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Sunday, July 25, 2010

No TV in the Bedroom!

For as long as I can remember, I have always had a TV in my bedroom.  I've always watched it at night, despite all of the studies that say you sleep better without noise and light (dare I say...duh!).

Anyway, I've always had one.  There was a really small amount of time while living with Willie before he went onto night shift where I didn't use the TV since he "couldn't sleep."  He was with me though.  I wasn't alone, so it didn't bother me.  There were also those few weeks where Addie slept in our room as a newborn and we didn't use the TV.  Otherwise though, when I'm alone, it's become a sort of security blanket.  I turn on F.R.I.E.N.D.S and snooze away to laugh tracks, jokes, and familiar voices.  I don't know what it is.  I swear I'm not obsessed with the show, it's just the only show I enjoy that doesn't have an irritating sound track on the disk that wakes me up (at least most of the time).

After awhile, Willie got used to it.  He dealt with it and learned to sleep through the noise and light.  It's actually proven beneficial for him.  Sleeping during the day with a toddler on the loose would probably be more irritating without some sort of tolerance to back ground noise.

Unfortunately,  my sleep has been erratic at best lately.  I wake up tired and sore. I toss and turn all night on my Tempur-Pedic mattress and pillows.  I've been feeling it more and more with all of the extra pressure I'm putting on myself lately.  This past Wednesday, while Willie was off of work, he asked if we could just not turn the TV on.  Apparently he's been sleeping poorly as well.  So, the TV stayed off. All night.

The next night-Thursday, Willie was back at work.  I decided to give it a try again.  Wednesday had been the best sleep I'd had in months.  It was either the Tylenol or the TV.  I was doing an experiment.  I had an amazing nights sleep!  Again!  Last night was night 4.  It's getting easier.  I actually read a bit before bed to clear my mind.  I don't wake up all night to re-start a disk when the music gets old, or turn down the TV if it's waking me up.

I'm so proud of myself! Twenty Something years old and I finally got rid of my "security blanket." I can really, truly be alone while I sleep.  I even took the DVD player out of the bedroom so I don't get tempted.  We have no cable hooked up in that room so really DVD's would be my only option, so I know I'll stick with it now!

I am just so proud of this personal growth to be able to quit a habit so ingrained in my routine so easily.  I mean, seriously, I don't remember ever not having a TV in my room, even when I lived at home.  This is really something.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

New Address

I got tired of having my blog address say thecruisefamily.blogspot.com, so while it's minor, I decided to change it.

My blog address is now http://www.twentysomethingangie.blogspot.com

I've already changed the code in my button accordingly, so just grab the code again on the right hand side if you've got my button on your blog!


Learing a New Craft

In college, when people would ask me my major, I always told them I was going to be a professional student. I  just can't help myself.  I need to learn new things, and as a stay-at-home mom, that's not always easy to do. 

As you know, I took matters into my own hands not too long ago to learn the art of crochet.  Now, I've taken matters into my own hands again.  Last night, I finally picked up some knitting needles.
Even more special, these knitting needles are from the same grandmother that taught me the basics of crochet! You know, the one I became sort of estranged from for years?  I saw her on my most recent trip and we got along beautifully! In fact, other than immediate family, I saw her more than anyone else this time.

I told her about borrowing needles from a friend and bringing them on my trip so I could learn...and then about how I forgot to bring yarn.  Unfortunately this was on my last day, because she said "Well, I have yarn!" Boo. I could have learned weeks ago and been a knitting master by now.

Anyway, while talking about knitting, she told me that while she's taken back up crochet since Paw Paw passed, she just can't get herself back into knitting and doesn't enjoy it anymore.  She then proceeded to take down an entire case of knitting needles and give them to me and told me to get good use out of them.

Now, I had to make myself learn!  Since then, I've just been waiting for Stitch n Bitch to be available at the library.  I didn't use her books while learning to crochet, but a friend of mine did and the things she knew right from the beginning amazed me.  She even taught me some things (after I taught her to make a slip stitch).  I just felt it would be worth it for me to check out the book while I was learning since it's so informative.

Last night, I tried my hand at knitting for the first time. It was pretty easy to cast on.  Sure, it took some practice, but after doing a couple, I started getting faster and more comfortable already! So I decided to try real knitting.  That was a bit more awkward.  I had to end up watching a video tutorial on Youtube, but I finally got it.  I spent about an hour after that undoing all of my work and re-doing it. Once I was comfortable and satisfied with how my stitches looked, I started working on rows.  I got about 4 or 5 rows in last night practicing.  It's starting to feel more normal and rythmic like crochet does.  

I'm so excited to really learn and start making things.  Since this time I have a store and a daughter to focus on, the learning process may go a little slower, but before you know it, you may see a knit hat in my store!

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Who here loves garlic?!

We spent most of yesterday evening harvesting about 30 lbs of garlic with our neighbor (landlord) and get to keep two braids of garlic for ourselves! More if we end up needing it. Gardening sure is rewarding...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Personal Struggle

Tonight, I am at a crossroads.

I have no idea what to do.  In case you didn't know, we have 2 cats.

There they are.  The fat gray one is Pepper, and the small calico is Simone.  She's my baby.  I've had her in my life longer than Willie and Addison.  Heck.  I've had her in my life longer than both of them put together!  Pepper, well, he's a "rescue" but still a major part of our family. In fact, he's our "family" cat, playing with Addison, giving her love, sneaking into her room (but still acting like a tough guy). Simone, well, she just hides a lot and runs away when Addie comes into a room.  She shows up for love usually around now when the house is quiet and peaceful and nobody is awake but me.

I love them.  Honestly, though, I'm tired of them.  Pepper has bladder issues that have cost us over $1,000 since November.  He's now on prescription food for urinary crystals and has developed a nasty habit of peeing on the floor.  We were doing really well in the new place for such a long time, but when we went on our trip, he took it back up and now we can't get him to stop.

Simone is just... a bitch.  I'm sorry.  I love her to death and she's my "baby girl" but she's mean to Addie and ever since Addie was born she has also had a problem with the litter box.  I think it's retaliatory.  I've done everything I can think to do.  Addie has never intentionally been mean to her and has rarely even had a chance to be accidentally mean to her.  She can't get a chance to learn how to be nice to Simone.

These issues alone were not enough to make me question keeping my beloved cats.

Addie's allergy test results showed that she was highly allergic to cats.  At the time, we hadn't noticed any major symptoms that we could for sure blame on the cats so the allergist told us to just watch her and see because she may grow out of it. 

Weeks later, Addie is doing amazingly well.  Almost no rash. We cut out peanuts completely and we're limiting eggs and soy, watching her closely after each serving.  She's been fine.  She even had scrambled eggs, and while her mouth got a little red during breakfast, it didn't cause a rash.

Here's the crappy part.  Yesterday afternoon, Addie was hanging out in the house in her diaper (what?! It was 83 degrees in here!) and suddenly broke out in an awful, swollen, itchy rash.  It was so sad.  She kept saying "Itchy, mamma!" and scratching.  No eggs. No peanuts. No food in general other than pita chips which are totally safe for her.  Only explanation? Yep. The cats.

What now?! Sure.  They are a P.I.T.A. most days lately, but do I really want to give them away? Is it even an option at this point? Now I'm fairly certain they have been the problem all along. I'm not sure how willing I am to continue putting Addie through these rashes knowing what is causing it.

This is such a struggle for me.  On the one hand, I will feel like I am abandoning my pets if I give them away (and yeah, right, like Simone will adapt well to that).  On the other hand, am I betraying my daughter and affecting her well being by keeping animals around that I know she's allergic to?!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

CUTEure Changes

Since I have yet to officially launch and exclusively CUTEure blog, I'm going to post this update here for everyone. 

Coming up soon, there will be some small (but kinda big) changes in my shop that I wanted to point out.  First, and most importantly, I will be doing away with a good deal of the larger, boutique style hair bows I have for sale.  I will still be making them though to sell locally, and I'll even post photos on my Facebook Page.  If you happen to be a "fan" and see a bow you would like to purchase, please just let me know through a private message or a comment and I will happily list it as a custom order!  I would just like to get away from having my full inventory on etsy since they are my least popular online item (but most popular so far in person).

Things that will still be for sale in my shop right away include:

Crochet Flower Hair Clips.

Pom Pom Hair Clips.

and most of my simple girls hair clips and bows.

Another change you may have already started seeing is that I am veering away from "made-to-order" items, and focusing more on having everything in stock and ready to ship out the next day (or even same day if it's early enough).  All of my hair accessories have always been in that last category of ready-to-ship, but my crochet items have been made-to-order for the most part since I opened my shop. 

I hope to have this change completed by mid-August, but bear with me.  It takes awhile to get that many items crocheted in each size! Currently, if you see an item in my shop and it has a sentence like this one:
"These booties are available from infant size 1 to youth size 6 (3.5"-9") Just specify in a message to seller during check out what size is needed."
Or this:
"Just specify in a "message to seller" during checkout.

This hat can be made in the following sizes:

Baby - 6 to 12 months
Toddler -12 months - 3 years
Child - 3 - 10 years"

That means the item you are about to purchase is made-to-order. 

If you see a listing like this one, then the item you are about to purchase is ready to ship:
"These booties will fit a child's size 6.5-9. Due to the nature of crochet, there is some stretch. If you need a different size, please check my other shop listings. If you cannot find your size, feel free to contact me for an order."

Of course, this does not mean that I will no longer accept custom orders.  I will.  Happily.  I am just preparing for the holidays, and preparing to do more in-person selling in the future.  This will speed up the purchase process for most since it has the potential to eliminate some confusion with sizing. It will also help me keep track of what you are interested in and what I should make more of to keep everyone happy.

I hope this information helps some of you with your purchases! Thanks for checking out the post and keeping up-to-date on my CUTEure news! Happy shopping.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

You're Lucky, You Know..

What is with this phrase? I must say, nothing irks me more than being told I'm "so lucky."

You're so lucky you've lost so much weight after the baby....I guess you haven't seen my food journal or my daily weigh ins that I did for months.

You're so lucky you got out of that little hometown of yours and have you're own life...You could do it, too, if you wanted to badly enough.

You're so lucky you're able to stay home with Addie every day....Read my response to that last comment.  Same applies.

You know what? I'm not lucky.  Willie and I work really, really hard for what we have.  We make a lot of sacrifices for me to be able to stay at home with Addie.  It's what we wanted and it's what's important to us.  It's not something that just fell into our laps.  It's not an opportunity that was given to me for no reason.  It's what I've wanted forever.  I never knew what I wanted to do with my life other than be a mom and be with my kids, so that's what I'm doing.  Willie works harder because of it.  We do without a lot of things...like a second car, our own home, dinners out, dates, babysitters, and so many little things. Addie practically lives in hand-me-downs.  She doesn't have a ton of toys(although she has a great imagination and love for the outdoors).

We're not lucky that we moved across country, either.  Again, it's something we wanted, and worked hard for.  We sacrificed a lot to be able to do it.  We're still sacrificing. Willie is back in school because he couldn't find a job in his field when we moved here.

Lucky is being given a house, like both my sister and cousin have experienced.  Lucky is being given cars left and right, or being given money to live on every day.  We're not lucky. We're just hard workers.

Many of our decisions were followed by overwhelming fear that almost made us turn back, but we did it.  I quit my job and we  live off of Willie's income (at least until my business takes off and I can help supplement) and it's hard most days.  We weigh each purchase like it were a major purchase.  Even better (and scarier, and harder), we do it completely alone.  We don't have our families to lean on for support.  Grandma isn't coming over to babysit for free so I can get housework done or go grocery shopping in peace.  I can't remember our last date night.

Don't get me wrong, all of it is worth it.  I love my life.  I get stressed just like anyone else, but I still love it.  I don't regret a single decision we've made in the last four years- okay, maybe I regret the decision last night to not go buy ice cream.  If I were to do it all over again, I'd probably make the same decisions.  My point, though, is to please quit telling me I'm "lucky." Luck didn't have anything to do with where we are now.  Recognize our hard work for what it is.  Hard.  Know that we stress out about money and what the future holds just as much as everyone else, but we do it because we've already weighed the pros and cons and know we can get through it.

I'm not lucky.  I'm just determined, and very, very stubborn.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My Sisters Wedding

On my trip to Texas last week, I got to watch my little sister get married! It was a really sweet back yard wedding. Since it was such a small affair, she asked if I could take some pictures for her along with our uncle so she could save money on a photographer. I thought I'd share a few here. I'm so proud of her :)