3/25/09

Pretenses

Why do I never run into other mothers that seem frazzled or frustrated? Is it because they were injected with an alien serum that allows them to perma-grin 24-7? There are days when being a mom is annoying, exhausting, repetitive, gloomy, discouraging, unfair, and overwhelming. I admit it. I'm not putting a disclaimer on this post of "But I do love being a mommy" because this is just the way I feel sometimes. I don't hide the fact that some days I don't want to do anything that has to do with being a mom. I'm not in the market of "rubbing egos" with Stepford wives and putting on the bleached smile attitude of "life is beautiful here in apple pie-ville." In fact, half the time I don't brush my teeth at night due to passing out way before I think of it and I certainly don't know how to make an apple pie, or care to know. Maybe that's why those other moms have perfect smiles - they forget to brush too, but then overcompesate with Crest White Strips (please say yes because it would make me feel so much better). Honestly, I would rather watch late night tv, sleep in until noon, throw my hair in a pony tail and have nothing on the agenda for the day. No bills to pay, no deadlines for church services rendered, no errands to tend to, no diapers to change, no noses to wipe, no spilled milk to wipe up, no smooshed cereal in the carpet, no meals to prepare, no noises at 7am (I hate mornings), no playground trips (can I be spared being asked to play at the park for one day?), no baby talk and no frustrations of unruly children.
I've replaced
  • intellectual conversation with toddler talk to a child who probably thinks his name is "No-No"
  • morning and evening news with morning and evening kid's movies (as only to free up time for me to clean, launder, and straighten the messes)
  • great sleep habits with what seems like no sleep with my 7 month old fetus kicking me all night and aches and pains
  • sleeping in until I had to work with a between 6:30 and 7am toddler-in-room alarm every morning no matter what
  • shaved legs and good hygiene to shaving and plucking whenever I know I might be wearing capris or seeing people
  • eating my meals in peace to sharing my meals and lucky if I get a piece
  • taking Saturdays to shop and try on clothes to online wish lists and kids play areas at the mall
  • listening to church services to wondering why I even bother
  • sitting comfortably on my couch to being malled like a jungle-gym

You get the point... This would be the part where the disclaimer would say "But, I chose to be a mom, and everyday brings new and exciting things. Motherhood is an amazing calling." But, even with knowing that, it doesn't replace the facts of life that motherhood is trying and sometimes downright bothersome! Is it due to selfishness? Duh! You're dang right it is. It's not as if I'm going to stop being a mother. I'm not going to stop my daily tasks of caring for my family and home. I am also not going to stop having bothersome days of wishing for peace and quiet with a chick flick playing and having only one nose to wipe, mine. Where is that support group of mothers that doesn't require a membership to Lala Land? I don't need to put on the pretense that mom world is a perfect place 24-7. Laundry is calling, so are my smelly dishes (and I mean smelly). I send you my condolences if you're having a day like mine.

3/16/09

Creative

I'll admit. I'm not the most creative person. It means I'd have to be original, imaginative, inspired, artistic, and innovative (to name a few). Creativity runs through other mommy's veins like blood runs through mine, so I take my ideas from them. How lucky I am that other moms post their great ideas for me to copy! I found a not too salty, won’t dry your hands, recipe for play dough. You can visit //http://tutusandturtles.blogspot.com/2008/11/indoor-activity.html or read below

Homemade play dough
Ingredients:
3 c. flour
3 c. boiling water
1 1/2 c. salt
6 tsp cream of tartar
3 TBS oil
food coloring

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil.
2. Add boiling water and mix well. You can knead dough on floured surface until no longer sticky (do not add too much flour or dough will dry out).
3. store in air tight container or ziploc bags.


Also, ever wonder what to do on days when you feel a little lackluster? Here is another great idea for you! It's an I Spy game. http://littlewindowshoppe.com/make-your-own-i-spy-bottle. I'm sure all of you out there have one lurking around your house, but I don't. I thought it was a great idea. I've seen other versions, but this one was simple!

Are your family dinners getting stale? This is a game, but you could make it yourself. Each card has a different topic or set of words to get the conversations rolling. I'm a sucker for good food and good conversation!

3/5/09

FUN

This word, although defined the same, comes in many forms. It's something that provides amusement, enjoyment, and also describes being playful or lighthearted. To an adult "fun" has many varieties, but to a kid, it's pretty simple. Anything outside (parks, playgrounds, courtyards, walks, trikes and bikes) and anything engaging (soccer, swings, stairs, slides, and other kids). Granted, this picture is a year old, but still shows the joy my guy finds in being active. I find that it's mostly vigorous, entertaining, and playful styles of activities that are fun to most kids. My toddler is getting to be more of a simple creature to figure out. When it's 85 degrees outside, like it is today, seize the opportunity for playground time. It's outside, which kids think is fun in and of itself, and there are colorful toys to play on, in and around. A no brainer! Plus, it tuckers out my toddler and he's more than ready for a nap by the time he's done playing. Such a blessing to have good weather. Now, moms on the other hand may not think it's all that fun trying to cram in another playtime activity before lunch or naps, but, as for me, it's a lot funner than hearing the whine of my child from being inside and subjected to another cartoon while I do what I think are necessary or "fun" things. Get up, get out! It's going to be such a glorious week with a great weekend!

3/3/09

Re-post

Mar 2, 2009
Bigger

This is a word that can have a negative or positive impact on some one's life. When your bank account increases in size, you see it as a positive thing...but when your pregnant body begins to take on a bigger shape, a negative vibe is usually attached. I'm not so much the glowing pregnant type as I am sticky and sweaty, accompanied with bi-daily showers and oily hair syndrome. Since this third trimester started not only has my body increased in roundness (in front and behind) but so have my piles of laundry, piles of organized messes, piles of bills, piles of toys, and piles of dishes. My porch used to be clean but currently has a pile of trash that is getting bigger and needs to be taken to the dumpster. It's almost like the bigger and bigger I get, the bigger the messes get in my home. Even my toddler is getting bigger. He seems so huge and grown up some days. This pregnancy has been so different from my first. I don't remember feeling overwhelmed with laundry, dishes, housewife duties, duties in my church, mommy duties with a 2 year old, and then keeping up with myself on top of it all. But, after a long day of what seems like "slaving away" I sit back and it still looks like I haven't even scratched the surface of the organizing and cleaning that needs to be done! So, here I sit blogging during my toddler's nap time, instead of worrying about the messes. It won't do any good anyway! I don't remember being as scared as I am, right now, with my first. Maybe it's because with the first baby the excitement and naivete overshadowed any doubt or worry. Now that I know what to expect, and what lies ahead on the road to recovery from a c-section, sleepless nights, and breastfeeding (so NOT the funnest thing in the world), I'm a little more worried and anxious about it all. I have crazy dreams, crazy thoughts about "what if", I'm not sleeping well, and things just don't seem as exciting with this pregnancy. It's almost like myself, and husband included, have a "been there, done that" mentality. But here I am on this end of ignorance knowing what to expect with a major surgery and recovery, and trying to figure out how to do it with a very rambunctious 2 year old. I really need to relax and get excited about another little guy in our house. I know my husband has even seemed less enthused about feeling the baby kick, or getting new baby gear. Where is that excitement that should be synonymous with a newborn, that should be bigger than the worries? It's so different with the first, as I know most of you would agree. So, as I get bigger, so do the messes, and the worries.

Re-post

Feb 8, 2009
Certainties

Few things in life are certain. I use the word certain because this means to have no doubts about something, to have a guarantee something will happen, or, ability to be relied upon. I'm sure I could ramble on about all the uncertainties of life, but instead I will ramble on about the certainties. One certainty is that Valentine's day will occur at the same time every year, and being married, it reminds me to reflect upon marriage, and my husband.

My relationship with my husband is something that will last forever. There will never be a day in the eternities or on this earth that we will not be one. There is a bond, stronger than any worldly ceremony that binds us to each other. It was designed by a loving God to allow his children the blessing and honor of remaining in family units after death. Have you ever wondered, "Why we are put on this earth in families only to be dissolved after death?" Would we care about our spouses, our children, our ancestors if ultimately we were going to remain an individual for eternity? Why marriage and family units then? How grateful I am that I know there is a sealing power that binds on earth and in heaven my family, especially that bond between a husband and wife.

My friendship with my husband will last forever. With Valentine's day approaching (I know it's over commercialized and often cheapened by society) I thought about what having a husband means...especially, having the husband that I have. It's a friendship that few experience. It's a joy that few taste of. With a world gone opposite of marriage and family, I am certain that I will never wish for or look back on the days without my husband. He's the best friend that I've ever had. He knows his priorities. He knows what comes first after a long day of school and work. He knows that even though he may have had a hard day, I'm the one usually needing the laugh and the extra hug at night. When I gain weight, he never tells me to work out, or questions what I eat. When I cry about some physical imperfection I think I might have at the moment, he offers chocolate or a back rub. He celebrates when something good happens to me or for me. He loves our son, and our son on-the-way more than anything, and I know this because I see it in his panic when there is a scraped knee or near death stunt by our toddler. Never does he look at me with that "Are you going to rush over and help him up". He does it without question. He has never referred to me as "hey woman" or acted as though I were his maid. I feel like the bride and queen of the household. I know that everything he does, from his near penniless job, although still providing, to slaving away at tests and school work, is all for me. I know that his sense of humor was designed especially for me, to get me laughing, sometimes uncontrollably in inappropriate circumstances, every day. His hugs were designed for me. His lips, his back rubs, his foot rubs, his cuddliness, and his raspy and what I like to call bedroom voice, designed all for me.

When he's excited about a new rock song, and I just gotta hear it, he'll set aside time to let me hear it so I can appreciate it as much as him, creating another something we can share. New movies, new restaurants, new tv shows, new video games, new bands, new youtube videos...whatever it is, he'll share it with me. Not his guy friends, but me. I wonder if I'm worthy of all the sharing because he knows I don't love all the same things as him, yet he'll try and share with me anyway. The first time we officially met we talked about music, and he discovered that I knew a band that he thought only a handful of people knew about and vice-versa. From there on out we thought each other was pretty cool. Good thing he had the determination to track me down a year later and officially ask me on a date. The rest is history.

I know that he hears me. I'm certain that when I need to talk, actual girl talk (that whole venting and fretting that girlfriends do) he'll listen for hours! It probably annoys him, but he listens, and he even gives me input. He hates when I cry. He feels helpless when I do, but he'll try and help anyway. He takes my advice, even when it's harsh, and loves me anyway. He lets me pick apart his sense of style, weight, hobbies, mannerisms, etc, and still kisses me goodnight, holds my hand, opens doors for me, and makes attempts to change for the better because I've asked. He makes my senses sing, even when I cannot talk.

I know that he loves me. It's in every kiss. I'm certain he knows me better than anyone. The second night we hung out, after a date, we talked until four in the morning. He summed up what he thought about who I was and where I came from, and he hit the bull's eye. Inside I was thinking, "How in the world does someone know me so well after only a couple dates and a few hours of talking?" I still don't know the answer to that, but I'm certain it's because I needed him, and he needed me to know that he was the one for me. Could this be love? I know it's cliche sounding, but love isn't complicated. It's direct and to the point, and it happens in a matter of moments and continues forever. I'm certain of that!

So, to my husband I want to say that I am certain that I love you! I am certain that you are the best person to ever grace my life. I hope you know that you are my everything, even though I make things tough for you, you will know that I need you because without you I have nothing. When all we have is each other, that will be enough. I don't know if you remember life without me, but I don't remember it without you. When I reach that far back I still see you there, somewhere, in my life, in my memories. We have been through SO much since last Valentine's day...can you believe it? We've made it through worse, and better for that matter, but look at us...we're fine! We are together. We love each other, we have each other, and have certainties that will last forever! You make my soul fly, even when I cannot think to walk. I'm amazed that you are mine, and that you are my Valentine!

Re-post

Jan 28, 2009
Perfect Neighbors


Apartment dwelling is not the most glamorous living situation, especially when it comes to your neighbors. We have several neighbors (obviously) and we know a few of them. They all know that we have a 23 months old, who loves to run and jump (and sometimes falls hard in the process). We have a third story apartment, which means there will be occasional noise from us to our second story dwellers whom we don't know. We used to live on the first floor and we know that you can hear anything from people upstairs like chairs being moved across the kitchen, to the dishwasher running, parties, to click-clacking of shoes going up and down the stairs at all hours of the day/night. We even had drunk co-eds puke in our bushes by our first story balcony. Yes, not the most glamorous. However, we lived below and next door to lots of people, and noise was completely expected! When living in an apartment noise is pretty much written into the contract. It's like you sign a dotted line agreeing that you know there will be shenanigans that occasionaly make noise. There are rules about time limits and noise control on certain things, but other than that, you just deal with it. Our second story renters are the most annoying! They aren't noisy (unless it's 2 in the afternoon and it sounds like a rave is going on), but for the most part they keep to themselves. For the most part. If our son throws his apple on the floor, which we've tried to teach him not to, and then stomps off because he's mad, we hear pounding on the floor/ceiling from below. You know the sound...that broom stick hitting the ceiling to tell your neighbors to shut up! Yeah, that sound. We walk carefully knowing that we annoy them. For instance, our son has learned only to jump from the coffee table to the couch in a noiseless fashion, and has learned how to slide gently off the bar stools and chairs without a sound. When we remind him to "Walk slow buddy" he quietly slows down and creeps the rest of the way to his destination. It's humorous actually! But, I decide to chop some veggies for dinner or the buddy decides to run one evening and I can't be right on top of him, and bang!bang!bang! from below. It's REALLY starting to annoy me! You deal with noise when you live smooshed between two floors of co-ed, college apartments! I would love to show up on their doorstep at 2 in the afternoon and tell them that the rave party is annoying, and if they want to continue then I'm not going to bridle my son from running and playing! I've never stomped on the floor or banged on a ceiling to tell these teeny-bopper drunks to shut up. I deal with it. I can't wait until they have children (heaven help us) and they get dirty looks or banging reminders from neighbors!

Re-post

Decorating


This word alone scares and, frankly, annoys me. To get a look that's not completely tacky or that says "Hi, I'm super cheap" you need money and devoted time. I don't know how you feel about it, but decorating makes me groan. I know that if I am going to get the "look" I want it will be expensive and time consuming. I am a stay at home mom with a husband in school so how I make a look work is Do-It-Yourself style or bargain shopping. Mind you, if I chose to decorate my rooms the styles I really wanted, we'd be broke and have more consumer debt than is worth a few cute accessories. Although I do wish I could walk into a store, see a bedroom set, with all the bells and whistles, and walk out of the store with it. Ya know? I have plenty of pictures of perfect rooms that hopefully I'll be able to recreate in my own home someday. Until then, it's 50% off sales over a period of months at Hobby Lobby to finalize a vision of creation.
It's finally time to move my son into the spare room with a big-boy bed. I got really excited about the prospects of having a cutely decorated room. I decided on a vintage airplane theme. CHAH! I don't think anything exists in this department because vintage airplanes are not sports, cars, or the newest release of some action/disney adventure movie. So, it's been quite the adventure trying to come up with frugal vintage items and decor. Thus the groans! The online world is crawling with amazing things, "if" you have thousands to spend on creating a vintage airplane bedroom for a toddler. Still, I pulled out some old paint left over from the living room (a nice wheat color) and began painting. I shopped around and found a few vintage airplanes to hang from his ceiling, all on sale brand new (real vintage would cost an arm and a leg). Next, the bedding. Okay, I knew the colors that would work. My old stuff from college is not something my boy would want to grow up with, so I was stuck shopping for bedding. WalMart, NOPE. Stores at the mall, NOPE. I hate shopping toddler appropriate bedding and being limited to camping, cars, sports, and High School Musical....c'mon! I finally found some great finds at Target that would match the wall color and would be muted colors to go along with the vintage airplanes. However, the bedding sets were like $99.99! One quilt with the perfect pattern and array of colors was over $100. Whatever! He's a toddler... Am I being too picky?! Should I go with the plain blue and white stripe set from WalMart for 45 bucks? (The two beds we own are queen size, so that's the size/price range I am buying for) Well, I let a few months pass...he slept in the crib while we transitioned through holiday sleep at relatives, and then I broke down and checked Traget one more time because he is SO ready for a bed. It was like a ray of light shown from above down the clearance isle. There, on the second shelf were the comforter sets I had seen months earlier! 30% off!? WOW. But, I saw a king size set for cheaper than the queen. I knew if I asked the store people they would give me that whole BS story of "Things go on sale based on need to get rid of it and quantity etc..." So I didn't ask...I kept hunting. I went down the next isle. Found the same comforter set in king size cheaper than the one on the other isle. I had already shoved the queen size one in my cart thinking $69.99 is better than 100 bucks so I really should get it. I decided to look at accessories to see if Target had anything other than cars and sports (NOPE), but what that isle did have was the exact comforter set for 50% off in the queen size. Yeah baby! The hunting for a bargain worked! The colors were what I was looking for too! So, after many months we've moved him into his partly decorated, airplane themed, big-boy room.
Decorating? Can I just groan instead!? Anyone else with me?