Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Return of Lily Ruth's Mama

I'm back! Or rather, I'm still here :-) We took a week and went to San Diego then Scottsdale. We saw lots of cool things and had a wonderful visit with a large group of our family.

Lily Ruth was amazing on our trip. A fantastic travel partner on both airplane rides. A super duper trooper during our looong car trip through the desert. A charming and hilarious sidekick for all of our mini-adventures along the way.

We are all HUGE fans of the San Diego Zoo. Our only glitch was in under-dressing. We were prepared for a 70 degree day - it was colder and MUCH windier. We ended up purchasing a fleece zip-up jacket to use as a blanket for Lily Ruth and a pair of 'children-size' gloves that she is now in love with. These pictures really crack me up!

Those cartoonishly large hands and that happy face!

We spent the morning on foot at the zoo, and returned after dark to ride the double-decker bus. We were basically the only people riding at that time. Lily Ruth got to sit in the front seat on the top level and watch the nighttime zoo go by. We stayed on for 2 (or was it 3?) full cycles around the park. It was wonderful.

She wasn't as thrilled with the Birch Aquarium. It is short on aquatic mammals and big on science demos. She did develop a love for pushing exhibit buttons and turning dials. She only agreed to one photo:

After that, I had to catch her on the sly:

'Where are the pictures of you?' You might be asking yourself... well... we're at the part that has kept me so quiet lately. I had one of 'those' moments. You know the ones - you've been chugging along thinking that everything was fine (or at least fine-ish)... then somebody takes a picture of you, and you get a long look at yourself. *sigh* I knew that I was puffing up a bit. My pants have become too tight, and my shirts are lumpy... but if I just took quick peeks in the mirror and only checked things like my makeup or hair, then I could put it off. Now, I can't - because there's this:

Worn down, dragged out, and much larger than I had allowed myself to believe. This year has taken a toll on me. It's time to stop letting that be o.k. Time to make a plan for becoming the woman that I want to be - strong, vital and full of joy. Time to stop physically dragging my sadness around as extra weight and exhaustion. Time to talk to somebody about the depression.

Thanks for listening, you guys. As I work out my plan, I'll fill you in on the details. For now, writing it down is serving as my impetus for motion.

I have more pictures to share, and even more crafting (!!). Hopefully, working on removing the roadblock of delusion will mean the return of my voice. I'm sure that I'll have more to say soon... bear with me...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Big Ball of MAD.

Ya'll. I am brewing up a cauldron's worth of cranky over here. My darling husband had to cut his errands short in order to come get the Precious One before I lost it.

Let me break it down into layers...

Today: The cat peed on Lily Ruth's bed while we were out. I've cleansed, sprayed, aired, etc., and the smell will not leave! My Angel removed her own poopy diaper (a known no-no), and got herself out of taking a nap due to the bath necessitated by the poop on her legs and arms. She also dug into my makeup and confiscated my concealer stick - the brand new one. It took 20 minutes for her to apologize for that. Her daddy had to come home from running errands to grab her before I lost control. When he left, he grabbed the diaper bag - thus leaving with my wallet and my keys. So much for a solitary run to the grocery store. When he gets back, we'll have time for a hurried dinner before he leaves town for two nights. Again. Stupid job.

This month: My figure (while never sleek) is expanding at a rapid and unacceptable pace. None of my pants fit, and my tops are all lumpy and awkward. Since my actual weight has not changed, I must assume that I am rapidly converting muscle to fat. Charming. My hair is a spit, dry disaster. My hairdresser (who I've considered to be a friend for years) is blowing me off. My skin is a mess - pimples, dry flaky spots, oily slicks (ALL ON ONE FACE) - and the double chin I've developed just frames the mess so nicely.

Since we leave for our first ever family vacation in two days, perhaps I should just go completely retro in style. I think that this level of physical awkwardness deserves the full treatment - caftans, head scarves, giant sunglasses. Perhaps if I swathe myself in layers of Pucci prints and tortoise shell frames, my misery will fade into the background and 'campy' can be my new 'thing' - ooh! I could channel Nathan Lane's character from The Birdcage.

In general: Oh, and I have NO idea what to get my husband for Christmas. As part of our Celebrate Our Lives initiative, he is JAZZED about the present that he has chosen for me. I, on the other hand, am stumped. This turns something that should have been a labor of love into a chore of desperation.

Talk about a case of the Poor Me's! Cheese it! Can you see why I've been crafting like crazy? It's something to keep the funk at bay. In fact, you'll have to excuse me - I need to google a tulle skirt tutorial then drag out all of my fabric.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Um, I Made Some More Stuff

... I can't seem to stop!

To be fair, these last two things really needed to be done.

Thing #1: A tree top star:

We've been married for 15 years. In allllll that time, we've never found a tree topper that we liked. Early on, I found a sticks-twisted-into-an-angel ornament that we've used a few times and I've even stuck a bow up there on occasion, but nothing was ever exactly what we wanted. This year was finally different. I was staring forlornly at the bare tree top while finishing the shell garland. Then it hit me - crafting fever. I simply walked over to my computer, typed in 'star tree topper tutorial' and this was one of the first links!

I love it. It looks very homemade, and that just increases the charm for me :-) It's from a site called The Purl Bee that I will be stalking from now on ;-) The only modification that I made was to add beads in the creases.

Thing #2: A new bag for Lily Ruth:

Someone told me that traveling with a child can be easier and/or more fun if you have a few items that are brand new for them to use/play with during the trip. The first time that we flew with her, I stayed up late the night before hand-stitching my first felt bag. The bag and it's contents were a big hit and a big help. Now it's a tradition (at least it is in my head) for me to make a new bag for each trip. This time around, I wanted to be a bit more adventurous, and I wanted to step out of my felt comfort zone. I had already spent a few sleepless hours designing and over-designing a bag in my head (think zippers and interior divisions). Thank goodness for crafting fever. Flushed with the success of my tree top star, I sat down and googled 'toddler bag tutorial'. After wading through some goofiness, this incredible tiny messenger bag came up. It was too cute not to try!

I used a tutorial with pattern from Craftbuds. It was incredibly easy to follow, and the entire project only took me about 4 hours (including hand-beading the exterior pocket).

The only modifications I made were to move the exterior pocket down (so that my beading would show), and to use hardware on the strap - I wanted it to be adjustable. I'm telling ya'll now - if Lily Ruth doesn't love this bag, I'm totally stealing it to use as a purse. It's just. that. cute.

Do YOU have crafting fever? Do I need an intervention?