Tag Archives: ramblings

Motherhood: Expect the Unexpected & a blog hop

I am participating once again in the blog hop hosted by Mardra Sikora, a local Downs Syndrome advocate and I love her blog! You can read her original post for this blog hop here.

When posed with the question of “When was the unexpected better than what you expected?” the obvious answer for me was Motherhood. It is full of the unexpected!

Becoming a parent

Strange how I can barely imagine what my life was like before having children. I mean we went to movies a lot more and stayed up later, but other than that I really can’t remember how our lives were different. I’d like to think it’s because having children makes everything more colorful, fun, tiring, difficult, and fulfilling. The most overwhelming emotion I had after having my first child, was right after we got home from the hospital. The hubby had to run to the store for diapers or something and I had a complete breakdown because the realization that I was responsible for this little life suddenly overwhelmed me. I didn’t have the doctor, nurses, and lactation consultant telling me what to do anymore. I read all the books, but none of them prepared me for that.

Will I be like my parents? 

We all have something our parents did or said that we HATE. I remember quite frequently as a child thinking “I’m never going to do that to my kids!” I did not want to be like my parents in any way. Yet I hear my mother’s voice (and even my grandmother’s) especially when I’m disciplining my children. Yep, I think it’s inevitable. You will in some way, big or small, do something that you suddenly realize your parents did or said to you.

Listening to your intuition

I’ve always followed my intuition, gut feeling, letting your guardian angels guide you, or whatever you want to call it. I can’t tell you how many times it has led me correctly but I can say how many times it’s failed. NONE. The biggest example of this that comes to mind for me was when my son was 4, we were baking Grandma’s chocolate chip cookies for Christmas. I was adding the walnuts into the dough when he asked me if he could try a nut. I don’t know why but I knew I needed to watch him. He had never liked peanut butter and really had never eaten any nuts before. Not two minutes later, he was coughing and trying to clear his throat and we were loading into the car to drive to the Urgent Care right down the street. By the time we got there, his airway was closing, he was slobbering uncontrollably and had hives all over his face and neck. Through testing, we later found out that he is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts and needed to carry Epi-Pens with him at all times.

Always expect the unexpected

One thing about parenthood in general is that it never goes as expected. You can pack and plan ahead as much as you want but these little beings have minds of their own. And for this control freak, it drives me insane! Case in point: A week ago today, we went to visit my grandparents. We typically visit every week. They are young grandparents and I am lucky that I get to enjoy them and that my children get to enjoy them too. In fact, my 5-year-old son spends the night with them most Friday nights. We had no sooner arrived, I lay my purse and my son’s overnight bag at the top of the stairs and stepped into the kitchen to answer the phone since neither of my grandparents were nearby. When I handed the phone over to Grandma, I absentmindedly sat down to rest for a minute. Mom Fail #1. That minute was all it took. Around the corner of the kitchen, my son had grabbed his overnight bag to look to see which movies I had packed for him this time. I had forgotten to pack some and he let me know how displeased he was. Mom Fail #2. Did I think at that point about those darned Epi-Pens? Nope. That phone call was all it took to distract me from my normal routine of pulling them out and setting them up on the counter out of reach of little hands. Mom Fail #3. Next thing I know, my son is screaming and I see one of the Epi-Pens laying next to him on the floor as I round the corner. He had tried to inject himself after watching me train every babysitter he’s had over the past year-and-a-half with the training device. He said he thought he was playing with the training device. After a call to 911, one county sheriff, 5 paramedics and firefighters, the garbage man and several neighbors came to visit, it was determined that he had not actually self-administered any of the epinephrine and was fine. I still can’t help being scared out of mind at how smart and observant he is and actually a little proud that he knew (in theory anyway) how to inject himself. Mom Fail #4? You decide.

Failure happens on a daily basis

I fail everyday. I am tired. I yell. I spank. I don’t do enough “fun” stuff. I don’t plan educational activities for the kids as often as I should. I threaten and I don’t follow through with the consequences of those threats. I give too many chances. My house is a mess. We don’t get out of the house enough. I don’t always feed them the most nutritionally sound meals. I let my kids drink juice and eat candy. We watch too much TV. We don’t always get outside to play 60 minutes a day. I don’t get down on the floor to play with the kids enough. We don’t sing enough songs. We don’t read enough books. There just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day.

When you dream about becoming a parent, you certainly don’t think about how all of your shortcomings can be amplified. I am impatient, a perfectionist, a control freak, independent and I’m an introvert. Those qualities don’t always lend themselves to parenting very well. In fact, they set me up for failure. I think about the daycare my little guy attended and the big personalities the daycare teachers have and how much I am not like them. I am not cut out for this is a thought that runs through my mind a lot. But it’s in my worst moments and I remind myself that this is what I want and that I don’t want other people raising my children. I mean we are at home all day long. How can I expect my house to be spotless at all times? How can I expect my kids every time to pick up the first time they are asked to? How can I expect that when I need some quiet time, the kids will understand and sit and play quietly for Mommy? It’s best not to. Then when the unexpected does happen, you praise, praise, praise and be thankful that today something great happened.

The little things

What do I do right then, you ask? I love my children. At the end of the day, it’s one thing I know I do right. I kiss their ouchies. I love them up when their feelings are hurt and when they fight with each other. We cuddle. We take naps together now that I’m super pregnant and exhausted. I pay them compliments every day. We laugh every day. My kids have amazing little senses of humor. We have tickle fights. We color and do a lot of art projects (selfish and easy because I love art). I tell them I love them every day. And every day there is something amazing that happens. Yesterday, it was my 2-1/2 year old daughter singing Let It Go into her microphone when she thought no one was looking. It was a very passionate and compelling performance. She was stomping her feet and throwing her hands up in the air and I knew that if I laughed, clapped, or moved to grab my phone to record it, the moment would be gone faster than it came. So I just sat there, watched and hoped it would last as long as possible and be etched in my memory forever. It’s all about the immeasurables, I’ve discovered. The things that you can’t quantify are what make me happy at the end of every day. And I hope that those things are the things that they remember when they look back on their childhood.

The amount of love you can hold in your heart

I’ll keep this last one short. The most unexpected part for me of becoming a parent is the amount of love I’ve discovered I can hold in my heart for my children. I remember being pregnant with my 2nd child and thinking “How can I possibly love another baby as much as I love my little guy?” (a common thought of first-time parents, I know) I expressed this fear to a friend and their answer was simply “You don’t have to split the love for your children in two, your heart just grows twice as big.” How true that was!

Motherhood is full of the unexpected. And it is so much better than I ever expected it to be. I hope you enjoy my post today and hopefully next week I’ll be sharing with you a post about the arrival of baby #3. 😀 

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So when was the unexpected better than the expected for you? Share in the comments below or join our blog hop!

 

 

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Happy Mother’s Day from a fat, frumpy, tired, pregnant mom

This post is just a little different from my typical crochet patterns. I hope to share more of my ramblings with you about motherhood, some of my other interests and hobbies, or whatever random thoughts are running through my head.

Please don't touch my belly

Click here to see which state has outlawed touching a pregnant woman’s belly

I am now waddling, my belly hangs out of the bottom of most of my maternity shirts, I get winded walking pretty much anywhere, and I make funny noises doing even the simplest of tasks (which seems to provide my husband and kids with endless entertainment). At this point, I am questioning everything. What was I thinking 9 months ago when we were trying to conceive? I mean, we already have 2 healthy children. Why did I do this to my body again? I work so hard to be healthy and I’ll be starting all over again. Why am I going to give up pretty much all social interaction to nurse for at least a year again? I typically don’t drink (but I would give anything for one of those new Bud Light Raz-berr-itas) and being a stay-at-home mom, I don’t get much social interaction as it is – with anyone over the age of 5 anyway.

But I feel life moving inside me and there is truly nothing like it. Every kick, punch and hiccup reminds me of the miracle of life and how much I’ve wanted this child since before she was conceived. This may be my third pregnancy, but it has also been the hardest. I had morning sickness 24/7 for the first 21 weeks, and still do at times; I have sciatic nerve pain and severe hip pain (among some of the other more gross and disgusting side-effects of pregnancy) and we just found out that baby is breach; which more than likely means a c-section and adds the fear of the unknown for me since my first two came naturally. And someday, I’m sure that I’ll say that it all was worth it. 🙂

Have I mentioned that this is #3 for me? One of the most surprising things about this third pregnancy has got to be the comments I get from total strangers. And sometimes even from family and friends. And apparently, to most people it is completely unacceptable to have more than 2 children.

 

Please go on...

Click here for more funny pregnancy memes

Here are some of my favorite things that people have said to me (and a few that my friends have added as well):

You know how “that” happens, don’t you? Ummm, obviously, I do. In my case, there’s evidence I’ve done “that” 3 times.

Was it planned/was it an accident? None of your business. You have no idea if I have been struggling for months or years with fertility issues or if I’m one of those women who gets pregnant just by my husband looking at me. Did your parents plan to have you or were you and your lack of filter an accident?

Are you on birth control? Again, none of your business. Even if I was, it obviously failed. Your blatant disregard for a perfect stranger’s feelings (and if this is how you talk to a stranger, how do you treat the people who know you?) is a total turn-off. You and your mouth are your own brand of birth control.

Are you Catholic/religious? I guess what you are saying is that non-religious folk are the only ones having 2 or less children??? I don’t think so. Also, I’ll light a candle and say a prayer for you at mass on Sunday.

So are you done now? or Which one of you will get “fixed” now? Wow. Seriously. I am not a dog in heat who had too many runts die in my last litter and need my insides torn out. My husband is not a feral stray impregnating the neighborhood with mutts and I’ve taken to the humane society to have his manhood cut off. But I am considering doing one or the other to you right now.

So were you trying for a girl/boy? (From a friend with 2 boys already, a friend with 5 boys already, and a friend with 5 girls already) And here we are again. None. Of. Your. Business. This is almost as bad for me as the birth control question. And actually, I was just hoping for another healthy baby.

You’re gonna have your hands full! Technically, they already are. I have two hands and two children. But my go-to response to this one is simply that my hands will never be as full as my heart. I know, I just made you gag. Sappy responses usually tend to end the conversation. Have a nice day!

I must add that looking back on my 2nd pregnancy, when people would ask me if I had any other children (yes, a boy) and if I knew what I was having (yes, a girl) people would say “Well, that’s nice that you’ll have one of each.” Hindsight being 20/20, I now realize that what they were really saying was “Now you can stop having children since you’ve had one of each.”

Other things we preggers don’t like whether it’s our first or fourteenth pregnancy:

bad idea, stranger

Click here for more funny pregnancy memes

Rubbing our bellies. It’s not a magic lamp, no genie will magically appear, and you will not get three wishes. Unless one of those wishes is to get punched in the nose.

Saying we look tired. That may be what you say, but what you really mean is that I look like s***. You’re not supposed to let on that it doesn’t look like I’m wearing clean clothes, that I probably didn’t shower this morning because I needed an extra hour of sleep, or that there is a strange smell wafting off of my ever-perspiring body.

One does not simply

Click here for more funny pregnancy memes

Saying “Wow, you’ve gotten big” or “Wow, you’ve dropped” What was your first clue, genius? Is it the waddle? Was it the fact that I no longer can fit through a doorway frontways or sideways? Yes, I realize that you are probably only referring to my baby bump but my raging pregnancy hormones are telling me that you’ve noticed that my breasts and butt have also doubled in size, my arms now wave even when my hands have stopped, and the cellulite that’s collected on my thighs is probably stretching my maternity pants to their limits. (And I did split a pair of my maternity pants on Palm Sunday which erupted into a hulk-like level-5 pregnancy meltdown that lasted an hour; full of hysterical crying, incomprehensible babbling, throwing things, tearing the closet apart and ended in no one going to church. But how could you know any of that?)

Saying we can’t/shouldn’t do something. Please don’t tell me what I can and can not do. Maybe you weren’t able to or just didn’t want to when you were pregnant. I can lift that large package; I lift my son and daughter on a daily basis. I can help set up and tear down tables for the fair; I work out regularly (and may I add the person who said that to me fell and broke her arm doing exactly what she told me not to do). I can handle taking my kids for walks. And please let me be the judge of when I need to relax and just rest.

Now, I used to believe that it was simple ignorance on the parts of these people for saying these things but now that I’ve experienced it first-hand, I’m not so certain. I mean, haven’t they all been through this and had similar experiences? I’m now of the opinion that these nasty old biddies believe that it is their right to say these things. And maybe I should feel sorry for them. They obviously are miserable if they need to pick on a pregnant woman. Or maybe they really don’t see what is so wrong with what they are saying. Again ignorance. Or maybe I’m just hormonal and sensitive. The answer is probably D) All of the above.

While I have experienced a lot of negative comments about being pregnant with baby #3, there are also the people who say things that absolutely make your day. Most are deeply personal memories to me as well.

And here are some of the lovely things that have been said to me (and the stuff we pregnant ladies love to hear):

We look radiant or have “the glow.” Even if it’s not true, this should be your go-to compliment to a pregnant woman. Sometimes we feel absolutely beautiful while pregnant and sometimes we don’t. I haven’t at all this time around if I’m being honest. But I did with my first two and there is nothing like feeling and seeing “the glow” for yourself in the mirror.

Pregnancy looks good on us or we wear pregnancy well. That’s really sweet. Bless your heart. I know you’re probably lying but that’s ok. This is similar to “the glow.” And I’ll take it whether you mean it or not!

funny-pregnancy-3

Click here for more funny pregnancy photos

We look like we just stuffed a basketball in our shirt or that we are carrying all out front. Thank you! As mentioned earlier, my butt, breasts, arms and thighs seem to have taken on a life and caloric intake of their own. So I truly thank you for only talking about the most obvious place (and safest option to discuss) that my body has changed. Because for real, the only thing that runs through my head is the endless soundbite of “That’s a huge bitch” in the movie Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo.

How well behaved our children are. If you really want to flatter a mother, praising her children and/or her ability to raise them is pure gold. I may not get a ton right in this crazy world of motherhood, but my kids do say “Please” “Thank you,” and “Excuse me.” Thank you for noticing that I’ve gotten that part right at least. And that there’s still hope for this one.

Whether a wonderful and easy pregnancy or a difficult and complicated one, all women deserve the respect and acknowledgement of what they sacrifice to bring life into this world. So this Sunday, tell a pregnant woman how beautiful she is and to have a Happy Mother’s Day. Or talk about “the glow” or even how well-behaved her children are. If there are none handy, say it to any woman. Mom, sister, aunt, cousin, or your Wal-Mart cashier. It really doesn’t matter. It will totally make her day. And from this fat, frumpy, tired, pregnant mama to each of you, have a very Happy Mother’s Day!

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Living the Good Life and Free Down Syndrome Awareness Ribbon

Today is World Down Syndrome Day. And with that I bring you a guest blogger, Mardra Sikora, a local blogger, writer, and advocate. I jumped at the idea of having Mardra guest blog as those with special needs are near and dear to my heart. At the end of the post, I also offer a pattern for a Down Syndrome Awareness Ribbon (or any ribbon for that matter!) Make sure you read all the way to the end to see what the Good Life means to me. Enjoy!

Living the Good Life

NEBRASKA...the good life
Photo by Thomas Beck

On a recent road-trip to central Nebraska, my son Marcus leaned back and sighed, “This is the good life.” That particular weekend there was much ado about Nebraska’s slogan: “The Good Life.” So I smiled in agreement while my mind wandered over the parallel metaphor to our world.

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, it gets old defending the place you call home. Do you get tired of explaining what exactly is good about “the good life” to those who say they could never…? To those who are filled with ill-conceived notions and stereotypes about our day-to-day? What beauties there are to see and experience?

Like many kids, I knew I’d leave Nebraska when I grew up. But the days went by and, though there were other opportunities along the way, I chose to stay. And sometimes there were circumstances that chose me instead. Which brings me to the parallel metaphor. Life with my son, Marcus.

It’s not a new idea, the metaphor of the physical place we find ourselves and our larger fate. So here we go…

On March 21st we will celebrate World Down Syndrome Day. We celebrate because Down syndrome is part of who Marcus is. Like many families who find themselves in an unexpected place – it is not about making the best of it; it’s about celebrating the best of it.

What I’d like to share this World Down Syndrome Day, with those of you who don’t live in the place we do: It’s not what you think.

Yes, sometimes storms come in and make life difficult. Like Marcus’ heart surgery when he was still a baby. That was hard. And there are many beautiful places on this earth, including the amazing sunsets that linger on the horizon here. Yes, the same sun rises and sets in our world as yours and my love for my son is no more and no less than the love any mother can have for their child. I see his beauty, his talents, his ambitions, and these parts of him are not diminished by Down syndrome. My biggest disappointments come not from Marcus’ abilities but rather the limitations of other people to recognize his abilities.

To me, the good life means preparation: when it’s cold, you put a coat on. The good life means consideration: please and thank you and working hard is something to be proud of. The good life means both seeing beauty in the peaceful moments as well as celebrating with the roar of a crowd.

For us it is also about a lifetime full of laughter. Marcus’ guiding principal is to make sure the people around him are happy. It’s nice to live with someone who has other’s happiness as a top priority.

 Yes, Marcus lives with us, so do 6 million other adult children in this country. Like many of them, this is a choice we have made together. There are options, we chose this one.

It’s not always an easy life. (Boring!) It’s not the perfect life. (Who has that?)

It is, in fact, quite a good life.

 

Bio: By day Mardra Sikora balances a patchwork of community, advocacy, work and family. Also by day

she writes. You can find her antics at www.grownupsanddowns.com, on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/Mardraspage, and her favorite hangout, Twitter: @MardraSikora

OK RS 3

Free Down Syndrome Awareness Ribbon

Down Syndrome Ribbon coliescrochet.com

 

Skill Level:

  • Easy

Materials:

  • Any size hook, I usually use whatever size I am using for the project I am appliquéing onto. I would recommend size F – J for worsted weight or Aran yarn.
  • Yellow, blue and white worsted weight yarn. Less than 2g (3 yds) each.
  • Pin to hold ribbon in place while you stitch around it
  • Yarn or Tapestry needle to weave in ends and to sew on to project if you are using the ribbon as an applique
  • Brooch pin or barrette if desired

Other Resources:

  • For awareness ribbon colors, click here 

 Gauge:

  • Not important

Abbreviations and Stitches Used: (In US terminology)

  • Ch – chain stitch
  • Dc – double crochet
  • Sl st – Slip Stitch
  • St – stitch

Pattern Notes:

  • Pattern is written in US terms
  • Read pattern in its entirety first

Ribbon

Left-handed directions: Ch 15 with blue, switch to yellow and ch 17.

Dc in 3rd ch from hook and in next 11 st, 2 dc in next 3 st, switch back to blue and 2 dc in next 3 st, dc in each of last 12 st. Finish off. (If you are familiar with foundation dc, you can do this for the first row instead of chaining and working dc)

Change to accent color and sl st all the way around. Finish off.

Right handed directions: Ch 15 with yellow, switch to blue and ch 17.

Dc in 3rd ch from hook and in next 11 st, 2 dc in next 3 st, switch back to yellow and 2 dc in next 3 st, dc in each of last 12 st. Finish off. (If you are familiar with foundation dc, you can do this for the first row instead of chaining and working dc)

Change to accent color and sl st all the way around. Finish off.

Finishing

Use a bit of the main color to tack the ribbon together in the middle by coming up through the bottom over an existing stitch (to hide the tacking) and going back down through the top. Tie in a knot in the back and weave in all ends.

Down Syndrome Ribbon coliescrochet.com

Uses

  • Sew as an appliqué onto a hat, scarf, handbag or tote bag.
  • Sew or glue onto a brooch pin
  • Sew or glue onto a barrette

Click Print below or click here for a pdf version

For me, the Good Life is easy to define. I feel blessed to have a beautiful family, wonderful friends, and a creative passion. First and foremost, I am a wife and stay-at-home mother to two with another on the way. My husband and I raise our children in a faith-filled home. We both have had our struggles in life, as children and adults, together and apart. I believe that makes us that much more appreciative of the good things in life. We don’t have tons of friends, but the ones we have are true and we consider each of them family. Lastly, I have my creative outlet and passion. If you had asked me 3 years ago if I would be selling my own crochet items and blogging about it, I would have said you were crazy! I am excited to see where the next year takes me as my oldest child will be starting kindergarten, we will be welcoming our 3rd baby, and who knows where crochet will take me. Like many Nebraskans, I thought I would leave eventually, but Midwestern values like kindness, caring for your neighbor and hard work are difficult to say good-bye to.

You may not be from Nebraska, but how would you define the Good Life?

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Copyright 2014 Colie’s Crochet. All rights reserved. You may use this pattern for personal use, gifts or charity items. Sales of finished items are permitted but designer requests that you link back to pattern and credit Colie’s Crochet with the original design. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form including but not limited to electronic, mechanical, photocopying, or otherwise without prior written consent from the designer.

Introducing Baby #3!!!

It's A Girl, Baby #3, Colie's CrochetI’m so excited to share with you that we are expecting our third child! We found out on Wednesday, January 15th that we will be welcoming a baby girl on June 3rd of this year.

Baby #3, Colie's Crochet

This may be the third time around but the miracle of life has not lost its luster on us. There is nothing like hearing and seeing that heartbeat for the first time and seeing what you’ve felt for weeks, your baby, moving inside you with the help of an ultrasound. We decided to bring the kids along for the ultrasound so they could share in the special moment with us (To learn more about my family, check out my About Me page).

Baby Dinosaur, Colie's Crochet

Our son was instantly disappointed that we were having a girl. That was quickly forgotten when the ultrasound tech snapped a picture of the baby’s bone structure and he has proudly shown the picture of his baby dinosaur to family and friends. Our daughter is two. Let’s be real; she has no idea what is about to happen to her in a few short months.

Baby Girl, Colie's Crochet

We haven’t been able to find names we love or agree upon so up until now, the hubby was intent on calling the baby ‘Karl.’ My intuition (which has been right each time, I might add) told me that our baby was a girl so I have called her ‘Eloise.’ Hopefully, in the next few months, we will find a name we both can agree upon.

Nicole-Colie's Crochet