Praying and Playing

The kids were playing with their saint dolls in the car today. What follows is a conversation between St. Christina, a 13th century Belgian saint who was known for levitating, and St. Michael, the Arch Angel. (He of “defend us in battle” fame.)

Buddy: Hi! I’m St. Michael the Elf Angel.

Squeaks: No, Buddy. ARCH.

Buddy: Yeah. Elf Angel.

Squeaks: *sigh* Okay. Hi! How are you!

Buddy: I’m good. Have you met my best friend Buddy? He’s my best friend.

Squeaks: Oh! Yes! He’s my best friend too!

(My mother’s heart warms.)

Buddy: Can we get married?

Squeaks: Um. No. But we can be friends!

(Oooh. Friend-zoned. Saint style.)

Buddy: Okay. I have a sword.

Squeaks: I know. A silver sword. I have…I don’t know what this is in my hand.

Buddy: How about I hit you with the sword?

(If it was safe to do a headdesk while driving, I totally would have.

And while this post is not sponsored, it’s just random hilarious stuff my kids say, I suggest you check out the gorgeous (and fun!) saint dolls at Praying and Playing on Facebook for great gifts!

What I Do All Day

When I was in college and grad school, I was super productive. I was trained by years of homeschooling to be a self-starter who loved her schedule and to-do list and got stuff done. My favorite day of the semester was when I went through and scheduled everything that I had due so I would be finished at least a week ahead of time. I thought I was pretty hot stuff at the whole “getting-things-done” thing.

I had no idea.

I had no idea what real productivity meant. Because there is NOTHING as productive as a mother whose children are otherwise occupied for a few hours outside of the house. If the State Department offered babysitting, we could figure out this whole Middle East thing. And do a few loads of laundry.

My kids were at their grandparents for like five hours this afternoon. I got the following accomplished.

  • Cleaned up from breakfast and the day of school.
  • Made flashcards for all the subjects for the coming week.
  • Pick up rest of house.
  • Vacuum up after Buddy’s toast breakfast in the living room. Because we’re classy.
  • Stage and take pictures of two new Etsy products.
  • Upload listings for two new Etsy products.
  • Order supplies and schedule three new orders that came in today. (Including figuring out where Wailai is in the world.)
  • Almost finished a knitting project I’ve been working on for like forever.
  • Put three coats of paint on some wooden hearts (oooh stay tuned guys!)
  • Sealed a set of coasters.
  • Did four loads of laundry.
  • Changed kids’ sheets and cleaned up their rooms.
  • Made all the beds.
  • Washed and dried and straighened hair. (This is a PROCESS, y’all.)
  • Watched episode 1 of Poldark.
  • Fell in love with Poldark.
  • Texted Sister to see when Poldark would start getting Biblical with the redhead kitchen maid.
  • Was assured it was coming soon.
  • Ordered groceries.
  • Ordered cold meds for husband.
  • Washed hands like eight times.
  • Went through emails.
  • Prepped for meeting tomorrow.
  • Started work on a headband.
  • Almost finished a super long knitting project that I am so done with.
  • Cleaned the basement.
  • Cleaned out kitchen cabinets of candy from Halloween.
  • Sat and stared at the snow softly falling and counted my blessings.
  • Did some more laundry.
  • Wrote this post.

Grad school me was cute and skinny and hungry all the time, but Mom Me? I get shiz DONE.

Temperature Blanket 2018

I love big projects that span the year, like photo challenges or journaling or whatever. But since I refuse to commit to being photo-ready every day for the next year (especially when everyone around me is being felled by the stomach flu), I decided to focus on a knitting project for the year.

The concept of the temperature blanket is simple- just knit one or two rows each day in a color associated with the temperature. You can make it any size, use any colors, stitch, yarn, and needles, and pick the high, low, average, or whatever temperature you’d like.

This is my first one, so I’m going pretty typical. I’m using worsted weight yarn because it’s cheap in large quantities, size 9 needles, and a garter stitch so it’s cozy and really shows off the colors without any complications.

The hardest part was picking colors and temps- living in Wisconsin we typically see below zero and above 100 without batting an eye. That’s a lot of colors (and a lot of money) if you do a typical 5-degree spread. Here’s what I did instead-

I’m using Red Heart Super Saver yarn- they have a ton of colors to choose from that allow me to stay away from the oranges and reds I don’t really like.

For my blanket, I wanted it to be super cozy, so I cast on 300 stitches and am knitting two rows a day. This works well because all the colors “switch” on the same side so there’s a seamless “good” side to the blanket when it’s finished. It will also make it long enough to be cozy. Hopefully it should end up around 60×70 inches.

These are the colors I have on hand for below 0 to 55. I didn’t think I’d need the in JANUARY IN WISCONSIN but apparently I was wrong. Thank you, Amazon Prime.

See? It’s super simple and a really cool record of the year. I love that there will be a pop of green in there and I can remember, oh yeah, remember the day it was 59 in January?

It would also be cool to do to commemorate an anniversary year or a baby’s first year.

(And speaking of which, I could totally make you one through my Etsy shop, linked on the sidebar. Mama gotta hustle.)

Of course, I could get sick of it by March. In which case I’ll have a bunch of yarn in weird colors. But for now it’s better than putting on mascara every day.

New Year, New You

Everything this time of year is all “THIS IS MY YEAR GUYS! THIS IS THE YEAR I GET IT TOGETHER!!! HERE’S ALL THE THINGS I WANT TO CHANGE ABOUT MYSELF!”

Well, I’m pretty happy with myself. I have an awesome marriage, an awesome family, and an amazing house. I get to homeschool my kids, and I have amazon subscribe and save to bring toilet paper to my house every month. I’m basically living the middle-class dream.

However, I can get behind this resolution thing.

1.) Drink more coffee.

Sometimes I forget about my coffee and I find that by noon I haven’t had more than half a cup. And then it’s too late to drink more because I’m an old woman and can’t drink coffee ten hours before I go to sleep.

So I’m going to get better about forcing as much caffeine into my system before I get distracted.

2.) Embrace the nap.

Guys, I get to nap almost every day. I’m blessed with sleepy children and an open schedule and dammit, I get up at 5 am most days and homeschool all day and by 1 pm? I AM DONE GUYS. D. U. N. DONE. And you know what? There’s nothing wrong with that. I refuse to be ashamed of that.

3.) Admit that I just don’t like fish.

I get that fish is healthy, but when I force myself to cook it for dinner I just end up pushing it around my plate and feeling bad making my kids eat it because they don’t get to wait until they go to bed to demolish a pint of coffee ice cream.

Just make more vegetables instead.

4.) Know that I’m not a bad person if I leave things undone on my to-do list.

I’m a bit of a control freak (I know, shocking?) and I can’t STAND it when I don’t get everything done I’m “supposed” to. But really, the only list that matters is “keep children alive” and that I’ve never failed at yet. So cut myself some slack on the laundry.

5.) I don’t have to read 150 books this year.

I read 154 books last year and that’s awesome, but thanks to Goodreads and my obsessive nature I think that’s what I should be doing every year. Even though this year I have a business and a kid that’s older and doing more school and generally more obligations and you know what? Just read for fun. You’re not in grad school anymore.

6.) Let Squeaks keep her own room organized.

Again with the controlling. But she’s almost 8, she knows how to clean, and honestly with the mashup of Frozen, My Little Pony, and Random Unicorn Crap? It’s never going to look like a Pottery Barn Kids catalog. I’ll reclaim it when she moves out and I wish I had treasured these moments of unorganized, brightly colored chaos more.

7.) Organize the craft/homeschooling closet so getting the laminator out isn’t a harrowing experience.

This is as close a legit resolution I will make this year.

8.) Watch all the shows my sister has told me to because she’s never steered me wrong.

Alias Grace? GUYS GO WATCH IT NOW. AND THEN CALL ME AFTER EPISODE 5.

9.) Drink more water.

It makes it easier to drink more wine.

(I’M KIDDING.)

10.) Generally access my uncrazy side, as Darryl would say.

Catholic Sistas Post- Praying with My Husband

So I’m super honored and happy to be able to write for the amazing Catholic women’s blog Catholic Sistas. Here is my post from this month. 

“I do not know why I had this block against praying with my spouse. I loved to pray. I spent most of my college and graduate school years immersed in Church history and documents,  a form of prayer that was very akin to falling in love. I attended daily Mass whenever I could. There was even a period of time when I said the Liturgy of the Hours (before children, obviously. Hah.) I loved to pray. I loved my husband. I just never wanted to sit down and consciously pray out loud with him. It made me uncomfortable.”

Read the rest here.