March 31, 2010

work's in progress

No, that's not a typo. Work, for me, is officially now in progress. And it turns out it's just one more ball perpetually in the air for this juggling mama.

I mentioned before that I'm doing some work from home for Pearson. They're a company that processes student assessments, and they hire people like me to score test responses remotely. I'm currently working on fifth grade writing, so I'm becoming quite familiar with the excitement of gymnastics and playing basketball and baseball, and the ins and outs of various video game consoles. Reading and scoring these short responses takes much more time and focus than one would perhaps think, and it's been a challenge the last week to squeeze in this new responsibility on top of all the rest. Adding to the challenge is the time constraint presented by the Pearson system itself, which I can't access after 11 pm Central time- only 9 pm where I live. So, a few minutes during nap time and an hour or so after the monkey is in bed are all the moments that I really have to devote to my new job. And that's fine, but it's not going to be paying the rent any time soon.

Lincoln is adding to the chaos by becoming more mobile all the time. He's almost figured out crawling, but hasn't quite got the coordination to get very far in one go. It's a combination of rolling, army crawling, wriggling, and some hands-and-knees work that gets him moving at this point. And on Saturday he figured out how to push himself up from his belly to a sitting position. Exciting developments!

He's also working on cutting his sixth tooth, and he's using all those chompers to eat anything he can get his mouth around. In addition to his regular cereal and pureed fruits and veggies, he's started eating more things from our plates, like bites of fish, chicken, and tofu, noodles, and pieces of bread and cheese. He will seemingly eat anything you put in his mouth. And he's starting to be able to get things in to his own mouth as well, although the pincher grip still needs a little work.

I'm managing to squeeze in a bit of sewing and creating in the in-betweens, and I'll have some things to share soon. Some is the product of necessity (laminated cotton bibs and a floorcloth for my messy boy), and some by request (a doll for mom's school auction). I have big plans to participate in Spring Top Week again as well, but we'll see how that goes. I'll have more info on the bib and floorcloth in the form of a pattern and tutorial in the near future, but for now I'll leave you with a shot of the cute little doll I've been working on.

She's from the Wee Wonderfuls pattern Kit, Chloe & Louise that I purchased at Christmas time but never managed to get to. I have two more cut out, but she's the farthest along. And she'll be dressed soon, promise!

March 22, 2010

one week later

I almost forgot to show you what was in the box, and I know you've been waiting on pins and needles.


I know it may be hard to tell from my terrible photo, but it's beautiful, and so perfectly me. I love it. And so does the grabby little monkey that I'm always carrying around, so we're having lots of lessons on gentle touching these days!

And speaking of the little monkey, he has FIVE teeth now! The two middle ones on top came in around the same time, about two weeks ago. Then a third top tooth popped through on Saturday. There was no sign of it on Friday, but I woke up on Saturday morning and there it was. Nuts! And so cute. See:


He really looks like a kid now with all those teeth! No more gummy baby grin; it's a real boy!

And, one week in to my thirties and I have yet to cross anything exciting off my list. Or even finish making the list, but you know, details... I did, however, treat myself to a fabulous new pair of red shoes. And a drawer full of new undies. Because sometimes you just need to throw all the old ones away and start new, you know? And because red shoes are fun. At least Lincoln approves.


Also, I might have a bit of real honest-to-goodness work! If I can pass the qualification round, I'll be scoring fifth grade writing for the Standards of Learning for the Commonwealth of Virginia. It's a job I can do from home, which is awesome, but it's only temporary. Still, it's better than nothing, and hopefully it will lead to further opportunities with the company. Now I just have to find a couple of hours before tomorrow evening to actually pass the test! Easier said than done when you have a busy little guy like Lincoln to wrangle.

March 15, 2010

happy birthday to me!

Well, today's the day. I'm officially in my thirties now. And I woke up to find this waiting for me on the table:


Not a bad way to start the day! Can't wait to see what's inside!

My birthday always seems like a good time to make some personal resolutions, and I've often used the date as a deadline for making some kind of change in my life. Find a new job, leave a vice behind, grow somehow as a person, you get the idea. Thirty in particular seems like a good time to establish a few goals for the next decade of life. Nicole over at Making it Lovely has a 30 Before Thirty list that I found inspiring, but seeing as how I've already passed over onto the dark side, I guess I'll have to make mine a 30 For My 30's list.

I haven't finished it yet, but a few things that I think deserve a place on it:

  • Create more just for the sake of being creative. It's true that I do a fair amount of creating, but it's most often something that I've been commissioned to do. I have lots of ideas in my head about things that I want to make just because, but I never seem to give myself the time to do it. That's silly, and I'm going to make the time.
  • Read more. I've been reading baby-related books for over a year now, and very little else. I love to read, and it's time I took it back. I'm starting with Jane Eyre for the Bronte-Along with Melissa of Yummy Goods. Melissa, by the way, owns a shop in Cape Cod that looks just the way my own shop would, when I close my eyes and imagine myself as a shopkeeper. Inspiration abounds!
  • Travel. Hubby and I both have a strong desire to see the world. There are plenty of excuses why that's not realistic or practical, but excuses are lame. I'm setting us the goal of taking at least FIVE vacations (or mini-vacations) in the next decade. That sounds completely achievable now, with all ten years to go. For the purposes of this list, a vacation could be a simple weekend away, or it could be the more in-my-dreams excursion to Italy. I was looking at Amtrak's packages the other day, like Yosemite by Train or the Empire Builder to Montana's Glacier National Park. Traveling by train seems like it might be a good way to go while Lincoln is small.
  • Eat less sugar. Especially since Lincoln was born, I have had wicked sugar cravings. I'm sure some weird hormonal imbalance was probably to blame at the start, but I'm equally sure that by giving in to the cravings, I've fed and nurtured that little sugar monster that has now taken up permanent residence in my belly and brain. I need to break that cycle, but it's so hard! Cookies! Ice cream! Candy! And the fact that breastfeeding has allowed me to indulge without much negative consequence is even worse. As soon as that safety net is gone, I know I'll pay the price (and the cost will be an entirely new wardrobe to accomodate my gigantic ass). Refined white sugar is so evil in so many ways anyway, it's probably best if I just give it the boot entirely. But baby steps. Because candy! Cupcakes! And hello, Birthday Cake!
  • Watch less TV. I think I might be able to get away with blaming David for this one. After all, when we started dating, I was living with no TV and I was fine with that. I had never seen Grey's Anatomy, or Lost, or most of the other shows that I'm hopelessly addicted to now. But don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I'm going to give up on my shows entirely. After all, Lost is almost over (THANK GOD!), and I have a special place in my heart for Michael Scott and Pam and Jim and a whole host of others. However, I will try to be more selective about what earns my butt a spot on the couch. I want Lincoln to see us actively involved in our lives and participating in activities that we love, not just zoning out on the couch all the time. It's about balance, right? Not elimination, but balance.
Okay, enough for now. I have some work to do to make that a list that I can actively work toward during the next fabulous decade of my life. And right now, duty calls (in the form of this little bundle of adorable):


I just love the little chubs, and those fun bath time hair-do's.

March 10, 2010

so pretty!

Lincoln and I were having some fun this morning:


And Daddy, before you get concerned that I'm letting him dabble in mama's make-up bag a little prematurely, let me reassure you. It's only plums.

Ha ha! We fooled you! That was fun. By the way, how cute am I? OMG. Seriously.

March 5, 2010

all present and accounted for

Hey all! Long time. We're still here! Not too much to report, just kind of hanging out with the monkey and enjoying the nice weather and each other.

We've been taking a lot of walks lately, mostly to the library and around old Burien. We stop frequently at the puppy store, just to see what kind of cuteness they have at that moment. Lately it's been a little Chiweenie. Yes, that's a real thing, apparently. It's one of those designer breeds, half Chihuahua and half Dachshund. In case you're wondering, it's adorable, and you are welcome to buy me one for my upcoming birthday. Only not really, because my husband would have a cow. And then we'd have two extra animals to take care of.

***

Yes, my thirtieth birthday is approaching. Rapidly. March 15th, aka the Ides of March. Beware! Old age is heading my way. I'm not scared though. The gray hair and wrinkles have been around for years already, and pregnancy and childbirth have already transformed my body into the fancy new mom shape that's all the rage these days, so I figure there's nothing more to worry about. A few years ago I used to say that I couldn't wait to be thirty, because I just knew that by then my life would be all figured out and so much less chaotic. Thankfully, I think I was right! Life is looking pretty good from where I sit.

***

I've been cooking a nice and quick dinner every night for the last couple of weeks thanks to Dana's suggestion that I check out the Six O'Clock Scramble. So far all the recipes that we've tried have been really good, and easy to prepare with fresh ingredients. I've found that it's just so much easier to go to the grocery store and pick up enough ingredients for a few days at a time, rather than trying to figure everything out each day. And I love that you can customize your menu on the website, and then print out a grocery list that includes everything you need for all the meals. So easy. And I broke the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book back out and now we've got dough in the fridge too. Fresh baked bread makes any meal that much more enticing, in my opinion, and you can't beat the convenience of the system that they've devised.

***

We visited a doctor at Sleep Medicine Associates the other day and we've already noticed a huge difference in Lincoln's sleep habits. We were really close to having everything all figured out, but the advice we got really pushed us over the edge. Lincoln has gone from sleeping between 9 and 10 hours at night to between 11 and 12, bringing his 24 hour total close to 14 hours. He's a much more cheerful boy in his awake hours now. This morning I even found him happily playing with a stuffed monkey in his crib when I went into his room, instead of him waking up crying. And the best part has been his quick return to sleep when he wakes up in the middle of the night. Last week he would be up for 40-60 minutes after his middle of the night meals, meaning that all three of us were awake between 1 and 2 am, and again between 5 and 6, and then we started our day at 6:30 or 7. Since our visit, Lincoln is only awake long enough to eat, and we're all back to sleep within 15 or 20 minutes. YAY!!!

***

Lincoln has also already outgrown the 9 month clothes that we moved him into in January. And I expect him to be crawling any minute now. He's figured out how to push himself up onto his hands, and he can get his butt up in the air on his knees, he just can't quite coordinate it all together just yet. Any time though, I'm sure. It's all happening so fast! It feels like just a few weeks ago that he was just a little mushy blob that would curl up and fall asleep on David's chest. Now he's scooting himself all around on the floor and eating anything that comes within a foot or so of his mouth. He's proving to be a good little eater, which should come as no surprise. His two top teeth also look like they'll be making an appearance very soon. I can just see the tips of them through the gums, so we should have a full set of chompers pretty soon. How cute will that be?