Perfectionism or the Death of Creativity

I’ve been working on my son’s birth announcements for about 12 weeks now.  First, there was coming up with the perfect design.  I wanted something that would be cute but would also be really fun.  No standard blue booties for my kid.

So I researched.  And researched.  Until I found a completely cute idea.  And detailed.  And very intricate.

Oh, and I have to make 40 of them.

Strangely, I thought I’d have more time when I was in the hospital.  I remembered having a good bit of downtime when my daughter Phoebe was born and thought that would be when I’d work on them.

But I didn’t count on being INCREDIBLY tired and having a baby that wanted to stay up all night.   So with the exception of just a couple of hours, I slept when the baby slept.

But now I’ve been home with my darling boy for eight weeks now and I still don’t have them done.  Part of it just the sheer lack of time that I have. 

Having a newborn and a preschooler at the same time has been a completely different experience than the first go around.  For one thing, the older child is AWAKE during the day and during baby’s morning nap times.  At the other end of the spectrum is my son’s interesting evening schedule.

IT’s gotten better, but he’s still up until 11 or so every night and then up at about 3 or 4 AM for a couple of hours.  Then Phoebe gets up somewhere between 7 and 8 in the morning.  So while I’m getting between 4 and 5 hours of sleep, being awake from 3AM until 11PM is pretty tiring.

Oh I sometimes get a nap before Phoebe gets up and sometimes I can time everyone’s afternoon naps so that I can get one but it’s not leaving a lot of time for anything else.

So when I do have a few minutes I can dedicate to something crafty, I need something that I can get done quickly and can also drop in an instant if little man decides he doesn’t want to sleep.

Here's where the problem is.  As a perfectionist, I want to work on my craft and tweek and massage it and make it look just gorgeous.  This does not lend itself to being speedy.

So I procrastinate and wonder if I have enough time to work on a project.  I estimate how long it will take me to get my materials together.  I second guess the design I have in my head and I surf my favorite websites looking at ideas and examples.  Meanwhile, the clock is ticking and pretty soon, my son is waking up ready for a feeding or Phoebe is awake from her nap and wants a snack and I’ve lost the opportunity to get anything done.

Flylady says:

Perfectionism is when we decide that we can't do something because we won't have the time to do it "perfectly".

She is right.  I can’t do what I want because I’m afraid I won’t do it perfectly or I don’t have enough time.  I should just grab a couple of pieces and work on them and be done.

So that’s my challenge.  What about you?  Does perfectionism keep you from doing what you want?

Reading is fundamental

Few weeks ago, John got a new iPad.  He loves it.

But then the topic of what to do with his Kindle came up.  He wouldn’t really need it because he could use the iPad and the Kindle app to read his books.

So I took it from a couple of weeks ago.  Bear in mind, it’s only on loan and if he REALLY needs it back, I guess I COULD give it back to him.

kindle2_dark_backgroundSince getting it, I realized how much I miss reading.  I’ve loaded a few favorite books: Pride and Prejudice, the first three Anne of Green Gables books, The Boleyn Inheritance, the Bible, etc.  All books that I tend to read over and over.  I’d love to get a couple of the Harry Potter books and To Kill A Mockingbird, but they aren’t available on Kindle.

The thing is, I really enjoying reading this format.  I didn’t think I would because I LOVE books.  I love the smell.  I love the feel of the pages.  I love the sound of the pages turning.  I marvel at my abuse of paperbacks.  I can look at a book and tell how much I love it by how badly the book spine is broken.

I mostly read paperbacks if you can’t tell.  Hard backs are nice, but they are heavy and hard to stick in your purse.  The only problem with paperbacks is that they are only good for so much abuse before you’ve got to get another copy.  This little book reader however, goes neatly in the diaper bag. 

So I am happy to salt my words and eat them.  I still prefer physical books but this is an acceptable way to read.

Recipe: Quick pizza lunch

This is a super quick and easy lunch. Also, is there a preschooler - or mama - that doesn't like pizza?

First, you need some sandwich thins. These are little rolls that you can get at your grocery store. There are several brands. I'm using Arnold brand.

Next, you'll need some sauce. I almost always have a jar of spaghetti sauce in my refrigerator but you could also use Alfredo sauce.

You'll also need toppings. Basically you could use almost anything leftover from your fridge. Chopped up lunch meat, left over chicken, fajita steak leftovers, whatever. Use your imagination.
I have a kid who loves pepperoni so I am using that to make a traditional pizza.

Add the cheese of your choice and voila! You're ready to pop it in the oven!

I cook these for about 12 minutes on 425 degrees. But my oven runs a little cool so adjust as necessary.

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Why yes I am liberal

A friend the other day was listening me rant about politics and asked, “Are you a Democrat or a Republican?”

I replied that I was neither.

And that’s the truth.

I am however a liberal.

Yep, I went there. I admitted to being a liberal.

But here’s the thing: I think that our government should be big enough to make sure that our water is safe to drink, that our food is safe to eat, that our borders are secure, that our interests overseas are protected.

I think that we shouldn’t lose our homes or file for bankruptcy because someone gets sick.

I think that big companies don’t have the right to treat us however they want just because they give us a paycheck.

I think the government should stay out of my bedroom and out of my uterus and, in fact, should leave all medical decisions to me and my doctor.

I think that as long as there are tests, that there will always be prayer in school, but I don’t want teachers to take it upon themselves to school my children in religion. That’s my job.

I want to know that if bad times happen, that I’ll have help.

I want to know that I won’t have to eat dog food because it’s cheap when I retire.

I don’t believe in welfare - either corporate or social. But if my tax money is going to bail anyone out, I’d much rather it go to feed poor people than give CEO’s fat bonuses.

I know for a fact that there is health care rationing in America. Just try to get in to see a specialist or have your insurance pay for surgery for something that isn’t life threatening. But I understand that part of requiring that everyone has insurance means that there’s a larger pool of people paying for the few folks who REALLY do need the specialists and the life saving surgery. The benign mole on my ass can wait a few more days.

I believe we should take care of the Earth because we were made stewards of it by our God. Not to hurt some business or make it too expensive for you to drive your Hummer.

Most of all, I believe in the Golden Rule – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. There’s no room for greed or selfishness in Jesus’ teachings – no matter what the pundits want you to believe.

Would you like some cheese with that WHINE?

I have decided I have to change my attitude.

I’ve been tired and worn out and, well, just pissy for so many days now that I have got to do something else.

So I have decided to focus on the positive.

For example, instead of fussing that I only got 4 hours of sleep last night, I will get excited that I got those 4 hours IN A ROW and IN MY OWN BED!!  Because more often than not, I sleep in the recliner downstairs and Nugget sleeps either in the pack and play or the swing.  This happens not by design but because I don’t know how long I have before the next scream-a-thon at night.

I have tried, as much as possible, to let Phoebe and Moo get as much sleep as possible.  Moo needs the sleep because he is going out of the house and working every day.  Phoebe needs the sleep because OH-MA-GAWD preschoolers MUST sleep or they get cranky and cranky mommy can only deal with so much crankiness every day.

So I try to keep Nugget’s crying upstairs to a minimum. 

This is not easy or, to tell the truth, possible.  He seems to have his cranky period from 6:30 until midnight or 3AM, which ever seems to drive me crazy first.

Actually, it is getting better, because as I stated above, he settled down at midnight last night and slept until 4.  I felt that he was pretty sleepy and put him down upstairs instead of in the pack and play or swing.  This means that I got to sleep in my bed.  I didn’t take off my clothes but I did sleep in my bed.

So see?  I put a positive spin on it.  No whining.  Let’s see if I can keep it up.

Not a happy camper

Small rant here.

Friday, I spent the afternoon at the emergency room after experiencing very bad stomach pains.

Turns out, I'm having a bout of diverticulitis. I was given antibiotics and pain meds and told to follow up with a gastroenterologist. I have a colonoscopy in my future.

I'm also dealing with bad tendinitis in the thumb of my left hand - and of course I'm left handed so yeah it hurts to do almost everything. The trouble started about a month before G wad born. At some point, in my busy schedule, I need to go see the Wrist Dude. Not yet though - I got other problems.

My kid has had an upset tummy for almost a week and has developed a nice rash that obviously hurts. The BRAT diet is in place.

Oh and a painful skin condition I've had for years is completely out of control right now. So yahoo.

Went to the podiatrist Wednesday just to find out that I have THREE suspected warts. More bug juice and I'm limping.

We've got one our new toilets leaking into the ceiling over our laundry area. So we gotta deal with that.

My youngest, while greatly improved, still thinks 1AM is party time.

Oh. And Aunt Flo showed up for a visit. The bitch.

How are you doing?

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