Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Heck yeah my son knits.

Ryan is seven and a boy – like uberboy. The no-fear, fights playground equipment, stupid stunt doing, rowdy, super hyper, dirty, gross smelling boy.

And he likes to knit.

my son knits - life as their mom

To the haters out there – you’re just jealous of his mad skills.

A few weeks back, as I was sitting and working on getting this guy knitted (still working on that…) Ryan came up to me and asked me if I would show him how to knit. I was slightly skeptical at first, I mean the boy has major ADHD issues and he wants to knit? Uh huh… sure. But I figured there was no harm in trying to teach him if he seemed interested. I mean, this is the same boy that I have taught to do digital scrapbooking. And paper scrapbooking. What can I say, my dude likes to get his craft on.

Back to him learning to knit.

I grabbed a slightly large set of needles, let him pick out some yarn, and we sat down and got down to the business of learning to knit. It took a couple “Ryan, stop. Look at what I’m doing. Ryan, focus please or I’m going back to my knitting.” but we eventually got a good groove going. I showed him how to cast on, undid the stitches, put my hands over his and guided him through casting on, undid those, then let him cast on on his own. Then we did the same with learning a regular stitch. By row three he was on a roll. By last week he had mastered the task of watching tv as he sat knitting. Little dude picked it up with a speed and ease that just astounded me… and left me feeling slightly jealous since I still remember my first few months stumbling through learning. Don’t get me wrong, that boy drops at least one or two stitches each time he sits and knits, but I always pick them up for him, and tonight he managed to fix one on his own. He gets frustrated sometimes with it, and he can only do a garter stitch since I haven’t gone over purling with him yet. But he rocks that garter like it ain’t nobody’s business.

Sunday, as he was sitting knitting and watching a movie I asked him how he’s doing it. Normally my boy has trouble just sitting through a 30 minute tv show, and here he was sitting knitting and watching a movie. He wasn’t fidgeting. Or talking non-stop. Or playing with toys as he “watched.” Or terrorizing everyone. He was just sitting there quietly working and watching the movie. I was in awe. He told me the knitting helps him sit and watch the movie. He didn’t expand on it any, so the best I could figure was that the constant moving of his hands, plus the split attention, was helping him keep his ADHD in check.

So I did what any curious mom would do; I hit up Google. Apparently there is quite a bit out there about how knitting helps people and kids with ADHD. This was my favorite thing I read on it:

"Some teachers in mainstream schools and colleges are using knitting to enable them to teach pupils with ADHD and kinesthetic learners … . Knitting appears to occupy the brain sufficiently to lessen or stop hyperactive or disruptive behaviour whilst at the same time enabling the pupil to take in information and to learn.”

from In Education from

How about that? Turns out Ryan was on to something.

If you’re interested in reading up on ADHD and knitting check out any of these links:

Right now Ryan is working bit by bit on a scarf for his teacher. He’s doing it in 4-6 row color blocks (I’m not letting him go over one block in a sitting) using size 13 needles and yarn from my rather large yarn stash. If you want to follow along on his journey you can watch his progress in pictures on my project for it on Ravelry

my son knits 2 - life as their mom

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Surprise! A scribbley gift.

scribble surprise freebie - templates by trish

Really I just made these for myself to have a set of general sentiments readily available to use on my own pages, but for some reason (one totally beyond me) other people like my handwriting.

*boggles my mind*

Anyway. I decided to go ahead and just share these with everyone else as well.

I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Edit like this…

Edit like this… is a set of simple picture only photo editing tutorials. If you need something more clearly explained, or you have a question feel free to comment with it. I used Photoshop CS3 to complete this edit.

edit like this 3 - life as their mom
edit like this 3 original - life as their mom
step1 - gradient map 1
step2 - gradient map 2
step3 - gradient fill 1
step4 - exposure
step5 - gradient fill 2
edit like this 3 final - life as their mom

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Crap. We’re now THAT family.

We’re a co-sleeping family. We’ve always been one, we’ve always been vocal about why we like it so much, and how other people shouldn’t generalize or stereotype it.

that family co-sleeping - life as their mom

After the blanket “NO! CO-SLEEPING IS SOOOO DANGEROUS!” statements, the next thing that bothers me most is people saying that they don’t want their spouse having to sleep somewhere else. Or, even worse, the mom who goes and sleeps in the kid’s bed. I know it’s not for everyone, but it bothers me when people brush all co-sleepers with that brush. But maybe John just had me spoiled. We’ve been co-sleeping for almost NINE years with no real problems. Once the kids started sleeping through the night we always moved them to their own beds in their own rooms, but most mornings we would still wake up with a kid or two in our bed.

Then came Mason.
(Why does it seem like that phrase keeps coming out of my mouth so often??)

Mason has this weird obsession with John. OK, not weird, but the boy is definitely obsessed with his daddy. Unless the boys is tired or hungry he wants daddy. John comes home and Mason goes nuts yelling “Da da! Da da! Da da! HEY! Da da! Da da!” usually accompanied with clapping and bouncing. Cute, right?

The not cute part.
Mason will not sleep if he knows John is near. He’d wake to get in bed with us around 12 to finish out the night and nurse, but then he’d realize, “hey! there’s my daddy!” and that was that. There was no more sleeping. For anyone. It’d take another hour or two to get him to settle back down enough to go to sleep, and then it’d start all over at 3 or 4 when he’d wake again. None of us were getting a decent amount of sleep. We couldn’t even just move him out of our room. He still wakes to nurse 2-3 times a night, and if you don’t get him within five minutes of him waking to eat he starts bouncing and screaming until you do. So that sort of nixed putting him in with the kids because then Zach and Ryan wouldn’t be getting the sleep they need to function at school.

To solve the problem John did something that we have never done before. He moved his bed to the couch. As in he sleeps on the couch every night and Mason sleeps in our bed with me. We have now become one of my most hated co-sleeping stereotypes. The sad part is that it’s working so well for all of us that we’re kinda staying with the current arrangement. John’s getting a good night’s sleep, and Mason and I are also getting a good night of sleep.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

In just four weeks.

Can you believe it?

I know, I can’t believe it either.

In just four weeks Mason is turning ONE.

four weeks - life as their mom

How has a whole year managed to just fly right by? It seems the last time I checked he was just six months old, and right before that I was still pregnant with him. I am so far in denial about this that even though I have made general non-specific plans about his birthday party, I haven’t actually done any REAL planning yet because I keep thinking “Eh, I got plenty of time to worry about this later.”




Monday, February 18, 2013

The weekend.

Friday was my mom’s birthday. We went and ate dinner with them last night and had dessert there for her birthday. She ended up getting three cakes and a pie. She’s always making treats and goodies for everyone else, so everyone felt the need to return the favor. She looks pretty good for a grandmother of four, doesn’t she?

the weekend - life as their mom

Ever since like my second day at my new job I’ve been obsessed with seeing Brave. We watched like the first thirty minutes of it in one of the classes, and I’ve been dying  to see the rest. Newer Disney stuff has been rather hit/miss at my house so we never went and saw Brave in theaters. I used some of my check to go get it Friday and the kids and I loved it. It is definitely a new favorite in our house, especially with Bella.

(image from Disney/Pixar)

And I’ll wrap this up with our dinners menu for this week.

our family menu Feb 17 - Life as Their Mom

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Edit like this…

Edit like this… is a set of simple picture only photo editing tutorials. If you need something more clearly explained, or you have a question feel free to comment with it. I used Photoshop CS3 to complete this edit.

edit like this 2 - life as their mom
edit like this 2 original - life as their mom
step1 - convert to grayscale
step2 - convert to duotone
step3 - select tricone colors
step4 - adjust exposure
step5 - add gradient fill
step6 - adjust gradient
edit like this 2 final - life as their mom

And while I have you here, go and check out my post breaking down my process on making my scrapbook pages over on the Traci Reed Blog.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Hello me.

Why do I always feel silly if I think about blogging about myself? I mean the blog is called “Life as Their Mom” not “Life as Trish’s Kids.” Shouldn’t that mean that I blog more about myself and not just about the kidlets. Last summer I made a commitment to take/get more pictures of me, and I did do the videos, but I just stopped having time for that. I mean even when I blog with quite a few “I” and “me” it’s my thoughts on something a kidlet did.

hello me - life as their mom
(pictures courtesy of Bella as I was trying to read her a book last night)

I’m not even positive that I would know what to blog about on just me and my thoughts if wasn’t like my thoughts about the kidlets. It has just become who I am. I am Zach, Ryan, Bella, and Mason’s mom. Sometimes that also encompasses John’s wife. But 9 times out of 10 I just talk about myself in those terms. My life is full of love and activity and fun, but how boring am I that I can’t just blog or talk about me? I am more than just who my family is. Or well, I used to be.

I’m going to just use these questions from The Paper Mama’s 11 Things Post, but please, feel free to ask me any questions you have about me and I’ll answer them.

1. If you HAD to change your name, what would you change it to?
Hmmm… I kinda like Trish, so I think if anything I’d get it legally changed to just Trish. Patricia is nice and all, but I don’t necessarily feel like a Patricia. Patricia just seems so mature and dignified. I’m neither of those things. At all.

2. Are you a collector of anything?
Junk count? No? Dang. I collect things dealing with Where the Wild Things Are, the book not the stupid movie. God, I hated that movie. Way to make an awesome childrens book depressing.

3. What is your first thought when you wake up?
Is Mason up yet? Did Mason wet/poop through his diaper? Do a quick check. Baby still sleeping, diaper still good – go back to sleep until Bella comes in to snuggle. After getting up and changing Mason my next priority is coffee.

4. Do you prefer sweet or salty foods?
Of the two – salty, but generally, I prefer hot and spicy foods. Like gumbo. Oh man do I love some gumbo. It makes me happy. And it makes my tummy happy.

5. Name one thing you miss about being a kid.
Sleep. Oh my word do I miss sleep. And I was one of those good kids too, I slept, I napped. I did not fight it because I loved it. I also miss Saturday mornings. Generally my older brother and I got up with our little brother first and we’d all go downstairs turn on shows and play. Then after a while my parents would get up and my mom would make us all a big breakfast and we’d listen to music.

6. Are you a morning or night person?
Afternoon. I hit my stride around 11 and it goes to about 4/5 pm. After that I tend to be worn out, tired, and ready to go to bed.

7. List 5 items on your life’s to-do list:
a. become a neat tidy person. b. not finish my college degree. c. write and illustrate a childrens book.  d. see anything I make in a magazine. e. have pink hair.

8. Share one thing that people may not know about you.
I’m 18 months younger than my older brother and 11 years older than my youngest sibling (step-brother).

9. What is your all time favorite song, movie, and book?
I hate this question. *sigh* I always wonder how on earth am I supposed to pick these sorts of things?! I mean they tend to change. As of right now: song – the Ella Fitzgerald/Louis Armstrong version of Dream a Little Dream of Me. moviePride and Prejudice the A&E version. book – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (surely I don’t need to link that one for any of you….) 

10. Do you have any hidden talents?
I can pop my belly button from an innie to an outie. It is apparently extremely gross.

11. Are you a really clean or super messy person?
Well… as one of my goals is to eventually be at least a somewhat neat and tidy person like my mother, it’s safe to say that I am a messy person. A very messy person. I thrive in mess, however my oldest son and husband do not.

Want to know anything else about me? Well, either comment here, email me, or post a question to me on Facebook or Twitter.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

That first crush Valentine’s Day.

Be prepared, this Valentine, with it’s cuteness and the boy looking heart eyes with a flower at the girl saying “be mine,” this Valentine isn’t for me.

And it brings out feelings of terror in me…. and make me feel kinda sloppy mushy happy.

v-day - life as their mom

I mean don’t get me wrong, I am getting such a kick out of Zach having a little crush. I try not to be too embarrassing mom about it, but lets be real, this is my first kid to get a real crush. Embarrassing mom stuff will happen. Plus, Zach just makes it so easy. His face turns red, he mumbles, and he gets this goofy smile on his face when he talks about her. At first he wouldn’t even tell us her name, he just gave us clues, things like “Her name starts with A and has no M’s or N’s, and only has 4-6 letters.”

It’s not even completely him growing up that scares me. He’s almost nine, and if you ask him about her it’s almost all stuff about her being smart, or nice… or that she also likes Star Wars. Her pretty hair just seems to be a plus to him. His teacher has also assured me that she is the sweetest little girl, and unless the teacher is very much mistaken, she thinks the little girl has a little crush on Zach as well.

This is what scares me…

What if she sees my boy’s Valentine and laughs? Or makes fun of him? What if one of his friends sees it and makes fun of him? He’s pretty vulnerable to teasing. And I’m not ready for first heartbreak. Oh man, I am so not ready for that. He went to bed saying how excited he is about tomorrow so he can give this girl her Valentine, and when I heard that my heart sort of clenched. He is so excited and looking forward to this, and what if this girl totally blows him off and rejects him? He’ll be crushed. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Everyone eventually gets their heartbroken. It’s part of growing up. But dangitall, I don’t want my boy crushed. I don’t want to see this light go out of him. And he seems to have no thought that this girl might not like the Valentine and want it as much as he wants to give it to her.

There’s nothing I can do. I can’t be like “Dude, chill a little and don’t get your hopes up.” I just want to grab him close and be like “Aw babe! She is going to love that because it is awesome and you are epically awesome.”

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Last year and month.

I never did my usual round up last month for 2012, so today I’ll do last year and last month’s round ups. ‘Cause ya know, I’m lazy and don’t want to do two blog posts.

In 2012 I…
took (well, saved) 2,375 photos
last year - life as their mom
scrapped about 200 pages
(I’m going by what’s on Facebook and I know some aren’t on there)
last year 2 - life as their mom
wrote 98 blog posts
created 15 illustrations
monsterpuppyillustrationfinalchristmas card - life as their mom
(to see the scrapbook pages in a larger size please go here)

In January I…

took (well, saved) 184 photos
scrapped 35 pages
wrote 7 blog posts
created 3 illustrations

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Edit like this…

Edit like this… is a set of simple picture only photo editing tutorials. If you need something more clearly explained, or you have a question feel free to comment with it. I used Photoshop CS3 to complete this edit.

edit like this 1 - life as their mom

step1-cross process curves
step2-adjust your exposure
step3-add a gradient fill
step4-adjust your gradient blend mode
ZDSCN9372 copy