The birthday season

It’s that time of year again….Knittykid is seven, Math Boy has hit the amazing double digits year of TEN!! Poor Spinner is confused as to why he is not having a birthday, and more importantly why he does not have gift cards for the Lego store…

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I know you are all wondering about the cakes. The flower cake was Math Boy’s cake….layers of brownie and ice cream thrown together at random by me, strawberry flowers added at the last minute. Math Boy is easy-going, and as long as he has ice cream he is a happy guy!

Knittykid has ideas….he has a lot of ideas. Elaborate and complicated ideas. Therefore when he requested a tiger cake I called upon an amazing and talented uncle in the family to create this tiger masterpiece. Yes, it hurt me to cut this cake and eat it. Isn’t it beautiful???

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I am amazed and blessed by these incredible boys of ours. They are so very different, but the one thing they do have in common is that they both are strong-hearted young boys who fill my own heart daily. Thank you boys, for all the love and delight you put into the world. We love you both!!

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Review: Stay at Home Yoga

About twelve years ago, I discovered yoga, and it was life changing for me. Tension headaches and chronic pain were becoming more and more debilitating, and the stress and anxiety from my job and grad school were through the roof. Hearing my plight, a co-worker of The Skeptic’s suggested we attend his girlfriend’s yoga class. In just a month I was on a new road, and it’s never been the same.

Trouble is, once you have kids, and especially when you have a lot of kids, getting to a yoga class is not that easy. Most don’t have childcare, and yoga studios have this habit of scheduling classes when I need to be making dinner, or putting someone to bed, or when I’m racing to get people to the bus on time. Plus they can get pricey. Over the years I have tried to keep my yoga practice going by attending the random class here and there, and making myself run through a few sun salutations a few days each week. I even tried some yoga apps. But my attention falters, I get bored, and I can’t just keep going on my own.

Enter Jennifer of Stay at Home Yoga. I came across her site last December and suddenly I feel like I did back when I first discovered yoga. I look forward to practice. I feel motivated. And best of all, I can practice whenever I darn well please!

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What I find so brilliant about what Jennifer has done is that she has truly brought all of the benefits of the yoga studio to your own home. She puts together a series of classes and releases a new video each week, and you have access to all the classes for a few months.  You can view them as much as you want, and the fee is such a deal. Just $30 for a series subscription (and I believe she has a discount available now as well).

Hew newest series, which I was given the chance to review, is called Yoga for Desk Jockeys. It is designed to help us combat how much time we all spend on our derrieres, which as a knitter and computer user, I’m trying to be more aware of. What do I love about this series?

  • Jennifer’s teaching style. She is both gentle and motivating. She gives great cues and many reminders of how to correctly do each pose. I think her teaching style is accessible to those both experienced and new to yoga.
  • Each class is more than just the usual asanas. She takes the time to do both restorative poses and Savasana.  So important to me that this is included.
  • Time. The classes are long enough to make a difference in my health, but not so long that I feel like I can’t fit one into my day. The full classes run 40 minutes, and there are 2 short “yoga break” videos that are easy to use whenever you need them.
  • The series itself: Lower body, middle body, spine, upper body, restorative. She has it all covered, and you can do each class as many times as you want.

I could go on and on…..I did the lower body class again tonight. I tend to carry a lot of chronic pain in my upper body and tend to neglect my lower, so it was good to dig out a strap and really work on opening up those hips.

I really hope you give it a try!  I told Jennifer how much it meant to me that I am able to access quality yoga instruction again. To be able to have time again to care for my body, mind and spirit when I am so very busy is huge to me. Thank you Jennifer!

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Start

Start

Sometimes, when you find that all you are doing is looking at pictures of quilts, pinning quilt blocks on Pinterest, queuing up projects on Ravelry, and staring at your piles of yarn and fabric, you just need to go and actually start something.

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March 18, 2013 · 11:25 pm

Right now.

  • I am on day 7 of the 21 Day Sugar Detox.  Has anyone here any done something of the sort? My chronic sinus troubles, constant pain in my shoulders, arms and wrists, and just general fatigue prompted me to try it out. Maybe it’s because I was already sick when I started it, or maybe because we are also pretty much paleo at home, but it has been surprisingly less awful than I thought. But I do really miss fruit….and my bedtime chocolate. 
  • Planning for the birthday season. Knittykid is first up and he has requested a jungle party. And he has big plans.  Math Boy is easy, he has never been a theme kind of kid, he was happy with pizza and cake and a few friends. But Knittykid…he has ideas, and he loves Pinterest. Should be big!
  • Contemplating plans for these lovlies:ImageAny guesses? Wont be a quilt, and I actually have a couple projects in mind. I purchased them from Annik at Mini Mushrooms. I love those Lecien blue dots! I want an sun dress made from them…wouldn’t that be gorgeous?
  • Looking forward to a weekend of quilting coming soon.
  • Enjoying photos from the eyes of a four year oldImageImageImageImageImageImageSo random….and all I con wonder is how he chose his subject matter. I love the inside of our piano and the red rug. And that big brown eye, of course! Don’t you wonder what he is thinking? I need to turn the camera over to the boys more often.

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Yarn Along

Yarn Along time today…

First, lets tackle the easy part. The knitting you see is a pattern I’m working on, basically a pair of ribbed leg warmers with a traditional stitch pattern set into the front. I’m hoping to write it up if I ever get them finished. I’m thinking these will look stellar with a pair of red tights underneath them!

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Now the hard part. I’ve been writing a lot more lately about the state of our household. Obviously, we’ve been struggling and it’s been a tough year. I  think it is important to share struggles. While I love blogging for inspiration, the mother blogosphere is much too heavy on the “Look at my great life!” side and with not enough of us who admit, “this is hard, my house is a mess and my kids are crying all day long.” You all know I try to keep it real around here!

But I also respect my boys’ need of privacy,  my husband’s need of privacy, which is why you rarely see a face or a real name.  I’d like to be able to share (because I know it is helpful for many of you) but I also need to respect that my children will be grown-ups someday and might not like me putting every detail of their life out there for all to see. So I’ll just announce it like this: as of January this month, we are now an Aspergers family. Tough news, but good news because now we know what needs to happen to get life back on track for this sweet young man, as well as the rest of our family.

I don’t plan on switching up my blog too much…I like the knitting/sewing/spinning/family life balance that I’ve got going on here. But I also want to share if I’ve found anything particular that I think is interesting or helpful, and I also want to be an advocate for those who have Autism Spectrum Disorder. I think there is a great deal we can all learn!

And thank you to all of my readers who have kept reading. I appreciate the support and comments, especially when I have been having a rough week. I want this blog to be a positive place, so I try hard not to get too much on the “this is so hard!” side of it. And I promise to keep up the knitting and sewing around here too! I have some exciting things planned…

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So much for planning….

I want to cry. I was so ahead this morning. I told myself that each Monday, in that one precious hour in which the big guys are in school and Spinner has speech class, I would write. And write I did; three blog posts with today’s being the longest. And now, as I go to post it and add my pictures, I see my drafts box has only one entry, which happens to be the shortest and most unfinished. The rest are who-knows-where.

So today’s post, one I was totally excited about is now going to be reduced to a fragment. But maybe that’s ok, because that early in the morning I may have been too blah, blah, blah…. I do tend to yammer. So here is the gist:

Creative, messy, loud, busy, wild, active, crazy is good sometimes, not all of the time. 

Calm, peace, gentleness, rest, quiet, slow are all needed in our home. Very, very much.

I think I might finally have an idea of how to get there. 

We have some necessary changes to make in our family. I’ll get more to the why the next day. Changes that are not going to be easy, but which in the long run I think will leave all five of us stronger, happier and a closer family. 

In the meantime…..

 

Not good:

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Good!

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Not good:

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Good!

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The Space In Between

I never thought I was one much for silence. The radio blaring, a classroom full of elementary school musicians, my boys hollering and shrieking, my own mouth running a mile a minute….noise didn’t bother me, so I thought little of silence.

But raising three boys, especially three very, very busy boys makes for some crazy in this household. And I often wonder, why does this household feel so chaotic, so much sometimes? Why are we always living in pandemonium? Why can’t I seem to grab a sense of calm for myself, and more importantly, my boys? 

And then, last week after a particularly challenging 4th grade music class, I stood chatting with their classroom teacher after school about how awful they had been that day, arguing, fighting, bossing, tattling….unproductive and unhappy, both students and teachers. “Yeah, ” she said, “I think I need to do a silent day tomorrow.”

Huh? Silence, the entire day? With 4th graders? HOW? She explained that she has to plan the lessons specifically to be able to teach that way, but basically, everything for the day is typed out on the board. It is a day designed to calm, to restore order, to regain the peace. “It’s almost magical,” she said. “But I can’t say one word. As soon as I do, it’s over.” 

And it got me to thinking, not just in my own teaching, but in my own life, how much I might be able to gain from silence. Letting there be space between the words. Listening. Writing it down. Drawing a picture. Not repeating myself 20 times or having the same argument for 30 minutes. What might it bring? What might I hear?

And so this is an experiment. Playing with silence, seeing what we can gain from it, how much of it we can find. Looking, listening for a little peace.

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