Thursday, March 30, 2006
But lately, my legs and feet have been aching. Not only from being on my hard, wooden floors all day without shoes, but wearing shoes that are not at all comfortable when I do go out. I have a hard time finding shoes that are cute, comfortable, and most importantly cheap. I hate to spend money on shoes. I know women are supposed to love shoes. I'm supposed to have a closet full. But my husband currently has more shoes than I do. I hate purse shopping, too, but that's another blog. Anyway, I have a hard time finding shoes I like within my price range. So I end up running to the nearest Payless and buying something really cheap or whatever is on clearance at Target. Some women have a shoe fetish. I have a shoe-phobia.
Today Hubby offers to watch the kids so I can go shoe shopping. I know I need to. My legs are begging me to. So I go. I have strict instructions to go buy two nice pairs of shoes that feel good, no matter what they cost. First stop - department store. I walk in and see the clothing first. I need some new clothes for spring. I don't think Hubby would mind. He'd probably be glad that I actually shopped for myself instead of the kids. So I browse the racks. I always scan for clearance or sale signs first. Bingo. I see some cute shirts for $6.00 each. Nothing special. Just some pretty colored crew shirts, but cute. I pick out turquoise and pink. I like the lime green, but I tend to look dead in it. And I prefer to look alive whenever possible. So, I'd like some new capri pants. Maybe some of those cute denim ones with a big cuff at the bottom. Maybe a sassy belt, too. What luck! I find a pair with a black, silver studded belt. Oooooo. So biker chic. I opt for a size smaller than usual. I know I haven't lost that much weight, and it will all probably end in heartache, but I'm feeling adventurous. So I start looking for the fitting rooms, which appear to be hidden. I finally stumble upon them and start to go in when I notice two women talking and looking at me. Weird, I think. They're probably thinking how cute I am. Or maybe they are wanting to know where I got my adorable new haircut. Then one of them stops me. She is very young and very beautiful. She is about as big around as my thigh with long, curly, light brown hair and enormous blue eyes. What? She wants beauty secrets from me? She looks at me, completely deadpan, "Would you like to try those on?" Oh. She's an employee. "Uh, yeah," I say, having my bubble burst wide open. "You'll need one of these," she hands me one of those plastic tag thingies with the number 3 on it.
Fitting rooms intimidate me. But I press on, determined to produce forth some amazing fashion miracle that will make me look skinny and 10 years younger. First the pants. Drum roll, please. I get them up to my thighs. Hmmmmm. Maybe a smaller size was stupid. Undaunted, I wiggle them on over my hips and suck in a bit, but - Ta da! - get them on! Okay, my flabby tummy has gathers in it, looking like a flesh shirt tucked into the pants. Gross. Then I turn around and look (gasp!) at the backside. Who the heck designed these pockets???!!! Why do you make jeans for a fat girl and put pockets on the rear the size of a Post It??!!! Yeah, that's really flattering. Take a big butt and accentuate it by shrinking the pockets. And what's this above the pockets? A very intricate and lovely embroidered butterfly design graces the space between the waistband and the pockets drawing more attention to my derriere. Why not just attach a "Wide Load" sign with flashing lights? PLEASE LOOK AT MY BIG BUTT!!! But that's not even the thing that really grabs my attention. I know they have to put those white plastic things on there that keep people from shoplifting, but why would you put it on the seam that runs down my butt, thus making it appear that I passed a white, plastic anti-theft device? That's it. I'm done with these jeans. I tuck them between the two shirts so as to hide the size and sheer width of the waistband from pretty, wide-eyed salesgirl and get the heck out of Dodge. By the way, she dug the pants out of their shirt sandwich and eyeballed the size. I saw her as I was leaving.
So, on to the shoe department. The clock is ticking on my childless shopping trip. I'm feeling fat and hideous and the mirrors in the shoe department are close to the ground. Gotta love that. I try to steer clear of cute and head straight to functional. Naturalizer. I think my Grandma has a pair of those. I make my way to the athletic shoes. The prices make me cringe, but I try not to look at them and just find something that feels good. Sketchers makes a tennis shoe that looks like a mule. (that's a type of shoe with an open heel, not a literal mule, as in donkey) I like it. It even has some pink accents, which makes me like it more. I try it on and check it out in the shoe mirror. Way cute. But I feel like I'm letting FlyLady down somehow, because I wouldn't actually have to lace these up. Moving on. Easy Spirit. I'm pretty sure I've seen ads for these with a 60-ish lady walking on clouds. And I realize why I am struggling with the whole cute vs. comfort issue. I don't want to wear shoes that are comfortable because that makes me old. There. I said it. So, what am I going to do about it? I try on the Easy Spirit shoe. Oooohhh. That's nice. I take a few steps. Yeah, it feels gooooooooood. I guess there is something to be said for comfortable shoes. In a gesture that says, "Yes, I like Easy Spirit shoes. Yes, I have a saggy tummy. Yes, I embrace my mom-ness." I pick up the shoe box and start for the cash register. When I get in the car, I immediately put on my shoes, ready for my feet to feel good and like me again. And I have worn them all day.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
I remember finally having the nursery finished, just a few weeks before Brother was born. I was very pregnant with swollen ankles and an aching back. I sat all alone in the rocking chair that sat in the corner behind the door. All was quiet except for the soft creaking of the rocker on the wooden floor. I was about to become a mother, and I couldn't even fathom what that was going to be like. I sat yearning for the day I could rock him and imagined something I knew nothing about. Of course, in my mind, it was ideal. And the reality was a bit harsh. Those first few days after he was born are a sleep-deprived, depression-ridden blur. But once we got to know each other a little better, it was more beautiful and supernatural than any fantasy I could have day-dreamed. We spent many sweet hours in that rocker.
Today I see him standing tall on the threshold of mommy's boy and independence. Each day he edges a little closer to the man he will someday become. And though my heart is proud to see him taking shape, I want to grab hold of his little shirt collar and pull him back toward me. Little boy, please don't wander so far. Please, don't get out of my sight. Stay where I can see you. Stay right here.
God gave me a priceless treasure 7 years ago. A treasure that grows more precious and valuable to me with every passing second...every fleeting breath. Happy Birthday, Baby Boy. May you someday know the same unexpressable joy you have given us each and every day of your wonderful life.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
I bought a gardening kit on clearance a while back and had the brilliant idea to germinate some seeds indoors with the kids. We planted corn, watermelon and pumpkin seeds in empty egg cartons and ran out of soil before we got our peas and tomatoes planted. Honestly, I wasn't expecting much. I figured the seeds might not even be any good since it was on clearance. We have forgotten to water them some days, and have even knocked them off their sunny home on the kitchen windowsill into the floor a couple of times. Lo and behold, we have discovered our seeds are actually producing plants!! I don't know why it excited me so, but it thrilled me to no end to see the little green shoots poking up from the dirt. I feel strangly empowered.
Now, where in the world am I going to put them? Guess I'd better hook up the horse to the plow.
Friday, March 24, 2006
When I say I love him, it doesn't even begin to scratch the surface. I would never want to live this life without him. Even when my anger burns with the heat of a thousand suns, I still want him. Even when he hurts me. Even when he forgets to take out the trash and leaves his dirty socks inside out in the laundry basket. He is my soulmate. My one true love. My greatest gift.
My prayer is that every day for the rest of our lives, he will know this is true and that I will never give up trying to show him.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
I have a good friend who wrote a wonderful blog about finding herself. It is interesting that I read it this morning when I am in the midst of some of the same issues myself. I am thirty-two years old. I should have this down by now, shouldn't I?
Hubby made the announcement the other night that I would be returning to school this fall. Huh?! I've always wanted to go back to school. I loved school, and did really well, but that was way back when I had nothing else to do but school. How will I juggle homework and papers in between marriage, children, homeschool, church and housework and have any kind of a social life? Do I have the discipline to make it work? And what the heck do I want to be when I grow up anyway? I don't even know. The thought terrified and thrilled me at the same time. Can I have a life outside this house? Is that legal? Can I assimilate into society again? I mentioned the thought of going back to school to a friend...a working mom. "You're bored, aren't you?" were the first words out of her mouth. I was hurt. Me? Bored? Are you kidding?! Haven't you heard? I am Supermom! I have the greatest job in the world and I love it!!! I'm certainly not bored...am I?
I have a friend in my life that continues to cause me more stress in my life instead of comfort and support. We met in Lamaze class when we were both pregnant with our firstborn children. I was still working at the time, so we had two incomes, nice cars, nice clothes, etc. We starting hanging out after the babies were born and really hit it off. I didn't go back to work, though, thus making my income, and all the things I was able to have with it, much less. It was something I was happy to do. A sacrifice I wanted to make. But she seemed to keep chasing after that dream of the house, the cars and all the extras. And I've always felt she was somewhat disappointed to discover that I wasn't perhaps who I appeared to be when she first met me. I'm not the well dressed woman in a new car...always together and polished. She has laughed at the vehicles I've driven and wondered aloud when we would get something "newer". It's not a big deal to me. I wish it weren't to her. She came to see me yesterday with her baby girl and dropped off some girl baby clothes I had loaned her. After she left, I wanted to cry about what she had left for me. The clothes were in a small, plastic bag...not even half of what I gave to her. Some weren't even mine. Some outfits had been split up, leaving me with bloomers and no dresses to go with them. Some I knew she hadn't even looked at. What's the big deal? It's clothes, right? Yeah, I know. I felt silly at first. But it was more than that. These were clothes I cried over when I folded them up and put them away for the last time. These were things I knew I would never have the chance to put on one of my own babies again. These were beautiful, well cared for things that held a piece of who I was, and would never be again - a mom with a baby. I had given them to her as a precious gift, so close to my heart. And they weren't special to her. Not good enough.
A friend called me this morning to let me know our high school had an alumni website and gave me orders to "go and create a profile". "You can email anyone!" she announced excitedly. She gave me the lowdown on a couple of people we knew way back when and I pretended to be interested. She was sure I didn't know about the website since I hadn't posted anything on it. I didn't have the heart to tell her I knew about it, I just didn't care. High school was a fun and wonderful time in my life. It was a great experience. But I don't care to put on my tiara and pretend I am Homecoming Queen again. Well...okay...maybe I would like to do that, but that's not my point. I don't know that girl anymore. She was fun and sweet and all, but she and I don't relate today. What? Post my picture on the alumni website? Yeah, right. Let me try to find the scary "here's-what-I-look-like-when-I-first-roll-out-of-bed" picture and I'll get right on that. Who cares what I am like now? Why do I care who cares? Nobody cares. They want to see if there is anyone who is worse off than themselves so they can poke fun and get a rush of self assurance and feel validated. Or they want to brag about their lives so everyone will think they are great and get a rush of self assurance and feel validated. I don't need it. I've moved on.
So, if I'm not Supermom and I'm not the Homecoming Queen, who am I? I am so many things - wife, mother, teacher, friend, daughter, writer, poet, artist, and somewhere deep inside there is a rock star, dying to get out. And who I am today will be different tomorrow. My husband can attest to that. I think of the Proverbs 31 woman and wonder if she really existed. Can a person be all those things and do it all well? It seems impossible to me. The journey to find myself has proven to be one of hurt and healing. The discovery that brings me most joy is to find that I want more than anything to be a daughter of the King and make him smile with all the silly stuff I enjoy. I don't know that I'll ever figure the rest of it out.
Now, if you'll excuse me. I'm going to dig out my tiara and do some much needed housework.
Monday, March 20, 2006
I have been making changes in my diet (not counting the chocolate chunk brownies with ice cream I had over the weekend) and seeing some slight results along the waistline. But I know I could really see some changes if I could work in some exercise. I've been halfway looking for a treadmill or stationery bike, even though my husband keeps saying we don't have room for it. He's right. We don't. But we'd have more room if my butt were smaller. See the logic? A friend mentioned she was getting rid of her treadmill and I quickly put in my order for it. Told her I'd make arrangements to get it from her.
Hubby was leaving for work not 15 minutes ago and asked me to fix him a Diet Coke to take to work with him. I oblige and am putting the lid on the cup and taking it to him at the front door when I mention I'd like to get the treadmill in the next couple of days. That's when he informs me he told her husband we didn't want it when he had lunch with him last week. Which means they probably have already gotten rid of it. I stopped in the doorway of the kitchen. I kid you not. I seriously contemplated throwing the entire 32 oz. cup of Diet Coke across the room, dead center between his baby blues. Didn't even think about the fact that the kids and I had cleaned the living room floors this morning. Didn't stop to consider how it would make him late for work because he would have to change. Didn't even care if it would hurt him. I wanted to hurt him. Bad. He should thank his lucky stars he got out the door with that cup in his hand and not on his head. The grace of God was all that saved him. I shoved it at him and stomped off, ready to sling a thousand burning expletives at him. My good Baptist upbringing kept me from it. "Sorry!" he said, in a tone that didn't sound at all sorry, but actually kind of glad he got his way on the whole issue. I'm so angry I could cry. I'm most upset that he made the decision for me!! He didn't discuss it with me. He didn't try to find a compromise. He snuck around behind my back to get his way. Bad form, Hubby. Bad form.
Maybe I can go down to Sear's and buy a brand new one with tax refund money. Maybe I'll go find something he really loves and back over it with the car. Maybe I'll make brown beans and goulash for dinner every day this week. Maybe I'll "forget" to do his laundry. Better yet, maybe I'll put a red sock in with his undies and turn them all PINK!!!!!
Look out, my sweet. You have to sleep sometime. BWAAAHHAAAA!!!! (that's my crazy, maniacal laugh)
What is it with me? I get so frustrated with Brother, who rises before the sun on most mornings, and usually needs more sleep than he gets. I can look at his face and see he is tired, but he doesn't take naps well. He will lay in bed for two hours and not fall asleep. But, truth be told, I am the same way. I can't sit still. Even when I watch TV, I feel the need to do something with my hands. Usually shove a brownie or chocolate chip cookie in my face. I can't actually take a nap and sleep unless I am deathly ill or haven't had any sleep the night before. I feel like I should always be doing something. Anytime I get the kids down and have time to myself, I certainly don't want to waste my time resting. Now I can do what I want!!
Perhaps it is the selfish side of me, or maybe "greedy" would be more fitting. I want to have everything I want and will fit it in no matter what the cost. Or maybe I have ADD. So, as weird as it sounds, I'm practicing my down time. I've adopted tea drinking...spiced chai with honey and milk. And I'm picking up some books I haven't had time to read. I'm learning to be still.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Now...anyone out there know how to do a custom template to make it prettier?
Saturday, March 18, 2006
It's been raining all day today. Kind of nice, really. We desperately needed it. And there are times I really enjoy being in my cozy, little house, watching it rain. I like hearing the soothing noise of raindrops gently tapping out a little lullaby. It makes me think of that song in "Bambi"..."drip, drip, drop, little April showers..." Wow. I relate a lot of things to Disney movies. Geez. I am such a mom. Anyway, I was painting a picture of a lovely, relaxing, rainy day, right? Now add a few kids with cabin fever and a stir crazy mom and that is more like it. We've been hanging out at home a lot this week since Baby has been sick and everyone was a bit restless today. Ordinarily I would banish Brother and Sister from the house and send them outside to burn off the energy. But today was rainy. At one point Sister asked to play with our golf umbrella, which is pretty big. But her and Brother ended up fighting over it. I dug toys out of the bottom of their toy boxes to try and generate interest in some things long forgotten, but that didn't last long either. Sister asked if she could take the umbrella outside and play with it. "No, honey," I say. "It's cold and wet." But she keeps asking. She doesn't let it go. So, I finally think, what the heck? It's water. It's not acid rain or hail. We put on her boots and jacket and send her out.
I watch her walking about the yard, umbrella propped up on one shoulder, twirling it like a parasol. She is singing an original song about flying, probably imagining she is a tortured heroine in an imaginary, romantic story. Her long, golden hair is turning wavy from the moisture and brushing her cherub cheeks like a fine, delicate picture frame. I smile. Thirty years ago, that was me. Off in my own world, writing songs in my head and performing them for imaginary audiences abroad. I love to watch her pretend.
When Brother sees what's going on, he asks to join her. So we put on his shoes, give him an umbrella and he races out the door, wanting to get in on the fun before mom realizes what a bad idea this is and calls all splashing and merrymaking to a halt. Baby cries as the storm door slams it's refusal to let her out. She watches sadly from the inside. The little boy across the street is peeking out his grandmother's storm door, too, wondering why he can't play in the rain. Oh, yeah. I am a cooooooooool mom.
Brother and Sister have a ball walking through the puddles, something they have never done before. Well, at least never under the watchful eye of mom. They stand under the eaves of the house and let the big drops dripping off the roof bang onto the tops of their umbrellas. They find the pail left out of the sandbox and watch it collect a little water. They find patches of mud to squish with their shoes. I hear them giggling outside the window while I make dinner in the kitchen. And I am happy for them. I am reminded again of how little things make childhood so much sweeter. How quickly time passes and soon you find yourself stepping over puddles instead of jumping in and enjoying it for what it is. Oh, my sweet babies. May you always jump in a puddle now and then and laugh at getting your feet wet.
The Hormone Hostage knows that there are days in the month when all a man has to do is open his mouth and he takes his very life into his own hands! This is a handy guide that should be as common as a driver's license in the wallet of every husband, boyfriend, or significant other!!
DANGEROUS: What's for dinner?
SAFER: Can I help you with dinner?
SAFEST: Where would you like to go for dinner?
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some chocolate.
DANGEROUS: Are you wearing that?
SAFER: Gee, you look good in brown.
SAFEST: WOW! Look at you!
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some chocolate.
DANGEROUS: What are you so worked up about?
SAFER: What did I do wrong?
SAFEST: Here's fifty dollars.
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some chocolate.
DANGEROUS: Should you be eating that?
SAFER: You know, there are a lot of apples left.
SAFEST: Can I get you a glass of wine with that?
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some chocolate.
DANGEROUS: What did you do all day?
SAFER: I hope you didn't overdo it today.
SAFEST: I've always loved you in that robe!
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some more chocolate.
Friday, March 17, 2006
So, I didn't get a foot massage. He's still my knight in shining armor.
Hubby calls and asks if I had a rough night. "Yes," I say. I was really hoping for something like this from him, "Ooooohhhh, you poor baby! I am so sorry you didn't sleep well. As soon as I get home I'll take the kids and let you rest. Don't worry about that laundry, either. I'll get to that right after your foot massage. And what about a movie? Can I stop and get you one? What can I do for you? How can I help, Sweet Light of my Life, Most Exalted Among Women, Angel of Mine?" Instead he asks about Baby. "So, she's exhausted, huh?" "Uh, yeah," I say, not even trying to hide the irritation in my voice. "What about you?" he finally asks. "Me? Oh, I'm great. I slept right through it!" Yes, it was a big helping of sarcasm, served alongside a dollap of hurt, with a big, steaming side of anger. Well, I don't know why, but instead of rushing home to ravish me with kisses and tell me how great I am, he chose to end the call. And then called later to say he would probably stay and work tonight, too. Hmmmm. What's his problem?
Perhaps I should go to bed early tonight.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
And I just don't take the time to do it very often. Most days I end up just pulling it up anyway. So today, it is off with the hair. I'm a little sad, but until I can afford a live in hair and makeup person, I have to be about simplicity. I'd rather have something shorter that I can keep up with instead of wearing my Haggard Housewife 'do all the time.
Here's what I'm going for.
Now to figure out a way to cut off my hips and thighs to match.
About three years ago I made a new friend. Right away I knew we were kindred spirits. Her house was not perfect and I was immediately at ease with her. Not long after I met her she told me about FlyLady and about the 27 Fling Boogie. "Fling Boogie?" I said. "Sounds like something my toddler does after picking their nose." She explained to me FlyLady's system for keeping your house clean and clutter-free and suggested I check out the website. Even though I didn't think flinging boogies sounded like a clean thing to do, I did check it out, but opted to not sign up for the daily e-reminders. After a while I forgot about the website and went back to pulling my hair out over everything I had to do and my inability to get it done and keep it that way. After all, what's life without your daily dose of stress and drama?
A couple of weeks ago another friend sent me an email saying she had just found the greatest thing ever and told me to check out this FlyLady website. Wow. There's that name again. So, in a moment of desperation I revisited FlyLady and her kooky way of naming things. Turns out, the lady is a genius. I went ahead and signed up for the daily reminders and I have to say, it has changed my life. See, I have a mindset that sees clutter and chaos and says, "I don't have time to do all this. It will have to wait." And since I never have large chunks of time to work on projects, it never gets done. But FlyLady helps me with the baby steps. Spend 15 minutes a day working on a hot spot. Eventually, it will get done. She reminds me to think about what we're having for dinner first thing in the morning, so I don't have to run to the store in a panic at 5 p.m. because I forgot to thaw something out. She reminds me to get my kitchen sink empty and clean in the evening so I don't have to wake up, see a full sink of dirty dishes and feel overwhelmed right off the bat. She tells me it's better to wash, dry, fold and put away two loads of laundry a day instead of trying to do all 20 loads in one day, which is, of course, impossible. She reminds me to go to bed before it gets to late. This may sound like common sense to some of you, but my mind doesn't think about things this way. But now I am understanding her logic. My house has been neater, more organized, less stressful and happier since I have put her ideas in motion. I look forward to getting up in the morning and getting to the list she has for me. My kids are right there, too...flying along with me. It's helping us all form better habits. And I can take my kids out to play without hearing a nagging voice about everything there is to do because I actually accomplish things on a daily basis. I really feel like Supermom.
Drowning? Here's a lifeline. Check out FlyLady and get on the list. You won't believe the results. Boogie-Flinging and all.
Monday, March 13, 2006
Saturday, March 11, 2006
My husband says I have bad Tupperware karma. Many, many years ago Hubby pastored a small church with some very sweet, little ladies. We had no children at the time and they doted on us as if we were there own. One of them, Athalene, made us some cupcakes to take home and sent them with us in a very large, round, probably expensive, Tupperware container. We moved and I never managed to return it. I meant to, really, I did. I have since used it often. Even wrote my name on it so as to get it back when I loan it out. Hubby still needles me about stealing it from poor, dear Athalene and says it serves me right to have lost Tupperware to other people. Bad Tupperware karma.
Today I hit the Mother Load. I have seen Tupperware at garage sales before, but they have wanted more than I wanted to pay. Today I got everything you see pictured here at a garage sale for $7.50. All but one piece was brand new, still wrapped in the plastic packaging. This lady had a table full of new Tupperware for .25 and .50 cents a piece!!!! I tried not to be greedy, but it was hard.
So, Sweetie Pie, who has bad karma now? I do believe the Blessed Tupperware Fairies are smiling on me today, Baby!! HOLY CRAP! WHAT A BARGAIN!! (insert happy dance here) I think I just wet my pants from all the excitement.
Friday, March 10, 2006
After stumbling out of bed, I get my coffee started and sit down to check email. It is early, so I'm catching Hubby just before he leaves for work and thinking I can have some quiet time before the whole house is up. Soon after, Brother comes in and starts talking to me, chattering away like he's just had chocolate and esspresso shot into his veins. I look at him through half-closed eyes, still trying to adjust to the light, put my finger to my lips and whisper, "Ssssssssshhhhhhhhh. Please be quiet for a few minutes." I'm just beginning to enjoy a little quiet when Sister joins the party, rubbing her eyes. So much for quiet. The coffee maker sings sweetly to me from the kitchen, signaling rescue for my sluggish, slothful state. I substituted Splenda for sugar about two weeks ago and have finally gotten used to the taste. I drink it in, eyes closed, lips smiling...just like a hokey Maxwell House commercial. Aaaaaahhh. We have a love affair, my coffee and I. It's a good thing Hubby is so...well, never mind. I get a shower, put on fresh clothes, and even (hold on to your hats) makeup. Not a full, fancy face. But enough to make me feel a bit prettier. And my pants didn't cut off oxygen flow to my brain, as they did last week. Could it be that cutting out the sugar is working? Seriously...have I lost weight? Wow. So far, so good.
I break out the new schedule I've been working on and go over it with the kids while they eat breakfast. I'm also working on a list of rules and a reward system for good behavior. Their little ears perk up at the word "reward". Especially Brother's. Sister is not easily bribed, but Brother can be won over every time. It's still a little rough, but the only way to tweak it is to try it out, so we jump in with both feet. I'm expecting a lot of negative feedback. I'm ready to push, pull, scream, yell, cry...whatever it takes to get the ball rolling and get us into some new, better habits. I am pleasantly surprised to see my kids kick it into high gear, happily...dare I say, gleefully?...mentally checking things off and coming back to me for the next job. Not one - no, not even one - complaint or whine. This is what we got done by 9:00 a.m.
- clothes on, teeth brushed, faces washed
- Beds made (changed sheets on one)
- Bathroom cleaned
- Living Room vacuumed
- 2 loads of laundry folded and put away
- dishwasher unloaded
- cat fed and watered
- started dinner in the crock pot
We started school promptly at 9:00. Though my new schedule is to work Sister into some school work, she was playing happily with her Disney Princess puppet theatre, so I let her continue. Brother was trying to stall, but he wasn't complaining, and I managed to get him focused and started. It was difficult. His heart wasn't in it. It looked like another challenging day ahead. I knew it was too good to last. Ten spelling words that should take us about ten minutes looked like it could stretch into thirty. The first two were slow going. But then something magical happened. The wheels started to move and he was speeding through the list like greased lightning! Then we learned a new phonetical sound. This always takes a while. But no, not today. His little mind snapped it up and took off running, reading off the words as if he'd been doing it all his life. I could hardly believe what I was seeing! We whizzed through all our lessons in about an hour. It was a dream day in the land of homeschool.
I went back to the computer to check the status of our tax refund, which is huge this year. We e-filed a few weeks ago and got the state refund quickly. But the federal return was delayed. They made a mistake somewhere and put a hold on it. I called last week and they said it would take 4 - 6 weeks to do the paperwork to release the hold. Depressing. So, today I wanted to follow up, just to make sure the ball was rolling. I got the number off the computer and called. The man said it was scheduled to be direct deposited today. Huh? I hung up and checked our account online. Lo and behold, we were much, much richer! I was stunned. It only took a week!I have to tell you, today has been as near perfect as any day could be. I'm not sure how many wonderful things one day can hold. I'm a little worried. If things keep going this great, what will I blog about?
I AM SUPERMOM!!! HEAR ME ROAR!!!
Thursday, March 09, 2006
I'm still reeling from the excitement.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Hubby is going to be home all day for the first time in a really long time. Between school and work, he is gone all the time. We've had to resort to communicating in email. He leaves before we get up and gets home after the kids are in bed. I usually crash not long after he gets in, if not before. Herein lies the problem. I know he is going to want a day to relax and recharge, and God knows, he certainly deserves it. And I want a productive day to get some things done while he is here to help. My oven has been broken for a good month (he says he will fix it today...I'm crossing my fingers), the house is in complete upheaval, and I have things to get ready for a consignment sale that have to be dropped off tonight. Not to mention school with Brother, which has been sporadic these past couple of weeks.
After my meltdown Sunday, I've had to ask myself if there are some things I need to give up. Under normal circumstances, like my husband being home every evening, even three nights a week, I think I could balance and juggle just fine. But I'm really at my wit's end trying to be everything to everyone and do everything in between. And my family is paying the price for that. Last night we got home from Brother's soccer practice at 7:45. The kids were dirty and really needed baths. Sister had an accident in her bed during naptime, but we had to eat dinner and leave as soon as she woke up, so the dirty sheets were still on her bed. And baby is having a major meltdown, because she didn't take a good nap before we left. I'm trying to get everyone in PJ's sans bath while Baby screams. I go to the kitchen to fix water for Sister and Brother to have by their beds, which has become a ritual for them. Baby is following me all over wanting me to pick her up and screaming the entire time. Brother, who doesn't tolerate the crying well on a good day, is tired and not wanting to hear it. He says, "Mommy! Will you come get your daughter?!" Take off the "Mommy" part and it is an echo of Brother Sr. This sends me over the edge. I start yelling at him, "I AM TRYING TO GET YOU A DRINK OF WATER! I WILL GET TO HER WHEN I CAN!! I HAVE MORE THAN ONE PERSON TO TAKE CARE OF HERE!!!" I could hear Super Nanny clicking her tongue in my head. After I got everyone into bed, I managed to load the dishwasher and then collapsed. I looked around the house and knew I should be picking up and doing things that needed to be done, but I just couldn't. I was mentally spent. These moments are becoming more and more frequent and I feel like I am becoming Monster Mommy. Is it feasible for me to homeschool? Can I manage this on my own? My heart breaks at the question.
The spiritual issues I am having only add to the isolation I feel. I know God hasn't turned away from me, but I'm having a hard time turning to him. These questions I have don't seem quite so important anymore. I think I need to accept that I may never have the answers. That is where my faith will double in size. But somehow there is a rift. I should take the next step to close that rift, but I'm still not there. Am I too stubborn?
I want to attach attributes to God I think he should have and make him my own little personal figure to attach to the dashboard of my car, so I can say, "Look how neat he is. He really enriches my life." It would be so much easier if he would knock on my door or send me one of those "Get To Know Your Friends" email questionnares. Or maybe he could start a blog. The reality of who God is seems like riddle. How do any of us really know what he is like?
I know I'm probably not making a whole lot of sense. I'm in a state of confusion myself. And what can you expect at 4 a.m.?
Monday, March 06, 2006
So today we had an appointment with a real, live pediatrician. For a few years my children have been on state insurance and we have had to go to a clinic. I can't complain, because it was free insurance when we had none, but I have not been happy with the care. Now Hubby's job has insurance and we get to go back to our old pediatrician, who is more than wonderful (I think I hear a song coming on). I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was to take the kids in today. However, I had to be there by 8:00 a.m. to fill out new patient paperwork. Yeah, that's right. Eight o'clock in the morning. So I take a shower last night and set my Cheerful Chirping Alarm for 6. It takes me an hour to get my eyes open and an hour to get everything else done if I am already showered. The chirping scares me to death when it begins this morning and I shoot out of bed like a rocket. That's one way to get my butt out of bed. I'll be honest. I was worried getting everyone around and getting out of the house so early this morning. But, wonder of wonders, we did it, with minimal chaos. In fact, I had told Sister to pick up her room before we left and Brother asked, "Can I help her?" HUH? What?! Help your sister? It's a foreign concept, but yeah, why not? Go ahead. Help your sister clean her room.
We make it to the appointment right on time. I am clean, with hair fixed and makeup on, which is, sad to say, a rarity these days. I'm feeling ahead of the game. Like I got the jump on my day when it wasn't looking. There's a spring in my step and a smile on my face. Perhaps there is something to be said for rising early. Okay, that's probably a hasty assumption, but it does bear looking into. The waiting room is empty and my children have free reign over all the fun toys, which is the prime environment for fun paperwork filling out. I just finish signing the last medical history form when they call our name, as if there were a magic buzzer back there to let them know we were ready. Sorry. That can't be right. We haven't spent enough time here. I'm not screaming at my children yet. We're actually having fun.
The nurse takes us back to weigh the girls, whose well child appointments are this morning. Brother's is next month. She is sweet and patiently weighs Brother, too, so as not to leave him out. She takes us to the examining room and says, "Wait right here while I go get them some gowns." Gowns? She returns with two little examining gowns for the girls. Sister's is green with Bugs Bunny and Baby's is blue with bath toys on it. They don't have gowns at the clinic. I am expecting to be in here a while. It was nothing for us to wait half an hour or more at the clinic for a doctor to see us. Even first thing in the morning. But I'm not too worried. I brought books, toys and snacks to keep us occupied. I even brought Brother's GameBoy to use in a moment of desperation. Hopefully the doctor will be in before they get bored with them. I barely get one of the gowns on Sister when the doctor comes in! It was less than 10 minutes. Maybe less than 5. And right away, I remember why I love this pediatrician so much. She immediately begins talking to the kids. She asks Sister if she can button and zip, how high can she count, what color of vegetables she eats, etc. She doesn't even direct a question toward me during the checkup. And she is so patient with Brother, who is right there, wanting to know everything she is doing. She doesn't bat an eye when Baby starts screaming and I have to nurse her. She spent time with us. She talked to us. She answered questions. It was Doctor Visit Nirvaneh. Then came Baby's turn. As it turns out, her waking at night to nurse isn't a physical problem, it is a mommy indulging problem. Some of you are smiling, and perhaps even giggling a bit, as if to say, "I knew it". But I have the advice of an expert and will someday...perhaps, act on it. But the real surprise came when she asked how many words Baby could say. "Well," I said, "she's not really saying words. She makes a lot of sounds." I thought Sister was talking by this age, but I knew kids with older siblings might not talk as early because brothers and sisters do the talking for them. But the doctor wanted to do a tympanogram to test her hearing. As it turns out, she has a lot of fluid in her ears and isn't hearing normally. So now we're going to give her allergy medication daily to see if it helps and take her back in a month. See what I mean? My children are given wonderful care and attention to the smallest detail from this amazing woman. She is an angel...a mother of five herself. I love her.
A few more days like this and I might actually start to think I can be Supermom.
Perhaps it is the fruit bowl that went AWOL.
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Things I've Done Wrong In Raising My Children
- I have allowed Baby to nurse herself to sleep, thus making weaning even harder.
- I haven't instilled great eating habits, though I don't feed them chicken nuggets every day.
- Potty training has been a huge chore.
- I have let them sleep in my bed (to me, this isn't bad, but I realize most people think it is, so I will list it here)
- I let them go to bed sometimes without brushing their teeth.
- They watch too much TV.
- I've spanked too hard or spanked in anger when I shouldn't have.
- I haven't spanked when I should have.
- I haven't followed through on all threats and promises.
Things I've Done Right
- I kiss them every night when I tuck them in and tell them I love them.
- I read to them every day.
- I am here with them every day.
- I play with them.
- I want for them.
- I've given them massages when they were babies.
- I put their towels in the dryer when they are coming out of the bath on a cold night.
- I've never taken them to a crack house.
- I've caught their vomit in my hands. This is a biggie.
- I've never put Pepsi in a baby bottle.
Both lists could probably be longer. And in the coming days I may add to them. Feel free to add some of your own if you'd like.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
And the harder I try to find my way back, the further away I slip. So I'm waiting, as something dark and unsettling moves over me. I'm waiting for direction. I'm waiting for rescue. I'm waiting for a lifetime of answers to chase away this shadow that veils my heart.
I was barely six when I felt the tug. I'd been to church a handful of times when my parents remembered to put me on the church bus. My oldest sister talked to me about God. I knew he existed and I wanted to know more. I wanted to know him. If there was pure, unconditional love to be had, I wanted it. I sat under the pinball machine in the room I shared with my brother and sister, with a blanket thrown over the top to make a tent. The blanket was pink and inside my solitude, surrounded by dolls, I prayed to him. I asked him to love me and I would love him. Nothing ceremonious or poetic. But an open heart, filled with an honest belief that God heard and accepted. It was beautiful and simple and sacred to me. And so began my journey.
Now, something like rebellion is rising up within me. I've lived my life within his rules, willingly and happily. I've shed tears of agony, longing to be near him. I've sacrificed and given up things in an effort to be close to him. Today I feel cheated, like somehow my life has been spent following a myth. Like I haven't been given the whole truth. Like there is something I am missing and I have to solve the impossible puzzle to get the answer. I can't deny God. I know he's there somewhere. But who is he? What is he? What makes us, as mere humans, think he wants anything at all to do with us? The good, maybe seemingly simple, answer, is, of course, the bible. But it was men who wrote it. Yes, supposedly inspired by God, but men make mistakes. Haven't we all followed a path we thought was God's idea only to find it wasn't? Haven't you ever thought you had an answer from God then weren't sure? How do we know these men really heard from God? How do we know anybody does? How do we know everything we have believed hasn't been part of man's scheme to manipulate us all?
I'm exhausted from a life of trying to fit in to a mold that makes me more fit, more desirable to him. I've been made to believe the things I do or don't do can possibly alter God's plans. If I prove myself willing or offer up a certain prayer, does that really change anything? I can't get away from these questions. And I'm not sure where to go for the answers. I'm angry. And I'm scared.
I want to be six, in my little tent, where I was safe and secure in knowing what little I knew. Where my childish heart didn't know the difference. Where I could simply love him and believe.