Thursday, November 21, 2013

Exodus to a Field of Dreams

I am working on a Bible Study on the book of Exodus- a Bible study I started over four years ago. It’s a great, in-depth study and has 20 chapters- one per week. For those who may be mathematically challenged, that means it has taken me more than twice the amount of time to do than it should have. (Maybe even three times more- I don’t have my scientific calculator with me at the moment.)

However, when I started it, it was during a really rough patch in my life (a rough patch that has lingered for far too long- at least 3 times longer than it should have) and I saw this study as a metaphor- I would study about the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt as I hoped for an Exodus from my rough patch so that I could also see the land flowing with (breast) milk and honey (colored poop).

So I worked on it a bit but, truth be told, I was having a really tough time focusing on anything and, though I have usually grown stronger in my faith when faced with trials, I must admit that I was having a difficult time seeing anything positive through the fog.

Since then, I’ve worked on this study off and on through the various ups and downs I’ve faced in the last four years. Each time I started, I was looking for my path through the desert, and each time some Canaanite, Jebusite, Parasite, and/or pregnancy derailed me.

Well, I have once again picked up where I left off and am committed to finishing it this time. I’d like to say that I’ll be finishing one chapter per week like I’m supposed to, but hey, by my calculations, taking the Israelites route means I still have 37 more years before I need to really worry about it.

It really has felt like I’ve been wandering around in a desert for a while- there have been various trials and tribulations, but there have also been a few oases along the way, as well. In the last 8 months I’ve had the most precious baby girl (who actually lets me sleep at night!!), had my amazingly smart boy turn two (he wakes up more during the night than the baby!), wrestled with PPD and PP anxiety....again, and passed the one year anniversary of my dad’s death while passing the mrfmrfmrf year anniversary of my birth. A few months ago, I started to see glimmers of the Promised Land (after a few trips to the doctor, truth be told) and have wanted to blog about oh so many things- recipes, patterns, funny stories- but still hadn’t found my voice. Where had my words gone?

And then, after watching a commercial for Field of Dreams, I had an epiphany: WRITE IT AND THEY WILL COME.

And so, that’s what I did.

I really doubt that Kevin Costner will ever again be thanked alongside Moses for assisting in an Exodus journey, but there you go. I’ve started a new crochet group (after laying low for a loooong time after my last one), found a new women’s Bible study to attend, and have made new friends which means that I *gasp shock horrors* have been social! With actual people! IN MY HOUSE, EVEN! And the best part? I’m actually enjoying it and looking forward to more. (!!)

So, even though I’m not in the Promised Land just yet (who is?), I am very happy to no longer be wandering in the desert. I don’t know if any of you have remained since I was lost for so long, but if so…. I’m back, baby.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Out of Practice

There are a few things that one should never do if one is to be accepted out in various social circles. A few rules that civilized people always follow because they are normal, well functioning members of society. For instance, one should never make rude, crude, or socially unacceptable bodily sounds in public. (But all bets are off if you’re home…or at least in my home.) It’s best to not discuss religion or politics to avoid potential awkwardness or violent beat downs. And, you should never, ever ask a woman if she is pregnant, unless of course, you are almost pretty sure that she is.

These are all rules I’ve lived by (well, mostly…no promises on that first one) because I’ve striven to appear as a normal, well functioning member of society for a good long while now. However, due to various difficulties with pregnancies, moves, and lack-of-sleep induced insanity, I’ve become a little bit rusty on this whole “behaving in public” thing. Particularly when it comes to the words that fly out of my mouth while completely bypassing my brain.

Case in point: I finally ventured out of my hovel for a social event today for the first time in about 3 months. It was actually for a crochet and knit group and I was excited to meet new people as well as hopefully see a few familiar faces. My Mister stayed home with Little Mister and I happily brought my little SweetPea with me to assist me with getting back in the game, socially. There is never a lack of conversation when you have a cute little baby adorned with various crochet items, ya know?

Anywho, when I arrived, the one person I did know ended up leaving as I was arriving, so I was thrown into the midst of quite a few women I had never met before (or at least, if I had met them, it was many, many moons ago because I haven’t left my cave house in about 10 years). Now, even in the best of times, when I have had plenty of practice being social and interacting with other adults, being around a bunch of people I don’t know gives me butterflies and I go into, “I hope they like me!” mode. This time, being around a bunch of people I didn’t know made me into a human puppy as my mind raced, “OOOOOH! People! There’s a person! A new friend? Will she like me? What yarn is she using? OOOOOH! She has kids! Can I smell her yarn? Will you be my friend? LOOK AT MY YARN!”

So. There was this lovely lady there who was about to leave as I was arriving. She had a child around Little Mister’s age so I thought, “YAY! New friend!” When she stood up to leave, I noticed that she seemed to be expecting another baby, as well, so I thought, “YAY! Another baby SweetPea’s age! This new lady and I are going to be BFFs! When can we get together? I hope she likes me! LOOK AT HER YARN!!”

I was getting back into the Social-Interaction saddle again as I tested the waters with my first question, “How old is your child?” When she affirmed my suspicion that he was around Little Mister’s age, I gained confidence with my abilities to socialize, and, since I figured we were going to have two kids around the same age, I asked, “And I assume you have another one on the way?”

I have the hugest smile on my face since I know I’m about to make a life-long friend and we will happily crochet together while discussing potty training our toddlers and breastfeeding our newborns and how we’ll always be BFFs FOREVER. I’m looking at all the other women around us thinking, “Tough cookies, ladies. You had your chance! I’m now taken!”

So imagine the absolute mortification I felt when my new BFF replied, “No. I just haven’t lost the weight yet.”

That sound you hear? Like the air flowing out of a balloon as it flies across the room? Yeah- that’s me as all the air was sucked out of me and I was left an empty shell who wanted to curl up and die. If I felt that way, I can just imagine how that lady felt being called out, not only by me, but also in front of all those other ladies.

There are so many ways to deal with this situation. You could say, “I’m sorry!” and then curl up and die. You could cause a diversion and pinch your baby really hard so she’ll start crying and everyone’s attention would then be on this new sound and wouldn’t notice you curling up and dying. You could say, “Oh look over there!” and then run away and curl up and die.

Any of these options are preferable to what I did.

You see, when she said, “No. I just haven’t lost the weight yet,” she said it with, what I interpreted to be, a smirk. So I thought she was replying the way you would if someone noticed you chopped off 14 inches of your hair and asked, “Did you get a hair cut?” and you said, “No- it’s just playing hide and seek! Haha! Kidding! Yes, I cut my hair you silly!”

So, instead of graciously getting myself out of this social faux pas, I did what any other socially retarded person would do. I asked, "Are you kidding?"

ARE YOU KIDDING???? Really???? It’s like I wasn’t happy just having my foot resting comfortably in my mouth. I had to shove it all the way down my gullet so that my pancreas could get in on the toe munching action.

Thinking before speaking has never been one of my strong suits, but this was bad even for me! I feel terrible!! Not only am I super embarrassed that I showed all these women what a socially inept turd head I am, but I also totally embarrassed that lady and, if she’s anything like me, I probably made her cry and I feel beyond terrible about that.

You guys. I just. I mean. UUUUGHHHHH!!!!

I don’t know if I should continue going out to other social events in hopes that “practice makes perfect” and I’ll gain some much needed social awareness, or if I should just lock myself in my house for another 10 years and only emerge if there is a huge piece of duct tape securely fastened over my mouth.

For now, I think I’m just going to go over there- under that rock in the distance- and then just curl up and die. Right after I point out that man’s bald spot while farting in church.

*Note: NEVER EVER EVER EVER ask a woman if she’s pregnant! EVER!!!!!

Friday, May 10, 2013

May Day! Mayday!

I was sooo looking forward to the first week of May. My Mister had a business trip back to the States, so it was a prime opportunity for us all to go back so the fam could meet little SweetPea. I would be able to go to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival with Lyteyz and Regina. We would then go to the southwest to celebrate Mother’s Day with our mothers and then have them babysit so we could celebrate our anniversary, as well. All in all, a perfect plan for a perfect trip.

Alas. Life is not perfect. We’re still waiting for little SweetPea’s passport which means My Mister is back in the States all by himself, visiting our friends, enjoying a full night’s sleep (well, when he gets over the jetlag), in a bed all by himself and, most importantly, drinking free refills. All while completely squandering the prime wool buying opportunity I would have totally taken advantage of at MDSW.

As for me? I’m still Down Under all by my lonesome with a toddler and a newborn and, as of this posting, am still alive to tell the tale. And so are my kids. Woohoo! Go me!

I know he knows, but just so that I can declare it publically for the whole world to see, and just in case he’s even thinking about staying just a minute longer, I MISS MY MISTER! He is a phenomenal husband and daddy and I truly feel it in my bones when he’s gone because he helps with so much around the house and with taking care of the kids and me, especially in those early days postpartum. With him gone, I have to handle by myself all of the feedings and bath times, temper tantrums (our first real tantrum happened last week- terrible twos has come early!), and midnight diaper blowouts. I have to make all the big decisions by myself, as well. Decisions like, do I really need to change the baby’s diaper if it’s just a shart? (Answer: Depends on where it falls on the Shartyness Scale. Anything over “Enough to Butter a Bread” and you should probably change it.)

Well, after My Mister left on Friday, I decided that I was not going to just let the TV babysit my kids while I wept in the corner curled up in the fetal position. I mean, after spending Saturday and Sunday like that, of course. They don’t count since it’s the weekend and I remember reading in some parenting book that all parents get the weekend off and you can wait until the Shartyness Scale reaches, “Stop Deluding Yourself- It’s Poop” before you have to change the diaper.

So on Sunday, I made a plan for the week. I was going to attack the week like a Professional Mom would. Like my mom would.

Side note: I have two under two. So did my mom- I was 14 months younger than my older brother. I have no idea how my mom did the things she did and I often wonder how it can be that I am related to her. As I’m verbalizing how overwhelmed I’m feeling and voicing my insecurities and wondering to myself, “How did my mom do it??” My Mister asks me, “Well, your mom did a good job. How did she do it?”

Dude. It does not matter that I was thinking the same thing. If a husband does not want an epic, hormonal, postpartum meltdown that will be sung about by minstrels sitting around the fire as a way to instill fear and terror into their audience, he should never compare his wife to her mother. Besides. Having two under two is probably the reason my mom went crazy. (Haha! Kidding! Kinda…)

So my plan for the week started with ordering groceries for in-store pickup which I would retrieve Monday morning after dropping off the recyclables (Cash for Cans! Yay!) and picking up the cat food at the vet’s, followed by mailing a package to my cousin whose daughter is 10 days younger than SweetPea. This is actually really cool since I am 11 days older than my cousin. I’m not sure what the odds are of that happening but it must be a good omen that everything would go perfectly since the planets were aligned and I was sending her two cute crocheted dresses which means bonus points for the day.

ANYwho… I have to order the groceries by 11pm the previous night to pick up at 9am the next morning. Sunday night rolled around and I was still in the fetal position in the corner, so I did not order the groceries.

My plan was not off to a great start.

No worries. Monday morning rolls around and, if I order by 11am, I can pick them up by 3pm, so we would have actual food in our house and Little Mister wouldn’t have to go around picking up random blobs off the floor and scarfing them down like he hadn’t eaten in a week. (For reals- he kept saying, “MMMMMM! Good!” and refused to give me what was in his mouth. I really hope it was the popcorn we had the previous day and not cat litter or something worse- like a bug.)

I decided to treat Monday as if I was going to battle work so I pried my crusty pajamas off my body and threw them in the fire wash and actually got dressed in actual clothes and even put on makeup as a way of saying, “I am making over $10 for my recyclables so I’m going to look like I earned that money!” After getting all dolled up and then reassuring my frightened Little Mister that I was indeed his mom, I logged in and started my grocery order. I then had to choose the time I wanted to pick up our food. This is when I realized things were a little off today. There was no option to pick up groceries today- only tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.

Huh.

No worries- I still had other errands to run and Lord knows there were still plenty of blobs on the floor for Little Mister to eat, so it’s all good. (See? This is why I don’t vacuum all that often. Now you know.)

On the way to the recycle center, My Mister skyped me. As we were talking, I told him that I remember seeing something about a parade later on that morning. This is when I realized that there must be something really special about today. Good thing I curled my eyelashes.

He told me, “Oh yeah- it’s a holiday today.”

I was thinking of all the important holidays where there could be a parade in May and didn’t think they celebrated Memorial Day but could it really be Memorial Day already? I mean, I know I have been in a hormonal daze lately, but could I really have misplaced an entire month? That would explain how SweetPea got so huge so quickly…. (For reals- both my babies went from newborn to Baby Huey in no time flat. I think my boobies have butter on tap instead of breast milk.)

Then My Mister said “Mayday!” I thought he was asking for help in some silly World War Two way in order to make me laugh, but no, he said it was the holiday May Day. (??)

Since we don’t celebrate that holiday in the States (do we?), I truly have no idea what it’s about but it dawned on me that it was probably the reason why I couldn’t pick up my groceries that day.

Then the wheels slowly turned in my head and the pieces started to fit together when I realized that, if it was a special enough holiday to have a parade, and special enough to prevent me from picking up my groceries, then it most likely meant that it was special enough for EVERYTHING to be closed.

Yep. The recycle center. The post office. Even the vet. All closed.

What the crap, Australia. I got out of my pajamas and was even wearing deodorant and you pull this lame-o trick on me??

Well, I thought that it wasn’t a total bust since I had the double stroller in the back of the car so we could at least go to the parade.

But, no.

I had 4 bags of recyclables sitting on top of my stroller and the parade started in 15 minutes. Not enough time for me to go home, unload all the stupid recyclables and then head back out to the stupid parade on this stupid, made up holiday. And I didn’t even get my hard-earned $10, either.

So, I went home. Unloaded the kids. Plopped them in front of the TV, and went back to my corner to curl back up into the fetal position and wash my mascara off with my tears.

See? This is why I should never get out of my pajamas. Now you know.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Free As a Caged Bird

OhMyLanta, y'all. It's a miracle! I actually got both kiddiewinks down for a nap AT THE SAME TIME.  You have no idea how rare this is. It's almost as rare as a blog post from me. I KNOW, RIGHT??

Of course this means that I actually have some very coveted time all to myself. I could use it to nap, because heaven knows how much I love to sleep, but I decided to instead use this very rare free time and spend it on myself. What to do...what to do?? Paint my nails? Bush my teeth? Use the bathroom by myself??

Seriously- it was so cute when my cat was a kitten and she would stick her tiny little paw under the bathroom door when it was closed and gently mewl letting me know she was all alone out in the big mean world. It's not so cute when it's the hand of your toddler who is crying, "MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY! DOOR CLOSED! MOOOOMMMY!" I mean, I rarely close the door since I want him to see us use "the potty" so he will learn how it's done (he's actually doing well with the whole potty thing- when he farts, or he hears a fart, he'll scream, "POOP!!" and grab his butt. That's m'boy!), but sometimes mommy just needs a few minutes all to herself or she is going to go all the way to CrazyTown this time and there is no turning back. Like the old adage says, the good thing about having kids is that you'll never be alone....the bad thing about having kids is that YOU WILL NEVER BE ALONE.

Anywho, I decided to use this rare time instead to give a little update since I've not really been responding to texts, emails, FB messages, or phone calls and I think some of my loved ones are wondering if I'm still alive. Yes, I'm alive and doing relatively well. However, I don't have much time to respond to people who are either not under the age of two, or who require a diaper change or a breastfeed (or both at the same time- although I needed Big Mister's help for that, but it worked! Yes, seriously.)

******************************

HA! So, as I was typing that, Sweet Pea decided that I've had far too much free time (20 minutes) and I needed to attend to her right away. Considering she had spit up all over her hair and clothes, and subsequently my bed, I figured she was right. And then I noticed a yellow spot on her pajamas. It's pretty bad when you are not sure if it's a fresh yellow stain or if it's from the last time she wore them. And then you hope that you had washed them since the last time she wore them.

Anywho, my free time is now up. I'm still tired, my nails are still unpolished, I still need to use the bathroom, and I'm poorly groomed, so please don't knock on my door because I'm not going to answer. I don't care if you know that I'm home. CrazyTown is not for the faint of heart....or those with a working sense of smell.

Peace out, yo.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

March: In Like a Lion...Out Like a....Watermelon?

I’m so very pleased to report that our Dear Little Sweet Pea is FINALLY here! In some ways I felt like I was challenging a pregnant elephant with the duration of my pregnancy, and in some ways it ended up going by quicker than I thought it would.

All in all, it ended and I am once again left marveling at how very useless having a birth plan is, yet still in awe of the tiny little bundle of joy (and poop- oh man…I had forgotten about the poop!) that is now here. She is absolutely perfect and I can’t stop staring at, smelling, and kissing her cute little head and cheeks.

More importantly, neither can Little Mister. I was concerned about how he was going to handle the transition once she was home, but, as with most things, it turns out that I was worrying for nothing. He is completely and totally IN LOVE with his little sister. The first thing in the morning he asks about is the baby. As soon as she cries, he runs down the hall saying, “Oh no! Baby! Baby!” and, I’m ashamed to say, has even heard her crying before I did. He constantly wants to hold her and his face absolutely lights up when he sees her. He’s completely smitten and I love it.

I can go on and on and on about how amazing she is and how amazing he is and how my kids are the best kids in the entire universe because 1) I am still trying to get used to saying I have “kids” as in more-than-one, and 2) I have totally become one of THOSE moms. You know. The kind that won’t shut up about how amazingly awesome her kids are and how they are the smartest things since sliced bread. (Hey- baby brain allows for mixed metaphors, so make like a tree and beat it!).

So, to stem my newfound Annoying Mother ability, I’ll just leave you with this pic of our Sweet Little Sweet Pea, complete with the outfit we brought her home in.

ACK!!! I DIE OF CUTENESS!!

Check those kicks. Oh yeah- that's my girl!


Hat is a very altered go at my Winter Watermelon Hat pattern. Dress is Angel Wings Pinafore. Socks are pure awesomeness. (They are actually hand-me-downs. My sister bought them for Little Mister when he was born. Best.Gift.Ever.)