…..or the bathtub!! Yes. Yes, it is exactly what you think it is.

So far, I have weathered the storm that is “Baby Max” relatively unscathed. I survived the period when he was still very new and would pee on me-or anything within range-almost every time I changed his diaper. I also survived his refusal to adhere to any type of schedule I set out to impose on his tiny body (which holds a BIG personality). His aversion to scheduling or direction also meant he wanted nothing to do with sleeping through the night until he was almost one year old! Nap schedule?….Please! This child WILL NOT be fenced in.

In an effort to simplify the bedtime routine at our house, I give both my boys a bath at the same time. They love it, and it makes my life easier. Double bonus! Max is only 14 months, and of course is still in diapers. He has always done well in the bathtub with Matthew. Apart from a few instances when he was just a tiny infant, Max has never pooped in the tub. When I first put them in together, I wondered if Max would have an accident and what Matthew’s reaction might be, but that worry had long since left my consciousness.

So, tonight when they had their bath, fishing out baby poop could not have been further from my mind….I was rinsing Matthew’s hair when I recognized that ever-familiar squat position paired with the red-faced grunt. Uh-oh. I thought only of poor Matthew, trapped in poop-water with shampoo suds running down his face. Doing my best not to alarm him of the drifting danger, I calmly finished rinsing his hair, wiped his eyes and swiftly pulled them both up out of the water.

I was surprised at how gracefully Matthew handled the whole situation. He chuckled, leaned in for a closer look-as boys do-and said “Eeeeew!! Hahah, Max you poopied!…. in the water. Haha, poop-water!!” He treated it as a novelty. I, on the other hand would have died! To be displaced during my bath and then have to wait naked and cold while the tub was drained to that I could be properly washed (i.e. decontaminated). Ack! No, thank you.

Had I been stressed this evening, I’m embarrassed to say, this situation could have quickly gone south. But I wasn’t stressed (probably because I had the treat of spending the day with a friend) so, I handled the situation surprisingly well for a 7:30 p.m. bath. The inexplicable calm I felt (no doubt another prayer answered) made me re-evaluate the craziness I’ve been feeling lately. I get so angry after telling Matthew 6 times in 15 minutes to put his “daggone” shoes on or to brush his teeth NOW!, or hurry buddy, faster, we’re going to be late. I get flustered when the customer service representative, wherever, is rude and I feel so strongly I go to lodge a complaint just to get short-of-breath and nervous while doing so. It seems ridiculous that we get so caught up in things that ultimately don’t matter, at all.

If my 5-year-old can laugh at poop in the tub-a violation that makes me cringe to my core-then I’ve been missing something. If I take a minute to laugh at myself, my children, or even the funny pattern Max’s food made on the wall when he threw it, my life and the lives of those around me will be more full. Not full of chaos, like the world, but full of love and the heart connections you share with the kinds of people you can laugh at poop with!

Some things I’ve made recently:

Pink Polka Shoulder-snap Dress

I don’t have any girls, so this was fun to make!

Baby Max's Birthday suit

He was so cute for his first birthday!
(And all the time really, but I’m partial).

Red cord w/smocking

Max’s little Christmas outfit.

My mother-in-law did the smocking; Thanks Margaret!!

Lt. Blue Plaid Short-all

 I made this for a friend. Summer’s almost here-yay!

Pirate Pants w/appliqued Shirt

Go Pirates!! Arrrrrgh! 

Matty & Max

I’ve been a stay at home mom since I found out I was pregnant with my first child. He’s 5 now. There are plenty of mom’s who have been at home longer than that, and my heart truly goes out to you. With the addition of baby #2 (who is currently 13 months, and more toddler than baby) my sanity level has dipped into the red. That is not to say that my boys aren’t beautiful souls and truly a gift from God. It simply means that sometimes I like them more when they’re sleeping. At any rate, my brain has atrophied from too little adult contact and our family situation is reaching a turning point where something MUST change.

I know there are other sahm’s out there that can identify. You sacrifice your sanity, paycheck and identity so that you can stay at home with your children, and the working world looks down on you because of it. I have a business degree, and worked really hard in school, but that was ages ago. What do you say about a 5-yr gap in your work history when you’re competing with a pretty little grad student who surely won’t have to ask for time off when her kids get sick?! Not much. The truth is, you don’t really want to be away from your kids for long enough to make any real dent in the family’s income. Once you deduct paying someone else to take care of your children, there isn’t much left over.  And all this because you needed to find a purpose. (some of you will say that parenting is the purpose God gave you, to which I reply, “I can’t be a good parent if I’m CRAZY!”…that’s not good for anyone involved!) There are exceptions to the parenting/working paradox, but this is where I am.

I’m in a process of identifying and strengthening my God-given talents. I have always loved making things with my hands. There is a certain sense of pride that comes with producing a finished product. You think to yourself, I made that and it’s pretty great! Now there are things I don’t do well that I’d love to…such as gardening, or simply keeping a plant alive, but this journey is about strengthening what I can do.

I’ve been a recreational sewer for years. When I was little I made things like purses, bean-bags, and doll clothes. I would see something I liked, but didn’t care for the fabric, or wanted it with different sleeves, and I’m 5’3” on a good day, so I did a lot of hemming and altering, or I would figure out how to make it myself. My love of sewing has grown with my second child, Max. We don’t have an attic or much storage, so I didn’t have much left from my 5 year-old, Matthew. There was a lot we had to buy when we found out Max was on the way, and there just wasn’t room in the budget for $70 jumpers and smocked outfits. I thought, “well shoot, I’ll just make it!” and I did a great job too! It gets easier with each outfit, (including that lobster costume you see up there) and now when I see a cute fabric I can’t help but think, that would make a geat….whatever.

So, like I said, I reached a turning point about working. We just needed another source of income. I have a background in sales and began to think, I should really be working for myself. I asked God to lead me in the right direction about working. I felt this was where I was being led, and decided to use the talent He gave me and turn it into a business. Then came all the details: tags, business cards, this blog….I’ve been trying to organize….and I’ll have to get back to you on how that’s going.

My label is called “Matty & Max”, after my boys. I hope you see some things you like here-tell your friends. I also hope we get to know each other. This is a journey for me. I’m open to your feedback, so don’t hesitate to share.

God Bless You & Yours