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climbing to get the camera

Working for myself means that it’s way too easy to work all day (and all night, and all weekend …) without coming up for much air. Sure, we eat lunch together as a family and try to take a walk and I put Elisha down for a nap during the day, but I can still seriously just get in the zone and work without thinking about my time. One of the reasons I wanted to work for myself was to be with my family, and if I let myself get caught up in too much work, I miss out on the whole point of being self-employed.

Finding this balance in my life has been one of the most difficult parts of my freelance career. It’s a double-edged sword, though, for when I’m interrupted too often while working (or trying to work) on a project, I lose my train of thought and any creative muse flies out of my brain only to be lost until I can get some quiet time to myself again. With a toddler in the house, my muse is often hiding until the wee hours of the night when everyone is in bed instead of during the day when there are games to play and books to read.

veggie

This delicate balance is precious—I love that I’m not missing out on the early years with Elisha and I love that I’m finally able to choose my own clients and nurture my own creative style once again.

I’m still in the process of figuring out what my work day and work week look like, even 11 months into working for myself. Settling into a routine has always been hard for me, and as Elisha grows and as our business grows and as we hope to eventually continue to grow our family, I have to constantly evaluate how I work and when I work and where I work. Every day is different in some ways—Mondays are errand days and Wednesday are late nap days because of Bible study.

face

These past few weeks have been crazy busy with client work, which is good for the bank account, but difficult for me to manage in terms of balancing my time. I finally had a moment to catch my breath with the boy today, and it felt nice.

drawing

drawing

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Is this thing out of focus? Or blurry? How’d that happen? Let me do some dusting …

That about sums up August. And September.

Uh, it’s October …?

Wait, October is half over? Oh, okay. Wow. Time really flies, especially when I spend it away from my blog. I’m not going to apologize—I work for myself from home with a husband, a dog, and a toddler. Sometimes, I even manage to feel productive. Some exciting stuff has happened since I last bothered to visit my blog and typey type some fancy words here—we bought a letterpress (a Chandler & Price New Series 10×15); I’m knee-deep in writing a business plan so we can get everything up and running by January; I’ve had a lot of client work; my baby is growing up.

I’m kind of trying to figure out what to do with myself, blog-wise. I want to continue blogging, either here or on Hello Nifty, but I’m not sure if I can do both. I’d like to incorporate the more instant feel of my Tumblr, especially when it comes to photos and things that inspire me. I’d like to blog regularly again like I used to, about my life and about useful things. I’m not sure whether I want to combine blogs, though I’m confident I’ll be redesigning one or both of them.

Yeah. I have a lot of things on my mind.

Right now, I’m mostly focused on finishing up our business plan for our letterpress. The hubbs and I are going into business together, and it’s going to be so much fun! I’ve got a lot to say about all of that, so I’ll be coming up with some posts to share our process.

It’s Monday and I have a lot of things on my to do list this week, so I thought I’d just sum up my silence with some photos.

nature walk

nature walk

nature walk

nature walk nature walk

nature walk

nature walk

nature walk

This is the part of the show where I want to make promises that I’ll be back here regularly, blogging again. I want to say that, but I feel like I’m in so much transition. Everything is up in the air and I’m just trying to stay standing sometimes. Or at least get things done, especially client work. Right now, paying bills and spending time with my family come first. Eventually, I’ll work blogging and taking photos and talking about things that matter to me back into my life.

It’ll just have to come slowly.

Be patient. Good things are happening!

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For the past few months, we’ve somehow managed to endure all four of Elisha’s first-year molars moving into their proper places in his mouth. It wasn’t always easy. Compared to the rest of his teeth, the molars were full of more crankies, more snot, and more restless sleep than ever before.

Well, that is until his incisors started growing in.

Ugh.

I will admit I’ve been happy there hasn’t been much in the runny nose department, but the restless sleep and crankies come and go and come and go on a day-to-day basis. Couple this with the force of a 16-month old blooming head-first into his toddlerhood and the adventure just gets more and more whine-filled.

I can’t wait for teething to be over. It’s a series of milestones I look forward to putting behind us all. Less long nights spent nursing (yes, we’re still breastfeeding … no, I don’t have a set-in-stone date for when we’ll wean) and more time exploring new foods will be something to enjoy together. Well, we may actually be able to start the weaning process if he’s ready.

Although, I really hate that phrase, especially now that we’ve come to love elimination communication and all it’s benefits. Potty “readiness” is very different, I think, from weaning “readiness.” During the worst of his teething, Elisha will sometimes refuse to eat anything (except for a bit of fruit here and there and maybe, maybe, maybe some yogurt). I just couldn’t dream of letting him go without eating, so during the worst of his teething days, he would always without fail nurse. Yes, toddler nursing antics (upside down nursing, nursing and dancing, etc.) can sometimes be a challenge to my patience, but it has been more than worth the delay in weaning to keep him full of something nutritious and so incredibly valuable to his development.

There are definitely days I am very ready to wean. There are other days that I know it will be bittersweet.

Given Elisha’s strong personality, however, I know that he will help me set the pace. He already has started putting himself to sleep at night (after nursing) instead of nursing to sleep. Sometimes, laying him in his own bed and sitting in the office chair across the room from him (singing) is the only way he’ll go to sleep. Some nights, when he wakes, I can rock him back to sleep after he goes to the potty. Other nights, he needs to nurse again. On the teething nights, he often nurses all night, but those are getting fewer and farther between.

It’s getting better. It’s been an awesome ride so far. I’m interested in seeing what the end of teething brings into our lives. It should be exciting.

His potty readiness has also been pretty amazing. Since we’ve been practicing EC over the past 10 months, it’s been crazy to see just how much babies are capable of. While he’s not that communicative while teething, he still has so very few misses these days. I’m not confident enough to go out for long errands in training undies, but we did go to church with them last Sunday without issue. He goes all day with maybe a miss or two, and he’s often dry all night long. It’s certainly lessened the burden when it comes to diaper laundry, but I have never considered washing cloth diapers to be much of a burden to begin with. Ha!

Anyway, time just keeps flying by. I still can’t believe I have a walking, talking, drawing, imagining, playing toddler.

Elisha loves to draw

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little drummer boy

little drummer boy

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Well, despite having to give my tomato plants some major attention (they may both be infected with bacterial speck; I’m waiting to see if the dark lesions on leaves reappear on the upper branches that are now out of the shade/moisture of my bushy cucumbers), I will say we have a successful garden. I picked my first cucumbers the other day and there’s four peppers slowly changing color that I can’t wait to eat. Some banana peppers are growing and there’s at least one eggplant on it’s way to shiny fatness. I’m excited.

Elisha had fun carrying the prized cucumbers around the house for a while, though even with all his molars growing in, he’s not quite sure what to do with a bite of their crispiness in his mouth. He tends to gnaw on it for a while and then spit everything out all over the floor and his person. I am not amused by this, but the dog thinks it’s fantastic every time.

It’s also very, very hard to get a busy 15-month old to stand still for photographs any more. He used to be such a ham for the camera, but now he wants to be coy or shy or just try to grab the thing out of my hands. Oh well, such is the life of a busy toddler.

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06242011 - The Garden So Far

06242011 - The Garden So Far

when i planted our garden in the beginning of June, i didn’t really have high expectations. i’ve never been much of a green thumb, and so i just figured things wouldn’t go as planned. luckily, it seems as though vegetables don’t really need much intervention or care about the color of my thumbs. they get watered every morning and a sprinkle of fertilizer every once and a while. i pluck weeds and bugs. i even invented a make-shift terrace:

06242011 - The Garden So Far

and, well, my veggies have done nothing but happily grow.

i love waking up in the morning and peeking out our bedroom window to the deck below to see how big our cherry tomato plant has grown in the night or how fluffy the cucumber foliage has gotten in the dark while we were all dreaming. it’s been really amazing. why haven’t i ever been brave enough to garden before?

i seriously have no idea.

anyway, my father in law built our two man raised beds and i converted two clementine boxes into little raised beds for lettuce (one container has mizuna and the other has mixed baby lettuces and three onions). all of the little plots are just set on the grass that was once our yard, coated in potting soil mix and fertilizer, and so far everything has been great. some of the plants are from a local little garden shop and the rest are from seeds i purchased here on Etsy.

i’ve got 4 cucumber plants, 4 gypsy pepper plants, one regular tomato plant, one cherry tomato plant, one japanese eggplant, and two banana pepper plants (one hot, one sweet). i’m excited to see little mini cucumbers growing and my first eggplant bulb peeking out of where a flower once was. the peppers seem to grow in inches over night. it’s amazing. wanna see?

06242011 - The Garden So Far

06242011 - The Garden So Far

06242011 - The Garden So Far 06242011 - The Garden So Far

i’ve always wanted a garden, so this was a big step for me. it’s been a lot of fun, and i really enjoy sharing it with Elisha. he doesn’t quite understand it all yet, but he’s getting the hang of the watering can (when he’s not busy splashing himself) and he’s learned that only i should be doing the weeding. he loves to point out the peppers growing and i have a feeling he’ll get excited about big purple eggplants.

having a baby and having a garden have similar lessons about growth—sometimes, you just have to let it happen but overall you are responsible for cultivating and directing. i can’t hover over my nasturtiums and make them bud or flower. i can’t helicopter over Elisha and expect him to turn out the way i want him to. he’s already an amazing boy, and i’m here to encourage that, to lay a foundation for him that is firm under his little feet. he’s curious and eager to learn in ways i never expected, and that’s taught me a lot about myself and my expectations of parenthood.

this “growing” of a human being (other than myself) is really quite an adventure. it’s often revealing of things i don’t like about myself, but it’s also often rewarding when i can reflect on just how much Elisha has helped me grow into a better person (though albeit sometimes a sleep-deprived one).

06242011 - The Garden So Far

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06152011 - Garden Boy

06152011 - Garden Boy 06152011 - Garden Boy

06152011 - Garden Boy

06152011 - Garden Boy

06152011 - Garden Boy

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