Teaching Table Manners


As a pregnant lady, I have given in to the fact that I can’t have some of my favorite things for a little while. Things like wine, or a splash of Irish cream in my coffee, or excessive amounts of caffeine. One of the things that I really miss and even have crazy cravings for, is raw fish. It isn’t even something I eat more than once a month or less during non-pregnant times, but there’s something about being forbidden from having something that just makes me a little crazy about it.

A few nights ago, I went to Cheesecake Factory because I happened to be nearby (about an hour away from home) and I figured it’d be a fun treat for the family for me to swing through and pick up some treats. I sat at the bar and ordered a (lame, non-alcoholic) drink to sip while I waited. A woman sat down next to me and also ordered something to-go, as well as the tuna tartare appetizer for while she waited.

When I got home, over dinner I said, “There was a woman next to me having the tuna tartare, and it looked amazing. It was all stacked up with fancy sauces drizzled over it. I was so jealous!” And Bear laughed a bit, because he knows about the craving for raw fish that always crops up in my pregnancies.

Dash piped up, “So you guys shared it?”
I smiled, “No, it was someone I didn’t know, buddy.”
But he wasn’t done, and asked “Didn’t she even let you have any? Did you ask nicely to have some?”
I told him it isn’t polite to ask strangers in a restaurant for some of their food, because they ordered their food for themselves, and I could order my own food for myself.
“…So you only took one bite?”
At this point Bear and I were roaring with laughter.

Sometimes I forget that the social niceties I take for granted just don’t occur to a small child naturally. When we’re eating at home, if there’s anything I have on my plate that the boys don’t also have (usually once they’ve finished their own), they know they’re welcome to share it. It’s always under the condition that they ask nicely, because I don’t want their grubby little hands snatching at other people’s plates, but there aren’t many times that a polite, “please” won’t work.

Looks like I have some more table manners to impart.

Losing My Bling


When my husband proposed, he wasn’t rolling in cash. I barely had a thought for the ring not being pricey enough, because I was head over heels for my amazing boyfriend! So our first ring was a white gold band with just the barest little bit of a diamond; the kind with the setting surrounded by metal shaped in a notched way that reflects light to give the optical illusion that it is a continuation of the diamond. I was happy with it. Except that the ring itself was kind of hollow, so that it looked whole from above, but the two super thin edges dug into my finger just enough to wear on me over time, and it started to get really uncomfortable. It trapped moisture every time I washed my hands, which would end up with my skin being chaffed.

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After a while, when we were doing more comfortably, my husband got me an amazing upgrade. The ring was custom made and the band had an antique feel to it, with an emerald cut central stone and intricately carved designs along the edges. There were six accent diamonds along each side of the band, that were the exact size of the center stone in my original ring. Without being ostentatious or at all gaudy, this ring blew my other ring away. And best of all, the band didn’t chafe or dig into my finger!

20141122_07532720141122_075316(side by side)

Fast forward some time and one day, after a particularly thorough cleaning to prepare our house for a showing, my ring was missing. I didn’t realize it until we were out of the house, but I remembered when I had taken it off; I was standing in the kitchen. I often took it off when cleaning the kitchen and set it on the shelf of a chalkboard near the sink, up where the kids couldn’t reach it. But we were in the process of selling the house, and had stripped away all the clutter, including the chalkboard, my go-to ring spot. I looked around the sink and counters and when I didn’t find it, I searched the garbage disposal (while shuddering because I couldn’t stop thinking of the blades magically starting up a la final destination). I thought of the kids possibly finding this sparkly, irresistible trinket to play with, and started to really worry. I enlisted Bear’s help, and he went so far as to disassemble the sinks all over the house to check in the pipes. The house was spotlessly clean, so it actually made it easier to hunt through everything. We emptied the toy box and every toy bin and first looked under, then fully moved the furniture in every room. Our back deck had only about a foot and a half of clearance and much less at some points, but Bear crawled under it with a flashlight and carefully scoured every space that could be reached. He emerged covered in dirt and spider webs, but with no ring. We pored over the yard with the intensity of the parents in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and when that didn’t turn up any result, we did the same to the neighbor’s yard, in case the boys had thrown it over the fence. We emptied the kitchen cabinets to search behind everything. We got to that desperate point where we were searching in places that made no sense, like pulling everything out of the linen closet in the guest bathroom that hadn’t been used in months. Bear even disassembled the toilets to see if something could be caught in the pipes, despite knowing it was a very slim chance anything would have stayed there beyond a flush or two.

Ozzie had been caught trying to flush some toy cars and silverware and even a spatula. We finally gave in to the idea that the ring had likely been flushed. I went back to my trusty old starter ring, and we sold the house. If it was still there, it was gone forever. Whenever a funny ‘my kid flushed x’ story came up, I had a real whopper to share. Lots of friends commiserated over my boys having helped the ring to disappear, and the consensus was that it was a hard lesson to learn about keeping valuables out of the reach of kids who just don’t fully understand how much trouble that trinket will cause.

When we moved into the new house, we unpacked lots of things but kept lots of others packed up. This isn’t a permanent move. Today I pulled out a robe that I haven’t worn in quite some time, and I slipped my hand into the pocket. It’s been washed since we unpacked it, but not worn. There was a bit of lint and one of those errant strings that seem to grow spontaneously in pockets, the string was tangled in something and I gave it a good tug.

There in my hand was a homemade bead necklace that Dash had created, some string from the robe, and my wedding ring. For a second I stared at it, disbelieving, and even looked over at my left hand to see that I was still wearing my other one. Then I gave a giddy yell and held it up, yelling “Oh my gosh, BEAR LOOK WHAT I FOUND!!!” and laughing and jumping like a little kid. To me this was like finding thousands of misplaced dollars just hanging out in my pocket. It was amazing!

Bear realized what I had in hand and far from sharing my glee, he looked like I’d spit at him. His jaw dropped open with intense irritation and in a flat voice he said, “Are. you. kidding. me?”

I was bewildered and asked, “Why aren’t you happy? This is awesome! I love this ring, and it was crazy expensive! It isn’t lost anymore!” His bizarre reaction wasn’t going to spoil my mood, I was practically dancing.

He rolled his head back and gave a huge sigh. To the ceiling he said, “And I just ordered a replacement. It was going to be ready in about 12 weeks.” He hugged me, and then went on, “And the replacement cost even more.”

Ohhhhhhhhh. Oops.

Aside from thwarting my poor husband’s generous gift-giving attempt, I owe the kids an apology. They aren’t actually little jewelry thieves, flushing away my precious possessions. I’ve just been spreading lies. On the bright side, they’re still young enough that they weren’t really offended.

Growing Up Sideways


sideways

My boys are often very kind and sweet, and they butter me up with compliments about how I am the best at cutting apples, or make the yummiest grilled cheese sandwiches, or give the best snuggles. Other times, they are very good at taking me down a peg.

Last night as I was tucking Dash into bed, I kissed him and told him he was getting to be such a big, grown up boy. He said, “You’re growing up a lot, too, Mom!” I laughed and said I was as tall as I was ever going to get. He elaborated, “But you’re getting bigger than Daddy in the sideways way!”

Burn.

At six+ months pregnant, I am indeed getting bigger “in the sideways way.” At least he didn’t use the dreaded F word.

Catching up


Ive been the worst blogger lately. Okay, so not quite the very worst, but the fact that there hasn’t been a post since April and they were pretty sporadic for a few months before that speaks volumes. But! I was still maintaining some level of internet presence, by sharing funny situations that came up or things my kids said. I hope for this to one day become a sort of way for my little beasties to know how life was before they hit the big “record” button in their brains, so I’m just going to take this space up with a bit of an update. If this is the absolute least fun and it’s too long, skim it or skip it! We’ll be back to normal length blogs in no time! :)

January-

“Mom, I don’t think you can fit through there.”
“Through where?”
“The door.”
(Ok, I know I could stand to skip a meal or two, but geez!)
“What?”
“You can’t fit so you don’t have to leave anywhere for a while.”

The hubby walked in and caught our oldest (3.5) having, ahem, *relations* with a cup in the bathtub last night. I suppose we need to teach him to hang a sock on the door?

I handed a glass of juice to Bear, and Dash exclaimed, “Hey, that’s MY douche!”
Bear and I exchanged a look, suppressing a laugh.
“Oh, I mean juice! It’s not douche, it’s juice.”
Whew. That’d be one helluva mix-up.

I had a friend in town to visit, and although they’ve only even met a couple of times, Dash demanded that he wanted to go home to L.A. with his “Uncle.” Isn’t preschool a little young to be trying to move out?

February-

We were all sitting around the kitchen table and I was trying to explain that there was a point before Ozzie was a part of our family. I finished with, “that’s why he wasn’t here.”
Without missing a beat, Dash said, “Yeah, he was in Mexico!”

Dash calls our pantry “the bakery.” It makes it sound like we have a much less processed diet. Yes, even our crackers are fresh from the bakery.

Ozzie keeps telling me my coffee is “hottie.” I know they say, ‘You are what you eat.’ Can we also be what we drink?

March-

Remember before kids, when it was easy to marathon right through a season of [insert favorite show]? Now I am hoping to get one episode in before the kids wake up, because there’s no way I can actually watch anything that isn’t animated once they’re around.

I forgot about the time springing forward and got really excited for a minute when I thought the boys let me sleep in until 7. I looked at my husband and said “Yay! Maybe this is the beginning of them sleeping a little later. Maybe they won’t be up at 6 for the rest of my life!” He just gave me a flat look and said, “Time changed.” Le sigh.

“We found a really fun game! We fall down!”
“Then what?”
“Then we laugh!”

“Want some milk?”
“Yes! I want milk every hecking day!”
Oh, kids. Coming up with their newfangled phrases and being all jiggy and rad.

April-

“I want to stay home, you and my brother can go out by yourself. I’m a man now. Mans can stay home.”
My 3yo is feeling pretty independent. That or he thinks I’m crazy enough to unleash him on the house unchecked!

I’m sick, the boys are wild animals, and I turned to a halls cough drop for a little relief. The wrappers have inspiring quotes, and mine said, “Buckle down and go forth!” Well to that I say STOP JUDGING ME, HALLS! I’M HAVING A ROUGH DAY!

We’re watching Dennis the Menace, and out of the blue Dash asks, “Can I have my bow and arrows today?” I’m a little afraid considering source of his idea!

Dash told me his kids will be robots. So I guess he’s *really* into computers.

May-

“Mom, why was Daddy driving in his car with no pants?”
“Come again?”
“He was in his car.”
“And…”
“He was driving!”
“Uh huh.”
“And he wasn’t wearing pants so he had room to dance around!”
“Was this in a dream?”
“No, that’s silly. “
“But it’s not silly to drive around without any pants on?”
“Yes! Because there’s not a lot of room for dancing if you have pants all over your legs!”

Every night, Dash gets out of bed a few times to play in the bathroom and put off sleep. He invokes this ritual by asking to “go potty” because he knows we won’t deny him that. Tonight was the first time Ozzie tried to get in on this. Nice try kid, but you don’t get to try that oh-so-clever trick until you’re out of diapers!

Yesterday we were at the grocery store and they had an area for kids to decorate cupcakes for Mother’s Day. Ozzie mostly just ate sprinkles while Dash decorated. This led to greenish teal poop today. For Mother’s Day, he made me something *extra* special!

I walked into the kitchen and saw little feet poking out from behind the island, and ravenous “mmmm, yummy! Om, mmmm, nom nom!” sounds were coming from the same area. I assumed the boys were tearing into some chips or chocolate. I peeked around to see Ozzie going to town on some leeks from the garden. Parenting win!

Dash: When you give a girl some of your drink, she will be nice to you.
Me: It’s always nice to share.
Dash: When you give her the drink, you have to tell her not to hog it though.
me: well, you probably don’t need to say anything unless there’s a problem.
Dash: yeah, if there’s a problem. Like if she was trying to kiss me, that’s a problem. I just want to share and be nice, I don’t want her kissing me. She’s a girl!

The boys were fighting and I was in the process of brokering a peace agreement:
“Will you accept your brother’s apology?”
“No. I don’t like de’cepting his ‘pologies.”
“Why?”
“Because… I don’t remember why I’m mad!”

June-

The worst part about my kids asking for water 500x per day is that even though I know they will a) take a sip and then leave it somewhere to be knocked over; b) not even take a sip before leaving it somewhere; c) pour it on themselves and freak out, and also need new clothes; or d) pour it out somewhere and likely destroy something….. even knowing this, I can’t deny them a drink of water because even *prisoners* get as much water as they want.

To give them renewed interest in some of their old toys, I made the boys a little track to drive on. And it’s just masking tape, so it took 5 minutes to make, and will be just as easy to clean up!

Dash showed me that my artistic skills need honing. When he saw me making the parking lot spaces he said, “It’s a piano! How do cars play a piano?”

Ozzie isn’t usually the destructive one, but this AM he decided to step up his game. he dumped an entire container of mineral makeup all over the bed, window sill, and curtains. For those of you who have mineral makeup, you know that it is somehow magically clingy in a way that normal powders aren’t. This is the ONE time I wish my makeup would just come off with no effort.

July-

An overnight beach trip with the boys means eating out. There are only so many ways to nicely say, “Please don’t lick the ketchup cup.” I’m pretty sure they’re doing it on purpose.

“Mom, everyone knows you’re a girl. “
“Yes, they probably do.”
“That means they know you have a vagina!”
“… uh, yes. Just like all girls.”
“That’s so funny. And you have a butt!”

Dash and Ozzie are using pipe cleaners and pasta strainers to do a little exercise in fine motor coordination. They had a blast!

Today Dash made me the proudest Mom on the planet. Out of the blue he asked for a “stesto-scope” and proceeded to explain that he needs to be able to look through the scope and see tiny germs because he can’t see them without it. I pointed out that what he wants is a microscope, and he said, “I KNOW, mom. And we need one, so we better go to a office because offices have them.” Not even 4yrs old, already a scientist.

The boys enjoy tomato soup, but I should’ve known the second helping Ozzie begged for wasn’t going to be eaten.

Dash and Ozzie had a blast splashing around in the wading pool at Pioneer park! I’m still waiting for Ozzie to grasp that water filled with dozens of grubby children is not the best for drinking.

While enjoying some cottage cheese, Dash asked what it was made of. I told him it’s made of cow’s milk. He said, “Aaaaand leaves! They use them to tickle the cow until he laughs and laughs and his milk turns into lumps.” His way sounds way more fun than reality so I just said, “Only girl cows make milk, but I suppose they might use leaves.”
“Oh, they do. I know it.”

August-

“If you want to stomp, get off of the deck. You can stomp on the lawn.”
“But that doesn’t even make too much noise!”

Ozzie wouldn’t sleep in his bed, or sleep in Dash’s bed, or even sleep in my bed. The only place he wanted to nap? Curled up next to the dirty laundry basket. Go figure!

Me:”Please don’t put your butt on the pillow.”
Dash, very offended: “My butt is not a butt! It’s a bottom!”
Ozzie, in a tone of recrimination: “Butt, butt, Mama!”
…At least they have each other’s backs.

When I told Dash he was officially 4 now, he said, “Wait, is four big? I think four is really big.” I told him four is as big as he’s ever been and he said, “I knew it! I thought I was really big, and I was!”

September-

Children have a sixth sense that tells them when their parents want them up early, because those are the ONLY days they sleep in.

“Mom?”
“Yeah buddy?”
“I just wanted to give you a hug. I don’t want to pinch you on your boobie or anything.”
“Um… okaaaaaay.”
I can’t help but feel like I’ve missed something here.

Iggy Azalea was on the radio and Dash called out over the music, “Why is she saying ‘I wear panties?’ This is a weird song!”

Ozzie (2) has heard Dash telling people he’s four now and so insists he’s also four. He can’t stand to be younger. If only they understood there’s a point where older is no longer better, it’d blow their little minds.

Dash came downstairs wearing angry bird boxer briefs and asked, “Can I just wear this today? I’m really comfortable.”

Ozzie snuck a green bell pepper and was eating it like an apple. Best part? He was just so excited that I let him keep it (since cookies are always confiscated), he actually finished it rather than taking a few mouse nibbles before abandoning it.

Dash learned an unpleasant lesson about how a wasp will react when you attempt to “clap” it. Hint: it isn’t with a polite request to leave it be.

“Dad, I took off my sweatshirt because my pants were getting too hot in there.”

October-

Dash-“I know why you got this string cheese, Mom. Because you love me!”
Me-“I do love you. I also got it for Daddy because he likes it. And I love him.”
Ozzie-“No! Don’t talk my Daddy like that!”
Me-“Don’t talk about Daddy like that? Hey, Bear, at least he has your back.”
Ozzie (indignant, touching Dash’s back)-“I my back! And my bruhr back!”
It’s a good thing this new baby is a girl. I need an ally; the boys gang up even when there’s no conflict!

This morning Dash woke up, climbed into my bed, and said “Let’s call Nana!” It was 6 am for us, which made it 5 am for her. I told him it’s way too early to make calls to Alaska. He came up with the best reasoning, “Oh. I bet they can’t get a signal when it’s so dark. The signal can’t see how to get to her house.”

“When I grow up, my kids will have a great toybox.”
I misheard him, so I asked, “Why should it be grey?”
“No, great! It’s gonna have arms!”
“A toybox with arms?”
“So they can pick up all the toys. That way I don’t have to clean up the toys before I go to work.”
“You could have your kids help clean up like you do now.”
“No way! The arms can do it.”

I met up with another mom to buy some used baby items. The boys were playing in the car in the driveway with the doors open while I was with her in her garage, gathering the items and paying her. As we drove away, Dash said, “I should tell you I had to go potty.” I told him we’d be home in a minute, where he could go. He said, “No, I went already.” With an inward sigh I asked where, imagining a wet spot lurking in the car. “On the grass in the lady’s yard.”

What’s with almost every kids movie having at least one parent either dead or else just gone? Or bonus to the ones with two parents who die in the beginning! Way to set up parents everywhere to have a hard talk at the beginning of every movie. Especially considering they probably put it on just trying to get a moment’s peace.

….And now we’re caught up! Whew :) Hopefully now I won’t feel like there’s a glaring hole from April to nearly November. I mean realistically there is still the hole in posts, but now it won’t be glaring. Right? I’m going with it.

Nitpicking Nutrition


It’s very ironic how much time I spend thinking about what the meals in the house are made up of. Does it have enough protein? Too much starch? Is it at least half fruits and veggies in my kids diet? Ok, at least a third? And yet I find myself eating mindless, crappy foods.

I’m one of those terrible, horrible moms who give their kids junk sometimes. They have had a happy meal or two in their lives, and I’m sure they’ll eat worse. But when we’re home I try to give them well-rounded meals comprised of things that are mostly good, healthy choices. So yes, they get chicken nuggets, but they’re the all natural ones with whole wheat breading. Or they get greek yogurt instead of the kind with half as much protein and twice the sugar. When they get a fruit cup, it’s the kind packed in fruit juice instead of syrup. We get the all natural mac n’ cheese rather than the kind from kraft. You get the picture.

But with all of the planning and preparation, the label comparisons and substitutions I make are almost always when I’m planning to feed someone else. Maybe I’m not feeling hungry when I wake up and feed the kids eggs and english muffins, so I just have coffee. But then when I am hungry, the kids are on my heels. I don’t really have time to go making an elaborate meal, so it’s just a granola bar, or a cookie.When I’m cleaning up after cooking a meal, the kids are eating. Then I find myself eating over the sink, while watching them run off to play again. It seems like some catastrophe is always more likely if I take a minute to actually sit at the table, so it’s rarely a risk I’m willing to take.

 

By the end of the day I’m fried and no wonder! I’m running on fumes, but giving the kids healthy energy sources.  They’re ready to take on the world while I’m just counting down until bedtime. I turn to sugar to pep myself up, and it’s just a cycle of junk.

I think I need to have a nutritionist follow me around smacking away chips and handing me carrots in their place. If she does dishes, that’d be even better!

 

Throwing Our Money Away


I’ve come to the conclusion that things I have always known since I was a little kid are still true. I must be some kind of genius! The tendency to completely ignore all of the big expensive toys holds true for my kids, just like it did for me and my siblings.

Living in Western WA, we get a lot of grey days, a lot of chilly days, a lot of rainy days. So we have the boys sleep in one room and have devoted the other room as a play room. In our play room, the boys are  spoiled rotten pretty lucky, with nearly a dozen bins of different toys, divided up by category (i.e. blocks, dress-up costumes, tools, cars, etc.), plus they have an awesome climber that looks like this:

indoor climber

And yet, they mainly play with the laundry baskets and an old exercise ball. they sometimes push around the furniture in their room, and they DO play with the other toys, but only long enough to scatter them to every square inch of the room, then come to sit and stare at me with puppy eyes like they have nothing to do.

On the rare dry and (at least a little) warm days, they have plenty to play with outside. There is a tricycle, a small bicycle with training wheels, a scooter, a toddler ride-on toy, a water table, and another climber, which looks like this:

outside climber

Sorry about the size, I could only find a thumbnail of that one! But you get the picture. These kids are up to their eyeballs in fun toys. Up to their child-sized, spoiled little eyeballs, I say!

 

And yet today, when they were outside playing, they picked up some rocks, which they promptly began to throw all over the yard. I put a stop to that because I’m a mean mom who can’t stand happy children, or maybe because I don’t want the lawnmowers to catch a rock and send it flying through the window. Same thing. Next they found an old board my husband left on the back porch. It was about a foot wide, an inch thick, and three and a half feet long, maybe a little longer. You’d think this thing was a magic carpet.

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They were “surfing”, balancing it on a step to make a sort of lopsided teeter-totter, even just standing it up and watching it fall, giggling like maniacs at the loud bang as it smacked the composite wood deck. They also splashed in, and then pushed over, the water table. Incidentally, the water table was filled with cold, dirty rainwater that was about 55 degrees at most. So a hunk of wood and a glorified puddle (albeit a very cute one, with little scoops and boats floating in it), are the only items that hold their attention.

Why are we buying them all these great, pricey toys? I’m pretty sure the things I get for them are items I imagine I would have loved to have, but clearly I am just a sucker, because actual kids are happy with those things for a few days and then go back to the old stand-by classics. From now on when people ask what the boys want for their birthday or for Christmas, I’m going to tell them to send appliance boxes, piles of dirt, and hunks of wood, all the better if they’re delivered on a big filthy dump truck that the boys can climb on for a bit.

 

…On another note, I know I mentioned the water was cold. It was about 55 or maybe 60 degrees outside, and yes, my kids aren’t wearing shoes. If you’re looking carefully, you’ll notice there’s a discarded shoe in the frame, and it’s because this really is warm-ish weather for us, and Dash swore his feet were “sweating to deaf,” after which he removed his socks and shoes. Ozzie saw this and cried to have his off as well. I swear, I am not some monster who turned out her children into the shivering cold with no jackets or shoes. I’m just the terrible mom who lets them be a little cold if they want to be cold that badly :)

Becoming Crafty, Whether I Like It or Not


Bear made a custom storage bench for our house. It’s six feet long, roughly, and has two separate storage compartments, each with its own lid. I looked into the price of getting bench pillows and realized the size was nonstandard, and therefore custom pillows would be necessary. The hunt for them online led me to the discovery of how insanely expensive custom cushions for a bench seat can be. To create the entire storage bench cost less than $100, but the cushions alone would be over $100. EACH! And that was the no-frills, cheapest filling and cheapest material. More than $200 for something to soften a seat? That sounded absurd. I talked this over with my mother in law, lamenting the cost of something that I wanted but just couldn’t bring myself to buy at that price. I knew she was crafty, and she said she could make them. We agreed that I would go to pick out the materials, and she’d work the magic to make the idea a reality. The finished product was exactly what I’d pictured! The cost (even paying retail for the material and cushion padding and all) was about half what I would have paid online. However, instead of getting the cheapest thing available, it was exactly what I wanted. The cushion inside was even removable, to make for easy cleaning. Huzzah!

Except… they had the makeup of a sham pillow, with the back opening for removal. I saw this as an awesome way for them to be cleaned and dried without fuss. The boys saw it as a would-be sleeping bag, with a comfy cushioned sleeping pad attached! The cover was nice and fitted to the pad, with no room for a child, but that was not stopping them. They stretched it out and got in, ignoring the sound of the seams bursting around them.

I should’ve known. My awesome, one-of-a-kind bench seat cushions were practically begging to be destroyed, because they couldn’t be replaced easily. We have some easily replaceable non-custom sized, non-pricey throw pillows that the kids barely give a second glance. Why would they? Those would present no challenge for me, so they’re safe.

Prior to having kids, I was genuinely baffled why people who aren’t really into crafty stuff would bother with it. If it isn’t something you enjoy, why not just pay someone else to do it? Sure the cost is a bit more, but I just couldn’t wrap my head around how their time wasn’t somehow more valuable than the mark-up.

Then I had children. Those children just happen to be of a specialized seek-and-destroy model, a far more destructive subset of the generally messy child species.

And now I get it. I would never be able to afford for my home to look even halfway presentable if I didn’t fix a stitch here and there, make some handmade art, refinish a table or a chair whose surface is scuffed to the point that would have earned it a spot on the curb at one point in my life. The sheer volume of little projects adding up makes it impossible to pay someone else to do all of those not-so-fun tasks. Now when I consider whether something is worth saving, I have to give real thought before chucking the broken, the torn, the scuffed, the ripped. If I tossed them all, I’d be replacing half of my home on an annual basis, if not more. It isn’t only my income that is no longer disposable since having kids. If I don’t want to live as a minimalist in a very dramatic sense, being at least a little bit crafty just isn’t an option!