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In which I might be obsessed with reality television

Dance Moms.  Toddlers & Tiaras.  Teen Mom.  16 & Pregnant.  Jersey Shore.  Storage Wars.  Pawn Stars.

They’re “real” (whatever that means).  They’re raw (well, sometimes).  They’re addicting (without a doubt).  I’ve found that the more that I yell at the television screen, the more likely I am to add it to the DVR list and watch next week, too.  Damn it.  It’s almost like they’ve done research and know that’s going to happen.

Poor Marcus.  At least he has his Bejeweled Blitz, Words with Friends, and Army of Darkness to help him cope.

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One thing after another

This week has been chaotic. Not only did all three girls end up really ill, but biscuit (our 5 month old puppy) spent a night at the emergency vet and we had a disastrous day with the big girls.

But we have survived and another week is upon us. It’s the last full week of summer vacation. With quite a few ups and downs, I have mixed feelings about the return to school. On one hand, it’s the return to schedules, routines, homework, and after school activities. On the other, thank goodness for just that!

So, I’m determined to slow down and enjoy this week with the girls. The week before I have a first grader and a kindergartener, the week before my babies are back to being big girls, and it’s the week before everything changes (again).

Here’s to one thing after another…and then another!

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In which we experience trying times

The summer has not been an easy one. My return to medication has helped me get back on track, but it has coincided with periods of struggle with the big girls. An older child starting to grow up, have some attitude, and mouth off combined with a middle child dealing with anger, frustration, and finding her place in the family have made for some difficult parenting times in the past few months.

The keys are on the table: consistency, patience, calmness, follow-through, a no-nonsense attitude, love, firmness, clear expectations and consequences, rewards.

Yet it’s so difficult, nonetheless. Parenting isn’t easy. I never thought it would be. But I just didn’t think it would be this hard, either.

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Just another day in paradise

1 with strep throat
1 under the weather
1 tired of being cooped up inside
2 days in the house
2 visits to the doctor
1 plastic spoon melted to the bottom of the dishwasher
1 smelly house
4 more loads of laundry
1 full sink of dishes
1 call in for carry out
1 visit to the pharmacy (so far)
4 bottles of medicine in the kitchen counter
1 daddy on the way home to help run interference
1 tired mommy who hasn’t had a breakdown
1 real life
1 family

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In which it never ends…

You know what knitting project just seems to go on forever? The blanket. I’ve never knit one for our sofa, or for my daughters, for just this reason. Like John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, they are the project that never ends!

Yet here I stand, or more accurately, sit. Working on this gorgeous blanket in Malabrigo Rios Teal Feather. It’s a lovely lace pattern by Caryl Pierre.

It may be the bane of my existence, though. Not only does the blanket not seem to grow, but I swear I’ve been “this close” to moving on to the last skein of yarn forever!

Of course, like I feel like this knitting will never end, I’m sure Kiki feels the same way about this pregnancy.

Which will come first: the baby or the completed knitted blanket? Wagers, anyone?

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Quarter of a Year

A quarter of a year has passed since my last post. Quarter of a year. It seems impossible. I can’t possibly fill you all in in everything that has happened in those three months. I’m reminded of country lyrics that seem to sum it up: “Sounds like life to me!”

So where are we now, for this next quarter of a year? I’m working on a knitting project that won’t reach fruition until next year, but I promise you’ll love it. I’m writing more than ever, with the help of a sitter to get some uninterrupted time. I’m enjoying summer with the girls, though we’re working through a rough stage with Erica.

I’m doing it all back on my medication. I have no regrets, except perhaps that I waited so long to see help again.

Hello again, blog. Expect to see me around a lot more often.

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In which I am a rock star

Ok, so not exactly.  But today has been an incredible day.

It started with me waking up chipper at 6:30 with the girls…I suppose that’s what going to bed at 8:30 will do to you.  I feel like a new woman!

Then, I received a message from Antonio, the owner of Malabrigo Yarns.  Which, I’m sure you know, is my weapon of choice when it comes to knitting.  Antonio wanted to know if I was interested in having one of patterns (most of which feature Malabrigo) on the company’s website.  Of course I do!

You can see it here (with a handful of other great third party patterns).

And, if that didn’t make my day, I received an email from Darnell, one of the great guys behind the Yahoo! Contributor Network community.  I have won one of the first Yahoo! Contributor Network monthly awards for my work in the Lifestyle category.  I get a nifty new badge and a monetary prize! Read about the awards and the nice things they had to say about me!

And, again, I get to spend the day with my wonderful husband and three great (crazy) kids.

Maybe I really am a rock star.

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Heavy Heart

Dearest Friends,

I come to you today with a heavy heart to talk about a friend of mine, Tony the Toy-box Monster.

A tragedy has struck Tony. This is not of his doing. It’s not the fault of his wonderful designer Rebecca Danger. It’s not the fault of the children whose toys he so carefully guards.

No, this is the fault of me…the knitter. Though the pattern clearly states that I will need approximately 140-190 yards of yarn to knit Tony, I began to knit him knowing full well that I only had 104 yards of Polar Morn Chunky on hand. I rationalized–I will shorten his arms and legs, I told myself. I will not make his body so big. But I was greedy…nay, selfish as I knit, loving how beautiful he was becoming. So I knit on, following the pattern exactly as written.

And this brings us to where we are today. Tony is only a ball…no arms…no legs…less than 10 yards of yarn remain…

He cannot be expected to live up to his duties guarding toys if I abandon him so. He will fall short. Disappoint. Fail in his mission.

And so I come to you today, friends, asking with a heavy heart…

Anybody got any polar morn chunky?

:)

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Graduation Goggles

On Sunday, Kiki and I took the big girls to see The Sound of Music at our old high school. The production was wonderful, and the girls truly loved it (even though, at times I wasn’t sure Erica would make it through the whole thing). They’ve had me singing the songs the whole week!

Mommy, Samantha, and Erica

While we were there, it got Kiki and I reminiscing, and funnily enough, this week’s episode of How I Met Your Mother talked about a phenomenon called “graduation goggles.” This is when you start to remember something or someone more fondly than they actually are, once your time together is almost over–sort of like how you are friends with everyone on the day you graduate…even those people you never spoke to in school.

Clearly, I was overcome by graduation goggles on Sunday. Though I have lots of good high school memories, there were certainly some bumps in the road. There are reasons I’ve chosen to send my children to public school instead of the private school I attended (money is only one of them…though it’s a good one). And there are reasons I don’t always think back on high school with smiles.

But on Sunday, sitting in the cafeteria where I had lunch with my friends (almost all of whom I’ve lost touch with over the years), crammed for tests, saw my favorite teachers (some of whom are still teaching there, and I caught a glimpse of on Sunday), and my biggest worry was passing Honors Biology and fitting in, I saw things through graduation goggles.

Still, it was wonderful to show off my high school to the girls, take them to their first play, and share the whole thing with my sister and best friend.

Life is good.

 

Kiki, Samantha, and Erica

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In which there are April showers…

There are–it’s raining as I type these words.

But, April looks to bring a lot of positive things into my life and our family, and I’d be remiss to focus on the showers.

I’ve gotten a new part-time job which will help us pay off a loan more quickly and save more aggressively for the girls’ college tuition and our retirement without sacrificing much time with the kids.

I was selected as a featured contributor in the Yahoo! Contributor Network’s new program in not one, but FOUR categories.  I continue to write for them on a variety of topics, all by choice, and all things that I love writing about.

My knitting pattern sales continue to boom, and 2011 is shaping up to be a better year than any before.  I have several designs in the works, and I’m going to be experimenting with new shapes and styles that I’ve never tried before as a designer.

And I get to share it all with my husband and daughters.

April showers?  Bring it on.