I could not, would not, let them.

The air was stifling. Gasping for air, where the air is supposed to wrap around you and hold you like your favorite, warm comforter. It is quite confounding.

Yes, freezing my a$$ off on a park bench far from home, was better.

I could tell you why it happened. Why I allowed them to do it to me. Why I gave up. I’ll simplify it by saying I was invisible. These boys that I love and hold dear, forgot that I was Momma. They treated me like another place to put clutter. I was furniture.

They still do.

Take a man’s wife away? Leave him with the kids. Let him get worn out with reality. It took a lot, to get him to look around.

I have issues. I have so many issues, that even he got over whelmed. He didn’t get it. It took a lot more than me just walking out of marriage counseling and walking home. Something I’d been asking for, for years now really, and I walked away. It took more than him getting some counseling of his own. I’m not sure what it is really going to take.

He’s still not there yet. After all the talk, tears and yelling, he’s almost gotten to a point of knowing that I need a place. I need to be in the family. Not just another automaton making his life easier, but I’m still waiting for it to click into place.

This spring cleaning is about me. I’m the central pillar that holds it all together. The flame, that pulls the moths out of hiding, or the bathroom, for that matter. It’s about time, that they remember I am more than just a tool that makes breakast and lunch. More than a nanny or maid. More than just a bed warmer, to be turned on and off.

We’re not there yet. But creating a physical place for me, is a good start. I can’t honestly say that any of my boys understand. I don’t know how many shocks to their system, it will take. I can’t even say that I’m here to stay.

My bookshelves are long and dusty. And right now, they are empty. We’ll get on with the spring cleaning, and maybe move forward.

After all, physical is only one nature of a human being. There’s so much more than just a body.