Work-life deadlines

..I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog and insta lately. Mostly because I’ve been swamped at work, adjusting into my new(ish) position, attempting to stay on top of my game, studying for a PMP exam, “training” for a 5-miler, and trying to squeeze in time for self care (yoga, knits and Netflix). 

Naturally, I tried to do both – which was a fail

There is just a lot going on, and I’m having a TIME establishing a healthy work-life balance (parents, I don’t know how you do it). I’m learning as I go, faking it til’ I make it, and trying not to sprout anymore gray hairs in the process.  PS- I recently spotted 3 devil hairs that grow significantly faster and thicker than the others. What’s up with that, anyway?  

Anyway, in midst of all the everyday crazy, that we all endure, I’m frantically trying to finish up this baby blanket for a dear friend’s baby shower in early June (15 days, to be specific).  Of course I’m woefully behind, but was reassured that I’d finish this in time if I stuck to a schedule I made for myself when I started in May. 

~100 rows to get the length aka ~3 rows/day for a month and it should get it done.  I am..behind. Weekends are typically when I have my time to catch up but they’ve been quite packed this month.  

There is just not enough hours in the day..and too many things I don’t want to do that are getting in my way of what I enjoy. This is life, I know and overall it’s good ‘problem’ to have. 

“If I can just make it though this week, I’ll be good” – and I’ll tell myself that for the foreseeable future,  or at least through the end of June. 

How do you prioritize your conflicting priorities in life? What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? I’m open to any and all suggestions on maintaining sanity.  #SOS

~Bailey

Wrinkles

I have wrinkles. 

Not a lot, but enough to be noticeable. Small ones. Mostly around the eyes. They’re starting to intersect each other. Like the road map of a city that has started to expand and grow its own suburbs. 

Wrinkles and the garter stitch- slow and steady. Their progress sneaks up on you…

It’s possible they came from my job, which is an endless cycle of massive deadlines. Just as I’m about to get through a particularly brutal one, another one pops up for the next week. Rinse and repeat. 

It’s possible they came from my husband. By marrying him, I’ve set myself up for an entire lifetime of heckling about my driving and the constant annoyance of dishes piling in the sink. 

It’s possible they came from my son, who has meltdowns over things like his piece of toast tearing into two pieces and me not being able to magically fuse it back together even if IT STILL TASTES THE SAME AND THE END GOAL IS TO EAT IT ALL SO IT WON’T EVEN MATTER.

Sorry guys. Lost myself for a second. We get really passionate about toast around these parts. 

Our issues with toast may be directly related to my coffee consumption. #serenitynow

Anyway, it doesn’t really matter. And since I haven’t quite come around to the idea of botox, the wrinkles are seemingly here to stay. 

So instead I have to find a way to embrace them. Perhaps connect good things that come from the decades of stress. 

With each work deadline comes a sense of accomplishment after I’m done. The wrinkles also represent the promotions I’ve received from hard work and dedication to a company I love. 

I’m now basically too anxious to drive with anyone ever because of the endless jabs, but I also have had 7 years of support and love and a few thank yous for when I decide enough is enough and load the dishwasher myself. 😏

And sure, there are terrible two meltdowns on the regular, but I’ve also got a toddler who grabs my wrinkly face and plants kisses on it *almost* daily (he was really upset with me over the toast thing). 

So yeah. My wrinkles are what they are. I guess I’ll own up to them and accept them as a fact of  life. Same as my upcoming, inevitable dive into the mid-30’s scene happening this summer. 

Or…

Or I’ll continue to assault them with every single serum and treatment I can get my hands on at Sephora for the rest of my life. 

Yeah, I’ll probably do that. 

– Amy 

Cross Country Poncho for a Cross Country Friend

I love making garments, accessories, or anything handmade for the people I love.  Not only does it keep me busy for weeks (in this case, months), but once it’s finished and put it in the mail, it’s a great sense of accomplishment.  Patiently waiting for it to arrive to its destination and envisioning the recipient’s face when they open it is the best part..Assuming it fits, and that it’s what they hoped it would be.

Making things for others guarantees that my finished product will not be sitting in my apt somewhere unused, and taking up precious space.  My stash is already closing in on me.  The more things I can gift, the better.  Plus, it makes both parties happy 😊.

I started this poncho in January and it took me ~4.5 months to finish.  Each row took ~15-20 minutes to complete.  I actually timed myself, and could never break my 15-20min row speed, that seems really slow.  It’s usually because I stop, crack my wrists/fingers, change the channel on my show, or do the downward facing dog stretch because all I do is hunch over in concentration, and these old bones are feelin’ it.

There is nothing too complicated about this poncho, it’s double crochet, with a few skipped stitches for the design.  It’s essentially a massive blanket with a hole for the head – I love it. Pattern here.  I can’t love it too much, or otherwise I’d become emotionally attached – IT’S NOT FOR ME, and I reminded myself that every time I picked it up. 

My Mom’s bestie requested this back in December, and when I agreed to give it a shot, I wasn’t anticipating how long it would take.  A whole season has passed us by but luckily this poncho will live in Chicago, so I’m sure it will get a lot of use no matter what.  

I got started on this NYE…

One size fits all should hold true – that is the best project to make for people without overthinking the whole “I hope this fits” question that haunts me with every garment I make.  Thankfully, this is meant to be oversized and cozy and there is nothing better than that. 

What do ya think?

Spring Reflections

Ah, Spring.

A time to put away bulky winter wear and make room for the clothing that takes up less space in our closets.

A time to take everything that no longer pleases us and donate it, throw it away, or stash it in a storage bin and put it in the basement for the next 8 months.

A time to realize that those 20 storage bins, some labeled: “T-shirts I cannot throw away” is 100% unnecessary.

I love to declutter (throw things away), and if it were just me I would feel a sense of accomplishment by the countless bags of clothes that are purged/donated each year.  Less junk means more space, right?  Wrong.  It isn’t just me.  It’s the hubs too – and he has his own hoarding tendencies that are more severe than my own.

I’ve reverted to closing the door to our spare room to avert my eyes from the explosion of clothes scattered and piled everywhere.  Not my mess, not my problem.  Just close the door and pretend the mess isn’t there.

Between the ages of 10 to 18, my Mom tried to instill cleanliness into my routine everyday. It never worked. I’m sorry for being so messy, Mom – and for driving you insane.

I am much better now, it only took me 31 years, and living with someone else to know that messes aren’t welcome, especially when they’re not mine.

I think the only way to remedy this situation, and to spark joy in the declutter process is to watch that Netflix show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo“ – I’ve heard it’s quite motivating for those who need a swift kick.  Until the day I can tie down the hubs to watch it with me, I have my own words of wisdom for “tidying up”:

If you answer “NO” to ANY of these 5 questions – THROW IT AWAY!

  1. Have I worn this in the 12 months?
  2. Does this still fit me?
  3. Was this expensive?
  4. Do I plan on wearing …XYZ…this season?
  5. Is this brand within my age range? (ahem..those 10-year-old hoodies from Hollister, A&F, Forever21, – toss that shit, you’re too old!)

Maybe I should make a sign?

Maybe this blog post IS my sign.

Maybe I will just keep my fingers crossed and hope he becomes motivated to purge on his own time.

…or maybe I will just throw it all away because chances are he’ll never notice they’re gone.  Nah, that’s probably rude.

And it’s not just clothes, its knits too.  Just look at this stash collection I’ve created.  I have a problem.

I’ve seen worse, obviously, but this is me not buying yarn for MONTHS (except for that one instance last week), I feel like I still haven’t even put a dent in these bins.  I have no idea what this yarn is even for?  Why did I buy it? Why is it colorful?  What was wrong with me?  I either need to donate this, make something out of it, and THEN donate, or continue to store it for a rainy day.

Ugh, how do YOU become motivated to purge? I’m asking for a friend.

Royal Obsession

I’m a quirky character, if you haven’t already figured that out.

I crochet, for one thing, which seems normal when you follow like 500 like-minded Instagram accounts, but in real life, my partner in crime Bailey is one of the few people I know who knits/crochets on the reg. I do have a friend who does cross stitch, but if we’re going to be a fiber arts snob, that is not the same thing (seriously. It’s not.).

But anyway, there’s more about me that is a little eccentric. I don’t like most fruit. I also have a strong opinion that dessert should not have fruit in it, but if you want to get super technical, I do like Swedish fish and lemon-flavored starbursts (Yes, the lemon ones. You’re now wondering if I’m a sociopath, I get it.).

I don’t care for riding bikes, not one bit, as I believe I’m better off with both feet touching the ground.

I can’t stand being late, but we’ve already examined that psychological problem in detail.

And…

I’m obsessed with the Royal Family.

It likely stems from the fantasies of being a princess that many little girls grew up with. Or that because I grew up on a farm in the heart of the U.S. versus in a CASTLE, that I’m so fascinated by a life so different than my own.

Either way, obsessed.

Remember when Will and Kate tied the knot? I convinced my friend Monica it would be a good idea to get up at 3am and watch the wedding on the treadmills at the gym. I had the nuptials streaming with my headphones in at work. And then I proceeded to watch coverage of it from the time I got home that night until I went to bed. Literally 5-6 hours of replaying things that I had already watched. Obsessed.

When Harry and Meghan got married? Same thing, but I had a kid, so I tried to convince him the horses on their carriage were fun to watch so I could maximize my news coverage instead of changing to Saturday morning cartoons.

I actually looked up flights to England to get in on the pre-wedding hype. Seriously.

Flights were cheap, lodging was the bigger issue. If you were curious.

I binge watched The Crown, and watched every documentary on the family that Netflix has to offer. Queen Elizabeth is the epitome of boss bitch and I love her for it. Her elegance? Perfection. Her steadfast rule? Legendary. The perfected side eye of disapproval?

YASSSS QUEEN.

So, as you can imagine, waiting around for Harry’s royal spawn has started to get very exciting.

Girl or boy? Will it have red hair? Meghan’s smile? Harry’s care free personality? How many names will they get? SO MANY THINGS TO WONDER ABOUT.

Not a blanket for Harry and Meghan, but a baby blanket nonetheless. They’ve likely got a million already made for them in silk and cashmere, so I’ll just continue making mine for charity and call it a day. 😊

The moral of the story is if I seem distracted this month, this is one of the reasons why.

And for real, Netflix, when do we get a release date for The Crown’s third season?

-Amy

More Old Lady Musings

My partner in crime posted last week about how she went out for St. Patrick’s Day, but felt a little old. 

I had a good laugh with her because we happened to go out on that Sunday for drinks, but it just randomly happened to be the day my mother-in-law could watch Henry for a few hours. And we chose an extremely non-irish bar so we could keep away from the crowds. 
We don’t like sharing space with strangers. Or new people. 
I’m not really sure why we even bothered going out at all. Because afterwards, we complained about the bar tab and how we should have just had a few drinks at home. 
Which is how I know I’m old. 

Or should I know I’m old because of my hobbies?

I also know I’m old because I get my annual skin screening and had an in-depth conversation with the doctor about Retin-A. 
We’re well past the “make sure you wear sunscreen and moisturize” days and have entered the “Retin-A will need to be used soon to maintain where you’re at and maybe you want to consider lasering off those red spots you’ve developed over the last year?”.
And in related news, my knees have cracked since I was pregnant and I’m also starting physical therapy for lower back pain due to slight arthritis in my lumbar area. ARTHRITIS.    
It’s always been fun to joke about being an old lady trapped in a young person’s body, but at what point do I become an old lady trapped in an old lady’s body? (also known as “just old”). 
To be honest, I’m not really sure the point of this post other than just me having a desire to complain about the inevitable destruction of my youth. 
Ironic, given I’ve watched more cartoons in the last year than I have in the previous decade. 
But that’s ok. With the getting older comes other things. Like having an adult beverage whenever I want. Or skipping making my bed. Or not doing the laundry because I’d prefer to zone out on Netflix after a long day. 

Or crocheting, because, you know…

I guess it’s just a little bit of give and take. 
And I’ll take the option where I can have prosecco with brunch any time over having to stick with milk or juice.

It’s Hard Out There for a Toddler

On a typical day, my husband has already picked up Henry from daycare well before I get home. So when I walk in the door, the dog comes running and I can hear a “mama!!!” from somewhere inside the house. I get about 20 seconds to lose the work bag and winter coat before Henry rams into me at full speed for a big hug.

He’s a good hugger. Not a cuddler. But his hugs are pretty top notch. 

Henry is not at all impressed with his mother’s talents. Nor does he care I was working hard to get this done for a new best friend he hasn’t met yet.

However, the other night was a little different. The same exclamation of “mama!” happened and I walked around the corner to see him climbing the stairs to get to me. He got to the top. Stood up. Looked at me. And started to cry. And then proceeded to slowly cry walk toward me until he just collapsed into my arms. 
It’s amazing how much that can hurt one’s heart.
My husband said he had been having fun literally until that exact moment. This has happened a few times, in various ways, so I tried not to overthink it. And I had obviously googled it in the past. #helicoptermom
From what various discussion boards and mommy sites, it seems kids sometimes do the same things adults do. After working hard to keep himself together all day, following rules and being surrounded by other kids, coming home and being exhausted and within an hour of bedtime… we were all finally there and Henry felt like it was as safe time to just let loose. 

Done! I’ve become obsessed with less traditional colors being used for baby blankets.

I feel ya, bro. 
I really do. I wish I could say it gets easier. But that seems like a lie. Because I definitely have those days where I come home upset or exhausted from a deadline that has made me physically sick. Even though I love my job, it’s fair to still require a place where I feel comfortable enough to decompress and not get judged for it. 
It’s also one of the reasons why my husband can tell the difference between my normal resting knit face and my “OMG do not even think of coming near me or looking in my general direction” knit face. He gets me. 
Henry clearly doesn’t knit/crochet due to the lack of required dexterity at this point in his life, but he and I still share a few things that make us feel better after a long day: 
1. a good hug
2. a long bath
3. a good story
4. snacks on snacks on snacks
And when he turns 21, perhaps he can add wine to that list. 

I know I have.
What’s your go-to after a long day? 

-Amy