Apr 29, 2011

flower child

I made Cara some dress up jewelry with yo-yo flowers.  I think she liked it.

Apr 28, 2011

what would you do if you thought you could?

At Bible study a few night ago, the group leader asked us "What would you do if you thought you could?"  It's kind of a weird question because I think a lot of people don't dwell on things that they consider impossible.  I don't really think much about moving to tropical island because this is an absolute impossibility.  Several people had trouble answering, and others gave some cool things they had thought of doing, but the thing that immediately came to my mind was that I would quit my job and stay home with Cara.

Don't misunderstand me here; I love my job.  I teach American literature, my favorite high school English course.  I love my students, my coworkers, my school, but I often have a nagging guilt that my job takes my attention away from my family.  Teaching is one of those jobs that follows you home.  There's more grading and planning to be done than anyone could accomplish from 8:15 to 3:45.  Cara has been in quite a funk this week, and it occurred to me last night that it could be because I've dropped her off before 8 and picked her up past 5 every day this week.  My husband wished out loud that he worked closer to home, that he could leave work earlier so that he could pick up Cara a few days a week.  I squeezed back a few tears because I feel like that's my role.  I'm the mommy, and I should put my child ahead of my job.  Cara needs her mommy.  (Gosh, those tears are threatening as I type this...)   

When we first found out that I was pregnant, PJ was working in a job that paid pretty well.  He hadn't been  there very long, but we felt comfortable enough to think that I could stay home after the baby was born.  Only a few months into the pregnancy, PJ found out that his entire department was going to be laid off.  Thank you, recession.  We were so stressed about the entire situation, and obviously, I couldn't quit my job.  God held us in His hands though.  PJ was able to stay home with Cara until she was four months old, and then he went back to work.  The thing about job loss is that you never really feel secure again.  If I quit my teaching job and then PJ lost his job again, I might not be able to get my job back.  The economy is taking a huge toll on school districts, and I am thankful that I will continue to have my job next year. 

It's not like I think staying home would be easier than what I'm doing now, and honestly, I'm not sure it would be any better than our current situation.  Cara's school is fantastic, and she has learned so much there.  Missionaries just know they are called to the field, and I know that I am called to teach.  I do derive a sense of purpose from teaching, and I have a peace about it.  I have to confess that I don't feel particularly called to stay home; it's more a selfish desire.  Maybe I wish that I could stay home to silence my own guilt or because I think it's what all the "good" mothers do.  I sometimes feel like I'm on a hamster wheel, never moving forward or catching up, just barely making it, and I wonder if staying home would allow me to step off.  I suppose I would step right into another one, the SAHM wheel...

I know that God puts us where He wants us, and I think the lesson for me is about contentment and trust.  I need to trust that God has a purpose for me right here, and I need to be content with what I have been given.

Apr 25, 2011

good bye, spring break.

Today was back to work after a fabulous week off.  I can honestly say that I have never had a more productive vacation, and it felt awesome.  In addition to making the wild toddler's Easter dress, I finished up a quilt for my sister's newest little one (he's only one week old!!), I cooked and froze all our meals for this week, and we planted a vegetable garden.  My green thumb comes and goes, so we'll have to wait and see how this turns out.  Too bad I didn't touch not even one piece of paper that needed grading...and the mountain grows...

I also ventured slowly into the land of sewing adult clothing.  I saw this outfit on What I Wore and realized that I could do something kind of similiar.  And so, here's my version:

It's pretty obvious that my legs need some sun exposure soon...

The skirt is literally a tube of fabric with elastic at the top.  That method doesn't create a very cute waistband for the world to see, so I camoflaged it with my new favorite belt.  This belt does wonders for the chocolate-bunny-tummy (don't act like you don't know what that is).

shirt: F21
belt: Express
skirt: me!

And this is what I look like when my husband catches me mid-sentence:

totally awesome.

And finally, since I promised, here are some precious moments captured of the wee one in her Easter finest:

Apr 19, 2011

it's all in the details

I spent the better part of yesterday working on Cara's Easter dress, and I am happy to report that it is ADORABLE. 

It's not a super complicated pattern, but for me, this was a lesson in little details.  The pleats needed measuring and that accent collar-thing needed a lot of ironing, and I have to confess that I'm a little surprised that I didn't botch anything.

My hubby is awesome.  Look at the texture in that seersucker!  Mad photo skillz.

I managed to sew straight around the collar-thing, and I even finished the armholes without any disasters.  But the little details MAKE this dress for me.  I mean, who doesn't love a bow or three?  So girly! 

And the buttons...six for a dollar, and they are so cute.  I love the detail around the edges.  PS-I am terrified of buttonholes, so I fake them out with a loop of elastic.  One day, I promise I'll try it.  But not today.

Expect tons and tons of pics of the wild toddler looking all sweet on Easter morning.

Speaking of Easter, here's how I'm getting ready for it:

Apr 17, 2011

time out, mommy

Last week, my Sunday school class got together for lunch after church. We've all known each other for a good, long while, and most families are currently baking a kid or have one/some.  In other words, we could fill a small daycare.  It's been really awesome to have these families around because I feel a little less crazy.

"Oh, your child also eats boogers.  Good, I'm glad Cara's not the only one who does that."

So, after lunch, the little ones were running all around the room, working off that extra toddler energy when I noticed that Cara was starting up the stairs to the stage with all of the sound equipment on it.  Not the ideal place for a wild toddler.  I picked her up off the stairs and tried to redirect her to play with another child, but unfortunately, she is nothing if not persistent, so the babe ended up in time out.  I sat her on the floor for time out, and she stayed exactly where I put her, listened to my speech about "here's why you're in time out" and hugged and kissed me in the end.  Man, she makes me look good.

Except when she immediately goes back to the stairs.  *big mom sigh*

This time, I took her away from where the other children were playing and sat her near the adults for time out.  Same thing, she sat quietly, we had the talk and the kisses, and she ran off to play (or climb back on the stairs...I let daddy handle it this time).  So after Cara scampered away, another mommy of a not-quite-walker asked me an innocent question: "How did you learn to do that?  Did you read a book or something?"

Here is where I stop and cringe.  The answer choices are:

A) I wrote a blog post or two about toddler discipline and how bad I sucked at it, and then I took the advice people left me in the comments


B) I watched a few episodes of Supernanny and tried that.  It worked better than saying "no" over and over and being ignored


C) I'm flying by the seat of my pants.  I have no idea what I'm doing.  Cara is actually the one in charge here.

To help you figure out the answer, we're going to return to boogers.  As in, Cara has recently learned to pick her nose.  Such ladylike behavior.  She especially likes to do it in the car when she knows that no one can really get to her.  So, the other day, PJ was driving and I was riding and Cara was digging.  I reached back to her, pulled her little finger out of her little nose, and told her "mommy said no picking your nose."  And she said, "NO!  Time out, mommy."

Apr 11, 2011

this is how I want to eat every. single. day.

After dinner tonight, I decided that I do not make homemade pizza nearly often enough.  PJ and I tried out Date Night Pizza with its fabulous combination of three different cheeses.  Oh yes, three cheeses plus arugula to alleviate the guilt.  I think PJ saw all those greens and doubted me for a moment.  Not that he doesn't love his greens, but he tends to love them with croutons and ranch.  Not tonight, sir.  Our salad came on a pizza.  And it was delicious.

And what did Cara eat for dinner tonight?  You don't really think for one minute that she ate pizza with arugula and riccotta, do you?  Silly.  She preferred to eat Peeps for dinner.  The pink kind.

spring is lovely

It's not spring until you've got your bunny ears.  Thanks, Grandaddy! :-)

I love spring, in case you can't tell (just check out the titles of my past few posts...).  The sunshine feels like warm relief from the bite and general dreariness of winter, and the woods across the street from our house turned neon green this weekend in a dramatic, glorious fashion.  Even my hair celebrates that little bit of humidity in the air.  Waves require a lot less work anyway.

My little southern town welcomes spring with a week long celebration kicked off by a parade.  My dad and I took Cara downtown to watch.  I will admit to worrying about how this would go.  Cara has not been a big fan of her stroller lately, and it can be hard to convince her to hold your hand and not run away, but as usual, my worries were totally unfounded.  She was perfectly happy to ride in her stroller, and when I let her get out to stand and watch the floats, she never once tried to bolt.  *Sigh of relief*  It was pretty adorable to watch her with her Grandaddy.  He's over six feet tall, so she was able to get a really good view with him, and I wished I'd had my camera. 

Spring makes me more reflective and appreciative.  I am simply in awe of the blooming and growth around me, and it makes me that much more thankful for the love and mercy of a Savior.  It makes spring that much more lovely.


Apr 7, 2011

spring fever

I've been a little drained this week. I think I caught a case of spring fever that turned into an actual sickness and knocked me down a notch or two. Seriously, I went to bed last night at 7:45. I have been exhausted, achy, and nauseous for the past three days, but the good news is that I think I'll make it.

Making it through the day at school while fighting the ick means that I have no personality or energy left by the time I get home. My sweet hubby has picked up my slack in a big way while I've been catatonic on the couch, so I guess this post is meant to be a big fat "thank you" to him and a "sorry" to the rest of the world. I'll be back soon, I promise.

Apr 3, 2011

a sweet spring dress and a button

For a while, I had imposed a dress moratorium on myself because I was in danger of becoming an addict.  Then, I realized that the seasons had changed, which obviously means that new dresses are required.  Yay!

I love the Leila and Ben Sweet Dress pattern.  Its simplicity leaves lots of room for imagination.  I stole borrowed some ideas from craftiness is not optional (I LOVE her tutorials!), and this dress was born last night.  I actually bought this Amy Butler fabric for a dress I am working on for a friend, but I loved it so much that I bought an extra yard or two.  Cara's Easter dress is also going to feature a little of that green print.  So perfect for a (finally!) warm spring Sunday!

On a completely unrelated note, I have been nagging my hubby to make me a button for a little while now (as if he has nothing else to do...), and when Rachel told me that it was high time I had one, he was spurred to action.  :-)  So, here it is:

where is my instruction manual...

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