Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

There's a lot of stuff making the rounds 'round the net this week about moms.  Mostly, they say in different language and with different examples all the ways moms are awesome, which is absolutely true.

So, I'm not going to tell you all the ways moms are awesome, even though they are, that horse has been beat to death.  What I'm going to tell you about is pregnancy.

The funny thing about being pregnant is that there's really no metaphor for what it's like...I know, I've been trying to think of one.  The closest thing I can come up with is it's sort of like running a very long race and the finish line is coming up and you can't take a break or do anything (natural) to slow down, change your course, or stop the race.  And, right before the finish line is painful, and afterwards, is the best prize ever.  And, of course the entire time, there's the dread of the pain fighting the desire to see the prize, on top of the apprehension, excitement, fear of the unknown and what-could-go-wrong, and the fantasy about what it will be like.  All these increase the closer you get to the finish line.

No wonder not even quite halfway through this pregnancy (my third), I'm already having sleepless nights.  As much as we try not to think about it, it's impossible not to dread and hope and plan.  In fact, I think it's even normal...though, in my experience so far, the things that I fear are rarely the bad things that happen, though bad things do happen.  And the things that I think I will have a handle on I usually don't.

So, to all you expectant moms, with all the emotion and thoughts and hormones making you feel like one minute you wish you could could put the breaks on the crazy train you're on, and the next so overwhelmed with expectation that you wish you could just skip over to the love and the cuddles and the sniffing the tiny baby head (or am I the only one that stays awake thinking about that?), Happy Mother's Day.  Especially if it's your first, you may not even feel like a mother yet, but you are experiencing a unique and limited moment in motherhood, nurturing, protecting, worrying about and loving your baby as much as any mother does.

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Tyrant

Does this look like the face of oppression to you?

Because he is.  The tyrannical ruler of Sam's bedroom.

The last few days, toys, mostly but not limited to stuffed animals, started making their way out of Sam's bedroom and into the hallway or my bedroom or Jubilee's bedroom or downstairs.  I tell Sam to clean them up, and he does somewhat, but I still find them in odd places, even the bathroom or hiding in the closets.

This morning, at around 6am, Sam came into my bedroom carrying an armful of stuffed animals, including his favorite bear and a stuffed Wall-e.  He dumped them on the floor next to my bed, and walked away, presumably to get even more toys.  Of course, at 6am, I was half asleep, so I mutter, "Sam, what are you doing?"

"Bringing my animals."

"Why?  They go in your room."

"Puppy is angry at the animals."


So, I guess what I'm trying to say is, I don't know what the other toys in Sam's room did wrong, all I know is, they are in Puppy's bad graces.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Facebook 101 (for moms)

We've all seen them, the 10-most-annoying-people-on-Facebook lists, with moms being on the top of the list, beating out even duckface teen girls and vague whiners ("My life is over!").  With the invention of in particular, I found myself feeling rather self-conscious every time I wanted to share something silly my kid did, or post yet another picture of them eating bacon.

I've decided to stop feeling weird about it, though, because I stinkin' love baby pictures.  In fact, that's sort of a general thing across the board, I want to share the things the people I care about love.  Babies, a well-cooked meal, an awesome vacation, any of the stereotypical "annoying" things, if it's someone I genuinely care about, of course I want to see it.  Why wouldn't I?  Thus, I have to assume that the people I care about feel the same way about me and my kids.

I think the problem has less to do with over sharing than over friending.  Do I necessarily care that a person I barely knew in my math class in 2nd grade had a kid?  Not really.  Do I want to see an endless stream of pictures of that baby?  Nope.

My niece, on the other hand?  Post those stinkin' pictures!  I want to see every smeared avocado and walk in the park and haircut.

My friends, I love to read about the funny thing your kid said.  I want to know that they're finally going potty 95% of the time.  I want to know that they love graham crackers.  I want to know that they slept through the night for the first (or second, or third, or fifteenth) time.  I want to know that they came down with the sniffles.  I want to know...if I didn't want to know, I'd be a friendly acquaintance at best, not a friend.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you're a mom, don't worry about being annoying.  Share what you love, with the people you love.

Besides, we're moms.  I don't know about you, but I don't have enough energy to make sure everyone eats enough veggies, vacuum the floor, AND play pirate treasure, so why bother wasting energy trying to maintain my "cool?"  It's just not practical.

That's no excuse to wear mom jeans, though.

If you're annoyed with someone's baby's pictures, unfriend them.  If you don't care enough to be joyful in a person's exuberance over the person they created, you don't really like them that much anyway.  I'm not saying that to be mean, it's perfectly okay to realize that you don't value the same things that someone else values.

So, here are my quick rules for Facebook for Moms:

1) Focus on quality, not quantity, in all areas of Facebook.  This includes paring down friends to people you are actually friends with and care about.  You might also think about not posting twenty fuzzy baby pictures that look exactly the same, pick out the best few.  And your description of your kid's poop better be funny enough to justify the gross factor.

That's it.  That's the rule(s).  You're welcome.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


When I was a sophomore in high school, I had a geography class that let out at 10:08.  Don't ask me why I remember that, I don't remember when any of my other classes let out that year or in the years preceding or following.  It wasn't such an awful class that I stared at the clock waiting for it to be over, either, or such a great class I dreaded it being over.  It's just a mystery.

Since then, I've noticed that 10:08 is used a lot in clock and watch advertisements, and very time I see it, I think, "hey, geography is over."

It actually makes me happy, when I check my clock and that's what it says.  I also have a vague feeling of expectation, like something should happen, every 10/08.  Again, I don't know why.  I'm not one of those people who reads secret meanings or conspiracies into stuff like that, and I'm not checking the 10th chapter and 8th verse of every book in the Bible.  I think it's just a weird thing that stuck in my brain and won't get out.

But this year, I really do have something to look forward to on October 8th.  That's the due date of baby #3!

Of course, if little baby fuzzy blob takes after his/her siblings at all, he/she won't be born until a week or two after that, but that's okay.  It just gives us more time to squeeze in my favorite fall things, like picking apples and visiting a pumpkin patch, before baby fuzzy blob is born.  It's gonna be an awesome fall!

But first, we have to get to that point.  Someone remind me that someday, relatively soon, I will be able to eat real food again.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Just A Little Bit Of Perspective

I don't know if you've noticed this, but haven't been online much, on FB or this blog or pinterest or anything really.  There are a few reasons for this:

1.  Sitting down in front of my computer makes me sleepy and queasy.  Seriously.  It's easier to sit in front of the tv, or lay down with a book when my kids are in school or otherwise occupied (thank heaven for Disney Junior).

2.  I'm actually still online, I'm just quietly stalking everyone.  Mwahahahaha.  Not seriously.

3.  I feel even more isolated than usual every time I read about my friends in other states hanging out with other people.

4.  I don't really have much to say right now, at least not complain-y stuff.  I could fill whole books with "gah, I hate morning sickness (or as I liked to call it, all-day sickness)," or "I'm so tired," or "I'm so cold," or "emotions are dummy dumb dumb faces (giggle, sob)," or "is there any chance I'll stop craving Chocolate Malt Ovaltine any time soon?" but that would be boring, so I'm trying not to do it.  I think I'm still doing it more than I should, but I'm trying to suck it up.  Haha.

Rich, chocolately Ovaltine
The thing is, when you walk around in an exhausted haze all day, are unable to eat anything but "white" food (white flour, sugar, potatoes, milk, etc), and are freezing all day long, it's hard to take a step back and "be joyful."  But the reality is, despite how miserable and tired I feel physically, I'm actually really happy.  I feel relatively content with where we are and what we are doing.   I'm super happy with our family dynamic and our belongings and lifestyle.

There are parts of my life that I truly believe couldn't get much better, and those are the parts that really matter.  For instance, my super sweet, supportive husband, who doesn't seem to mind that we've been eating mostly PB&J or cereal for dinner for over a week now and that the house is starting to look like it's been in a tornado's path.    He also brings me Häagen-Dazs every time he goes to the store (that, ladies, is what you call a keeper).

Or, my awesome kids, who think everything is hilarious, and know innately that life is an adventure.  They definitely don't mind the PB&J or cereal for dinner, they are grateful for a temporary reprieve from my culinary experiments.

Plus, no matter how isolated or lonely I feel, I only have to drive 5 minutes in nearly any direction to see something this, which sort of puts everything into perspective for me.

It's also nice knowing that all my sleeplessness at night, exhaustion by day, food aversions, food cravings, random crying, random crazy laughing, is all for a purpose.  A great purpose, too, we're going to have another kid who thinks everything is hilarious, and knows innately that life is an adventure.  It's going to be worth it, it's already worth it...I wouldn't trade my physical misery for anything.

Hey, and at least it's temporary.  Soon, the morning sickness will be over, and even more sleepiness nights will kick in as my hormones go even crazier and my body gets weird and hippo-y.  And then I'll start craving Popeye's spicy chicken sandwiches and toasted ravioli.  And then the horrible rib pain and leg cramps and the peeing every 2 minutes...followed by giving birth (shudder)...and then as my hormones finally relax enough for me to be able to fall and stay asleep, I'll have a baby to take over as my tiny, crazy, frequent alarm clock.  But at least he/she will be cute, awesome, and worth it!  That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

An Announcement

Since 90% of my 10 readers are also friends of mine on facebook, this is going to come as no huge shock, but here it goes: our household size is about to go from just under the national average to just above it.  Exciting, right?  We're excited.

It's kind of hard planning for a third kid.  The other two were so close together and so chaotic it feels more like I've only had one pregnancy that lasted 23 months and resulted in Irish twins.  I had a lot of hand-me-downs, and like most brand new moms, a large amount of have-to-have baby gear.  This time, though, I sort of have an idea of what gear I actually use (very little), so there's much less planning.  Before, nine months didn't seem long enough to get everything ready for the kid, now, I'm pretty sure I could have everything I need in one trip to Target.

If any of you are on the fence about increasing your family size, I gotta say, I suggest it.  Yeah, pregnancy still isn't fun, and I'm sure birth won't be fun and the sleepless nights won't be fun, but already this baby is less stressful than the other two were.  I've stopped reading mommy blogs totally, not because I hate them, just because I no longer feel like I need mommy validation.  Is that weird...that the more kids I have, the less freaked out I am about screwing them up?  Probably, but that's okay.  I think it's because now I have enough perspective to see how much I've already screwed up, and my kids are still happy, generally healthy, and on their way to being productive members of society.

Not to say there aren't stressors in my life.  I'm pretty dang freaked out about living here in Wyoming so far from all my family and friends.  I wish I lived in a place where I knew some people well enough to get a casserole or three delivered after the baby comes.  My husband's job here isn't very stable anyway, he gets paid pretty well and he loves his work, but the company he works for could move him at any time to any part of the country.  Having moved both 8 months pregnant (with Sam) and 1 week after giving birth (with Jubilee), the prospect of doing it again does not sound pleasant at all.

Anyway, a favor.  If you think about it, send up a few prayers for us.  Yes, stability, a house and a few friends would be awesome, but mostly I think we just need peace that it's all going to work out, and we need some perspective.  Even if we have to move within a month before or after giving birth, it's not the end of the world, we've done it twice already.  Even if we have to order pizza for a week after the baby comes, we can do that.  It's going to be okay, I know that in my head, I just wish I knew it in my heart.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Whole30 Update

I am officially a week and a half into a Whole30.

No matter how often I read that feeling crappy while detoxing or dieting is "normal" and you should work through the pain, I still can't escape the feeling that if you're feeling awful physically and emotionally you should do something to remedy it.  Eat a cookie or something, especially if you're a mom of small children.  As a result, I was very hesitant starting this.  I'd rather be a little chubby than spend any time miserable on purpose, that's the long and the short of it.  But, I really was getting to the point where something needed to change, and this was the step I decided to take.  I'm pleased to inform everyone that I haven't had any emotional or physical problems (and I'm past the time when they should've started).  I haven't had any sugar "crash" or horrible cravings or anything that I was afraid of happening.  Which seems a pretty good indication that this is actually a healthy diet, unlike things like no carbs or no fat or drinking nothing but apple cider vinegar for a week, I actually feel really good right now.

One of the big rules of the Whole30 is NO WEIGH INS for the whole month.  Because it's a diet primarily to get healthier and wean ourselves off of toxic foods and sugar, fat loss shouldn't be the goal.  The lack of a scale allows us to focus on the other positives the diet is doing for us, and it really works. I notice my clothes fitting looser (hubs told me he thought my clothes were getting stretched out or something, because they were looking too baggy, haha, thanks a lot hubs).  My mom (who is also doing it) cheated and weighed herself.  She's lost 7lbs so far.  Because of my mom's bad example (tisk tisk, mom), I cheated and weighed myself, too, I've lost 5lbs.  Not too shabby, enough that I'm encouraged, not so much that it's unhealthy or hard to maintain.

I also have a LOT of energy, which is good and bad.  My house has never been cleaner, but I don't have a lot of patience sitting down writing blogs or watching a movie with my husband, I always feel like I need to be doing something.

My face is clearer than it's been since we moved to Wyoming.  I don't know what it is, I assume it's the lack of humidity, but my face has been broken out since we moved here.  Now, though, it's completely clear.  Which is super nice.

Plus, I'm learning quickly how to NOT be a stress eater.  There have been parts of this week where normally I would've turned to a brownie or a cheeseburger to destress, but I didn't.  And the desire is going away, noticeably.

My mom's favorite part of this diet is that food actually starts to taste better.  When you aren't eating sugar, you really begin to notice the natural sweetness of a lot of different vegetables and even meats.  Fruit becomes satisfying.  Food also becomes more deliberate, I don't find myself absent-mindedly snacking anymore.  It's nice, though meal planning takes a little more forethought, and it's nearly impossible to get take-out.

Anyway, that's my 1/3 done update.  The end.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

I don't often fall into the schtick of alliterating the titles of my blog posts to fit a popular theme, but the pictures really do speak for themselves.  This is what we did yesterday, after Cam got off work a few hours early:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My Budding Photographer

As I'm sure you all already know, I'm one of those Instagram moms.  I know, I know, Instagram is supposed to be for hipsters to take close-up pictures of decaying architecture and cool thrift store finds, but, not being a hipster, I like to use it to share pictures of my kids and food.  Housewife Instagram users are in the minority, but we're a strong minority.

Since my phone is with me everywhere I go, I find I take a lot of pictures, mostly of my kids, as I said, or of my kids and husband, or whatever.  I don't have a lot of pictures of me, though, because I'm the one behind the camera.  Since my 5 year-old loves to play on my phone, about a week ago I had the bright idea of letting him take pictures of me.

He's actually hilarious.  He points the camera in my general direction, and yells "click, click, click...!" as fast as he can, while pushing the button as fast as he can.  So, after 30 seconds, I have 50 pictures or so, and out of those, I find one or two that aren't fuzzy and upload them to Instagram.  So, here are a few he's taken recently:

And my favorite...

So, there.  Photographic evidence I exist.

I was just thinking, wouldn't it be funny if Sam wound up being a wedding photographer?  "Can we get just the bride with her bridesmaids?  CLICK click click click! Now, the whole wedding party?  Click click click...."

Monday, January 7, 2013

Yet Another Post About Mom Guilt

As I mentioned the other day, I'm doing a 30 day dietary "reset," I'm about 20% done with it, actually.  It's going surprising well so far, at least where eating is concerned, not a lot of cravings, in fact, the diet it's a lot easier than I thought it would be and I have a lot of support.  The hardest thing about it is, I'm sure you guessed by the title, mom guilt.

At first, it's sort of hard to imagine why simply cutting a few items out of one's diet would be enough to convince a person that they are a horrible mom.  But, if you've ever done it, you know you spend a LOT of time thinking about what you can't eat.  And if you've cut a major staple like meat or, in my case, grains out of your diet, you spend a LOT of time trying to come up with new recipes...chunks of meat with veggies loses its' appeal, sooner rather than later.  Plus, actually having to cook three meals a day when you can't just pour a bowl of cereal or make a sandwich is time consuming, especially since there's not a lot of nitrate, msg, sugar, grain-free meat and veggie "convenience items."  Dieting really is consuming, mentally, emotionally, and chronologically.  And the first thing a mom feels, when consumed by the thought of something other than her wee bairns, is guilt.

It's also hard on the kids.  If you're used to eating sugar, not eating sugar can make you crabby, that's all I'm gonna say about that.  On my particular diet I can drink coffee, but if you've ever tried not drinking coffee, you know that your attitude can weigh on your kids, too.  Also, suddenly, the way your kids are used to eating changes, and they don't really like it.  Either they have to eat your "diet" food, in my case means a lot of veggies and a lot of spice a lot of the time, which they won't eat enough of to sustain them for very long, or a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches which really isn't a well-balanced diet.  More mom guilt.

Anyway, it's funny to realize that the thing that hinders me most is feeling like I'm letting down my kids in some way, by trying to get healthier.  But, it's really about short term goals vs. long term goals.  No, I don't want to be snappy today, but if they have to deal with me being a little withdrawn now so that I can be healthy overall, it's worth it.  I think it's worth it.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy New Year!

Well, I'm a few days late, but happy New Year anyway.  We're at the end of the first semi-normal, no sickness, almost non-holiday week we've had in a while.  The kids started back at school, and hubs worked more than 40 hours, so we're starting to drift back into our routine.  I realized after a week of Jubee being sick, then a week of Sam and me being sick, then Cam being sick, on top of travelling to Missouri for a quick, whirlwind Christmas visit, we really needed our real routine.  A routine that didn't involve watching cartoons all day long (like we did when we had the plague) or punching one another (which the kids seem to have gotten in the bad habit of doing) or eating incredible amounts of sugar and processed grains.

Today, I turned off the tv.  It's been going better than anticipated.  Usually, when I realize that too-much-tv watching has snuck up on us and I turn it off, we spend a week in the throws of withdraw, whiny kids begging to watch cartoons every five minutes, until they get used to it.  Today, though, they are playing happily together.  Which is awesome because...

Jan 2nd, I started a Whole30.  I do need to lose some weight, but I'm actually doing it not primarily to lose weight, rather, to detox a bit off of sugar and bread and beer so I can lose weight.  I actually eat pretty well generally and I move around quite a bit, so I think that my extra weight is a consequence of eating horribly from the age of 15-25 and hormones, plus I'm a 30-year old woman who had two kids 14 months apart, which, as you probably know, isn't very good for your gut. 

This is the picture of myself from Christmas present opening at my sister's house that convinced me that I needed to do something.  I normally wouldn't put a picture of myself online like this, but this is the motivation I need.  When, in a week or two, this becomes hard and I want a brownie or an IPA, I have something to deter me.  Haha.

So, I'm about 2.5 days into eating nothing but meat, eggs, veggies, fruits, good fats and oils, and nuts.  I can have coffee, which makes it a whole lot easier, nay, possible.  I haven't even had any food cravings or urges to speak of yet, and I'm not lethargic or stressed, which is what usually happens by the first afternoon when I restrict my diet in any way.

Cam's job is going really well, too.  His supervisors like him, he likes his work, and we are really blessed financially because of it.  That's pretty much the best you can hope for less than a year into a new career.

That's our beginning of 2013.  We're starting it happy, healthy and hopeful, which is means it can only go downhill from here.  Haha, I'm totally kidding.  If there's one thing that's been pretty consistent my whole adult life, it's that just when I think things can't get better, they do.  That doesn't mean that rough things don't happen, it's just that they don't seem so bad in the broad scheme o' things.