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I haven’t written because I’ve been swamped with client work (don’t read that as a complaint, either). In addition to all the new work I have, I’m also knee-deep in writing a business plan for our letterpress shop. On top of that, even, I’m trying to clean up my portfolio site as well as combine that blog with this one. Oh, and redesign both sites to make room for all the new changes coming with the new year.

Fun times, right?

So, look out for some changes here (yeah, yeah … changes in activity, too). I’ll be redesigning this blog once I finish up Hello Nifty and put together a site for the letterpress print shop, Stubborn Press & Company, that we’ll be starting in 2012.

Enjoy a little sneak peak of my Hello Nifty update by looking at the logos:

It’s been an interesting year; I can’t believe I’ve been working for myself for almost an entire 12 months now. It hasn’t been easy. Finding a balance between working from home and enjoying my family was probably the most difficult part of it all, considering my husband and toddler and dog are all under the same roof while I’m working. It’s been worth every challenging moment, however—even the financially difficult months (and months and months), which unfortunately were more common than the financially easy ones. I’m glad that we waited until we had some savings before I started this adventure, but I will admit I naively thought getting the business ball rolling would be easier than it turned out to be.

Eleven months of stress and sweat and tears later and I can’t say whether or not I’ve entirely gotten the hang of things. I can say, however, that I look forward to what next year brings after all I’ve learned this year. I look forward to the new adventures of letterpress printing, too …

Oh, did you all know we purchased an old letterpress in August? I’m finishing up our business plan this week in hopes of getting a business loan to rent studio space and finish fixing up the old Chandler and Price New Series 10×15 printing press we rescued from being sold for scrap. It needs new rollers, feed/delivery boards, a foot treadle, and a bit of TLC. Since it’s too big to fit in our little townhouse, we also need some office space. We’re hoping to have everything ready for the new year so we can jump into wedding season with both feet. I hope to offer completely custom wedding stationery, announcements, and business collateral locally and sustainably printed on our C&P, affectionately nick-named the Mule.

Keep an eye out for more on updates on both Hello Nifty and Stubborn Press & Company.

If you’ve got a moment, you can even help me out with the logo design process, since I’m still in the drafting stage. I’m partial to the bottom two (the right is currently my favorite, but I’m really open right now). Check ’em out and please leave a comment:

Share your thoughts?

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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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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our first garden

loving the pool

our first garden

a garden visitor

What do I love this Monday? The feeling of summer that’s in the air. I mean, I’m not looking forward to the heat, but I love summer. I love sunshine and gardens and the pool. This year, we have all of those things in our back “yard” of sorts (it’s hard to call our tiny space in the back of our townhouse a yard).

We caved and bought Elisha a kiddie pool. It gives us something else to do during the day, he loves it, and we can all work on our tans together. He loves the bath (and the sink), so I figured the pool was the next logical step. It’s been very much a success, but I must admit I find a kiddie pool a bit high maintenance considering we don’t have a hose or access to one anywhere near our townhouse. Buckets of water from the sink are kind of annoying, let me tell you, especially since he plastic inflatable thing needs to be emptied and cleaned often because of things like bird poop and bugs. I don’t even think covering it would make a difference, but the smiling baby is totally worth it.

In fact, the baby smiling is really worth it after this rough month we’ve had. Three molars at once, some verbal milestones (he knows a lot of words and signs, even if he doesn’t always use them all when he could), and who knows what else have made sleeping rough and the crankies a constant battle. These past couple days have been on the up and up, however, and I’m not complaining about how worn out a dip in the pool makes little E.

He also loves to jump in first thing in the morning. It’s so cute.

A toddler is a completely different adventure, and I think I still cringe inside a little even when I type that word. He’s still my baby… but he’s gotten so big!

Another new adventure for me is gardening. We’ve got two raised beds out the kitchen door with eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers, and various peppers. I’ve got some lettuce and mizuna to plant, too, but I need to knock the bottom off of two clementine boxes to fill with potting mix and seeds. I should hurry up before it gets too hot, really. Summer is creeping up on us fast … and I’m excited!

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Well, 14 months of Elisha have come and gone. Swiftly at that. I have to confess that these past few months after his first birthday have not been my favorite moments in parenting so far: first year molars and a lot of cognitive development have often left me tired and frustrated. Don’t get me wrong—we have an awesome baby—but his new abilities of walking and talking have brought with them a whole host of challenges very different from simply rolling over or crawling.

Elisha is a very sweet boy. He loves to cuddle, he gives kisses, and he is often very concerned about other babies when he sees or hears them crying. He’s a curious boy. He loves to explore and discover, especially if music, dogs, or the outside are involved in the activity. He is also a strong-spirited boy. He gets that from both myself and his father, whether it’s fortunate or not. Sometimes, it’s not a bad thing, but other times, it’s definitely difficult.

Overall, toddlerhood is a whole new set of experiences for both of us. A new chapter in parenting that has different ups and downs than having a newborn or having a mobile baby did.

Watching him grow and change is a special joy. There isn’t anything I’d want to change, even the hard parts.

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in process

in process

it was a blur of a weekend here at the house. i mostly spent it screen printing for a wedding invitation job for a friend’s sister who’s getting married in july. now that those are all done (150 invites and 150 rsvp cards, all with 2 colors screened by hand on my Gocco. whoo), i feel as though i need a weekend from my weekend.

my weekend my weekend

my weekend

my weekend my weekend

i did finally manage to spend some time relaxing yesterday, while all of my work was drying in the kitchen. please excuse the plumber’s crack on the boy … it’s somehow difficult to keep his training unders up. also, he loves the Bananagrams bag. sometimes, he thinks it’s food and will point at it and/or carry it around smacking his lips loudly (his own made up “sign” for food). other times, he’ll hold it to his head like a phone. bananaphone! i love it.

oh, an the fork. one of his forks went with him everywhere this weekend, and i mean everywhere.

little E will be 14 months old soon, and we’re just not in a hurry to wean from breastfeeding around here. one, he’s not a fan of cow’s milk, and two, i believe there are still definitely health benefits for the boy. lastly, he’s pretty much been teething like a maniac since his first birthday and when there’s nothing else he wants to eat as his first year molars claw their way through his gums, far be it from me to deny him the comfort and nutrition of breastmilk. don’t get me wrong, on good days, the boy can throw down food with toddler abandon, but on days that he is obviously in discomfort, chewing is not on his list of favorite things to do. yes, it can be frustrating for me to put up with the acrobatics of a nursing toddler, not to mention the occasional bite from an overtired, cranky boy, but, i know that the rewards are still there for both of us. he’s comforted and fed. i have a baby asleep in 15 minutes or less. no complaints there.

he no longer requests to nurse in public unless he’s tired. our nursing is now mostly centered around nap and bedtimes. before you explode with how terrible that must be for my child—how will he ever learn to sleep on his own? oh the horror!—i’ll just say this … i highly doubt my child(ren) will be unable to sleep on their own at 3, 4, or 18 years old. there will come a day that Eli sleeps on his own, and there will even come a day that he sleeps through the night (he still wakes up once to eat at night … sometimes twice).

there are definitely times that i want my body to myself. i get impatient and frustrated when there’s whining or biting or upsidedown antics. so, i’m no supermom in that respect.

to be honest, when Elisha was born i didn’t even know if we’d make it breastfeeding to begin with. it took 8 days for my milk to come in (instead of the standard 24-72 hours that all those nurses and baby books swore to me), and if it wasn’t for the assurance and help of an aspiring lactation consultant friend, i would’ve given in and supplemented with formula instead of enduring and waiting. instead, i was comforted knowing colostrum was all that my newborn needed, even though it never felt like enough. in retrospect, little E was just a hungry baby. he still is. he ate often, and i’m thankful that i was able to feed him on demand. after my milk came in and we all got to know each other better, E settled into a schedule all his own. we didn’t have to impose one, and my milk supply even endured my returning to work and pumping twice a day while at the office. i was blessed to be able to go home and feed him for lunch, and now that i’ve quit my day job to work for myself all these months later, i’ll admit i was happy to put the pump away.

i understand that not everyone will have or has had the great experiences i have with breastfeeding, but i do feel like so many new moms aren’t even given the choice to even try it. some are afraid of the whole thing, and others are simply pressured to supplement with formula when it’s not necessary or even to stop breastfeeding early. since breastmilk is a supply and demand sort of function (funny how that works out so well), i often wonder if my milk would have come in at all if i hadn’t endured the long wait.

i’ll admit that parenting has taught me a lot about patience from all sorts of angles. some of them, i wish i could’ve learned differently, but others have been worth it entirely. breastfeeding has been one part of this journey i have no regrets about. little E will wean eventually, and we’ll move on to new parenting adventures and hopefully more children.

i look forward to it all over again.

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