Sunday, October 30, 2011

I'm a Mom and it's all about the glamour

"Get back in there poop!" my daughter says after not pooping for at least four days.

I know eventually things will just click for her and it will all be wonderful but right now I'm at my wits end. And not because she won't shit in the toilet but because she spent an hour crying, screaming and flailing because she is so uncomfortable.

And next Sunday we have a time change. Last year the time change caused months of her waking up way too early.

Parenting is glamorous. I'm gonna start having people call me Marilyn Monroe.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hush little Mum-mum don't say a word

Sweet One was having troubles fall asleep tonight after an exciting evening of getting jacked up on her pink pumpkin full of candy. From what Big Love said she had SO much fun. I was feeding her brother when she came home stuffing a peanut butter cup in her face as she told me that she was home.

I started bedtime with her around 730. (I'm trying to slowly move her time clock later with the hopes that the time change won't be the beginning of months when 500 is her usual time to wake up!) At 815 I left her room, five minutes later I heard her singing and then around 830 she was calling for me so I crawled in with her.

Once in awhile I really don't mind it if she needs me to help her relax a little bit. I'm not going to have these moments forever!

A few minutes after she settled down she reached over and rubbed my cheek to make sure I was still there. It tickled a little.

What I didn't love was that I can't remember exactly what time I crawled in with her which also means I have no idea how long I fell asleep for! It was probably only a few minutes but these days a few minutes at the wrong time of day will make the rest of my night completely messed up. Too bad I didn't just pass out and stay there sleeping peacefully for the rest of the night!

But really, I'm going to remember her little fingers on my cheek more than a few lost hours of sleep!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Our skies were blue

The weather ended up absolutely gorgeous and we were able to spend so much time outside! Sweet One absolutely loved going fishing - with a stick and a piece of red yarn tied to the end. (This is how Big Love learned to fish and I call it "fishing with no hope in hell of catching anything".) She also loved running around to her heart's desire!

While I will have many memories of walking outside with the kids, I will also remember how much I loved the quiet. I used to find silence hard to handle for too long but this time around I loved it. It seemed to recharge me. While Little Man slept in the morning, Big Love and Sweet One went on adventures as I read a magazine and drank my Americano. With no chores looming I felt like I could truly turn off my brain and not worry about a thing! There was more quiet as the kids napped in the afternoon (although Little Man had troubles sleeping at this time of day).

Big Love and I filled our short time between the kids going down and us going to sleep with conversation. Usually we fill it with tv shows so it was nice to realize that we can still carry on a conversation between the two of us for more than five minutes! As long as the conversation didn't require me to speak as I was counting the stitches in Little Man's blanket it was nice to reconnect!

Something that really surprised me was my own energy levels during our time at the park. While I was getting woken up two to four times a night, I was get out of bed much earlier and didn't feel like crap all day. I don't fully understand this and hoped that perhaps I could carry it on once I got home (I usually go back to bed until around 8 while Big Love watches the kids so I can catch up on some of the lost zzz's). Big Love reminded me that someone once told me that this town has a lower energy than others. I'm interested in learning more about why this is (and what it is) but at this point all I know is that it does affect me. We've noticed this on other trips as well. (Quite a princess I can be!)

As we drove home it didn't take long to realize that during our time away we had missed out on gray, drizzly skies. In the end, it was a great trip. We did have cheesecake, but it was just from the freezer section of the fabulous Target we stopped at on the way. It had a St. Arbucks inside! That's definitely my kind of combination! AND I finally managed to get to a Sonic Drive-In! I've wanted to go to one of those since we first crossed the border 5 years and 3 months ago! I had no idea there was one by the Target and so within two hours of being away from home I felt like I already had a great trip!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Because it made me chuckle

We needed to figure out our route to the USCIS office and so I sent him to the car to retrieve the map. Returning very quickly and empty handed he says, "There's a large animal out there! I heard it walking." And these are the pictures I had to take!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

One vacation a year, and it looks like shitty skies

Sadly, it has been a year since I've posted about vacations and that is because we haven't gone anywhere since. Tomorrow we will be leaving for the same state park as last year, sans cheesecake and I am having a few troubles finding any optimism for our stay. The weather will be similar. Drizzly days that are not very warm. Yes, I know that packing up and going to a cabin in October means taking a risk that the weather will suck ass, but last week at it was magnificent! We will be staying one day less than last year but that is probably better since we have a wee baby with us. (Then again, he's not so wee as he weighed in at 18lbs 9oz on Tuesday. I've now started calling him my little moose!)

In anticipation of crappy weather and being stuck in a cabin far too long I just finished making some supplies to keep Sweet One as demonstrative of her name as possible.
A play-dough recipe from my mom that never seems to have enough flour so I need to almost double it.
and some noodles soaked in rubbing alcohol (the fumes almost got a little too fun!) and food coloring that she can string onto yarn.

On the way home we have to stop in the nearby big city to give USCIS our fingerprints. (We've only been waiting for these appointments since the end of June!) I am hoping to be cleaned up and out the cabin door early so we can stop for breakfast and then get to either the Zoo or a Children's Museum. Again, weather permitting but I'm REALLY hoping we can do the Zoo because they have three different types of penguins and Sweet One is in love with penguins these days!

Maybe I'll be lucky and the weather will change bringing us brilliant skies and lots of outdoor adventures. But if it doesn't, wish me luck!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Being Thankful

It's the Thanksgiving weekend in Canada and even though I didn't make any pumpkin pie (opting rather to go to the park with the kids), we enjoyed turkey, roasted compost butternut squash and roasted potatoes.

My son ... he wakes me up multiple times a night, and in the morning I am not sure if I'm going to make it through the day without collapsing into a ball of exhaustion. But somehow I do. His smiles and giggles are enough to make up for the lack of sleep. And really, he's just hungry. I have a healthy boy who is slowly earning the nickname Little Moose because he is growing so quickly during this growth spurt that has lasted for two months and counting.

Sweet One ... she lives life to its fullest, teaching me what it means to not be scared to say hello to a stranger (and in some cases she gives them a hug) and also to take responsible for my actions. Because when she pushes my buttons she really pushes them. An alarm goes off and I learn very quickly that I need to take responsibility for how I react. And then twenty seconds later she has thrown on her cute and plants a kiss on me with such gusto that I sit there wondering how I was so lucky to have her as my daughter.

Big Love ... He deserves a prize. Stuck with whatever I have leftover at the end of every day (and I can guarantee you that since we made Little Man there isn't much of anything left over!), putting up with my mood swings and frustrations, and has never once raised his voice to me or said mean words. I'm not sure how he does it because there are times I am a cow and would fully deserve it. I'm much more lucky and thankful to have him in my life than I show him on a regular basis at this point in our lives. Fortunately, he doesn't seem to want to run and hide.

I've had struggles with the family I grew up in over the past few years, but I am thankful every day because they helped to shape who I am. Whether I am desperately trying not to do what my parents did or wishing I had the courage to take a leap of faith like my sister, my family will always be where I came from.

My friends rock. A kick in the pants to smarten me up, wise words that help me realize I'm not losing my mind, or helping me enjoy the day outside despite the fact that our kids are driving us nuts .... their numbers are huge, but the few close friends I have are worth more than gold.

I have a lot of 'have not' moments in my life. But really, I have more than I truly need. In our house that keeps us warm and protected from the outside, we have full bellies and lots of laughter. There are many who do not and I am thankful for this.

The random moments in a day that make me laugh ... this year was my best crop of butternut squash, and I didn't even plant any this year! They grew from my compost along with these small gourds. The funniest part is that two years ago we went to Baltimore and on our way back we stopped at a Trader Joe's. Sweet One found a gourd that she really liked and so we bought it for her entertainment while I continued to shop. That is the only gourd we have ever had and I remember throwing it in the compost. Two years later it has two kids. This is practically a family picture of us!
I am thankful for so much more than what I have typed but since my brain is slowly shutting down I will finish the day being thankful for television. Because when I am exhausted and my body hurts, there is nothing that turns off my brain better.

Friday, October 7, 2011

There is no where else to go

I've been struggling over the past few weeks about whether or not I want to continue attending the moms group that I do. Twice a month Sweet One and I go while Little Man stays home in the morning with his Dad. I drink coffee, sit at a table with other women, listen to the 'lesson' that they teach, do a craft and eat some food while Sweet One goes to the room where they have things set up with age appropriate activities for her. She seems to like it and I do not have another place at this point in time where she can go and socialize with her peers.

The group is a chapter of a national organization based upon concepts and beliefs of Evangelical Fundamentalism and we meet in a large church. The building is enormous and the strange bubble that we meet in is their sanctuary, carpeted to look like it doubles as a basketball court. I've struggled with Evangelical Fundamentalism since I first attended a church when I was sixteen. The sermon hour ended up with people laying on hands, fainting, crying out and having muscle spasm that they claimed was 'the spirit of the Lord God upon me!' The language they use to express their beliefs, the minimal education required for their pastors and how the bible is interpreted are all things I do not fully understand.

Last year it felt different for me. There have been a lot of new moms joining the chapter this year and the bigger it gets the more uncomfortable I am feeling. I am an introvert by nature and I get overwhelmed in too large of a group. I express these feelings by spurting out things I later regret or by getting too eager to talk (our discussion time is limited and I wonder if others feel like I don't share that time enough). I wish I could just sit back and relax, contributing to conversations only when my brain isn't feel like it is about to short circuit.

Another factor that seems to be contributing to my sense of uneasiness here is that I sense a division growing stronger within the group. The very large steering committee is comprised mostly of women who attend the church where we meet. They do a lot of things together. This chapter seems to be an extension of their already established social group that goes from church, to home to everywhere else in their lives. As the overall chapter grows larger the divisions of cliques becomes more established. I think I fear the meetings might end up like their Sunday morning services.

It is so hard for me to fully understand what I am uncomfortable with. While sitting at my table yesterday morning I had a complete view of the entire room. I looked around and saw some faces I recognized and many I hadn't. I starting feeling like we were all there to sit back and watch what the steering committee was doing; that what was being done was more to fulfill their own sense of purpose and self-importance than to build and foster a community of women.

If I were to stop attending these meetings there is nothing else like this in this little rural town. My friend attends as well and I know that she would be sad if I were not going. I like that it gives Sweet One somewhere to play with other children and begin to develop her social skills. (One of the women in the two year old room was my discussion leader last year and she says Sweet One is doing better and better every time.) However, shortly after each meeting this year Sweet One has developed a cold which has also affect Little Man. I don't want to spend the entire winter with sick children!

Maybe I can let go of my own ingrained biases about the denomination. Perhaps I'm dwelling on what I don't like about the denomination because I'm feeling self-conscious there. I'm 33 years old, fer fukk sake, so I should be able to behave myself a little better when I recognize my anxiety growing during the meetings! I just hate sitting here more than 24 hours after the meeting ended still regretting the petulant child who whined too much about the decaf running out quickly. If I'm really lucky, I may be able to gain enough self-confidence to not feel like people are looking at me funny wondering why I'm there. And the cherry on top would be that Sweet One won't get sick every time we go and if she does get sick, she'll fight it off quickly and not give the gersm to her brother. I don't really know. I do know that I wish there was a group in this area I could become a part of that I didn't feel like a sore thumb sticking out.