Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Daddy and his little girl

Watching Fireworks on the 4th of July
My little girl just looks so grown up here.  

The Great Room Shuffle Debate

I've planned a super big, possibly overwhelming, and challenging summer undertaking despite my need for hiatus and renewal, but I think that this change might actually facilitate some good transitions for us all.

Here's the thing: I have 5 kids, 3 bedrooms (on 3 different floors) for said 5 kids, and out of those 5 only 1 girl!! I've been thinking that it's time for a room shuffle for a long time. When the twins first arrived, I knew that I would be losing my guest/sewing room. After the twins moved from their co-sleeper in my room to the guest room in the basement, I just let things be. They slept magnificently in their basement room until recently when they decided to climb out of their cribs. Despite frequent after-midnight trips to the basement bedroom (two flights of stairs), Paul and I continued to let things be. We didn't want to disrupt Luke and Sam and their shared bedroom right across the hall from us. They've shared a bedroom since we moved into this house in 2006 and I just didn't want to break that up until now.

After removing everything (and I mean everything) from the twins' basement room for safety, I realized that their room was going to waste. We recently removed the toddler beds because they kept taking the mattresses off and moving the bed frames around the room. Yup. They do things that my other kids would never dreamed of doing.

As Luke gets older, I decided it might be time for him to have his own room in the basement although my heart breaks a little about it since I think this will impact Sam deeply. I suggested to Paul that we move Luke to the basement, move the twins to Tess's room on the main floor, and move Tess upstairs into Luke's old spot. Tess would now become Sam's roommate. It's a massive change. (Didn't I say change was coming?) I'm still not satisfied with this plan either. Sam said he'd rather have the twins in his room than his sister. I kind of agree with this sentiment. (Currently, Sam and Luke have the biggest room.) It can easily fit 3 kids, but frankly, I don't trust the twins and their crazy whims. I can't remove everything from Sam's room to ensure their safety either. Honestly, I don't think that I will be able to make these changes and have them be optimal. I'm just trying to work with my parameters. I realized that Sam and the twins are the same age spread as Sam and Luke. Luke is five years older than Sam and there's been some growing pains among those two for some time now. I guess it'll never be perfect, but as I feel that change is in order, I'll proceed with the plan.

This plan involves a lot of painting,  packing, and moving furniture. It won't be easy, but it's time for some transition in this house. It just might be the thing to kick start some renewal for everyone in this house.

Suggestions and ideas are welcome.

Portraits of the twins



My friend Leah, aspiring photographer, recently accepted the challenge of  photographing the twins. They posed quite the challenge while not posing for her at all. Yet, she captured them in all their cuteness. Thanks, Leah!

Twins in a Canoe

James and Liam in a canoe

Summer Knitting

I just wrote this long post on how I've taken a break from a lot of my hobbies this summer, but I haven't stopped knitting entirely. I knit this cute little summer tunic for Tess. I knit this in a slow leisurely manner and it still didn't take me very long. However, I hate how this turned out in Ty-Dy Cotton. I'm going to re-knit this in solid colors. I also need to take a better picture not using my phone.  The back of this tunic is adorable with crossing i-cord straps. I definitely need better pics here.

This is the picture of Phoebe's Sun Tunic from the book, Phoebe's Birthday. Doesn't it look so much better in solid contrasting colors?? I must re-knit this before Summer is over.

Summer Renewal

As I find myself almost in mid-July already, I've realized just how much I've neglected my blog. It's not because I haven't had anything to say, but actually the quite the contrary. I have too much to say, but I have kept silent realizing that I needed a break from just about everything. If there is a theme to any of my sporadic blog posts this year, it's burn out. I intentionally took a break from many of my favorite hobbies because even though I love my hobbies and passions, I started to feel like these things were making me feel like I had homework all. the. time. Unfinished projects all around me made me feel like I had these deadlines hanging over me. Of course, all these deadlines are self-imposed, but nevertheless, I realized that I needed to feel some freedom my own ambition. I'm a person who likes being busy and my self-imposed break from quilting, gardening, and knitting isn't easy. I see that I take much solace in creating things and the break from such activities is weird for me. I don't like doing nothing and I'm not doing nothing, but it's still weird to cease doing things that have somehow come to define me in some ways. I'm not sure it's entirely peaceful to let go, even temporarily, of enjoyable activities, but it seems that it's required of me this summer. I've been luxuriating in reading more. Reading is a passion that I cannot let go. Reading invigorates me in ways I can't always fathom. I know that I sound vague and distant and entirely too serious, but that's actually because I can't seem to write eloquently about the small things that are stirring my soul this summer.

Despite being very busy this summer, we've slowed down enormously. My days are stretching longer and not just because there is more daylight, but even as I resist a somewhat monotonous day, I know that we need them to recharge. Honestly, this summer feels like I'm getting the rest I need. I can feel myself embracing this rest because I know that come mid-August, I'm going to have be renewed ready or not. My friend Elizabeth has been writing about  renewal on her blog this year and I've learned that I need to devote some time to self-care. I've neglected my health in so many ways depleting myself into oblivion.

  I can I feel a sea change coming. Actually, I've noticed that change is what's in store for me in so many ways- kids, friendships, etc. It's not a bad thing, but change nonetheless. I know that I've resisted this unknown change for a long time, but why? I've been holding onto an old paradigm that hasn't been working for a long time. I've been clinging to things in my life that have depleted and zapped the energy I need for my kids. On the horizon of renewal, I am thinking deeply about making some permanent changes in self-care. I'm not gentle with myself. I demand a lot of myself. I'm harsh on myself. I've longed blamed my crazy life with five children for my exhaustion, but I only recently learned that I've sabotaged myself just as much. As much as I crave and embrace simplicity, I don't always live it.

I may not be out on the beach reading a novel under an umbrella this summer, but I am reveling in the joy that simplicity brings in these brief slower days.

Today, I intend to make Fudge popsicles with Sam. Today, I intend to read late into the night. Today, I intend to enjoy the pockets of silence in my very noisy home. Today, I'm going to be gentle and kind.