Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Disappearance of Gona

It is my understanding that it is not uncommon for children to have imaginary friends. Jimmy Stewart had Harvey, Calvin had Hobbes, and Mel Gibson had Mr. Beaver (which was totally creepy by the way). Even my older sister had an imaginary friend named Mandy. Then I came along and within a couple of years Mandy stopped showing up. I guess reality is better than pretend, even if reality doesn’t always do what you tell her to. : ) Also, I’m super cool and my silly sister didn’t need any friends besides me. Obviously.

Well, up until recently my sweet Adaleine (Sissy) had a friend who she kept close by at all times. I don’t know that I would call her an imaginary friend necessarily, but Gona {like Mona} was with us pretty much non-stop for a while.

Adaleine and one of the Old Navy mannequins. The mannequin's name? Gona of course!
The thing that made Gona different from Harvey, Hobbes and Mr. Beaver was that she was never someone that Sissy just imagined to be there. Gona wasn’t always a girl; she was whatever my girl wanted her to be. If Sissy got a new doll, her name was Gona. If she got a new horse, her name was Gona. If she was playing princesses, she was Princess Gona. You get the idea. And more often than not, if you asked Adaleine her name, the answer would be an immediate “Gona.” It became a kind of joke around our house to ask Adaleine her name when she was playing and act surprised when she just answered “Gona” so matter-of-factly.

Gona spinning around in a new skirt
I’m not exactly sure where Gona came from. I think Sissy adopted Gona soon after our little Judah Bear was born. It was a pretty crazy time with Landon living over a hundred miles away, a new little brother, me packing up our whole house to sell, moving in with my aunt and uncle for a few weeks and then finally transplanting our entire family from Kearney to Lincoln. That’s a lot for a two-and-a-half year old to process. Heck, it was a lot for me to process. But in Gona’s case, I think she showed up to keep Sissy company.

This is Gona concentrating very hard on her painting. It's a pretty serious business. : )
Sissy is a pretty low-maintenance little girl. She’s not terribly interested in ruffles and bows, doesn’t insist on wearing dresses like her big sister or require constant entertainment like her little brother. She will gladly play the Beast to Eden’s Belle, the Flynn Rider to Eden’s Rapunzel, and be the kitty instead of the princess. She’s a very easygoing and roll with the punches type of girl.

Adaleine had fun playing with Barbies at Uncle Todd's house this summer. Coincidentally the Barbie's name was Gona!
She’s our little sunshine. She has what I call a thousand-watt smile—made all the more perfect by the fact that her two front teeth are chipped. She has curly hair that she twirls around her fingers so tightly in her sleep that I have to cut out the tangles every day. She has beautiful squishy little hands that love to be held. And she does everything so slowly, and I have to remind myself that she’s just looking at things a little differently, a little more closely than I do. Or I will go insane. (I’m only partly joking.)

Gona dressing up in her snow gear!
That’s my little Gona girl. Gona doesn’t come around much anymore, and that kind of makes me sad. I miss Gona. But I think that Gona showed up to help my sweet little Sissy get through a weird time in her life. Even if we had a lot of chaos and weirdness going on all around us, there was always something that she could grab onto, talk to by name, and feel better. So maybe it’s a good sign that she doesn’t need her anymore. But there’s that little part of me that knows that my baby girl is just a little less baby now. And that part of me wishes that Gona would have stuck around a little bit longer.

A new stuffed elephant for her birthday! Her name used to be Gona. Now it's Simbo. Hey, at least the names are unique!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Confessions of a 28-Year-Old Housewife

Hello out there in blog land! I have been stewing over a few things I’d like to write about and share with—whoever for a while now. Sadly, I have not had regular access to my computer since we decided to move Judah’s bed into the office. At almost ten months old, it’s really time for him to start sleeping through the night. : )

So anyway, that’s why I haven’t been around much lately. But I’ve been thinking about lots of little things that I thought I could just string together and form one long garland of over-sharing. Are you psyched? I’m psyched! I know that sounds dorky (which I've already confessed to being) but my whole goal in starting this little bloggy thing is to be honest. So…yeah. 

These are my confessions (Thank you, Usher)

I hate brushing my teeth. I like having a clean mouth and teeth, but I hate the act of brushing my teeth.

When I put on my apron, I immediately turn into June Cleaver. I don’t care if all I’m doing is dumping Prego out of the jar into the pan. I’m June Freaking Cleaver!

Being a female is hard. Fact. Making new female friends is hard. When you’re trying to get to know new women, it can often feel like you’re applying for a ‘friend’ position and no one’s hiring. 

My kids are really cute. I honestly think my kids are pretty much the cutest kids pretty much ever and that should be generally acknowledged. : ) 

I think I’ve shared this before, but I truly never intended to be a mother, let alone a stay-at-home mom. I pictured myself out in the career-driven world kicking butt and taking names. Which is weird, because I’m soooo not kicking anyone’s butt. (Unless they cut in line at Panera. That’s just gonna get them hurt.) 

I love making desserts. Anything with cream cheese. Or chocolate. Or peanut butter. I also love bread. And chocolate. And peanut butter.  

Speaking of food, I eat cake and brownie batter like nobody’s business. Salmonella’s not a real thing.  

In my humble opinion, showering every single day is overkill. Brush your teeth every day? Absolutely. Change your undies? You betcha. Apply fresh deodorant? Certainly. But showering requires an effort that includes re-lotioning my whole body, finding a whole new ‘outfit’ for the day, deciding whether or not I’m going to do my hair, etc. All that effort seems wasted when there are days when I don’t leave the house at all. 

It drives me nuts when someone’s hair is in their face and they do nothing to remove it. I literally have to keep myself from brushing it back.  

I’m pretty sure Julia Roberts and I could become really good friends if we had the chance. She’s pretty down-to-earth, right? I’ll bet she’s in the market for a shorter, chubby friend to stand next to her in pictures. And it would really help my confidence if I could get her to laugh every once in a while. She’s got a great laugh. I heart her. : ) 

I occasionally drink milk out of the carton. Not often and not recently, but it’s happened and I just thought I’d put that out there. Just keeping it real. 

Having babies is not kind to your bladder. I’ll leave it at that. 

Having babies is not kind to your butt, thighs, belly, chest, face, etc. But especially your bladder. 

I have a handful of good friends, but I can only talk about bodily functions candidly with my sisters. 

Since having kids, I spend an amazing amount of time talking about poop, vomit, and, oddly enough, dragons. Those three topics take up a lot of air time. 

On that topic, the girls recently went to spend the weekend with their grandparents. On their return my mother-in-law joked that I must spend a lot of time wiping bottoms throughout the day. That got me thinking. Then I got bummed out and ate something sweet. It’s all kind of a blur from there.  

I get a little thrill when I pass someone in the car after changing lanes. I even mutter “Sucka!” under my breath at them sometimes. : ) 

Extreme Couponing makes me want to extreme coupon. Some of those women are nuts. But some of them are awesoooooommmmme.

Nothing too scandalous there, right? I mean, who wouldn’t beat up someone who cuts in line at Panera? And if we’re being honest I think we’d all admit that we l-o-v-e passing someone who chose the slow lane.

And that wraps up my over-sharing garland session. I feel so liberated! : )

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Choices (I think I can, I think I can)

Well, another year has come and gone. I will eventually take a look back at 2011 and ruminate on all that that crazy year held, but for now I want to look forward.

Here it is, January 2, and I’m already behind! But better late than never, right? I have been thinking—mulling, if you will—over the last few days about what I would like to change in this New Year. I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions. But that’s probably because I never stick with them. So this year, I have resolved (hehe) not to have resolutions. Yes, you read that right. I am SUCH a rebel.

Now before you write me off as being content with my chubby, unhealthy, messy lifestyle, let me tell you what I have resolved to make a part of my new year. Drum roll, please. : )


Specifically, New Year’s Choices.

They are different from resolutions in one very important way: while a resolution seems so strict, unforgiving, and controlling, I think of a choice as being much more of a personal decision. The bottom line is that I will probably screw up and miss a day of this or that, but while a resolution would then feel broken and hopeless, a choice can start fresh the next day. 

So, without further ado, my New Year’s Choices! 

Make my bed in the morning – I think this is totally manageable! I have actually done this before and been pretty successful in doing it but have dropped the habit. And as soon as I get my sheets out of the dryer (where they’ve been for the last two days) I am totally doing this!

Send out birthday cards – I usually start out doing pretty well with this every year and then by May or June I just start to suck. (Although last year I didn’t even try. Seriously. As far as I’m concerned no one had a birthday in 2011. I’m still 27.)

Wash my face before bed – I know what you’re thinking. And I agree. Washing my face before bed is going to seriously hamper my ‘get up off the sofa and stumble mindlessly into bed’ tradition. But I can make small sacrifices for the sake of not looking 96 years old by the time I’m 30.

Say ‘yes’ to my kids more often – This is actually a pretty big one for me. I often find myself telling my sweet girls ‘no’ to doing fun activities because it will make a mess or something else like that. But what I would really like is to be able to set aside my unwillingness to make myself uncomfortable for their sakes. They’re only little once and I don’t want them to miss out on fun stuff. (Sniffle, sniffle)

Write – This one is purely selfish. I want to do something for me. Something I can feel good about and be proud of. I know that my kids are my biggest project and reward and blah blah blah but the truth is I can’t have ‘Mommy’ be my only identity. I need something that’s just for me, or even my Mommy hat is going to be worn to tatters. I would like to blog at least once a week, although I’m not sure I have enough interesting things to talk about. I would also really like to try and write something a little more substantial like a book or short story or something, but I’m not really sure I’m brave enough to try something like that. We’ll see. : )

Exercise – I have a gym membership that has been completely unused for the last two weeks. I would like to commit to going to the gym three times a week. If I happen to work out while I’m there, even better! Maybe this is the year I can stop feeling like I look so ‘mother of three’-ish.

So those are my official New Year’s Choices. Other things I would really like to work on this year are cooking better meals for my family, going on more date nights with the hubby, be more orgaized, being smarter with our money, picking up after myself, and putting away laundry when I fold it. ‘Cause apparently it’s not okay to keep all your clean clothes in a laundry basket on your bedroom floor. Whatever. : ) 

Here is an example of what I want to change in 2012. You may not be able to tell, but that’s actually my computer desk. But that’s normal. Right?