Wednesday, September 26, 2012

All About Eve: Being a Woman is Hard

Sadly, this post will not feature any performances by Bette Davis or Thelma Ritter. My deepest apologies if I got your hopes up. : ) This is a much more…female post.

I’ve been wanting to write this post for about five months now. Actually, I’ve been wanting to write this post one day a month for about five months now. Then that day passes and I decide to wait another month. But not this month! This month I’m going to give Eve a piece of my mind.

Here's the deal. There are definitely advantages to being a woman. We have much cuter accessories, we get to wear makeup to cover up zits, and we have the option to veto stupid movie choices. But we have some pretty serious cons, too. (I’m not going to get into the theological aspects of whether or not Eve is to blame for the sin of mankind; she is simply going to be my ‘womanhood sucks’ scapegoat.)

First off, I understand the appeal of the idea of knowing everything. Knowledge of good and evil and whatnot. There is definitely an argument to be made for that. But seriously lady, if you’d just been a leeeetle bit patient Google would have shown up in a couple of thousand years. You can find the answer to pretty much anything on there. Ah, blessed Google.

Next in my list of major issues with Eve is the whole ‘time of the month’ issue. I’m sure there are women out there who don’t mind their seven days of misery, and those women should probably have their medication adjusted. For my part, I do not love the sudden loss of freedom that comes with making sure you have all the goods you need to make it through the day, the sudden punch in the gut of cramps, and that moment of panic when you realize it’s coming and you’re in public with no supplies. I’d like to imagine that our cycle signals would feel more like being tickled by fairies if she hadn’t eaten that dang apple. Or fig. Or whatever the heck it was. It was probably a Red Delicious. Those things always look way better than they taste.

This leads me to the main event. The complete culmination of cringing, cramping, and crying. (Check out that amazing alliteration!) That beautiful experience in which you scream, curse your unborn child, try to break your husband’s fingers, and worry about pooping on the doctor. Let me just say this: if Eve had had any inkling of what was in store for her to have all those little humans, she would have kept her distance from that tree. Or from Adam. And she would have reconsidered all those kids. Especially Cain. That dude was nothing but trouble from the beginning. I think the stork delivery would have been a totally viable option if not for that blasted tree.

This is right before they started me on the drugs to induce labor with Miss Eden. Don't I look radiant? (You can also replace 'radiant' with 'bloated, uncomfortable, and downright pissed off.')

The fact remains that women do have quite a few interesting experiences. However, if we didn’t have to get through all those things, we wouldn’t get to experience the awe of a positive pregnancy test, the tickly flutter of first kicks, the giddy elation of holding that little munster for the first time, and the privilege of kissing tears away to make everything better. I wouldn’t trade any of it. So I guess if I saw Eve, I’d give her an awkward side hug and tell her to stop beating herself up. We get it. And the pros outweigh the cons. By a landslide.

This picture reminds me of the saying "Many hands make light work." I love that it's so obvious that our family wouldn't be nearly as lovely without all of those little hands. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Bumming Around

Just thought I'd pop in and say 'hello!' Hello! : ) I'm not feeling super awesome today, so the munsters and I are having a very low-key day. Eden didn't have school today so we've had a pajama day so far. I love these days!

Hope you're all having a great day!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pregnancy Scare

I had a pregnancy scare this morning. I say this morning, but it has actually been something that’s been at the back of my mind for a couple of days and I took the test this morning. No worries, it was negative, but I’ve had it on my mind.

I’m generally pretty regular in that area. Not necessarily always to the day, but more often than not I know what’s coming, if you know what I mean. : ) Plus, since I had Judah, I’ve been getting really—girly every time I’m about to start. I hate it. I get all emotional and weepy and snappy and mean. Just ask the fam. It ain't pretty.

With the past couple days and being just a little bit late, I've had all these “What if?” thoughts running through my mind. I kept thinking if I really am pregnant, what do I do? Not in regards to the pregnancy; I wouldn’t consider ending the pregnancy just because I didn’t want another baby. I mean just as far as telling people.

This is Mr. Bug and I right before I was induced with Eden. I was so swollen!! We were so young!!!

I have made it very clear to anyone who asks that I do not want another baby. I am aware that this statement in itself is very selfish and arrogant. I have a good friend who would love to have another baby. I have a sister who has struggled getting pregnant as well. There are countless women out there who would love to have a baby to love and hold and here I can’t help but wince at the thought of having another baby.

My little Adaleine was only a couple of weeks old in the picture. Such a sweetie : )

What would I say? I know I would get many ‘funny’ comments such as “You know what causes that, right?” and things like that. And I would have to laugh along with them even though I’d want to make a rude comment. I know that people, my family especially, would think without saying it that we’re foolish and irresponsible to get pregnant again. That I’m overwhelmed enough as it is and that it would simply be too much.
Just a week or two before I had Judah. I was as big as a house. A very big house. With a three-car garage.
The fact remains though that it is possible that I would get pregnant again. I am not on birth control for a number of reasons, so there is the possibility. Mr. Bug’s health insurance does not cover a vasectomy or the procedure to take care of it on my end either. (I just hate the term ‘getting your tubes tied.’ Yuck)

Our little family on Mother's Day a couple of months after Judah Bear was born

I know I will need to take care of all of it soon or I’m going to have a very different result to a pregnancy test. Landon has made it clear that he wouldn’t have a problem with that, and I have made it clear that if that happens he stays home and I go to work. I’m only partly kidding. : )

I have no resolution to this. I’m kind of just spilling my guts to the blogosphere. I figure the more real I am, the more I might connect with a momma out there who might be feeling the same way I do. Mommyhood is hard; I don’t want any of us to feel like we’re going it alone.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Operation Get My Poop in a Group

You know that scene in What About Bob? where Bob is getting ready to leave his apartment? It’s been a really long time since I’ve seen that movie so I could be remembering it totally wrong, but I just picture him saying, “Baby steps to the door. Baby steps to the elevator. Baby steps to the…” You get the idea.

That’s the general idea with “Operation Get My Poop in a Group.” Where it all started is this: my house is a wreck. We moved in at the beginning of June and I had such high hopes for the organizational possibilities of this house. There are three bedrooms! A kitchen with an attached dining area! Laundry room instead of closet! Two bathrooms! Great big living room! And do you know what all of that means?!

It means zilch if I don’t just—here it is—get my poop in a group! Sorry, Mom. I know you probably think that’s inappropriate, but I toned in down from what I say in my head. : )

Here are some of the things I want to conquer: all of my kitchen cupboards (one at a time so I don’t go completely bonkers), bathroom cabinet, kids’ closet shelves, kids’ closet hanging storage, downstairs bedroom/office/dumping ground, laundry area…Hmm. Maybe I should just say I want to organize my house.

The problem is though, that I can organize it all I want but if I don’t KEEP my poop in a group so to speak, it will all be a mess again in a week. Okay, a day. So what I really want to do is find some systems that really make sense for me and my family and the way we live. Can you tell I stalk the IHeartOrganizing blog? I am unapologetically obsessed.

I decided to start off small with the cabinet where I keep my food storage containers. I also keep paper towels and extra spices up there, so I had to make sure it all worked to shove neatly arrange it all back in there. First I took it all out.

I have a bit of a mish-mash of storage containers here, but the ones on the right are AWESOME for Miss Eden's lunches
Then I went through each container and lid and matched them all together. Anything that didn’t have a match got tossed. Adios, losers!

Oh, and I also made a mental note to ask someone to buy me some glass storage containers for Christmas. Anyone?

It’s not rocket science; it took me less than ten minutes and that includes interruptions for kiddos crying and giving Eden iced animal crackers to go feed the ants. I just put on a little Allen Stone and I was in the zone.

My pared down collection

My newly organized cupboard!
See? If I can try to get my crazy house organized you can, too. One step at a time. Baby steps to the kitchen, baby steps to the cupboard, baby steps to empty out the cupboard…Good luck! : )

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Just One of Them Days

Did that title make you think of this old Monica song? You're welcome : )

Let me tell you about this day I had last week. It was brutal I tell ya. It was rough right out of the gate. I woke up to the sound of Adaleine yelling and crying and go into their room just in time to hear Eden saying, “I get to go to school today and you don’t!” Ugh.
Then breakfast was a battle. Adaleine was staring at Eden to annoy her, then Eden told Adaleine her cereal doesn’t have any sugar in it. (Which it totally did!) I went upstairs for roughly 90 seconds to get dressed and had to run back down because Adaleine was screaming and crying. You know how to get your little sister really upset? All you have to do is completely ignore her.

After I got Eden off to school, Sissy and I headed home to try and survive the rest of the day. It was starting out as one of those days. You know the ones. The ones that you really need to just get through. You don’t even hope to accomplish anything, just to not collapse in tears. You get the idea.

We got partway through the morning and I decided that the only way to get through in some kind of semi-order was to get. out. of. the. house. We woke up Mr. Bug (who had gotten in from work late the night before) and told him we were headed out to lunch. We all loaded up and shipped out to the mall.

That’s when things started to get really interesting. We locked the keys in the van. I’m saying ‘we’ but I will claim it as my fault. I hit the button to lock it. In my defense, Landon put the keys in Judah’s car seat while he was setting up the stroller which was kind of a bonehead move. But I hit the button. Dang it.

And it t took the locksmith TWO HOURS to get there. And while we were waiting for them and playing on the mall playground a little girl kept pushing Judah off the toys. And when I took Judah in to change his diaper he peed on himself. So we had to go buy him a shirt since the ding dang locksmith still wasn’t there. Seriously. I can’t make this stuff up. And all of this was before 3:00. But wait, there’s more!

Here's my little Judah Bear at the mall. Who would want to push this little charmer off the slide? I ask you!!

 After picking Miss Eden up at school we decided to press our luck for the day and head to the Glorious House of Target. Mr. Bug likes to hit Starbucks when we get there, so we got cookies for the kiddos and a frozen coffee for him. We’re just trotting around Target, I’m pushing the semi-size cart with both girls sitting in the seats and Judah in the baby seat. I direct Landon to the specific Puffs tissues that I want—top shelf, clear at the back because they were the cutest ones—and he gives me his coffee to hold. Which I proceed to blubber and bobble and spill all over Eden. Yep. That sounds about right.

Just one of them days : )

 The funny part of this whole day, and why I’m writing it all out for your enjoyment, is that is was actually quite fun. I know that doesn’t make sense, but I had such a good time that day. Landon was there with me and we have so much fun together. We just laughed about the whole thing, one thing after another. And when we came downstairs that night after putting the girls to bed to find water streaming down the walls from the rainstorm outside, we just laughed. I giggled uncontrollably a bit, went to find all of our beach towels. And thanked God we’re only renting. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Success Guaranteed

*Shameless plug – I now have ads in my sidebar! So if you’re bored (which you obviously are if you're hanging out here) you should click on them. Seriously, I could use the $.02 : )*

You know how I like to be all philosophical and shtuff? Yeah, I know. I’m totally deep. Well I got a text from my mom the other day and it fired up my philosophicality. (New word alert)

This was her basic text:
Just heard this quote, “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” That’s not the first time I’ve heard that but it really hits a chord right now. Just had to share it with you. What would YOU do…seriously? I’d write a book.

This is my sister. I'm totally kidding this is Doris Day. My sister wishes. : )
As I do with all important thoughts that run through my head, I asked my older sister what her answer would be. Hers was simple but I knew it was important to her: to go back to teaching. She’s been home with her two sons since her oldest was born just over four years ago. It’s a hard adjustment—going from someone who is very good at a rewarding job to someone who gets pooped and peed on all the time. And spit up. Oh, the yak that came out of her oldest. It was amazing. But I digress.

Anywho, my gut reaction was that I also wanted to write a book. I’ve always wanted to write a book. When I was younger I wanted to write some kind of mystery or love story. Something superficial and fun. If I were to write a book now, I would want to write something candid, the way I write this blog. Something that would resonate with people and hopefully help them.

But just for kicks and giggles, and to occupy my time while I finished my giant bag of BBQ chips, I kept going. If I knew without a doubt that I would not fail, what would I do? There are the noble answers like cure cancer, stop world hunger, end the slave trade, and all manner of truly serious things. But for me, I tried to stick to dreams within my smaller realm of vision.

This is exactly what I would look like at a book signing. Gotta love Gwyneth!
I decided I would split up my ‘big’ achievement into a few smaller ones. I would get in shape and become more healthy (which I could do anyway if I laid off those stupid chips), I would be wiser with my money and get out of debt, and I would love it if I could write something and have it affect people. Really affect them and make them think about their own lives.

I love writing this blog and getting to completely spill my guts here. I would venture to say that I’m more myself on this blog than I am at any time in real life, except with my husband. When I’m writing on here, I don’t have to think about funny looks I get from people if I’m being a little too candid, I don’t have to hear the silence when no one laughs at my jokes, and I can get all of my thoughts out before I get interrupted. It’s heavenly.

I guess the reason I’m thinking about all of this is because I really didn’t have an answer to my ‘dream question’ and I was wondering what some of yours would be.

So here’s the question:
What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Tell me! I really want to know! : )

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Ode to a Sewing Machine

After reading an old blog post on one of my favorite blogs, Young HouseLove, I have decided to follow her lead and write a sonnet for my sewing machine. More specifically, what I’ve been able to make with my sewing machine. (It's important to recognize that I will not be writing an actual sonnet. It’s just a fancy word and I feel fancier for saying it. Mmkay?)
The wonderful Mr. Bug got me my sewing machine for Christmas 2009. I’m pretty sure he didn’t know what he was getting himself into or he may have gotten me something else—like a pistol. But poor Mr. Bug got me what I thought I really wanted so snaps for my man for being awesome! : )

I know, I know. It sounds like I don’t like my sewing machine. This is not true. I love being able to sit down and make something usable out of a flat piece of fabric and some string. It’s amazing what can be made. Even if I’m not really a skilled enough seamstress to make it perfect, it’s usually functional. : )

Strangely enough, I have no photographic record showing me opening the sewing machine; my camera battery died that Christmas morning. And the funny thing is that I didn’t even bust that bad boy out until February. It took me two months to build up the courage to get it out and try a project.

Eden in her brand new apron!
For some reason I decided that the first beautiful item to come from my magical sewing machine would be a toddler-sized apron. It’s not perfect, but Miss Eden was pretty happy with it.

From there I went nuts. Burp cloths, bibs, crackly toys, Halloween costume, school bags and skirts for the girls. I went nuts I tell you, NUTS! : ) But I have been having a really good time. I’ve even sold a few things which has been really cool. The sewing machine has definitely paid for itself by now. Possibly one or two times over. Here are a few of my favorite projects.

Eden's Dorothy Costume. I'm pretty proud of that one : )
Burp Cloths
My little kitties at one of the craft shows we did : )
My mom, my older sister and I at another craft show. I was pregnant with Judah at the time, hence the sneakers with sweater look.
I LOVED these skirts I made for the girls for Christmas 2010. I got so many people asking where I got them. I actually have more of that material and I'm going to make more. : ) (Side note: this is my grandpa, who just so happens to be one of the coolest dudes alive. He's almost 96 years old and he still gets down on the floor to play with his grandkids and great-grandkids.)
Eden's preschool bag. Yes, I cut her bangs too short.
Adaleine's preschool bag. This thing made me work for it, but I'm really happy with it.

Why am I sharing this? Because I might attempt to make Eden a Toy Story Bo Peep costume for Halloween. I wanted to write this so I could look back on it and remember that I actually do like my sewing machine when I’m frustrated and considering throwing it against the wall. Well, it’s kind of heavy so maybe I would just give it a really dirty look. I’m lazy like that. : )



Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Letter to my Children

Dear Eden, Adaleine & Judah,
I want to tell you first and foremost that you are the greatest blessings God could have ever given me. You are my reason right now. My reason to get up, my reason to do all that I do. You have all brought such life and light to my existence, each in your own special way. I want to give that light back and bless you as you have blessed me.

As I was doing the dishes tonight after putting you to bed, I was struck by the thought that I think I’m doing this wrong. I hear women talking about how much they treasure the time of night when they tuck their littles into bed, giving them hugs and snuggles and kisses galore. And I stood there for a second and thought about what our bedtimes are like. And I wanted to cry.

Here is what I picture when I think of bedtime with you, my precious little blessings. I think of scolding and telling you over and over to stop yelling, calm down, and get back into bed. That I’m not going to read another story. That we’re each only choosing one song to sing. That you need to get back on your bed. That maybe I will lie down and snuggle with you tomorrow night. Just sitting here and writing this all out makes my heart hurt.

Our pastor at church has been talking about Ruth the past couple weeks. Ruth was a woman of character—hard-working, loyal, respectful and humble. She is what I want for myself and for you, my sweet daughters. And for my brave Judah I have hopes that you will hold the heroic Boaz as a standard to aspire to. But how can I teach you if I have no intention of learning to be the woman, the wife, the mommy that God has called me to be?

So I’m sorry. I’m sorry I don’t snuggle and cuddle you. I’m sorry I don’t get down on the floor and play with you. I’m sorry that I don’t sing you every single song that your little heart wants to hear. I’m sorry that your mommy has this strange piece missing that should make her sweet and sensitive. I’m sorry that you have this mommy that is hard and cold.

Let me tell you something little ones. I love you more than you will ever know. I lie awake at night finding it impossible to sleep because I have so much hope for you, and terror that something—anything will happen to hurt and break you. I trust no one with my little parcels from above because all it takes is one moment and you can be hurt beyond repair. I want perfection for you, but I do not have it to give.

I’m crying as I write this to you, my little angels. My heart is broken because I think that I’ve missed my chance to make your first memory of your mommy anything but frustration and anger. I want you to remember love, patience, understanding and genuine caring. I don’t want you to grow up with my regrets hanging over your heads.

God knows that this life wasn’t what I had planned. I tell people that I never even wanted kids, and the fact of the matter is that I think I knew that this was all I had to give and it’s not enough. It’s not enough for three little images of perfection to have to scrape together separate snippets of a cold mommy to paste them together in one image of love and acceptance.

I want to be more for you. I want to encourage you, Eden to be all that you want to be and not to give up just because something is hard. You will have to keep trying and you can’t give up just because you fail the first try. And my sweet Adaleine. You have the sweetest heart of anyone I’ve ever met. Don’t be what everyone else wants you to be. Be the amazing person that you were created to be. And my little Judah Bear, you are so brave. And so stubborn! There are great and amazing things in your future because you will grow up learning from an amazing daddy and guarding and championing two big sisters. No one could ask for more from you.

Your mommy loves you. I may not be able to show it well and I’m sorry for that. I’ve been broken and I promise you right here and now to try to mend for your sakes. Because you deserve it.
I will sign off with something I used to tell your daddy before you little miracles came along.

You—all three of you—have all my love, all my kisses, all my heart.

With heart and tears and so much love it hurts,
your Mommy