Friday, April 23, 2010

Time (Mis)Management

Anyone who has kids and works from home (or even anyone who just has kids) will confirm what I am about to say: there should be 40 hours in a day.

My days lately go like this:
Colden wakes up around 6:30 or 7:00 in the morning. (Sometimes after a night of not sleeping, as I have discussed earlier.) I sit up in bed with him for a few minutes and check my email while he has his morning cup of milk, and then I jump in the shower while he watches Baby Einstein. I get us both changed and dressed, then I make breakfast. We eat breakfast and I clean up the dishes and get things out of reach of the dog so that he doesn't finish cleaning the dishes for me while I'm otherwise occupied. (Ha!)

By this time, it's usually about 8:30 or 9:00. So I start answering emails and writing blog posts and checking message boards on to see what's going on. Colden is usually good for an hour or two playing by himself, but then he wants to hang out with me, and watching me bead or work on the computer is just not fun for him.

I give Colden his snack around 11:00 along with a glass of juice or another glass of milk, and then we let Moose outside, go say hi to the chickens, and run around the yard for a bit.

We come back inside around 11:45 and I make lunch. If I'm lucky, we have leftovers that can just be heated up quickly. If I'm not lucky, I try to make the quickest, healthiest meal that Colden will eat, which very often is macaroni and cheese.

After lunch, I clean up the dishes again, and if the dishwasher is full, Colden will start it for me. (He's such a good little helper.) Then we read a story and have a little glass of milk, and Colden will take a nap. Sometimes he won't nap right after lunch, though, or if it's a Thursday, we go to Lake Placid for tumbling class.

And of course, there are Friday morning play groups, and trips to the vet to get Moose's blood work monitored, and all the other things that go along with life. (Like diaper changes, phone calls, illnesses, etc.)

Once or sometimes twice a week, I will have a singing group rehearsal in the late afternoon/early evening, and so I trek up to Plattsburgh. If I have a gig and a rehearsal in the same week, then there are two nights that I go to Plattsburgh.

All of this can add up to an incredibly stressful week (or month) where I feel as though I am constantly trying to get caught up, and my to-do list just keeps getting longer and longer. Sometimes I wonder if I am really just bad at time management, but then I realize, I somehow manage to get an incredible amount of work done while taking care of Colden at the same time. I know other women who have tried to work at home with their toddlers, and they have all given up in favor of going back to work at a "normal" job, although their jobs will cover the cost of child care.

So, because I love my job at and I love designing new beading projects and teaching, I am giving up the singing group at the beginning of May so I can focus on the work that is bringing in money and so that I can have a little more time to spend with Tom and Colden.

Oh, and I forgot to mention - somehow, in between everything else, I am now trying to make it to the fitness center two or three times a week to get some serious exercise. I'm tired of being the fattest mommy at play group!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Beading Therapy

So, after my little breakdown the other day, I picked up this pattern by Carol Dean Sharpe and started stitching. It was incredibly therapeutic. Made me feel like I was accomplishing something, even if nothing else was working!

I decided to use these transparent gold lustered Delicas for the main color. I've had them in my stash for years, and they were absolutely perfect paired with the dusty rose lined and cream opaque beads. It worked up much faster than I thought it would - now all I need to do is figure out what kind of a clasp I want on it. I might get some of those cool basket-weave ends from Designer's Findings and use a magnet clasp. Or I might make my own toggle.

Ohhhh, so I went to bed last night feeling sort of like I was running a fever. Achy, warm, and just not at all well. Colden woke up around midnight and then again around 5, but he spent part of the night with his little toddler foot right in the middle of my back. When I woke up this morning, I was still feeling warm and achy and queasy to boot. Tom's mom, who turns 70 today!, offered to take Colden for the day, so I have spent most of this day in bed, nursing cold drinks and taking Motrin to keep the fever down.

So, while I spent the day in bed with Moose, I designed three or four new patterns that I'll publish on later tonight or tomorrow, and two of them I plan on making up and writing complete directions on how to make the projects.

And maybe tomorrow I'll tackle that perpetual pile of clothing next to the bed that Colden so enjoys climbing. He reminds me of a little miniature mountaineer when he does that. Can't be good.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Having a beading breakdown.

Nothing that I have been trying to do today has come out right. I spent most of the day working on a tutorial for African Helix, but when I slid the beadwork off the stick, even though it was beaded in the right direction and looked perfect on the stick, the panels popped, not the piping! So frustrating. That's the third time I've tried it in two days, and I am at the end of my rope. (No pun intended.)

So I thought I'd take a break and work on the bead embroidered bracelet tutorial that I've been writing for the last week. I went into Stealth Mommy Mode, snuck into Colden's room while he was taking his nap, and carefully removed a bag of smallish cabochons from the cabinet without waking him up. I pulled out the E6000 and a toothpick, and....glued the cabs on the wrong side of the Stiff Stuff.

So at that point, I was ready to throw myself out the dining room window and down into the newly landscaped herb garden where Tom was working. Instead, I decided to work on a peyote stitched cuff bracelet designed by Carol Dean Sharpe called "Dissections". I got it as part of a trade we did back at the beginning of March, and it and the beads have been sitting on my work pad for a month now. I figured, I can't go wrong with good old two-drop peyote, can I?

I'm pleased to report that I've completed the first 1 1/2" of the cuff and that I love the design. I'll have to post a pic later tonight. The colors I chose - a creamy AB, a metallic raspberry and a lined dusty rose - look as if they might smell as good as my favorite rose and sandlewood bubble bath.

And a bubble bath sure as heck sounds good right about now...