Life as a Parent

Alright, so once again its been forever since I’ve posted anything. I haven’t touched my sewing machine in who knows how long… We live in a small apartment and I had my machine set up at our kitchen table, and when the table was needed, the sewing machine was put away and hasn’t been brought out since. Hopefully within the next couple years we will be out of this apartment and the Bay Area, and somewhere where I can set up that stupid machine and really get on teaching myself how not only to quilt, but finish that baby quilt I started some time ago.

But any who, the real reason I came to sit down today and attempt to write something while my daughter watches Moana, is because I feel as though I need to get a few things off my chest.

Being a parent is hard.

Like: pull-your-hair-out-while-sitting-in-a-corner-rocking-back-and-forth-ugly-crying hard.

I love my daughter. She’s the most incredible thing that has ever come in to my life. She’s smart, she’s funny, she’s empathetic way beyond her three years… not a single day has gone by without her literally blowing my mind.  However, I also haven’t had many days where I have not seriously considered posting an ad on CraigsList along the lines of “Healthy 3 yo, perfect kidneys. $50 OBO. Will not deliver.” Obviously I would NEVER in a million years, but man… sometimes this kid just down right sucks. Its like she’s broken or something, or possessed…

She has this way of fighting me no matter what the situation be, and trying to fight with a three year old is like trying to fight with tiny drunk human. No matter what I say, or how sound my logic may be… she comes back with a “nuh uh,” and the argument is lost. She has selective hearing to the point where I can loudly call her name repeatedly from 5 feet away and get absolutely no response from her, but the second I start quietly opening anything in the kitchen, its as though her hearing turns supersonic and she can hear me from a different room, in her fort and under the 9 blankets she’s covered herself in on a 100 degree summer day. The kid can scream like the dopey hot girl in any and all 90’s horror films, and it honestly sounds like I’m trying to murder her all because I accidentally knocked over her Barbie who was having a tea party with her bear in the middle of the hallway. Speaking of which, this kid has too many toys. I try to downsize them, I really do; unfortunately, she’s one of the few kids I know who actually play with EVERYTHING she owns. Yeah, that Dollar Tree mermaid she got after her first dentist appointment that’s constantly losing all of its extremities? She’d miss it. The rubber duck she got out of a claw machine two years ago? She’d notice. My house looks as though a toy bomb went off every hour, and I swear the more I try to pick up and organize, the worse it gets. I’m a neat freak, and living with a three year old is driving me bonkers.

I do love this kid though, so much so that I could literally explode if I loved her anymore. She’s definitely put us through the ringer though. From her complicated and terrifying birth, to the Kawasaki’s Diseases when she was fifteen months old, to all the scrapes, bumps, bruises… This kid is tough and has definitely come out on top. Now I’m dealing with her starting pre-preschool on the 6th of September and I can’t even think about it without tearing up. She just turned three in May, yet I feel as though she was only born a year ago… where did the time go? It seems as though the days are long and just drag and drag, but the months are SO short…

I’m excited to see where pre-preschool takes her. She already knows all her letters by sight, can write most of them, and is in the process of learning the sounds they make. She can spell and write her own name, along with a handful of other words, and has another handful of words she can read. She’s counting to 29 on her own (if you give her 30, she can get to 39, and give her 40 etc…). She just about has the days of the week down (thanks to “I got a feelin'” by: Black Eyed Peas), she’s beginning to understand ultra basic math… basically, the kid is freaking smart. Smart, but still learning how to get along with other kids. She’s never been in daycare, or around other kids for long periods of time. Sure she has cousins her age, but we don’t see them that often. She’s around a lot of adults and that does take a toll out on her sociability around other kids.

Anyways… what I’m trying to get at, is that parenting is difficult. A lot more so than any on ever told me it would be. Nobody ever said that sometimes you seriously wonder why the hell you ever did this to yourself. Nobody ever said that sometimes you seriously question if you’re really suited for this. Nobody ever said that being a parent sometimes makes you feel like a bigger failure than anything else in life ever has before. Nobody ever said that it was okay to talk shit about your kid to other parents (this is the only thing that keeps me sane sometimes, truly expressing how obnoxious my kid is to other people who completely understand). Nobody ever said you don’t have to be the perfect pintrest mom. There is so much judgment about being a good parent that for a while it was driving me crazy. It wasn’t until I realized that as long as I did my best, I was doing great.  My kid can be an angel, but she can also be an asshole… That doesn’t necessarily reflect my parenting skills as much as it does my three year old being a three year old.

I make sure to read to her, spend time with her, we do crafts on a regular basis… but she also has her own Kindle and watches Netflix. Its all about balance. Once you find the balance that works for you, life is so much easier. At least until their next melt down, and speaking of which, its bath time for this toddler!

If you’re reading this, and you’re having one of those “pull-your-hair-out-while-sitting-in-a-corner-rocking-back-and-forth-ugly-crying” moments… feel free to share it with me, or anybody… because you’re not alone, and its better to sit and laugh about your kid being an asshole, rather than cry because you feel alone in thinking you’re parenting wrong…

Hope you’re all having a good week, and keeping your head’s up!

AGED EGGNOG 

First things first let me point out that I haven’t gotten around to either quilting or blogging in a long time… I’m sure I’ll get back to it, but things have been hectic lately and my 2.5 year old won’t let me sit down long enough to tie my shoes, let alone fire up my sewing machine. 

Now to talk about what I have done today… I just finished making a rather large batch of eggnog that I plan on letting age until Christmas. I am incredibly excited and can hardly wait to crack into this stuff. 

I love Christmas, it’s one of my favorite times of year, and every year I do some kind of DIY thing to give out as gifts for family. 

With tripling the eggnog recipe, I was able to fill 12 16 oz swing cap bottles and about 3/4 of a 4L glass swing top jar. This is going to give me some awesome gifts to give out along with a jar to take to our family celebration. 

I’m a huge fan of eggnog, booze, and Alton Brown… so seeing as how this recipe has the trifecta I decided to give it a go! I’ll write back around Christmas to let you all know how it turned out
Here’s the recipe:

AGED EGGNOG

Ingredients

12 large eggs (pasteurized if you need peace of mind)

1 pound sugar

1 pint half-n-half

1 pint whole milk

1 pint heavy cream

1 cup Jamaican rum

1 cup cognac

1 cup bourbon

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (plus more for serving)

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

Separate the eggs and store the whites for another purpose.

Beat the yolks with the sugar and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl until the mixture lightens in color and falls off the whisk in a solid “ribbon.”

Combine dairy, booze and salt in a second bowl or pitcher and then slowly beat into the egg mixture.

Move to a large glass jar (or a couple of smaller ones) and store in the fridge for a minimum of 2 weeks. A month would be better, and two better still. In fact, there’s nothing that says you couldn’t age it a year, but I’ve just never been able to wait that long. (And yes, you can also drink it right away.)

Serve in mugs or cups topped with a little extra nutmeg grated right on top.

My Aged Eggnog Recipe

Finally sat down again. 

So it had been almost a month since I even thought about sewing or quilting, but I finally sat down today and whilst my little one ate her breakfast, I sat at the dining table where my sewing machine has been acting more as a paper weight lately, and busted out 4 more blocks for my quilt. I’m now up to 16 blocks out of the 48 I plan to sew (1/3 the way there!!). I don’t know though, I’ve been thinking that maybe, juuuust maybe I don’t need to go queen size for this baby clothing quilt project, and I should just cut it down to a full or even a twin size quilt. Still haven’t really made a final decision on this…  Anyways, hopefully I’ll be able to sit again when my little distraction goes to bed… Pictures to come! 

Until next time,

Lisa

Maybe I’m getting the hang here….

Alright… It turns out that pressing my seams is a lot more important than I though it was. And I mean a LOT. My corners still are nowhere near being perfect, but I’m ok with that. I may be using a machine to sew, but I myself am not a machine. Plus – who’s going to complain, My daughter?  First of all, shes too young to notice right now, and second…. Even if she weren’t, she can shut up. I’m doing something nice for her here aren’t I? 

I’m finding that with every line I do I get a little straighter and slightly more comfortable with my sewing machine. So far I’ve put together 5 super shabby blocks and about 4-5 not too shabby blocks (FYI – I’m doing a 9 square quilt pattern). Now again, these squares are all my extra pieces, so I still haven’t actually started my monster yet, hopefully after a couple more practice runs I’ll feel a little more confident moving on to the real pieces!! 

Currently I’m averaging about 20-25 minutes or so per block and I figure if I spend 1 hour every other day after my daughter goes to sleep… I’ll have all 48 blocks done by 2033 and then I can work on batting and backing! Basically I guesstimate that this quilt will be finished in time for my daughter’s daughter’s daughter…….. 😳

Till next time –

Lisa

Day 2 – I sat on a Lego and thought I was going to die…

Today I finished cutting out all my fabric squares. 432 of those tiny little suckers plus plenty of extras or “second choices.” I’ve separated them into 3 categories of patterns, solids, and the ones with cute pictures or phrases on them.
Now, since I live in a small apartment that’s practically run over with toddler toys and whatnot, I sat on the floor in front of my coffee table to do this. At this point, my butt hurts, my back hurts, and I’m covered in fabric fuzz. Luckily after two “Tinker Bell” movies, my sweet babes went down for a nap so I was able to really bust these things out. I’ll be switching to the dinner table for the sewing part, I’m getting too old to sit on the floor for this long 😉.
My next step is going to be sorting out my squares into blocks, I’m hoping Miss Lilly will sleep a little longer so I can start on that today too. Then I’ll start practicing using my machine!! I’m getting kind of excited about this. I plan on looking in to sewing classes at Joann’s or Handcock Fabric thanks to a suggestion I received. I also plan on using YouTube a lot for tutorials… I mean, if I can learn how to decorate cakes from YouTube, why not learn how to sew right? 
Till next time-

Lisa