Saturday, March 5, 2011

...In which I talk of many things.

Okay first things first, I know you've been dying to hear the latest on my little man (haha). Ruffin is doing awesome! He's 6 months old now and rolling over and sitting up and he's got two teeth peeking! He's so close to crawling and he wants to stand up soooooo badly! He's eating rice cereal (which he loves) and he's tried banana and carrots (which he's not sure about yet). He is SO. MUCH. FUN!!!

Disclaimer to all my soon-to-be mommy friends! Please don't let this next paragraph discourage you! It's a bit of a vent. Being a mommy is the 100% absolute best thing ever.

So here's what I've been doing... a whole lot of "working mom." I feel like a whiner, but it has been a real challenge going back to work and being a mommy. Don't get me wrong, Ruffin is THE. BEST. thing EVER. I wouldn't trade being his mommy for anything in the whole world. Before he came I knew that this would be a huge adjustment, but it has still been difficult to deal with. I have been struggling to find time for myself - for crafting, blogging (I totally skipped February), family, friends, reading, showering, eating... Moving into a new house didn't give me any extra time either (not that I'm complaining, I love the house. I am, however, still too embarassed to show you pictures of it yet. I'll get it all clean someday). I struggle to balance how much time I spend on school stuff (I pump during my meager planning time, not to mention I am a perfectionist-over-achiever) and how much time I want to spend with my little man (all the time!). And I keep adding things to my plate. Why? I guess I like punishing myself...? Luckily, I love my job and we have the best-best-best baby sitter ev-ar. If either of those things weren't true, I don't think I would've been able to go back to work! I hope I can learn to say no to people and just let things go. I hope I learn it soon.

Here is what I mean: If you didn't know already, I teach elementary school music. Everyone is hurting with the economy, schools especially. I feel lucky to still have a job, really. So obviously, we are not getting much (or any) funding for supplies/instruments. My 4th and 5th grade students are helping me do a fundraiser so that we can buy a set of african drums for our school. We are selling pin-back buttons on Friday mornings at school. We have big ones and small ones and the students looooooooove them! I've been making buttons since I was a child - my mom used to make them for the kids in my class when we went on field trips or had parties. I've made buttons for fundraisers as a high school band student, a middle school band teacher, and now as an elementary school teacher. I have a button machine (from Dr. Don's - don't bother with any other brand, this one is absolutely the best) and I print out the designs from Illustrator (I use royalty-free clip art and cute free dingbat fonts) and the students make the buttons after school. Really. 9 and 10 year old kids can use this machine - its that easy! And it makes perfect buttons every time. I spent years using a different hand-press system, and when it finally broke I'm so glad I found this one! (This is not a paid advertisement, I just REALLY love my button machine.) The fundraiser is going really well, but its been taking a lot (A LOT) of my time. At least its a fun-d raiser... haha.

But I actually made something this week! It felt SO. GOOD. Even if it was for school. I teach the 4th grade students the recorder. They get so super stoked on the recorder that it actually makes me laugh sometimes. I love it! Most students purchase a recorder through school, but I had so many students this year that already had a recorder but didn't have a bag/case for it that I decided to make some (I know, I know, glutton for punishment). I will sell them for $2 and put the money toward the drum fundraiser. I used fabric from my scraps and I modeled the bag after the one that comes with the recorders I buy for the students:

I was trying to make it as easy for me as possible, so I made a few prototypes to try to avoid the drawstring, but velcro and snaps turned out to not to work very well. The drawstring just closed easier and ended up looking better. For the sake of time and effort, I forced myself just to pink the raw edges on the inside instead of finishing them with a zig-zag stitch. I think they turned out really well and the students are chomping at the bit for them. The only problem is that my scrap bag doesn't really have much in the way of 9-year old boy. I think I may hit up the remnants this weekend and see if I can find something.

Next up are some (lots) of baby presents! I have sooooo many pregnant friends - yay! I've been working with some minky (aka cuddle bubble) and its pretty infuriating. Which is why its all balled up right now. :(

So slippery and stretchy. Any tips from bloggie land? I'll let you know how it goes. And I'll try not to take another two-month hiatus... We'll see what Ruffin has to say about it! :)