March 20, 2014

Three Dreaded Words of Mommyhood: “Enjoy every moment.” Why I don’t, and why I’m totally okay with that


I live in an area with lots of young families. We have almost 40 kids on my little street alone. With so many 20 and 30 somethings, there are always pregnant women in the neighborhood and at church on Sundays. I go to baby showers and see lots of Facebook posts about pregnancies and births. So, inevitably, I often hear and read those three loaded, dreadful words of mommyhood: “Enjoy every moment.”


I hate those three words. I cringe every time I hear them. I feel for the new mother, who, on top of everything else she has to think about, now has to think about enjoying every moment and subsequently feeling guilty when she doesn’t. Doesn’t a new mom have enough to worry about? I think that most of the people who sweetly say, “Enjoy every moment,” fall into three categories: 1) They are old and have selective memory about raising their own children; 2) They don’t have kids; and 3) They feel guilty that they aren’t enjoying every moment with their own children, and desperately think if they say it enough it will come true.


Let’s try an experiment. If there are any fathers reading this, you go home from work and ask your wife if she enjoyed every moment of her day with your four rambunctious children, and then see if she doesn’t haul off and sock you. Men do not say those three words. Men are wise.


Do I enjoy every moment of being a mother? HECK, NO. The first six months of Little Guy’s life were horrendous. He wasn’t a good sleeper, I didn’t know what to do with him, and I had minimal movement and maximum pain from a slow C-section recovery. I wasn’t about to laugh heartily and enjoy the moment when my baby cried in hunger because I couldn’t produce enough milk. I didn’t feel like grinning when he had five colds in four months. I wasn’t celebrating when, on my birthday, all I did was lie on the floor in the baby’s room and cry.


“But that was a bad situation,” you might say. “Surely you enjoy every moment now that he’s older.” And again I say, HECK, NO. Little Guy is two. He clears out every item in his dresser and declares, “Mommy clean it up!” He throws things. He screams. His favorite word is “no.” Don’t get me wrong; he is generally a sweet and good boy. But he has his moments. And I’m expected to enjoy them? Well, I don’t. And that’s okay. Let me repeat: THAT’S OKAY.

God didn’t put us on this earth to live a perfect life of rainbows and butterflies. We’re here to have challenges and trials, to have successes and learn from our failures. Having children does not make us exempt from trials; in fact, it increases them. And you know what? Having bad moments I don’t enjoy helps me enjoy the good moments even more. I don’t enjoy it when Little Guy is sick, but I am extra happy when I hear his infectious laugh when he feels better. I don’t enjoy his tantrums, but I really enjoy his excitement about playing ball with his dad post-tantrum. I admit I don’t enjoy kissing Little Guy’s 574th “owie” of the day (Mother of the Year Award right here, people), but my heart goes pitter-pat when he shyly looks at Husband and me and says, “Family.”


Without the bad, I wouldn’t enjoy the good as much. I don’t necessarily like the bad times, but I appreciate that they make the good times better. So to everyone out there with bad moments—married or single, old or young, with children or without, in school or not, working or not—don’t be like me and get mad when someone tells you to enjoy every moment of your current situation. Just smile and say no thanks. It’s okay. We all have some awesome moments coming our way.

March 13, 2014

Making a Diaper Bag


Recently, my friend Lindsay (who's expecting twins, bless her), asked me if I could make her a diaper bag. I was flattered and somewhat terrified, but I was excited for a new challenge. I was unsure about where to start, but after some discussion about what my friend wanted, we decided on a tote-type bag with a PUL (polyurethane laminate) lining, complete with fun pockets outside and in. I didn't have any kind of pattern, so basically I was flying by the seat of my pants. (Incidentally, what the heck does that mean?) I ended up taking four different patterns and meshing them all together, hoping it would come out the way I wanted. And I think it did. 

The front of the bag has two pockets, one for a pink binky and one for a blue binky.



The inside is made with PUL, a laminated fabric that is often used for cloth diapers. Other than that, I'm not sure what it's used for besides making sewers learn new swear words. This stuff is a beast to work with. Here we have a large zipper pocket and three open pockets.


And the surprise on the back? Detachable (and adjustable and padded) backpack straps.



My friend requested these for those times when she's got a baby carrier in each hand. I don't blame her. I don't want her to throw out a hip or something. I thought these would be the hardest part of the project, but they were pretty simple to make. I know they are very popular these days on those inexplicably overpriced Petunia Picklebottom bags (or, as I like to call them, Pansy Cucumberbutt), so I studied those and made them the same way.

Overall, I'm happy with how the bag turned out. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to know that something I made will help out a little with two sweet babies.

February 18, 2014

My Addiction


I admit it. I have a problem. I am addicted to bags. I don’t really go for those overpriced leather bags that are plastered all over with a brand name. I’ve always been drawn to colorful fabrics and relaxed looks. I like Vera Bradley bags, but I have to be careful with those because some of them look like bags that old ladies keep their knitting in. You walk a very fine line, Vera.

I don’t anticipate getting over this addiction anytime soon. Case in point: a few days after finishing my purse from hell, I decided to make another one. I couldn’t help myself; I had the fabric and a new pattern, and I wanted to have a non-stressful purse-making experience.


This little number was a dream to make compared to last week’s. And I love love love it. 



Inside it has a pleated pocket,



and a zipper pocket. And a shiny snap.



The final size is a little smaller than I anticipated, so I’ll use it when I don’t have to carry along a sippy cup, three toy cars, and a bag of fishy crackers. (When I figure out when that is, I’ll let you know.)


Speaking of which, today I made this drawstring bag for Little Guy’s cars. (Two ends of the sewing spectrum right here, people.)



 He is an obsessed little boy, and for his birthday he got a number of additions to his already large fleet. I don’t mind the amount; I just don’t want them parked all over our floor. Little Guy even helped pick out the fabric. He wanted the one with the “fancy cars.”


It was great to have a few days of non-stressed-out sewing!

February 14, 2014

Heart Cookies and a Rant


Valentine's Day is pretty low-key at our house. We don't like crowded, overpriced restaurants, and I don't like how so many women think they can treat their significant other however they want and then expect gifts in return since that's what Hallmark dictates. I don't need to be told when to tell my loved ones I love them, and all the public declarations of love and humble-brags about gifts on Facebook is enough to make me gag as much as they did when I was single.

That being said (or complained, or ranted), I do like to whip up something heart-themed just so I can use a cute cookie cutter or two.


I never used to like making cutout cookies until I found some great recipes from Our Best Bites. The cookies hold their shape, which was always a problem for ones I made in the past. My snowmen and Christmas trees always looked like they were on steroids. 


A heart for each of my boys. Baby, by the way, turned two a few days ago. Two! It still baffles me that I have a small person running around my house, speaking in sentences, and laughing hysterically at funny parts in his favorite movies. With him no longer a baby, I guess I can't really call him "Baby" on my blog anymore. So he has been rechristened "Little Guy." I will probably call him that when he's 16 too. And now I'm thinking of him being 16. Wah. So I'm going to go tell him I love him, without Facebook, without flowers, and without a card. I don't think he'll care that he doesn't get those things. But he'll definitely be demanding some of those cookies.

February 4, 2014

My Gift to Me (or, How a Bag Almost Killed Me Off)


A couple of posts ago I mentioned that I was excited for some fabric to arrive in the mail. It was some cute fabric to make into a purse—a reward for myself for getting my Etsy shop opened. And here it is:


I love the fabric. And I love the lining fabric:




This thing has custom piping,



a phone pocket,



and an inside zipper pocket.



And now that it’s done, I think the sewing gods need to give me a reward for getting through this project. I found a new gray hair this morning that I know is directly related to this $#@!*% purse. (A gray hair that I promptly pulled out, thank you.) I found the purse tutorial online months ago, and I’ve had my eye on it since then. I finally decided to dive in as my Etsy projects slowed down. Now, when I follow sewing tutorials I follow the instructions exactly, and I study the photos to make sure I’m doing everything correctly. I’m a perfectionist. Or just kinda OCD. Which is why I was so frustrated. The photos showed steps that weren’t included in the written instructions, and some of the measurements were wrong. My seam ripper has never gotten so much mileage. Some of the stitching looks like the Bride of Frankenstein was practicing to give her husband a few more scars. I even BROKE A NEEDLE in my sewing machine, people. That’s frustrated sewing, right there. 

When I was done grumbling, whining, and pulling my hair out (hopefully some gray ones were included), I asked Husband if he wanted to know everything that was wrong with the finished product. He said no. It looked great and that was what mattered. Aw, he’s so sweet. But I wanted to tell someone and thought I’d complain to y'all. But then I stopped and looked at my new purse again, and thought, “You know, self, you’re the only one who sees the flaws. That’s a pretty darn cute bag, and a year ago you couldn’t have even defined what topstitching is, let alone made a whole purse. So, be HAPPY with it and be PROUD of it. Now go eat a cookie.”


And so I am, and I am, and I did. That voice in my head is pretty awesome sometimes. 


And so you can enjoy those cute fabrics without all the pain and suffering, I'll be having a giveaway on my Facebook page to celebrate that the project didn't kill me off. Enter to win one of these lined zip pouches I made from the leftover fabric!


January 26, 2014

It's Open!


Woohoo! My Etsy shop--Catch Some Sunshine--is officially open. YAY! It has certainly been a labor of love. Labor because...well, duh, it's been a lot of work. Love because I love every item in it and I hope they all find good homes. 

You can click on the two Etsy links over there on the right side of my blog, or access my shop directly at https://www.etsy.com/shop/CatchSomeSunshine.
You can also join my Facebook page, where I will post updates about my shop, feature new items, and have giveaways. Who doesn't love free stuff? My first giveaway is coming up soon. In order to be entered in it, you'll need to like the Facebook page. (https://www.facebook.com/catchsomesunshine) Thanks to my awesome readers for your support!