Monday, November 30, 2009

Imaginary Holiday Dress-Up

If we had a little girl, this is what she would be wearing for Christmas at the relatives' house. It's from BabyGap. And for a little boy, these:

Sorry, little biscuits. Mom is kinda preppy.

Thinking and Talking...

Last night, my husband and I got some major food for thought. We went to visit some friends who have four children and a new puppy, and we stayed for the whole day. Watching other people deal with their kids is always interesting, and always makes me think of how my husband and I will handle our kids.

On the ride home, we chatted about the kids, discipline, parental involvement and structure. It is nice to know that we are on the same page on so many issues when it comes to kids. Im very glad that I am married to a guy that doesnt want to sit back and watch me raise our kids.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Letting a Baby Cry...Opinion Shitstorm

Today I was reading the blog Heir to Blair, which is fabulously snarky. Love it.

Anyhoo, one of her posts was about how she and a friend of hers were discussing the natural feelings that occur when your child has been screaming for no apparent reason, for hours. You can read that here. It's a refreshingly honest post, and it was great to read all the supportive comments behind it.

Afterwards, I googled "Is it ok to let a baby cry?"

It amazed me how many people out there believe that it is not ok for a baby to cry by itself, ever. There were many comments about how babies only have the one way of communicating, so we should always be right there to listen and comfort them.

Whatever. If a baby is fed, clean, dry, and comfortable, that's about all you can do. Sure, any reasonable person knows that babies need lots of contact and love. That's why God made them so cute--so people would want to pick them up and nuzzle them. But the idea that babies only cry because the caretaker is not doing something right is absolute madness. Some posts out there were downright terrible. No wonder some new parents feel like failures--they have people out there telling them it is never acceptable for their child to be inconsolable.

I think there has to be a healthy understanding that there is a limit to what parents can do to soothe a baby. And once you have exhausted all those options, there is nothing wrong with putting the kid in his crib and taking a shower with some music on. It's all about maintaining your sanity at that point, and that is what is best for the baby.


Things I am thankful for:
-Health for me and my husband
- My husband
- Great family
- The blessed assurance of heaven

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Getting Pretty...Organized

My husband and I are currently working through Financial Peace University, with Dave Ramsey. If you havent heard of him, he is an uncommon-sense financial advisor. And he kicks your butt a little bit. We are both getting a lot out of the course, and it has inspired me to organize our paperwork and our monthly bills.

Which brings up another issue. I hate our "landing strip" in our home. A "landing strip" is where you routinely drop all your keys, mail, sunglasses, spare change, etc as soon as you walk in the house at the end of the day. It is currently on our kitchen counter, and I hate that I am giving up precious kitchen space for junk mail.

There is a blank piece of wall directly across from our back door, just calling out for a dresser or a bookshelf... and I'm thinking this could be our new landing strip! Since it is right next to our living room and kinda in our dining room, (we have an open floor plan,) everything would have to be functional AND pretty. I have a dresser in storage that needs paint or refinishing. It would be perfect.
And now, to accessorize: I will need one of these wire baskets from thedarlinghouse on etsy for mail dumping.

And one of these platters from CB2 for change and keys.

Although, I shudder to think what Dave Ramsey would say if he heard I was planning on buying new stuff so I could get my bills organized, to save money. He would probably tell me to sell my car.

Floating Shelf

I think that I would like a shelf or two like this above my nightstand. They are cheap, functional and attractive. Come January, I am going to start a series called The Weekend Project, where I tackle a small project every week. I have a list a mile long of things to do!

Men and Chairs.... I Look For the Same Qualities

Our dining room chairs are a death-trap. We thought we might be hosting Thanksgiving this year, so a week or so ago I trotted on down to our local IKEA to buy some replacements. (As IKEA is the only thing in our budget at the moment.)

I couldn't bring myself to buy the chairs that I had picked out online. They just looked so.... cheap. I'll tell you what I want...(what I really, really want)... six of these:

Aren't they just lovely? I love things that are sturdy AND beautiful. (Hi honey!) These chairs look like they will be around for the next fifty years, too. Tolix has a great reputation. And, I love the fact that no matter what gets spilled on them, you can just wipe it right up. No harm, no foul.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Nevers and Always

These are so I can document how much I change if I ever become a parent:

- I dont want my kids to be spoiled. I want them to be happy with crayons and a new coloring book for Christmas when they are little.

- I dont want my kids to have 'stupid' toys. If it has a battery, lights and bright plastic, I dont want it in the house. I want my kids to play with books, puzzles, wood blocks and cloth dolls.

- My kids will not hit the dogs and get away with it. I hate it when parents let their children pull animals' tails and ears and play it off like it's cute. It's not cute. And I dont blame Fido for yelping and nipping at them.

- I will not let me kids bump into or push strangers without either me or the kid apologizing for their actions. Kids do not exist in a vacuum. Just because you think your kid is adorable while running through the grocery store/library/restaurant doesnt mean everyone else does.

- I will spank my kids if I think it is best for them. (Shocked, arent you? Im ok with that.)

- I am going to be a f-ing mother bear when it comes to my kids. If someone thinks they know better for my kids, or tries to undermine my or my husband's authority with them... so help blood pressure rises just thinking about it.

- The kids do not rule the house. They do not rule the marriage. They dont. The best thing a man can do for his kids is to love their mother. The best thing a woman can do for her kids is to love their father. The marriage has to be able to last after the kids are out of the house.

- My kids will not have the luxury of being picky eaters. If they get hungry enough, they will eat. Im not talking about allergies, here. My parents never gave us the option of being picky, and it never occurred to us kids that we had the choice. If children are starving in Africa, my kid shouldnt be able to whine about not liking tuna casserole.

- On the same note... I get to pick out what my kids wear, to an extent. My Mom picked out my clothes until I was eight or so. And then, she didnt let me argue with her at the store. She picked it out, and I put it on. I have no problems with kids having CHOICES between outfits, but if they aren't buying it, they dont have much say in what those choices are, now do they?

- Furniture is not a trampoline or a punching bag. Get your freaking feet off the sofa.

Blessed Ignorance

So, I read blogs. Blogs about lots of things, including Mom blogs.

Here's the thing... (dont hate me for saying this out loud...) Can it really be THAT hard? (I can sense that the future me is going to want to kick present me's ass someday.)

I used to babysit all the time, and it wasnt that hard. You cook, clean, play with them, put them down for a nap and listen to them cry for awhile. I babysat babies, toddlers and kids for years. It wasnt that difficult. I dealt with poo, vomit, pee, blood, boogers, snot and bruises. I have gotten cat food out of a baby's mouth and been bitten in the process, dealt with an explosive diaper, (that kid got a bath), and built a fort out of couch pillows to keep a kid contained during their nap.

So, (again forgive me,) when I hear that a Mom cant find time to take a shower for two days, my initial reaction is to scoff a little bit. My initial reaction is to say... well, they must be doing it WRONG.

I am fully aware that this position is based on woeful ignorance of actually being a parent, but isnt parenting just very, very long-term babysitting, with way more responsibility and love? Is it just harder because you care more? To me, if you need to take a shower, you take a shower. You strap the kid in their bouncy chair and bring them into the bathroom with you. Or you plop the little booger in the crib. Fifteen minutes of irritation or boredom wont kill it.

That would work....right??

Things that Irritate Me...

I hate it when radio stations spend a lot of time talking about how many songs they play. On my local station, it sounds something like this:

"Hey, it's Marco in the morning! Our eighteen songs in a row is coming right up! Don't touch that dial!"
"Hey, it's Marco! Eighteen in a row starts right now!"
"That was Black Eyed Peas! Number one in our eighteen songs in a row!"
"And there's Lady GaGa. Stay tuned for more of our eighteen songs in a row!"
"This is YTPLU, your eighteen songs in a row station!"
"Hey, it's Marco! That was Alicia Keys. We're in the middle of eighteen songs in a row!"

I swear, they could be a TWENTY in a row station in the same amount of time if they would stop all the yapping.

Yes, Please....

What is the Point?

Sometimes, I really want an intercom system on my car. You know, one of those things that will broadcast your voice over a loudspeaker attached to the outside of your car?

The other day, this is what I would have broadcast on the freeway: "Excuse me? Mr. Porsche? What is the point of having that vehicle if you dont know how to drive it? I mean, come on. At least go the speed limit. Or have the courtesy to get out of the fast lane."

As I passed him on the right, I saw that it was some old dude driving. Wearing a leather jacket, no less. Um, mid-life crisis, anyone? That guy owning that car is the equivilant of those odd couples you see in Vegas, where the man is eighty-three and the chick is maybe twenty-five. Sure you got it, sir... but what the heck is the point if you can't DO anything with it?

Nasty People (at Starbucks) Part Three...

Im starting to think that God is trying to cure me of my morning coffee addiction. Either that, or I need to go find a new Starbucks.

There are some times that I have to mentally talk myself through not hitting someone because their proximity has activated my flight or fight response. I mean, I hate it when people refuse to stand behind you in line--they stand next to you instead. I want to turn to them and say, "No, we are not here together. Step BACK."

This morning, I was literally sneezed on. Yes, SNEEZED on. This chick was SO close to me it was nasty before the sneeze. She was clearing her throat and I swear I could hear the phlegm rattling in there. Then, she sneezed, ON ME and said, "Oh, bless me."

BLESS you? Girl, you are lucky I have the love of Jesus in my H-E-A-R-T.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Questions to Ask Before Having a Baby

Ah, yes. The madness continues unabated.

I read an article on about questions you should ask youself before having a baby. I thought I would answer them here, for your viewing amusement:

1. How many kids do we envision having?

I dont know about my husband, but I think that three would be just about perfect. I came from a family with three kids, and I like the dynamic. Two kids is too few, four kids might be too much. Five is WAY too many.

2. How old is too old to have a baby?

I want to have my first kid before I even turn 29. Holy crap, we need to get crackin'.

3. And how old is too old to have kids in the house?

Can I kick them out before they hit 13?

4. If we got pregnant next month, what would we think? Yay? Yikes??

How about "Yaykes"?

5. Are there things we desperately want to do or accomplish before becoming a trio?

I want to stay home with the babies until they are six months old at least. So, we need to be saving for that. And, I would at least like to be into nursing school when I get pregnant.

6. Who's the first person we'd tell?

I would want to tell my Mom and Dad first, after I passed the first trimester. Then, I would want to tell my sister, and my sister in law. Then, I would want to wait until after the second trimester, and tell everyone else. That way, people have waaaay less time to ask me about the goings on of my uterus. Living hours away from all family has it's benefits sometimes.

7. What lifestyle changes will we need to make when we become parents?

This is the one that I am concerned about. I like driving fast with my music loud and ordering pizza and not folding laundry and sleeping in. Ah, how I love sleep. I also like cussing at people while driving. It calms me down. What if I have to give all that up? What if I stop being me? I dont want to change so much that I dont recognize myself in the mirror.

8. Do daddies (or mommies) do diapers?

Since we are planning on using cloth diapers, I know that I will be the one doing the diaper laundry. But we will both change the diapers. This is only fair. I hate it when I hear stories of Dads waiting until the Mom gets home, so she can change the diaper. Some people think that is hilarious. I think that is selfish bullshit. What about that poor little bumkin who is sitting in his own poo for the extra half an hour? If it is that messy, stick him in the bath and rinse him off. Easy, peasy.

9. Who's going to take care of the kids?

Um, this question confuses me. Obviously, the parents will, right? I mean... is this question referring to daycare? If that is the case, I hope that my Mom moves up near me. If not, I will look into having one of my friends, (a very experienced mother) watch them once or twice a week.

10. What's our response when people ask about baby plans?

I tell them we aren't ready. I still might be saying that when I am eight months pregnant.

Little Changes for a Little One

So, I cant make all the changes neccessary for having a baby right now, but I can make some of them:

-I have switched us over to Charlie's Soap, a non-toxic, environmentally responsible soap that is safe for babies. I figure, by the time the kid gets here, everything in the house will have been washed at least once with the stuff.

- We are getting a gun safe of some kind in the near future. VERY important, since my husband is a hunter and gun enthusiast. Those suckers will be locked up so tight... We are already responsible gun owners, but there have not been any children under the age of 13 in our house, and that was just the one time. We need to start looking at the house from a different angle.

- We're pulling the big goalie, and switching to rubber ones. I have read that it can take up to a year to return to full fertility after removing an IUD, so I have my appointment in a couple of weeks.

- Getting the house/yard/body cleaned up. We have some SERIOUS work to do on this one. Our yard looks like no one has done anything with it in a year. (Oh, I suppose that's true. Full time work and school will do that, I guess.)
It's not much, but it is all I can control. That, and adding more folic acid to my diet.

Impatience and Planning and Control

Warning: This is a very disjointed post, and it is a tad depressing.

I have a problem with patience. I hardly have any. And I have a problem with not having a plan. For the last year, I have had focus. I have been getting all my pre-reqs done for nursing school. But now, the semester is closing, and all my pre-reqs will be done. So I have to just wait. And I dont like waiting. I like a plan, a list, and no unknowns.

I have no idea how this is all going to work out. If I get into nursing school for the fall, the decision will be easy. I will go through school and then have kids. But what if I dont get in for the fall? Or the next spring? How long will I wait to get into nursing school before having babies? I'm freaking out a bit. My birthday is around this time, and I will turn a number that ushers me into a new era, a bit. The OFFICIAL late twenties. And, according to some experts, the age when your fertility starts to decline.

I know that we "cant" afford to have kids right now. It is scary just to think about it. But according to some people, no one can really afford to have kids. And I want to stay home with ours, which makes it even more difficult. I dont think it is fair to dump all that reponsibility on my husband, either.

It is such a crappy balancing act. How long should we wait? What if, in three years, we can afford to have kids, but I'm now infertile? What if we have a baby and really can't afford it?

And most confusing of all, why does this suddenly matter to me? It's like I came around the corner of this year, saw this birthday looming, and now I want a baby. And I'm so not ready for a baby. I have a crapload of things to do before it's even possible. Finances, weight, getting the house ready, finishing a bunch of projects, figuring out a support system, my career, my husband's health, the yard, getting on the same page with my husband. So I guess the question is, how can I be ready when Im SO NOT ready??

I'm trying to fight these feelings off. I would rather not have these wants when there is nothing I can do about it. There are so many things out of my control. Frankly, Im a tad miserable right now. It is hard to keep working towards things that you have no control over.

I have no control whether I get into school this time around. It is a lottery system, pretty much. And I have no control over when or if my husband feels ready for kids. Getting our house refinanced would really help with the finances aspect, but I have no control over whether that will happen. I have no control over whether we meet some good people up here and make friends, (we've been trying for like four years.... it's like quadruple blind dating.) My one Christian friend is moving away in a month.

It is a frustrating feeling, this impotence. Like, nothing I want in my life matters. It doesn't matter that I want this or that. Why should I have to feel these feelings, when I can't do jack shit about it? Yes, I am having a pity party. But it's my birthday, and I'll cry if I want to. Happy freaking birthday! Your eggs are dying!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Nasty People, Part Two

What is it with me and Starbucks? I meet the NICEST people there. (That was my sarcastic voice, in case you couldn't tell.) This morning, this couple was standing there chatting while an obviously new barista was making our coffees. (Is it still called a barista if it is male?) The man who was waiting started sighing deeply, and put his hand on his hip. "What is taking so long?" He says to his companion. "It never takes this long."

He then LEANS over the bar area in an attempt to see what the poor barista-guy is doing. The customer looks at me and says all huffy, "What is he DOING back there?" loud enough for everyone to hear. I looked the dood right back in the eye and said clearly, "He's working." I swear, the guy looked like he had just sucked on a lemon. His lips pursed up real tight and he turned his back to me.

In short, it was awesome. I walked out wishing I had been even more clear. I wish that I had said, "Oh, sir. The barista obviously isn't aware of how important your time is. He must not know who you are." I mean, seriously. Who is so freaking busy that they don't have the time to wait a minute longer for their latte? If you have the time to go to Starbucks, you have the time to WAIT at Starbucks. And the barista was obviously new. Have some freaking compassion, dude.

People really piss me off sometimes.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Things I Hope For My Children

1. I hope my kids aren't TOO attractive. Don't get me wrong... I don't want my kids to be hideous. But I certainly do not want them to be so pretty or handsome that they do not have to develop character, personality and a sense of humor. In my experience, super-gorgeous people usually grow up with a sense of entitlement and arrogance. No freaking thank-you.

2. If they are girls, I hope they get my hair texture. (No offense, honey.) But if they get my husband's hair texture, we are in for a LARGE hair products/straightening-iron bill every month.

3. I hope they are smart. Smart about people, money, politics, and their family.

4. I hope they aren't shy and timid and prim and delicate. I have interacted with those kind of babies/toddlers/kids and always found it highly distasteful. I once babysat a baby who didn't really cry, he just kinda whimpered. I was always like, "If you're going to cry, you might as well scream, dammit! Buck up!" I hope my kids throw themselves into life with wild abandon; scraped knees, grass stains and broken arms be damned.

5. More than any of these, I hope they grow up and love Jesus like crazy. I hope He is the center of their lives from an early age, all the way up until they pass away.

Things That Make My Blood Pressure Skyrocket

I work in a building that is zoned industrial. Right now, the people next door are making good use of that zoning by REPEATEDLY HITTING THE SIDE OF A METAL BOX TRUCK WITH A HAMMER FOR NO APPARENT REASON. It has been going on for I-shit-you-not at least 15 minutes.

This has an extraordinary effect on my blood pressure. After about 2 minutes of this madness, I opened the door with a super-glarey look on my face, and it was all I could do to not scream, "What the FUCK are you DOING?!?" at them. They obviously did not see my glares, and since the noise was a lot louder with the door open, I went and sat back down at my desk... fuming. I put on some Chopin and turned it up, and that really, really helped.

Maybe this is good practice for when there is a squalling baby in the house?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Nasty People, Part One in an Infinite Series...

So, I was standing in line at Starchuckles this morning, and a white-trashish dood and his wife were in front of me, with their two children. While his wife was ordering, the dood steps behind her, grabs her hips, and proceeds to rub his crotch in a back-and-forth then up-and-down motion on her posterior. This was neither subtle, nor sexy. It was kinda like he had an itch, and thought he would be best served to scratch it on her ass. She turned and they smiled at each other, and I threw up a little in my mouth.

As I was leaving the store, I thanked God again for whom I am married to.

Ladies That Sew

I am thinking of starting a girls' sewing night. I have no idea who would come to it. I only know two friends that sew, but I figure they might know other ladies that sew, too. It would be kinda like an open house for girls who want to get together, mingle and wow each other with their mad bobbin skills. With snacks, sans kids. Fun, right?