Thursday, March 17, 2011

Just keep knitting, just keep knitting....

Wow! Last week was busy!!! We went down to Ramstein (about an hour's drive away) on Tuesday for The Instigator's martial arts class, and again on Thursday so he could pay the fees to attend a seminar (and we then had some good family time was nice!), and then again on Saturday so he could attend a private lesson in preparation for said seminar and the Misha's older son's birthday party! We ended up staying overnight, too! That's a lot for someone that doesn't get to leave the house much...

Friday I finished the hooded scarf (which is going to be sent out this week):

Then while at Luc's bday party, I had to have something to keep me from fidgeting, so I started in on the trio of hats for the trip to London!

I'm making one for Misha, one for Kristin, and one for myself. :D I love this pattern, because it can be worn with the brim folded up, beanie style, or it can be worn tall, like in the picture, and look like a wizard's/witch's hat! (And the Ravenclaw colors are no coincidence...we're going to wear them when we go to Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross!)

So I've got one down and two to go! But then, Ann started a new KAL! (She's the one that designed those amazing scarves I previously made.) This is a baby pattern, and so I'm making a romper/onesie and giving it to a friend from high school that is due in July! I also went a little overboard and planned quite the gift box...LOL But for now, I have finished the first leg (pictured below) and am part way into the second leg. The next pattern release will be this weekend! :D

I am super excited that HSKS is about to start back up! (It's a Harry-Potter themed crafting swap.) I love that group. In fact, it's because of that group I was introduced to Ann's designs and it was on a meet-up in Scotland for that swap that led me to personally make her acquaintance (and later on visit her and stay at her house to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on opening weekend)! And as if that wasn't enough, that group helped me through both times my husband deployed while we were living in Italy. it gave me something to focus on and keep up with, and it helped the time fly right by! I've actually made a quite a few friends through that swap. :) I am grateful for each one of them! (A pair of them even turned me onto  the awesomeness that is Nathan Fillion...and Joss Whedon!)

Also, I made my first Etsy sale back on the 3rd! :D That was very exciting! So these earrings are no longer available:

(Why, yes, I am a bit Potter-obsessed...LOL) I'm thinking, though, of switching to Artfire...I had a friend suggest Artfire instead, but I insisted on testing the Etsy waters We'll see...

I still haven't finished that blue and green blanket, as I've been drawn to the needles as opposed to the hook lately, though I have gotten 2 rows further into the last 10-ish rows. And I still have not yet stitched the ribbon in place on the baby blanket for another high school friend...her daughter was born in November! (D'oh!) But I'd better get back to the crafting "grindstone" if I hope to get any of this done!

Listening to: Katharine McPhee - Had It All

Friday, March 11, 2011

RE: My Anomaly Post

It has come to my attention that my tone in my last post (not counting the Friday Fill-In) I may have come across as judgmental. If that is how it came across to you, I apologize profoundly! I cannot say that I am surprised at that interpretation, as I do have quite the tendency to be like that (old, bad habit) and it can occasionally slip through where I don't mean it to. I do not want anyone to think that I'm implying that the people who do use/want/need the makeup or jewelry or name brands or what have you are materialistic and/or shallow. I do not feel that way at all. I just meant to convey that I find my securities elsewhere. Somewhere that is not the typical places someone may find masses of females. It is not my intention to put down anyone that appreciates those things in ways I don't in any manner. I cannot express enough how sorry I am for who it offended.

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

  1. During military separations (whether short or long) how do you keep yourself positive and motivated? submitted by Married/Single Parent  I craft. I craft a lot. I do almost nothing but knit or crochet. And then I donate what I've made to people that have it harder than I do. Also, I distract myself by being heavily involved with the Harry Potter Sock Kit Swap.
  2. What is your favorite concert you have ever been to? submitted by Young but Not (Completely) Dumb  Oh's been a loooooooong time since I've been to a concert...I think I would have to say Transiberian Orchestra, though.
  3. What do you miss most about your “hometown”?  submitted by A Florida Girl and Her Soldier  Definitely the convenience of friends and family nearby. (Though I do have friends close by, here!) :)
  4. If you could run in any race, which charity would you choose to support? submitted by Wookie & Co.  Hmmm...probably something for abused women and/or children or something for the families of fallen soldiers.
  5. You find out Willy Wonka is your father, what 3 course meal do you INSIST he create in that stick of gum?  submitted by A{muse}ing Mommy on a Pink Park Bench  Chicken Parmesan, garlic bread, and PUMPKIN PIE!!! (MUST have that pumpkin pie!!!)

I Am an Anomaly...

I am not most girls. (Note: "girls" here refers to all of the female sex...not just young females.) I never really have been. I don't drool over shoes. I don't have a craving for name brands. I don't feel that I need expensive (or numerous!) purses. I almost never wear makeup. And I am quite satisfied with the jewelry I can get at Wal-mart. (Multiple pairs of earrings for $15? Yes, please!)

A large part of that is due to how I was raised, and I'm aware of that, but it's also significantly due to the fact that I'm pretty low maintenance and tend to be logical. (Told you! Not the typical girl!) I just don't see the sense in spending that much on pretty baubles, things that will get scuffed and dirty, taking the time to apply powders to the face that might last one day, or "needing" someone's name to be able to tote around the necessities. I just don't get it.

I don't often wear jewelry. I wear my wedding and engagement rings all of the time, and I've only just recently begun to wear my watch again. (I didn't wear it when the boys were little because it would hurt their little heads when I laid them down to sleep...and got out of the habit of wearing one until recently. I don't have a cell phone up here in Germany yet, so I have to have some way to tell the time!) For my fourth wedding anniversary, The Instigator got me a beautiful necklace that I adored. I wore it so much that the chain broke (which made me cry), and I nearly lost the pendant. And then I did end up losing the pendant. I still tear up every time I think about that, because I really did love that necklace. It was perfect. It was a gift for our anniversary, and I lost it.

The perfect necklace that has since been lost.

It actually matched my engagement ring perfectly!

   My engagement ring

Now, before any of you freak out over the size of the stone, know this: I picked this ring out myself. I love it. The Instigator wanted to get me something bigger. I refused. I wanted this one. Usually it's the female vying for a bigger rock, but in our case, the roles were reversed. He has threatened to upgrade it, and I just get mad at him every time he says he's going to. (Misha says I'm "a poor man's wet dream." LOL) I don't want a bigger stone. I don't even like bigger stones. Both The Instigator and Misha have gotten me to try on rings with bigger diamonds, and I just can't stand to even have it on me.

I am a simple girl. I just am. 

So this morning, after coming home from PT and showering and on his way out to work for the day, The Instigator comes up behind me and give me a one-armed hug as I'm sitting at my computer, and my first thought was "What's behind your back?" I didn't even get a chance to ask him, though, as he started speaking first. Today is nothing special. Not an anniversary of anything, not a birthday, not a holiday. Just another day. And he tells me that he loves me and appreciates me (which I will never argue with hearing!), and puts this on the desk in front of me:

And he then promptly gives C hugs and kisses and runs out the door (I was already standing up to come after him, and he handed, nay, nearly threw C at me to give himself escape time). So all my insisting 'til I was blue in the face was for nothing. Here's what is inside:

Yes, is inside, not was. It's still in the box. lol I love my husband, but he can be so frustrating! (And how many women do you know that complain when their husband gives them jewelry?!...Yep, I'm an anomaly...)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

SuperMommy vs. The Diaper Monster: The Final Battle

::Peeks tentatively around::

I had to make absolutely certain that the battle was over before blogging. Last time I posted preemptively and ended up jinxing myself. This time, however, it seems that I have truly conquered The Diaper Monster!!!

Last time, once C went in his underwear (after a full 24+ hours of going only in the potty!), I had to bring back the Baby Regime. I really hate it. It is so draining on me, let alone how mean it makes me feel to see my 4-year-old sitting listlessly on the couch, grudgingly accepting his fate. But accept it, he did.

This most recent time, though, I had a bonus on my side. I had assistance from a fellow Supermommy. Misha and her boys came up last Friday for the weekend...and C was stuck on the couch. No movies, no playing, nothing. He had to ride in the stroller to the bus stop to pick up A. He was not happy. He didn't get dinner like the rest of us. His only option was baby food. (He chose to skip eating altogether and went to bed early.)

I am very pleased (and massively relieved!) to report that that dealt the final blow to the Diaper Monster! He awoke after 3 or so hours of sleeping, got up and pooped in the potty!!!!!!! I am pleased to report a full week later, that we have not had one single accident!!!!!! It feels so good to not have to change butts all day long! And now I have that much more time to knit!, I mean clean. Yeah, more time to clean, that's it...

Speaking of knitting...the hooded scarf that I was commissioned to make is nearly complete! (Seriously, I mean it...I'm about 15 or so rows from the end. The only reason it's not yet done is because C has interrupted everything I've tried to do. I cannot go 2 minutes without him saying, "Mama! Mama!" It really is quite annoying...)

So. Freaking. Close! It'll be done before the week is up, though, and hopefully in the mail on Saturday. :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Strawberries, Pineapple and Grapes...Oh my! (And OH, YUM!!!)

I'm sitting here with a bowl of mini-fruit salad in front of me. (Although, I suppose since there are 3 different types of fruit, it constitutes an actual fruit salad...I just made a personal portion, instead of a large bowl, and without it getting all mushy from sitting in it's own juices.)

Why is this blog-worthy? Because a) it comes on the heels of Day 2 of a P90X workout and b) because I tend to be the one that reaches for the prepackaged junk that is so unhealthy. Like poptarts. Or cereal that has thick coatings of sugar.

This past weekend, Misha and her boys came up again (which was a nice reprieve in many ways, after last week), and she and The Instigator "made" me do P90X. Plyometrics. Can we say "OWWWWWWWW!!!!!"? Because it took me forever to clean the boys' toy room the other day, with a lot of bending and squatting and lifting and moving, my legs were so sore for at least 3 days, and I did Pilates on Friday. So doing a high-impact, hardcore aerobic exercise dvd for an hour....I was exhausted and in pain!

Today, I was unsure if I should do Pilates of P90X again. Misha convinced me to do P90. This time, though, I was determined to keep up with the dvd and do the same number reps they did and to have better form in the exercises instead of doing only all the modified ones. As a result, I only made it 45 minutes through. I just could not keep going. But I think that has a lot to do with the fact that I didn't have breakfast this morning (I must remember to start eating when the boys do!), and I tend to pass out from low blood sugar when I skip meals and exert myself.

So here I am, eating my fruit. :) I am determined to lose weight, even if it kills me! (And the irony in that statement would be that losing weight would actually prolong my life...LOL) I'm going to London in May, and I would like to feel confident in standing in front of the camera instead of always behind it. And as if that weren't enough, my BFF is getting married this fall (I'm flying back to the States to be her maid/matron of honor!), and I want to look good! It's amazing how weight manages to stick around after having 2 boys 15 months apart...

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Diaper Monster is back....

I was so sure that I had licked The Diaper Monster. I was positive that the almost 48-straight hours of baby treatment had defeated it.

Apparently not.

I was sitting here, feeling great. Sore, yes, because I did Pilates yesterday for the first time in about a year. But A went off to school with a good attitude and he seemed intent on behaving well today. (Which is really good news for me, as he's been in trouble every day this week.) I got some new music on iTunes that I've been blaring. I started to clean up for this weekend's visit from Misha and her boys, Luc and D. And I am always happier when I have a cleaner house. So on my way downstairs to the laundry room, I peeked into the toy room at C, playing his video game. It was so cute. I smiled.

And then I smelled.

I seriously wanted to hit the roof. HOW has the baby treatment, that he has so much hated, not kept him from doing this yet again?!?!?!?!?! I thought this week was over, and it's been one hell of a week. But no. The Diaper Monster had to rear it's ugly head again.

Not. Happy.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Today is officially Day 2 (or rather, the first full day of) SuperMommy vs. The Diaper Monster. Yesterday was not easy. I had to stick to every little thing that I said and that I (non-verbally) promised to myself. I got to talk to my mom on the phone yesterday (being stationed overseas has greatly increased my gratefulness for modern technology!!!), and she put into words what the situation with C was. It's not the ability to or to not use the toilet. He has proven with staying at Misha's house that he has the capacity to realize when he needs to go and how to take care of it. So the issue is behavioral. He is choosing to behave this way. Why he is choosing it, I can't figure out for the life of me. But my approach seems to be working, at least a little. I told him that if he wants to be a baby, he can be a baby. And he's learning that that does not mean getting his way all the time and being waited on hand and foot. Babies don't get to watch TV. Babies don't get to play video games. Babies don't get to go into a room full of small toys and play all day. Babies don't get soda at lunch or dinner time. Babies drink milk. Babies ride in strollers (and are not allowed out to run around at the bus stop!). Babies take naps. In short, babies sit around and do a whole lot of nothing. I know that's not entirely accurate, really, but I'm trying hard to make an impression on him, and so far, it seems to be working. He's getting bored of having no toys (though his imagination seems to be kicking in and keeping him occupied at present) and being confined to the couch (except for being able to prove to me that he knows how and when to use the potty) and not having the choices, freedoms and independence that he's used to. This "experiment" (for lack of a better word) is taking it's toll on me. I do not miss how dependent babies are on adults. (And this is not helping to convince me I want another one! Sorry, everyone!) Add to that stress the facts that a) I'm in the middle of an emotionally tumultuous time with A having problems at school and b) that my sleep last night was fitful and slathered in bad dreams...and you have one tired, emotionally battered, and pretty cranky mommy. It would be so easy right now to just give up and cave in. Let him free from the confines of the couch and play. To lay down and rest while he watches a movie. Something. Anything. An emotional respite. But I can't. I promised myself that I wouldn't, and on top of that, if I show any signs of relenting, he would jump at that opportunity and take full advantage of it. He will target that weak spot and make me regret not having the strength to wait out his "silent strong will."

As I was sitting here thinking about all this, I groaned to myself and said, "this day has the potential to be a reeeeeeeally long and hard day...." But then I stopped. I am an optimist, doggone it! That's no way to attack the situation! Think negatively, and I will definitely not have an easy time of it. More than half this battle is in the mind. I may be caught up in a maelstrom of emotions and situations right now, but I am instead deciding that today has the potential to be PRODUCTIVE!!!! A is at school all day. C is confined to the couch until further notice. This leaves the hazardous area formerly know as their toy room wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide open. I am going to go in there and weed out toys. They will be disappearing from my house. (Even though I just did this at least 3 or 4 times in the last year, probably more...) The toys that remain? Well, half of them will no longer be available in their toy room. I'm using that room as the place to vent my frustrations. Their room will be purged and cleaned. (Oo, now I'm feeling excited about this....) Okay, I'm off to wage the battle between SuperMommy and The Toy Room!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Adventures of SuperMommy: SuperMommy vs. The Diaper Monster

I am pissed. As in livid. I sent my son to a friend's house to be potty trained, because he wouldn't do it for me. I tried every trick in the book. And when I say "every trick," I am not exaggerating. I. Tried. Everything. Nothing worked. Leave him undressed? I'd find pee puddles and crap piles on the floor. Reward using the potty? He didn't care about the reward. It didn't matter how big or small it was, he wasn't motivated to use the toilet. Let him sit in wet/messy underwear? He would sit in it for hours and I had no clue he needed cleaned up until my olfactory senses picked it up from across the room (or the house, depending on which room he was playing in). Call him a baby? Didn't matter. He likes being mommy's baby. He. Doesn't. Care. I could find NOTHING to motivate him. At all. I even punished him a couple of times, against my instincts (as it's drilled into a young mother's head to NOT go about potty training by punishment), regardless of the fact that C is 4 and a half and was still in pull-ups. I have not found anything that motivates him to potty train.

My friend Misha, the potty training goddess, took C to get him to potty train. His time there was cut short due to a family emergency that Misha had, but still, in the time that he was there, he had not one. Single. Accident. He went in the toilet every time. It seems that her calling him a baby (a pretty girl that wasn't mommy that he wanted to impress) made quite the impact. He was doing fine. He came home and tried to fight using the potty again for a little bit, but I put my foot down and made him go. We were good. Then a day or so after he got back, he pooped in his underwear. I won't go into massive detail about it, as I don't want to disgust anyone, but suffice it to say, it wasn't as solid as it could have been, so I chalked it up to not making it to the toilet on time and just tossed the pair and let it slide. He was doing fine after that. He even just went poop on the toilet less than two hours ago! And then....he started walking funny. I checked his butt. Sure enough, he pooped himself again. I had to leave the room for a minute, I was so angry. I had to cut the underwear off of him to avoid a colossal mess that would have ended with him in the bathtub.

 So that's it. The gauntlet has been thrown. And I am one angry Mommy! I'm talking furious! Luckily, I learned at a very young age how to channel anger into motivation. I am taking Misha's "baby" approach. But it is not going to have any sort of positive connotation from me again, if I can help it. Being as C is 4 and a half, we haven't had need of baby food in the house in a looooooooooong time, nor do I have a food processor/blender to make baby food, but The Instigator is either going to pick some up on his way home, or I'll be going out once he's home to get some. His lunch (only because it's too late to walk to base to pick up baby food and be home in time to pick up A from the bus stop) consisted of a piece of bread, a piece of bologna and some cheese, and I spoon-fed him applesauce. This boy treasures his independence, and it has now been revoked. No soda for dinner, no candy at all. No video games on his Leapster Explorer, no movies, no trains, no cars, nothing. Naps are now required again. When he's awake, he can sit on his hands for all I care. He will not be playing. Until he can prove to me that he is "big boy" enough to use the toilet and not go in his underwear, this is the new regime in the house. Hopefully he will be irritated at seeing A getting all the regular stuff that he's missing out on himself and that will help motivate him. And when we get that baby food, you can bet it's going to be the most disgusting I can find.

I have been wiping butts since A was born, nearly 6 years ago, first A, then C, and I'm sick of it. Beyond sick of it. I have been for some time. But he sealed his own fate when he used the toilet regularly for someone else. I am declaring war on The Diaper Monster (not on C....just his iron will to have his way) and I will win, one way or another.