my little rock star







quirks

We all have our quirks.
Shaun rubs his nose with his fist, back and forth. I swear his entire nose must be made of rubber.
My friend Wendy hates all white foods ( even ranch and whipped cream).
Owen is afraid of ladybugs.
I hate to get things on my hands. Sometimes I can prepare myself for it and not totally freak out ( like when eating finger foods or playing in the mud w/O).....but if something accdientally finds it's way on my hands ( especially food or other ickies) I panick. I am no longer a normal functioning person and just start making werid noises until someone hands me a papertowel or napkin ( even if there is one already in my lap).
No I am not usually a neat freak. In fact I am probably one of the grossest people you know. My shower grows mold. I can go days without washing my hair. I never remember to change the sheets. With me the 30 second rule is more like a 3 minute rule. But I have zero tolerance for ick on me.
Kids completely throw this rule out the window. If the birthing process isn't gross enough it is quickly followed by lots of spit up and baby poop and crusty cords. It only gets more disguisting after that.
Yesterday, O came down with a fast fever. I was hosting a baby shower most of the day but met Shaun at one of those non emergency clinics on my way home. O said he had to go to the bathroom. So I pulled his pants off and set him on the potty. He pointed everything in the right direction and looked good to go, and then suddenly projectile vomited across the room. I did what any good consoling mom would do and jumped as far back as I good. As soon as I realized he was going to have a repeat performance, I pointed him over the toilet. Waited until he was finished and sought plastic bags, paper towels and Lysol wipes from the receptionist. We cleaned up. Changed O's clothes and got him some juice from the Subway next door while we waited on his strep test to come up positive.
About 2 hours later after picking up medications ( for the both of us),a few groceries , and washing Owen's puke clothes...I sat down to relax on the couch. I flipped through the channels and got comfy before relizing I was still wearing my puked on pants. I had attacked them with a lysol wipe in the doctor's office but I was still sporting some red pukey splashes with that classic odor that doesn't easily wipe away. I was so comfy and tired that I really had to talk myself into getting up and changing.
Today at breakfast I got pancake syrup on the back of my hand and had a meltdown. We must come with some kind of mommy immunity.

The mommy wars

I just read a blog relishing her new mommyhood. There were some statements that put me slightly on the defensive:

" I could never imagine choosing to work fulltime when I don't have to financially. I don't understand women who have children and continue to work for their fulfillment. I'll be completely honest. I'm sure that will offend some people. But as I watch this little life grow into a human being I just cant fathom giving her up to someone else to raise while I pursued monetary or career related success. Being a mother is truly one of the sweetest, hardest, most beautiful, soul searching, enormous journeys I can imagine. Every day she teaches me something about love, life, humanity and true happiness. When I think about missing this time the sadness is overwhelming."

These weren't offensive........but they do elicit a response. I read a lot of Christian parenting books that kind of paint the same picture but much more harshly. I feel like I need to be defending myself when I read those....so here is my honest response.
I work. I choose to. Sort of. We could not pay our current bills if I did not, but that doesn't mean we couldn't downsize, share a car, etc. and make it work if necessary. I've seriously consider it from time to time but always come to the same conclusion that this is what is best for me. For shaun. and for Owen ( and Tess).
Do I feel guilty? On occasion. Do I worry about missing out? Yes. Do I worry about him at school? Sometimes. Do I work to feel fulfilled? No. Do I work to impress others? No, come on I am a teacher that doesn't impress anyone. I like it. I enjoy my job. Is it more fulfilling than raising a son? of course not.......but I think I can do both.
I don't stay home well. I relish the summers and days home with O. We go to the zoo and swim and ride the train. I don't feel pressure to clean or break out flashcards. We just play ( and sit in time out). But I know that it is temporary. That it is 2-3 stolen months to cram in as much fun as I can. I try not to miss out and be fully there. And then back to grown ups ( and high school kids).
Some women I know were born to stay home. They make amazing meals. Sew things from scratch and seem to have the patience of Mother Theresa. They never seem to grow bored of playing with legos or eating mac and cheese ( and they make the fancy kind of mac and cheese that sneaks veggies in). Long stretches of stay at home-ness make me a bit crazy. After a few hourse I just want to find a nice cartoon for O and take a nap, or write a blog or read a grown up magazine rather than One Fish Two Fish. I don't sew, I hate cleaning. I like cooking, but not the mundane every night dinner-ness. I do occasionally craft and I do slide down slides. I can sing ring around the rosie until I am dizzy, but I also say a silent thank you when shaun's truck pulls into the drive way. I gladly hand off my beloved child and do something adult ( like go to the bathroom by myself) or go get a cup of coffee. I also attack him with my day. I unload all the words ( at least the ones bigger than one syllable) that I have been saving up all day on him. He is overwhelmed, and I think prefers my normal slightly tired from teaching welcome that involves a lot less handing off and words.
So what do I do? Stay home becuase one side of society tells me it is the best thing. It is the good Christian thing....while I drive my husband crazy and deal with my feelings of inadequacy in this role.
Or I teach. The profession I chose becuase I felt it was where God was leading me. Somedays I am tired. Somedays I feel pulled and tugged and of course guilty for my decision. But most of the time I feel good about it. I relish my time with my kid. I savor the summer and days off. I pay someone to help me clean every other week ( but my house is still usually a wreck). I pick up take out more often than I should. Most days you will find me from 4 -6 outside playing with my son. I don't usually count the seconds until Shaun is supposed to get home. Owen seems all the more well adjusted for it. He likes his school ( conviently located across the street) and his classmates ( one pretty brunette named Cloe a little too much). He has a happy mom even if she isn't around every second. I think I made the right choice. For me that is.I may dislike many of the things associated with being home all day, but I love my kid. More than grading papers or my students or my paycheck. If I had to choose one over the other I would gladly pick O. Thankfully, Shaun and so far God has not made it an either or decision for me.

number 2







The second child always seems to get the shaft. To be honest I couldn't even tell me where the 8 week sono picture is and I never even emailed it to anyone.



This pregnancy has flown by so far. I have a feeling that for the summer chasing a three year old who refuses to nap and wearing a bathing suit while wearing skin for two might not move as quickly. Don't get me wrong I have noticed. Every time I puked, didn't get a much longed for afternoon nap ( most days) and couldn't button my pants I was reminded of this baby. The incessant kicking lately is also insisting that it's presence be made known.....what I mean is a sever lack of planning and thinking about all things pastel and powdery. Yes I still check the sites weekly to see how she has grown. I occasionally worry that she is ok. I have tried not to lift things that are too heavy......except of course for Owen and have decided it is ok to quit the gym. What I hadn't done is settle on a name ( well at least for a boy, thankfully we won't be needing one), pick out bedding, think about what I need, paint colors, clean, or generally spend much time obsessing over baby furniture and paraphernalia.



Yesterday was my 5 month appointment and after much deliberation the sonogropher ( after 3 different trips in and out of her office) announced that it was a girl. Owen immediately plopped himself onto the floor and and cired that he did not want a baby sister. We left with sonogram pictures and me slightly kicked into gear.



This is no longer a little alien fetus that I can put off and plan for later, but a baby girl. Tess Harper. She will need bedding and a painted room and non-blue onsies ( notice I didn't say pink). I texted my little heart out and emailed out a few pics. She has a name and a gender and I think I just might start obsessing. I wandered down the baby aisles at Target. For the first time, other than shopping for presents I lingered on the pink side.

think pink

after several attempts my sonographer finally committed to a girl dignosis. Negaitve side of that.......in the womb this baby is even uncooperative. Positive side.......she likes to keep her legs crossed.
I'll scan and post some pics later.

overgrown

We have the worst yard on the cul-de-sac. I am not exaggerating. Even the abondoned house's lawn is kept up better than ours. We hate yard work. Our noses run. Our eyes get red and itchy and it is already stinkin hot. Our neighbors on both sides seem to disagree. They love yard work and are out 2-3 times a week working in their flower beds, trimming hedges and mowing. They don't seem to mind spending lots of money on landscaping and lawn equipment while I would much rather buy a new shirt.
Eventually my grassy flower beds start to get to me and I attempt to weed them out. It is always the same story. As I am pulling weeds and avoiding ants -- I swear I will keep it up better this year. That I will pull weeds when I see them, rather than waiting for my annual event. It takes days. I usually get my first good sunburn of the year and thorns somehow make their way through the gloves and scratch my hands. It is usually too much so I get what I can and pour mulch over the rest, promising once again to pull up the ones that sprout through the the second I see them.
Yesterday my knees and back ached as I pulled. I considered making those same promises but figured they were pretty empty. I also noticed about 4 inches of mulch and ruled and my cover up plans for the last of the weeds. I couldn't help but ponder how much easier this would be if I never let it get so bad.
Sin does that. It comes in takes over and is overgrown before you even notice it. At that point it is a big tangled mess and hard to remove. Sometimes we can cover it up nicely with a fresh bag of mulch -- but eventually it makes it way through that as well. There is only so much covering up a girl can do. So this one is putting back on her gardening gloves and going back out to weed.

week by week

Addicted to week by week websites.
I am a tad embarrassed to say that one of the highlights of my week is looking up new baby info online. There are about 20 week by week pregnancy sites out there and I swear I have been to them all, at least 19 times. Most of them are weird, try to sell me stuff and are written poorly. They tell me gross stuff, like that my baby is covered in hair and a cheesy wax substance and this week he/she probably produced her first baby poo ( meconium). They give measurements in cm and grams. I am a science teacher and live occasionally in the metric world, but still can’t picture what 300 grams is. I am thankful for the one site that tells me my unborn child is the size of a very large heirloom tomato. That I get. For some reason, it is easier for me to bigger a tomato thing inside me rather than a 300 gram cheesy, hairy pooping fetus. Yet still, week after week I look forward to reading about the new growth or changes going on with in me. It gives me some small insight as to what the heck is going on inside me.

The attic

A friend recently adopted a sweet baby boy. It got me hunting for some of O’s old things possibly to hand down. Shaun is out of town so I crawled up into the attic instead up sending him up for a load. I was a bit overwhelmed at all the baby stuff camped out up there. And equally overwhelmed that soon enough we will be bringing it all back down again.
There were neatly labeled tubs filled with baby clothes. I found the first one and was shocked at how small they seemed. Owen is not quite three. Not so much time has passed. Especially compared to my old footlocker collecting dust in the back corner. It is filled with high school stuff like year books and letter jackets. That all seems worlds away. But these tubs, they are pretty recent additions to the attic.
I held a new baby recently at a baby shower and felt awkward all over again. Her head kind of flopped and I had forgotten about all those weird noises they make.
It is supposed to be easy this time around. I have all the stuff. I have done it before and we both survived. Suddenly three years seems like eons.
Despite the heat and dust and not-so-new parenting fears I still wanted to sit down and just pour through them. Remembering him in each outfit and with each toy. Maybe even getting to that highschool footlocker in the corner. I didn’t because that sweet babe I was remembering was pouring windex all over the garage floor and getting into who knows what else.
It made me want to come back to my attic later when I had time to savor everything.
I remember being little and sneaking into ours and going through suitcases, boxes and pictures. I was trying to discover what I did not know about my family’s past. The attic always felt special.
And they are.
Most people thing of their attic as where they put all their Christmas decorations and their junk – but the truth is most of them are filled with memories. Some even come packaged neatly in blue tubs.