Me Made

After I had Gema I started sewing again.  I learned to sew in 4-H and sewed several things in middle school and high school.  I was very impatient in high school and never did a very good job with the cutting and hemming and once I just taped my hem up and I wore it that way!!  My mom was always mortified every time I left the house in something I made, because she was very afraid that people would think she made it.  However, I was always pretty proud.  It is crazy how creating something yourself, gives you the pride of ownership and it gives you a little extra boost of confidence when you wear it.  

You know how when people go do those tipsy painting events (or whatever they are called in your town) -where you sit in a room and someone shows you the steps to painting something while you hang out with your friends and drink wine- and every time the class is over, everyone loves the painting THEY made?  That has always baffled me, because sometimes people post pictures on facebook and I am like, that looks terrible – but they are always so proud of their painting.  I think it is the process.  The process of overcoming your fears, or  your perceived weaknesses and creating something with your own hand.  That is the same idea with sewing.  A goal I have for this year is to make something new for myself to wear every month. I love wearing things I made, I feel like I stand a little taller when I wear it.  I feel like it makes me look a little better too.  Now, I am not a perfect seamstress and there are definitely flaws in every single thing i have ever made, but I still feel like it is awesome, because I MADE IT.  

I have been making a lot of Gema’s clothing too, and I love it when her daycare teacher tells me that they really like her shirt and they notice that it does not have a tag, and did I make that?  That makes me feel super great.  Now, I know that those same teachers are probably thinking, you could get a shirt just like that from target for $8 why on earth would you go to all that trouble?  That is a fair point.  However again, it is the process of making the shirt, or the dress, that makes it worth it.  The fact that I put in the time to connect with my daughter in that way.  There is definitely something magic to the artistic process.  

New Adventures

I have been working on a new venture for several months now, and I keep putting off actually launching it, partly because of fear of failure. However, I have everything lined up and am ready to go.  So, my new handmade doll line is going to go live on Monday!  It it terrifying to put my creations out there into the cyber world.  I have no idea if anyone will like them, or if anyone will want to buy one.  That fear of the unknown and fear of criticism keeps me from doing lots of things.  However, no more!  

 

I have recently gotten back into sewing.  I have also recently found the wondrous world of heirloom quality handmade dolls.  There are so many creative people out there!  I love it.  Gema has a pretty large collection of handmade dolls, all of which she could care less about, they really do not seem to entice her at all, but I keep hoping she will grow into them.  Anyway, I started working on my own pattern and playing around with creating my own dolls.  I have two different patterns, one with hair and one with fabric hair that is safer for smaller children.  I am launching my site – www.paramiprincesa.com with the fabric hair dolls first and then I am going to add the second line hopefully in the next month.  

 

I am planning to make a small batch each week, probably alternating the two patterns and listing them for sale on the website on Monday nights.  Each doll is thoughtfully created and dressed by hand.  With lots of love and care going into each and every one.  
I know that there is a wide variety of handmade dolls being made out there, and there are tons that are way more creative and beautiful than mine, but I hope that my dolls can find homes that will love them and appreciate the care and time that went into making each one. Even if I never sell one, the effort that has gone into the process has helped me to find a creative outlet and I have learned how to take joy in the small details.  That is something that I have struggled with for a long time.  

The Power of Sleep

Two nights ago Gema was crazy!  She just got home and melted down.  She cried and cried, she wouldn’t eat, and she keep throwing her paci down and then crying and reaching for it.  So, finally at 5:30 I gave up and took her to bed.  Which was only like 30 minutes early for bed.  But still, as I get off work at 3:30 –  5:30 bed time does not give me and my girl much time together.  However, she went right  to sleep and she slept until I woke her up at 6:30 the next morning.  When she woke up she was all smiles and sunshine. Then last night she ate everything on her plate, she played with all of her toys, and especially delightful – she asked for a bath. (she is her mother’s child, and she usually is resistant to this idea.)   At 6:30 after I had put her to sleep, I looked around at all the things that i needed to do, and I just felt tired.. and sore… and cranky…and like I wanted to throw my paci on the floor over and over.  And I was like, you know what?  I am going to see what twelve hours of sleep does for me.  So, I went to bed.  This morning I felt like I was walking on sunshine.

 

I think that sometimes, we get all wrapped up in the grind and all that we need to accomplish, and all that…adulting, and sometimes we just need to be still.  We just need to realize that there is a time when we need sleep, and the time for working will wait.  So, no guilt.  I slept for eleven and half hours and it was wonderful!  Next time you look around and just want to throw something, just stop, and read a book, take a bath, or be like me and just go to bed instead.  Take time to rejuvenate so that you can face the rest of the week with a better outlook and with energy.

Making Memories

I needed to make cookies for a goodbye party for a friend.  My little girl is very in to “helping” these days, and I have been trying to include her in more of my daily tasks, so that she can feel like she is a part of what goes on in our house.  This is not always easy, as almost everything would go quicker if I did not include her, but it would not be as rewarding either.  For the cookie endeavor, I had visions of the two of us laughing while stiring a bowl of cookie dough, and my daughter artfully arranging sprinkles on the cookies — all while fun music played in the background.  The reality was far from that.   Which was mostly in my completely unrealistic expectations, as I of course mixed everything in my Kitchen-aid, who really mixes cookies with a spoon anyway?  Furthermore,  I did not even make any cookies requiring sprinkles.

I suppose everything could be improved with some sprinkles, but that is not the point.  The point is, we did make some memories.  Gema stood on the step stool and watched me put the ingredients into the mixer.  She laughed when I broke the eggs, every time. She begged to dump in the cups of flour.  And most of all, she LOVED taste testing the results.  I was really glad that I included her in the cookies.  There were less than enjoyable parts of the afternoon – the melt downs that ensued when i said that we had tested enough and the internal cringe that came when an entire cup of flour ended up on the floor was hard to control. Bright side, she is getting pretty good at using the brush to sweep things into the dustpan these days.

Once we had the cookies mixed and on pans waiting to go into the oven, we would sit on the floor and “watch” them cook through the oven door, (one of her favorite things to do, side note: I really need to teach her about the concept of a watched pot never boiling.)  while she sat on my lap and enjoyed her sample from the pan that just came out of the oven.  THOSE are the memories I will remember, not my frustration over the flour on the fl0or.

ONCE UPON A TIME

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So, I grew up on a dairy farm and we ate “local” “clean” food every day. I mean virtually all of our meat was grown on our farm, and most of our vegetables were sourced from neighbors. We NEVER ate “out” because my mom would always say, “I could have made this better at home.” Now, I never tasted anything at home that (to my 10 year old self) tasted as good as McDonalds chicken nuggets. However, we did eat pretty good at home and it was almost entirely “clean eating” way before that was cool.

Then I grew up, I went to college, life got crazy busy and I got lazy. I started eating “out” more and more. I grew to love fast food of all types. I learned to cook at home, and was perfectly capable of doing better for myself, I just lacked the motivation.

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THEN, I turned 30. Everyone says age is just a number, and that is true. However, at 30 my body started telling me NO! It had never done that before! I would abuse it and eat junk and sporadically work out and it just plugged along, slightly over weight but still moving forward. Then one day, I realized, 3 hours of sleep a night is not cutting it. I am so tired!!! Then like a month later, I was like, “hey, why does my stomach hurt when I eat French fries?” Then, a month after that, I was like, “the circles under my eyes are so dark when I don’t drink enough water!” All of these new revelations came at me and still I resisted change. I did sleep more, but the rest, “ain’t nobody got time for that.” Then when I was 31, I became pregnant. My body abruptly told me, ENOUGH!!! I started being more consistent about eating at least 2 meals a day, I mean you can’t grow a tiny human on one grilled cheese sandwich a day!!! I sometimes made dubious decisions about the content of the three meals, ( I mean Fruit Loops are fortified people!) but I did eat more regularly. Additionally the addition of the doctor telling me every month that I really needed to drink more water, spurred me on to being better hydrated.5.jpg

After the baby left my body, however, my motivation ceased. I was still breastfeeding, and that should have given me more motivation than it did.( Mommy is so sorry baby!) I went back to my old ways, and now I was even more sleep deprived than before!!1.jpg

In December my baby was 6 months old, and I realized, something has to change! I started looking for ways to make our lives better. It needed to start with food. Food really is the foundation of everything. Food, water, sleep, environment, and state of mind all needed to change. But food was the beginning.8.jpg

I looked around and I read a book called The Plan. This book was great. It talked a lot about how food interacts with our bodies and how we needed to detox from the harmful things we put in our bodies and then once we have returned to a baseline level, slowly introduce different types of foods and see how our bodies react to different types of food. This made since to me and it had a handy 30 day eating plan for detoxing and introducing food groups back in, and I followed it religiously. I felt good. I got more sleep. Then 30 days ended. What do I do now? The author had told me that I would know what to do. That I had been given all the tools. However, there was math involved, and it seemed like too much work. Then I read the book, It Starts With Food. Well, lets be honest, first I read the website, whole30. Which had lots and lots of pictures and a well thought out plan that had the same basic basis as The Plan did. There are types of food that cause inflammation and reactions in our bodies and we need to get rid of these in order to discover what foods…yada yada…. same idea, slightly different plan of attack. This new plan, involved 30 days of detoxing and then adding back in different foods. It also did not hold my hand each day telling me exactly what to eat for 3 meals a day and then just leave me cold and dry to do math on my own. In fact, no math. I did the 30 days. I finished, and felt great. I was sleeping better, and this was the month before the Bar Exam so the fact I was sleeping at all was a miracle. Then, after all that, I read It Starts With Food. This book gave me a revelation. We need to have a better relationship with foods. We can drown our sorrows in a pint of ice-cream. Food is meant to sustain our very life. The love hate relationship we all have with sugar is not normal and is not healthy. Sugar shouldn’t be our everything! It shouldn’t even be our anything!!

This is just background on where I am at today and where I am at starting this blog. I just want to chronicle the journey that I am taking to better living for me and my family!13.jpg

Today, as I have added cream and the occasional cheese back into my diet. (because I grew up on a dairy farm remember, lets get real cheese is my everything.) I have managed to keep from eating added sugars for an additional 30 days since finishing my month of whole 30. I have also managed to eat minimal grains save for the occasional corn tortilla. (Who can live without tacos?!?!) and I have even resisted most legumes. I notice the biggest difference personally with this one. My body really doesn’t like them very much. I LOVE hummus, but I ALWAYS have a headache when I eat it. So, it probably isn’t a very good thing for me to eat. Also, I am eating meat everyday. Which I have not done since I was little. As an adult, meat is expensive, and takes time too cook, and I just didn’t eat much of it.

Keep following along with me and my family and we start an adventure for a better life!