Monday, April 30, 2012

Don't sleep.

Hey there. I know, its been awhile.

Lately, it seems everyone (25 people, literally) I know is pregnant. Bellies are burgeoning and shower invites are flooding in and there is so much procreation going on that my heart is bursting with joy and excitement for what they are all about to feel.

I see Facebook updates of "still no baby" and Instagram photos labeled "overdue" and I know the feeling. I rubbed my gigantic belly 8 days past its "due" and wondered would she ever arrive. I remember cringing when people told me to take another nap, because soon enough I would never nap again ever ever ever (that's a lie, thanks heavens).  Well, the truth that any overly pregnant mother knows is that is impossible. Somewhere around 35 weeks, you are so full of baby (of life!) that you can't sleep because suddenly this impending life change is very, very real. Its flipping and kicking and sometimes making you think you're in labor when you're not. Its magical.

So magical, in fact, that your friends will think you are worthy of a tiara. Don't worry, you are.

So to all of my expectant friends, I say--don't sleep. After all, you can't pile sleep like coins in a bank. Lay there and let yourself dream about all of the things to come. Try to draw the outline of their nose, predict the pitch of their cries and particular way they'll separate their veggies. Because, soon enough--they will be here. They will be nothing and more than what you expected. But for now, its the only time in your life that you can know someone so intimately before you have even seen their face. Magic.

 Vintage Austen. My ovaries hurt.
(Photo credit: Paul Ryan Eagle Photography)

Monday, December 19, 2011

How my toddler feels about food.

45 seconds of Austen's thought process regarding food. Also, you should know that Austen calls our dog (Izzy) by the name of my in-law's dog, Molly.:

O-M-G. I am hungry!
Can I have that? What's that? I want that. NOW.
Ya know, now that I have sucked on it...I don't love it.
I bet if I spit it out, Izzy will love it.
Peas? I love peas!
oooooh. Dis pea is hot!
Whooooooo. Whoooooooo. Two blows should cool it.
I had no choice but to spit those flaming balls of green out.
I would love a cheese stick.
Is that meat? Don't you know I hate meat?!
What are these green things?
Wheres my milk? All I want is milk.
I am not even hungry.
I want down.
I want up.
Fine, I will climb back up myself.
I bet the food would taste better if I was sitting in that chair.
No, this chair.
Daddy, can I have a bite?
Everything is better when Daddy eats it.
I will only eat raisins. Forever and Amen.

Austen rocking the mullet at mealtime.

Friday, December 2, 2011

oh yeah, I have a blog.

Zomg, guys. I swear I really want to make this blog into something but some days it just seems so daunting. The writing part I love--the making it pretty, trying like hell to get people to read it, and wondering how I come across parts--eh, not so much. So, I have come to peace with the fact that I will write when moved to do so and maybe 5 people will read it. Maybe 50. It doesn't change the words or their meaning to me and so I am okay with that.

Moving on...

I want to talk about judgment for a second. It is not fun. Being judged, judging, watching people get judged. It is all so draining. I am not one to normally get all up in arms about stuff, but I follow a blog called Heir to Blair
and totally respect and admire Beth Anne's blazing honesty and bravery. Sometimes I read people's blogs and I am all "they are better than life than me". When I read this blog, I feel like "man, I want to get coffee with that girl because she is legit". So, needless to say I was really bummed when I saw the reaction that her latest endeavor got. If you read the post you will see what I mean.

To attack someone simply for sharing with the world their honest to goodness struggles is baffling to me. And we aren't talking about earth-shattering stuff here, people. We are talking about naps! I felt the need to defend this person I have never met--simply because I admire her for baring her soul. If you take the time to investigate her site, you will see--she has probably helped SO many women by sharing her PPD story, just for starters.

After I commented on the Babble post, I was kind of mad at myself. By responding to ToddlerMama, had I just fueled her fire? Validated her bullying? Perhaps. But worse, I had cast my own judgment. What she said to and about Blair was uncalled for. But I don't know the shoes she wears or the day she's had. Now, I recognize that ToddlerMama is probably having a hard time right now. Maybe her marriage is failing, or her finances are in shambles, or she wants another baby so bad that she feels like she must hold this one even tighter. But her comments are unbelievable to me.Perhaps it would have been best to reach out to her privately, offering a chance to listen. In life, it is usually those who wear the the strongest armor who are the most deeply wounded.

So, when we judge the mom who doesn't pick her screaming toddler up off the floor, who writes a blog post about needing 2 hours of quiet time, who lashes out in the comments section--we just contribute to the vicious cycle of nonacceptance. I think that as mothers, we are called to reach a higher level of understanding and acceptance. We are raising a generation, and so we must strive to see what is not readily visible. We have to speak from a place of compassion and patience when at all possible. That means you too, ToddlerMama.

That being said, judgment is inevitable. Its a hair-trigger response to forge an opinion when we encounter things out in the world. However, I think what I am learning more and more (as a mother, at my job, particularly as a wife) is that there truly is an "A" for effort. If you can simply make it a priority to try to lead with a compassionate heart, then you will eventually see a fundamental change in your tendency to judge. While I may still see a parent doing something I disagree with and form a quick opinion, I now try to reason with myself as to what else is going on that I can't see.

I am no saint. That is very very clear. However, I hope and pray that by trying to be a little more forgiving in my judgments that the same will be done to me. So, when you see my toddler throwing herself on the pavement--please know that I am doing the very best I can. And that I am praying for a nap (sorry, ToddlerMama).

Friday, October 14, 2011

oh, dear God.

I am going to need some kind of protective vest to shield against these eyes. I am the mommy. I am in charge. I must say no...I must say no....I must...okay, fine. You win.

Monday, October 10, 2011

We moved!

We moved. And it is freakin' awesome. I keep trying to take pictures but the lighting isn't quite right and theres always a blur of a baby or dog running through--but soon, friends. Soon.

Moving turned out to be a Chad & Jamie production. Our "help", God bless them, showed up after we had completely loaded the truck at the old house. They left shortly after helping us carry the last box into the new house. I have to say, packing and moving practically without any help was actually kind of rewarding. I felt like Chad and I really shined as a team. I could not be proud to say that we did not argue once, we unpacked every box, and hit IKEA and the liquor store...all in just 13 hours!

 playtime with the Grams!

Granted, it was made a heck of a lot easier by the absence of littlest gal. She was with Grammy...and thank heavens for that! It felt so good to bring her in the house with it all set up and introduce her to every room. She ran around pointing and yelling with glee. My play kitchen--in the kitchen!? My ball pit?! The TV--on the wall?! This is awesome! My heart melted into a little puddle of happy.

 eating a creation from her new play kitchen! 
(it was supposed to be for Christmas, by the mister wanted to give it to her now :)

I had talked to some of you about my concern over the fact that the new house doesn't have a bathtub. It seemed okay though--I bathed her in the extra large sink in the kitchen last night and she totally dug it. I am sure I will attempt a shower with her in the near future but I am a little nervous. 

Since that went off without a hitch, I decided to go ahead and try to put her to bed without her nighttime bottle. I warmed up some milk and put it in a sippy cup....and to my surprise, it wasn't the epic meltdown I anticipated. She fussed a little and didn't drink as much milk as she would have but she did go to sleep rather quickly. That being said, she woke up at 2 am and 4 am screaming like the world was ending. It's hard for me to know if this is "new house" behavior, repercussions from ditching the bottle or just normal stuff...since shes only slept through the night a handful of times anyway.

Now that Chad is down 4 wisdom teeth, we have a new address, and Austen's ear infection has gone away (although the remnants of her off-balance week can still be seen on her face in the shape of a bruise *sad face*), I hoping our little family can enjoy some peace and quiet and some much needed bonding time in the coming weeks.

So, that's what we have been up to. Hope everyone had a great weekend.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I still don't get it.

We have all heard it before. Your mom does something a little bit kooky and you give her that teenage, judgemental look and she says "When you're a mom, you'll understand".

Fair enough. A lot of things my mom did that I thought were annoying when I was a child are now very clearly necessary. The crying (oh, hormones). The constant trips to the bathroom (children of the world, you have no one to blame but yourselves). The hoarding of art projects, the pushing of vegetables and fruits, the hovering at the playground. The incessant picture taking. I get it.

But there are still a few things I don't get. Maybe my mom is just weird, but the following things still leave me puzzled:

1. The snot rag. What is up with that? Your nose is running and she passes you this wadded up tissue and doesn't understand why you look repulsed. Every mom has one of these in her purse. Just throw it away. Even if it is an unused tissue that somehow got crumpled into a ball, it will still feel like a snot-covered vomit-inducing rag when you hand it to me. So, no thanks. God gave me sleeves for a reason. Desperate times.

2. The hugging. Now if you know me, you know I don't really love to hug. I blame this on my mother. She is suuuuch a hugger. We had to hug out everything at my house. More than two people involved in the emotional exchange? Well, then a group hug it is! No, no, no. Too much hugging and the hugs lose their special. Lets save hugs for scarped knees and reunions after time apart. Perfectly acceptable alternatives are lap-sitting (for babies, of course), hand holding and verbal affirmation of love.

3. The voice mails. Oh, the voice mails. My mom leaves them no matter how many times I tell her I don't listen to them. Sometimes she will just say, "hey, call me". Um, the missed call notification on my phone that displayed your name and number were enough to alert me to the fact that I need to call you. You either have this kind of mom or the kind that leaves lengthy, entertaining voice mails. My aunt Donna leaves my cousin Alason the best voice mails. Seriously, her whole day's events condensed into 30 seconds. Amazing.

I have the greatest mom in the world and I would probably be an absolute train-wreck without her. But the things above, I will probably never get. I am willing to bet Austen will have the same kind of list. What drives you crazy about your mom?

Things I don't get about Austen? Why she loves spilling things.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, dear friend.

Let me tell you about my friend, Liz
First of all, its her birthday...everyone say...HAPPY BIRTHDAY LIZ!

Who wouldnt want a mom like this!?

In honor of her birthday, I want to share with you guys just how much this fellow ginger means to me.

First of all, shes raising two pretty kick ass kids with the help of her cutie pie husband, Ryan. She actively serves the community through efforts at the free store and by welcoming four neighborhood boys into her home a daily basis for homework help, warm food, and most importantly--a chance to be heard and loved. As if that's not enough, she serves on the board where our kids go to preschool.

When shes not busy taking on the neighborhood's needs, shes crafting away. Making beautiful things from next to nothing--seriously, do you have a left over box? She will teach you to make this. If you are like me and can't make a stick figure look cute, you can buy her creations and feel good about cute stuff in your house that has little to no environmental impact.

hanging out with my little gal.

Liz is not perfect--but she will be the first one to admit it. She can be a "strong" personality, she can let a few days go by without touching the laundry, she absolutely cannot resist a plate of brownies. Who can?

However, the truth is, I can honestly say that I have met very few people like her. Who are continually striving for improvement. Perhaps the best part about my dear friend is that she sees her own flaws and wants to change them. It is an amazing and rewarding thing to see her dig deeper spiritually to find answers--something she has taught me to do for myself.

I love her for her talents, her sincerity, and her willingness to always show up. She may not have the answer...but she shows up. And she helps. Best of all, she does not keep tabs. She gives selflessly.

 I love her because despite all of the awesomeness she has going on, she never makes me feel like I need to match up. When I do something cool, she really does think its noteworthy. She supports me. Something I always figured was normal---but I am quickly realizing it just isn't. A true blue friend without ulterior motives is hard to find. I feel blessed to have found her.

Oh, just looking cute with a baby on her back.

I am so proud of who she has become over the past few years. 
I look forward to many years of watching her grow as a person, becoming an even better wife, mother and friend.
To you, Liz. On your Birthday. I love you!