Friday, January 15, 2010

The Pendulum Swing

I can't speak for every parent, with the gamut of personalities and mothering styles, I can only speak of how it is for me. And, for me, parenting is a pendulum swing, a dichotomy of emotions, jerking from maddening frustration to outright euphoria, and back--generally with only minutes inbetween.

For example, this week I woke up to my beautiful girl: pink cheeked, hair disheveled, and mouth spread wide with joy just to see me in the morning. And the day begins with an endearing start. However, before there is even time to hear the coffee finish percolating, this same angel-faced child has found a brown, soft candle. {She calls candles "my happy birthday." Oh, and incidentally some candles, particularly the expensive, smelly, soy-based kind, are exactly the same consistency as chapstick.} Well, this lovely little child smeared that soft, oily, waxy brown candle all over my gorgeous, slate blue, tuffeted silk duvet from Z gallery--before I've even had a sip of morning coffee! Before I could even register the catastrophe, the morning {still pre-coffee} continues on with a litany of boisterous breakfast request ranging from bananas to waffles to chocolate milk, which will get smashed, thrown, or spilled respectively and doubtfully consumed. Finally, the coffee is brewed, the children's appetite temporarily satiated, and I think to myself.... nobody better bother me for the next 5 minutes and let me drink my coffee. And, shockingly, they don't. In fact, they give me maple syrup kisses, and then go play.

It's quiet.

Then, after 5 minutes of blissful silence, shocked with a jolt of realization, I become aware that it is suddenly too quiet. Around the corner, one curious little child has discovered the potted plant that was temporarily moved inside to escape the atypical freezing weather. And, this aforementioned child, has taken a Spiderman bowl and dumped heaps of dirt in a trail leading through the dining room, across the living room, and onto the ivory rug in the bedroom. But, to be fair, she also had her little red toy vacuum with her. Observing my shocked expression, she further explained that she only made the mess so she could, "help Mommy clean." Frenzied, already exhausted, and only a half cup of coffee deep into the day, I grabbed this little child squarely on the shoulders and set her on the oil-stained duvet, on the brink of a break down. Mia then says, chocolate brown eyes deep with remorse, "I'm so, soooo sorry, Mommy. I was only trying to help," her little cheek pressed against my shoulder, while she's rubbing my back with soft pats. And she's so loving and adoring that I chuckle, even though my laugh seems to have the slight ring of insanity.

And so the days go.

One minute, we're in the car. I am drinking coffee, and Aidan and Mia are eating madelines. {Thank you, Starbucks.} The two of them start making each other laugh. They are so giddy and silly and sweet. It's such a precious moment, and I think: I live a charmed life. My children are precious; they make my life complete. Five minutes later, we have arrived at our destination, and Aidan is kicking me because he wants to go home, Mia has dumped an entire box of raisins in the car, and I am threatening to leave them on the nearby street corner.

Earlier today, Mia grabbed a diaper cover from her dresser, calling them "her undies" and insisted she take them with her. {She's not potty trained, and she was wearing pants.} When I asked her what she need them for, she said, "Just in case." She's so funny; she makes me smile. And then...later today, those same "undies" are in the toilet, along with a few toys, and half a bag of pretzels. It's just how life is for me. It's maddening and wonderful and definitely messy. So, I am sorry I've been away for while. I have been busy, not just with messes--though there have been quite a few of those--but also with planning. I'd love to tell you what, but in just over a week I will be able to show you, and that will be more fun. Also, I didn't mean to leave you hanging, so in case you didn't see the Twitter post, the reason the shoes in this post had no labels was because I decided to sell my patterns. You can see them here. *note* all three pattern listings are the identical set of patterns

Production levels are down right now, and I don't have much in inventory because I am working on so many projects. Please know that the time I am investing now will hopefully lead to having regular inventory in my shop in the future. I'll be able to talk more about it very soon. Also, while I did sell out in some Gretel sizes, I do have more of the Hansel and Gretel boots and will start selling those again with the launch of my website.

I did have time to resurrect the $2 Giveaway and make two little hats, though, just like the one Mia is wearing. They have a funky little shape, but they're cute. There are only 2, and when they're gone, they're gone!


One last thought, I will offer more pink boots, more Raelynn's, the riding boots, and several other tall boots soon.


Amy said...

Oh yes Starbucks Madelines are a LIFESAVER!

So bummed I missed that hat...and hopefully the drycleaners got out that candle.


jocelyn teo said...


to see the paypal link still there, and so I clicked on it, despite having no kids. and then it said 'item sold out'. now that's more like mia joie. :D

anyway, i really enjoyed reading this post. kids are angelic little devils, or devilish little angels, whichever way you want to put it. :)

Jessica Haley said...

Jocelyn, I didn't mean to tease you ;) I posted the link quite late last night. {I'm trying to vary when I post them a little, to give those in other time zones a chance, too.} Anyway, it was so late when I did, didn't stay up to watch them sell and pull the link.

Amy, the bags are really cute--great job. ;)

Becca said...

I love this post -- thanks for sharing about parenting - it makes me feel better about my own emotions regarding parenting!

Anonymous said...

You do sooo much. Do know that every morning that I am in my car I do pray that God gives "life joys"

Angel Warrior said...


... your post made me cry.. it is so true about the wonderment of motherhood, a true blessing- sometimes in disguise :)

I hope you have a wonderful day.

I look forward to what is to come with Mia Joie!

God Bless you,

Alisha said...

Love the is gorgeous!

Sorry about your duvet cover...but how do you stay mad at her when she is so sweet and too cute for words. I think she knows just which strings to pull ;) After all she was just trying to help :)

Dear Lillie said...

I agree with Kristy - this post almost made me cry too! You so eloquently put how I feel every day!

YAY!!!!!! Am so excited you are going to have more boots soon! I CANNOT WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also, got my bag of clips today. They are absolutely gorgeous! Love, love, love them all! Probably will be buying some more soon!

Thanks for your sweet e-mail. Haha - all my cream and white is quickly becoming not very cream or white now that I have a one year old! Ahhhh!!!!!!! Lillabel has pretty much left her mark on every piece in my house!

Jessica Haley said...


Are you crying for my duvet?--b/c, no, the stains did not come out. As it was, I had just laundered everything and made the bed, when my little 2 year old got the lid off her sippy cup of chocolate milk and spilled it down the newly washed bedding and all over my favorite rug. It's like they have a vendetta with that duvet... *sigh*

Thank you, Robert, for the blessings of your prayers :)

Philip, Melissa, & Summer said...

Very nice. I would love to buy a pattern when they are available.

Jessica Haley said...

Jennifer, a.k.a. Dear Lillie,

I have to say, that when I had one child, my house was still pretty clean. It's really when I had two {and Mia was walking} that suddenly the mess got out of control. {I found the transition from 1-2 children was much harder than 0-1, btw.}

Nonetheless, I still share your affinity for all things white slipcovered, though, and have a stash of bleach pens to prove it. :)

Jessica Haley said...

Philip, Melissa, & Summer, the patterns are for sale right now in my Etsy shop. All three listings are the same pattern and include both the baby boy and baby girl design.

Mand said...

Love this post. So sorry about your Duvet cover. I can relate as we have our share of all out catastrophes and I find sometimes I have to laugh so i do not cry.
So very sad to have missed this adorable hat. I am so not good about reading twitter updates, much less checking in on twitter. Maybe someday you will make more of these. I will buy one. Love it.
Hope you have a wonderful afternoon- free of catastrophes and full of fun. :)

Ana Gonzalez said...

The girl is beautiful, and you are very good photographer. Oh Jessica I understand that it is much mess and raising two children while running a business. But what you told me it sounded fun to me, although at times can be infuriating. The cap is very nice, looks like old.

Meredith said...

Oh gosh do I adore that cute cap and the pictures of Mia wearing it are just precious. I can't wait to see some inventory, I can only imagine how much you have going on between family which always comes first and business. Hugs for being a Super Mama!

Brianne-zam said...

Thank you for making me feel like a "normal" mother. I just keep repeating that its a good thing my boys are so darling:-)

Can't wait for a chance to finally get those Gretel boots:-) I am having my first girl in March after having 3 adorable but lively boys and can't wait to see her in them.
Briana J

Meredith said...

ARGH, I don't know what I'm more sad about missing the hat or your duvet!

Anonymous said...

sounds normal...if its not one thing its another. the kids will remember the good times, hopefully.
just go buy another duvet cover and make boots out of the good parts of the old one?!or clips?or coats?maybe it will pay for a new one.
too bad i missed the hat, it is so sweet.

Angel Warrior said...


Well, I was actually tearing up because you tell your story in a way that I so relate to....

I have had many things around my home, things that "I loved so much" just suffer a beating from our girls...!! And at times it has been very hard to just take a deep breath and let it go...but MOSTLY I was thinking about how sweet and wonderful they are even in the midst of "catastrophe"...
I could just see Mia's face when her telling eyes apologized.
As a mom it made me cry (little tears) because no matter what, they remain the best thing in life for me. My baby girl melts my heart..the way she looks at me, her smile and loving touch, i've never known a love like it. If I could breathe her into me I would..

you bring out feelings of such sentiment.

additionally, I AM equally sorry for your duvet!!! And for the endless work you face.

Tomorrow will be better,


Mand said...

How beautidully spoken Kristy- yes, in all the craziness and furniture that is "decorated with love" by our kiddos, to see their sweet faces when they sincerely apologize makes it all worth it. To see them laughing and enjoying each day to the fullest makes me not get so upset when they dump the chocolate milk sippy cups all over the white couches. What were we thinking when we thought we could purchase white couches anyways, right? I just adore these mommies- so real, so beautiful.
I broke down and cried the other day when I realized in less than 9 months my baby boy will be going to kindergarten. They grow up way too fast.

Mand said...

that should read beautifully, my spell check is not working tonight.

Anonymous said...

Love the hat. Will you be making more? -Laura

Jessica Haley said...

Mande and Kristy, thanks so much for your compassionate understanding or perhaps better stated, your empathy, because you do know exactly how it feels.

I have to chuckle that some of you shared your sympathies that it was a rough day. Ha! This is EVERY day--that's the maddening part. It's mostly my Mia. She has this gift for disaster. Mia has seen me use this powder carpet deodorizer. I assume that's where she got the idea when yesterday she took the poultry grill seasoning and shook it all over the carpets and floor--nothing like a rug that smells like chicken. Earlier in the week, the kids found a new bag of green apples in the fridge and took a bite out of every single one, leaving bits of apple peel everywhere. Or just now, right before I sat down to write this, Mia took some bread out of the fridge, crumbled it into mush, and mixed it with tooth paste to form a pulp. I have no idea why. What I share with you, it is only 1/4--no--1/16th! of the messes I encounter on a daily basis.

As for the hats, they were quick and fun to make, but I do not have any plans to make more.

Jessica Haley said...

Oh, I forgot to mention, she went through this stage where she took dirty silverware out of the dishwasher and hid them in various places about the house. Soooo glad that stage has passed.

Prencie said...

Oh Lordie! How many times I have felt what you have felt Jessica! I love to read your blog and see what trouble the kids have gotten into so that I don't feel so alone with my troublesome kids;) I feel your pain, I just DO NOT understand how someone so little can be so fast into getting into trouble. I will list a few things that I have found in my precious baby girls mouth (warning: this will be GROSS!!) It started with a BIG cricket that I had sprayed to death with raid (it had kept me up many a night). Thinking my husband had thrown it away I thought nothing when I no longer saw it on our kitchen floor. Yeah, I found it later in her mouth!! I have also found her chewing on her own dirty ant killer plastic thingy...the toilet brush!! So far not the plunger and last but not the least the grossest of ALL is a small turd fallen from my Yorkies behind!!!! I was sick for the rest of the day after that one!!!! So yes, I have many of those days also;)

But I must say that she is still sweet enough for your shoes;) Can't wait for more to come!!

Simone Howell said...

Oh Jessica-- this was a fantastic post! I thought i was the only one who had such crazy swings through out the day! My younger daughter is a tornado too--It is exhausting! Keep up the good work mama! I can't wait to see what else you are working on! xo Simone

Jenny Plumb said...

It used to be Hunter that made the messes, and now it's 2 year old Ainsley. Right now I just saw her streak down the hallway with the bag of Dorrito chips for our Subway lunch. I'm really afraid to go look at what has bright neon orange fingerprints on it (visions of mashed orange chips in my carpet are also flashing through my head). Just for the record we do have an "eat at the table" rule. Rules do not seem to stem the tide on messes. There are moments when I am not sure I want to face it.....and I would rather read a blog and leave a comment. :-)

Ruffles N Ribbons said...

Mia looks adorable in all of these pictures! Oh my, I can certainly relate to the craziness of keeping up the house. I am constantly having to walk back into whatever room I have been able to conquer for a few moments and gain some sanity, ha. Also, completely agree with the transition from 1-2 being much more difficult than 0-1. I gave you a Sunshine Blog award. You can receive it on my page! Have a great week! Oh, I think that Faith and Aiden go to the same preschool. I could have sworn I was behind you in the car rider line Wed!


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