The Last Month

It really isn’t my intention to keep doing these massive catch up blog posts. Time just seems to keep getting away from me and I never have the time I need to post things event by event. It’s frustrating on so many levels! In the last few months I’ve even gone entire weeks between uploading my photos to my computer. And for me – that is ridiculous. Photography doesn’t appeal to me as much as it used to (sad to say) and I’ve had other priorities lately. Anyway, I’ll try to keep this relatively brief…

We finally made it to Little Amerricka. Both last year and this we bought season passes so the boys and I could have something fun to do during the long summer days. And once again I’m finding it really hard to actually make use of the passes. It’s only 25 minutes away, but the park is only open a couple of days a week with stupid hours (12-5) and it’s not as easy to go as I always think it will be. Anyway, we’ve been there a couple of times now and will hopefully make it a lot more in the next month!

It rained so much in June that the majority of the train ride’s path was flooded!

Matching Supermen.

Feeling guilty that we’re only going on vacations without our kids this year, I persuaded Greg to take a day off so we could go to the Dells for a few hours. We had coupons for the Ducks, which I thought the boys would really enjoy.

It didn’t really go the way I had hoped – Caden was fairly terrified. I felt so bad for him. 🙁

After awhile Caden decided Daddy was the safer one to sit by on that scary ride. (Shepard loved it, by the way. It’s funny how different kids can be.)

To make it up to him we went mini golfing afterward. He loved it!

Watching Shepard play made me think he’d make a much better hockey player. 🙂

He got a hole in one on his second course!

Lovely photo.

For the 4th of July we went to Cedar Lake. Disappointed that I’d once again miss all the big Columbus activities, I dragged everyone to the carnival on the night of the 3rd to check things out. It was all so expensive that we just played on the playground! One of these years I’ll get to see the huge Columbus parade…

The guys feeding the fish oatmeal at Cedar Lake.

It was a very laid back and quiet day.

Trying to get a nice family photo is pretty difficult these days!

Not so bad.

Caden has turned into such a HUGE water bug this summer. He’s always seemed to enjoy swimming, but now I think it’s definitely his favorite thing in the world to do. He absolutely loved floating on this tube on the 4th!

Shepard, however, was scared to death. (Again, the differences – and not what you’d expect.)

Back at Grandma and Grandpa’s house we did a couple of mild fireworks. Unfortunately, Caden was misbehaving pretty badly at this point in the day and both boys had to go to bed early. No fireworks for any of us this year. I was really disappointed since they’re both at the perfect age to enjoy them. 🙁 I had really been looking forward to watching with them.

So, to try and make up for lack of fireworks, we went to the local pool the next night. They both were in heaven! We’ve been back three times since then. Next year we’re definitely going to have to invest in that season pass. If it were up to Caden we’d be there every day!

We went fishing for the third time with my family. Greg finally gave in and bought a fishing license so he could join in. He seemed to enjoy it a lot more once he could participate!

The fish weren’t biting that day, but Shepard still caught one!

In the middle of all this other stuff I’ve been sewing, researching sewing tips, searching for patterns, buying fabric, and practicing as many new things as I can fit in. It’s hard to imagine what I was doing with all my time a mere three months ago before I opened my sewing machine up! Now I can’t imagine my life without it! I’ve been having so much fun! Above is a tiny teddy bear I made. I don’t like his eyes…

I also made these ducks! I plan to make a lot more of them in varying shades for my first craft fair booth in December! (By the way, I signed up to be in a craft fair!!)

And these love birds!

I wanted to make something for the boys to enjoy, so I created these monsters. They weren’t as excited as I had hoped, but I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out.

I’ve been trying some new Annie patterns to figure out which styles I enjoy making the most. I LOVE this one and decided to keep her for myself. I think I really like this pattern because it looks like an actual DOLL and not just a decoration.

I also learned how to make my first bag! It took me forever to decide what pattern I wanted to use. I wanted something simple, but stylish. I settled on this one and love how cute it turned out. The only problem was how tiny it was. Not very functional (until I realized it’s perfect for a handful of diapers and package of wipes!).

So I made a bigger size! I never realized how often I could use a tote bag until I actually had a nice one. I’ve been using it for everything this past week and a half.

After seeing my bags, my mom and friend both commissioned me to make two bags for them. I absolutely love this gray and mustard combination. I think it’s my favorite color combination, though I can’t get away with wearing it. Both my camera strap and my sewing machine cover are these colors. Love it.

Another of the bags. I love this color combination too. I also made floral and autumn bags for my mom.

And after learning how to make the tote bags I really wanted to try something smaller with a zipper. So I made little bags to match the totes! I LOVE the ruffle!

So pretty. These little bags have sparked a whole new obsession. Now instead of only hunting for perfect Annie dress fabric, now I’m constantly thinking about what patterns would look great on a tiny ruffled bag!

I made these for my sisters-in-law’s birthday. The pink and red one is my favorite so far.

Okay, back to the order of events for the month. (Sorry this is kind of scattered.) Last weekend Greg went to Chicago for a thing with a bunch of his online friends. And of course Shepard just happened to get sick while he was gone! Fortunately it was only a one day thing. So bizarre. We just cuddled all day.

The next morning we went to a flea market that’s been advertised for the last few months. I was disappointed in how small it was, but I did find some treasures. Ever since I committed to that craft fair in December I’ve been looking for cute things I can use to display my Annies. I was so excited to find this vintage suitcase in great condition for only $18!

I also found these gems – and everything was so cheap! I wish I could go to flea markets every weekend. The hunt alone is so much fun! I love the tiny green iron I found. I want to keep it for myself! 🙂

Later that day we had a family get together. Caden saw the tiny (dog) swimming pool and ran straight for it.

Shepard was back to his normal, silly self!

We went on a boat ride down the river.

Caden didn’t want to go, so Shepard and I had some bonding time. I feel like Shepard and I have been having a lot of that lately. He’s been sticking closer to my side and is always so interested in everything that I’m doing. I should soak it in before he’s Caden age and doesn’t care a whit about me anymore!

We had to stop and take a picture of this on the way home. Pretty cool!

Eating his first corn of the season. Gross picture. 🙂

A belated chocolate berry birthday tart. Berries make anything look delicious.

And I’m caught up! Yesterday we went to “our spot” on the river. We haven’t been there since last year and Caden asks about it all the time. We’ve had some much cooler weather this week so it seemed like the perfect time to go.

Despite all the fun it looks like we’ve had, this has been a really, really hard month. I know a lot of people get depressed in winter, but summer is definitely my down season. I hate being hot, I can’t stand the headaches I get from even five minutes in direct sunlight, and I somehow find it harder than ever to deal with being a mom.

This month especially has been ROUGH. Caden started summer school a few weeks ago and it’s like that forced hour of being good creates this need inside of him to act out ten times worse at home. The part that bothers me the most is how violent he is. The tiniest irritant causes him to lash at Shepard or me. He’s constantly punching us, kicking, screaming, etc. And I have NO IDEA how to deal with it. I was hoping it would just be a little phase with the start of school, but three weeks later he’s still going strong.

I’ve also been struggling so much keeping the house clean. I think one of the hardest parts about being a stay at home mom is pretty much everything you do feels pointless. At least I feel that way. I clean something up and three minutes later it’s a mess again. And that’s my entire day. I’m to the point where I don’t even want to try anymore because it’s completely useless! Shepard literally walks through the house all day long just pulling things down and scattering them on the floor. He doesn’t even think about it. And Caden has a habit of taking out every toy he owns and never putting a single thing away. It’s so completely frustrating. And besides the boys, my cats are just as bad!! Jack is usually knocking things off the counters and tables and Rory is obsessed with my sewing supplies. Even though everything is well covered, he finds ways to knock things over looking for stray threads. It’s infuriating! When my house is messy I feel like I can’t focus on anything. And my house is always messy.

Anyway. July is almost over. July always seems to be the worst month of my year. I’m hoping August will be better. Tomorrow is already Caden’s last day of summer school and then we have a month to find other fun things to do. I feel like June was wasted because of my allergies and the garage sale, July was wasted because of summer school and the heat, so we need to make up for it all in August! Somehow, someway, I’ll find my stride again.

Back to the river. I don’t want to imply every single moment of this month has been horrible, because it hasn’t been. I’ve also been learning how to focus on my kids a little more and stop being so selfish. It’s hard because I constantly feel guilty for what I’m not doing. If I’m sewing I feel bad I’m ignoring other responsibilities. If I’m doing something with the boys I feel bad I’m not cleaning. There’s never a winning situation. So I’m trying to just go with the flow and at least do one thing a day that I know they will really enjoy. I’m glad we went to the river yesterday. They loved it.

Finally – today! I’m caught up! I’ll try and make photos and blogging a little higher on my priority list in the future. I’m sure most of you have already given up on me by this paragraph! 🙂

Happy end of July!

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