Were you thinking about making some of your holiday items? Did you get it done?
Our baby was a month early and it still sometimes feels like I'm cramming to catch up; he's growing up fast and it's not easy to keep abreast of the changes. I finally made him a toy rattle, and I'm pretty sure he would have enjoyed it even more a month or two ago, but he still took some time to check it out before breakfast this morning.
Since my time is largely spent either alone or with a couple of sweet creatures who can't understand a word I'm saying, I have a lot of time to think. As a result, I have wavered occasionally about our plan...too soon? Too much? Not the right time? At other points, I have started to consider even more drastic options, like keeping the house and renting it out instead of selling it, or just getting an apartment in Minnesota but not really making a final decision about the house in Houston until next year. We made the hard decision and now I just want to get started on the next phase.
In the meantime, I have stolen a few hours here and there for making things. I can't get involved in anything too messy or complicated, in case of a sudden house-showing evacuation, so that eliminates a lot of what I was hoping to work on this year. But on the other hand, there are other projects; patterns and projects which can still provide both opportunities for learning and also just the pleasure of making. I recently made this bag from a pattern in a cool book called Linen Wool Cotton. It turned out that the pattern had some mistakes, but the book remains beautiful and inspiring.
My husband and I just returned from taking our baby on a trip to Missouri to see family. We spent four days in a house with six other people, bringing the household total to nine people, ranging in age from six months to forty-six years. We arrived in time for an ice storm and were essentially snowed in until our departure. It was our first trip with the baby, and while it went well, it was intense. I still can't believe that I was one of those people at the airport that I always pitied in the past (a person with a baby and a stroller and car seat and unbelievable amounts of shit in my luggage and carry-ons).
In spite of snow days and trips, I finally made something practical for the baby, with extra bits I already had, instead of buying new stuff:
I borrowed the pattern from some other bibs given to us as gifts, and used my serger to keep it fast and simple. The material came from a hand-me-down baby blanket that we did not need. They are not beautiful, but they are something that I made with resources I already had, which felt good. As the baby starts to eat real food, I am coming to realize that I will need many, many, many bibs. And a sense of humor.
Also, we’re moving. Stay tuned.
Apparently, backing into parking spaces increases the rates of safe driving (or should I say 'decreases the rate of accidents while driving'?). The logic is that we are paying more attention to the matter at hand when we arrive at a location than we do when are when we are departing. When we depart, we are already thinking about what will be next after leaving the parking lot. In other words, while we are driving in reverse, our minds are on other things. Thus, accidents.
I have a habit of preparing for my next day as much as I can the night before. Mostly it is a leftover habit from when I had to wake up outrageously early in the mornings for work; I tried to pack items I would need for the day and leave them by the door, or place items that I was likely to forget with items that I couldn't possibly leave without (i.e. put the book that I was likely to forget next the keys that I was physically unable to leave without). Planning outfits the night before, or packing lunches the night before, produces this same effect. We try to dummy-proof our morning in order to maximize precious minutes.
I find that I am happiest when I do the same thing as a mom; it turns out that it is the best way to steal time in which to work on non-mom projects. While I do not often have to leave the house early, I do still need to maximize hands-free and baby-free minutes. So I do things like putting out my breakfast cereal bowl, pre-filled, and preparing the baby's morning bottle and diaper bag, before I go to bed. It's not rocket science, nor is it a new technique. The only innovation is that I now refer to it as backing into my day, which also has helped my husband understand these habits not as something neurotic and silly, but something that makes all of us have a smoother, more pleasant morning.
Backing into my day is one life strategy which allowed me to finish knitting a vest this week for my son, luckily while it still fits him.
In fact, this year one of my goals is very flour-focused. After years of hemming and hawing about wanting to make bread after one or two long-ago failed attempts, I have finally made some progress. I have successfully caused dough to rise, and navigated my way around a packet of yeast.
For my weekly attempts in the beginning of the year, I stuck with one basic white/wheat yeast bread recipe and repeated it several times until it became more comfortable. But this week, I have cleared a new hurdle: the soft pretzel.