Tuesday, December 11, 2012

dispatch from the troll cave

lately, i feel like we've been dealing with one cluster cuss after another. in these situations, i want to scream, "I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE RIGHT DECISION IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I AM NOT A GROWN-UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! well, actually, if i'm being honest, there are some colorful descriptors scattered in there.

in my mind there's a big difference between adults and grown-ups. i'm okay with being an adult, maybe, but i don't feel like i'm capable of being a grown-up until i reach at least age 43. so just back the bleep off universe.

adults work and pay bills and maybe even have a few kids, but grown-ups make investment decisions, major career decisions, health insurance, emergency, disaster, ohmyflipwhatamisupposedtodo DECISIONS. so basically, grown ups make decisions. i hate making decisions.

yes, i broke my blog silence for that bit of brilliance.

how about you? do you feel like an adult or a grown-up? are they the same thing to you? what makes you curl up into a ball, throw a two-year-old style meltdown tantrum, or start cursing and wanting to break things to relieve stress? not that i would do any of those things in the face of major adversity. or a decision that needs to be made.

Friday, October 19, 2012

it was a good day

when tim used to get home and ask me how my day was, on my most charitable days, usually the best i could muster was, "we're all still alive." on the tough days, i would systematically explain exactly how and why our sons were making me crazy and beg him to find a new job. preferably one he could take two young children with him to. tim's a jerk and he never did find that totally realistic job, but thankfully our boys have grown up a little bit and my answers are usually either, "tiring" or, "actually, it was a pretty good day." i think i've even admitted to having a few great days. here's another one for the scrapbook, minus pictures, which are the best part of a scrapbook, but just take so dang long to input, upload....

-the three cousins were here this morning, as they are most mondays and fridays. max actually spends four mornings a week with those crazies, the other two at their house, and he loves his time with them and his aunt. it's been fun watching the play dynamics change over the last year and a half that i've babysat them, adding in the baby and taking out ben when he started school. i especially enjoy my time with the little lion. i feel bad because i know he gives his momma a hard time, but he is the best babe in the universe for me. it's novel to wear a baby again and it's much easier to be patient with squirmy diaper changes and messy, grabby feedings when it's only a couple times a week. little lion, you make mornings great!

-today my dad came by to stay with the kids while i ran up to school to pick up ben from early dismissal. hearing him, who is a pretty serious guy, be silly and wild with the kids makes my heart smile. i wish i would have stopped what i was doing in the kitchen to go upstairs and take a video of their fun. these days won't last forever.

-last week i was so frustrated in adoration that the boys had gotten wild yet again that i set a reminder on my phone to make an activity bag for them and then, miraculously, i actually did it right away when the reminder went off. i know this is parenting 101 stuff. but i'm forgetful and we're always rushing out the door to adoration and sometimes i would remember to grab something for them, but most days they were stuck with the same old books that have been there for a year and a half. they both spent the whole hour peacefully and QUIETLY working on things. max pushes the kneelers together to make his library, where he pretends to stamp the front cover of a huge stack of magnificat mags he lugs over from the bookshelf. it's pretty cute and it keeps him happy. i hope Jesus is entertained.

-i got a nap! i've tried to let go of my guilt over letting them watch sesame street or a movie while i go to my room and rest. not really tv watching guilt, but unsupervised children guilt. usually i get interrupted because max always poops while i'm resting and needs eighteen snacks, but a little rest is better than no rest. being on duty 24/7 was the hardest part of the last couple years and it's so good for my spirit to have a little alone time. i was always so jealous of people who have four year olds who still nap, but this is a good enough second best.

-we went to my parents' house this afternoon and most of the way there and all the way home, ben sang the Lamb of God, over and over. talent wise, ben is no all-star vocalist, but it makes me happy. happy that he gets to go to mass at school and happy that he has a "heart on fire with love for God". max of course had to ask what sin was. max asks a lot of questions about unpleasant things like Satan and bad angels and bad guys. he asks a lot of questions in general, so it's lot like he's just focusing on bad things, but he definitely has to get everything sorted out in his brain, which means he exhausts most subjects, and his mother, before he can move on. we also talked about nero, who we unanimously don't like, Christians, good soldiers, bad soldiers, and war. oy! how 'bout some sesame street talk?!

-time with my parents. i really need to take video of the boys with my parents. we spend so much time over at their house that it doesn't seem like anything special. but i know that it is and i always remind the boys that they are very blessed to be surrounded by so much love. it's hard to think about, but i know my parents won't always be around, and i want the boys to have a record of the pretty idyllic world they got to grow up in.

-max fell asleep on the way home, so i got to spend bedtime with just ben. it's always nice to have some one-on-one time. ben read the first word that i've heard him sound out: bad. he's pretty much a child genius! it seems silly to get so excited about him reading one word, especially since most of his cousins and close friends his age have been reading for a while now, but he has had very little interest in learning to read when i've offered to work with him, so i had to put my pride aside and wait for school to do it's thing. i was in the other room, getting a drink before i came in to read to him and i heard him, "b-aaaaaaa-d. bad. bad!" on the cover of "it's a bad day". when i asked him how he did it, he said, "i sounded out the letters slowly, then i made the sounds come together fast." ben loves his teacher so much and i'm so thankful she is so patient and kind. after i said our decade of the rosary, we prayed the guardian angel prayer together, his new thing, and then he wanted to sing the "Lamb of God" with him. happy momma heart for sure!

enough mushy mushy. i'll try to whine a little the next time.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

cute things i want to remember

occasionally my boys say cute things that i would like to remember. i wish i was better about writing them down, and i sometimes find odd scraps of paper floating around the house that i've scribbled something funny down on, like the night that we mapped out the plan for the band we would form, but mostly i'm just a lousy family historian. so here goes.

for the last several months, max has been really set on the idea of being "an ambulance person" when he grows up. he must think about this a lot because he will randomly ask me questions about the logistics of being an ambulance person. "where do i buy my ambulance, mom?" i explained the process of school and hiring to him and he seemed thrilled that someone would pay him for his services. tonight as we were driving home, just the two of us, completely out of the blue, he asked, "can ambulance guys get married, mom?" when i answer his questions, his response is usually, "so...okay." and i can literally here the wheels turning in his noggin, processing the new information.

ben's current future occupation is an astronaut. every night he prays for, "all the people on earth and all the people in the space station." for about a day max was willing to join him in space, but he has now gone back to ambulance person.

the other night they were talking about how when they are grown men, working at their respective jobs, they are still going to live in our house. call me a crazy little ol' italian momma, but i don't think that is such a terrible idea : )

people often ask if the boys are twins. other than ben being taller, which is hard to tell when they are constantly swirling and jumping, i guess i can understand why.

i call max "max mouse" because when he's really excited about something, he squeaks. it's pretty cute. and he really likes cheese. and he's much quieter than his older brother. i like the mouse a lot.

i used to call max "charlie puppy" when he was 2 1/2ish because when i'd call him charlie he'd morph into a puppy who was mostly cute and sweet and much better behaved and compliant than max.

tonight at dinner, a well balanced meal of dillon's chinese, ben's fortune was, "struggle as hard as you can for whatever you believe in." ben's quick and enthusiastic response was, " I BELIEVE IN GOD!" he frequently tells me that he has a heart on fire with love for God. such responsibility to help form these mighty souls i've been entrusted with.

after prayers when we were having our snuggle, squished in max's twin sized bottom bunk, max asked, "does God make super heroes?" i put on my preachy mom hat and explained that God doesn't make guys with x-ray vision or guys that turn green and muscly when angry but he does give each of us special gifts and talents that we can use to be super heroes to other people, like super kindness or super helpfulness. being a little bored by my own answer, i decided to add, "or sometimes if a person has really stinky toots, they have super stink powers." spurred by their eruption of giggles, i fought my uptight tendencies to suppress their giggles and hurry them to sleep, and continued, " and when max makes up in the morning, he has super grump powers." this went on for a bit and i tried to soak up that glorious little slice of time.

the boys are both at pretty decent ages. ben is off at school for most of the time and honestly, it's a relief having mr. needs-constant-activity-and-stimulation not always asking, "what are we going to do now?" max plays pretty well with his cousins that he spends most mornings of the week with, but also plays really well by himself. his fits are MUCH more manageable and don't escalate to anywhere near the levels they used to. tim and i have finally decided to keep them. for now.

scrapbook closed.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

crazytown journal

several friends have started doing the journal thing blog posts. i like these, but just can't bring myself to conform. so instead, i give you this series of events, which i found to be pretty comical.

after working on a few things on the computer tonight, i got up, complaining to tim that i feel like i have a million little and some big things that i need to get done. as soon as i stopped talking, an alarm went off on my phone reminding me i needed to pay bills tonight. blurg. add that to my list.

when i went to check on ben, who has a slight fever, i found that max had fallen asleep in his toy box at the end of his bed, sitting upright. at first i thought he had been woken up from the storm or had gotten up to go to the bathroom and scampered back to his room when he heard me coming. but nope. he was tanked out and i'm pretty sure he had been sitting there/sleeping for an hour and a half.

after doing several other jobs, i sat down to pay bills and eat a piece of pie/turnover that i baked up from the leftover dough and apples from max's pie on sunday. can't let it go to waste. upon taking my first bite of pie, another alarm went off on my phone-one i have set that goes off every night at 10:15 with the message that reads, "go to bed or you will hate yourself tomorrow". i never do go to bed right away, but to be caught eating dessert at my self-imposed bed time really seemed to highlight my poor decision making.

the first letter i opened was a very crisp piece of paper and when i pulled it out, it whipped up and hit me in the eye. for a solid minute i clamped my eye shut, visualizing an eye ball sliced in half. i'm still not sure if my vision is blury and if it is, if it's from exhaustion or that malicious paper. what was the bill? health insurance of course. tim brilliantly suggested i go look in the bathroom mirror. my response, "i'd rather just eat my pie."

oh, and while i had my eye squeezed closed and was envisioning my blind future, it started hailing.

fearing the task of replacing the roof again, i asked tim to join me in prayer. after we made the sign of the cross, i hesitated for a bit, distracted by my eye. tim started up without me, "bless us oh lord and....". after we prayed, not over our food but for the protection of our home, he admitted that maybe he was in fact a bit tired and should go to bed.

instead of finishing the few jobs i have left for the day, i wrote this comedy of errors out instead. and tim just came and informed me that i'll have to leave an hour early for work because i have to take the boys to his mom's house since he has to report to court for jury duty.

i'm gonna put a big ol' A++ stamp on tonight : )

oh man, i can't even make this level of weird up! before i could hit publish, i heard max fall out of his bed and had to go tend to him. he's fine. he didn't even wake up. and now i'm eating more turnover.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

NFP-take 2, revisited.

 this post is long. very long. and has no pictures. you've been warned.

 tonight as i finished making dinner and ben was putting forks on the table, he wondered out loud, "what would it be like to have five people in our family? or six? what if we had eight kids in our family?!" he and max both agreed that it would be great. "why would it be great?" i asked. "because there would be soooo many of us!" was their response. max questioned if he and ben would still be brothers if they had a bunch of other brothers and sisters, to which ben assured him that yes, they'd always, always be brothers.

as we ate dinner and they jabbered on about other things, i had to wonder what God has in store for our family. i am number seven of eight after all, and if you would have asked my parents after their number two child if they were up for six more, well, i probably shouldn't type what they might have said ; ) i wondered, as i often do, if ben and max will be our only kiddos or if we'll have a whole gaggle more.

my thoughts reminded me of the following post that i wrote sometime during the winter, maybe february? at the time i ran out of energy to finish it and stored it away, deeming it too long and whiney. i fished it out of my drafts and figured i might as well share it.


 back in july i tried to cover the topic of nfp. i'd say i did a pretty good job ; )

today i had a big to-do list to cover. unfortunately, in the middle of the night i woke up not feeling so great and it hasn't gone away yet. so you are not left in suspense-no i'm not pregnant. but when  i'm sick like this, it always reminds me of how i feel during the first trimester of pregnancy. i have never thrown up due to morning (or all day) sickness. i just feel extremely nauseated and exhausted for those first three months-ish.  if i lay completely still, i don't feel too bad and sometimes even think the nausea has passed until i do something silly like stand up or move. so feeling like that all day today has made me think a lot about being pregnant again-something that is often on my mind and in my prayers. thankfully, tim has today off and i've been able to mostly lay or sit around, not having to do to many mommy duties.

(i realize that in comparison to some women, i am incredibly lucky and have absolutely no reason to complain about my first trimester experiences. but since i'm wimpy and whiney in general, pregnancy is no exception for me.)

some background:

 be warned, this is a long post. come back later if your kids are going to need your attention for the next two hours.

when i was pregnant with ben i was still finishing up massage school and working a lot, so although i didn't feel great, i just had to power through. but once i came home in the evening, tim and i pretty much just watched tv and movies in our bed. this worked well because it was winter and we kept the theromastat at 50 degrees to save money, so bed was the warmest place anyways. (yes i know. we are models of productivity!) because it was just the two of us, the only rooms in the house that got messy where our room, the bathroom, the dining room (where we dumped all of our stuff when we came home), and the kitchen. because we weren't home at all during the day, it was very easy to ignore those messes, although we were thoroughly embarassed (or at least i was) when family dropped by unexpectedly.

my pregnancy with max was very different.  actually, the pregnancy was pretty similar, but the circumstances of our life were very different. on top of feeling sick all the time, i was very sleep deprived because ben still, at 18 mos old, didn't sleep through the night. during the day, as well as at night, ben was pretty high maintenance. he was extremely active, social, curious, and stubborn. so while i wanted to just spend the day laying still, ben had completely opposite plans. i know-how rude of him. many huge, some permanent, messes were made at the cost of a few minutes of rest. plus, he was very attached to me and had a hard time with things like tim putting him to bed. sometimes tim would try to send me to our room in the evenings so i could lay down, but the sound of ben crying and "needing" me was just as exhausting as the pregnancy and i didn't want him to be upset.

i have an introverted personality with a strong need (desire?) for quiet and personal space, which is intensified when i don't feel well. ben is pretty much the complete opposite. but because my perception of being a "good mother" to him meant doing everything in my power to keep him "happy" i totally exhausted myself.

on top of being completely overwhelmed by ben, i was equally frustrated with our house. unlike when i was pregnant with ben and simply wasn't home to be bothered by the messes i didn't have the energy to pick up, i was home all day, every day, still with no energy, but also no escape. when i did try to muster the motivation to say, clean the bathroom, i had ben at my side trying to "help" and throwing major fits if i didn't let him. while tim enjoys a tidy house, it rarely occurs to him to clean without my asking him. and it wasn't just cleaning, but also repairs that needed to be made, clutter, yard work, meals, work and money stress-basically, life.

i won't go into more details, but even after max was born and honestly, up until the beginning of this year, our family still really struggled. it was not all constantly "bad", but we definitely had more really hard days than we had "good" days. sometimes we had stretches where it was hard to even remember a good day. sure, most days had good moments, but they were often overshadowed by the rest of the stresses of the day.

at times, tim and i's marriage was under extreme stress.  i often felt that i had to chose between my own needs and those of my boys. i mostly chose the boys, thinking that was the best and again, what it meant to be a good mother, but it was not good for me, my marriage, and thus, our family.  there were times that i actually considered getting in the car and never turning back. times i thought tim and i were done. times i stood in my mom's kitchen crying, trying to describe how it felt like i was drowning and couldn't breathe.

again,  i don't think that my situation was unusual or unique to only me, but for me, it was a very difficult time. i know many of you have endured much more challenging circumstances.

so what does all of this have to do with NFP? good question.

several times in the last year i have had friends and acquaintances comment about how tim and i "are really good at NFP" because max will be four in september and we are still not pregnant with #3. for our group of friends and family, excluding fertility issues, i think that is a record. many couples that we know who got married the same year we did are pregnant with or have already had #4. i realize that's definitely not the norm, but for our microcosm, it is. i don't ever take offense at their comments. we are a close knit group who often share our joys and struggles. and there have been a few "surprise babies" in the last couple years, so i've always felt like i understood what they were saying.

but it makes me think (and we know i'm really good at thinking, and over thinking); what exactly does it mean to be "good" at NFP?

as we all know, there is no one definition. no form that a couple can check all the boxes on to gain a gold star and stamp of approval that says, GOOD NFP CATHOLICS. although we all know this, i think it's easy to fall into the trap of judging other couples that we think we know and know their choices. or even, shamefully, if you're like me, couples you don't know well.  i remember looking around church when ben was a baby, spotting large or quickly growing families, and thinking, "oh, maybe we'll be friends with those people because we are obviously like-minded good catholics." and when max was a baby and i was feeling totally overwhelmed, wondering if we were going to be having a new baby every two or three years for the rest of our fertile years, wondering what could constitute a "grave reason" to avoid pregnancy, i remember looking at other couples who had two kids who were of grade school or middle school age and i assumed they "were done" and was jealous of their peaceful mass experience and how easy their lives obviously were now that they didn't have pesky babies around and could do whatever they wanted. while wanting that control and definite knowledge of the future, i also knew that wasn't what i really wanted, nor was it what was good for our family. but again, goodness gracious i was just so very overwhelmed by our little circus.

i knew better than to judge. i knew families with only a few children who desperately wanted more children but couldn't get pregnant again or sustain pregnancy. not all families that are small are small by choice. i also knew big families that weren't necessary healthy or holy families. i would try to catch myself and redirect my thoughts of jealousy and judgement, but it happened. even more than jealousy at some couples "freedom", i was scared. i knew that i wanted more children, but i couldn't imagine how we would ever be able to handle more responsibility and challenges.

with tim's job change and subsequent challenging work schedule and some financial strain, my own physical and emotional exhaustion, and the demands of our boys, we felt like we had a justified reason to postpone another pregnancy. for a long time we practiced extrememely cautious NFP rules. with tim's work schedule and my issues (husband repelling "grumpiness"), that wasn't particularly difficult, logistics wise, but it was often frustrating. because tim got off work late, was tired from a 10+ hour shift, and to avoid temptation, tim often stayed up playing video games, while i read online and then went to bed by myself, if i wasn't already asleep when he got home. instead of investing time and energy into our relationship and family, or simply and wisely getting more sleep, so that some of our "grave" reasons wouldn't be so grave anymore, we actually perpetuated our problems. not only were we not united physically, but we were also very distant emotionally.

as time has passed, the boys naturally have gotten a little more independent and i've gotten used to tim's crazy, always changing schedule. instead of just talking about (or fighting about) our issues, we've been working more on our relationship and consciously investing more time together when we can. we've both matured and admitted our faults and made efforts to work on the things that we need to work on. because of tim's hard work and my added income from working, we feel much more financially comfortable than we were a year ago. we are still using fertility awareness to avoid pregnancy, but the future of our family and it's size is something that is often on my mind and in my prayers.

do we still have a grave or serious reason to avoid pregnancy? some might argue that we never had a grave reason.


and that's where i stopped. why? because i googled, "grave reason for avoiding pregnancy" or something like it and tortured myself by reading several blog posts and forums about how people abuse nfp and very, very, VERY rarely have a real grave reason to avoid pregnancy. one friar mentioned st. catherine of sienna and her umpteen siblings who lived in a single room, dirt floor hut, and said that if they could get by, we spoiled modern families with our big houses and multiple cars could certainly afford another child. although that one was the most extreme, it certainly messed with my head.

would we have ever gone bankrupt if we had another child? no. we had money in savings. was i just being miserly with our money? was my physical and mental exhaustion (often begging tim to find a new job so he could be home more and crying myself to sleep) a valid reason? tim said yes. crazy mary was not so sure. although i prayed for wisdom for tim and i to make the right decisions for our family, i worried a lot too. what if God wanted to give us an "easy" baby who actually slept at night, but i was too worried thinking about how i was still being woken up at night by my two other non-babies. what if He was trying to give us a gift and we weren't accepting it.

looking back on it, it now seems obvious how ridiculous i was being. and yet, not obvious at the same time. i know God would have given us the strength to get through another pregnancy and tricky baby if we implored His help, and i'm sure that another baby would have been an awesome addition to our family. but i'm thankful for the time that tim and i have had to work through a lot of things, personally and as a couple. i guess there is no right answer, just different answers with different outcomes.

these simcha fisher articles were good food for thought for me: "Why doesn't the Church just make a list?" 
and "NFP, Providentialism, and Future-You"

the couple to couple league had a whole issue of Family Foundations devoted to family size descerment a couple months ago that was incredibly helpful to me and gave me a lot of peace. i have kept up our membership solely for the reason of getting this publication and would encourage anyone, regardless of which nfp method you use, to subscribe.

finally it was a conversation with my mom that really gave me peace. it was a conversation that we actually had twice, but i'm dense and needed to hear it again for it to really sink in. or maybe she prayed for me, knowing my heart was heavy. basically, she said that, no matter how conservative you're being with nfp, if it's God's will for you to have another baby and that if your heart is truly open to His will, He'll take care of things, reminding me of several "tricky babies" of her's and other people who seemed to defy the normal rules of fertility.

so much to pray about.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

i will survive

thank you all for your encouraging words in regards to the grand school adventure. we all survived our first full week of school and ben hasn't declared yet that he won't go back.

several days ago i was talking to a friend who said that, the more her son fights doing something, she's come to realize, the more grace-filled, or trans-formative the experience will be for him. that's pretty much the same for me. i fight doing things that i know will be good for me or my family terribly. as much as i hate the phrases "just do it" and "git r done", i need to work on embracing that mentality. anybody have a suggestion for a catch phrase that embrace that mentality but isn't totally obnoxious? i like "i can do all things in Christ how strengthens me" but it's long and for some reason, makes me feel like i'm dying or in labor if i need that major of encouragement. (yes, i group dying and childbirth labor together.)

the structure of school is good for our whole family. although i very much need it, i really fight against structure. i think that i hate it, but in reality, i really like it. tim and i both are terrible about staying up much too late, but even in just a week, i've gotten better about it. i'm sure i will always struggle with it, though, because i just really love the quiet of the night after the boys are sleep.

i'm very, very, VERY thankful that tim has agreed to take ben to school most mornings. that decision came out of my meltdown the night i realized i'd missed school registration and was in tears about all of my new responsibilities. i feel guilty about all my belly-aching and all of your kind words and stories about how you drop your kids off in your jammies, because i, el whimpo, don't even have to do that bit. well, actually, i had to take him three times this week, but i'm reassuring myself that i won't have to ever do it again. tim's really good at getting ben up and going more punctually than i would. it always amazes me because a significant part of our marital strife for several years was related to tim's log sleeping in the morning hours. i would let ben sleep in later and then end up having to rush to eat, rush to dress, and rush into school. it makes so much more sense to just wake him up those 15 minutes earlier to prevent that stress, but that's never been how i've rolled-again, because i'm dumb and stubborn.  on the three mornings i took him we were rushed and two of the mornings, i didn't walk him in. tim walks him in every morning.

so we haven't been late, we haven't forgotten lunch, and i haven't missed pick up. i give myself five gold stars! one day for pick up i did have to give max a piggy back ride because he wasn't wearing shoes and several days he went in his snow boots and black knee high socks with totally mismatched clothing. it's funny that i don't mind taking him to the grocery store looking like that but am aware of it with our parish community. not that people at our parish are rude or vocally judgey. they just do crazy things like put shoes on their children and match their clothes.

alright, my time is up. if you noticed a different tone to this post, it's because i gave myself an allotted amount of time and wrote a lot more like i do when journaling than i usually do when blog writing. i am such a slow writer and it inhibits my ability to write because i just don't have time to spend an hour+ on a post. thus, also, no pictures.

thanks again for your kind words. i thank God every night for the wonderful community of friends he has provided for us.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

school days, school days

tonight we had "meet the teacher night" at school. ben was, of course, so happy. every step of the school meetings way he's been so excited. last spring we had a parent meeting and all day he was so excited and kept asking when it was time to go. after the meeting, he literally skipped to the car, saying it was the best day of his life! what did we do at that totally awesome meeting? listened to the principal talk and answer questions and then his teacher read them a story. (ben is nothing if not dramatic.)

kindergarten screening=ben very happy. all summer he has talked about school. "when is summer over so i can go to school?" school supply shopping and uniform purchasing=giggles of joy. "mom, can i practice putting on my belt again? i love my new belt." there has been a count down to when school starts since the beginning of august.  i am so happy for him that he is so excited about this adventure. i can't help but smile when he smiles. it would break my heart if he were nervous about school or didn't want to go. and yet oh how angst-y i've felt this whole month.

yes, this is that post. the "my baby is growing up so fast" post. but only kinda.  my feelings aren't really about him. they're my feelings about me entering this next stage of parenting. i'm the one dragging my feet. i'm the one begging, "i don't want to go to school!!!" my baby is growing up and he's forcing me to and i just DON"T WANNA!!!!

last winter i remember reading a blog post on a blog i don't even remember, about how much she stunk at being a school parent. about how she was always late getting her son to school and he was always having to run to beat the tardy bell. how she never volunteered for anything and felt guilty about it, but just couldn't do it. about how she felt judged by all the other more put together moms. and i could see my future.

it really didn't help when i missed school enrollment. there were tears. maybe even sobs. ben is soo ready for this. i am so very not. i already feel like i have a lot on my plate. or that i'm the circus act of the lady who spins all the plates on the tall poles. at least once every couple weeks i already feel like all the plates are crashing down on me. now i get to add the responsibilities of school. crash, crash, crash.

i'm so thankful that ben's school is small and that many of the families are pretty involved. we're actually required to volunteer in some capacity for the two fundraisers that they have. but i definitely prefer to fly under the radar and avoid extra responsibilities and commitments. so on the one hand, i want to be super involved and helpful because i think it is so important. and on the other, i'm squealing in my head, "but i don't wanna!" yep, very mature i am.

tonight at the meeting ben's teacher stressed how important it is to talk positively about school starting. she talked about how it's okay if there's some crying on the first day. at first i thought she was joking about parents crying. then i almost cried thinking about how i might cry. (yes, i'm exhausted and way overly emotional.) then i realized she was talking about the kids crying. i can 99.9% guarantee ben will not cry. unless he bursts from excitement. he will not miss me. i probably won't miss him too much, as i'll still be quite busy and he really is a bit of an exhausting lil' fella. ben's biggest sadness was the realization that he wouldn't get to watch shows because of school. such devotion...to television.

everything will be fine. life will settle into a new normal someday. parts of ben going to school will be great. some parts will be stressful. that's just how it's going to be.

i'm thankful ben is able to go to a good school. i'm thankful ben has a good teacher. this will be my mantra, trying to block out all my mental whining and foot dragging.

signing off,
 the least likely volunteer for PTO president.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

vacay days 2-5

way back in june when tim and i were on "vacation", this is what we did for the remainder of our days, as documented by random, crappy pictures.

day 2: quest for the perfect porch chairs

one of the things we had been looking forward to about our colorado trip was sitting on the front porch of the cabin, staring at the mountains, drink in hand, uninterrupted.

stuck in kansas, i got to thinking: "hey, we have a porch with a great, peaceful view. no need to drive eight hours to have a relaxing drink together. we should find some chairs to make our very own front porch a lovely destination."

we had actually found such chairs the night before as we waddled around target after our gourmet buffet dinner. the problem was that target only had the chairs left in a dark grey, not the red that i wanted and that the sign indicated they had at one point had in stock. no problem-i'll just see if any of the other stores had them in stock.

so tuesday morning i checked online and nope, none of the area targets had the red chairs i wanted, nor would they be getting any more in for the season. i pouted for a bit, then checked around online at several other places. lowes had cute red adirondacks just like i wanted, in stock. huzzah! i called up my momma, who has a vehicle conducive to chair hauling, and she obliged to join the adventure.

after picking up the chairs we went to lunch (yum) and then michael's, where i found a strawberry stamp (cute). finally heading home, i was feeling pretty good about the day.

tim spent the day gun and gun accessory shopping with my baby brother because it was brother's birthday and because tim thinks gun shopping is way more fun than chair and craft shopping. imagine that.

pleased with our find, we sent tim to retrieve the chairs from my mom's suv. unfortunately, upon taking a test sit, tim tragically informed me that the chairs, although very similar in style, were not as comfortable as the target chairs. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! i pouted big time! how oh how on earth could a chair that was comfortable for 5'3" me not be a perfect fit for 6'1" him?! what a jerk!

after looking online and considering a lot of other options, we finally decided to take the red adirondacks back to lowes and i decided to settle for the dark grey ones from target. although my mom offered to help with chair transport, we felt she had already endured enough of our shenanigans and sent her on her way. tim, who has an amazing knack for cramming crap into small cars, fit the chairs into our accent (smallest car on earth if your not familiar with the model) and set out to return/acquire chairs. i was too worn out from all my pouting to go with him and instead drank several glasses of wine while watching network t.v. who knew "friends" is still on at 6 and 6:30?

after tim had been gone way too long, i finally received a call from him telling me to check my email. he was at the k-96 target out east and had found some turquoise adirondacks, as well as several other styles of chairs that were in our price range and of various bright colors. he had sent pictures of the various chairs so i could pick what i wanted.

yes, tim makes me crazy A LOT, but he can also be pretty exceptionally awesome sometimes.

i picked the turquoise adirondacks because they were the most comfy, plus they would always remind me of how sweet timmy boy had been.

unfortunately, part of what makes these chairs more comfy than the red ones from lowe's is that they are bigger. not so great for our tuna can sized car. t said it took a while to cram them in the car in the target parking lot, which was pretty awkward, and they were nearly impossible to get out of the car once home. but he did it and they look totally cute on our porch!

(instead of a picture of their cuteness, i have this gem, capturing tim showing a lot of restraint when really, he just wanted to smash the dang chair to bits.)

day 3: began project and hhhhhaught date. (i'll try to speed up my pace. maybe bullet points will help)

-went to morning mass at same church i attended monday morning. the boys were making the switch after mass from my sister's to my parents' house, but i think max thought i was there to take them home. he kept whispering to me, "why are you here?" over and over until i told him he still got to go to grammie and poppa's house. only then did he give me a hug after not seeing me for two days. such love.

-acquired tools from two different brothers' homes and played with nieces and nephews. sometimes i miss just getting to be the fun aunt without the responsibility of being a mother.

-continued work on an overhaul of our upstairs that i had started back in may. this will get it's own separate post, but my goal was to finish the project while the boys weren't around to interrupt me.

-while resting after working upstairs in the million degree heat, tim and i watched a documentary on absinthe. this led to tim going out and acquiring a very expensive bottle of absinthe. we actually spent more $$ on alcohol than we did on dining out during our vacation. #boozies.

-date night. first stop, taco shop. yep, the epitome of fine dining. we still couldn't agree on a nice place that we wanted to go, so a tray of 12 tacos for 7 bucks was the obvious conclusion.

can you beat feeding two adults for $7?? i think not.

we were satisfied customers.

we then headed to bradley fair to stroll around. i always like visiting williams-sonoma. maybe some day i'll have a few pieces of le crueset and knives that don't have the tips broken off because they've been used as tools.

these were different devices for brewing coffee.

hydrangeas at "the fresh market", a yummy grocery with all kinds of fabulous temptations.

cocoa dolce for truffles, gelato, and an italian soda, then sitting by the lake rounded out the evening. when we were dating, we used to walk around the lake often, so it was very nostalgic. ahhhhh.

back at home we made absinthe cocktails. tim enjoyed the process of making them, but we were both underwhelmed by the flavor. a fun experience though. we sipped them on the porch in our super comfortable new chairs.

cold water dissolving the sugar cube into the absinthe. no green fairies were spotted.

day four: more project time (back to bullets)

-tim was feeling a little under the weather (or absinthe) so he mostly played video games and rested.

-i sanded and sanded and sanded the ceiling and walls that i prepped on wed. it was hot and dusty and gross and i wanted to die and stop and hire a contractor or maybe a slave nephew.


tim thoughtfully called from the family room, "do you need me to put your pandora back on, sweetie?!"

-started painting ceiling and walls. very frustrated with the coverage i was getting from the paint.

-tim went and got me chipotle because he needed to get out of the house and knew i needed a morale boost.

day 5: more project despair. bunk beds. retrieving children

- painted some more

-tim assembled bunk beds that i had unearthed from the shed and cleaned off earlier in the week. we needed to have an incentive to lure the boys home after a week with fun people who didn't growl at them.

-after returning from adoration i realized i had been painting with the wrong color all morning. i was using up cans i had left over from painting downstairs two years ago. white and bright white are not the same, although tired eyes might almost think so. curse words were said. i gave up for the day. (i still can't figure out why i have the can of "white" or where else i may have accidentally used it.)

-picked up pizzas and had dinner with tim's parents. swam with the boys in the pool and saw their new tricks that they had mastered. cute wild ones.

-the boys loved their bunk beds and continue to do so. they haven't worked as the magic super glue that i had hoped, keeping them from drifting into our bed in the middle of the night, but i think they've helped a bit. progress!

looking back on it, it was a great vacation. at the time though, i was pretty grumpy because of the slow progress on my project. thankfully, because of the way tim's schedule fell, he actually had off saturday, sunday, and monday as well, which allowed me to make more progress upstairs, as well as to have a lot of chill time together as a family. it was so bizarre having that much time together with tim-definitely the most we've ever had in our marriage.  and we didn't kill each other= major success.

Monday, June 25, 2012

vacay day 1

as i'm pretty sure all of you know from my post on facebook, tim and i were supposed to be on a lovely, kid-free getaway this week in colorado at my generous aunt's cabin in lovely green mountain falls. sadly, that area is being devastated by a wild fire right now and green mountain falls and nearby manitou springs is under mandatory evacuation. although we are disappointed, after reading a few news stories about people being directly effected by the fires, it seems ridiculous to feel sorry for ourselves.

our babysitters have very generously agreed to keep the boys as scheduled which i was so thankful for because the boys were so, so, SO excited about their "vacation" at my sister's house and at tim's parents' later in the week. they have been talking about their vacation for the last week and counting down the days. we were nervous to tell them that we were going away without them, but they have been over the moon about their very own vacation, complete with sleepovers! whenever ben talked about their vacation, he would say, "and you're going to be so happy because you get a break from us and we get a break from you!" (he also told us on the way to mass yesterday, "i love you guys so much! do you know why? because you have iphones with fun games. and because you're my parents." not nearly as endearing as his whole, "i'm his precious jewel" bit.)

as i stepped off the porch this morning and walked toward the car, the happy little flower above greeted us. ben spotted it to and mentioned that he thought about picking it for me, but since we were headed to mass, he decided to leave it there for me to enjoy later.

we met my sister at the little country church were she, my parents, and one of my sister-in-laws regularly go to daily mass. it is such a beautiful, peaceful place and mass definitely helped lift my mood. after mass my boys ran happily around the church grounds with their cousins while we chatted in the shade of a beautiful, old oak tree. watching my boys play with their cousins brings me indescribable joy. so very wonderful.

after settling the boys in at their vacation destination i came home and was still feeling a little grumpy. tim and i still hadn't figured out what we wanted to do with our week and i don't like not having a plan. the possibilities are so vast of what we could do, but narrowing down what we really want to do, with very little planning has been difficult. it doesn't help that i'm not exactly a free-spirited adventurer and tim is pretty chill. since saturday night when we learned about the fire, most of our conversations have gone like the following:

we at least had a rough plan for the day: bike ride, naps, dinner out, and trip planning. fair enough.

while tim fixed the tire on my bike, i decided to tidy up the house and then continued on to attack the laundry room that had become annoyingly cluttered. it was so weird and wonderful to see a project through from start to finish without interuption and to not have the boys digging through all the stuff that i was taking out to organize/donate/throw away. i started to think, "oh my, i could tackle the whole house this week!!!" (last night i suggested we spend the week fixing the siding on our house and eating out at nice places as our reward for our hard work each night. tim replied that that would crush his spirit. see, aren't i a super fun wifey???)

once tim finished the tire and adjusted my seat, we went for a quick two mile ride. since we hadn't rode for such a long time, and we've really only gone out a few times together, it was fun, but oh so hot.

lunch followed and then nappy time.

after the sleepy dragon awoke (me) we checked several restaurant menus online to see where we wanted to go. our plan had been to go somewhere nice, but nothing sounded great to both of us and for the prices we were looking at, we both wanted to be really impressed by our meal. timmy boy loves seafood and i'm just okay with it. the few times we've gone to nicer places for seafood, i just end up getting an over-priced simple pasta dish or salad while tim consumes shrimp, shrimp, and more shrimp. or scallops. or crab. seafood is the one thing tim has a more varied palate for.

where did we finally end up? i'm sure after this rambly, wine induced, i get to sleep-in in the morning so i don't feel rushed to get off the computer post, you're just dying to know! see if you can guess from this photo of tim savoring not one, not two, but FOUR gourmet desserts!!!

i can't say that i'm proud to declare *china star buffet* as the first dinner out of our romantic getaway vacation, but we did have fun it was undeniably delicious. we are classy people.

we also made a rough plan for our week but i fear it might be as exciting to you as the above post. unless i set tim to work on some serious photoshopping, a facebook album of our "vacation" probably won't be envy inducing.

tomorrow's big plans include mattress, flooring, and gun shopping. romantic, i know : )

Monday, June 18, 2012

purvis the nervous turtle

a couple of years ago we had a turtle show up in our yard. ben was probably three at the time and was quite fascinated with it. while inspecting it, he and tim (mostly tim) named the turtle purvis. purvis the nervous turtle.

and now, whenever we see a turtle on the road or one shows up at our house, it's referred to as purvis by our whole family. it's always been our little family joke that entertains tim and i. it was a little awkward when ben was telling someone at the parish picnic about the purvis we had seen on the way there.

yesterday on our way home from church there was a turtle in the road. not wanting to see it smashed, i was trying to coach it across the road as we drove by. frustrated by the fact that he just stayed tucked in his shell, i said, "come on purv, get out of there!" the boys chirped from the back seat, "yah, come on purv!" tim and i looked at each other and giggled.

this morning i found another large turtle in the yard.  all the kids were pretty enamored with it, petting it's shell, offering it leaves, and generally harassing it, thus making it stay tightly and patiently tucked in his shell. when we moved to another part of the yard he quickly made his getaway.

when ben wandered back over to where the turtle had been, he sadly reported that it was gone. the missing turtle led to an all out turtle hunt by the five littles (cousins were over this morning) complete with yelling his name loudly and shading their eyes while they peered into the distance. "PURVIS! PURVIS, WHERE ARE YOU???" my favorite was, " HERE PURVY, PURVY, PURVY! WHERE ARE YOU LIL BUDDY???" when i asked ben why he was calling to the turtle, if he thought the turtle would answer him or come running with his tail wagging, he giggled.

dear purvis: where ever you are, be safe little buddy.

yep, a turtle tale is what i came out of hibernation for. i wasn't quite sleepy enough for a nap while the boys had their "show time" but tired enough that i couldn't do any projects or muster much brain power.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

mother's day

the alternate title of this post is...i'm a brat.

i am very blessed. but generally instead of being grateful for the many, many blessings that i am so very unworthy of, i chose to wallow in self-pity.

mother's day is probably primo numero uno for self-pitying days. i blame hallmark for their sugar coated version of what mother's day should look like, but i accept that i'm the sucker who falls for their marketing.

i won't take you on a guided tour through the years of mother's days past, but i will highlight a few of my disappointments. tim, being the awful, mean husband that he is, failed to lactate or gestate for my first three mother's days, never allowing me a break for even one day.  ben and max, being the rotten children that they are, have dared wake up before my preferred hour of the morning (9) and have placed such burdensome demands as food and attention every! single! year! jerks.

yep, i get grumpy because i have to *gasp* mother on mother's day. i have to get up with the boys, prepare food, and parent them. tim sleeps like a log and the boys learned from an early age that i am much easier to pester out of bed if they want to eat or be attended to. when the boys were younger, i got up with them because even when tim did try to give me a break, the boys would scream and cry until i came to them, which, call me crazy but, i didn't find very restful. (they didn't appreciate that tim's style of parenting didn't allow them to be tyrants and expressed that through extreme mommy favoritism.) for the last three years, tim has worked on mother's day so yep, there's all that parenting i still have to do even though it's supposed to be my dang day to be a queen.

all i ever really want for mother's day is a break. basically, to not have to be the mother for the day. i want the house to wake up clean and go to sleep clean, be fed yummy meals that i haven't had to prepare or clean up, and not have to entertain or discipline the precious offsprings, unless i want to.

and because i don't get that, i pout and am resentful of tim and the boys for not giving me that. yes, i am a glowing example of sacrificial maternal love.

this morning tim got up with the boys and made a lovely breakfast for me. but because we chose to stay after mass and visit with our special adoration friend who has no children to celebrate her today, tim didn't have time to clean up the kitchen from the big mess that he had created in making that yummy breakfast before he left for work.

as i started in on the kitchen cleanup, i also started in on my annual pity party. "if tim would have gotten up earlier and tried harder, he could have cleaned up the kitchen before we went to mass. and he totally could have cleaned the house instead of staying up and playing video games after i went to bed." before tim left for work he thanked me for all the hard work i do for our family and said that he knew there was no way in the universe he could ever adequately express his gratitude. instead of appreciating his kind words, bratty mary thought, "well it would sure be nice if you would at least try to go to the ends of the earth to show me. or at least clean the house."

so as i cleaned and cleaned and cleaned and mentally added up my list of complaints, i started to feel pretty guilty. yah, tim could certainly do more to make me feel appreciated, but what was i doing to show the mothers in my life that i appreciate them. not only am i blessed to have a wonderful momma, but i also have an awesome mother-in-law and an amazing godmother. that is a lot more than many people have. maybe instead of pouting over me, me, me, i should invest my energy in showing them how much i appreciate them.

maybe instead of pouting i could pray for the single moms who very rarely get a break or mom's that are struggling with problems much bigger than mine.

and then there's those precious offspring that qualify me as a mother. maybe instead of expecting to be adored and pampered on mother's day, i should be thankful that i am a mother. how many women long for children or have lost a child?

the tragic conclusion of this long and rambly post is that the world doesn't revolve around me, although i totally think that it should. i know that i am a brat. i'm working on it, but apparently i am as good at training myself to be grateful as i am at teaching max not to bite.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

goodnight my precious jewel

my boys drive me crazy. i think i've mentioned that before. most days i get up with them in the morning and put them to bed at night. we spend a lot of time together. for me, a person who needs some quiet and space, all of that together time can be taxing.

sometimes i feel like a bad momma when i snarl at them to get out of my face. literally, tonight, ben had crawled into my chair on my lap and max was thrusting something in my face while they were simultaneously telling me stories. sometimes they literally run circles around me, shrieking with delight. and that's when they're in a good mood. i won't talk about the bad moods.

to say that they overwhelm me is an understatement. i think that's why i like taking pictures of them while they are asleep. quiet. undemanding. sometimes i go in and lay with them after they are asleep or stay for a bit just to watch them if they fall asleep during our night time ritual. sometimes it's the only time i feel connected to them instead of bombarded by them.

i try to be patient and kind, but i fail a lot. a lot! i know that it's not their fault. there is no human-baby, child, or adult that i would like to spend my whole day with from waking to sleep. i feel guilty a lot for my desire for space from them or for when i'm not patient and kind. i worry that that's what they'll remember of their childhood and of me.

but then there's moments that ease my worry. max has been very affectionate lately. giving me hugs and kisses willingly when i leave for work. stopping what he's doing throughout the day to tell me that he loves me. coming from the kid who sometimes (maybe often) gives me death glares, that means a lot. maybe he's not forever scarred by our battles of wills after all.

tonight i had a terrible headache while i was tucking the boys in. max spent most of the time huffing and puffing because i didn't read them a story. i finally said ENOUGH! "there i go again, ruining our time together with my hot temper."

as i quietly said our prayers, i laid facing ben with my eyes closed. occasionally i would open them to see him nodding off to sleep. when he would see we watching him, he would give me sleepy smiles. is there anything in the world better than sleepy smiles? after i finished prayers i stayed for a bit. i thought they were both asleep. i reached over and brushed ben's cheek, "goodnight my treasure." as i got up, i heard from behind me, "goodnight my precious jewel" and i felt his arms around me.

maybe they can feel the love after all.

Friday, April 27, 2012

rooster run

last thursday morning i was running late for work so i asked ben to go unlock the chickens while i finished making breakfast. several minutes later, i heard the door slam and ben crying. a scared/hurt cry. i came around the corner and found him crumpled on the floor. i was really concerned and asked him what was wrong. he looked at me with the most betrayed look, "why didn't you come help me? i was yelling for help and you didn't come!" still confused i asked him what happened again. while i held him he reported that after unlocking the chickens, the rooster chased him all the way back to the house (a distance of about 100 yards?), jumping up and pecking him, while he ran, screaming for help. i felt so terrible that he felt like i'd let him down, but at the same time, i had to suppress a smile at the thought of him being chased by the rooster. obviously terrifying for him, and i'm sure this solidifies my place in the mean mom hall of fame, but probably pretty hilarious at the same time.  i was really bummed i'd missed the show.

i got him calmed down, got him smiling by renaming our rooster bandolino from a book that we had read in which the boy's aunt has a mean rooster named bandolino, got him to eat his breakfast, and headed off to work. (i'm thankful to have an employer that is pretty flexible about when i show up, especially if there's a family emergency like a rooster attack!)

after the incident, which ben dubbed "the rooster run", ben was very cautious whenever he went outside. the chickens have free range and often hang out in the corral and forest where the boys play. whenever ben would go outside, he would take a broom with him in case bandolino tried to get him again. he would not go out to the chicken house by himself and even when with me, he was very cautious.

enter tim, dad extraordinaire, and his suit of armor. the little shield in the front allows ben to stick his hand through the box to unlock the chicken's door. after making the armor, tim took ben out to the chickens and bandolino was the one who was terrified now. it definitely put the spring back in ben's step to be back on top of the farm pecking order.

Monday, April 2, 2012


we had known that little ms. mia tortilla was growing some babies (as ben and max would have excitedly told you if you had stopped by), but we didn't known when they would make their appearance. after mass last sunday, before he left for work, tim was having a chat with mia and decided that i needed to give her some birthing advice. he then scolded me for my un-encouraging birthing advice.  

(mia enjoying a dry nap during the rainy week. i was impressed she could still balance on the rail with that big belly.)

apparently tim was picking up on mia's birthy vibes because while we were gone on sunday, she had her babies. but it was were she decided to have the little ones that made it all the more eventful!

we had made a "nest" for her using an old dog house and some towels, but apparently she didn't approve. although mia is an outside cat, she occasionally sneaks in the house if the boys leave the door open and hides under the futon upstairs. sometimes i don't even realize the boys have let her in and we'll leave the house. whenever that happens, she's waiting by the door to be let back out when we get home.

last sunday (3.25.12) was a busy day with the baptism of my nephew, a family party to celebrate, and confirmation class in the evening. as we pulled out of the driveway to go to the party, the boys informed me they'd let mia in the house. "argh! oh well, we'll just her out when we get home." between the party and class, i came home to prep for class and totally forgot about mia. it wasn't until after class, which ran late, did i remember her. the boys and i had walked out in the dark, already way past bedtime, to lock up the chickens, and as we walked back to the house, holding hands and admiring the moon, it hit me.  i just knew that she'd had the kittens in the house. why else had she not greeted me at the door when i came home to prep for class.

i didn't say anything to the boys and gave them a snack so that i could sneak upstairs to check on her. and there she was, behind the futon, with six adorable kittens. the boys quickly realized something was up and where over the moon to finally have the kittens out. although i liked the kittens, i had a hard time not focusing on the carpet that had endured the birth or the thoughts of what exactly we were going to do with this nest of kittens in our house. (i know, i'm heartless.)

we tried moving her outside tuesday but after hearing some scuffling on the deck after dark, we moved her back inside, but into the laundry room. she did not like that idea and actually pushed the pocket door off of it's track to get the door open, then moved the kittens back upstairs. we've since just let her stay upstairs and let her out when she needs a break to lay in the sun or wander in the forest. she can hop back in the house whenever she's ready through an open window with the screen off. but that only works during the day. that had been our night time plan as well, until tim noticed her sitting on the inside ledge, nose to nose with a raccoon, who was on the outside ledge! yes,  let's please add a raccoon to our little menagerie!

i have not handled this little event very well. i'm not an indoor animal type of person, mia is not litter box trained, and although i really didn't want anything to happen to the kittens, i also didn't really want them inside our house. tim's answer to most things is, "it will be fine." to his credit, he was very patient with all my analyzing and whining. he also moved the kittens outside, even though he wanted them to stay inside. he also patiently moved them back inside once i freaked out after the weird noises on the deck, making cute, reassuring responses to all of the kittens meowing. (he also does a really hilarious impression of a kitten, but it might take some serious bribes to get to see it.)

all of my kitten freak outs were not helping my case that we are ready for another baby. tim's probably right about that, but that's a post for another day that i'll probably never get to.

who could resist this face?

Friday, March 16, 2012

not cool.


i just spent an hour writing a really lovely post about children's books while the boys watched sesame street, complete with pictures and links, and then when i tried to save it or publish it "an error had occured". BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

and now my text can only only be centered in this charming way that makes me want to break things.

but at least it's saving what i type. whew! what a relief.

i have never, EVER had a piece of paper and pen betray me in the ways that computers do. they let me write on the top or bottom or side whenever i want!!!!

and that's fine. you can be like my computer aps teacher in high school who always liked to remind me that computers only do what you tell them to do. except that THEY DON"T.

my relationship with computers in like the movie I, ROBOT. i guarantee, i will never get a robot.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

the beast.

i am obsessed with a project right now. when i started i had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what i was getting myself into. and considering that my usual projects are of the fast and dirty persuasion, this is unlike anything i have ever tackled before.

so, what is this project? (i know. most of you who read this already know.) why, a simple lil' 'ol rug for the boys' "playroom". except for the fact that it's huge and not simple at all.

tonight as i was working on the beast, ben told me that it would probably not be done until he was six. realistically, he could very well be right. the thought filled me with both despair and relief. despair that it might take me months to finish. relief that it will, eventually, be done.

my relationship with the rug has certainly been love/hate/totally crazy neurosis. i like the fact that, if i'm in fact able to acquire all my shirts as castoffs from friends and family, the rug will have cost me about a $1.50 to make. (the cost of the crochet hook, with a coupon.) a search on etsy for "rainbow rag rugs" will give you a lot of options. for the size i'm going for, to order one from one of those vendors would probably cost $600-$800. those searches also make me wish i had a loom, as i'm pretty sure weaving one would be a lot easier. but then again, i didn't think crocheting one would be all that difficult, so what do i know. plus, a loom would take up a lot of space and cost more than a buck fitty.

i really like all the colors and if i live to see the day, i know i'll be quite proud of myself when i gaze on the finished project.

that is, if i live to see the day. when i first started the rug, i was spending way too much time on it and caused myself quite a bit of physical pain. my wrists hurt. my neck was killing me. i really wasn't sure if the beast was a good idea. of course i powered through, because that's what i do, but it was making me bitter.

and then i started to think about the potential emotional pain. like how i would feel if ben and max decided to yank out random loops while i foolishly thought they were happily playing with legos. or if they cut it. or if....

in our home, i try not to get too attached to things because my guys are pretty destructive. we live with hand-me-down pretty much everything because i don't want to deal with the frustration of them ruining stuff i've actually spent hard earned money on. but if i spend a bajillion hours on this thing and they harm one, single, brightly colored thread of this, i was concerned that i might lose it. or one of them.

i've made peace with most of my issues. i've slowed down my pace a lot after a visit to my chiropractor, who, without saying anything to her about what i had been up to, knew i was in bad shape. plus i figured that if i had to keep going in for adjustments, my rug wouldn't be so thrifty after all. if it takes me a couple months to finish it, then so be it. the playroom is totally playable as is.

and i've accepted that some harm could very well come to the rug, but i'm already in it this far and would hate to rip it all out. i will give my boys a firm taking to about how i value the rug as much as them and will protect it as fiercely as i protect them.

so i keep plugging along.

i've made pretty good progress and time wise it will probably only take me another 40ish hours to finish (she says with terror and hope), but i'm running low on shirts, so that could bring me to a standstill. so if any of you dear readers have any brightly colored t-shirts that you're not really using, send them my way. your name will be inscribed on the rug memorial plaque and your shirts will live on for all posterity in our family.

and now if you'll excuse me, i've got a few rows to crochet tonight.

Monday, February 27, 2012

dear time: SLOW DOWN!

life is going fast these days. i like fast better than mind-numbingly slow and monotonous, but sometimes i just want to process one experience at a time. tell things to stop. wait. it's not your turn. but that's just not how it goes.

:: right now we are in the midst of packing up some very dear friends and shipping them off to the north. it is a hard thing to do-help someone you love (or 7 someones in this case) leave you. but it must be done and so we do it.

:: last week a new little lion cub joined our big family. i'll admit: i made them dinner that second night after his arrival, even though my day was hectic, so that i'd have an excuse to go meet the long awaited fella. so handsome.

:: it is on my mind most days that we are home-ben leaving us in the fall for all day kindergarten. there were months there that i would have happily sent him off. and he would have been happy too. he'll still be happy. and maybe by then i'll be ready. or maybe we'll do something else.

i've been wanting to carve out some time in the last couple days to really sit down in this space, but it just hadn't quite happened. and then tonight, as i was winding down and all most ready to log off, i tapped over to apartment therapy for one last visual kick, one more clever idea to file away in the "home" file in my brain, and i saw this post: Pondering the Meaning of the American Sofa. i didn't even read the npr article, but i liked the thoughts of the a.t. writer. i too ponder and mull a lot about our home. not just the way it looks, but the way it works and feels to us and others. i figured that if i shared it here, it might get me going a little bit. it worked.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

*dusting off cobwebs*

so now it is february. as the sidebar will show for all of posterity, i have neglected this space for all of january, almost like january 2012 never existed. accept for the fact that, quite the opposite, january was a very full month.

so full in fact that i decided to live it instead of write it. my mom's birthday, a million family birthdays, a tea party, an awesome gathering of friends, lots of work days, days spent at the park (in january!!!), the arrival of chickens.... a very full month indeed.

so yes, i was busy in january, but i would say my bigger reasons for not writing are:

1. tim acquired an iphone for me in december, so i do most of my at home computing on that. i can read blogs and check facebook, but it helps me from getting sucked into the internet for hours at a time because staring at the tiny screen gets uncomfortable after awhile. since i spend my work time in front of the laptop, i don't really want to pull it out and fire it up when i'm not working. this is good for my life, but bad for blogging.

2. as i've said before, i'm not a brief person. obviously, you know this. so i don't really care for posts that are just a picture and a few sentences. and even doing that would probably take me at least 30 minutes by the time i fire up the computer(because i think it takes all of 2 minutes. i'm just that blessedly impatient!), upload the picture, etc.

3. i feel like other people are in my head stealing my material and writing it better than i can. so why bother.

i remembered that i had written a post back in yonder days entitled, "why i blog" so i looked it up to remember, why did i used to blog more?

well, i still find those things to all be true-i find writing to be therapeutic, i like to put on a good show, and i think honesty in the blogosphere is important, even if my part in that space is a teeny, tiny speck. but my life has changed a lot since march of 2010. max was 1 1/2 when i wrote that, ben was 3 3/4. ben is practically a grown up now and max sometimes goes whole afternoons without throwing a major tantrum. and max used to nap back in those days. and tim's work schedule was different. while he still has crazy hours, back then he often wouldn't get home until midnight or later. and i work a couple days a week and get to interact with other adults who i get to joke around with. and at least from what i read online, i find a lot more honesty than i used to. way back when, it seemed like everyone else had the perfect husband, the perfect kids, the mostly perfect under control lives, and the perfect food, crafts, etc. i felt the need to express that, while my life was good, it fell short of perfection every once in awhile.

i really like writing, but, most of the time, i have other things that i'd rather be doing at the end of the day. this post resonated with me on the feminist housewife-the idea of prioritizing. while tim and i fantasize about days that have 30 hours, or even just 26, i don't have enough hours in the day to do all the things that i'd like to do, and at this stage in my life, i've found sleep, time with my husband when he's around, and a clean house are more important to me than writing.

that being said, i'm really going to try to carve out some time to share a few things that have been in my brain and not have to spend each blog post explaining why i haven't been blogging.

until then, over and out.