This is a long OVERDUE post that isn’t pregnancy related.

Don’t faint.

I have neglected the blog because, well, it’s not my priority. I don’t monetize my blog. I’ve never gotten anything free or made any money blogging. My blog is not my job. It is something I do for ME. My kids and my house are my my job and they are FULL TIME.

 

I find myself seeking balance. Looking for pause and reflection. This seems to be happening more and more and I suspect it has to do with growing new life. I’m past the mid point of pregnancy (I guess unless Max decides to cook to 43 weeks. Unlikely.) I can’t forget I’m pregnant for the huge belly but if it weren’t for that and the kicks I’d probably have to be reminded. Life with four kids is so incredibly busy. Like super super busy.

Busy.

 

Ella has been teething and sick and sick and teething. And not sleeping. But also: Walking. Running. Talking. Demanding my CONSTANT attention.

I find myself asking my 13 year old multiple times a day either 1. Who he is texting or 2. Who he is on the phone with. This is both maddening and exhausting. And a little bit exciting seeing him come into his own. Also he has straight A’s so there’s that.

Raising a 16 year old daughter challenges me unlike I’d ever expected. I thought she was a hard baby. Yeah. I’d rather do that again. I mean the head shaking. The sighing. The plugging of ears. God I love that kid. I do. No REALLY I DO. She’s trying to grow up. And sometimes trying to make me a little crazy.

My 11 year old is thankfully the one kid who doesn’t want to talk back, bicker, snot mouth, ignore etc. He does his chores quietly and with little nudging. Now if only I could get him to stop leaving underwear on the floor. Next year he’ll be in junior high. And that makes me a little weak in the knees.

In any case you can see how this would get a little, eh hectic, on a day to day type basis. If I blog I can’t sew and if I sew I can’t blog and if I crochet or knit I can’t blog or sew and if I clean and cook and bake I can’t crochet or blog or knit OR sew. And if I manage to get all the laundry done I probably can’t do any of those things.  Oh and there’s all my twitter friends, which are almost my only friends. And I’m finding that those lines are being crossed too where my twitter friends are becoming my REAL friends or vice versa so I don’t ever want to ignore these relationships either. And somewhere in there I have to mother these people and be a wife-y type person too and  do it while my husband is gone half the week. So you know.

Busy.

I’ve found, for my own PERSONAL brand of sanity, that I *really* need to do a little of all of those things. I NEED a clean house but I also NEED to sew and I NEED to knit ANd crochet AND cook and I am happiest when I am successful at all of that PLUS being a decent mother and wife. Or trying anyway.
And then there are days (weeks, MONTHS even) where people are sick or teething or just needy and I go days without ever spending time on MY sanity. And I start to feel a little, well, insane. And I usually cry. Sometimes I yell. Sometimes I clean. And most of the time I need Matt to say HEY YOU NEED TO SLEEP (or do something for yourself).

SO I try to eat healthy.

I take time to do some creative things that nourish me… like sewing:

Making curtains I’ve wanted for a year and a half (also a clean space and clean sheets helps).

Or crocheting with some NICE yarn (because I’m WORTH nice yarn).

Or make something for someone (in this case a hat for Max).

It’s easy to become very preoccupied with SURVIVING as a mother of one or two or four or five. And I have to remind myself that MY cup needs filling. I need fulfillment and sometimes I need nurturing too. Trying to do it all and be everything to everyone is a bad idea sometimes. Sometimes admitting the things you aren’t capable of makes you, in fact, capable. These are the lessons of womanhood and of motherhood. And I’m learning them. Daily.

 

(nearly) wordless wednesday , crochet , knit , knitting , mothering , sewing , teenagers , thankful

Hi.

No, I didn’t get taken away with Jesus in the rapture. Sorry to disappoint. From what I can tell no one else did either though so I’m still in good company here on earth.

So… what’s going on?

 

Welllll. A lot and nothing. At the same time. You know. Stuff. And things. The sad fact is I haven’t blogged worth a damn in a month so get ready to be absolutely OVERLOADED with images of my children. And me. And stuff. And things. Oh and food porn. YES. Food. Porn.

Apologies.

Off we go.

I tend to lose track of what I’ve told you between here and instagram, where I am a certified photo whore, and facebook, where I occasionally stop in to to post a video or photo or to complain about exhaustion or attempt to be witty for 30 seconds. Generally failing by the way.  SO if you’re inclined, and have an iphone, follow me on IG… I’m jonie (the ‘E’ is for Edelman. That’s my last name. And it’s means NOBLEMAN in German. Which I am not. Though I am in fact German) or alternatively if you like, add me on facebook… Go click over there —-> (if you can’t see my little photo and mini bio with social media links then click up there on the header to go back to the homepage where those things will magically appear because I haven’t gotten this problem fixed with the page yet AND then go add me on facebook and IG. Annnd breath.)

 

And you can see awesome stuff like me posting a video of Ella dancing to MC Hammer’s Can’t Touch This. Yeah. That happened.

Annnnyway. The garden is planted:

It hasn’t been doing as well as I’d hoped because, well basically, we live on dirt that has no life left in it. It’s dead dirt if there is such a thing as dirt that is dead. I suspect given the location of our house that once some tree probably grew here. Walnut. Or Peach. Or cotton (not a tree just a bush). Or corn. Or any combination of all of those things. In any event, the soil is devoid of nutrient and hard like a rock. I meant to plant a nice crop of peas in the winter that I could till in to enrich the soil but alas, as is so often my excuse reason these days, I was exhausted.

I wasn’t too exhausted to bake these:

Or these:

It seems that no matter how exhausted I am I can find time to whip up a flippin cupcake. Oh how lucky for me.

Yeah. No.

IN OTHER news… The cherry tree never lets me down. See:

Oh well except for the fact the the birds pecked every GODFORSAKENMOTHERFLIPPIN cherry. And then, when they had what the could reach before the dog chased them off, the ants found the cherries and ate the rest. So in the end I ate 5 cherries. They were delicious though, those 5 little beauties.

Also my roses didn’t seem to mind the shit soil:

So yay. Only downside there is they only bloom once. WHHHHY? Why can’t they bloom all summer? David Austen MUST know that would absolutely MAKE MY LIFE.

Oh AND someone, praise the little baby Jesus in the manger, got TEETH. FINALLY. TWO OF THEM.

 


Soooo of course everyone is sleeping peacefully through the night now.

Yeah. No. Still not sleeping.

Cest la vie.

 

This kid:

He turned 13. God. Help. Me. Oh and apparently he taught himself to play the trombone in 60 seconds. Though to be fair, he already knew how to play the trumpet. So there’s that. See:

He’s the ubercool kid in the Spy sunglasses. With the hair. Oh the hair. Also he’s taller than me now. And yesterday we were talking about divorce and families (as that is happening to a couple of families we know recently) and how it gets easier with time and he said (AND I QUOTE) “MOM, divorce is a weight I carry upon my shoulders. Constantly. It’s like an EMOTIONAL BACKPACK. It’s a BACKPACK of EMOTION. Do you hear what I’m saying?”

Uh yeah. I hear you dude. Annnnnd the Oscar goes to…..

He. Is. Awesome.

So anyway he wanted chocolate cake for his birthday. With Chocolate frosting. With chocolate on top. Was I exhausted? Did I bake it?

Duh.

For his birthday we got him the coolest guitar EVAH. Cause oh yeah, he plays that too.

You may notice the strings are missing. Yes, it IS difficult to play a guitar with no strings, thank you for recognizing. They are missing BECAUSE 4 days after we bought him said guitar, it fell out of the back of my MONSTER Sequoia and broke in two pieces like a 90 year old hip (actually to be fair those usually break in more than two pieces. Poor fragile elderly ladies. God love em). SO yeah. Bummer. Like bad. We are fixing it now. Thank GOD my husband is a musical GENIUS. Phew.

Anyway that kid… He looks a little like me.

Just a little EXACTLY LIKE ME. Poor kid.

And her:

She thinks she looks just like her dad.

 

Uh huh. Sure.

Oh also I made some stuff:

That’s a necklace.

And this:

Is a pillowcase. Which will soon be available in my etsy shop. Where there is now absolutely not one SINGLE thing.

Alllllso… Hens.

Yes. Hens. For eggs. I needed one more thing to do.

Oh and one last thing. This happened.

 

That, my friends, is Stef. You may know her as Stef from Hear Me Roar but I know her just as Stef, the girl who was one year behind me in school. And now, I’m so pleased to say (ahem some 20 + years later) I also know her as friend.

 

Until next month, or you know, the next time i bake something, thanks for coming along.

 

xo ~ j

sisterhood , stuff. and things , teenagers , things kids say , things that happened this week


Recently someone asked me about dealing with 15 year old behaviors. Brace yourself.

I have a teenager. I actually almost have two teenagers. Hard to believe. And true.

When my oldest daughter was born 15 years ago I held her in my arms. The world was full of possibility for her and I knew the coming years would bring excitement and joy and some confusion. I had no frame of reference for age 15. But I do now.

My daughter reads my blog so before I go on I want to say this to her: Kelsey, you made me a mother. I dreamt and hoped for you and you came. A fulfillment of my hearts desire. I haven’t always made the best choices for you but I have always made the best choices I could at the time. As Maya Angelou says, when I knew better I did better. My heart aches with love for you. You are beautiful and smart. You are funny and kind. You are the best parts of me and your father. Also you’re a bit of a slob, but that’s ok, I love you just the same. Now please pick up your room.

Now, let me say this, having a teenager is not all that different from what I expected. My daughter has her fair share of drama and bad days. She gets frustrated with her hair and can’t decide what shoes to wear (even though often times they are my shoes). She wants to know what purse to carry, what belt to wear, what to do about boys. She’s still figuring it all out. When I get frustrated with her I try to remember that at her age I was a holy terror. I’m not making that up. Ask my mom. Moody. Dramatic. Emotionally labile. And I hated my mother (sorry mom). I’m pretty sure Kelsey loves me so I consider that a victory.

The one thing I knew I wanted for my daughter and I was that I wanted to be someone she could come to. Someone she could ask things of. Someone she could love that would love her without condition. I wanted her to always know that I was available for her, no matter the need. I didn’t want to try to be her friend like my mother did because I knew the resentment that created. I hope when she has the distance to look back at being a teen she can say I’ve done those things.

Anyway, love can build a bridge as they say but love doesn’t always get the clothes off the floor, even with all that love, teenagers still need boundaries and discipline.

How do you get a 15 year old to clean their room? Do the dishes? Help with the laundry?

I’m about to reveal something revolutionary.

A 15 year old is a lot like a baby.

Not in the drooling, breastfeeding, co-sleeping sense (though my 15 year old still hops in bed with me periodically, which I love) but more like this… when I smile at Ella, she smiles back. If I frown, she frowns. Cause and effect. Fifteen year olds are a lot like this. Happy and helpful makes happy and helpful. And this is where the Shamu discipline comes is (Shamu is a whale by the way, in case you live in a cave). Whale training is a lot like kid training. Read about whale training here. If you read that, they you’re prepared to answer this, how are kids like whales? Well, everyone likes a reward. Everyone. I don’t know one person that would say, “Oh you know what, I’d rather you didn’t praise me for my good behavior. In fact, just ignore my good behavior and while you’re at it why don’t you yell at me when I get a C in geometry.” No one doesn’t like a pat on the back. The best thing about a good pat on the back? You want to get another pat on the back. It’s very simple. And very effective.

Practical example anyone? Kelsey wanted to give the baby a bath. She didn’t know how so I told her and showed her and helped her learn and then I gave her the reigns and of course she didn’t do it perfect. She made some mistakes. Nothing dangerous or detrimental, but not perfect. I ignored them and said, “Wow, thanks a lot for giving the baby a bath Kelsey. I really appreciated getting the dishes done without wearing the baby (I do it but it gets messy).”

Guess what? The next night she wanted to bathe the baby again. And I got to do dishes again (maybe some day I’ll use that time for something like a quick jog). I haven’t perfected this art because sometimes I get frustrated and “GIVE ME YOUR CELL PHONE RIGHT NOW” is effective too. But I’m a work in progress. I’m working on making sure my kids have positive praise for the good things they do and hopefully nothing at all for the bad things (unless someone if getting hit by someone else, that I can’t ignore).

I think you get what I’m saying here. Shamu likes fishy treats. Kids like praise. Done.

attached parenting , kids , teenagers

Disclaimer: These are just things MY 15 year old says (or has said at some point over the last year or so, give or take). I make no guarantee that every 15 year old will say all (or any) of these things. There is a pretty good chance you’re going to hear some of them though. Repeatedly.

a. Mom, I can’t wear the black Uggs with the brown belt. Ohmigawd (yes, it’s one word). You just don’t KNOW.

{No, clearly I do not.}

b. Mom, you are NEVER going to believe what (insert any girls name here) said today. She said she couldn’t believe (insert any other girls name here) even LIKED (insert any boys name here). He’s such a JERK. He was totally flirting with (insert yet another girls name here). He doesn’t even deserve (insert 2nd girls name again).

{Things used to be so simple.}

c. Mom, I’m hungry.

{Why am I not surprised?}

d. Mom, we don’t have ANYTHING to eat.

{Except that cabinet full of food.}

e. Oh. Em. Gee. Mom. Your boob is totally bigger than the babies HEAD.

{Gee. Thanks.}

f. Mom, don’t worry, it’s ok for you to get big when you’re pregnant.

{And. Again.}

g. Mom, are stretch marks inherited?

{Yeah. In reverse. I got mine from you.}

h. Mom, I have the BEST idea. Let’s go SHOPPING!

{Wow. That sounds super fun. Let me ask my huge human head sized boob if it wants to go too.}

i. Mom, my room IS clean. No, it’s clean. I swear.

{By the standards of? A homeless guy? Oh, ok. As long as we’re clear.}

j. Mom, WTH, why can’t I have a facebook. Come ON. PUH-LEASE.

{Ask your father.}

k. Mom, how do you know when you’re in love?

{If you have to ask, you aren’t}

l. Mom, what if you like a boy but he doesn’t like you? Ooooor what if he doesn’t even KNOW you?

{Introduce yourself. If he still doesn’t like you, he’s a idiot. At least temporarily. Move on. Wait 20 years. Call him up. See what happens. Maybe you’ll get married. :)}

m. Mom, why is your hair like so awesome and stays curly and mine won’t stay curled at all. It’s LAME.

{Genetics. Learn to love the hair you’ve got. There is a no exchange policy on hair.}

n. Mom, does this purse look ok with this outfit? (always say yes. Always. You’re going to be wrong anyway) . NO, it does NOT. You just don’t KNOW.

{No. Obviously not. Oh see h. We should go get another one. :-|}

o. Mom, when did you lose your virginity? Were you like married? Or what.

{How about we talk about my stretch marks again?.}

p. Mom, what is sex like?

{Fun. Or it should be. Next topic. }

q. Mom, you are like (btw, insert the word ‘like’ randomly in any sentence for 15 yo effect) SO good at being a mom. No mom, really. You’re like (there it is again) GOOD. How did you get so good?

{Years of practice. Mostly on you. Sorry about that.}

r. Mom, Ella is the luckiest baby ever to have you for a mommy.

{Thanks honey. I love you too.}

kids , mother , mothering , teenagers , things kids say