Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Division of Labor

Big Trees State Park, California, 2006

Disneyland, 2005
Summer is here, and that usually means summer traveling.

My husband and I, in our nearly 18 years of marriage have settled into distinct roles as we travel. I should add that a big part of what I take on in my role comes from living with and being close to my grandmother--who, as much as I love her, I have to admit was a little paranoid about the oddest things. This has affected how I prepare for a trip. I simply can't help it. I'm much more stressed if I DON'T do these things.

My Jobs when we travel:
  • wash all of the laundry in the house and coordinate wardrobes so that no matter what my boys put on, I know that they won't look like ragged children
  • create packing lists for the children and then double-check their suitcases
  • If we are traveling by car (and we usually are) I plan and pack food for meals and snacks, and I make sure everyone has a water bottle. I work to have "real food," not junk food. This also means I do all of the shopping for said food.
  • Help each child pack a car bag, with books, games, etc., to keep them occupied. This includes shopping for new things because new thinks catch their interest better. I also make sure everyone has working headphones.
  • Pack a technology bag for everything else--laptop, charger, cellphone charger, headphones, etc. Make sure we have any videocameras and/or tripods. Make sure the cameras are ready to go.
  • Pack a first-aid kit that will allow us to do anything except minor surgery. Pack any medicines the kids could need (mostly 'cause it never fails that someone will get sick in some way while we are gone and I hate buying the same medicines I already have at home, usually in bulk)
  • Pack sunscreen and insect repellant
  • Look over our destination and make sure we've checked out fun things for the kids to do online ahead of time so we can be prepared.
  • Clean the house as much as possible so we don't come home to a dirty house.
  • Make arrangements for the dog to be cared for.
  • Make arrangements for the fish to be cared for.
  • Stop the mail.
  • Make sure the bills get paid. (this just means checking in with my husband--he keeps our bills paid, I'm just his reminder.)
  • Make sure the kids have packed their toothbrushes and hairbrushes.
  • Pack a vacation essentials kit with shampoo, laundry products, kleenex, hand soap, etc.
  • Pack my clothes, taking extra care not to forget underwear or my swimsuit (as I have done in the past.)
  • Make sure the kids have packed their swim bags. Make sure everyone has a towel and goggles.
  • Make sure we have some kind of blanket for sitting on the ground, just in case
  • Pack a car kit for each section of the car in readiness for anyone's car sickness. Our kits include ziploc bags (to catch the obvious) and hand sanitizer, because a little dab of alcohol on the base of the nose can stave off nausea for about 45 minutes. Usually long enough for the car sickness to pass without any excitement.
  • Make sure we have any necessary phone numbers.
  • Make sure we have car chargers for at least one phone.
  • Make sure that there are car blankets in the car for each child (and me)
  • Pack videos and books on tape to listen to. Make sure we have good music selections that everyone likes.
  • Try to think of any possible contingency and have a plan in place for dealing with that contingency. (I kid you not--it's kind of a sickness I inherited from my paranoid grandmother...)
Joel's Jobs
  • use priceline or something else to get us cheap hotels
  • pay the bills
  • make sure the car is at peak performance--change the oil, change the tires, fill up the windshield washing spray
  • choose our route
  • pack his own bag (with the clean pile of clothes I've left for him)
  • Drive
I don't really mind that my list is so much longer than his. Like I've said, I can't help it. Plus he does 90% of the driving (he gets car sick) so I think in the end, our roles are pretty even. Plus, I like it that my husband appreciates all of my efforts and makes sure to tell me. That's nice to hear! Our division of labor might not work for everyone, but it works for us--and isn't that one of the things marriage is all about? One of my favorite definitions of a good partner in life was to choose someone who's "rocks fit your holes," meaning that the rocks in your partner's head fit the holes in your head. I feel like I have that with my husband.

Yellowstone National Park, 2008
Now if you'll excuse me, I have some things I need to do...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Retro Sun Hats--I want one!

Do you think they come in Grown-Up sizes? I could totally rock this look!

link HERE for the article where I first saw them and HERE for the maker's etsy shop.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Things I know Today--6-23-10

playing with capes in the yard

1. My sister Susan's birthday is in a week. My sister Janet's birthday was 10 days ago. I'm going to be seeing them this summer, and I hope I can get a gift made for them before I leave. I have a plan that I LOVE and just need to make the time to make it.
2. "Summer's lease hath all too short a date." Shakespeare had this one totally right. (sonnet 18)
3. I have been much too busy in the last couple of months. Busy to the point of insane. Good thing I have a break this weekend!
4. I have too much crafty stuff. It's time to let some projects good. Good thing there was the Super Crafty Swap last week!
5. I am learning to listen to my body better when I am eating. It's like a switch flipped when I turned forty. It's been a learning experience so far. Things that didn't used to bother me now do.
6. I am constantly amazed by the ingenuity of the human mind.
7. Basic Grey (a scrapbooking company) constantly impresses me with their new releases. Such cool stuff!
8. I am loving the Summer Stories so far on Ali Edward's blog and looking forward to the whole series!
9. Taking time to reflect and count blessings is a necessary part of life. At least for me. Especially when I have been so crazy busy.
10. I'm totally in love with my family right now. I am working on really feeling the present moment and appreciating it and it's working.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I Love Mornings Like This

I woke up feeling that happy giddy feeling you used to get as a child when you had a new toy and couldn't wait to get up to play with it.  It took me a couple of minutes to realize that I was still super excited about sewing again. I am making a bag for J to take to a youth conference next week, using one of the most intelligent patterns I've ever found--the Mail Sack by Kathy Mack. I've loved this bag ever since I read about it on her blog. I think it's pretty awesome that you can take flat, two dimentional fabric like this:

Ginseng by Joel Dewberry. It's a home dec weight fabric, but pretty dreamy to work with. You can buy it here or here. Some of the prints are sold out, but you might be able to find it locally. We bought ours at Creative Crafts and Frames in Corvallis.

And then end up with this lovely 3-dimensional product (modeled by the eventual user):

We changed the pattern up just a bit--we added a small magnetic snap and then customized the interior pockets to accomodate a lip balm, a couple of pens, and her notebook (small specifically-sized pockets instead of two good-sized pockets.

No pens in this picture, but you can see the notebook. We also made a pocket sized for her cell phone.
It was a dreamy, easy project to sew. I completely recommend the pattern. There are lots of pictures of it on Flickr, so if you are on the fence, go check it out and then make your own! I used fusible fleece for the interfacing. The more I make bags, the more I like that instead of heavy-duty interfacing. The heavy-duty stuff never seems thick enough. The fusible fleece gives you both heft and thickness, making it perfect for bags (in my opinion). Now to make one for me!

(On a side note, I saved the bigger scraps for my person in the Super Crafty Swap because she is a quilter, and can appreciate them. I also hope she likes vintage patterns, because we culled our collection last night, and I'm throwing those into her package as well!)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

So Ready for School To be Done

H. gets ready to walk through the arch at the 5th Grade Promotion ceremony.

I've been working for the past six weeks at a third job. It's taking a lot of my time, although I really am enjoying it the job. I'm ready for something to leave my plate though. We have a busy summer planned, with road trips, surgery for C. (to fix his wonky eye), and another backyard play with our dear friends. Summers used to seem so long when we were children--now those ten weeks just woosh by. We are also planning to visit Yellowstone again.

I am also working on another list for myself. I enjoyed my 40/40 list so much (and yes, I haven't forgotten my need to do a "sum up") that I want another one to guide my next year. Here's what I have so far:
1. Learn to Juggle
2. See a movie by myself (a carryover from the last year)
3. Go away for the weekend by myself (another carryover)
4. Have a Photo Shoot Friday once a month, where I take pictures for one family. I want to have a book all about family connections when this is over.
5. Continue to make exercise and eating better an important part of my life.
6. Sew More.

I'll leave you with one last picture of my oldest son. He's embarking on the road to middle school. And he was the only one wearing a suit. I was so impressed with him!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Super Crafty Swap Partner--Totally Selfish Mention

If you are reading this as my Super Crafty Swap Partner, and you are a knitter, I have always wanted a pair of hand-knit socks. *cheesy grin* Someday, I'd like to learn to knit my own, but that isn't going to happen for awhile...

Whoever my partner is, Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I'm still here!

I'm working at a local Waldorf school now--about 10-15 hours a week until school gets out. I'm also still doing about 25 hours a week for my Korean Newspaper Talk job, so that leaves little time for much else.

I'm also doing a Super Cool Crafty Swap with Amber Lee Pence, of The Ribbon Jar. I've done this once before with Amber, and had an awesome time!

Things I know Today: 6-1-10
1. I'm really really really tired of the constant rain. This is our punishment for having a dry winter, I think. We usually have mild sunny weather by now, and instead, just more rain. I'm wondering if we moved to Forks , Washington (where the Cullen's supposedly live) and didn't know it.
2. It's okay to advocate for yourself when appropriate.
3. Businesses that have reputation for good customer service will give you good customer service, especially if you ask for it.
4. I really need to stop drinking so much soda. It's like a switched flipped when I turned 40 and now I can't stomach it as well. I think I'm sad about this. I plan to try some uncaffeinated sodas and see if what is irritating me is the caffeine. I'll let you know.
5. I still have a crazy relationship with chocolate. Does anyone else chase their breakfast with a "little somethin'" and have a piece of chocolate after breakfast? Just me? Yeah, I figured it was like that.
6. Being close enough to family to have big family gatherings is a precious gift.
7. High School students can be crazy-talented.
8. Fresh french bread from the store bakery is a special treat.
9. So are fresh cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting.
10. My sister-in-law from Wenatchee makes a fantastic chocolate cake. I need her frosting recipe. She spent about 10 years as the food editor for the Wenatchee paper and it shows. Yummmmm.