Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I'm over it!

OK, it has been forever since I updated this thing, almost a year to be exact, but I have something to share, a confession, if you will.

Here goes:
My children go to public school, go to child care in the mornings, are only involved in one extra curricular activity (at the moment), come home in the afternoons and sometimes sit on the couch, watch the Disney channel and eat processed food and I AM NOT GOING TO FEEL BAD ABOUT IT ANYMORE!

They also play outside until it is way past dark when the weather is decent, refuse to eat fast food (because it is so bad for you), are super creative and excelling in school.

I have been so stressed over the past few years about were my kids in the right schools, were we in the right neighborhood, were they in enough activities, were they learning enough, are they eating healthy enough, blah, blah, blah. I have finally had enough. I am happy with our lives, I feel my children are getting what they need in all aspects of life and I am not going to stress anymore. This is the year for trusting my instincts, avoiding the haters (those who badmouth our school for every little thing) and trying to find balance instead of making sure everything is perfect.

Seeing the trailer for this movie: "Race to Nowhere" really helped me make peace with our life.

I don't want to push my kids so hard that they don't enjoy their childhoods, I don't want them to feel stressed out about what college to go to, I don't want them to feel so over-scheduled that they have no time for fun, and most of all I don't want them to lead the life they think WE want for them instead of the life THEY want for themselves. Success can be defined in many ways and isn't always about going to the best schools and making the most money. It is about doing what you love and being happy with your life.

Don't get me wrong, if I felt that the school wasn't offering my kids a good environment for learning or teaching them what they need to know, I would be the first one to try and change that. If my kids become too inactive/lazy, I will cut off the TV and get them moving more. I always balance the junk they eat with lots of healthy food, in fact they actually prefer to eat my cooking than eat out.

I mean really, do these kids look like they are missing out??

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Stuff I made

Here are some of the things I made for Christmas (and after for the sweater vest) this year. I forgot to take a pic of my mom's apron, some placemats for my sister and probably many other things.

Christmas pajamas for the girls, although I think this will be the last year for those. Lily refused to wear the shirt and they were only worn that night after all my hard work. I was informed by Chloe after I made these that she no longer likes nightgowns. UGH.

Hat and scarf for Alya from the book "Last Minute Knitted Gifts". The hat was way too big even though I made a smaller size. Bummer. He seemed to like them though and wore them a lot while he was here. For you knitting nerds, I made them with Lion Brand Wool Ease.

These are a couple of the 4 wallets that I made this year. The pattern was a combination of several tutorials. I was very pleased with these and the one on the left is in my purse right now.

I made this case for Lily's MP3 player. She no longer likes the fact that it is pink, so this hides that pretty well. She seems to like it and use it often.

I made 2 sets of each of these from a pattern that I got on sale for $.99. I did not make the boots, they were bought from etsy. Aren't they adorable? I can't wait to make more clothes for their dolls. Thanks to my mom for helping me to finish these up at the last minute!

This last one was just made from this pattern: jchandmade.typepad.com/jcasapatterns/2009/10/neighborly.html It was so fast and easy. The only modifications I made were to crochet a flower instead of a button and I crocheted around the armholes instead of knitting. She's pretty cute! (knitting nerd info: I used cheap acrylic yarn I had in my stash: Caron Simply Soft to make this. I know some of you are all about natural fibers, but it is soft and washable and CHEAP, so I am happy with it)
Now I am on to Wondermommy's Stash Busting contest. I have no illusions that I will win any prizes for most things made with a full time job and 2 small kids, but the prize will be to decrease my stash and make some things that I have had planned for ages. Speaking of stash, I spent last Sunday organizing my fabric and putting all of my projects into plastic bags so they are ready to go. First up: lunch bags for me and my girls!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Having 2 weeks off of work and time to just be with my family was incredible. My sister (Julia) and her husband (Alya) were also here for the 2 weeks and it was so great to just hang out with them and get to know my brother-in-law a little better. It was a lot of 'togetherness' with it being so cold and not a lot of room to spread out, but I think it went remarkably well and I didn't want it to end. I especially didn't want my sister to go back to Tacoma. I hate that they live so far away. Unfortunately, Alya got to experience a bit of the Wilkin family fighting (i.e. yelling), but we tried to keep it to a minimum.

Here is the recap of the break, hopefully it won't bore you to tears.

The girls, my mom and Alya made a snowman

And Alya had a snowball fight with the girls.

We also baked LOTS of cookies, which I don't have pics of, but the tightness of my pants is a testament to it.

On Sunday, our good friends came over for some African food (YUM) and pictionary, which was pretty hilarious. We didn't have the game so one team would pick words for the other team. Some highlights include 'bat mitzvah', 'sarcasm' and 'car on a bridge'. Good times.

The next week was a frenzy (for me) getting everything ready for Christmas morn, but it all came together nicely. (I will have another post for my handmade gifts):
Some of the favorite gifts include American Girl doll (Chloe), Playmobil hospital (Lily), The Pioneer Woman Cooks (me, but everyone is benefiting), Blu-ray player (Shawn). There were many other well-loved gifts, but these have gotten the most use so far.

In the week between Christmas and New Year's we made permanent indentations on the couch, watching movies, playing the Wii and eating A LOT. We did venture out one day to bowl 'for real', as opposed to Wii bowling (which doesn't translate well, I might add). It was Alya's first time and we all scored better than we should have because the bumpers were in use. I am sure I would have scored about a 45 without them.

For New Year's, we went to a friend's house and the kids ran around like lunatics while the grown-ups chatted, ate and played a few games.

On to another decade. I have a few resolutions for the new year, I hope I can keep:

1. Do not yell at my kids so much. (It is unrealistic to say it will end completely, but I am making a serious effort to cut down, it is not good for any of us.)

2. Step out of my comfort zone and try new things (I am taking Bollyfit where I am sure to make an ass of myself, but hopefully in a fun way)

3. Be more 'in the moment' with my kids especially but in general too.

4. Work through my craft stash before buying new stuff and in the process, complete many projects that have been on the back burner (some for years!) To accomplish this goal, I am joining Wondermommy's stash busting contest starting Feb 1. I have lots of ideas in my head!

I will leave you with our friend Stuart Hambleton (aka creepy guy) ruining a perfectly nice picture of my sis and bro-in-law (this pic had us cracking up for hours):

Happy New Year!